"Wait up, Summer!" A tall blonde called out to his friend, jogging over with a playful smirk plastered on his handsome face.
"I'm too hungry to wait any longer," The slightly shorter girl complained, throwing her blonde hair up into a high pony tail. The son of Hermes grinned in response and wiped away a bead of sweat from his brow. The two exited the training center as the sun slowly began to descend, signaling that it was time for dinner.
"It's so hot. Remind me why Chiron made us train today?" Will ran a hand through his hair and flashed Summer a smile, his usual teasing tone present in his voice.
Summer returned his smile, her blue eyes twinkling. If you asked her two years ago, the daughter of Apollo would have been dazzled by Will's charming smile. Now, the sixteen-year-old could confidently tell you that she was no longer in love with her best friend. He took a huge sip from his water bottle and immediately began to cough. Summer laughed as he dramatically gasped for air after trying to swallow too much water at once. Why had she ever been obsessed with this dork?
"We train every day, Will, stop complaining." Summer slapped him hard on the back as he continued to cough and he lightly shoved her away. The summer campers had already come and gone, leaving only the demigods who stayed year-round at camp. A few campers straggled behind them, but the rest had already run ahead to get a place in line at the dining pavilion.
"It's not even that hot, it's already September."
"Easy for you to say, you're a daughter of Apollo. You can't get enough of the sun. Plus, you weren't out in the first round of the archery competition like I was." Will argued with her, fake pouting as he attempted to convince his friend that sitting on the sidelines was in fact very hot.
"Don't remind me of that. I can't believe I didn't win." The corners of her mouth turned down as she recalled being beat by her older half-sister and head counselor of the Apollo cabin, Lila.
Lila was, to put it simply, gorgeous. Most people would assume she was the daughter of Aphrodite, but her archery skill and healing powers were attributed to Apollo. She and her boyfriend Alex, son of Ares, were the power couple around camp. They had probably been at camp the longest out of everyone and were turning eighteen soon.
Summer couldn't help it; she resented Lila. With Summer's tanned skin, blue eyes, and bleach blonde hair, she was basically the mini version of her half-sister. What made it worse was that Lila was super nice, not a mean bone in her body. Summer hated herself for thinking badly of someone who was so kind to her. It was hard to live in the shadow of a sibling, but she knew she wasn't the only demigod who felt that way.
"Don't worry about it, Brooks. She's just had more experience. You'll get 'em next time." Will automatically knew why she was upset. His smile dropped, and Summer felt bad for bringing down his mood.
"Come on, let's head to the dining pavilion. I'm starving." He grabbed her wrist and pulled her along. Summer rolled her eyes but couldn't fight back a blush as he walked her toward the rest of the campers.
"Have you seen the new camper?" A low voice caught Summer's attention. She turned around to see her friend Macy standing behind her, plump lips twisted into a mischievous grin. The pretty brunette was known for her stealthiness , and it didn't surprise Summer that she had come up behind her undetected.
"New camper?" The blonde's eyebrows furrowed as she looked around the dining pavilion. Macy cut in line in front of Summer to throw out her trash, shooting a glare at the young Hephaestus boy who tried to protest.
"Arrived earlier today. He's pretty old for a new camper, but I think he told Chiron that he already knew who his parent was." Macy shrugged, but Summer could tell that she was a bit concerned by the news. Macy hated how the daughters of Aphrodite constantly gossiped, so Summer knew she wouldn't be relaying this news for no reason.
The daughter of Apollo looked around the dining room, noticing the change in atmosphere as the news reached the campers. Most of the younger campers were oblivious, but the older ones knew that something was up. The new camper's arrival seemed unusual, and that wasn't a good thing when it came to demigods.
Will walked over, his face surprisingly serious. "You heard?" Both girls nodded in response.
Macy eased considerably as Will joined them. Ever since Summer introduced them, the two had become extremely close, but she didn't mind. Macy arrived at camp at the age of thirteen, while Summer and Will had been best friends since the age of eleven. When Summer first met Macy, she assumed from her natural skills in combat and brash personality that she was a daughter of Ares. It wasn't long before the brunette was claimed by her father. She fit in perfectly with Summer and Will, but it didn't mean that Summer didn't get jealous of the two from time to time. Although she tried not to let her insecurities show, Summer was nowhere near as confident as Macy and all other children of Ares seemed to be.
A shout from across the pavilion brought her out of her thoughts. Two of the Ares kids had taken their argument to the next level and began to wrestle on top of the table.
"Idiots. I'll be right back." Macy shook her head and rushed over to break up her half-brothers. Zach Maxwell rose up from his place at the Zeus table to help.
Will managed a laugh, making light of the tension around camp. "How much do you want to bet that Macy gets mad at Zach?" A smile spread across Summer's face as she thought of the rivalry between her friend and the son of Zeus. Macy differentiated from her siblings in the fact that she didn't have a short fuse, but there was something about Zach that brought out her Ares' temper. Probably because he was the only one who could match her in combat.
Will's dark blue eyes flickered in the dim lighting. "The campfire's starting soon. I don't know about you, but I'm hoping Chiron introduces this new guy. I'll catch you later." He turned and followed the crowd of campers heading toward the campfire, grinning and shouting as he met up with his siblings.
