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Black Swan

Chapter Text

The birth of a newborn baby should be a joyous occasion, but on the day you were born your father knew only sorrow and anger.

The sounds of his desperate, heartbroken wails drowned out your fresh cries as you drew your first breaths.

You had been on the earth for less than an hour and you were already resented. unwanted. a mistake.

Your brother, only four years old at the time, watched as his father poured his heart out over your mother's body, blood staining the sheets below her waist and coating the cold, gray skin of her legs. He would remember the scene vividly for years to come. His mother that he adored, stripped from him without even a chance to say goodbye.

She had been beautiful and so loved. And you killed her.

It was the first act of your life, one that you would have to face the consequences of every day for the rest of your time here on earth. Not only did your father and brother blame you, but within the next few years you would also learn to blame yourself.

"I can't let you go Liz, I won't let you go," your father wailed as he clung to her lifeless body on the bed.

Your mother's best friend that had lived next to your family and that had been there to help with the birth held you in her arms as tears streamed down her cheeks. She had been doing her best to hold it together at this point, for yours and your brother's sake. But after another minute she couldn't bear to hear your father's anguished cries and she moved to touch his shoulder.

"Warner, your children need you."

He didn't even spare you a glance before snapping back at her.

"Get her OUT! I don't want to see her. Elizabeth's dead. She's dead and it's HER fault!"

She pulled her hand away as fresh tears welled in her eyes, then grabbed your brother's hand to take you both quickly from the room.

You didn't know it now, but you would come to realize the depth of your family's resentment towards you for being the cause of your own mother's death.

Sobs wracked through your father as he knelt at the edge of the bed, head leaned into the side of her lifeless body. He had failed to keep her safe, to protect her like he had promised to do when he married her. They had never even planned to have another child after conceiving your brother. They'd been happy with their only boy. But when she had found out that they were going to have another baby, she'd been ecstatic.

Warner let out another choked sob as he pictured her beautiful, trusting eyes. She had been the love of his life and the mother of his child, and now she was gone.

"It's time to let go."

Warner jolted at the sound of a cold, unfamiliar voice in the room. His head snapped up and he was met with the presence of a tall dark stranger, hovering by the edge of the bed with his sharp eyes trained on your mother's face.

"Elizabeth," the striking man said, speaking directly to your mother on the bed, "Take my hand."

Your father's eyes widened and he was about to speak up, to shout at the man dressed in all black that was now reaching out to his lifeless wife, but the words caught in his throat as he watched a shadow of her hand return the gesture.

"N-No!" he screamed. "Who are you? What the fuck do you think you're doing?"

The stranger looked at him then, his piercing eyes cutting into your father's soul and making him hesitate for a moment. But he wouldn't let her go that easily.

"I said who the fuck are you? Don't you dare touch her!"

"You need to let her go. She's dead."

Your father sputtered and clung to his wife's hand, willing the shadow of her that was now being pulled into the stranger's grasp to stay in her cold body.

"Liz, Liz please! What is happening? Help her!" he pleaded, his anger turning to desperation as he watched her be stolen away from him for a second time that day.

The man let out a dark chuckle then, turning to face your father head on while he locked the shadow of your mother in his arms.

"I can't help her. And I wouldn't want to even if I could. You see, I'm an angel of death and I fully intend to deliver it. This was your wife I gather?"

Warner just nodded as fresh tears filled his eyes.

"Do what you will with her body, but her soul is mine."

A wicked smile appeared on the angel's face as he spoke, almost mocking the pain in your father's eyes, before he turned and flexed the two massive feathered wings on his back.

"I will find a way to take the thing you love most in this world too. I swear it. I don't care who, or what you are," your father croaked out as he rose to his feet, his fists clenched at his sides while he shot a murderous glare across the room.

What had been a dark chuckle before turned into a throaty laugh and the angel's eyes flashed as he looked back over his shoulder.

"I'd like to see you try."

Chapter Text

Your father paced through the room as he explained the details of the plan for tomorrow's job.

