What Came After The End

What happened after The Blood of Olympus?
The seven strongest of our age,
must settle the debt of a maid en-caged.
They'll travel far and make a trade,
but fail to stop the dagger's blade.

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4. I Get Warned by a Gorgeous Goddess

The next morning was full of promise. The sun was shinning, the birds were singing, you know, the usual signs something bad is about to happen. Leo woke up early unable to sleep and decided to visit Bunker 9. It had been a long time since he'd seen it. The morning air was clear and crisp. Camp Half Blood was beautiful, especially when Calypso wasn't far off, asleep in the Aphrodite cabin. Just as Leo was about to enter the forest he heard someone behind him. The wind blew over his shoulder and the world seemed to shift. The air smelled of rose perfume and mist rolled in from the lake, lighting up with pinks, oranges, and purples from the sunrise. Leo turned around and gasped. He forgot where he was and where he had been going. None of that seemed to matter anymore. Leo shook his head.

"Snap out of it!" He thought, but it was hard. The woman in front of him was so beautiful. Her hair was perfect, not a curl out of place, her eyes were like stars on a clear night. Her makeup was flawless, she wore a red satin dress, and her smile, well it looked a bit like Calypso's and made Leo's heart beat hard enough to clear his head. 

"Who...who are you?" he managed to ask. The woman laughed, and he blue eyes were like the water surrounding Ogygia. Leo realized his jaw was hanging open and he closed it along with his eyes to clear his thoughts again. 

"Oh Leo, the funny one. That's a good quality you know, girls love the funny boys." 

"Ah huh," Was all Leo could think to say.

"I'm Aphrodite." She said, batting her eye lashes as if she needed evidence. Leo wondered how Piper could be related to this woman. Sure was beautiful, but their personalities were so different. 

"Do you know why I'm here Leo?" He shook his head, bewildered at why the goddess of love and beauty would want to see him.

"Think really hard!"  She said as if she was talking to a toddler.

"I... I don't know ma'am."

"Sure you do!" She said in a voice that seemed to float around him like butterflies, or calm him like a cup of hot chocolate on a winter morning, or... Agh! Where were these thoughts coming from? They weren't his! Leo shook his head again. He had to get this lady out of his head. Aphrodite snapped her fingers and a lovely couch appeared. With a sigh the goddess sat down and smoothed her dress. Then she looked up at Leo and patted the seat next to her. Before he could think about what to do, his legs were walking over and he sat down beside her as if in a trance. His jaw was hanging open again but he couldn't remember how to close it this time. 

"What was it you were celebrating yesterday?" 

"My...ugh...return?" Leo wasn't even sure what had happened last night. He couldn't remember much of anything with Aphrodite sitting next to him. 

"No, no! The REAL reason! Why were YOU celebrating?" Leo thought, and just as he was starting to remember, Aphrodite put her arm around him and his mind seemed to become a jumbled, broken clock. 

"I know you pretty well, Leo. You're a smart boy like your father.So tell me, what were you celebrating last night?" Her voice drew a couple of letters together in Leo's mind that awakened his senses.  

"C-Calypso." He managed to whisper, still in a bit of a daze. 

"Yes! And the gods are angry Leo. Particularly Zeus. You see, Calypso's punishment was an eternal one, and you freed her. You see the problem? You outsmarted Lord Zeus and he's extremely embarrassed. He doesn't like to be showed up by anyone. But don't worry!" She added when she saw Leo's sick expression. 

"I've taken an interest in you, Leo Valdez. Risking your life for true love! Oh its all so perfectly romantic! You know I once promised Percy some difficult and entertaining surprises and look at him! Defeating Kronos next to the woman he loves, meeting your Calypso and causing them both scaring emotional pain! And falling into tartarus with Annabeth so they wouldn't be separated again! Isn't it all so beautifully tragic?" Leo was starting to think this woman was as crazy as the other gods. Clearly she had never met the furry of fangirls.

"Maybe you can be the next tragic romantic!" Aphrodite exclaimed as she stood up. 

"No! Leo exclaimed, jumping to his feet. If anything happened to Calypso... if they took her away.... 

"Awww you're so adorable!" Aphrodite said sympathetically, putting her hand on his cheek. Then she snapped her fingers and the couch disappeared. There was a loud roar and out of the forest came a motorcycle. Riding it was a big man with a crew cut, black leather jacket, a white muscle shirt, black jeans, and combat boots. He was wearing wrap around shades so Leo couldn't see his eyes. Ares pulled to a stop and Aphrodite smiled at him, then with a last look at Leo she said,

"Good luck young hero! May your love be tragic and soul crushing!" Leo wasn't sure those were the last words he wanted to hear, but it was too late. Aphrodite was already sitting across Ares' lap and the motorcycle roared to life and with a quick U-turn, plunged back into the forest. The love goddess was gone. 

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