Name: Charlotte Cole (alias: Rouge Remington)
Year of Death: 1945
Total Reaps: -12
Place of Residence: A shack at the end of Stepford Way
Day Job: Assassin
9: 00 am. 9:00 frickin' am.
I leaned on my elbow, letting my hair flow like silk over my shoulder. Over the years I'd mastered the art of hair-fixing in the mornings, even when I was still half-asleep. It had become a lot easier with the creation of extra-hold hairspray.
Sometimes I loved the 21st century.
Only problem was, I was awake at a ridiculously early time again for the bajillionth time in a row. Sitting in a ridiculously hipster cafe with a god, a geek and a chain smoker.
The waitress walked over, clearly as tired as I was on the inside (makeup does wonders) and asked for our order.
I listened to everyone droning on about the coffee they did or did not want, and whatever a soy latte was, before taking my turn.
"You have any nice red?" I asked, tilting my head up to see her blank expression.
"Sorry, ma'am. Can I interest you in our newest chai tea?"
I waved her away and pulled out the notebook in the pocket of my jacket.
"What am I stuck doing today, boss?" I asked, making no effort to hide the boredom in my voice.
Hekate gave me a look that clearly indicated she had better things to deal with than my attitude, and assignments started appearing on the latest page.
I watched the ink swirling around and pulled a face.
"So many? We reapers ought to start a union."
Hekate chuckled and for a split-second cold fear knifed into me. Could she know? Could she have possibly heard-
No. She resumed giving assignments with no sign of agitation, but she did glance at Alex a few times. With how weird he was, I couldn't blame her.
The bell on the door jingled violently and I heard the sound of heavy boots on the floor. It only took a second for me to analyze the situation.
"Boss, the new arrival's going to rob the joint." I said calmly, acting as though nothing was happening.
She glanced at the man walking towards the counter, his hand buried in his jacket.
"He doesn't even have a mask on. He could hardly-"
Her sentence was cut off when he pulled out a gun and held out a bag at the cashier.
"Fill it! And don't nobody move!"
"Jesus," Frederick muttered, "I thought this was supposed to be a good part of town."
Hekate looked annoyed.
"We are staying out of this, is that clear?" she hissed, jerking a thumb at the stick-up, "I don't care what happens, don't. Do. Anything."
Her words slurred and stretched out, and I realized that time was slowing. I looked up to see the cashier reaching out for a cell phone and the look of realization on the robber's face, his arm rising so slowly as if it were moving through honey.
I could feel Hekate's nails raking against my arm as I jumped up, could see the threat burning in her eyes, but I moved anyways.
I had just enough time to whip out my pistol and shoot the cashier before another bullet tore into her.
The spirit was screaming. So was everyone else in the cafe. Somehow I managed to coax the wispy soul towards the light before Hekate grabbed me and pulled me out of the place.
"What were you thinking?" she demanded, "Didn't you hear what I said?"
"I heard you loud and clear, but that girl was about to-"
"I don't care about that girl!" Hekate yelled, "I am your superior and you are to follow my orders!"
I was tempted to throw a torrent of profanities but instead decided to let reason temper my anger.
"I didn't see any other reapers trying to help her." I replied noncommittally.
"It wasn't your assignment." she shot back, "If you sever a soul that you weren't meant to, you could cause irreparable damage to the system."
"What if that soul wasn't assigned to anyone?" I asked incredulously.
"That isn't possible."
"You said a few minutes ago that guy wasn't going to rob the cafe. I don't know how well you know what is and isn't possible."
Hekate narrowed her eyes.
"Remember your place."
"I think I do. Better than you know yours, at least."
The goddess' eyes seethed with fury.
"I could send you to hell if I wanted to."
"I have plenty of friends there."
"Why you little-"
"Oh dear, I'm late, aren't I?"
We all turned and looked, in sufficient surprise, at the unexpected arrival.