3

I grumble my way to chemistry, dreading the partner I will have to see for a period and a half. What a lovely way to start the day! "-Ace definitely stalked you." Damon was saying to the side, towards Ally. She shook her head, looking down at her feet.

"I dunno." She says softly. "I don't want to believe it. He's very nice in person. We're getting closer." I shudder as a wave of cold passes. He's probably going to deceive her. Make her think he's all nice, take her to an alley and do God-knows what.

"Don't trust him." I say before Ally splits from us and Damon and I enter chem. Mr. P. is at his desk, e-mailing his co-workers. Damon and I split for a moment as he sets his backpack down by his table and follows me, to the back of the room, to my table. I feel bad for my table. Ace has to sit near it and he traces all of these dumb things on the table with his pencil.

"I'm scared for her." Damon says as I take my seat and drop my backpack. We're the only ones in class, and the sound makes a loud clunk!

"Don't be." I assure him. Little does he know it's also to assure myself. We're accusing someone based on rumors. It's not right, or fair. "We'll figure this out. It's okay, maybe it was a silly prank and pass over."

The whole class I wait for that suave stride Ace uses to walk enter the room, but it never shows. As we get laptops for research on caffeine for some experiment we'll be doing in a couple of days, I pull out the worksheet Mr. Philips hands us. I look at it for two seconds before deciding to Google Ace. Of course Ace couldn't be his real name. So I type in Moretti instead. Aside from the multiple links that try connecting me to Moretti's, the best pizza in Chicago, I found this, searching Wikipedia.

Moretti means "Blessed Angels"

In many old interpretations of the Bible the Moretti family in Calabria, Italy was rumored to be the saviors of the town. The 'Guardian Angels' of sorts were noted for protecting the people against dark or evil forces that human beings could not see, also known as Demons. The Moretti family was rumored to have spread around Italy and spread to other places such as France, Japan and America. Though they have not been spotted for numerous centuries, some believers do not doubt the Moretti Angels are gone, and protect the people from dark forces. Most people will be drawn to the Angels without fully knowing why, but because they are Holy makes them give off a vibe that is warm and good, and hard to stay away from.

Through this all, a laugh bubbles out of me. Ace is anything but an "angel". I close the tab before Mr. P. comes, and resume my work, smiling to myself. Disappointment settles in after. I didn't get anything useful from today. If I want to get anything useful at all, maybe Ally should go along with whatever game Ace is pulling on her. Or I can ask him things myself. Like if he has problems at home that make him act so rude to others. That's very possible.

The one thing that has caught my eye was the magnetic feeling I get around him. How I just want to be near him because as dangerous as I can feel about him, being near him makes me feel good.

After the bell rings, I leave class as if nothing new or interesting has happened when in reality, a thousand questions buzz around in my head.

Ace Moretti-

I step up to his house, up the gravel road. I haven't been here in years. I tuck my hands in my pockets and let my hair fall over my eyes. A chill shakes my bones as I approach the door. I'll be walking into a room with everyone I used to be friends with. My best friend-my brother-who I haven't seen in six months now is behind that door. They will call me a traitor. Everyone but him. He'll be the one to help me get out what I need to before the rest of them rush to kill me.

I knock on the door once with a tight fist before staring at my shoes until the door creaks open. I look up and find him. "You shouldn't have come here." He whispers. He's got everything blond. Hair, eyes, skin, he looks like the sun. I remember looking into a mirror every morning to see my own blond hair. Now the only thing I have left is my natural eye color, and that golden skin that can't be ripped from me.

"I need to tell you something important." I say, hoping the fierceness I wish to have in my eyes lets him know it's very important.

"Yo, who's at the door?" A voice yells. I recognize Joey, one of my old pals. I hear multiple voices, and I know they're having a gathering.

"Nothing." My brother replies, beginning to shut the door on me. I stick my foot out to block it from slamming me in the face and I shove my way through.

"What the hell…" Another, Enrique, starts, getting up from his seat on the couch.

"I found her." I blurt out as the seven men here circle me. I hurry on to lose my fear, but it doesn't work. I'm on their turf. They can hurt me. And if I truly want to go to hell, I can't fight back. "The Archangel's daughter. I found her." The guys move closer to me, staring like I'm an alien.

"You've got some nerve coming here." Johnny says. He's the oldest here. "With that black hair, and skin that is growing paler and paler. You notice how dark your eyes got?" he growls, walking closer. I look up at his gold complexion, and my heart drops a little as I think about how I was one of them. And now I'm their enemy.

"Did you hear me?" I say, stepping up to him. "I found her. We need to protect her. Those Nephils are beginning to stalk her." They don't believe me. I don't know who starts it, but someone from behind me pushes me forward, and now I'm stuck in a sea of six and a half foot strong men shoving me around until I get punched in the stomach and down on the ground.

"You traitor! You're probably working with them!" They yells of disgust grow loud and my protests become unheard. I watch my brother stare with sad, sad eyes as he kicks me. If you don't believe them help fight them off! I want to scream. He knows my eyes say it, and he melts to the back of the crowd. He's a coward. He's afraid of getting hurt, and will do anything to stay away from it. Including acting with the guys beating me up. Hope drops rapidly, and the realization hits that I should never have come here.

"Get that black hair off his damned face!" I hear a voice growl. I close my eyes as the kicking continues and the sound of a razor nears my ear.

Gina Mancini-

We're eating lunch when he walks in a day later.

The first thing I notice about Ace is that his head is shaven, and not well. There's a cut that goes from his temple straight over his ear. It's stained his black hair that is a half-inch short. It's uneven cutting, and a few more cuts are at the nape of his neck.

I see Ace's clenched jaw as he walks with his head down to his lunch table, where he sits alone. And for the first time, my heart stings with pity. I stare at him and so does the whole cafeteria. He pulls out an apple and stares at it. He knows everyone's eyes are on him, and we all watch as he stands up, throwing his lunch in the garbage and storming out of the cafeteria.

I get up quietly and run out the doors, following him. I find him walking down the empty hallway, staring outside as he half-limps to his locker. I stare for a moment before running up to him, next to his locker. He doesn't look at me.

"Hey." I say softly. Ace fumbles with books on the shelves, pulling out a few from his backpack to switch with his chemistry book. He still isn't looking at me. "Hey…" I start again. "You cut your hair." I try. A smirk tugs at the corner of his mouth.

"Does it look like I did it myself?" he says finally.

"Well yeah. It explains why you did such a poor job. And cut yourself." I trail a finger to his temple and he stiffens. I freeze. "Um." I pull my hand away and butterflies rise in my stomach. I touched him. "Sorry." I mumble. We're quiet for a while. "I just wanted to make sure you were okay."

"Did I look like I was dying?" he asks, shutting his locker loudly. The slam makes me flinch.

"No, but I-"

"Then clearly I am okay. Stop trying to be my friend. I don't like you." With that, he walks past me, his untied sneakers making light sounds as he disappears around the hall without a backwards glance. Meanwhile I stand stunned, paralyzed with anger, hurt, and the loud pounding in my heart.