Once they were past the Sirens, they unplugged their ears.
"That was fun," said Leo, dryly, taking the helm. Addison seemed to realize that he was still holding Mae. He released her and walked quickly over to Leo. Mae began to help Piper and Jason with the tying down of luggage on deck.
"Where’s Annabeth?" asked Jason, tying down a barrel. Piper looked nervously at the doorway.
"She went below deck," said Piper, covering for her. Annabeth came up from below deck. She was holding Jason’s map.
"Gather round," ordered Annabeth. You would have never guessed that she had been bawling her eyes out only minutes before.
"Here is Charybdis, and here is Scylla," said Annabeth. "We barely made it out alive last time when we attempted to go past Charybdis. Since we now have a charm-speaker and a singer, we can try Scylla," said Annabeth. Mae frowned.
"First of all, what can the singer do? And secondly, Scylla has dog heads for legs that have an infatuation with destroying things. How do you propose we stop her?" asked Mae. Annabeth eyed Mae as if she were trying to analyze her. Which would not be the first time she had done that. Appearing satisfied, Annabeth continued.
"It’s not what a singer does, it’s what you do." said Annabeth, staring at Mae. Her eyebrows drew together.
"What are you talking about?" asked Mae.
"I heard you singing earlier, Mae. Your singing is like a charm-speak in and out of itself. I could feel myself paying attention to your song instead of my mapping of our exact whereabouts," explained Annabeth, growing excited. Mae nodded miserably and stared at Piper.
"Piper, you and Mae are going to sing and charm-speak the monster as we safely pass," said Annabeth. Her eyes glowed with excitement.
"Okay," they agreed, reluctantly. Annabeth beamed and clapped her hands.
"Great, now let’s get going," she said.
"Everyone else, below deck!" she said, scooping up the map and bustling below deck.
"Are you sure you can drive this boat below deck?" called out Annabeth’s voice, from the darkness.
"Yes!" insisted Leo, rolling his eyes wearily and following Jason and Addison down. Addison turned to give Mae a smile before he disappeared. Mae turned back around to Piper. They both smiled and nervously turned to the fast approaching wall of stone.
"I’m terrified," admitted Mae. Piper merely nodded not trusting her voice.
"I’m pretty sure that my singing is not going to affect anything," muttered Mae. Piper steeled herself.
"You sing a lullaby, and I’ll send them to sleep," said Piper. Mae nodded slowly and heard a ferocious yapping before she saw the ugly brutes.
"Crap," she muttered. Before the dogs had a chance to tear the ship in half, Mae began to sing. Her voice floated almost lazily through the air and calmed the raging beasts. A soft breeze tickled the canines. Piper’s voice was calm and reassuring in the background. The dogs’ eyelids began to grow heavy and droop. All was going well until a massive female head appeared.
"Wake up!" demanded the female head. The dogs snarled to life. Annabeth must have realized what was going on. Everyone swarmed from below deck. Mae’s voice sounded a little shaky, but she still sang on. Piper continued to charm-speak the dogs, but that was the only thing keeping them from eating them immediately.
"Leo! Got any tricks up your sleeve?" demanded Annabeth, running up to the helm.
"Jason, zap Scylla’s face to make her shut up," snapped Annabeth. She and Leo ran up to the helm and began to steer them away. Jason held up his hand, and a lightening bolt rained down hit her face. Scylla shrieked, but even that was not enough to startle the dogs.
"Leo!" said Annabeth, in a frantic tone. "What plan is there to get us out of here faster?" Addison came bounding up.
"I installed Greek fire under a panel that runs underwater. If I can activate it at the right time, we can blast ourselves out of here," said Addison. Annabeth grinned.
"Just the thing we need," she said. Just when Piper and Mae could not sing/ charm-speak anymore, Addison found the lever, and a roar issued from underwater. The dogs howled and gnashed the water with their teeth in anger as they soared to safety.
"Won’t be long now," said Annabeth. There was a tinge of excitement in her voice. Piper and Jason exchanged a knowing glance. Everyone went below to get some rest.
"You’re going to fail your quest, young Hero," said a sleepy voice. Mae was running through the woods again. The darkness cast eerie, ghostly shadows that seemed to stretch on the ground for miles. Heart pounding, Mae ran towards a large gap in the ground. Do not kill him, she pleaded, in her head. There was a figure sprawled near the hole. Despite her vain efforts in sprinting to get there, the whole began to swallow him up. Do not kill, begged Mae, squeezing her eyes shut painfully recalling a memory so vivid that she collapsed. Mae could feel the sharp leaves crackle as she crawled along the crawled along the earthen floor. The coolness of the dirt did little for her nerves. A smell was mixed with the dry, musty smell of the fallen leaves. It made Mae’s insides twist painfully, and she gagged. Tears mingled with the dirt covering her face. She could not get her breath, and she felt her muscles freeze. Panic seized her throat and numbed her tongue.
"Don’t kill him!" she screamed, half sobbed. There was a dark chuckle that shook the ground."
Mae woke up drenched in sweat. Her breath came in short, raspy gasps. It took her awhile to calm down. She climbed down from her hammock and crawled up to the deck. She climbed down to the little nook where she liked to sit and stared at the ocean. Shivering slightly because of the attire of a t-shirt and loose grey sweat-pants, Mae brushed a strange of vibrant colored hair out of her face. She was not entirely sure about the idea of everyone sleeping while they were still in the Sea of Monsters, but she trusted that Leo and Addison had fixed something for that occasion. Mae gazed down at her reflection. A beautiful nymph gazed back at her, and with a flick of her fishtail, she disappeared. A faint song tugged at the tip of Mae’s tongue. The lyrics reminded of her of the girl staring back at her.
