Chapter One: Jack

When Mom left, Jack was the one who wrote up the divorce papers, in case she ever came back. Dad always thought she might, like he wasn't planning on killing her the second her signature was on those papers. But anyway, Jack wrote up the papers like Dad asked and then put them in the safe in his office.

You must be wondering who Jack is.

He's our family's lawyer, and, as unlikely as it seems, he's also a human.

Back in the day, before he died, he was a notorious "bad guy." He graduated from Harvard Law at the top of his class. He was also fluent in seven languages, not counting English – Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Korean. The last one, Korean, was important, as it soon became a major part of his life. That is, he got a job offer from the Korean mafia.

In the course of his career, Jack lost a measly one out of two hundred cases that he handled for the mafia group he worked for. And that guy was guilty as sin, with or without the heaps of evidence.

He wasn't a very popular guy outside his employers' circle. Eventually, he ended up getting shot a couple times. He lived, but moved back to the U.S. where he started work at an insurance company.

On top of all his dirty lawyer tricks, he's handsome as heck. He's got soft, brown hair and beautiful green eyes and he's well built, too. All he had to do was walk down the street practically and he had women falling all over him. Rich women, too. Even if he hadn't been an amazing lawyer, I'm pretty sure he would have been living the good life, considering how many rich heiresses he managed to marry in one human lifetime.

You can imagine why he's in hell.

As for why we tolerate him even though he's human? If you met Jack, you'd understand. Despite his mortal flesh, he's really more of a demon. There's been speculation that his father, who died or left when he was a baby, was actually a renegade demon. He's that bad.

If it wasn't for the fact that he is human, I'm relatively sure Dad would have set me up with him instead of Remus-with-the-stick-up-his-arse.

That wouldn't have been too bad, actually. I like Jack. I don't trust the guy, but I like him.

Which brings me to the point I was trying to make in the first place: Jack wrote The Papers, Jack kept The Papers, and Jack was really good at lying, cheating, and thinking up excuses, making him my number one accomplice candidate, or at least my prime advisor.

Naturally, I went to him first with my plan.

"Juno, I'm good at what I do," he said with a frown when I showed up at his office. "But I'm not crazy. As is, I get a good deal as your father's lawyer. The afterlife could be much worse for me. I'm not risking an eternity of ceaseless torture in the darkest depths of hell for the sake of some teenager's cockamamie scheme to escape arranged marriage."

"Oh come on," I whined. "Dad wouldn't do that to you just because you helped me out. He likes a little bit of sneakiness now and then."

Jack laughed loudly.

"A little bit of sneakiness, maybe, but helping his daughter – the only offspring of the bloodline, might I add – go to the human world to meet up with her traitorous mother and her bloodthirsty lover?" Jack shook his head. "He would not be pleased. Especially considering how young you are."

I frowned dejectedly.

"Jack, one way or another, someone's going to have to take up the name Lucifer," I said firmly, in the best serious voice I could muster. "Do you really want it to be Remus-the-prick? I'm doing this for your sake and Dad's sake and everybody else's sake just as much as for my own."

"No, Juno," Jack said. "You're not doing it at all. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go negotiate with the pack of angel-werewolf hybrids that want to be called demons."

With that, he grabbed his briefcase and marched out of his own office, letting the door fall shut behind him.

I pouted for a bit and contemplated rearranging all the files in his office just to screw with him. It was really tempting. I mean, he'd left the filing cabinet unlocked and everything.

But I resisted the urge and was well rewarded for exercising my self-control because it just so happened that Dad had invited Remus over for dinner that evening.

Normally, this is a bad thing. Normally, I would have run screaming and locked myself in the bathroom and pretended to make retching noises. Anyone who came near the door would hear only my sickly, hollow, grief-stricken cries of how terribly unfortunate it was for me to be sick on such a lovely occasion.

Okay, so I only did that once. That's beside the point.

The point is that I didn't do that this time or come up with a convenient excuse or anything. I didn't even try to pay off the servants to put laxatives in Remus' soup. Instead, I quietly got dressed and prepared myself for dinner. I didn't even complain that much when Dad insisted Remus sit next to me.


Because Jack was attending dinner that night.

Well, not really attending dinner. He didn't have a seat and he wasn't going to eat (for one thing, dead humans can't eat), but you could bet he'd be hovering at Dad's side, explaining to him all that business with the angel-werewolves and showing him the new drafts for the demon-vampire treaties. Which worked out perfectly for me.

All I had to do was make Remus look like a total ass in front of Jack, who would be horrified at the concept of working for him and thus convinced to help me with my master go-to-human-world-find-mom-save-my-own-skin plan, hopefully with enough time left over for dessert.

Piece of cake!

"Juno, please behave tonight," Dad whispered to me as we waited for Remus to arrive. "I know it's difficult for you, but please try."

He was wearing a nice black suit and his favorite brick red tie. He was also staring at a spot on the wall just behind my shoulder, trying not to make eye contact.

"Yes, Daddy," I sighed. "I don't see why you're worrying so much. It's just dinner."

