Lillyan always hated when she couldn't find who she was looking for. It didn't help that she had no idea what the person's face looked like. None the less, she kept her eyes peeled for any potential Hermes kids. If the kid who stole the lyre was in the camp, she would find them; nobody got away from her, or her name wasn't Lillyan Catherine Thornbrush.
Camlo, Angelique, and Alex were having fun at the bonfire– singing songs, dancing around; it didn't take a keen eye to know that. It bothered Lillyan that they had argued about finding the thief in the car for so long but she was the only one actually looking. I guess if you want something done, you gotta do it yourself, Lil, she told herself in her head.
"What'cha lookin' for, Thornbrush?" Travis Stoll asked as he and his brother found their way looking over Lillyan's shoulders.
"Is it Jake?" Connor teased.
Lillyan reached up and pushed down their heads abruptly.
"Travis, Connor, I don't have time for your mischief," Lillyan muttered firmly. "I have a potential Hermes kid to find, preferably a redhead."
"Why?" Connor asked as she let their heads go.
"It's important, now go away and bug someone else... like Cam."
"We could help out," the Stoll brothers said in unison.
"And what would that cost me?"
"Come on, Lil, can't we just do this for a sister?" Travis asked, innocently.
"No, because that's not how you two work," Lillyan said. "State your price now or later, I don't care, but make the decision quickly."
"You know what, Connor?" Travis asked. "We should probably discuss this in the cabin."
"Right," Connor agreed. "Later, Thornbrush!"
"Yeah, yeah, you trouble-making half-brothers..." Lillyan muttered, continuing to look around the bonfire pit.
Later that night, after Lillyan had gotten everyone in Hermes cabin to go to bed (although it was hard to do so with so many newbies), she met with the Stoll brothers right next to the door. Now, normally she’d meet them in a secret place that no one could overhear, but being lights out, she wasn’t going to risk the harpies and stuck with the farthest from the other Hermes kids.
“The price,” Lillyan whispered. “What is it?”
“Well,” Travis rubbed his hands together. “Do we have a surprise for you, oh great cabin counselor.”
“Spill it,” Lillyan said, unamused.
“Will took all our candy and we want it back,” Connor explained.
Lillyan groaned. “Where is the stash?”
The two looked at each other then looked back at Lillyan. “Cabin Thirteen.”
“It’s in the Hades cabin?!” Lillyan hissed, glaring at the Stoll brothers.
“Will knew that he couldn’t hide it well enough in the infirmary, so he got his boy toy to hide it in Cabin Thirteen,” Connor explained.
“You can’t be serious!” Lillyan snapped. “I’m not doing that!”
“Your call, Thornbrush,” Travis said. “But just in case, the offer still stands.”
“If you want our help, you know what to do,” Connor said.
“Don’t count on it,” Lillyan muttered as she headed to her bunk.
As she went to bed, the brothers chuckled behind her.
“Go to bed, you idiots!” Lillyan shouted from her bunk.
The two retreated to their beds.
The next morning, Lillyan continued her search as she went through her daily schedule. At the dining pavilion, she scanned the Hermes table with all the new campers who haven’t been claimed yet, more specifically the ones with red hair. Every once and awhile, she saw Camlo from the Aphrodite glancing over to all the redheads as well as Angelique at the Apollo table. At least they had started the search. For all they knew, the kid could have escaped without them noticing.
It was annoying that she had no other time around the redheaded newbies until lunch, then it was only so many other things until the next time she saw any of them. Hopefully the others could watch over them.
The next day, it was the same thing. As well as the next, and the next, and… you get the point. After a week or two, Lillyan almost considered talking with Chiron and Mr. D about trying to find them, but knowing Mr. D he’d never try to help out and Chiron had other things to do, more than likely, anyway. Lillyan, Camlo, Angelique, Alex, Nico and Will were on their own on this one.
It was frustrating. She couldn’t tell if they’d be Hermes kids because there wasn’t a specific way that the Hermes kids acted. Sure they could pick-pocket well, but some chose not to, some did it frequently, and some are so quick you never know if they’d done it or not. There only best bet was waiting until they were claimed, even then, they might be all Hermes kids (Although, she’d rather not have that happen being that the Hermes cabin was already cramped enough). At that point, she almost thought of getting the Stoll brother’s stupid candy stash back to get their help, but there was no way she was going to sneak into the Hades Cabin to grab a simple bag of sweets. Too much risk for a small thing such as that, and it definitely wasn’t worth finding a redheaded Hermes kid.
