Love. That word plagued me every day of my life. I lost everything because of love. I lost my mother and I lost Bianca. Everyone who ever seemed to get close to me, everyone who tried to break through my shell always ended up getting hurt in some way shape or form. So you can imagine my hesitation when a little annoyance that goes by the name of Will Solace walked into my life.
I walked out of the shadows. Well, walked is somewhat of an overstatement. More like I tried taking one step and the next thing I knew, the ground rushed up. I would have face planted if it wasn't for Hazel standing right next to where I shadow traveled. My head was still spinning when she caught me and set me down lightly. As soon as I started to recover, I knew I was in a world of trouble. I looked up at Hazel, her already starting on her lecture. "How many times do we have to tell you, you cannot sit there and shadow travel back and forth to McDonald's all day, Nico!" I wasn't paying any attention to her words. I got lost in thought while staring at her frizzy hair. Next thing I knew she was snapping her fingers in front of my face. "Um, hello! Are you even paying attention to me?"
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, yeah, I'm sorry Hazel. I just wanted some chicken nuggets." I mumbled, looking down at the happy meal box I had in my hands. Hazel could be annoying sometimes but I knew she did this out of love. She wanted to make sure I was taking care of myself. Hades knows I don't. Hazel shook her head. "This is the last straw, Nico. I'm taking you to the infirmary." My head popped up as she said this.
"Absolutely not!" I exclaimed. I did not want to have to lay in bed all day, being forced to rest while other people, most of which I don't know, have to take care of me. I hated when people were focused on me. However, Hazel was not taking no for an answer. She bent down, her purple Camp Jupiter shirt seemingly hanging off of her shoulders. Was she losing weight? Before I could register what was going on, she scooped my frail body into her arms and took off towards the infirmary.
Even before we made it there, the one person I absolutely did not want to see was already standing on the steps, as if he knew I was coming. Will Solace looked at me with a disappointed face and shook his head. "Honestly, Di Angelo. When are you going to learn?" he asked, knowing it was a futile effort anyways, and no matter what 'Doctor's Orders' he gave, after I left this infirmary, I wouldn't listen. "Three day's bed rest. Doctor's Orders." He said, crossing his arms and gesturing to an empty cot on his left. Hazel carried me to to the cot and laid me down gently. I stared daggers into her. "Maybe next time you won't be so reckless and pace yourself." She said, turning away with a smug smile as if she had won. Which, in all honesty she had. But I would never admit that to her.
After Hazel left the infirmary, I started eating my chicken nuggets I went all the way to McDonald's for in the first place. I had only popped the first one in my mouth when Sunshine himself appeared out of nowhere, and snatched the nuggets from my hand. "You break the rules, you suffer the consequences, Di Angelo. We've been over this." He said, crossing his arms sternly, keeping my nuggets in his hand. "Alright, very fucking funny, give them back Solace." I said, holding my hand out expectantly.
Will just shook his head and threw them in the waste bin next to the cot. "Sorry Nico, it's for your own good." Oh, if looks could kill, Will would have been dead meant. "You are going to fucking get it!" I tried sitting up, but the pain in my head and dizziness kept me down. I was mad. The flowers near the cot wilted and a dark aura surrounded me. However, Will looked unfazed. It still amazes me that I have no affect on him at all. A small smile appeared on Will's face. "Don't worry Nico, your three day's will go by in no time. And I'll be here the whole time so you won't get bored." Will said, wiggling his eyebrows teasingly. I rolled my eyes at him and laid back. If I had to stay here for three days I may as well get comfortable and enjoy the ride.
Over the next couple of hours, Will was back and forth between me and the other patients. Will continuously kept trying to feed me ambrosia and nectar, but I wouldn't take a single bite. If Will planned to hold me captive, I would make this as difficult for him as possible. Especially after he threw away my chicken nuggets. I eventually fell asleep, the first rest I had gotten in days. You see, the thing with demigods, is usually our dreams aren't just dreams. Usually they were prophecies, visions, and other things that increased your mortality rate. Which is why my dream that night troubled me. A lot.
I was standing at the entrance to a cave in the valley of a rocky cliff. I felt a very strong presence of death inside the cave. I knew that if I went in there I probably wasn't coming back out. So what do I do? Walk in of course. I crept in, looking out for any misplaced rock, stick or twig that could make a noise. A little farther in, I heard a deep rumbling voice that shook me to the core. "Are you sure you located the power source?" said the voice. Then there was a tinier voice. More human, however not any less intimidating. "Yes, my lord. There is something interfering with the sensors so we can't pinpoint an exact location. But we know it's in this area." I heard what sounded like a sharpie marker drawing a circle. "Massive amounts of sanitatem. We'll send scouts out to see what they can find. But we have reason to believe it is coming from a singular person." The other voice came back into range. "How can one person have that much sanitatem? It doesn't make sense." The deep rumbling voice stopped and a silence ensued. "Breathing. I'm afraid our conversation is no longer private." I heard footsteps coming in my direction. So I did what any rational person would do. I bolted. Fuck being quiet.
The next thing I knew, I woke to people rushing about the infirmary. I was looking for Will but didn't see him anywhere, which worried me. Will was usually always by my side when I woke up. I was unsure for how long I'd been out, but that wasn't important by now. Something was definitely wrong. The infirmary was usually quite hectic, but this was different. There was a sense of urgency. Like we were in immediate danger. I sat up and stood, looking around. I didn't have to look long before Hazel ran up to me. "Hazel, what's going o-" I didn't even finish before I got my answer. Gods I would have given anything for a different answer. Any other answer. Hazel looked at me with sorrow in her eyes, her face having shown obvious signs of crying.
"Neeks," She sat me down slowly. I knew it was bad if she used that nickname for me, the only one I really approved of. "It's Will. He's missing."