It was late, way past my bed time as I dragged my butt up the stairs. This was happening more and more frequently because of the work hours getting longer. I wasn't complaining about it, I could use the cash. But the lack of sleep was becoming a problem. That's why I was glade I had tomorrow off, or was that today? I was also losing track of the days. Not a good thing, I silently tell myself as I close the door behind me. Not giving a shit as I walked to the bed I simply crawled to the pillow, burring my face into it as I settled on the bed. Odd, I think as I fell into the blissful depths of sleep.

I opened my eyes, looking at the window, seeing that horrible bright light shinning right inside. I looked at the clock on the nightstand, 11:47 am, it read. Man, I felt like I had just gone to bed. With a sigh I rolled over onto my back draping my arm over my eyes and laying there while debating if I really wanted to get up or not. Of course not, I chided myself. I really didn't want to get up. Today is my day free of work, I tell myself though I know I have to get up. Maybe a nice cold shower would help wake me up.

It was time for me to get my butt out of bed. So with reluctance I pushed the covers off, laying there for a moment then moving my legs to the edge of the bed, sitting up. Sometimes I hated getting up in the morning. Pushing myself off the bed I shuffled my feet to the door, pulling it open I left the room heading downstairs to the only bathroom in the place. Maybe I should have reconsidered the half bath upstairs, I think while walking down the steps. Along the way I gave a couple good yawns before I reached the bathroom, closing the door behind me.

Yah, sure a cold shower and getting a fricking cold, I think as I quickly whip down with the only towel I could find. A hand towel wasn't exactly meant for this kind of use though it would serve the purpose I was using it for.

"There." I say, hanging the towel up to dry then reaching for my cloths. Slipping into them piece by piece I was soon dressed in my lazy day cloths. Taking a moment to look in the mirror I checked to make sure I wasn't showing any stubble then left the bathroom. I really disliked having extra hair that females weren't supposed to have. Damn bastards, I think as I walk into the kitchen, heading for the coffee maker. It'd been years since that horrible nightmare but even now it still managed to effect me at times. Especially when the hair began to show on my face. I had it in other places too but that I could easily hide.

"Enough. Its done and over with. No need to dwell on it." I scold myself as I take the can from the shelf. I grabbed a tea spoon from the tray then opened the can. With well rehearsed movements I had the coffee brewing in seconds. Okay, maybe a minute or so. Either way, it was going and I turned about, leaning against the counter, looking out into the open office. A very quiet and empty office. I wondered when he was coming back. Dante had been gone for almost a week now. It wasn't the first time but I always found myself wondering if he'd come back or not. Had he decided to leave without telling me?

The coffee maker beeped, telling me it was done. I turned my attention back to it, getting myself a freshly brewed Cup of Joe a smirk forming on my lips at the thought of an innuendo. After taking a sip I leaned against the counter, wondering what to do. Its been a while since I had a day off so I was a bit lost. But that didn't last long as my brain began to turn the wheels, pulling up a mental list of things to do.

"Geez," I sigh, knowing this day was going be wasted with chores. I had to clean up the place since I hadn't been doing so and who knew when Dante would be back. I knew he didn't particularly care if the place was a mess but I did. I didn't mind his usual messes of beer bottles and cans and pizza boxes but anything more and I'd have a inching fit to clean it up until it was dealt with. I knew it drove Dante nuts, even though he never said anything about it. I guess in a way he didn't mind my little pet peeve. I have many of those by the way, I think to myself as I walk over to the desk to sit down. I opened the right draw and pulled out my lap top and a folder. It was the odds and ends list for Dante's business, Devil May Cry. A detective agency that mainly dealt with the paranormal side of life. I still wasn't sure how I had ended on the paper work detail. Humph, but I had and made sure to keep it as straight as I could. Which wasn't that difficult since I did my own paper work too. In a way I guess you could say our businesses went hand in hand to some degree.

I jumped a bit when the damn phone caught me off guard. Glaring at it I pick up the receiver. "Hello," and mentally kicked myself.

"Is this Devil May Cry?"

"Depends on who's calling." I wasn't in the mood for bill collectors.

"I'm looking for Dante. Is he available?"

"At the moment he's busy." I say, wondering who the heck this is. "I can give him a message, if you like."

Hesitation on the other end. "um, no I'll try back later. Thank you." and the line went dead.

Humph. "As you wish." I place the receiver back on the cradle. I sat there thinking for a moment. It seemed odd, that caller sounding just like the lady who didn't seem to get the hint that Dante wasn't home. And the messages she had left were odd too. Of course, I had written each one down. Now all I had to do was wait for the demon hunter to return so I could give them to him. Oh well, I turned my attention to my laptop and folder that was slowly becoming thicker.