Apparently, some high roller had made an offer for a piece in a museum and they had refused, even after the buyer had upped the price to a ridiculous amount. So the rich bastard turned to your father to get it for them instead.

You couldn't help but roll your eyes internally when he explained that the item you were going after was just some flashy ring.

You should be used to the ridiculous requests that these types of obscenely wealthy folk made, but it never failed to make your stomach turn. The amount of money they were willing to spend on the smallest things, seemingly insignificant things, always astounded you. Why not just buy a membership to the museum and go see the damn thing whenever you wanted? But you knew better than to question it. Your father had never led you astray in this regard.

It seemed as if money was always tight in your family, even though you did these 'jobs' fairly often in order to pay the bills. They had started off small, just enough to keep you all fed and a roof over your head, but eventually word of your family's talent for theft grew to reach the wealthiest in the area. You would think that if these rich people were willing to pay unholy amounts of money for some of the things you went for, that they would be able to pay your father enough to live off of quite comfortably, especially since it was just the three of you.

You'd been each other's only family since the day your mother died.

You couldn't picture her smile, didn't know what her voice sounded like, didn't know how she smelled or how it felt to be in her arms. And there was no one to blame but yourself. You had been the one to kill her and you knew that, even though you didn't even know your hand from your own ass at the time.

"Are you even listening to me? This may be /the job/, Ash. The one that means that we can stop asking for work like fucking beggars and actually be able to live like we were always meant to."

Your father's exasperated voice brought you back to the present and you blinked quickly before mumbling out an apology. An annoyed huff came from your left and you threw your gaze over to your older brother.

"Seriously Dad, she's just a liability at this point. Can't we get this done without her?"

You frowned and looked down at your feet, but your father's stern voice made you bring your eyes back up to his.

"No Kain, we can't. This is going to be the riskiest job we've ever done and I need you both to be at 100% tomorrow. Ash, do I need to go over the plan again?"

Kain let out a big sigh but otherwise kept his mouth shut, and you shook your head while holding your father's scrutinizing gaze. He seemed especially focused today, making sure to get every single detail down even though you were all well versed in the art of stealing by now.

"I've got it Daddy. I promise."

Warner looked at you with narrowed eyes for another moment before giving a quick nod, then rolled up the paper in front of him and let out a big sigh.

"Listen. We must succeed tomorrow. We have everything riding on getting this job done and getting it done right, so failure is not an option. Do not disappoint me."

You looked at your feet again while nodding and you could feel your brother's eyes burning into the side of your head while you averted your own.

Your father waited until you looked back up at him, meeting your careful gaze with a meaningful look of his own. He didn't need to say anything to make you feel small and insignificant. You could see the burning pain in his eyes whenever he looked at you and you knew it was because you reminded him of what you had done to your mother. every. single. time. he looked at you.

"Right. Get some sleep, both of you," he said then, prompting both you and Kain to nod quickly before turning to leave. As soon as the door to your father's office had shut behind you, your brother turned and caught your arm with a threatening gaze of his own.

"I hope you realize how important this job is for us. You'd better not fuck it up," he growled lowly, not even giving you a chance to respond before he was dropping your arm and climbing the stairs to his room.

You decided right then and there that tomorrow would be the day you proved your worth.

The only thing that could keep you from getting that ring was the devil himself.

Chapter Text

"Have a nice visit Miss!"

You nodded at the security guard that was attending the front desk of the museum with a smile as you zipped your bag back up.

/Good. He's a softie/ You thought as you slung it back over your shoulders. You didn't miss the way his eyes lingered on your chest and it made your heart rate quicken for a moment before you realized he was probably just checking you out.

Little did he know, your bust was where you kept your gun concealed. It was fool proof. Most security guards were men and they wouldn't dare ask to check your cleavage for fear of being reported for sexual assault, so you always kept it there.

And now that you were inside, all you had to do was find a good spot to hide and wait until the place closed. You hoped the security guard hadn't been too interested and wouldn't notice if you didn't leave with the rest of the crowd, but it was too late to worry about that now.

