Thanks To A Cheater

Chapter 14: Christmas Party

Piper's POV

"Thanks for doing my nails, Monica." I said as I counted out the money, still careful with my now dry and perfect nails. "Here you go."

My nails had a blacK background and had white snow flakes that seemed to fall towards the ground. A perfect snowing night.

"Your welcome and thanks. I know since you're having the Christmas party it would have been hard for you to come in yesterday or today." Monica said as she put the money away. "Call me when you want your next nail job or come to the salon." I nodded.

"Alright. I'll see you some time near New Year. I want firework nail." I showed Monica out and then came back inside, ready for anything.

"Ms. McLean?" I turned to find the woman who'd made the food for tonight.


"I just wanted you to come check the food to make sure it's everything you want." I nodded and followed her to the kitchen.

She showed me everything and I tasted a few things.

In the dining room, three tables were set up. The first and smalled table held drinks, snacks, and treats on trays that could be moved and carried. The second was the table where food would be set during dinner. And the last was the dining table where everyone would sit and eat. Said table was set and ready.

After checking everything I gave the okay and the food people were on their way to spend their Christmas Eve with their own families.

"Alright." I said as I glanced around at my average looking house. "Time to get things ready..."

"Piper?" Reyna called as she came downstairs, her belly evident under her sweater.

"What is it?"

"Are you decorating yet? I wanted to help." I looked at her.

"Yeah, I'm about to start. Come on, I could use the help."

And so the decoraing spree began. I did the harder things while Reya did simple things. She didn't like how she was treated so fragailly, but I made sure she didn't do anything to difficult.

It was seven and everyone would start ariving at around eight.

"I think we should get ready." Reyna said as we examined out complete product. "Everything looks nice."

"Yeah...You go up. I'll go get ready in a sec. I want to make sure everything is perfect." Reyna nodded and headed upstairs while I did a quick walk around.

I adjusted a few things, all the way humming one of the new songs I'd written for Christmas.

Finally, I was satisfied with everything and headed upstairs to get ready.

I took a quick shower and blow dried my hair before moving to my bed where my outfit lay.

It was one similar to a female Santa Claus outfit, but not exactly the same. It was more...pieces put together.

The dress was a simple bright red strapless dress with a black belt across the waist. Once I had it on, I slipped on pair of black boots and put on a Santa Claus chrismas hat the same bright chrismas red as my dress.

I put on my makeup and fixed my hair before dubbing myself as done and heading downstairs.

I found Reyna near the christmas tree arranging the gifts we were going to give everyone else.

"I thought you might wear something like that." Reyna said when she looked at my outfit. "Female Santa without that unappropriate sex appeal." I nodded.

"Yeah. I almost bought one of those until I thought of just buying the parts of the costume seperatly."

The door bell's chimmed filled the house as soon as the words were out of my mouth and I smiled.

"The first guest are here." I said and we both headed for the door, ready for the fun to start.

I opened the door to find Leo.

"First one here, Leo. Great." I said as I stepped aside to let him in and out of the cold. I looked at the presents in Leo's hands and motioned towards the tree. "You can set those over there with the other present. And try to fight the urge to find and check your present from me, alright?"

"Got it." Leo said and went to place his presents under the tree.

I walked to the table in the living room and turned on the radio. The station was Randy's which was playing christmas songs at the moment and will be playing a special song at exactly midnight.

"Well, Leo, I guess you'll be the first to try the snacks." I gestured to the table that had once been in the dinning room but was now in the living room. "Take as much as you like. But save some for the others."

"I'm not a pig." Leo muttered and grabbed a snowman cookie.

"Whatever you say." I said an though about later tonight.

Just wait may not now it when it happens, but it will be meant for you...

"It's almost midnight!" Percy announced as he looked at the clock. "Only twenty minutes left."

"You're acting like a kid Percy." Annabeth laughed. "You're a grown man and yet you're all excited for Christmas."

"Because I want to open my present and I want you to open my present for you." Percy said simple and I smiled at him.

He'd asked me if his gift for Annabeth was good enough, so I knew what he'd gotten her and let me say, it was a good Christmas gift.

"You're such a kid." I sighed and glanced at the radio.

"All right, time to make a special announcement. Tonight, at midnight, we'll be playing a song by Piper McLean. It's a Christmas song. I've already heard it and let me say, it's a great song dedicated to one lucky person that Piper refused to identify." Randy said over the radio.

"A new song?" Leo looked at me. "You never said anything about a new song on the radio."

"That's because it's a Christmas surprise." I rolled my eyes. "And most of my radio airings are a secret between Joan, Micheal, and I until the song actually airs."

"I'm hurt that I'm not included." Leo said, a hand over his heart in mock hurt.

"Shut up Valdez." I laughed a bit and shoved him playfully. "Or else you won't get the present I got you. And I know you'll love it, so it would be just a shame."

"Can I have a hint of what my present is?" Leo immediatly asked.

"Nope." I gestured to my outfit. "You'll have to wait until Christmas. As a female Santa, I only give my presents on Christmas."

"I'll tell you what I got you..." Leo said, trying to get the information out of me. I smiled.

"Nah, I can wait a while longer to find out." With that, Leo frowned and went to sulk in a corner. He's asking like such a child.