Yes Daddy! Dinner! It's just dinner! Muwahahahahahaha!

He actually did look at me this time, and looked extremely worried and skeptical for the brief moment his eyes met mine. Then he was back to staring at the spot on the wall.

"Whatever it is you're planning, I don't approve of it," he said. "You had better keep your silly ideas to yourself, Juno. I can only tolerate your childish games for so long."

I gulped, but he still wasn't looking at me, so I don't think he noticed.

I was spared a long awkward silence by the announcement that Remus had arrived. A servant scurried into the room and cleared his throat, ready to present his master. Dad gave me one last warning look and then we both stood up a little bit straighter, me smoothing out the wrinkles in my dress.

"Now presenting Lord Remus Calisst of Sedal!" the servant said loudly.

I rolled my eyes a little bit at the title.

The doors swung open and in stepped Mr. High-and-mighty-demon-fiancé-man. I had to restrain myself from rolling my eyes again as he swept into the room, a long crimson cape billowing out from around his lacey white shirt and closely fit black pants. A sword was hanging at his hip. Here was one guy who was still stuck in the Renaissance. (Don't get me wrong, the Renaissance was one of you humans' most entertaining ideas and I much prefer studying that than modern politics, even if the latter is much eviler.)

Remus hesitated in his step when he saw me and looked momentarily surprised. This may have been because I had never been so cooperative before (last time I'd still been kicking and screaming in my night gown when he came), but it also may have been because I looked gorgeous. And I knew it too.

I'd spent hours in front of the mirror that evening, examining my long black curls and flowing silver gown. My milky white skin looked especially good in contrast, and perfectly framed the ruby choker clasped around my neck. There was nothing unsightly about my appearance. In fact, I was probably the best looking I'd ever been in my entire life. And that was saying something.

Anyway, the moment of surprise passed quickly and Remus was back to being his royal (pain) self in less than a heart beat.

"My Lord," he said smoothly, dipping into a deep bow. "My Lady."

"Welcome to my home, Remus," Dad said. "It's delightful to have you here."

"Yes, I'm most pleased to see you again," I put in.

They both stared at me when I said that. Remus looked slightly nervous and Dad just looked unhappy because he'd forgotten for a moment how much I looked like Mom. He turned away a moment later, but Remus was still staring at me with wide, anxious eyes.

"Yes," he said hesitantly, "I'm pleased to see you again as well. My Lady."

I smiled, though it may have come out more as an evil smirk, because he looked away sharply.

"Well then," Dad said (Did I detect a hint of nerves? I was getting good at this whole striking-fear-into-the-hearts-of-my-enemies thing!). "Shall we go in to dinner?"

Remus nodded a bit too eagerly and followed as we turned into the hall. He edged away a bit when I fell in step with him as if expecting me to stab him in the back. Now why would he think something like that?

"I'm most apologetic for my previous behavior, Sir," I said as sincerely as I could muster. "You must be terribly angry with me."

Remus looked surprised, but, like the dolt that he was, he lapped it up like a kitten drinking milk.

"Of…of course not, My Lady," he said with an egotistical smile. "I could never be angry with one as elegant as yourself."

Somehow I didn't think purposely stepping on your partner's toes while dancing qualified as elegant, but he was making an effort, so I let it go. I reached up to touch his arm and was delighted when he didn't flinch and pull away.

Did I really just say that? Oh, gross. Pretend it never happened.

"I'm happy to hear it," I smiled. "Would you do me the honor of calling me Juno? If I am to be wed, I wish to do so with someone close to my heart." I batted my eyelashes for extra effect.

We reached the banquet hall and took our seats at the table, Dad at the head and Remus and I beside him on either side. There was a long wait before dinner while the other seats filled with various nobles (it was a large table) I really didn't care about them, though I was pleased to see Aunt Vesta sitting down from me a little ways. I gave her a congenial smile and she narrowed her eyes viciously at me.

Ah, Aunt Vesta, the cruelest, most cold hearted demon woman in all of hell! How I loved her so!

At last, everyone was seated and Dad signaled for the meal to begin. Several trays of food came in, but I was too busy batting my eyelashes and giggling at whatever Remus was saying to notice what was on the menu. I didn't say much because I was waiting for Jack to arrive before playing my hand.

In the mean time, I had to lull Remus into a false sense of security before I sprung my trap.

"Did I ever tell you about the time I got lost in the human world?" he asked.

"No, I'm afraid you haven't."

"It's a terrific tale – quite the adventure."

"Oh, do tell me! If you don't, I'm afraid I shan't stop bothering you about it 'til you give in."

"Well, if you insist…"

Of course, it was a totally boring story and not even the least bit thrilling. He made it sound like some great adventure or something but really it was only vaguely embarrassing. I mean, he had gotten chased by a handful of human children. What kind of demon got chased be human children!?

By the time Jack finally showed up, my smile was beginning to strain and even Dad looked a little nauseated, though he still suspected I was up to something. The lawyer immediately swooped to Dad's side and began ruffling through some files, whispering quickly in his ear.

