One Life for Another

Chapter 6 Close Call


Gem unwaveringly made her way down the London streets, a cloak encasing her entire body. Her hood covering her hair, but Gem's face remaining visible. The woman's maturity leave was over and she needed to return to her normal daily routine; which obvious would not be normal since your being hunted by the authorizes and a society of divine beings forced to seek refuge in a mortician's shop.

Gem huffed, her thoughts going to Undertaker who was at home watching her newborn; she was still upset with him, clearly since this morning the woman had not said a word to him before she bolted out of the door. She felt guilty for her anger, but the man or in this case reaper had mocked her pain. Gem took a deep breath and tossed the thought out of her mind; she finally reached the small news building and as always strolled into the alley to the backdoor as always.

Secretly, Gem hated having to do this; she wanted to enter the front door like a normal employee. But Mr. Crowds has insisted, good writers were a dime in dozen and Gem had a rare talent for it; Furthermore females had a bad standing in society so this habitual incentive was necessary for everyone's benefit. Gem knocked three times on the door, before a young woman with bright orange eyes and creamy mocha skin answered." You're late." She smiled and hugged the woman," Yeah I know that Ira. Gem hurried into her office, hanging her cloak on a hanger hook; Ira handed her a cup of coffee as she sat in the chair in front of the desk.

"So you got yourself in a bit of trouble." Ira stated her legs crossed. Gem sipped the beverage her gaze refusing to meet her friend's," You know about the police?" Ira nodded," Does Mr. Crowds know?" Ira shook her head," No and I have made sure he won't find out until this is all over." She took out a huge bag filled with posters with Gem's face on them. She smiled," Thanks Ira; how did you manage to get all these before seven?"

"I'm only half human remember, therefore I can move very fast; besides the posters were not hard to locate. Anyway, details on the newborn!" Ira leaned until her face was inches from Gem's; she chuckled." Okay, okay you have a healthy god-son who has been named Ryder." Ira squealed happily," I knew you would have a boy! Oh, Andrew would have been so proud a little half reaper!"

"Yeah he did want a son, but there is a slight problem." Ira stopped her face expressing worry," What is it?" Gem took in a breath," Ryder has Andrew's eyes." Ira froze, immediately she sat down to think about the situation;" The eyes of a reaper, you know if you weren't human I would suggest moving to the realm of the reapers but since Andrew was murdered they are probably after you too."

Gem sighed," Yes and the reason I staying with Undertaker." Ira's eyes lit up," Awesome you're staying with Adrian?" Gem looked at Ira confused," Adrian; wait you know him?" She nodded moving her chair closer to Gem," We were old friends a few centuries back; Adrian Creeven is his real name. In the reaper realm, he is known as a legend!" Gem was awestruck, from her first encounter with the mortician; she would have never known he was famous.

"Then, what in the world is he doing here decorating bodies for funerals?" Ira moved closer their eyes meeting," For some reason Adrian went into early retirement; came to London where he made a new life for himself away from his kind." Gem allowed the words to seep into her," I wonder why he left?" Ira shrugged getting up from her seat," I have to go so I'll leave you to your writing." She was half way to the door when Gem stopped her;" Oh Ira please tell Mr. Crowds that I will be working from 7-12 from now on."

Ira nodded," Of course if he needs an excess I'll tell him it's because of the baby." She then walked out, shutting the door behind her. The rest of the day was spent, with writing advice for her segment and answering fifty questions at a time. It was hard, but brought Gem a sense of joy and determination for her work; when the clock striked 12.

Gem gathered her cloak, adjusting so she would remain concealed from the world. She waved goodbye to Ira who promised to come by and visit her at the shop soon. Gem smiled, walking out of her office; she froze when on the roof in front of her were three reapers. Gem hid in the shadows of the alley, from where she was their words were well-defined in her ears." Did you find him yet?"

The others shook their heads no." We need to find him soon; because there is no way I'm telling William he's disappeared." They all nodded using their speed to run across the tops of the roofs. Gem held a hand over her heart relived that they did not find her; she slipped out through the other end of the alley recognizing the path to the shop. When Gem reached the parlor, she hung the cloak and collapsed on the sofa exhausted," That was too close!"

She looked around not hearing Undertaker or Ryder; Gem got up and found a note on the kitchen counter.

Dear Gem,

I had to deliver a few guests to their homes; I know I had to watch the baby so I took him with me. You should just see the way he shows interest in the bodies! He will make a great reaper someday; any who we will see you soon!

-Undertaker

P.S Don't cook we are bringing food home.

She nearly bent over with laughter at the note, his hand writing was not the best, but Gem was able to read the words. Since Undertaker had Ryder, this was good time for her to get some rest before he handed her charge back. The new mother sighed as she comfortable on the sofa; a sense of bliss washing over the young woman.

Her eyes began closing until she heard a knock at the door; Gem groaned she had forgot this was a funeral parlor after all and dear Undertaker forgot to switch the sign to closed. She got up, straightened her hair and proceeded to answer the door like a noblewoman would have if she truly were one." Hello welcome to Undertaker's shop."

