Annabeth held Percy's hand happily as they walked along a lengthy sidewalk on the streets of Rome, Italy, where Annabeth had chosen to go for her eighteenth birthday and, of course,
had brought her boyfriend along. They'd known each other now for five years, been together for about three, but ever since she first started crushing on him when she was thirteen...
she knew he was it for her.
Of course, even after all that they'd been through, she couldn't bring herself to say so.
First of all, everyone expected her to be strong, including Percy, and she didn't want to have to admit that she actually felt that way. And secondly, well, she was scared.
It was worse than her phobia of spiders, something that came naturally with being a daughter of the goddess of strategic war, Athena.
She didn't want to tell him and then have him reject her, and she most definitely did not want anyone to see her cry.
Even still, her heart pounded every time he caught her eyes. She had made up her mind that today was better than ever, solely because she now had the courage...
and she didn't know when it would leave her.
They stopped at the side of a gorgeous body of water, and she turned to face him, his green eyes staring into her soul... In a good way. She breathed in a gulp, then let it out.
"Percy Jackson, I love you. I have for so long now that it seems nothing. I want to have everything you have to give me, and I want you to have everything I am.
I don't know how much longer I can go on without telling you, but I do... I love you Percy, and I want you to know that, even if it isn't mutual."
She averted her gaze then, afraid of his reaction.
His eyes just stared at her for another moment, then he smiled, and began to laugh.
She looked up at him, blushing furiously, and shook her head in disgust. "It isn't funny! I just told you how I feel, and you don't even care! I knew this would happen-"
"Annabeth..." he started, suddenly serious. "I wasn't laughing because it's funny. I was laughing because, well..."
He shifted his weight and stared t his feet, and suddenly she wasn't the only one blushing anymore. "Because of this."
He got down on one knee, popping out a ring... a ruby as its crowning jewel, her birthstone, surrounded by peridot, his own. She stepped back and gasped, her gray eyes going wide.
"Annabeth Chase... make me the happiest man in the world. Marry me?"
She nearly tackled him, but instead got on her knees close to him, took his chin in her hand, and kissed him, a soft, slow kiss that made everything melt away.
She could have stayed in that moment forever, but then she remembered that her dad and step-mom were coming to meet them soon...
She pulled away, and he grinned. "I'll take that as a yes?" he asked, eyes shining.
"Dam right," she joked, making the both of them laugh.
She had never felt so happy in her life.