The Last Olympian

Page 46

   Annabeth ran in right behind him, and I'll admit my heart did a little relay race in my chest when I saw her. It's not that she tried to look good. We'd been doing so many combat missions lately, she hardly brushed her curly blond hair anymore, and she didn't care what clothes she was wearing - usually the same old orange camp T-shirt and jeans, and once in a while her bronze armor. Her eyes were stormy gray. Most of the time we couldn't get through a conversation without tryign to strangle each other. Still, just seeing her made me feel fuzzy in the head. Last summer, before Luke turned into Kronos and everything went sour, there had been a few times when I thought maybe...well, that we might get past the strangle-each-other phase.

Page 48

   Annabeth wiped a tear from her cheek. "I'm glad you're not dead, Seaweed Brain."
   "Thanks," I said. "Me too."

Page 49

   We locked eyes. I thought of a different time last summer, under Mount St. Helens, when Annabeth thought I was going to die, and she kissed me.
   She cleared her throat and looked away. "Prophecy."
   "Right." I put down the scimitar. "Prophecy."

Page 58

   Annabeth blushed. It dawned on me that she knew I'd been hanging out with Rachel, and I felt guilty. Then I felt angry that I felt guilty. I was allowed to have friends outside of camp, right? It wasn't like...

Page 70

   I found myself staring at her, which was stupid since I'd seen her a billion times. She and I were about the same height this summer, which was a relief. Still, she seemed so much more mature. It was kind of intimidating. I mean, sure, she'd always been cute, but she was starting to be seriously beautiful.

Page 72-73

   "You know..." She brushed her hair behind her ear, like she does when she's nervous. "This whole thing with Beckendorf and Silena. It kind of makes you think. About...what's important. About losing people who are important."
   I nodded. My brain started seizing on little random details, like the fact that she was still wearing thos silver owl earrings from her dad, who was this braniac military history professor in San Francisco.
   "Um, yeah," I stammered. "Like...is everything cool with your family?"
   Okay, really stupid question, but hey, I was nervous.
   Annabeth looked disappointed, but she nodded.
   "My dad wanted to take me to Greece this summer," she said wistfully. "I've always wanted to see-"
   "The Parthenon," I remembered.
   She managed a smile. "Yeah."
   "That's okay. There'll be other summers, right?"

Page 74

   "Annabeth." I stopped her by the tetherball court. I knew I was asking for trouble, but I didn't know who else to trust. Plus, I'd always depended on Annabeth for advice.

Page 136

   "Hold on, Seaweed Brain." It was Annabeth's voice, much clearer now. "You're not getting away from me that easily.
   The cord strengthened.
   I could see Annabeth now - standing barefoot above me on the canoe lake pier. I'd fallen out of my canoe. That was it. She was reaching out her hand to haul me up, and she was trying not to laugh. She wore her orange camp T-shirt and jeans. Her hair was tucked up in her Yankees cap, which was strange because that should have made her invisible.
   "You are such an idiot sometimes." She smiled. "Come on. Take my hand."
   Memories came flooding back to me - sharper and more colorful. I stopped dissolving. My name was Percy Jackson. I reached up and took Annabeth's hand.

Page 143

   She frowned. "What is it?
   "What's what?" I asked.
   "You're looking at me funny."
   I realized I was thinking of my strange vision of Annabeth pulling me out of the Styx River. "It's, uh, nothing."

Page 157

   "She said to tell Percy: 'Remember the rivers.' And, um, something about staying away from her daughter.
   I'm not sure whose face was redder: Annabeth's or mine.

Page 159

Annabeth sat at the foot of her mother's throne and cried.I wanted to comfort her, but I wasn't sure how.

Page 176

   "Wait here," I told Annabeth.
   "Percy, you shouldn't go alone."
   "Well, unless you can breathe underwater..."
   She sighed. "You are so annoying sometimes."
   "Like when I'm right? Trust me, I'll be fine. i've got the curse of Achilles now. I'm all invincible and stuff."
   Annabeth didn't look convinced. "Just be careful. I don't want anything to happen to you. I mean, because we need you for the battle."
   I grinned. "Back in a flash."

Page 185

   I kept my eyes on Annabeth.
   She nodded reluctantly. "All right. Get moving."
   Before I could lose my courage, I said, "Don't I get a kiss for luck? It's kind of a tradition, right?"
   I figured she would punch me. Instead, she drew her knife and stared at the army marching toward us. "Come back alive, Seaweed Brain. Then we'll see."

