The Fates Work in Mysterious Ways

Topsy-Turvy

Annabeth was still in shock. It had been two days since the body of the teenagers had been found on the beach. She had hoped life would go on as usual, but the fates had other plans. Her students had questions about the deaths and what she believed happened after death. Annabeth honestly didn't know what she believed, but she had tried to give a proper answer to her class.

The cops had come to the school every day to ask Annabeth about kids she thought could be possible suspects, and who the two victims had talked too when they were in her class. Annabeth didn't like the thought of one of her current or past students being a killer, but she answered the police's questions none the less.

"Ms. Chase," a cop named Harner asked, "How well did you know the victims outside of school?"

Annabeth sighed, she felt as though she had answered this exact question at least 10 times now. "I did not know them outside of school. I go to some of my students houses if I believe they are having trouble that needs further addressing, but that is all," Annabeth stated matter of factly.

Harner clenched his jaw tightly. Annabeth felt as though her response might have sounded a little to know-it-all; she had that problem a lot, it was why she had become a teacher. Harner told her she was to free to return to her classroom and that she would be contacted if there were any further questions.

"I'm sure you will," Annabeth muttered under her breath in response to the police contacting her.

"What was that?" Harner asked grittily.

"Nothing sir," Annabeth said turning around and plastering her most pleasant smile across her face, "Just thinking aloud to myself."

Harner grumbled something and walked out the door, leaving Annabeth reflecting on how much she hated cops. When she was young her mother had died suddenly of 'unknown' causes. Annabeth was sure her father had caused her mother's untimely death, but she had no way of proving it. Now she was 25, single, and living with her father who was not the most pleasant person. Annabeth wanted to get out of this town, but circumstances had trapped her here in this small town.

Annabeth walked down the long, narrow hallway which belonged to the 8th graders. Her classroom was the last door on the right and was painted a simple grey color with various motivational signs on the walls. She wasn't much for the looks when it came to education, which is why she had kept the room simple.

Annabeth had wanted to be an architect. When her father had grown ill she had felt obligated to stay home and take care of him. So, instead of going to college in New York, she had gone to the local college to be a teacher. As terrible as it sounded, Annabeth thought these murders were the most exciting things to ever happen in this god forsaken town.

Annabeth had met with the cop during lunch so she missed having lunch with her best friend, a fellow teacher named Marcus. Marcus was constantly trying to get Annabeth to go out with the science teacher, whom he found highly attractive, but Annabeth had rather gouged her own eyes out.

When Annabeth sat at her desk she felt another presence in the room. Her heart stopped and she prepared her lungs to scream if she needed too. She raised her head cautiously. Marcus stood in the back corner grinning like he had won the lottery. "Annabeth," he said walking up to her, "A very attractive man is here asking for you."

Annabeth rolled her eyes, "Marcus for the last time I am not going out with Mr. Brock."

Marcus laughed, "Not him silly. This guy is tall, dark haired, chiseled, and wearing a suit and tie."

Annabeth didn't want to admit the thought was very appealing. She hadn't been on a date in a very long time. However, with the murders she felt anxious about going anywhere with someone she didn't know. She was telling herself that is had to be a stranger that murdered the two teens, but her gut told her the killer could be right under their noses.

A slight tap on the door startled both Marcus and Annabeth. "Sorry I didn't mean to startle you."

Annabeth stared towards her door and almost fell out of her chair. The guy who knocked was obviously the attractive guy that Marcus was referring to. "O-oh, come in," Annabeth stuttered.

The attractive man shot her a friendly smile that made Annabeth's heart do somersaults in her chest. "Thank you," he said walking in and leaning against Annabeth's desk, "I am Special Agent Percy Jackson."

Special agent, Annabeth said to herself, well that explains the suit.

"Hello Agent," Marcus greeted with an outstretched hand.

Percy accepted the handshake and Annabeth admired the incredible muscles running through his forearm. Annabeth shook her head, snap out of it. You are being ridiculous Annabeth.

"Hello Mr. Jackson," Annabeth stated coolly, "What brings you to my humble classroom?"

"Please call me Percy. Mr. Jackson makes me sound so old," Percy said flashing a smile, "And is there somewhere more private we could talk?"

"Are you asking me out?" Annabeth blurted before quickly covering her mouth with her hands.

Percy blushed slightly before answering, "No, this is strictly business Ms. Chase."

Annabeth wanted to crawl under her desk and cry, she had been crazy to ask if this extremely attractive man was asking her out; Percy probably had multiple girlfriends, so she didn't stand a chance. "Sorry, that was insane of me to ask," Annabeth stated, "I teach until 3. Perhaps we could meet at the pavilions out back at 3:15?"

Percy nodded while walking towards the door, "Well it's a date then." Percy grinned before walking out of Annabeth's sight.