As you started to scan for a good place to discreetly hide, you found yourself studying the art on the walls instead. The first room you entered was filled with impressive portraits of European nobility, the thick gold frames filled with such intricate details that they rivaled the paintings themselves. You'd always loved portraits. The way an artist was able to capture so much personality in a single image astounded you and made you wish that you had talent beyond stealing expensive things.

You sighed and moved to the next room, where the ring your father had targeted was supposedly being displayed.

As soon as you walked in your eyes found another massive painting on the wall. The theme of this room seemed to be darker, more ominous, and you felt a chill creep over your skin the second you walked in. But a surprising sense of serenity washed over you as you studied the bold piece hanging on the wall.

It must have been made with charcoal and paint alike, because the edges weren't sharp like the last room of paintings had been. It was also almost completely devoid of color, with just a hint of blue serving as the lighter tones that made the intense blackness of the charcoal pop.

The image was of a large figure dressed in all black with a cold expression on his face while he had someone held tight in his grasp. The person he was holding had almost no detail, almost as if they were just a shadow. The blue that had been used was also brushed over the tips of his inky hair, and the clearest thing on the whole painting was his piercing black eyes.

You stared at those eyes for so long that it felt like you were being held to your spot. They were so mesmerizing that you almost failed to notice the most impressive part of the whole art piece: his wings.

They were massive and thick with shining black feathers that cascaded down his back. He had them stretched out wide in this depiction, as if he was about to take flight and steal away the shadow in his grasp. For some odd reason, you felt like you could relate to this painting more than any of the other pieces of artwork in the museum. You felt almost drawn to it. You both were thieves, you and this mysterious figure, tauntingly visible while still remaining untouchable.

The buzzing of your phone in your back pocket snapped you back to reality.

-Updates? Did you get in?

You sighed and rolled your eyes. It wasn't like any skill was needed to walk into a museum, yet your father felt the need to make sure you hadn't messed that up yet.

-I'm in. Looking for a spot to wait it out.

You saw your brother enter the room then, his eyes glued to a glass case on the other side of the room.

That must be the target.

You approached him casually, making sure not to pay too much attention to the display like he was. It would be a dead giveaway if you were both studying the thing like your livelihoods depended on it, which they pretty much did.

"So, that's it?" you asked him quietly, making sure to keep your voice low but just above a whisper so it wasn't suspicious. He just nodded without taking his eyes off of the case.

The piece was interesting to say the least. You could see why someone would be willing to spend a lot of money on it. They would certainly be the only person in the room wearing a piece like that. It had a thick silver band that was patterned with intricate bronze adornments and set into the metal was a strikingly beautiful purple amethyst. You also noticed that there was a faint VII carved into the inside of the silver band.

It was a conversation starter, that's for sure.

Kain seemed absolutely mesmerized, his full focus on the piece of jewelry and not minding the fact that he was being obvious.

"We should move. Have you scoped your spot yet?" you said then, prompting him to let out the breath he'd been holding while staring at the ring.

"Yeah. Men's bathroom. There's a stall that's out of order and they never check those for stragglers."

You nodded, but his selection made you a little bit nervous. The men's bathroom was three rooms away, meaning he would have a much higher chance of running into a guard before he was able to make it back here.

You scanned around the room, eyes landing on the painting you had been standing in front of earlier before they dragged over to a large chest that was covered with black leather and hefty silver clasps.

It was definitely big enough to hold you, but there was no way of getting inside of it without being noticed.

You moved on, scanning the other wall and then finally resting your gaze on an apparent new addition to the museum, a piece that hadn't been revealed yet and was still being covered by thick black curtains.

Perfect.

No one would be checking the drawn curtains for stragglers at closing time and you could slip behind them quickly while no one was looking.

"We've got 20 minutes," you said to Kain while taking off your bag and pulling a pocket knife out of a small hidden fold to swiftly slip into the belt of your pants. "You ready for this?"

