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**Chapter 1**
"Love Like Woe"

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How are the world's most powerful beings, Alessandra wondered, are also the world's laziest?

You would think having an angel for a boss would be pretty neat. They would be selfless and kind and offer help, but no—no help was offered whatsoever. She was stuck on her own, with a stack of paper that rivaled the height of the Empire State building.

Being the new guardian angel for Seattle was much more difficult than she presumed it would be. Alessandra sold her soul to Heaven a few days after the death of the preceding guardian angel. She lingered around, waiting to be assigned to Seattle, but for some reason, it took a whole year to work here. At the tender age of 20 (21 now, after waiting a year for this position), she was still naïve and a baby compared to all the immortals in this area, regardless if they worked for Hell or Heaven. Those immortals probably had a few millennia. Alessandra had to learn the ropes soon.

Now? She needed a drink.

Alessandra rose up from her office at her apartment, and retreated to her room, changing out of the clothes she had been wearing for the past few days. She took a look at her dark circles, trying to cover them up with concealer.

She then glanced at her eyes. Alessandra always hated her iris, for they were different colored. One eye was grey, with a section of an ocean blue, while the other eye was also grey, with a section of light green. She had sectoral heterochromia. She usually wore brown contacts in an attempt to hide them. She would've worn them now, but she didn't even unpack them.

Alessandra entered to the more-than-half-empty living room. A few boxes sat still in the living room untouched. She only barely moved in when she set out to complete the year old files. Finally, after a few days of nonstop sorting, organizing and updating, she was going to take a break.

Alessandra's arm was almost in her jacket sleeve until she heard her cell phone ring. Sighing, she answered it.

"Alice speaking," she said automatically.

Alice was the name she preferred to use since everyone from her mortal life used her full name "Alessandra." As much as she liked the name, she thought it was a mouthful. She would've liked to use "Alessana," but that was the name of a screamo band. Screamo bands weren't bad; she just felt like the name was a copyright.

"Hi, uh, Carter gave me this number to reach him. Maybe it's the wrong number," a male voice said, uneasy.

Carter? Who would Carter give my number to? she thought.

"No, no!" she interjected. "This is the right number—sort of. I'm his, er, assistant. Who am I speaking to?"

"Seth. Seth Mortensen."

The phone nearly slipped out of Alice's grasp. "The author?"

"Um, yes."

She was speaking to the Seth Mortensen. The author. The legend. Alice was a major fan of Seth Mortensen's books. The adventures of Cady and O'Neil were the only fascinating people—created or not—in Alice's life. He wasn't her favorite author in the world, for they usually rotated every half year or so, but his books always came back around.

"Hello?" said Seth, after a moment of silence. "Are you still there?"

Alice recovered, and went all businesslike again. "Yes, I apologize. He's not here right now. I'll tell him that you called, Mr.—uh—Mortensen. Can I take a message?"

"No, I'd rather talk to him in person. Just tell him that it's urgent. Thank you," he said in a dismissive tone.

"Wait," she said quickly, hoping those words reached him.

"Yeah?"

"I think he may be at The Cellar right now. You can drive over there if you like. I'll give him a heads up."

"Okay, I'll do that, thanks."

They hung up.

Why would Carter give Alice's cell phone number to a mortal? Alice realized then that he had to have known what they were. Was Seth a mortal psychic?

Sighing again, she grabbed her purse, and headed towards the Cellar. Alice was positive she would find him there. If she didn't, then she was screwed. If only Alice had a better way to communicate or reach Carter.

Stupid Carter didn't even carry a cell phone with him. Sure, he was the most powerful being in Seattle, but would it kill him to do some paperwork, get a cellphone plan or brush that messy blonde hair of his?

"The most powerful beings," she murmured, "are also the laziest."


"What are we all here for this time?" asked Cody, out of nowhere.

Him, and his fellow vampire mentor, Peter were sitting at the bar. Next to them was Hugh, who was pretty silent. They had been called here by Jerome, who was sitting close by, for a group meeting. Unsurprisingly, Carter was there as well, indulging in full effect (or not since he could control intoxication levels).

"We're waiting for someone," the demon said annoyed. "Damn it, where is she?" Jerome and the rest of the demon race were all known to be impatient. Impatient, deadly, deceitful...the list went on and on.

"She? Who's 'she'?" Cody asked. "Tawni?"

