The dropping feeling surged reality back into my brain.
I was jarred back to reality and reality was that I was falling to my death.
I tried to scream something like “Unholy mother of Gaea!” but what came out was more of “AAAAAAAAAAGHGHAHGH!” This screaming continued on for a while, until I was out of breath. I was up so high that the drop was painfully long, long enough for me to realize this was the exact scene that the dice had shown mea month, earlier, this was me falling from the Empire State Building.
Yay, dream come true.
Well at least I saved the world before I died.
I had just about accepted my fate when It hit something with a loud “Whump!”
“Thanks for screaming, love,” said a voice, “Made it a lot easier to figure out where you were.”
Eros, was carrying me bridal style in midair.
I grinned at him although exhausted and feeling like my heart had just exploded from fear, “Glad to see those things are good for something,” I said joking about his wings.
“I’m just glad you’re not that heavy,” he replied, and then he began to fly back up towards Olympus, myself still cradled in his arms.
“You’re the first person to say that,” I said.
“Well you must not have been being held my an extremely muscular god,” he joked.
“Yeah, this is a first,” I replied, laughing, “Thanks…you now for saving me.”
“Anytime,” he said, “Just preferably not late at night, I like to sleep at hose hours. Saving young heroines is strictly a day time activity.”
“Do it often?” I asked.
“Once every other year,” he replied and we both laughed.
I looked down at the street of New York, the battle had died and the fire had disappeared. All of the monsters had been reduced to dust and the Demi-titans were fast asleep. I watched as demi-gods filed into the Empire State building, going the slow way up, unlike me.
“We did it,” I sighed.
“You did it,” he added.
Within seconds we returned to the Throne Room, there were a lot of people waiting for us there.
Firstly I was tackled by Annabeth, who threw her arms around me in a nearly violent fashion. She had a black eye and was covered in blood but she looked happier than I’d ever seen her. She squeezed me and spoke words that I didn’t hear, they were to fast and high pitched.
Jason patted me on the back congratulating me and Piper smiled at me.
“Looking good girl,” she said.
“Oh you know it,” I joked in return, flipping my matted hair, “I rock the half-dead look.”
She laughed and we hugged.
Leo gave me a thumbs up and Hazel and Frank smiled and told me how weill I did.
Reyna strutted up to me, congratulated me and shook my hand. Then we both laughed, dropped the formalities and hugged.
I got a lot of hugs that night, most memorable was Percy’s.
He hugged me super tight, “You’re the best!’ he exclaimed.
“Don’t let Annabeth hear you say that,” I warned.
“You’re the best,” he repeated even louder this time, nearly shouting, “And I don’t care if she hears it, she would agree!”
I glanced at her and she laughed, nodding in agreement.
Percy then lifted me up and twirled me around, when he set me down I squeezed him even tighter.
“I was just trying to be like you,” I said.
He kissed my forehead and smiled, “Bah! When I grow up I want to be just like you!”
I laughed and blushed and buried my face in his chest.
The rest of the afternoon and night went by in a blur.
The party on Olympus was beyond awesome.
I actually don’t remember most of it, I was passed out for half the night. Not for any inappropriate reasons, I was just really tired.
I remember Apollo high-fived me and said, “Great job. You go girl!”
I also recall Eros and Mea, holding hands, which was suspiring for a second and then I realized how awesome they were for each other.
I winked at Mea and gave her a thumbs up.
She giggled and Eros, asked her what was so funny and she just shrugged winking back at me.
First was the funeral, which was by far the most depressing part of the night, I cried myself into dehydration.
Cloe’s shroud was a beautiful emerald with a golden hydrangea flower sewn into it. Ava was the one to set it alight and after she walked to me and we hugged, crying on one another.
Fortunately, there were very little casualties, for a war that is, only 42 Greeks and 18 Romans. The boy who had escorted me into Camp Jupiter last year, had fallen, he was badly wounded by a Laestrygonion and his friends couldn’t save him. I didn’t know anyone else who died that day, not personally at least, but I still mourned them. Something in my heart throbbed at he sound of every name, they were names I knew I’d never forget.
Once the shroud burning was over, Apollo jumped to his feet and yelled, “I’m sorry for your losses, now let’s party.” It was an attempt to lighten the mood but it seemed kind of insensitive, especially since he’d lost to sons that day.
Afterwards, there was the whole godly award ceremony and every warrior was thanked.
The Seven got all of the gods to vow to never ask anything of them again, which was a total score.
Of course I was last, my award ceremony took like two hours, and an hour and half of it was just waiting for everybody to shut up and stop screaming.
*** “Before we ask what you’d like for your reward, we have decided you deserve an honor that we have not bestowed upon a hero for over 1000 years, but we have agreed you deserve it,” began Zeus.
I stared at Zeus, more scared than honored.
The Kings of The Gods stood, holding his lighting bolt in hand, it transformed, turning into a silver longsword glowing with electric power.
“Kneel,” commanded Zeus.
For a second I looked around, confused until Anabeth nodded me on.
I followed Zeus’ instruction, getting to a knee before him, bowing my head.
He placed his sword upon my shoulder and announced, “I deem the: Lea Reclin, Knight of Olympus.”
The crowd gasped.
I honestly didn’t know what to do.
I had no idea what being Knight of Olympus meant, but clearly it was important.
“Stand,” said Zeus to me.
This time I followed without question.
I rose to my feet.
I looked to the gods, they all smiled warmly at me, even Hera, which was a freaking miracle.
“Now that you have received your title, it is time for your gift. What would you like from us Lea?” asked Zeus.
“I don’t know,” I replied.
The gods faces fell, clearly they had never heard that one before.
