Let it All Burn

By Stephanie Flinton

I sighed as I sat there, looking out at the crowd of strangers. I didn't know any of them. Not one. This was my party, and I didn't know anyone. Well, of course I knew my siblings, all nine of them, but that was a very low percentage of the crowd. The rest of them? Well, they were random people who my father had found in the phone book when he had decided that I needed to, and I quote, 'branch out more.' Well, I didn't believe that for one second. I was perfectly content with just my family, and the few others, like my best friend Estelle, who I had allowed into my life.

My gaze wandered over to the door, where a demon disguised as a security guard was stationed. I scowled to myself. Leave it to my father to make sure I wasn't going to leave. Yes, I did say demon. Why not use them for the little jobs you don't want to pay people for when you can control them? My grandfather happens to be Lucifer. If you aren't familiar with that name, perhaps you know the names, Satan, the Devil, Beelzebub, The Dragon, Hades. Any of those will do. I am fortunate enough to live in a family of fallen angels, forever barred from that glorious place known as Heaven. But honestly, this isn't what this story is about. It isn't about the unfortunate life of a sixteen year old who is burdened with the fact that if anything were to happen to those before her, her grandfather, her father, her older brothers Theo and Trinity, and her older sister Aislin, then she would have to take over and rule Hell. It seems like a long line, yes, but when you live a life like mine, you come to realize that it is very possible for you to become the ruler of Hell the day after tomorrow. But back to my supposedly fabulous sixteenth birthday ball.

I smiled at my younger sister Phoenix, my best friend as well as my sister. I used to share everything with her. She sat right beside me at the head table, gossiping with me about how horrible everyone else looked in comparison to us, because that was just the kind of person she was. Don't get me wrong. She was amazingly sweet, and I absolutely adored her, but she was almost Vanity personified. She even admitted it herself, though I don't think she really cares.

I noticed a slight disruption by the doors, and in walked a young man, who looked a few years older than myself. He had dark hair, the same shade as his eyes, which even from a distance, seemed to link straight to his soul. That is, if you looked hard enough. However, as was proven later on, very few people actually saw through to the man beneath. He had on a black, leather jacket, and his hair was windswept, which only made him look all the more attractive. His whole look was completed with a pair of black boots, coming up to his mid-calf, in which I could see the outline of a knife.

A small smirk began to pull at my lips as I looked over at Nix again. "I'll see you later," I said, winking and standing from my chair. Her only response to me was a giggle.

He walked over to the small bar on the opposite side of the room, which was serving alcohol, even though most of us were underage. Alcohol doesn't effect those with angel blood as much, so I suppose my father didn't think about it. Most of the people there weren't drinking unless they were of age anyway. I sat a few chairs down from him, ordering an apple martini and watching him out of the corner of my eye. I saw him glance over at me, and smirked slightly, although I didn't turn towards him until he addressed me.

"You must be Juliet," he said, a smirk on his lips. The smirk seemed to complete his whole, 'bad boy' look. It suited him perfectly, and I couldn't keep a small smile from tugging at my lips.

"Yes, you are right in assuming so," I answered back, leaning back against the bar. "And what might your name me?"

"Ahh. That's a secret," he responded, a mischievous glint in his eyes as he looked over at me. He took a sip of the drink that was in front of him, what it was I didn't know.

I frowned slightly, tilting my head to the side as I examined him. "Well, thats simply not fair. It's quite a disadvantage to have someone know your name and not know theirs."

"Yes, I know. And that is the point," he replied to me, the smirk ever present on his face. It was beginning to annoy me.

I took a sip of my martini, still frowning slightly. I was used to getting exactly what I wanted, right when I wanted it. I was spoiled rotten, and I wasn't afraid to admit it. My father gave me everything I wanted. I suppose it was a perk of being royalty, although I had never really thought about it. Not until that moment, anyway.

"Well, I can tell exactly what you are like just by that silence," he said, a smug look on his face.

