~Chapter One~

No matter how normal you want to be, you can never be just plain ole normal. Believe me, I found out the hard way. As of the moment, the closest thing to normal I had was sprawled across the couch, his chest rising and descending steadily. Xavier had rescued me from hell, attempted to save me from Heaven, and was part angel. That's what I considered normal...

Before I met Xavier I didn't have a life. I was simply something no human could see, yet was there to care for them. Also, I'd never experienced bloodshed firsthand until I met him. All of the chaos I'd had to encounter was a result of being with him and coming to earth. My feelings for humans were strong but when it had come to him, I was crazy for him. Maybe my curiosity had gotten the better of me when Ivy and Gabriel, my siblings, told me to stay away from him. I consider it a good thing I didn't listen to them.

I prayed every day that my brother and sister would return. According to Xavier, they left to another country, across the world, about three months before I came back. I couldn't wait to see their surprise and the joy on their faces when they returned- if they did.

As angels of the Lord, we were to serve and go places where we were needed. But, of course, I was no longer one of those angels. The only way to escape from Heaven was to do the one thing that no other angel would do- cut off his/her wings. I had two options- stay in Heaven forever or the grotesque option of getting rid of my wings. I remembered Gabriel in the basement, ready to give up his own wings to save Xavier's life. The scene had been awful to watch and it was something I'd never be able to forget. Gabriel is the one man I know of who anyone can count on, no matter the situation. Thinking about my siblings made me realize how much I truly missed them.

Xavier assured me they would return; they'd promised him. It was an emergency, something of a serial killer going public on national television. A guy in his forties was going through neighborhoods, murdering whoever he saw. This time he'd decided to, somehow, rig a news channel's system, then decapitate an innocent little girl. It angered me and made me sick all at once to think about it. How could someone be so repugnant?

I was positive that Ivy and Gabriel would take care of the situation, yet I also knew that neither of them could ease the pain of the families and citizens. Since Gabriel didn't have his powers anymore, he couldn't lighten their spirits or make them forget. Ivy could heal but only when she's had plenty of rest and food to fuel her. Healing takes a lot out of a person. It's like you've been drained of energy. I remember the first time I tried it- I'd actually brought a girl back from the brink of death. Shortly after though, I passed out from exhaustion.

I wondered what they were doing now.

With a sigh I plopped down onto the couch next to Xavier's head. My eyes trailed down to his face- so beautiful in the orange morning glow of light. A smile spread across my face at the sight of him. We'd been through so much these past two years to get here- to be together. Everything felt right. There was no danger anymore; just us, living a peaceful life.

Xavier began to stir beside me but didn't open his eyes. His golden hair was ruffled and stuck out in odd angles. I reached over to smooth down the strands but instead, stroke the bottom of his lip with the pad of my thumb. He stirred once more, but this time he scooted up closer to me and laid his head in my lap. A light blush rose to my cheeks, but I lent my head back closing my eyes. Sadly, good moments can't last very long.

Not a minute later, the door burst open and walked in the one person I was least expecting to see.

Jake Thorn.

Despite the loud sound, Xavier managed to stay asleep. While I on the other hand, went rigid from fear and anger. Jake had been my captor, the one who'd kidnapped me and took me to Hades, and the one who I knew not to trust no matter the circumstances.

A smirk spread across his face. "Surprised? I wouldn't be. After all, you're the one who brought me back." His voice was slick as oil but thick as tar. I bumped Xavier with my elbow to wake him but to no avail. Jake's smirk disappeared and was replaced with a scowl. "Don't. If you do, I swear I'll snap him like a twig." His eyes narrowed on me, analyzing my every movement. I guess happy endings aren't for everyone, I thought with a mental sigh.

A sly smile plastered itself onto his pale face. "Good. Now, carefully, get up and come to me. Be sure not to wake him," he told me, his last statement in a sing-song voice. I assumed there was something that crossed his mind that was vicious, because he chuckled while watching me gently remove Xavier's head from my lap to replace it back on the couch cushion where I once sat. I wouldn't let Jake harm Xavier. Not anymore. He was not a toy; he was my husband- my significant other. And as long as I lived, no pain would ever find him again.