“This is getting annoying,” Lillyan growled during arts and crafts to Angelique and Camlo. “I can’t pick up any sign that any of them could be a Hermes kid.”
“Weren’t you the one saying that we could only wait and see?” Camlo pointed out, holding a handful of glitter. “I mean, we’ve already narrowed it down to redheads who are new campers.”
“So that’s a third of the campers,” Lillyan said, setting down the tube of glue in her hands onto the table. “Great.”
“What’s gone up your anus?” Angelique asked, busy weaving her basket. “You said we’d find them.”
“I get impatient easily,” Lillyan said, tapping the table with her index finger.
“We noticed,” Camlo said. “Just calm down, alright? It won’t be long until they get claimed… Well, if the gods hold up their end of Percy’s deal.”
“They’re all in different age groups,” Lillyan said. “The gods don’t have to claim them until a certain age, and some are still pretty young.”
“Maybe they’ll make an exception to find the thief?” Angelique asked. She had too much faith in the gods.
“The gods do as they please as long as it benefits themselves– and I mean that they are selfish and only think about their own asses–!”
“Lillyan! Language!” Chiron scolded from behind her. She cringed.
“Sorry, Chiron…” She muttered.
“Make certain that you think about what you’re going to say before you do so,” Chiron said before trotting off to another location. “And don’t let me hear that kind of language from your mouth again, Lillyan!”
Lillyan rolled her eyes. “There are plenty of times that I’ve gotten away with swearing like that; he just happened to be there to hear it this time.”
“Okay, I know you’re from New Jersey, but you’re in Long Island now; I thought we discussed this,” Camlo teased.
“Shut up, pretty boy,” Lillyan growled.
“Maybe you should just relax a bit,” Angelique suggested. “Stress isn’t good for anyone.”
“We need to find this thief!” Lillyan argued. “Who knows what else they could do! They almost started a war between the gods!”
“Well, nothing’s happened lately,” Camlo said. “Maybe it’s because they know you’re watching and won’t make a move until you stop watching.”
“Cam!” Angelique scolded. “Don’t encourage her to keep this up!”
“Well, he’s got a point,” Lillyan said.
“See? Lilly’s agreeing with me!” Camlo said. “That doesn’t happen, like, ever.”
“But I’ll never catch them if they keep under the radar like this,” Lillyan said.
“Well, what other options do we have?” Angelique asked.
Lillyan knew what other options they had; there was only one: the Stoll brothers, but she wasn’t going to risk the price for help. At this point, Lillyan almost thought of pulling all-nighters, but if Angelique or Will found out, they’d have her head.
The next few days weren’t any more productive than the last few weeks. The newbies remained the same normal acting demigods as anyone else, only without the use of special, god-specific powers.
Day after day, Lillyan kept at it. She had the intense need to find the thief. Angelique insisted that she stop and relax, but Lillyan didn’t want to listen. This objective was too important to them to let go. Sure, the gods would reveal them eventually, but she just couldn’t wait for that.It’d take too long. Jeez, she was being such a hypocrite to Angelique.
Maybe it was time to take a little break from the spying and do as she was told. It wouldn’t do anyone any favors if Lillyan wore herself out just to find the thief. It was high time she took a training session to clear her head. She certainly hadn’t done that in a while.
Lillyan headed to the arena. On the way, Connor and Travis decided to make an encounter with her.
“Hey, Lil,” Connor began. “How’s the spying going?”
“Taking a break,” Lillyan said, bluntly. “Now, unless you want a dagger in your knee, I suggest you leave me to my training.”
“Still avoiding accepting our deal?” Connor asked.
“We’d be so much help, you know,” Travis persuaded.
“Your help in finding the kid who stole Mr. Sunshine’s lyre is not worth going to Tartarus,” Lillyan hissed.
“Come on, we just want our candy back!” Travis whined.
“No means no!” She shouted, turning around to glare at the two.
“Roar,” Connor said.
“Look– I–I just need time to think about how to go about this,” Lillyan explained calmly.
“So your answer is training,” Travis continued.
“Fair enough,” Connor added.
“We’ll leave you to it, then,” Travis said. “Later, Lil.”
She sighed before she turned back around and entered the arena.