He finally tore his gaze away from the ring to look at you, his eyes filled with determination and a fire you'd only ever seen reflected in your father's eyes when he was set off my something that reminded him of your mother. There was a flash of fear before it quickly dissipated, and then he furrowed his brow once more.

"Failure is not an option," he said firmly. "We need this ring, Ash."

You just nodded once quickly before turning and beginning to stroll away, back towards the painting of the dark figure on the other wall. When you turned back around, Kain had already disappeared from the room.

Your phone buzzed again and you saw that your father had sent you another message.

-Closing announcement in five minutes. Get in position.

You pocketed the phone and then made your way over to the curtained painting, pretending to look at the art around the room as you scanned the thinning crowd to see if anyone was paying attention to you. Then you slipped behind the curtain in one swift move, making sure to steady the swaying fabric so that no one would come to investigate.

Your father was outside observing the front desk and streets to make sure you didn't get surprised by any alerted authorities or suspicious guards. Your job was to crack the case open smoothly, using your nimble fingers and pocket knife to pry the glass apart at the seams while Kain stood guard. He was supposed to be the one to take the ring from its satin pillow, though your father really never explained why. You figured it was because they didn't trust you not to fuck up and lose it somehow. But in the back of your mind you also considered the fact that their pride might be their motivation in not letting you do the rewarding part of the work.

The announcement that the museum was closing in ten minutes rang through the building and you heard the few remaining visitors begin to make their way to the exit as security came through to do their rounds.

This was the worst part. The wait was agonizing. You had to remain completely still and silent until the lights were turned out and security had finished locking up. In those ten minutes you worried for your brother, that he would be caught and forced to leave, that you would be discovered and arrested for being so obviously hiding. But what you worried most about was leaving empty handed. You just wanted your father and brother to recognize you as someone valuable. You wanted them to be proud that you were a part of their family and to stop resenting you. If you could just pull this off, maybe they would see your worth.

Finally you heard the rattling of keys as security locked the doors so that no one else could enter in, before settling back in at their desk at the front of the museum.

-They're comfortable. Go now.

You father sent green light, so you peeked out into the dim room to see if Kain was in position.

You let out a sigh of relief when you saw him standing against the wall by the case and you slipped your gun out of your bra to tuck into your waistband before pulling your pocketknife back out. He nodded at you as you approached stepping toe to heel, light as a fox. Then you immediately got to work on the seal on the glass case.

You began to think about the security guard that had greeted you while you worked and a twinge of sadness hit you. It was a shame that he was going to have to die. You needed their keys to get out and there was no way they were going to just hand them over. Luckily, that part of the job was Kain's responsibility. You still carried a gun just in case, but you hoped you would never have to use it.

"Hurry the fuck up," Kain hissed after a few minutes of you trying to pry the glass apart.

You shot him a look and then refocused, ignoring the guilt pulling at the back of your mind about the oblivious guard that had no idea he was about to be killed.

Your knife finally caught an edge and you angled it to break the seal, slipping your fingers into the slight crack to pry it the rest of the way off.

Kain approached with an outstretched hand and excited eyes before you heard a shout come from the other end of the room. He immediately fired at the source and you shrieked as you watched a guard fall to the ground with a heavy thud.

"Shit. We need to go right now. That was only one."

Fast approaching voices and the cocking of guns could be heard and you looked at Kain in fear, seeing his eyes glaze over dangerously before he moved in front of you and took aim at the entryway to the room.

"Just grab the fucking ring if you're not going to help me shoot," he hissed at you. Your hand hesitated over the gun on your hip, but when you heard Kain's gun go off again your covered your ears instead.

Another guard went down and more frantic shouts could be heard echoing through the rooms surrounding you.

"Ash! Grab the fucking ring!"

You jolted out of your shocked state and turned to grab it from the satin pillow it sat on, surprised by how heavy it felt in your palm as your hands began to sweat profusely.

Right when you turned back around, Kain let off three more shots and you screamed at how loud it was in the spacious room, the high ceilings amplifying the sound and making it somehow even louder. You looked down at the floor to see who had been shot and saw the guard that had greeted you with blood pooling around his head as his vacant eyes stared right back at you.

