A Wretched Employment

Ah. Crap.

I adjust my tie and watch as Aurel moves towards me. My palms are sweaty as I try to rub them gracefully on the front of my waistcoat.



Be happening.

The mission was so simple when I was first instructed. Get into the damned gala, swap the codes to the vault, and avoid-

I failed.

I failed.

I failed.

Oh gods, I failed.

The Hades Society will hang me in the town square like they did to all the others. My worthlessness will be spoken of constantly through the next few weeks after my death. I might as well just kill mys-

“Why, Arthur,” Aurelius said in that smooth tone of his, “fancy seeing you here.”

I swear that voice calmed my brutal nerves, for I almost forgot what I had just done. Or maybe it was the way he said my name. Or maybe it was the way his suit hugged his lean frame.

Dammit. This wasn’t supposed to happen.

“Ah,” I said lamely, “you too Aurel.”

I brought my wine glass to my lips and took a rather large gulp of the sweet liquid, wishing it was stronger.

He watched my throat as I swallowed, and I gripped the stem of the glass tighter.

“Say,” he started, “I don’t think I’ve seen you since fourth year.” His face twisted into a sad smirk, and my stomache twisted right along with it. “When your parents had banned you from ever seei-“

“I-I should go,” I said hurriedly, for if he finished that sentence, I wouldnt be leaving for a long while.

Aurelius’s perfect eyebrows dipped a little, and I nervously tucked my red hair behind my ear.


I wasn’t exactly sure wether it was a question, but the wine was starting to cloud my head enough that my common sense was dulled to an incoherent hum in the back of my mind.

So I nodded, my face no doubt as red as my hair.

Then before I knew it, my glass was pulled out of my hand, and I was being pulled towards the dance floor.

“Wait. Aurel. We can’t.”

He ignored my concerns, and brought me to the back corner of the room.

He then pulled me to him, and I forgot why I was concerned in the first place. We swayed a little. The music was a slow rhythm that wafted through the air like a pleasant smell. I pulled away from him enough to fully look at his face.

My breath caught. It has been a while since I have gotten the opportunity to see his face this close, and I wanted to savor the sight.

His eyes were closed, but I knew the world behind those eyelids all to well. Aurel’s perfectly cut blond hair and his long translucent eyelashes. His familiar straight nose had a new bump in it. Like it broke, but never quite healed right. I knew where he got it from. My father. I got scars the same day.

His eyes opened as if he could feel my gaze. He gave me a smirk, then dipped me. I felt blood rush to my head, then he pulled me up and I playfully hit his arm. He laughed, and then pulled away.

I felt cold without his heat, but then he grabbed my hand, and dragged me towards the door.

“Where are we going?” I ask him, my head still a little bit light from the dip.

Aurelius didn’t answer, instead dragging me towards the gardens.

When we reached the fountain, he let go of my hand and sat on the rim.

“Sit,” he ordered, patting the space next to him.

I sat. Then I turned to him.

“Do you remember when we first met?” Aurel asked me.

“Yes,” I told him. I remembered it clearly. We were on a cruise going to Santa Monica, and I was on an assassination mission. I killed the man, and then began to run away. Aurelius, this charming prince, ran into me and offered a handkerchief. I will forever remember his kindness.

“That was when I first realized that you were a Hadesean.”

I froze.

“How did you know about that?”

I swear my heartbeat could be audible from a mile away.

He smiled and brushed rusty hair out of my eyes. “It’s my job, darling.”

Darling. I haven’t heard him call me that in months.

I knew I should probably kill him, at least I should if I want to live, but I would die either way: by the society’s hand, or my own.

So I kissed him.

Then I felt a sharp pain in my abdomen as a roof sniper found their target.

“I love you,” I whispered into Aurel’s ear.

He held me close and whispered those sacred words back to me.

Then the darkness of cruel inevitablity found me.

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