After having run the numbers for the past hour or so I leaned back in the chair thinking about different things, at times spacing out then snapping to. I took a sip of my cold coffee and looked over at the drum kit. I didn't play with it very often. I actually preferred the guitar or the violin that sat on top of the large speakers. It just depended on my mood and right now I was in the mood for rough and ready with the guitar. Taking my coffee cup with me I headed over. Setting it on top of the speaker I climbed up, parking my butt then leaning over and taking the blue guitar in to my hands. I was familiar with this instrument only because I had played with it so many times before.

Sitting on top of the speaker I strummed the strings and twisted the keys to get the right tuning. Then I began to play the chords of a song I had played many times before. After several minutes of singing part of the song I began to sing my favorite part that went like this, "I'll really do some really dirty thing to ya girl, haha…. As you're one stop don't think you're going to bed…We're gonna keep it going." with a grin on my face as I finish with, "We're gonna be up all night, all night, all night." then end the song.

Then I went through a second song and sang aloud, "hey…ho…ain't nothing little 'bout rock n roll…hey…ho…rap it up and hip-hop down the road…hell…no…don't turn down my radio…if you're a dirty little rocker… baby come on and let it show…and scream "hey ho".

At this point I was feeling much more entertained and choose another song called 'Waking Up The Devil to practice, kinda of wishing Dante was here to hear it.
"Almost midnight…I'm just sittin' at the bar…You slide right up…And whisper "I know who you are"…And if you want a little company tonight…You need a little love, I can give it to you right…Be careful what you wish for…If I'm gonna drive, girl it's gonna be one hell of a Ride…" [Chorus] "Wakin' up the devil…Rattlin' the cage inside of me…I miss him a little…When he gets out, we're one hell of a team…I know I ought to leave…Him locked up and throw away the key…But his hand's on the wheel and my foot's on the pedal…Wakin' up the devil"
I paused to breath and grin like a fool while I continue playing.
"Up walks a guy…Starin' a hole through me…Grabs her too tight…Then he pulls her off my knee…I didn't come here lookin' for a fight…But if you're gonna bark boy, you better have a bite…I ain't been crazy in a really long time…But you're about to meet a good friend of mine" [Repeat Chorus] "Pretty girls and whiskey…Quarter bags and dimes…Put it in my face, I'm gonna do it every time…But try to keep him quiet…Try to hold him down…Damn it feels like heaven every time he comes around…" [Chorus]

I had to admit it was fun to perform that last one. It always gave a smile no matter my mood. I heard a sound by the front door and looked up to find my roommate had finally returned. He looked grumpy and soaked to the bone as he walked deeper into the office, letting the door close behind him with a heavy bang. I didn't panic though I felt like I could, mainly because I hadn't asked if I could play with the guitar. He didn't seem to care as he made his way to the desk leaning that over sized sword against the wall.

"How long were you standing there?" I asked him as he dropped his guns on the desk and tossed his coat onto the coat rack.

"I could hear you up the street." He says, sounding grumpy yet a devilish smirk twinkled in his eyes. Hm, I think as I set the guitar back in it's place then jump down from the speaker. Switching off the amp I took my cup in hand and walked over to the desk. Dante looked at me from the chair he was sitting in. "You're pretty damn good, babe. We should have a jam session. I'm sure we could come up with something that'd chase the rats and cockroaches outta here."

Don't temp me foolish one, I think as I look around, mock worry about said rats and cockroaches. I could sense his grumpy mood lifting a bit. He knew I was not fond of the germ infested pests after that little exploration deal we had done in the sewers a couple months back. That was not an event I wanted to repeat ever again. It had taking me forever to get the fricking smell out of my hair and off my skin. And I had to throw out the cloths I had been wearing.

"So how'd the mission go?" Dante didn't seem to enthused to talk about it. "That bad, huh?" I hoped it wasn't that bad. But knowing Dante and his willy-nilly free style of fighting it most likely would result in no payment again. When was he going learn?

I turned to head for the kitchen, bringing my now empty cup to the sink. "Oh, that reminds me. You got a call from a lady. She's been calling every day." I wasn't looking at him but I knew Dante well enough to know he was listening. "She wouldn't say what it was about. She'll most likely call back to night or in the morning. She seems pretty determined to reach you." I turned to look at him. "Dante?" I call, wondering where the heck he'd gone. I walked out of the kitchen finding Ebony and Ivory and Rebellion where Dante had set them but no Dante. I looked towards the bathroom, expecting the door to be closed. It was wide open and no Dante. Where was he?

"Over here, babe." I hear him say and find him standing in front of the window beside the storage room. I wondered what he was looking at. I walked over and looked out the window.

"What the," I say, looking at the sight of a horse drawn carriage parked at the curb in front of the office. I didn't know those things were still being used in the city. "Who is that?"