When there were fourteen minutes left, I'd started arranging the gifts into piles, sorted by the person they were being given to. I was easily done.

"We're each going to get our presents one at a time and then once everyone has their presents, we'll open them. Reyna, you get your presents first."

"Alright." I helped Reyna pick up her presents and took them to the white couch so she could sit and open them.


And so it went. After Annabeth was Thalia, then Hazel, and Frank, and Percy, and Leo. I'd invited Grover, Racheal, and even Coach Hedge, but they'd been unable to make it for different reasons.

Finally, the clock struck twelve.

"Open your gifts everyone!" I announced at the same time Randy made his announcement.

"And this is Piper's new song called 'All I Want For Christmas is you.'" The music started to play as I opened my first present-from Annabeth-and I sang along.

I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree

I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas
Is you

I glanced at Leo, wondering if he knew the song was meant for him.

He seemed to be trying to ignore the song and was opening every present except mine.

I frowned for a second, wondering why he wouldn't open it, and moved back to my presents.

I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
And I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree.

I don't need to hang my stocking
There upon the fireplace
Santa Claus won't make me happy
With a toy on Christmas Day

I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas
Is you
You baby

Oh I won't ask for much this Christmas
I won't even wish for snow
And I'm just gonna keep on waiting
Underneath the mistletoe

I stopped singing because of a gasp of pure delight someone let out.

I turned away from the awesome jacket I'd gotten from Thalia and saw Annabeth hugging Percy so hard I could've mistaken the hug for one of Tyson's.

"Thank you thank you thank you! Oh my gods, I love you so much right now!" Annabeth cried and kissed Percy.

"What did he give her?" Leo asked me, suddenly appearing at my side.

"Plane tickets and other stuff for their trip to Greece." I said and moved to open my next and last present.

I'd saved Leo's present for last.

"Did you open all your presents already?" I asked, a bit diappointed that maybe he hadn't liked my present much.

"No. I was thinking we'd open our gifts from each other together." Leo took a seat net to me on the black couch I was sitting at.

"Well okay." I shoved the torn wrapping paper aside and put my present from Leo in front of me. It was a simple rectangular box wrapped in red wrapping paper, a store bought bow in the center of the top.

I looked at the wrapped bow that held my present for Leo, praying none of the pieces had broken.

"Open mine first. I want to know if you like it." I said and Leo nodded, obviously eager to open my gift.

I watched as he tore the wrapping paper, revealing a plain white box. I bit my lip as he lifted the box's lid.

"Oh my gods..." Leo trailed off and pulled out the present.

It was two main pieces. The first was a glass statue that was an exact replica of Argo 2 in glass. I'd made sure every single detail was there. The second was a glass sphere.

Inside it was the Argo 2 floating in what looked to be the sky. Like the glass one, it held every detail, but this one wasn't glass and was in color to show everything. You could even see a tiny Leo on the ship.

But the wasn't the only thing. Flying next to the ship was an old friend of ours, Festus. Festus flew in all his mechanical glory looking exactly as he had the first time I'd seen the thing.

Both pieces sat on a simple wooden black thin cylinder thant had little carved out holes for each object. The sides had been carved out to look like two layers and the top was padded with a smooth material to protect the objects.

"Like it? Love it? Hate it?" I asked and Leo looked at me.

"I...I don't like it." My heart sank. But then Leo grinned. "I don't like it because I love it. Thanks Piper. This is awesome!" Leo put the present down in the box genty and moved it out of the way before hugging me.

Electricity shot through me at the contact in a pleasant way and I smiled. Leo pulled away.

"Your welcome." I looked down as my present from Leo. "I think I'll open your present now." I said and reached to tear the wrapping paper. I tored the wrapping paper off and lifted the box's lid.

It was a photo album book, designed to look like it had been aged with time. Wondering what was in it, I flipped open to a random page.

On the page was a picture of Leo and I. It was just after the wa against Gaia and Leo was grinning like a fool, but so was I. We were dirty from fighting, but neither of us cared. I didn't remember the picture being taken but I didn't care.

I flipped through the book and found more pictures, mainly of Leo and I, but some involved other people and my other friends.

I closed the book as stared a the cover, not saying a word.

"I'm sorry if you don't like it. I just though tha-" I didn't let Lep finish.

I gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and hugged him.

"Thank you. I love it." I whispered in Leo's ear and pulled away to see him, like in the picture, grinning like a fool.

The doorbell rang and I looked in it's direction. Who could it be?

"I'll get it-" I started to stand up but Thalia stopped me.

"No, I'll get it. You have something to do." Thalia pointed over my head and I looked up. Above Leo and I, mistletoe was floating in the air and I think I know who put it there.

I felt my face go read and looked at Leo.

"I guess we should follow through with tradition..." Leo mumbled and I sat their, panicing inside.

Leo leaned in until his lips were just over mine, leaving us close enough for me to feel his breath on my mouth. Leo paused, giving me time to push him back and, without thinking, I closed the gap between us.

But just seconds after our lips had met, something-or should I say someone-made me pull away.

"Piper." I pulled away from Leo, dread filling me. I looked towards the door and my worst fear was confirmed, and I could only think one thing.


In the doorway, not even fully in the door stood Hunter, his eyes on Leo and I.

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