“You guys still owe me favors from two years ago, so yeah,” I said.
“Wealth, fame, immortality?” asked Zeus.
“Nah,” I replied.
Hera rolled her eyes, obviously fed up with me.
“I guess I just want your blessings,” said, and then I reached up to my neck, my necklace had broken and disappeared, “Maybe some new jewelry.”
“Oh that I can do!” exclaimed Aphrodite and the next thing I new I was decked out with golden jewelry.
I cringed, trying to shake of the gaudy accessories.
“Something simple and silver,” I specified.
The jewelry on me disappeared.
Artemis stood, her auburn hair was tied back into a French braid and she wore a silver full length toga, in other words, she looked positively gorgeous.
She walked up to me and touched my forehead, a wave of energy spread out over me, “You will never grow ill or suffer from exhaustion.”
“Thank you,” I stuttered, she knew exactly what I wanted.
She held out her palm and something appeared, it was a silver Italian charm bracelet, like those ones that were so popular in third grade. The more charms you had the cooler you were.
I put in on, there were no charms on it yet but as I looked one appeared, a small silver bow.
“Once a year,” Artemis began, “You may use that charm to summon the powers of the moon and hunt.”
“Wow, thank you!” I exclaimed.
“And the power of the sun and healing!” added Apollo as I watched a carm of a golden sun appear.
“Thank you!” I replied, this was to cool, I could be like a child of Apollo for one day a year.
Hera stood, “And the power of family!”
“Uh, thanks,” I said. I wasn’t exactly sure what I could do with the power of family.
Hera sat back down uttering something about ungratefulness.
Zeus rose, “I grant you the power of storms.”
A lighting bolt appeared next to the new peacock feather charm.
I thanked him and the blessing continued.
By the end of the night I had thirteen charms, newly added were the trident, skull, hammer, piece of grain, group of grapes, spear and heart. Along with them the power over the ocean, the dead, the ability to forge any item, to control plants, to cause hallucinations, win any battle and make someone fall in love.
I probably was ever going to use the last one, but I wasn’t about to deny Aphrodite.
With my newly equipped super-power bracelet, I thanked the gods, and the party began.
Nymphs walked around handing out glasses of nectar and little ambrosia cakes.
They smelled amazing and as I reached for one Annabeth had to smack my hand away.
I thank her for that, I didn’t feel like spontaneously combusting on my night of fame. But then again, they smelled like they’d be worth it, the scent was somewhere in between vanilla and Disneyland’s caramel corn.
Leo and I talked for a while and when he saw me eyeing the orderves, he pulled a churro from his utility belt and handed it to me.
I looked at him for a minute, a little doubtful.
“Don’t worry,” he said, “It’s safe.”
He was right it was safe, and delicious.
I don’t remember much else from that night, they played really good music and Lance asked me to dance. As soon as he did I blushed and tripped over my feet but he caught me. The dancing was awkward, and Lance was terrible but it was also really fun. It was carefree night, I had nothing to worry about.
Hermes came over and talked to me for a bit.
“You did well,” he said, “We were right to choose you as our hero.”
“Yeah but, Why me?” I asked.
Hermes looked at me a deep sadness in his eyes, “You were the only one willing to sacrifice everything.”
“Percy is that way too,” I retorted.
“Not quite,” argued Hermes, “It’s Percy’s fatal flaw and the one thing that sets you two apart as heroes; he would risk the world in the long run to save a friend at the moment. You on the other hand are too logical for that, you sacrifice yourself or your friend for the greater good. You’d sacrifice a hundred to save million. You know that, it is better to lose one than hundreds. We learned this when you chose the underworld over Nico exactly one year ago.”
I sighed. He was right.
At one point Nico and I left the crowd and hung out at the fountain of Aphrodite, I lay with my head in his lap staring up at the stars and we talked. I don’t remember what we talked about, but the conversation went on for hours.
*** At one point I remember, we were talking about how late the sun had set.
It was the Summer Solstice, so of course it was the longest day of the year.
“What’s the date today?” I asked Nico.
“June 21st,” he replied calmly, “Why?”
“I turn sixteen in five days,” I told him, my emotions felt jumbled inside me. I was happy I survived to say that but I also felt like I was missing something, like a part of my life was left out. As if there was something I was supposed to do before I turned the special age. I shrugged off the feeling assuming it was just the part of me saying that I need to get my first kiss in before I turned into an old lady.
Around midnight campers started to head back home and party began to die.
I said goodnight to Nico and he headed back with Ava and Maria.
I wandered around Olympus for a while, until eventually I wander right into my dad. My real dad.
“Morpheus,” I said.
He smiled warmly at me, “Well done, Lea. It seems you’ve saved us all again.”
“Seems so,” I replied.
He gestured for me to sit next to him on a marble bench.
“My offer from two years ago still stands,” he said.
“You really want me to be a god don’t you?” I replied.
“Yes Lea,” he said, he warm smiled and kaleidoscope eyes kept me from looking away, “I really do.”
“Maybe one day,” I said.
“I have a proposition to make,” he said.
I don’t remember what he told me that night, but I do remember ending the conversation with, “Deal.”
Camp-life returned to normal, well as normal as camp-life could be. Mot of the demi-titans woke up and joined our side, the ones who had no intension to be our allies, never rose from their sleep. This was probably my doing. My father promised me they would be kept safe until they decided to pledge their allegiance to the gods.
Life got pretty boring after that, no quests, no monsters, just peace and I’m not sure whether I liked it or not.
Henry and I went and got shamrock shakes just as promised and Nico and I went on plenty of adventures that summer. All was well.
I was mortal, I was home and I was happy.