Macy appeared at Summer's side, her hair a bit ruffled from the fight. "You know, I don't think I'll ever believe you no matter how many times you say you don't like him anymore." Her big brown eyes glanced suspiciously at Summer's light ones as the latter stared at Will's retreating figure.
"You know I would tell you if I did. He's just my best friend." Summer responded seriously, keeping her voice low so the younger campers wouldn't listen in. Her words were true. Once they had turned fifteen and being girlfriend and boyfriend meant something more than a silly label, Summer decided to get over her silly crush. Macy snickered and agreed sarcastically, but decided not to press the issue further.
The sound of Summer's favorite campfire song grew louder as they walked toward the usual gathering place. The fire illuminated the dark night, changing colors to match the mood of the campers. It flickered from purple to golden, as if it was unsure of the general mood of the audience. Summer joined the Apollo cabin in leading the campfire song while Macy retreated into the shadows with her siblings.
Chiron stepped forward into the light of the fire and the campers quieted down very quickly.
A murmur came from the Ares cabin when he announced a game of capture the flag that would take place in a few days, but Summer was more interested in seeing the new camper.
A tall, attractive boy around seventeen took his place next to Chiron, and even the Ares cabin fell silent.
"Today, we welcome a new camper. Jasper, Son of Hermes."
Jasper was obviously not shy, considering he didn't react at all when all the campers stared at him in shock. Usually, new campers ranged anywhere from eight to thirteen years old. New demigods aged fourteen to fifteen were slightly less common, and any demigods over sixteen were either already in camp or dead before they even knew who they were.
And no one ever came to camp already knowing who their parent was. The Hermes cabin was confused. Possibly because they had just gained a new sibling, and possibly because their new sibling looked absolutely nothing like them. Most of Will's siblings had the same sandy blonde hair, with the occasional red head. Jasper was extremely pale, with dark hair and icy blue eyes lighter than Summer's own.
She caught Will's eye from across the campfire. He looked confused, like most of his siblings, but he managed to send her a lopsided smile. One of Summer's younger half-brothers turned to her, taking her attention away from Will.
"Doesn't look like a Son of Hermes to me," Kurt raised an eye brow. She ruffled his hair and laughed in response.
"Yeah, well you don't exactly look like a son of Apollo," She acknowledged, referring to his dark orange, curly hair and freckly skin. He pushed her away in embarrassment like any other fourteen year old would.
The campers started to disperse as the fire dwindled. The younger kids headed back to the cabins, while the older campers met up with their friends. Summer looked around for Macy and Will, but instead someone else came up beside her.
"So, capture the flag, huh?"
Summer whipped around, pony tail flying behind her. "Yeah, it's kind of like a camp tradition. Happens every Friday."
Jasper shakes his head, eyebrows raised. "Camp is a lot different than I thought it would be."
Summer cocked her head to the side, eyebrows furrowed. "So you already knew about all of this?" She gestured to the camp around her.
The boy smirked and rand a hand through his short hair. "It's…kind of complicated. I'm Jasper, by the way. Son of Hermes." The way he changed the subject made Summer suspicious, but she went along with it anyways.
"Summer, daughter of Apollo."
"Macy, daughter of Ares." Her voice made Summer jump, and the next second she was beside her friend, a grin plastered on her face. Will was on his way over, and he didn't seem very happy.
"Nice to meet you, brother. I guess I'll see you back at the cabin." Will's voice was slightly frosty, completely different than his usual light tone. Jasper caught Summer's eye and looked between her and Will, one eyebrow raised at the unwelcoming presence of his half-brother.
"Alright, see you around." The boy nodded to the girls than left, finding his way through the dark.
Macy frowned. "What the hell was that, Will? You could be a bit more welcoming to the new camper. Especially one that's you're brother." Will shrugged, remaining tense and aloof.
"I'll see you guys later. I've got to talk to Chiron." He left in a hurry, leaving the two friends in confusion.
Will was tired, cranky, and annoyed, but most of all he was just confused. He didn't know how this kid could just show up and claim he was the child of Hermes, but he did, and it seemed like everyone just accepted it.
He knocked again on the door to the Big House, wondering where Chiron was. The door finally opened, and Chiron poked his head out.
"Will? The head counselor meeting isn't until the morning. It's almost time for lights out. You should head back to your cabin."
Will pushed his way past the door, entering the Big House. "I need to talk to you about Jasper."
The centaur sighed, reluctant to discuss their newest camper. "I have no choice but to believe him, Will. He was able to find camp and get through the boundaries, and even says that Hermes himself came to him when he was young. How else would he know about everything we do here?"
He felt a stab of jealousy. Hermes had gone to him? Will had been at camp since he was eleven years old and had never seen or heard from his father.
"That doesn't make any sense. How can you believe that?" Will argued, slamming his fist down on the nearest table.
Chiron shook his head and rubbed his face with his hands. "I'm keeping a close eye on him, but that's about all I can do. I'm not going to kick him out of camp just because his background is suspicious. If you didn't realize already, none of you are normal."
