It was raining heavily. Thunder boomed. Thalia, Luke, Annabeth and Grover were all out of breath, trying to escape the monster behind their back. They could hear the monsters between the constant thunders.
“Annabeth!” Luke shouted and ran to the girl.
“I’m okay! We have to keep going!”
He nodded, but before he could continue running, a hand held him back. Turning around, he asked the owner of the hand.
“What’s wrong, Thalia?”
Her face was grim. He knew it too well. She only made that kind of expression after making a really, really hard decision.
“Take Annabeth and run with Grover. I’ll stay behind and buy us some time.” She said in a calm voice, full of authority.
“What are you talking about? We won’t leave you behind!”
“We are never gonna make it! Don’t you understand? This is the only way!”
“Then I’ll stay behind with you! Two is better than one.” He insisted.
“No, Luke.” Thalia shook her head sadly, “They are after me only. And Annabeth, she needs you.”
“But – But….” I need you.
Thalia leaned in and placed a gentle kiss on his lips. They could hear Grover’s shouting from a distance.
“What are you doing? Keep running, camp is right ahead!”
“Go, Luke. Make me proud.” She said.
He nodded shakily. His face was streaked with tears.
Annabeth, who had just run up to them, looked at them confusingly.
Luke scooped her up and ran with all his might, ignoring the little girl’s protest and screaming, and also the urge to come back and fight together with Thalia.
Lightning flashed. Then everything was quiet, except for Annabeth’s screaming.
He turned around, just to see a beautiful pine tree that hadn’t been there before.
His heart died along with the first girl he had ever loved.
It was over. End. Of both this war and him.
He lay there, trying to ignore the pain of his left side. Percy, Annabeth and Grover were kneeling next to him. He appreciated Grover’s care, but there was nothing they could do to heal him now.
“…Don’t let it happen again.”
“I won’t.” Percy promised.
Luke’s eyes wandered to Annabeth’s direction.
“Did I…Did I make her proud?” Luke asked.
Her face was now tearful. Percy and Grover looked at him incomprehensively. She grabbed his hand.
“Yes, Thalia…she will be very proud of you.” Said Annabeth as she slowly nodded.
The hero closed his eyes and passed away with a contented smile.