**Authors note! still getting used to this site so hang in there with me while I work out the kinks! Thanks for reading! **

Chapter 1

Isaiah's POV

There is something wrong. I can see it in his eyes; hear it in his voice. His face remains stoic as always, but after spending nearly two centuries under his leadership, I can tell there is more behind his request than he is leading me to believe.

"You mean to have me look after a singular human? That is not something a Balance Keeper does, Deacon. Surely you could find another more suited for the task. Besides, why not ask me to watch after a wild mustang; at least my days wouldn't be nearly as dull," I say with a smirk. Deacon's lead foot pacing across the hard gray marble floor ceases. Without even turning to me I can feel the anger emanating from my mentor.

"After centuries of obeying me, you dare defy me now?" his voice bellowing across the long corridor. His tone makes me wince slightly.

"No, Deacon, of course not," I say, shaking my head quickly, "But you must understand my confusion. This is not something you ask of my kind. A Guardian, yes, but of me?" I can hear him let out a long, deep breath before he finally turns to me. His normally fierce blue eyes are heavy with fear. What is going on!?

"Isaiah, I trust no other angel- balance keeper, arch or guardian, the way that I trust you. You have watched over multiple lineages of kings and queens for over a century, oceans and countless species, entire countries, and you've been entrusted to guard the Immortal Realm for ages now, I know that you can handle what I am asking of you." I swallow and nod. His massive golden wings flex slightly, almost nervously when our eyes meet. He knows my list of questions is far from over.

"Are you going to tell me why?" I ask slowly, hoping he cuts to the chase quickly.

He shakes his head, "Not here."

I frown, this cannot be good. There are no secrets kept between us here. What has happened? Who is this person I am to look after for him? I know at this moment he can tell that I now show some of the same concern that he has etched on his face.

"Deacon, if we can't discuss this here- where can we?"

His brow furrows even deeper and my heart begins to pound.

"We must go to ground, Isaiah."

Aubrey's POV


Seriously? Didn't I just go to sleep? I crack one eye open and stare at the alarm clock next to my bed. 11:15am. Oh. Well I guess the alarm has been going off for two hours now.

"ughhhhh Yeah, yeah yeah I hear ya! I am getting up!" I grumble as I smack the snooze button and use all my bodily strength to sit myself up in my too comfortable bed. The sun is shining through my thin teal curtains, but I keep my eyes firmly closed, wrapping my warm comforter around me tightly. That dream was just too good to wake up from. I slowly drift back into it, replaying it again in my head.

I can almost feel him close by, like every nerve in my body is aware of his presence even before I can see him. I turn around, painfully slowly, not wanting to rush the moment when I see his face. Almost embarrassingly, I forget how to breath the second our eyes meet. I wish I could explain why I see this stranger while I sleep, but what I really want to understand is why I feel such a connection to someone I've never even spoken to. His six-foot frame stands before me like something God himself hand-sculpted. His strong jaw is ever so lightly dusted with just a bit of facial hair, not enough to be rugged, but enough to be beyond boyish. Toned, muscular arms, a broad chest, and the lean muscles don't stop as they continue all the way down his stomach...Wait, he wasn't shirtless when I first had this dream.

Seriously?! Those muscles are just ridiculous.

Oh sweet Lord.

Thank God this is a dream, This is embarrassing for a girl my age. I probably look like a silly school girl next to this greek god looking man. I step towards him instinctively, but I stop myself from reaching out to gently push his shaggy, dark brown, almost black hair back out of his face. Part of me feeling suddenly shy about looking into his eyes again. They are unlike anything I have ever seen before.

Those intense deep green and grey eyes look right into mine as if he knows everything there is to know about me. No secrets. No lies. No boundaries. I feel like he wouldn't even need to ask me anything, all he has to do is look into my eyes and he would know the answer. The corner of his mouth raises slightly in the smallest of smiles and my insides flip-flop. He slowly leans in closely to me, brushing my long, auburn hair away from my ear. I swear my heart is pounding so hard that he can probably see me trembling. His breath is warm on my cheek, and as he whispers he sends chills down my spine, "You have no idea what you are, do you Aubrey?"


"Oh come on!" I growl as I turn and hit my alarm clock, finally shutting the blasted thing off. Now that my eyes are open and my day-dream has faded, my reality sinks in.

"You SO need a big cup of coffee," I say out loud to myself, something I do more than any normal person should. I slowly slide myself out of bed and drag on a pair of faded blue jeans that were laying on my floor. I open up my closet and wear the first thing I grab a stretchy red v-neck t-shirt. The dark color of the shirt should hide the fact that I am wearing a hideous neon green bra. I really should do some laundry. I glance down at my plump figure and sigh, knowing full and well there isn't much else I can do with 'what my mama gave me' when it comes to the fashion department. I've never been thin, always curvy and always a little thicker than most girls.