"Hell if I know." He says, in his usual fashion of jerk-ism. I began to wonder if this could be the woman who had kept calling. "Where you going?" I felt his hand on my shoulder. Dante seemed uneasy. I pointed deeper into the office where I had the papers, a couple books and my laptop. He let go of my shoulder and I went searching for the messages the lady had left each time she had called.

"Here. These are the messages she left." I handed the pieces of paper to him. He looked through them then looked out the window. It was pouring buckets. If the person was waiting for it to stop they were gonna be waiting for quite a while. The forecast had said rain non stop for today and tonight. It was suppose to begin clearing up come mid morning.

"Looks like your day off has just become a work day." Dante says, his eyes slightly glowing as if he were angry about something. This is bad, I think as I look out the window again. If Dante was reacting like this then nothing good was gonna come from who ever was in that carriage. I felt a shiver go up my spine as if someone had just trailed their finger along my back. I would have teased Dante for bringing his work home again, if it hadn't been for the reflection of another person I saw in the glass. They were standing in the middle of the office looking at our backs. I could make out the height and the main colors they wore. What irked me the most was the fact they hadn't come through the front door. In fact, I got the feeling they just simply materialized out of thin air. I hated that, having that tricked played on me several times in the past and it never ended well for me.

I look at Dante, knowing the guy had heightened senses beyond anything I knew of, and I felt my stomach tighten. This unexpected, unwanted visitor had Dante in over drive to the point the had triggered without me ever noticing it. I turned to face the intruder. As I do so I come to find a sight that sent shiver deep into my soul. I blinked my eyes, thinking I was seeing doubles when I knew damn well there wasn't.

Dante moves in front of me, shielding me from the intruder. I look up at the back of his head willing him to get out of my way.

"Dante," I say, letting my annoyance be heard because I didn't like it when I could not see if there was something coming at me. I took a couple steps to the side when he didn't budge so I could see the intruder. If something was gonna come at me I wanted a heads up chance to defend myself, though, I knew Dante would protect me I also knew the multiple out comes of the possible chances that he wouldn't be able to should there end up being multiple attacks at once.

The man who was standing between us and the desk, on the step's edge, didn't seem bothered at all by the fact Dante had triggered. In fact, he seemed rather amused by it. I know that's a bad thing. The intruder has confidence in himself and his abilities to take Dante head on.

"Blood McCrae." I hear Dante growl and I tip my head a bit towards him without taking my eyes off the intruder. Blood McCrae, why'd that sound familiar?

"Ah, how sweet of you to remember me, my sweet little darling Dante." The guy says, making my stomach churn from the tone in his voice. If I didn't know any better I'd say these two have some seriously heated history. Then this McCrae guy looked to Dante's right, at me and I felt a chill go up my spine. "So this is the young Catherine Valentino."

I didn't like the way he said that or the fact that he even used my name.

His lips parted into a sinister grin. "It's you I've come for, my pretty little lady."

"Don't you fucking touch her, you bastard." Dante growls at the man, who returns his gaze to the demon hunter, a smug look on his face.

"You don't have a chance in hell, throwback." The guy says and my eyes widened at the insult. Dante maybe a hybrid but he's no throwback. Second thought, I looked up at Dante. Okay, so you look a lot like your old man but that didn't mean dumb ass over there had to insult you, I think to myself as my past pops up in my mind. An ancestor of old that I'd seen in a painting that hung in the great hall.

"So obviously he's not human, right?" I asked my roommate as I looked back to the intruder. Dante gave a soft growl. I took that as a yes.

"Oh, that wounds my fragile heart." McCrae says, holding his hand over his heart. "To say such things to one who is so close to your own, my sweet child."

I was not fawned of this man referring to me as his anything. Come to think of it I wasn't even fawned of Dante calling me babe all the time. But I tolerated it because I understood it wasn't personal since he called a lot of women babe. And right now Dante was not having it. He gave a warning growl, taking a step forward. I reached out a few inches, coming in contact with him with my hand lightly touching him.

I didn't take my eyes off the intruder. "Instead of antagonizing, why don't you get to the point of why you're here…uninvited." I say, lightly touching the half devil's lower back. I knew he was aware of the contact because of the subtle shift in his aura. Though I know Dante is no pet I can't help but feel like I'm keeping my pet pooch on an invisible leash.

Dante growled, a menacing growl full of hatred. The next thing I know my roommate is attacking the intruder like a good little guard dog. What the hell? Why am I thinking of him like that? I shout in my mind as my eyes try to see the movements of the fight. I was a bit worried Dante might have bitten off more then he could chew. Knowing my eyes wouldn't be able to keep up with the action I decided to close them and use another sense instead, my hearing. Which was far better at fallowing the movements.

(the beginnings of her identity emerging from the shadows)