‘Look at me/ I will never pass for a perfect bride/or a perfect daughter/ can it be I’m not meant to play this part?/ now I see that if I were truly to be myself, I would break my family’s heart/ who is that girl I see staring straight back at me?/ Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?/ Somehow I cannot hide who I am, thought I’ve tried/ when will my reflection show, who I am inside?/ When will my reflection show, who I am inside?" sang Mae. Her image flickered when an unknown bug skimmed the surface causing her reflection to shudder and blur. As the last note died away with a sudden gust of wind, Mae suddenly felt very alone. She could feel the sting of tears welling up inside. She scrunched her knees up to her chest and stared moodily out into the water.
"You cold?" asked a voice, above her. Her frenched braid fell off of its sitting place on her back as she turned her head. Addison was slowly descending, and he had brought his football jacket. He sat down next to her on the narrow sitting place. He was wearing a t-shirt and sweat-pants too. Addison quietly stared at the way the moon flickered across the water smoothly. Mae was enveloped in his jacket and up against him. They were so close that Addison could feel her breathing next to him.
"Pretty dangerous place for a half-blood," said Mae, finally breaking the silence. Addison nodded in his quiet, humble way.
"I’ve missed you," said Mae, quietly. Addison turned to look at her with raised eyebrows. Mae was not the sentimental type.
"What do you mean?" asked Addison, surprised.
"You’ve been spending so much time with Leo that I’ve missed having you around," said Mae, sincerely. Something in Addison felt glad.
"Really? ‘Cause you’ve kind of disappeared as well," said Addison. Mae’s temper flared slightly.
"What do you mean?" she asked, hurt by his words.
"It’s like what you said," said Addison, frowning at Mae while wondering what she was getting upset about.
"You’ve been with Annabeth and Piper all this time, but you haven’t spent any time with me. It’s like you’ve forgotten me completely." said Addison. Something welled up in Mae. Was it anger? Hurt? Her eyes filled with tears. She forced herself to speak.
"Addison, I think you’re just jealous because I now actually have more than just one friend," snapped Mae. She hated that her tears were spilling over, and her anger was making her words shake.
"That’s not it, Mae! Don’t be such a girl about this! I am not getting jealous over the fact that you have friends. I’m just saying that you’ve neglected me is all." said Addison, who was getting angry. Mae stood up so fast that she lost her balance on the narrow board. With a splash, Mae landed in the water. Her head emerged from the water, and she gasped for air. Addison leaned over and dragged her back up to the board. Mae crawled as quickly away from Addison as possible. Sopping wet, Mae ignored Addison’s calls behind her and ran below deck. After quickly showering off and changing, Mae cried herself to sleep. Addison stared out at the water. A deep well of emotions were swelling inside his chest so hard that his chest hurt. What had he done to offend Mae? Thought Addison, bitterly to himself. A change was boiling inside him and wanted to get out. He liked Mae. It was as simple as that. He had not known until she had stormed away how much he really liked her. The way she did anything was so different than all the others. Earlier that day when he gave her the scar he had found, he had realized how beautiful she was. He found himself daydreaming about what could have happened under the moonlight if she had not taken what he had said personally. When he closed his eyes, Addison could imagine her big, blue eyes.
"Aphrodite, why?" asked Addison, aloud under the stars.
"Did you just say something about Aphrodite?" asked Piper, sleepily at the doorway. She had gone to get a glass of water and heard Addison. All of his previous anger resurfaced, and he did not respond to Piper as he brushed past her. He could not stand Piper for some reason. Charm-speak seemed to be cheating, Addison thought to himself. He crawled into bed with Piper’s last words echoing in his mind.
"Did something happen between you and Mae?" she asked. Addison wanted to scream yes in her face.
"Yes! Of course! But not the kind that you’re talking about," Addison wanted to scream.
"Because she is in the shower crying, and you look like you just got hit a train." she added. "Horrible." she clarified, as if he had not gotten her meaning. Addison just kept his grim facial expression on his face as he walked back to his room.
The morning, Addison walked up above deck. Everyone was already above deck. Addison glanced at Mae, but she avoided his gaze. She stood next to Annabeth and Piper. Addison felt like he was swallowing a rock. Piper cooly observed them. Addison absentmindedly fiddled with his necklace.
"Mae had another dream last night," said Annabeth. Addison cast a glance at Mae. She stared purposefully at the map in front of her instead of meeting his gaze. Mae, without looking up, recounted her dream.
"Being the daughter of Apollo, I believe this is a dream that foretold the future," said Annabeth, tapping the hilt of the dagger.
"Who is the "him" in her dream?" asked Addison. Annabeth looked at the three guys.
"Any of you guys," said Annabeth. Everyone looked at each other uneasily. Especially the guys.
"How exactly did this guy get out of this mess," said Leo. Annabeth hit him with her stormy gaze.
"Who said he did?" she challenged. Mae barely met Leo’s gaze before looking back down.
"I-I didn’t see how it turned out. I woke up," said Mae, trembling slightly.