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Disclaimer: I'm not Rick Riordan. I don't own Percy Jackson and the Olympians nor The Kane Chronicles. Seriously, you have to trust me on this.

While I packed, Connor watched me from his bed.

"I'd feel bad for you if you had given me the right Christmas present." Connor grouched.

I sighed. "Look, I'm sorry, okay? It's not my fault that the store ran out of lime coke."

"Oh, I know. That's why I've mostly forgiven you. But you still could have made it up by . . . getting me Diablo 3 or something like that." Connor muttered.

"Dude, how was I supposed to know that? And maybe, if you had let me borrow that stack of mortal money, maybe I could have afforded it!" I shouted in frustration.

Connor was evidently frustrated, too. "First of all, I gave you 'The Connor Guide' three years ago. I spent a lot of work on that, you know. And second of all, you wouldn't have returned the money!"

"Of course, I wouldn't have. I'm a son of Hermes! Also, I hope you would like to know that 'The Connor Guide' had met the landfill a long time ago." I replied angrily.

Connor gasped. "May the Connor Spirit haunt you forever."

"Seriously, dude? The Connor Spirit?"

"Respect the Spirit!" he screeched.

I simply rolled my eyes and zipped up my blue duffel bag.

"Ready?" Katie asked as we approached Half-Blood Hill.

I fidgeted with the zipper on my duffel. "Are you sure your father was the reason why all your relationships went wrong? I mean, there's got to be at least one survivor . . . right?"

"Not even one," Katie said, popping a bubble- that a little girl blew from the Aphrodite cabin- with her finger.

Chiron sauntered over to us. "Argus is ready, children. Make sure you have your weapons at all times and don't do anything reckless." The last part was directed at me.

I saluted. "Yes sir."

Argus- in a chauffeur suit- waved us over from the camp's beat-up blue van. After saying bye to our siblings and Chiron, we got into the car that would lead me to my death.

Katie's family lived in a farm in a small town in New Jersey so the car ride wasn't too long. Only about an hour and a half.

Emotionally, five hours had gone past. Physically, half an hour had passed. However, I couldn't help but lean forward slightly and ask.

"Are we there yet?"

Argus simply shook his head. I think Rumor has it that Argus doesn't like talking because his tongue is covered in eyeballs just like the rest of him.

Katie gaped at me with her beautiful leaf-green eyes. "You're asking that question already."

I clucked my tongue. "Yes, Katie-Kat. Already."

The rest of car ride was silent. A few years later, Argus pulled out the key from the ignition.

"We're here," Katie finalized.

I sighed in relief. "Thank gods. I thought I was going to turn eighty before we arrived."

Argus didn't take any offence at this. He took all our luggage and waved before he left.

Katie and I each took a deep breath and started to walk our way to her house.

Katie's family lived in a nice little house. It was decorated with flowers. Lilies, violets, roses . . . and those are the only flowers I know.

The house had a special air around. It was full of mini streams and looked all nature-y. I kept on speculating the house.

Katie was already halfway towards the house. She turned around. "Oh come on, Travis. Stop stalling because I know you don't normally give a care in the world about what houses look like."

I glumly followed her. My palms got sweaty. What if Mr. Gardner doesn't like me?

Whatever. A voice inside said. You're Travis Stoll! Ditch those nerves and be charming! That's how you win people over, remember?

We arrived at the front door and Katie rang the doorbell. I stared at a pudgy garden gnome.

A man with the same wheat- colored hair as Katie opened the door. He looked about in his late forties.

"Katie?" he whispered, as if he didn't believe it was her.

"Hey, dad!" She said, leaning forward to hug him. "This is Travis Stoll, my boyfriend," She introduced, gesturing to me.

"Hi, Mr. Gardner! So nice to meet you!" I greeted enthusiastically in spite of my fear.

I held out my sweaty palm but Katie's dad just muttered the words "Overly perky mess," and nearly slammed the door in my face.

Gee, I feel so welcome here.

Okay! That's the end of Chapter Two!

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