I did not make any motions to move toward Jake. I stood by the couch with my arms crossed over my chest. Before speaking, I drew in a deep breath and let it out shakily. "What do you want Jake? Your welcome here is long gone." Although I was sure I hadn't even welcomed him here in the first place. If I could, I'd kick him out right now and tell him to go jump in a ditch that lead back to Hades.

"Well, Bethanie, you do remember a couple of years ago when I said I always get what I want, correct?" He slowly strolled my way, his hands shoved deep in his jean pockets. I did my best to hide the cold chill that ran down my spine. I didn't reply. The smirk reappeared, his eyes crinkling at the corners. "I've come to collect." Within a second, his hand flew out of his pocket holding a dagger that glinted in the beautiful rays of the sun.

I had no time to react as he lunged for me and his rough hand went over my mouth to smother the screams. The blade pressed against my throat as he shushed me. His breath tickled the tip of my ear as he whispered, "Remember, if you wake up prince charming then he dies. Got it?" I nodded. My eyes stung, tears threatening to break free, but I wouldn't show him the satisfaction of seeing me in distress. So many questions were bouncing off the walls of my head, waiting to be answered. Like, for starters, how he got back on the earth "Then shut your hole."

What a gentleman.

Right as Jake hauled me to my feet, three things happened: Xavier woke up, Phantom- a dog I'd rescued- came bounding out of the kitchen, and two figures appeared in the doorway. By the way the sun shone in, only their outlines could be distinguished. But I knew who they were. My siblings- Gabriel and Ivy. I took the distraction to my advantage and slugged Jake right where the sun doesn't shine with my foot. It's not like he had anything down there that could get hurt, anyways.

I grabbed Xavier and tugged him towards Ivy and Gabriel- who were snickering at my kick- in order to get him away from Jake. When Jake stood from the kneeling position he was in, I saw his eyes flash with amusement. He should seriously consider an asylum for wack jobs…

"You truly thought I would come alone? How nice of you to think I'm strong enough to handle the two of them after the whole ordeal of being killed by the arch," his eyes narrowed at Gabriel as he spoke of him. "But unfortunately, no. I figured I'd need some help from my old man. Well, him, and you know, almost everyone from Hades," he finished with a wicked grin.

Suddenly, the house began to shake and Phantom barked furiously. There was a humming noise that was getting louder, closer. Then, it stopped. That's when all hell broke loose- literally. The windows busted, glass showering down on us. Xavier threw himself over my body to protect me from the shards of glass that were flying. I glanced up once everything ceased. It was as if time slowed down while demons from every entry way filed into the room. The four of us- Ivy, Gabriel, Xavier, and I- stood back to back, facing them. We were surrounded.

"You sure know how to hold a grudge," I mumbled under my breath. Jake gave me a sharp look.

"You humiliated me. In front of everyone, "his tone was sharp then turned softer, "But once you're gone for good, I'll be satisfied from the pain you endure." Xavier made a noise that resembled a growl.

"Hell. No," Xavier said stepping in front of me in a protective stance, "Over my dead body." I tensed and grasped his shirt to pull him back to the state of reasoning and thinking before acting.

Jake put on a thoughtful expression. "That can be arranged." This time it was Gabriel to step forward.

"No. You will not harm either of them. If you do so, I will be sure to make your last death seem like a little needle in your skin." Jake narrowed his eyes at my brother.

"We'll see about that," he simply said before snapping his fingers. Within a second, he was gone. Along with all the others that had accompanied him. Our confusion mingled together then went away. He was gone for now. All that mattered in that moment, were the hugs and greetings we all gave to each other. What would matter later, was the fact that Jake Thorn had returned and was out to obliterate my existence.

What I didn't know was that not just Hell wanted me dead, but Heaven did as well.

Maybe not all of Heaven, but one group that considered me the bane of their existence did.

That group would be the Sevens.