"Oh, Remus," I said loudly, interrupting his monologue on how brilliant it was back at his manor. "I don't believe you've ever met Jack."

Remus faltered and blinked at me in confusion. He seemed to have trouble contemplating the fact that I (a woman!) had interrupted him.

"Oh," he said after a moment. "Oh, no, I do believe I hate met Jack previously. He was at the negotiations for –"

"But not personally," I interrupted again. "He's charming for a human. You simply must let me introduce you."

I turned to look at Jack and found that both he and Dad were glaring at me. Dad, it seemed, was still not sure of what I was up to, but Jack had caught on immediately and was giving me one of his warning looks.

"Jack, you know Remus, my fiancé," I said with a smile. "He's been entertaining me with the most wonderful stories of his childhood."

"I'm sure," he said stiffly, turning toward the increasingly confused demon. "You'll have to excuse me, sir, but I have to explain the angel-werewolf situation to His Highness and –"

"Angel-werewolf!?" I asked in feigned surprise, as if I hadn't heard about it only hours earlier. "What are they asking for?"

Jack narrowed his eyes at me.

"We're negotiating a compromise," he explained shortly. "They want to be classified as demons despite their angelic blood. It's nothing interesting, I assure you, Lady Juno."

"Oh, but it sounds fascinating," I said. "I insist that you tell us all about it."

"My Lady, it's really not appropriate. I'm quite busy –"

"Humor her, Jack," Dad sighed. "I have to visit the little demon's room anyway."

He threw down his napkin and stalked off, leaving a seething Jack stuck with me and a still very confused Remus.

"Well," Jack said unhappily, "it's quite simple. Angel-werewolves really don't qualify for demon status in any way. Their angelic heritage is one thing to consider, but they also live in the human world. As you know, vampires are only half demons, so it would be imprudent of us to allow half-angels in the human world full status when vampires are barely acknowledged as it is. And besides that, there's nothing demonic about werewolves. They are essentially human. Lycanthropy is a disease and has nothing to do with moral fiber or…whatever it is you want to call being demonic.

"The situation is a bit delicate because they have already been denied any sort of angelic status. You know how picky angels are about blood. If we deny them, they are quite likely to be disgruntled enough to go to the human media, and then we'll have a very neat mess. However, we can't allow them demon status either, since they so clearly aren't worthy of the title. What I'm proposing is –"

"That's amazing!" I cut in. "Remus, dear, don't you think that sounds terribly interesting?"

Remus still looked blank, but quickly regained his composure.

"Of course," he agreed. "I consider all Lucifer's duties and charges quite intriguing."

Oh no! Bad! Bad!

"Well, what do you suggest Jack does about it?" I asked, wide-eyed and innocent. "I, for one, am at a loss for ideas. It just seems so complicated."

Remus laughed.

"Don't worry your pretty little head about it, Juno," he said. "I'll do enough thinking for both of us once we're married. I don't expect anything from you except babies." He laughed again.

I stared at him. Jack looked slightly bothered.

"You want to know what I think?" Remus went on. "I think the whole lot of them should be killed. What use are werewolf-angel hybrids anyway? A complete disgrace to all the best bloodlines, and from what I hear, they're a terribly rowdy bunch. They've nothing to contribute and if they're making demands, maybe they should be put in their place."

He grinned and stabbed his fork into a slab of meat. Jack and I watched in awe as he devoured it, still silent from the enormous vomit of stupidity that had just escaped his lips. I turned to look at Jack and found him glaring again, but this time not at me.

Mission accomplished.

"You're quite right, of course," I smiled, a little too happily. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go visit the washroom."

"If you don't mind, My Lady, I'll escort you," Jack said through gritted teeth. "His Highness seems to have run off again."

Dad was almost as bad as me about sitting through dinners and diplomatic sessions. He was just more subtle about it.

"Told you so," I sang happily as we exited the hall. "Told you so, told you so, I told you so!" I stuck my tongue out at him for good measure.

"Yes, alright, you win," Jack snapped. "He's a complete dolt and should be strung up on the cross sooner than made ruler of hell." He let out a heavy breath of air. "But I'm warning you, Juno, you're biting off more than you can chew with this. Your father isn't going to be pleased when he finds out what you've done and he is going to be furious with me if he finds out my part in it."

"It's worth it," I said confidently.

Jack examined me for a moment, and then, hesitantly, nodded.

"Yes, I suppose it is," he conceded. "I'll do what I can, but I can't promise anything. Your father isn't exactly a dim bulb. He already knows you're up to something."

"Oh, thank you!" I squealed, throwing my arms around him in a giant hug. "Thank you so much, Jack! I'm so sorry for the time I cut all your files on demon-vampire relations into snowflakes! I never should have doubted you!"

"That was you!?"

"I said I was sorry!"


I'll update when I can, but I'm working pretty steadily on another story right now along with my heavy workload from school, so don't hold your breath. (( Don't worry, I still love you. :3 ))