“Hey.” Annabeth slid next to me on the bench. “Happy birthday.”
She was holding a huge misshapen cupcake with blue icing.
I stared at her. “What?”
“It’s August 18th,” she said. “Your birthday, right?”
I was stunned. It hadn’t even occurred to me, but she was right. I had
turned sixteen this morning-the same morning I’d made the choice to
give Luke the knife. The prophecy had come true right on schedule,
and I hadn’t even thought about the fact that it was my birthday.
“Make a wish,” she said.
“Did you bake this yourself?” I asked.
“That explains why it looks like a chocolate brick,” I said. “With
extra blue cement.”
I thought for a second, then blew out the candle.
We cut it in half and shared, eating with our fingers. Annabeth sat
next to me, and we watched the ocean. Crickets and monsters were
making noise in the woods, but otherwise it was quiet.
“You saved the world,” she said.
“We saved the world.”
“And Rachel is the new Oracle, which means she won’t be dating
“You don’t sound disappointed,” I noticed.
Annabeth shrugged. “Oh, I don’t care.”
She raised an eyebrow. “You got something to say to me, Seaweed
“You’d probably kick my butt.”
“You know I’d kick your butt.”
I brushed the cake off my hands. “When I was at the River Styx,
turning invulnerable … Nico said I had to concentrate on one thing
that kept me anchored to the world, that made me want to stay
Annabeth kept her eyes on the horizon. “Yeah?”
“Then up on Olympus,” I said, “when they wanted to make me a god
and stuff, I kept thinking-“
“Oh, you so wanted to.”
“Well, maybe a little. But I didn’t, because I thought-I didn’t want
things to stay the same for eternity, because things could always get
better. And I was thinking …” My throat felt really dry.
“Anyone in particular?” Annabeth asked, her voice soft.
I looked over and saw that she was trying not to smile.
“You’re laughing at me,” I complained.
“I am not!”
“You are so not making this easy.”
Then she laughed for real, and she put her hands around my neck. “I
am never, ever going to make things easy for you, Seaweed Brain.
Get used to it.”
When she kissed me, I had the feeling my brain was melting right
through my body.
I could’ve stayed that way forever, except a voice behind us growled,
“Well, it’s about time!”
Suddenly the pavilion was filled with torchlight and campers.
Clarisse led the way as the eavesdroppers charged and hoisted us
both onto their shoulders.
“Oh, come on!” I complained. “Is there no privacy?”
“The lovebirds need to cool off!” Clarisse said with glee.
“The canoe lake!” Connor Stoll shouted.
With a huge cheer, they carried us down the hill, but they kept us
close enough to hold hands. Annabeth was laughing, and I couldn’t
help laughing too, even though my face was completely red.
We held hands right up to the moment they dumped us in the water.
Afterward, I had the last laugh. I made an air bubble at the bottom of
the lake. Our friends kept waiting for us to come up, but hey-when
you’re the son of Poseidon, you don’t have to hurry.
And it was pretty much the best underwater kiss of all time.
-Chapter 22: I Am Dumped
Percy Jackson And The Olympians
The Last Olympian