"Oh God, Kain!" you shouted as you reached for his arm. Right as you began to run, the ring slipped out of your grasp and you pulled Kain to a stop.

"Fuck, Ash! Go get it!" he shouted at you as he fired at another guard the was turning the corner.

You ran back to where it had fallen and snatched it from the floor, turning back to Kain right as a bullet when through his head.

The scream that you let out didn't even sound like yours. It sounded distant and warped, like another person's voice was screaming for you.

Without even thinking, you slipped the ring on your finger so it wouldn't slip out of your grasp again and then reached for the gun in your waistband.

You held it up in front of you, aiming at the impending sound of footsteps with shaky hands.

Blood pounded in your ears as it leaked out of your brother's skull, his body crumpled on the floor at your feet.

But right as the last guard turned the corner and you were about to pull the trigger, your mind went blank. Darkness began to cloud your vision and suddenly you were /cold/, so cold… You barely even felt your body drop to the floor as a figure emerged from the black clouds that were blooming from every doorway and every corner of the room.

His eyes flashed as they zeroed in on you and a bone chilling shiver went up your spine before the darkness completely consumed you.

You recognized those eyes.

Chapter Text

A sharp, cool breath filled your lungs before you could open your eyes. You were lying down, that much you could determine, and whatever you were lying on was rough and uninviting. The fabric of your clothes clung to your damp skin and you just prayed it wasn't blood.

Your hands came up to your face as you opened your eyes, rubbing your forehead to try to gain some sense back and figure out where you were.

You finally sat up with a groan and looked around as your eyes adjusted to the darkness.

There wasn't much to see.

High, stone walls of what looked like a cave vanished into thick clouds so far above your head that you would think they reached heaven. You were surrounded by water, which explained the wet clothes, but you yourself were lying on a large slab of dark stone.

"What the fuck..." you whispered before you squinted into the darkness, trying to discern any looming shapes or potential escape routes through the thick fog.

A quick sweep of your own body and you found that you didn't have either of your weapons on you. You were vulnerable and exposed and you didn't know where you were.

What the hell happened?

Right as you thought it, the image of the dark figure approaching through the black clouds of your mind came flooding back, causing you to suck in a sharp breath.

Those eyes...

They were the same ones from the painting. But that was impossible. What kind of sick trick was your mind playing on you?

The thought that followed quickly after was the memory of seeing Kain gunned down in front of you.

Even though he wasn't always kind, he was still your brother. And a pang went through your chest as you choked out a sob, slapping a hand over your mouth as you tried to muffle the sound.

You suddenly froze when your eyes landed on a dark figure across the room, huddled on another slab of the stone you were currently stranded on.

He was crouched down and facing you with an almost bored expression on his face, a hand resting in his palm as if he'd been waiting for a long time.

His eyes were fixed on you and even though his face betrayed no emotion, his piercing eyes were flashing with interest.

You sucked in a harsh breath when you finally noticed his large, black wings that were thick with feathers, falling down low enough that the tips of them touched the water. They were beautiful, just like the portrait in the museum. Except now they were right in front of you. They were tangible, real. And the thought made your head spin.

You stared at him with your mouth hanging open and fear began to creep into your body and mind as he gazed back at you.

"Do you know where you are?" he asked you nonchalantly, breaking the silence and sending nervous chills up your spine from his casual tone. His voice was low and smooth and not what you expected. The silky quality to it was reflected in the his smooth complexion and misty blue eyes, obvious power held within his form.

"No," you answered, not sure how to react to the situation you currently found yourself in.

He studied you for another moment before responding.

"Liar."

He stood up straight and your eyes widened when the man cocked his head and flicked his tongue out over his lips. He was stunning. Strikingly beautiful, lean and dark. His face and his stance held an intensity that you'd never experienced in another person, one that made you both scared and excited at the same time.

"N-No, I don't know what's happening..." you stammered out. "Who are you?"

