Love's Death (Owl on the Waves sequal)

Cal Woods- Son of Aphrodite
Marissa Adams- Daughter of Poseidon; Huntress of Artemis
Annalise Erikson- Daughter of Athena
Logan Johnston- Son of Zeus
~ And Introducing~
Elizabeth Laurens- Daughter of Hebe

Chapter 4


I cracked my knuckles and wiped the sweat from my eyes, fingertips just brushing the gravel below me. In, out. In, out. I breathed steadily despite the ten drills I had already done, staring hard at the target at the end of the course.
"Go!" Lance shouted and I shot forward, swinging my sword like mad as I raced towards the finish line. Random straw dummies kept popping up on either side of the track and shooting darts out at lightning speed from their sleeves. Thanks, Hephaestus kids. You make things ''so'' much easier. The first time I did this exercise, I nearly died in the first five seconds. No, it was not because I dropped the sword. That came later.
I wove in and out of the erratic darts, deflecting a bunch with the flat of my blade. The late afternoon sun beat down hard on my back, sweat dripping from my hair and into my eyes. To make it even more challenging, I had asked some of the nymphs that usually tended to the strawberry fields with the satyrs to distract me as I neared the end this time. I grunted humorously as I thought more about my decision. I was probably going to get impaled with a tree branch. A dart whistled by my ear and I twisted to block one from my side, only to have one lodge itself in my thigh. Hissing, I did one of those cool action movie ninja rolls to avoid the last row of dummies and back up to a kneel.
"You okay?' I heard Lance shout at the beginning.
"Yeah!" I yelled back, Matrix-ing to avoid getting my face torched by a column of flames.
When I popped back up, a girl about ten years old smiled sweetly at me, tinted green skin shimmering gold as she shifted the flame blower in her small hands.
"That is not what I meant by distracting," I huffed, out of breath.
"Sorry, what was that? Couldn't hear you over the tree branch smacking your back."
I tilted my head, confused. "What tree branch-"
All the wind rushed out of my lungs in a snap, something big and very hard knocking me forwards. Before the nymph could do anything else, I spun around and sliced the thick branch in half. I sprinted best I could to the end, barely surviving the swarm of mosquitoes one girl set on me as I sliced through the center of the ending target.I stood still for a second, staring out at the golden lake. With a dramatic wail, I collapsed on the grass and looked into the light blue sky.
Lance jogged over, grabbing my sword and poking me with the point. "Logan, what are you doing?"
I made different formations in the fluffy over head clouds with a flick of my hand. "This, my young child, is called relaxing. You should try it some day."
He puffed his chest out defiantly. "Not if I'm going to be chosen for a quest anytime soon. I gotta train and train or Chiron will never let me go."
I frowned, sitting up. "You are ten years old. You shouldn't be concerned about this stuff. Don't you ever do something normal? Baseball? Play video games?"
He thought about it, brown eyes thoughtful. "When I go to the Hermes cabin we play Grand Theft Auto on Thursday nights. That count?"
"I uh...yes?"
He smiled enthusiastically. "Cool!"
There was something about that I didn't find right...but I guess that when you come here at eight years old, this would be all you knew.
"Your girlfriend is going to try and sneak up on you," he warned, tossing me my sword.
"If I were trying to sneak up on him, you wouldn't even know."
I turned to the sound of Annalise's voice, smiling snarkily as she approached real sassy like. "Is that so?"
She nodded with a smirk, bronze sword hanging down her hip glinting. "Remember last week? That was called sneaking up on you, yes?"
"Yeah, but it's also classified as sabotage," I said.
She stabbed her blade in the ground, leaning against it. "You haven't seen sabotage, Flash."
I opened my mouth like I was about to say something but twisted my lower body instead, swinging my legs to knock hers from under her. With a yelp, she came crashing down on top of me, her sword falling beside her. I laughed, wrestling her so that I had her pinned on the grass. She struggled a bit then glared up at me, twisting her wrists in my grasp.
"Let me up."
"So you admit defeat?" I taunted.
"I don't want to hurt you," she said, sticking out her tongue.
I released her arms but stayed so that my knees were on her thighs. "Better, Blondie?"
She sweetly smiled, pressing her palms to my chest before shoving me back with all she had. I literally rolled backwards twice before coming to a stop on my back, staring unblinkingly at the sky again with no breath at all. She crawled over and leaned into my vision, eyebrows raised.
"You ready to go to dinner now?"
"But it's not-"
I was cut off by the conch horn being blown in the distance, Lance waving a quick goodbye before running off with the little girl nymph. She stood up and offered me a hand with a half smile, tucking some of her hair behind her left ear. I breathed out slowly, searching her face with a grin. She frowned a little, self conscious.
"You're pretty," I said honestly.
She scoffed. "Yeah, whatever. Common, my arm's getting tired."
I grasped her hand and allowed her to help me up, grunting with pain as the dart in my leg flamed again. She didn't miss it, of course.
"Logan, do you need some ambrosia? Don't black out like last time you refused help."
I made a face at her. "I didn't black out."
She pushed me down to sit and rolled up my right pant leg, as if she already knew that was where it was.
"Hold still," she instructed. "I'll pull it out on three."
Her nails hooked on the end of the dart, irritation webbing up through my abdomen. "Okay."
She yanked it, coming clean out and I hissed, a small amount of blood trickling out. Her face turned a shade paler but she almost seemed to be over her fear of blood. Annalise rolled my pants back down and forced my to stand again.
"Stop getting hurt," she said to me, mock scolding.
"Yes'm," I grinned cheekily, scooping her up and tossing her over my shoulder despite her protests. "Next stop, mess hall!"