A few grimaces were placed on everyone's face. Tawni was a succubus, an immortal that preyed on the souls of innocent men, drinking it up from sex. She was recently acquired. She was a mere novice, with body parts no plastic surgeon, like Hugh, would be able to fake.

Jerome didn't reply to Cody, and started to gulp down his drink.

Everything had grown quiet easily, especially since Georgina wasn't with them. She was usually the one with snappy comments, quips, and sarcastic remarks. She always had something to say. Now she was merely a human who lost all of her memories of the immortal world. Only Seth bared those memories, since he kept them hidden from the world already. The thought of her saddened the group, but it was what she wanted. How could they be egotistical and want her for themselves when this was what made her alive again? (No pun intended.)

It seemed like an eternity, literally, of silence waiting for the "she." Then, a mysterious signature appeared across the room, in the entrance. The immortal signature made their way closer to the group.

"Who's that?" Cody wondered.

The signature was sweet, and pure, somewhat like Carter's. It smelled of lavender, and vanilla. Those were the two most pleasing scents to men, next to cinnamon.

Carter had a knowing look.

Finally, a girl had stepped into view. Judging by her appearance, she was either in her early twenties, or late teens. She was insanely young, and extremely new. She had perfect straight bleach blonde hair that fell down her shoulders teeming with layers. Her bangs covered most of her forehead exposing her different colored eyes just barely. She was wearing a low cut solid white dress that hugged her tight, showing her obvious curves. The dress fell down a little less than mid-thigh. The black jacket that she had on made the white dress seem more casual, as well plain Converse. Carrying a large purse, with visible stacks of paper peeping through the zipper, she shifted it to her right shoulder.

"Carter," said the girl. "Seth Mortensen—the author—is outside waiting for you. He says it's urgent. He's in his car, so you can walk over there—"

Carter vanished.

"Or you can teleport there. That's fine, too," finished the girl in an undertone.

The girl looked at the Hellish circle, eyes glancing briefly at each one. She looked at Cody, a decade old blonde vampire. Then at Peter, an odd, middle aged vampire with the weird blonde spikes. Next to an imp, who seemed to be in his thirties. And…John Cusack? A questionable look was on her face, but was quickly vanished by fear. This man, Jerome, was a demon. She gulped.

The group turned to Jerome for answers. This may be the girl that Jerome was waiting for, although it was a small chance, since she was on the holier side. Jerome only looked at her normally, which scratched off the possibility that the group was waiting for her.

The girl walked away before any of them could muster a word, and sat at the stools of the bar, doing nothing.

"The new guardian angel?" said Peter.

"Yep," answered Hugh. "Seems like it. A slutty one at that."

"She's not slutty," Cody defended. "Well, compared to Lucinda, I guess." Lucinda was the guardian angel prior the girl. She would wear really long skirts down to her ankles, and long sleeve shirts that went up to her neck.

"Damn, she's so new, too. Newer than Tawni even," continued Peter.

"And hotter than Tawni by a landslide," added Hugh. Being a succubus, Tawni could also shape shift into anything she wanted. Yet, the girl was "hotter" by Hugh's standards. That meant something. "Think those are fake?"

"What are you—a pedophile? She's, like, twenty. If not younger," Peter said.

"I don't care how old she is. She's still hot." Hugh took a sip of his drink.

"Hey, look," Cody said, gesturing to where the guardian angel was.

The group looked over at the girl, sitting down causally. She had some type of concoction right in front of her. Two concoctions, actually. One glass was already empty as she gulped away her second glass.

"She's like a mini Carter," teased Peter. "Inheriting his hardcore drinking ways."

They all laughed, except the demon, who seemed to be perfectly content being silent (or not so content, since someone was tardy).

Just then, a human man approached to her side. She seemed very familiar and friendly with him. She gave him a hug, as well as a kiss on the cheek. The man was a little older than she was, with short hair. Like the girl, his hair covered a part of his forehead and almost his eyes. His fringes went down to his chin. It was jet black, like his clothes, in contrast to his lightly tanned skin. He also appeared to be in his twenties. The guy hugged her back, closing his eyes.

The vampire's and the imp's smiles dropped. An odd silence occurred.

Hugh broke it hesitantly. "She's also like a mini Georgina," he murmured, her name burning on his lips. "Getting attached to humans more than she should."