This was written for a Seventeen magazine fiction contest. The story had to be 500 words or less. I didn't win the contest, but I figured I would post this and get your opinions on it. I might expand this into an actual novel-length story later, but it probably won't be for a long while. I'm swamped with other stuff.

Lorelei Evans slammed the door, cutting off the screeching of her aunt's voice. The cool autumn wind whipped through her hair as she walked down the street. She didn't know where she was going, but she knew that she had to get away, away from everything. Away from the anger, away from the fighting. Away from her Aunt's oppression.

Lorelei seethed inwardly. Lorelei's aunt was the glamorous type and resented both Lorelei's deceased mother and, by extension, Lorelei for taking her dream life away. So, she had decided that if she couldn't have her way, she would make her orphaned niece's life miserable. Which was completely unfair in Lorelei's opinion.

Lost in her anger, Lorelei didn't register the headlights coming her way. She was hit with a force that, quite literally, took her breath away. Her vision went black as her head cracked against the pavement.

"Oh my God!" she heard someone say. "Someone call an ambulance!"

Lorelei didn't try to move, coughing up blood. She wasn't ready to die, but she knew that if her time had come, there was nothing that could be done.

Or was there?

As Lorelei lay there, gasping for breath, a figure shifted into existence. It was the form of a younger man with long black hair and cool violet eyes. No one commented on the young man's sudden appearance. After all, the living cannot see Death's true form.

Lord Death did not care for the chaos surrounding him. His gaze was focused solely on the girl. A girl he knew all too well.

Lorelei Evans was no stranger to Death. They had danced the masochist's tango many times before. He had only gotten close enough to brush her cheek before, however. Seeing her name on his list of souls had come as a shock to him, as well as a pang of despair.

Death knew that he had to do his job, but still he hesitated. With each visit, he had become fonder of Lorelei. She hadn't known it, but she had gained the Lord of the Dead's admiration and affection. He always enjoyed seeing her when he could. But he had never wanted this. No, not for her. Not so soon.

She looked peaceful, even as her crimson life force created a sort of halo around her. His power was already starting to wrap her in its embrace. He should reap her soul now, before her suffering increased. Death caressed his Lorelei's cheek one last time as he prepared himself to take her soul, his other hand tightening on the taut string of her ending life. He looked into her blue eyes and his grip slackened. He couldn't do it. She didn't deserve this and his chest ached at the thought of losing her forever to the abyss. Granting Lorelei her life, a small smirk crossed his face. He wouldn't take her today, but there was a certain Aunt he could visit. No one would ever hurt his girl again, he promised.