And I feel your stare
Like nothing has ever been so cold
Set me on fire with the embers of your eyes
That I may rot in ecstasy

When met with that unfamiliar pair of violet eyes only inches from his own, Aiden did the only conceivable thing any normal person would do; he screamed. In fact, he screamed far louder than he thought his vocal cords capable of and shot backward, running into the arm of the sofa and then flipping over it. He landed on the floor with a cruel thud and lay for a moment in stunned silence until the violet eyes appeared above him. This time, however, it was clear that they belonged to a pale, thin face framed by white-blonde hair. Aiden screamed again and scrambled away across the carpet.

"He's not dead!" said a cheerful voice from somewhere in his peripheral vision. "I thought for sure he cracked his skull open for a minute there!"

"Be quiet," the deeper voice that belonged to the man with the violet eyes boomed slightly in Aiden's unprepared ears from where he crouched beneath the coffee table.

"Come on, Evey! Lighten up a little bit, please?"

"Don't call me that," the violet-eyed man said with a soft sigh, his eyes boring into Aiden's silver ones. Too afraid to make a sound, much less move, he stared up at the man who towered over him, chin-length blonde hair hanging slightly into those severe violet eyes but not diminishing their intensity. "And what have we here? Aiden Dirge, am I correct?"

"Who are you?" Aiden asked, ignoring the question and trying desperately to keep his voice from shaking. Showing fear or weakness was something he wanted to avoid, particularly after the humiliating act of falling onto the floor and screaming like some kind of frightened schoolboy. He stared as determinedly up into that strange pale face and tried to pretend internally that he was somewhere else.

"Oh, pardon my manners. My name is Evangeline," the blonde told him, removing for a moment the black top hat he wore on his head, which was adorned around the brim with small silver skulls. He gave a slight, gentlemanly bow and then returned the hat to its rightful place. "I apologize for seeming standoffish."

"That's a girl's name…" Aiden didn't mean to allow the words out, but they slipped past his lips without his consent as so many words did when he was genuinely afraid. He knew it was probably the worst thing that could have possibly been said at the moment, and that this tall man with his lean body swathed in a fitted black trench coat like some sort of executioner could probably do him great physical harm without breaking a sweat.

"Thank you for stating the obvious," Evangeline said with a charming yet ominous smile. "I'm perfectly aware of that, Mister Dirge," his violet eyes narrowed slightly, making a pronounced shiver run up Aiden's spine. "Now, if we can please get down to business--"

"You forgot to introduce me, Evangeline," came the cheerful voice from several moments ago, and the speaker moved around the coffee table and into Aiden's line of vision. He was just as odd in appearance as Evangeline, though he appeared to be much younger. The crimson streaks running through his long black hair matched his eyes, which glowed slightly as they watched Aiden. "That's rude too, don't you think?"

"You have the necessary capabilities to introduce yourself, I believe," Evangeline told the young man, who shot him a look and sighed.

"I wish you'd stop talking like that. I'm Miel. I'd shake your hand, but it looks like you're busy lying in the fetal position, so I won't bother you," he said jovially, giving Aiden a somewhat reassuring smile. "You look a little freaked out!"

"Of course I do. You two just appeared out of nowhere in my apartment without making the slightest bit of noise. That pretty much justifies my being freaked out," Aiden argued, inexplicably feeling more at ease at Miel's lack of malice as a bit of his fear slowly leaked away, leaving him with the ability to comprehend the situation once more. Confusion ruled more than anything as he wondered where in the world these two came from, how they got here, and what exactly it was that they wanted.

"Well, we're not ripping you to shreds or anything! So maybe you should come out from under there," Miel peered down at him, squinting his ruby eyes slightly.

Slowly, still not willing to let his guard down, Aiden crawled out from under the table. He made sure not to take his eyes away from the two men as he did so, on the off chance they decided to randomly attack him while he was unaware. They watched him right back, instilling a sense of awkwardness in him that made him feel uneasy. They were both bizarre in appearance, almost beyond reason. Evangeline was tall and sallow, his lips and eyelids painted a deep charcoal black with makeup. He wore a long, fitted black coat that hung down to his ankles, hiding his clothing from view, and on his head perched that bizarre skull-adorned top hat from under which his piercing violet eyes stared. Beside him, though, Miel looked almost benign; he was shorter, his pale face surrounded by long crimson-streaked black hair with vertical pupils in his bright ruby eyes, the expression on his face a sunny one. They were a sight to behold, and it took him a moment to realize he was staring.

"What exactly are you doing here?" he silently pondered reaching for a blunt object in case they were hostile. Judging by Evangeline's sharp, black-painted nails, there was a good chance they could be. As his hand snaked toward the small bronze horse statue that sat on the coffee table before him, Miel suddenly appeared out of nowhere, swooping in front of him.

"What do you think you're doing? You weren't thinking of crushing my skull with that, were you?" the cheerful, pale boy looked on the verge of laughing at him.

"Just answer my question!" Aiden felt a bit more confident at the ridiculous, near-laughter expression on Miel's face, and he turned his silver eyes on the two men. "You showed up in my apartment with no explanation, and certainly without being invited! I could get you for breaking and entering, did you know that? Do you realize you are facing potential jail time for this? I suggest you start talking or get out of here before I call the police!"

"I really don't think that will be necessary," Evangeline gave a very dignified smile and peered down at Aiden from his great height. "Because you see, the laws of humans have no effect on us."

"Human laws?" Aiden asked, his blood running cold as he looked up at the sallow figure before him, his breath slightly shallow. His pulse raced and he felt his face grow white as he realized that there was a reason these two seemed so otherworldly. They were something… inhuman. Something he had never yet encountered. "Then what are you, if you're not human?" a large lump formed in his throat as he realized he definitely did not want to know the answer.

"We are a class of beings sometimes known informally as Reapers. We exist in a world parallel to your own but almost entirely different, the way you might imagine an alternate universe. We are a race shunned by humans in nearly all religious texts," Evangeline cleared his throat and his violet eyes bored deep into Aiden's. "To put it simply… we are demons."

Yay, an update. The plot's actually going somewhere, eh? So, what do you think Evangeline and Miel have to do with what's going on?