"And he ate her face...''raw''," Mathew said in his spookiest voice.
There was a chorus of "ew"s and "sick"s and a chime of "cool!"s. I yawned, watching the red and orange fire wave soothingly in the middle of the group.
"Legend has it, that if anyone enters that part of the woods on say...a night like ''this'', they would become like the Face Eater and pick off those closest one. By. One."
"And eat their faces?" a quiet voice said in the back.
"No, play patty cake," an Ares camper said sarcastically.
Travis caught all three marshmallows he had speared on the stick on fire, waving them wildly around like comets. It wasn't until one dripped off into an Aphrodite girl's hair that things got ugly. Chiron caught the girl as she chased Travis around the fire, handing her some ambrosia with a good natured laugh.
"Well, I doubt we'd have any trouble with any Face Eaters around here."
A few campers yawned, extremely tired for reasons we didn't know. I had almost fallen asleep during dinner, I had caught myself before falling into my mashed potatoes. Annalise was with her cabin, tapping her fingers on the log she sat on. She glanced at me with a brief sighing smile before turning back to argue lightly with her half siblings. Conner beside me was flinging marshmallows into the now dull yellow fire, grinning as they poofed up and exploded in the ashes.
"Well, I suppose it would be good if we all turned in early tonight," Chiron announced in a fatherly manner. "We don't want anyone getting stabbed in the arm on accident because you all are so fatigued."
Cal slid next to me, grabbing one last marshmallow from the bag to toast. I nodded to him, drawing in the sand with the end of my stick. I yawned, my vision turning blurry and eyes teary for a second. I blinked it away, cracking my neck as I scratched out a really bad harpie figure.
"You hear any from Rissa?" he asked me, blowing gently on his golden brown marshmallow to cool.
I shook my head. "Not since a week ago when they were all camped out in the Rocky's. You?"
He shook his head, the fire turning his eyes a dark amber, tinted with pale indigo. "No. She said Artemis was about to tell them all something so she cut off early."
I stood up, stretching. "Wonder what it could have been."
He nodded as I left the amphitheater, heading off to my cabin with the thin stream of campers going in the same direction. Marcus, a son of Apollo, was jogging beside some of the older tree nymphs, talking and laughing loudly about some prank he engineered for the Hermes cabin that was going to back fire on the cabin. I shook my head with a smirk. What a moron, blurting his plan out like that. Nymphs are so easily bought when it comes to cabin wars, not even to mention whoever might be listening like I was.
I was right by a stretch of trees when a bad feeling swirled in my gut, spreading through my limbs and made my fingers tingle with nervous sparks. I started to slow down so I could fall into step with the group behind me but a growl froze me in place. My gaze swept the dark trees, finding nothing in the inky night. Twenty paces ahead, two girls giggled as they dared each other to poke the sleeping Mrs. O'Leary and then were scolded by a senior camper. A trio of boys huddled around a girl carrying a torch and an exasperated expression, temporarily lighting the surrounding area with a flickering buttery glow. Nothing out of the ordinary that I could tell, but with Camp Half Blood there is ''always'' something not right. I heard the growl again but this time fainter and I was curious. Couldn't help myself, not really my fault. ADHD was a curse, no matter how much Chiron tries to convince me otherwise. I stepped into the trees, pushing some of the branches back after being wacked in the face.
I didn't know exactly what I was following; a gut feeling or an instinct, you might say. All I knew is that I had to find out what was in this forest. Could be some deadly monster, freshly shipped in for Capture the Flag tomorrow. It would be awesome to have such an advantage over the noobs coming in for the summer. The sliver of moon light barely provided enough light to make sense of my surroundings. Not a lot of good it did me, I ran into quite a few trees and may have tripped once of twice. In fact, I almost didn't see the giant...giant ''thing'' until I nearly ran into it's furry butt. I swallowed my gasp of surprise and pressed my back to the nearest tree. It grunted and snuffed along the ground, searching for a smell. At least, that's my best guess because unless it was looking for a lost earring, I was out. From what I could make out, it had the body of the biggest gorilla I have ever seen and the head of a boar, tusks gleaming with something I knew for sure wasn't maple syrup. It brought back memories of the boar Brutus we had taken months ago. That thing was hell on hooves, I'm telling you. This one...didn't look much better. In fact, didn't look like anything I had studied before. True, my knowledge was limited, but I knew enough.
