Saving Grace

She lost everything. Her name. Her identity. Her family and friends. Her life.
They gave her one chance to get it back. To save her loved ones and herself, she had to become Persephone, embracing the identity as her own, and complete one single task. She had to kill the Archangel Michael.
But neither Persephone nor her employers anticipated Pheonix, nor did they expect the assassin's reaction to this young angel. But when she is forced to choose between an angel who shows her mercy and the family who need her help, which love is greater?

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1. Identity

“So who am I now? If I’m doing this, I can’t get close enough as me. I’m going to need a new identity.” Her voice echoed off

the walls, strong and unwavering. The girl was always good at concealing her emotions, especially when under pressure. And fear was nothing new to her, nor to anyone in this depraved world. After everything went to hell, fear had descended like a cloud upon the populace, and rare was the soul untouched by it.

            “Your name is Persephone. You are an eighteen year old dancer traveling Europe in an attempt to make a name for herself,” the voice of her new employer hissed into her ear as the girl suppressed a shudder. He nuzzled her shoulder, burying his face in her hair and working his way back up to her ear with soft kisses. “The rest you will find prepared and waiting for you on the plane.”

            The girl was about to leave, already hurrying to the exit, when one final thought occurred to her. She looked back at the man who had torn her world apart and met his black gaze as boldly as she dared. “I want your oath. If I do this… When this is over, I’m free. You won’t come after any of us again.”

            The man’s tongue slid out and passed slowly over his bottom lip in one smooth, sensual movement. Even in her state of terror, the girl couldn’t resist the physical pull he exuded – the sheer masculinity that seemed to pour out from him in waves. She was so caught up in the movement, she was started to find that he was raising his left hand.

            “I swear to you that, should you do what I ask of you, no harm will come to you, your family, or your friends – neither by my hand nor by the hand of any of mine.” He brought his left wrist to his lips and, in one quick action, slid his sharpened canines along the vein there. Scarlet blood dripped down the man’s hand and onto the stony ground. “However, should you fail me, I promise to find everyone you have ever loved, and you will watch them all die in agony before you beg for death.” The wicked smile playing upon those bloody lips sent another wave of terror through the girl.

            She summoned ever spec of courage she possessed and held her ground. The girl knew that she couldn’t fail already, so this threat was nothing new. Still, it was one thing to know that failure was death, and quite another to see it sworn by blood-oath. “And I promise you that if you hurt my family, I will hunt you down and end you.” She turned and strode for the cave mouth without looking back.

            The girl-who-was-now-Persephone was almost saddened to see that there was already a plane waiting for her just outside. She’d hoped to be allowed to return home, to say goodbye to the friends she was abandoning, to collect her possessions. She’d expected at least a little time to get used to this.

            But time was the one thing she did not have. Persephone glanced out toward the city, a sea of sparkling lights brighter than the sky. San Diego wasn’t much when compared to bigger cities like New York or Chicago, but it was her home. There was just something in the air, so dry and hot in the summer and yet cool and moist in winter, so beautiful when that sea breeze passed through, that made her heart swell and her eyes water.

            Climbing into the lush interior of the private jet, the girl let a single tear fall before shutting that part of herself away. She was Persephone now, and Persephone had been born and raised in… She found an envelope full of papers and documents and sifted through for a birth certificate. “Seattle? I’ve never even been to Seattle,” she mumbled angrily as she searched.

            The girl spent hours shifting through paper after paper, absorbing the little details about her new life that she would be expected to know. She had three sisters, but the youngest had died of whooping cough when she was a baby, and the older two were already married. Her parents were divorced and she had lived with her dad for most of her life, but was on her own now. She liked dogs but was deathly afraid of bees and spiders. She hated chocolate and loved caramel, but only if it was the gooey kind, not caramel hard candies.

            It took longer than Persephone had thought it would to learn about herself, but luckily she had a ten hour flight to look forward to, and nothing else to occupy her time. After she landed, it would be time to begin her new life.

            And so the hunt began.

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