I frowned, turning to face him again. "Oh really? And what am I like then?" I challenged him.

"You get everything you want."

I opened my mouth to respond, but when nothing came out, I closed it again.

"Exactly."

He turned away from me again, leaning against the bar and continuing to drink, although I could tell he was still glancing at me every once in a while.

"You have no right to judge me. You just met me. You have no idea what I'm like at all. Just because my father has money, it doesn't mean that I let it get to me," I said, my temper suddenly flaring. I was known for my short temper, although it had seemed like it was beginning to go down lately.

He turned in his chair so he was facing me, an amused look on his face. "Yes, I suppose you're right," he said, seeming to mull it over in his head.

Suddenly, his attention snapped to the dance floor as a new song began to play. I smiled slightly to myself as I recognized it. It was a song my father used to play nearly every day on the piano for Nix and me. "Dance with me," he said. He was now standing in front of me with his hand held out towards me. I had been so distracted I hadn't noticed him move. I was slightly startled by his offer, but I hesitated only a moment before taking his hand.

I let him pull me onto the dance floor, a small smile pulling at my lips. He pulled me into him, his hand resting gently at the small of my back, my hand on his shoulder. And then, we danced. It was the best moment of my life, our bodies sweeping gracefully across the dance floor. All eyes were on us as he guided me through elegant turns around the dance floor, my blood red dress floating behind us. We ended the dance in a dip, him gazing down into my eyes, and I was completely entranced by him. I knew from that moment, this emotion wasn't something I had experienced before.

The large crowd that had gathered around, broke out into applause when the music ended, but I barely heard it. We remained frozen in place, until finally, the next song started. Then, as if a spell had been broken, he pulled away and rushed off of the dance floor, disappearing into the crowd. I frowned slightly, just watching him go for a moment, before running after him.

I finally caught up to him outside the front of the house.

"You're going to leave without even telling me your name?" I asked, pouting playfully at him.

He let out a soft chuckle. "Yes, so it seems," he teased me, a smirk once again pulling at his lips.

I sighed dramatically, leaning against the doorway, one hand resting on my slender hip. "Well, thats very impolite you know."

"Well, I've never really had good manners," he replied, his gaze traveling past me and through the open door. He seemed nervous.

"Now, now. Why do you seem so uncomfortable?" I asked, raising an eyebrow slightly. He wouldn't have reason to be, unless he knew the secrets of what really went on in the house, what went on when humans weren't around.

He flashed me a smile, and my breath caught in my throat. "Uncomfortable? Well, I suppose parties just aren't my thing," he said, chuckling again.

The valet parker drove up in the most gorgeous motorcycle I had ever seen, and I had seen quite a few. I didn't ride them, but my brother did. I couldn't help but sigh as the unknown man who had managed to catch my attention, took the keys and helmet.

"Sad to see me go?" he teased, a small smirk pulling at his lips.

I turned away from him to hide my flustered look. "Well, of course not. I have plenty of other people who could entertain me for the rest of the evening," I muttered. Although, I don't want them. I was surprised with myself for thinking such a thing, realizing what it meant.

He tilted his head to the side, just looking at me for a moment. "Would you like to come with me?" he finally asked after a moment.

I couldn't help but laugh. "Leave to Satan knows where with a stranger?" I managed to say.

"Well, how else will you ever meet anyone new?" he pointed out, the hints of a smirk still on his face.

I raised an eyebrow, all amusement gone from my face. "You're serious?" I asked, incredulously.

"Absolutely. Although, your dress might be a problem."

I frowned slightly, looking down at my dress. I had almost forgotten I was wearing it. "Well, this is my house. I could just change," I muttered, looking up at him. He smiled at me, and I couldn't help but smile back, before disappearing back into the house.

I snuck upstairs to my room, on the third floor, closing the door quietly. I couldn't believe I was doing this, and there was a part of me that was warning me not to, but of course, I ignored it.