I must have stepped on a branch or shifted a bit because his head snapped around, strange violet eyes illuminated by white pupils. Just like the man we kinda decapitated on the interstate. He snorted, huge puffs of cartoon like steam coming from flaring nostrils. I slowly held up my hands to show I had no weapons. Maybe it was intelligent. Instead, he took this as a sign of aggression and charged me with a bellow of outrage. I side stepped him as he thundered past me and straight in a tree.
"Maybe not so intelligent after all," I huffed, scrambling for some sort of weapon.
He shook off his daze and turned back to me, pounding his chest like a, well, a gorilla. I may not have been a zoologist or monkey expert, but I don't think that that was a good sign. Defenseless, I did what anyone might have in my situation. I ran like hell, yelling for help all the way.
He roared after me, drawing closer by the second. I panted hard, shouting at the top of my lungs until finally, arrows whistled past my ears and lodged themselves in their target behind. He gave a loud wail, faltering in step but kept pursuing, I dove out of the woods and to the side as he stumbled out awkwardly, blood oozing from his chest.
"Hiya!" a girl from Ares shouted, bringing her sword down on it's head and my good friend the gorilla stopped his race to kill me.
I was breathing hard but the only injuries I had were tree branch scratches. I got to my feet and walked over to the disintegrating body of the monster. Chiron and pretty much the whole camp surrounded us in a half circle, more torches illuminating our confused faces. The Ares girl calmly sheathed her sword and marched to join the crowd. I shrugged helplessly, finding there wasn't a way I could explain exactly what happened an be regarded the same. I found Annalise in the crowd and she raised her eyebrows at me, expecting me to say something. I sighed.
"Well, this is a big monster thingy. I think he's dead."
She face palmed, as did the rest of her cabin. I tried not to blush in embarrassment.
"Holy crap!" someone yelped in the back and a girl stumbled out to the front, swatting at her head.
"Elizabeth, calm down," Chiron said wearily, dreading the next announcement he was about to make. "You're being claimed."
She straightened, trying to look at the holographic image floating above her. "A cup? What? Who has the cup? Is that a Hermes thing? Someone say it is."
"It's Hebe, goddess of Youth," a person said in the crowds.
Her delicate face fell. "Oh. Okay."
"Chiron, what's wrong?" Rachel asked, glancing at the old centaur.
He stared at the girl as if he were planning her funeral. "There is a connection between the events of late. A quest that hasn't been issued for eleven centuries. A very dangerous quest, may I add."
"What is it?" a person yelled impatiently. Thank god for him, I was about to do the same.
"The quest issued by the goddess Hebe," Chiron said gravely.
"The quest for the fountain of youth."
Everybody turned to look at Cal, who had said the last line with Chiron. His face was haggard, eyes haunted. Annalise put a hand on his arm sympathetically and despite it all, I felt a pang of jealousy.
"One of the traps causes mutations in the monsters and-"
"Mutations in the people looking for the fountain, traps set by Hecate," I said, connecting my dreams to reality. "People and beings who get too close that weren't informed of the dangers or have a way to turn the traps off get transformed into entirely new monsters. It could happen to anyone."
"How do you know this?" Malcolm asked, ever the cautious one.
"That's none of your bisnuss," I snapped back.
"I think it is!"
"Well that's too dam''n'' bad, now isn't it."
We glared at each other but Annalise diffused the tension. "Both y'all, shut up before I send you both to the fountain to be mutated."
"Children, go to your cabins," Chiron projected over the buzzing crowd. "We'll discuss this in the morning. And be sure to report any unusual dreams you might have to the Hypnos cabin, they are always open to help with nightmares and visions."
That wasn't even a problem, seeing I didn't sleep. Thanks for dropping that bomb shell on us, Chiron. Sweet dreams.

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