The figure walked in covered in red from head to toe, Gem stared in shock at the man or woman in front of her. He was handsome, but strangely he looked familiar; her thoughts stopped when she saw his yellow-green eyes." Thank you I'm here to see Undy but unfortunately he does not seemed to be here." The reaper said not looking at the woman." Y-yes he's out." Gem moved to a nearby wall; her hand trying to locate the broom.

The man began walking to the door," Well if he comes tell him Grell Sutcliff came by." Gem stared in shock," Sutcliff?" Grell turned around his eyes widening," Y-you're the girl! He shut the door walking towards Gem," I have been looking everywhere for you!" She panicked grabbing the first thing she felt, which happened to be a mop; Gem swung it at the red reaper's head. Luckily, he ducked at the right moment; she fled into the living room still swinging the mop at his head.

"You and your pals will never have my son! He's the only reminder of what I've lost!" Gem continued to swing the mop, before Grell swiftly caught it." Look Gem is it? I didn't come here to take your child; as his uncle I came to protect him from my William who wants to take him." Gem wedged the mop from his grip," Like you that baby is the only thing I have left of Andrew; and there is no way I'm letting my beloved have him either."

Gem threw the mop in the corner and embraced the red reaper who tightened his hold on her," thank you big brother." Grell smiled pulling from the embrace," So my darling brother married you?" Gem blushed," Yeah I wanted to invite you to the wedding but Andrew said you really keep a secret." He crossed his arms," Sad but its true! Your wedding would have been headline news in dispatch!"

She laughed watching how eccentric her brother in law was compared to Andrew; Gem had heard many stories of them as children, but they didn't do Grell justice. Andrew and Grell were polar opposites how they got along was beyond her understanding." Since you're here Undertaker took Ryder with him for work purposes so how about you sit here and I'll make some tea."

She went to the kitchen and looked curiously when Grell began following her." Oh please let me help darling; tell you what I'll makes scones for the tea!" The reaper went to the cabinet pulling out the necessary indrgients;" Are you sure Grell? Andrew said you weren't good at baking." He frowned," He breaks a tooth on one of my first batch of cookies and I never hear the end of it! Don't worry Gem I can do this, and I was child when I made the cookies."

"Ok." Gem said nervously pour water into the kettle."

Five minutes later….

Gem and Grell sat the tea and scones at the table, they sat down talking and drinking the tea. Unfrotunely those were only things that would not poison then since Grell mistook the salt for sugar when he was preparing the scones." Why does William even what my child doesn't he any of his own?" Grell chuckled his sharp teeth visible," That's not really the case darling and like me he can't stand children; its dispatch that is ordering this. You see they believe that humans should only raise fully moral children not ones who are half."

Gem frowned placing her tea on the table," Well it's not my fault that I fell in love and got married! And you said it is common for reapers to pair themselves with non-reapers!" Grell sipped his tea," It is common but many of the half breeds are born in the realm so dispatch has problem with that and because at least one parent is divine. Now as you know if Andrew were alive-"Gem sighed," I know then the situation would be different; but my situation is already difficult since I will die a moral death, which was not the case before."

Grell stared at his sister curiously," You see since I married Andrew and reapers pretty much have a long lifespan; I was given the same span as a reaper, now that he's dead my moral span was restored." She down sadly, as Grell reached a hand to rub her shoulders;" In other words, Ryder will outlive you since half breeds have a reaper lifespan." Gem nodded tears escaping her eyes; Grell pulled a velvet tissue from his pocket and gave it his sister." Darling do not fret I promise to look after Ryder if anything happens to you and if you want I can be the one to take it!"

Gem's eyes widened in fear," That won't be necessary Grell! I would appreciate if you would raise Ryder if anything happens, but as for my soul no thanks." Grell shrugged his shoulders," Suit yourself darling." Just as their talk ended, Undertaker came walking in with Ryder giggling in his arms; at seeing Grell he frowned. With swift speed, Undertaker set Ryder on the sofa and went for his scythe; but was grabbed before he could reach it.

His yellow-green eyes met Gem's lovely reddish ones; her eyes holding sadness and longing." It's okay Undertaker; Grell's on our side. And he's my brother in law." Undertaker's mouth gaped, his eyes widened beneath his bangs;" So your husband was a Sutcliff?" She nodded, Undertaker went silently before bursting into a fit of uncontrollable laughter; he held his sides and fell to the floor." Of all the reapers you choose the transgender's brother heh, heh, heh!"

He forced himself from the floor only to be met with the angry twosome," Undy that was not funny! You are absolutely horrible for saying that!" Gem nodded in agreement, as she walked over to pick up her son." Don't worry Grell I was mad at him yesterday for similar reason; now I have another prolong it." Undertaker frowned he made Gem angry twice in only a few days." Come Grell let's continue our chat in the parlor."

She moved Ryder to her left and carried the tea to the shop; Grell followed carrying both teacups." By the way, Undy I have decided to spend the night my sister needs more female bonding and plus I will not have her be influenced by a half mad hatter!" He then left the Undertaker who sighed and removed his hat showing off his luxurious locks." This is going to be a long night."

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