Page 190

   In a flash I understood what had happened. He'd been trying to stab me. Judging from the position of his blade, he would've taken me - maybe by sheer luck - in the small of my back, my only weak point.
   Annabeth had intercepted the knife with her own body.

Page 199-200

   Once she was gone, I knelt next to Annabeth and felt her forehead. She was still burning up.
   "You're cute when you're worried," she muttered. "Your eyebrows get all scrunched together."
   "You are not going to die while I owe you a favor," I said. "Why did you take that knife?"
   "You would've done the same for me."
   It was true. I guess we both knew it. Still, I felt like someone was poking my heart with a cold metal rod. "How did you know?"
   "Know what?"
   I looked around to make sure we were alone. Then I leaned in close and whispered: "My Achilles spot. If you hadn't taken that knife, I would've died."
   She got a faraway look in her eyes. Her breath smelled of grapes, maybe from the nectar. "I don't know, Percy. I just had this feeling you were in danger. Where...where is the spot?"
   I wasn't supposed to tell anyone. But this was Annabeth. If I couldn't trust her, I couldn't trust anyone.
   "The small of my back."
   She lifted her hand. "Where? Here?"
   She put her hand on my spine, and my skin tingled. I moved her fingers to the one spot that grounded me to my mortal life. A thousand volts of electricity seemed to arc through my body.
   "You saved me," I said. "Thanks."
   She removed her hand, but I kept holding it.
   "So you owe me," she said weakly. "What else is new?"

Page 276

    I looked in the direction Annabeth had gone, but she'd disappeared into the crowd. I couldn't believe what she'd just done - saved Rachel's life, landed a helicopter, and walked away like it was no big deal.

Page 321

   I pulled her up and we lay trembling on the pavement. I didn't realize we had our arms around each other until she suddenly tensed.
   "Um, thanks," She muttered.
   " I tried to say Don't mention it, but it came out as "Uh duh."

Page 335

   Luke hardly paid me any attention. He stepped toward Annabeth, but I put myself between him and her.
   "Don't touch her," I said.

Page 341

   Next to me, Annabeth's knees buckled. I caught her, but she cried out in pain, and I realized I'd grabbed her broken arm.
   "Oh gods," I said. "Annabeth, I'm sorry."
   "It's all right," she said as she passed out in my arms.

Page 351

   I glanced back. Annabeth was trying not to meet my eyes. Her face was pale. I flashed back to two years ago, when I'd thought she was going to take the pledge to Artemis and become a Hunter. I'd been on the edge of a panic attack, thinknig that I'd lose her. now, she looked pretty much the same way.

Page 359

   "And my daughter?"
   "I couldn't leave her," I admitted, my throat dry. "Or Grover," I added quickly. "Or-"
   "Spare me." Athena stepped close to me, and I could feel her aura of power making my skin itch.

Page 372-374

   "Hey." Anabeth 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 18," 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.
   "Tyson helped."
   "That explains why it looks like a chocolate brick. " I said. "With extra blue cement."
   Annabeth laughed.
   I thought for a second, the blew out the candle.
   We cut it in half and shared, eating with our fingers. amnnabeth sat next to me, and we watched the ocean. Crickets and monsters were making noises 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 anybody."
   "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 Brain?"
   "You'd probably kick my butt."
   "You know I'd kick your butt."
   She 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 saty mortal."
   Annabeth kept her eyes on the horizon. "Yeah?
   "The 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 round 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!" Connir 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 into 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.
   An it was pretty much the best underwater kiss of all time.

Page 375

   Camp went late that summer. It lasted two more weeks, right up to the start of a new school year, and I have to admit they were the best two weeks of my life.
   Of course, Annabeth would kill me if I said anything different, but there was a lot of other great stuff going on too.

Page 377

   "You're still my best friend."
   He grinned. "Except for Annabeth."
   "That's different."
   "Yeah," he agreed. "It sure is."

Page 380

   Annabeth, thank goodness, would be staying in New York. She'd gotten permission from her parents to attend a boarding school in the city so she could be close to Olympus and oversee the rebuilding efforts.
   "And close to me?" I asked.
   "Well, someone's got a big sense of his own importance." But she laced her fingers through mine. I remembered what she'd told me in New York, about building something permanent, and I thought - just maybe - we were off to a good start.