Chapter 3.

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 You know that feeling you get after you've been doused in ice cold water and for just a few seconds it feels like you've been frozen in a glacier or something like that? 

That was the feeling I got as I stared up into the dark, fathomless eyes of the eerily creepy guy who'd just announced that he was Death itself. 

 And, of course, being a sixteen year old girl, my first reaction was to promptly scream my head off, but something kept me from doing just that. It was as if all I could really do was lean backwards and stare up at the guy with a completely horrified look on my face, frozen to the spot. 

  "Uh...right, okay," I stuttered, my teeth starting to chatter in the cold night air. "Clearly you're smoking something other than tobacco in that cigarette." 

  The guy who called himself Death burst out laughing, like what I'd just said was the funniest thing he'd ever heard. "I knew it'd be a hell of a ride, getting you to believe me, Hadley Jamison. You're really rather an unsual girl. Most people would be screaming their heads off and running in the opposite direction by now."

 "Give me half a chance and I will," I fired back, my eyes narrowing.

 Death chucked his cigarette on the sidewalk and ground it out with the toe of a leather boot, still chuckling under his breath. "Let's chat over a cup of tea, shall we, Hadley Jamison? We have a lot to discuss."

 Before I could even loudly refuse that I wasn't going anywhere with the creep, Death had a tight, bony grip on my shoulder and was leading me right into the flow of traffic in the middle of the street. 

 "What are you, crazy?!" I shrieked, going into full-out panic mode. "You're going to get me killed!" 

"Oh, do be quiet," Death sighed, acting as if the weight of the world was resting upon his shoulders. "I know when you're going to die, and it's not anytime soon."

 Oh, right. This guy was "death", wasn't he?

 I was going to consider it a lucky coincidence that we happened to not get runover by all of the freaking cars flying down the roads that New York City held. Even so, I breathed a little easier once we were on the sidewalk again, mixing into the jumble of people crowding around like always.

 I kept my arms crossed tightly over my chest as we walked, glaring up at Death with my eyes narrowed. I had no idea where we were going, but I was feeling very put out, and clearly Death knew that, as well. 

 We'd walked nearly two blocks over before Death stopped abruptly outside a small, rundown yet still sort of cozy Chinese restaurant that was decorated in a usual oriental style. 

 "This place looks nice, doesn't it?" Death asked cheerily with a whistle.

I couldn't even respond before he reached out, yanked the door open, and ushered me none too gently inside. A little old lady with glasses perched on the end of her nose lead us to a small square table off to the corner that just so happened to be beneath a row of brightly lit paper lanterns. 


I moodily dropped into my seat and crossed my arms tightly over my chest again, still glaring away at Death. The old lady kept shooting furtive glances in my direction while she tried to hand us our menus.

 I couldn't exactly blame her for that one. 

Death looked significantly creepier in brighter light. His midnight black hair held a glossy sheen and his face was so pale it looked like he was terminally ill. 

 "Just a pot of tea, please," Death said, waving away the old woman and her menus.

 She nodded vigorously before disappearing from sight. I really wished I could do the same thing, too.

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