Marcus had rambled on to Annabeth about how she needed to go out with Percy and have fun and etc. "He is here on business," Annabeth said, "He isn't going to go out with me."

Marcus had rolled his eyes, kissed her on the cheek, and told her to give him all the juicy details later. Class began again at 12:30, so Annabeth had two and a half hours to think about her upcoming interview with Percy Jackson.

Time seemed to be passing by about as fast as butter churning. She sat at her desk and watched while the class took an open book math exam. Annabeth normally didn't give open book tests, but the week's circumstances had caused her to go easier on the kids. "10 minutes left," Annabeth announced at 2:45."

Annabeth took the time to collect the tests individually from each student, so if any had personal questions they could be addressed immediately. She was on the last row when all hell broke loose. "Ms. Chase," a girl names Kandice yelled from across the room, "Joel has a bad picture hidden in his textbook."

When Annabeth heard 'bad picture,' she expected nudity to be involved. What she didn't anticipate to see when she confiscated the picture was a picture of two naked individuals with knifes sticking out from various parts of their bodies. Annabeth gasped and dropped the paper as if it were on fire. "Joel," Annabeth asked horrified, "What is this? Did you draw this?"

Joel simply shrugged his shoulders and slumped down in his desk. Annabeth waited for an explanation that never came. Annabeth had no idea how to go forward with this situation. The bell rang, ending the day, and the students quickly exited the room. Annabeth knew she should have made Joel stay behind so the situation could be handles properly. Unfortunately, she was glued to the spot. She could not believe a 14 year old had this type of picture in his possession. Annabeth was worried, and completely forgot about her meeting with Percy.

Unlike earlier, Annabeth had no idea how much time had passed. She had finally just slumped down onto the hard floor and tried to process what was happening. Could Joel be a killer she wondered? She had started to analyze the possible explanations when footsteps sounded behind her.

Annabeth whirled around so fast that dizziness clouded her vision. "Are you alright?" Percy asked kneeling down next to her, "You look terrified."

"What are you doing here?" Annabeth asked.

"You didn't show up to our meeting," Percy answered squeezing her shoulder gently.

"Oh my goodness," Annabeth apologized, "I am sorry, I forgot all about the meeting. It has been a crazy evening."

Percy scrunched his face in a worried expression, "What happened, Ms. Chase?"

"Call me Annabeth," she told Percy as she handed him the awful drawing, "One of my students had this crammed in his book."

Percy unfolded the paper and did a double take. He examined the paper from different angles and Annabeth wondered why he needed to see evil from 10 different vantage points. "What is the student's name?" Percy asked finally.

"Joel Brannon," Annabeth answered, "He is a good kid, so there has to be a reasonable explanation for this."

Percy nodded, "I will speak with him tomorrow morning before school. Could you contact the parents and inform them? From what I have heard you are the best teacher here and everyone seems comfortable with you, so it would help me out if you would be present during the meeting."

"Of course," Annabeth said, "I will do anything to help my students."

Percy nodded and stood up, offering a hand to help Annabeth stand. Annabeth smiled politely and grabbed Percy's hand. For the first time in a long time, Annabeth felt butterflies in the pit of her stomach. Percy's hand felt warm against her cold, shaking one; he felt safe and Annabeth need that now: a feeling of safety.

Percy walked Annabeth out to her car, a red Versa. Annabeth couldn't help but smile, when he opened the driver side door for her and gestured her in. "So chivalry isn't dead after all," Annabeth teased ducking to sit in her car. Percy leaned in and for a moment Annabeth thought, well hoped that he was going to kiss her. However, he just patted her arm and handed her his business card. Annabeth hoped she didn't look as disappointed as she felt. "Call me anytime," Percy emphasized while walking backwards, "And I mean anytime."

Annabeth felt her hope being restored and said, "I just might. See you tomorrow Percy."

Percy smiled as he watched Annabeth drive away. Percy thought Annabeth seemed like the 'settling down' type of girl. He had never envisioned that life for himself before, but suddenly the thought didn't seem so terrifying. The last girl he had dated had ended their 6 month relationship because of his job. Percy had become a Special Agent in the FBI when he was 21, younger than most. He was quickly gaining a reputation, but it had caused him to be married to work, and that didn't fit well for a real relationship.

Percy stared down at the drawing Annabeth had given him. Even after everything he had seen, Percy found it highly disturbing, maybe because it was found in the hands of someone so young. He would look into the kid's background back at the police station. Percy also decided her would do a background check on Annabeth Chase. Not because she was a suspect, but simply because Percy wanted to learn more about her before he decided to commit to his current feelings.

Little did Percy know, a killer was lurking in the shadows. "I thought Ms. Chase was better than that. However, it seems like she is going to be the same as every other girl in this town." The man smashed his fist down on the ground beside him, "I have to cure this town of the sickness."

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