I pulled off my blood red ball gown, the fabric falling gracefully to the floor, before pulling on a pair of skinny jeans. I just left my corset on, not wanting to change out of it. It would have been too much of a hassle without someone there to help me, and I couldn't risk calling someone up to help me. I sighed softly, looking at myself in the mirror for a moment, before sneaking back out of the house.

My familiar stranger was sitting on his bike, just waiting for me. He raised an eyebrow as he saw me, my outfit forming to my shape perfectly, and I just smirked at him.

"So, where are we going?" I asked, climbing onto the bike behind him.

"You'll see," he said simply, before starting up the motorcycle.

I gasped as we flew out of the driveway and down the road, tightening my grip around him. I heard him laugh at me, and hit him playfully in the stomach. He stopped laughing, but I could tell he was still smirking. To be perfectly honest, I had never been great with cars, trucks, buses, anything really that moved faster than thirty miles per hour on the ground. They made me nervous, even though I knew it was near impossible to kill me. Only the blade of an angel could kill an angel. They had a special property about them, although I didn't really know what it was.

I looked to the side, watching the scenery pass by, but when I started to become sick, I closed my eyes tightly, leaning my forehead against his back. We stayed in this position, me clinging to him and him racing down the highway, until after about a half hour, I felt him begin to slow down. I chanced a glance to the side, biting my lip as I saw the beach. Water and I? Well, we didn't really get along. Controlling fire was the one thing I was really amazing at, and well, the ocean was a giant water source. The ocean wasn't a place where I could really defend myself.

He came to a stop by the edge of the sand, climbing off of the motorcycle, before helping me off as well. He smirked slightly as he looked over at the water, before starting to walk across the sand towards iy. I just stood there on the pavement, biting my lip. He noticed this, and turned back, frowning slightly.

"Is something wrong?" he asked, walking back towards me, an eyebrow raised.

I hesitated for only a second before replying, "No. I'm fine." I forced a smile on my face, taking a step closer to the water, into the sand, even though all of my instincts were screaming at me to run the other way.

He smiled reassuringly at me, taking my hand and beginning to walk back towards the water, slower this time. I took a deep breath, before walking next to him, tangling our fingers together. For some reason, it didn't seem strange at all, holding this mans hand whose name I didn't even know.

He stopped a few feet behind where the tide ended and sat down in the sand, pulling me down next to him. I squealed as I was pulled to the ground, before looking up at him and giggling.

"I'm pretty convinced you're insane, stranger," I teased him, smirking.

"Well, what fun would the world be if everyone was sane?" he countered, smirking as well.

I shook my head at him, and watched out of the corner of my eye as he inched closer to me. I looked up again, and his face was inches from mine. "What..." I began, but I was cut off by his lips against mine.

I was shocked and didn't respond for a moment, but then my body began to react to his kiss. It seemed as though I was melting under his touch, and I slowly began to kiss him back, our lips moving together. He pushed me gently back onto the sand, and I didn't protest, giving into something besides my 'duties' for the first time in my life.

I barely noticed as he pulled my blade from my boot. I ignored the sudden breeze that hit my leg from the absence of the metal, too entranced by his lips against mine. He slowly pulled away, looking down at me.

His face had changed. It seemed harder, meaner, he seemed angry. I could see hatred burning in his eyes. I gasped, but too late I realized what had happened. I tried to spark a fire, but the air was too dense with water from the sea. A cruel smirk twisted his features.

"Juliet Victoria Blake, I know what you are," he hissed in my ear, causing a shiver to rip up my spine. "My name is Jesse Daniels. I am a hunter. And its time for you, angel of Hell, to go back to where you belong."

My eyes widened, but I barely felt the blade being plunged into my chest. I just looked up at him, sadness in my eyes. I could see the regret and guilt hidden beneath the surface for what he had done, but it was too late now. I could already feel myself slipping.

"Goodbye Juli," he whispered, planting a soft kiss on my lips, the last thing I felt before everything went black, and then, the only thing I felt was pain, the pain of Hell.