"Maybe that's why no one notices you Aubrey, why HE never notices you, " I mutter to myself as I reluctantly look over my shoulder at my backside and frown. That thing better not get any bigger! I'm not a simple girl, by any means, but I can honestly come by my innocence and naivety. I'm not the kind of girl who flirts shamelessly or can get any guy I set my sights on, I'm the kind of girl that uses my own made up curse words while I squeeze myself into my double-digit sized jeans and then curls up on the couch to lose myself to a fictional man in either a movie or book. I don't mind being who I am, there always has to be a person to play each roll, and trust me, I fill mine adequately. If there weren't enough dreamers, maybe all the beautiful fantasies we breathe life into would cease to exist and then where would we all escape to? Sometimes though, more often than I'll ever admit, I wish I could find myself swept up in a crazy, can't breath without you romance like the ones I read about. I sigh loudly, 'what girl doesn't?'

I make my way down the small hallway, passing by the closed light purple door to my left just before the bathroom. I lightly drag my fingers across it as I pass by. My mom would have told me I looked beautiful, even if it was only a t-shirt and jeans. I smile to myself, and bound into the bathroom to brush my teeth. I eye my hairbrush and figure I should probably tame the wildebeests' nest on my head before I head downstairs. I wish at times like this that my home wasn't directly overtop of our small diner, because I know my mom's friend Lisa can hear me up here rustling about. No doubt I will have to hear her rath about lazing about all day. Blah blah blah. All I want to do was crank up some music and lose myself for a little while. I just haven't felt like myself lately. Not sick, but not well either. Kind of like all my energy is slowly draining away. It sounds crazy when I think about it, so I just chuck it up to missing my mom, but in my gut I feel like its much more than that. She's been gone for over a year now and I miss her everyday. I know she wouldn't want me sitting here dwelling on the sadness of missing her, but I am all alone now. Lila, my mother, had been on her way back from the store one night and never saw the huge truck coming. Some guy had fallen asleep at the wheel. I sigh, trying to shake that ugly thought from my mind.

Instead I picture a typical morning with her. I would have been downstairs baking up something, serving customers coffee, and cracking jokes with her. She probably would have been making pancakes for one of our regulars, with buttermilk batter wiped across the front of her blue and white checkered apron, her favorite one with the ruffles.

"Aubrey, get started on Mr. Samuel's bagel sand which!" she would fuss, tucking a piece of her dirty blonde hair back behind her ear, while the rest would have been pinned back in a messy but somehow almost formal looking bun. Her brown eyes light up when she flashed me a smile across the small café kitchen.

"Aubrey? I could hear you moving around so don't bother crawling back into bed!" shouted Lisa as if on cue from the front door, interrupting my little walk down memory lane.

I roll my eyes with a smile. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Don't get your knickers in a twist, I'm coming down to bake a few things for the café today," I holler to her from my small bathroom. It hits me as I finish up brushing my hair that I haven't left the apartment in a few days. Lisa pops her head around the door and smiles.

"You brushed your hair!"

I give her a half-smile, "Have I really looked that awful lately?"

She gives me a gentle, but sad smile as she walks into the room and gives me a quick hug. She's so blonde, tall and thin it makes me sick, but right now, I'm just grateful to have someone close. My mom was my only family. I never knew my father, never had any grandparents or aunts and uncles. No crazy cousins. Hell, I only ever had a handful of friends growing up. At 22 years old, I must sound like the biggest loser.

"No, well, yes. You have looked slightly rough, but look- you clean up nicely! Now if we can just get you to take a shower tonight you'll be on your way back to the old Aubrey." I give her a frown and step back.

"I'm still here. I haven't been feeling well lately. And well, I guess I am just missin my mom, Lisa. Things just don't feel right without her. I feel, I don't know...off." She pats me on the back and walks for the door,

"Well hun, that's normal. Everyone is entitled to have some off days here and there. Your mama was your mother & father, hell- she was your entire family. It will never feel right, but she wouldn't want this for you. She'd want her daughter to continue to be the beautiful young woman she raised you to be. Now, I gave you some space for while, but enough is enough. So get your ass downstairs to Lila's Pantry, turn your iPod on, put your apron on, and get to baking. Your regulars aren't taking to my cakes Aubs, they've been asking for ya." Gotta love Lisa.

"Ill be right down. And, Lisa- Thanks." I hear her shut the door behind her as I stare at myself in the mirror. Yeesh, she wasn't kidding! I do look rough. The circles under my eyes are darker than they should be with all the sleeping I have been doing. My blue eyes aren't nearly as bright as usual, either. I frown and lean closer to the mirror. What is that!? I stare into my own eyes and notice a very thin, golden ring around my pupil. When did that happen? Rubbing my eyes I lean into the mirror again. Nope, it's still there. Well, that's different. I shake it off and grab for my make up bag. There is no way I am going down to work looking like a zombie, especially if there is any chance of my dream man coming it today.