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."
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 mortal."
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.