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12 hours before the Wolf Moon Ball

I sat in Hades office with my feet up on his neat and pristine marble desk, reading one of the new recruits files.

“Get your disgusting feet off my desk” Hades barked before rounding his desk and knocking my feet off.

I rolled my eyes and continued to flip through the file

“Where are you going to place him?” I threw the file on the desk “He’s more qualified than the others”

“Don’t worry about where I put him” Hades dismissed me with a wave of his hand “You have a different assignment”

I raised an eyebrow and slung my feet over the chair “Which is...?”

He gave me a serious look “It’s time for the assignment”

My eyes widened and I sat up in my chair “Already?”

Hades nodded “If you think you can handle it”

I nodded, trying not to make myself appear too eager in front of Hades or else he’ll hang it over my head for another twelve years.

“If I do this” I said cautiously “Then does that mean I’m out and finished?”

“I’ll still consult you” Hades said slowly “But other than that, yes, you’ll be out”

I slumped in my seat

“I’ll finally be done” I said softly

“If you succeed”

“I’ll succeed” I grinned “I have to”

My whole future depended on if I succeeded and I wasn’t going to fail at my only chance at happiness.

“Things have changed since the last time you’ve been topside” Hades said, leaning back in his chair “The girl is different”

“I would hope so” I said sarcastically “Since the last time I saw her, she was six and thinking of me as her eight year old best friend”

“That was the last time you officially saw her” he gave me a look “But I know there’s been times you've snuck out and watched her from afar”

I turned my head, avoiding his gaze “I don’t know what you’re talking about”

“Hmm...” Hades said before snapping his fingers.

A file appeared a second later and he threw it at me from across his desk

“Here’s the details for your mission” he said “You’ll have three weeks to train and teach her the basics of the Underworld. I suggest you be very thorough because once you pass those gates, they will never open again”

“I understand”

“Do you? Because you only have one chance at this. You fail and I get both her soul along with yours as well as the other stipulations we agreed on” he paused “But if you somehow manage to Pass and bring me what I need...”

He trailed off but I already knew what he was going to say.

If I brought him what he wanted then I would get the one thing that I craved ever since I found out who she really was to me.

A family

A true family

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