Will remained silent, unsure how to argue against the head of camp and the man he respected more than his own father.
"Now, I suggest you go to bed. If you still feel this way after Jasper gets settled into camp, then we will talk. But for now, as head counselor of your cabin, I expect you to welcome your brother."
Expressing his annoyance in the only way he could, Will stomped out the door and slammed it behind him. No matter what anyone said, Will felt it in his bones that Jasper could not be trusted.
"I admit, I don't understand it," Macy confessed the next morning as they retrieved training dummies from the shed. "How is he allowed to just walk into camp and claim that he's your half-brother?"
Will sighed, "You and me both. Apparently Hermes visited him as a child. Seems like a load of bullshit to me."
Summer rolled her eyes as she slung a bag of bows over her shoulder. "Calm down, Will. Jealousy isn't a good look on you."
"I'm not jealous, I'm just not stupid enough to believe his intentions are innocent." Will protested, earning another eye roll from Summer.
"He's the same age as you and I. I doubt he's planning some evil scheme to take over the world." She retorted quickly, obviously annoyed at Will's bad attitude. They both turned to Macy, expecting her to take a side. The brunette threw a dummy out the door of the shed and into another camper's waiting arms before answering.
"Summer is just blind to suspicion because she thinks he's attractive." Macy shrugged, resulting in a scoff from Will and a blush from Summer.
"Let's just get these over to the arena." Will mumbled, picking up bags and making his way to the training ground.
A few minutes later he's stabbing at a straw dummy, taking out his anger. Normally, he didn't have such a temper, but he couldn't help but be protective over his friends and home. He wasn't sure about Macy, but he knew Summer trusted too easily. He couldn't help but be slightly upset that Summer trusted Jasper over Will. He knew that wasn't necessarily true, but she wouldn't even listen to him when he voiced his suspicions. Had her years dealing with the life of a demigod taught her nothing?
"Care to practice sword fighting with me?"
Speaking of the devil, Jasper himself stood next Will, a smug look on his face. Will grabbed his own sword and stood in front of his sibling, knuckles white from his tight grip.
"I guess I can go easy on you, considering it's your first day training." He replied, his own smile becoming smug at the prospect of beating Jasper.
The two brothers squared off, ready to duel. It was Jasper who struck first, taking Will off guard. Will blocked his attempt quickly, and then jabbed at his shoulder. Now, Will was certainly no expert at sword fighting, but Jasper should not have been able to move so quickly if he was only a beginner.
Jasper deflected his blow and spun around, colliding shoulders with Will and sending him to the ground. The latter looked up in surprise to find Jasper above him, holding a sword to his throat. He picked himself off the ground and glared at Jasper.
"You got lucky that time. Let's go again." Before he could ready himself for another fight, a short brunette stepped in between the two.
"What's gotten in to you Will? You aren't even properly dressed for a fight. If he accidentally cut you, I think Chiron would be more disappointed than sympathetic." Macy glared at the brothers, as if one look could knock some sense into them. It probably could, considering the small spitfire could intimidate someone a foot taller than her with just one look.
Will spat on the ground beside him before placing his sword back into his belt. "I'm going to lunch."
"She's mad at you, you know." Macy waltzed into Will's cabin as he pulled a clean shirt over his head. When he didn't respond, she continued. "Summer thinks that you should be more welcoming to Jasper."
"And?" Will questioned, clearly missing the point.
"And, I agree. You have been over the top with the hostility. Tone it down a bit, would you? I haven't seen you this moody since Becca from the Aphrodite cabin turned you down." Will grinned at this, remembering the way Macy yelled at the poor girl when she broke his fourteen year old heart.
"Okay, I get the point. But really, I am starving, so lunch comes first."
The pair left the Hermes cabin and made their way to the dining pavilion where many campers were arriving for lunch. He quickly spotted Summer's blonde ponytail, swishing behind her as she walked with Jasper.
Leaving Macy behind, he ran over and put his arm around her, ignoring the way she tensed up when she realized it was him.
"Hey, Jasper." He called, putting on a big smile for show. "How's it hanging?" Without waiting for a response, he steered his best friend toward the dining pavilion.
"What the hell?" Summer shoved him away, but made no move to leave. Will put on an innocent look, knowing that Summer couldn't stay mad at him for long.
"Come on, were going to get lunch and meet Macy by the beach." Her eyes lit up, and she couldn't refuse his offer of lunch in the sun. Her smile quickly faded, however, when she realized his motives.
"Stop trying to get me away from Jasper. Someone has to be welcoming!" She stomped her foot. Will rolled his eyes, his good mood quickly disappearing.
"It doesn't look like he's having much trouble making friends," Will nodded over to where they had left the so called son of Hermes, who was already laughing with a few guys from the Hephaestus cabin.
"Fine. He can come with us, and I'll try my best to be friendly. But I can't promise anything."
Summer grinned and motioned Jasper over. The dark haired boy locked eyes with Will over Summer's head, sending him the same smug look that he had earlier as she grabbed his hand. The atmosphere quickly got tense, but she didn't seem to notice as she dragged them over to the beach.