He considered you for another moment before stepping off the smooth stone onto the surface of the water and stalking towards you leisurely. You drew back as he approached, your eyes flicking between the wings on his back and the captivating stare he maintained. Now that he was a little closer, you could see pink rimming his eyes, adding the smallest bit of color to his otherwise monochrome style.

His gaze drifted over you curiously as he registered your fear.

"You're just a human."

You couldn't help the laugh that suddenly slipped out of your mouth.

"Well, duh."

His eyebrows raised at your sudden change in attitude and a slight smirk pulled at the corner of his lips.

"And you're female," he added.

"W-What does that matter?" you stammered defensively, glaring at him while you hugged your legs to your body. He opened his mouth to respond and your eyes immediately drifted to his prominent collarbones, exposed by the low neckline of his leather jacket. But before he could speak, a low growl radiated from the corner of the room and silenced his unspoken explanation.

You both turned in the direction of the sound as another large figure stepped out from the thick mist, flanked by one tall man and one shorter, all sporting different hair colors.

"Taehyung, what have I told you about playing with your food?" the largest man with light purple hair asked lowly. He stood just a bit straighter than the rest and his intelligent gaze paired with the strong set of his jaw told you that this was someone with authority.

Taehyung smirked at you and took a step back, falling into line as the other three men spread out and began forming a circle around you.

You blinked at them as you looked around, dazed by their striking features and overwhelming presence. The taller man had pitch black hair that was parted to expose his beautifully structured face, seemingly growing more handsome every time he shifted and the dim light highlighted it from a different angle. His dark, defined eye brows and full lips made it hard to look away and his eyes demanded your attention.

"What's your name?" the smallest man asked while running his hand through the thick wave of midnight blue hair that framed his face. Your breath caught in your throat at the sound of his light, seductive voice and he seemed to notice, sending you a knowing smile along with a smoldering gaze. His size and voice somehow didn't make him any less intimidating and although he was the smallest of the bunch, he was still clearly bigger than you.

"I want to know where I am first," you said with as much confidence as you could muster. The smallest man chuckled and kept his eyes trained on you as he spoke.

"You're in between," he explained with a grin. "My name is Jimin, you've met Taehyung, and this is Seokjin and Namjoon."

"I'll handle the introductions," Namjoon snapped at the smaller boy, making him roll his eyes and lean back on the stone he stood by.

"Okay and where are my things?" you pressed, narrowing your eyes at the apparent leader and pulling your jacket more securely around yourself. Seokjin stepped forward and caught your gaze.

"I have them in my possession," he explained softly. His voice was surprisingly soothing, almost alluring. "We won't be using them against you, I promise." You could hear the candor in his voice and you believed him.

You should be horrified, but something about this man told you to trust him despite the frightening situation.

"Oh... um, thanks," you murmured as you relaxed a little bit and straightened your legs out in front of you. "So, are you guys angels?"

You heard a dark chuckle come from behind you and you whipped around.

There were three more men standing right at your back, looming over you intimidatingly with their wings stretched out wide.

"Yes," one of them spoke up. "We deliver death."

Your eyes widened at him, not only because he just claimed to be a real life angel of death but also because of his husky growl of a voice. It too lacked life, and you found yourself unable to respond for a moment while you stared, slack jawed, at his dark gray hair and pale, milky skin. He looked like he was made for the darkness, his subtle beauty becoming almost haunting under the faint moonlight.

"W-What does that have to do with me? Am I dead?" you stammered, suddenly terrified at the realization that if you were here with them, that would implicate your own death.

"Not yet," Namjoon piped up, making you whip back around. "But that's for me to decide."

You frowned in confusion, trying your hardest to wrap your head around the situation but having difficulty making sense of it since these mysterious angels didn't seem to be making any sense either.

"Look, all I know is that I was with my father and brother. We were doing a job, going after this ring for a wealthy buyer. The last thing I remember is watching my own brother being killed in front of me while we were trying to escape. Next thing I know I'm here with you. That about clear things up?"

You held out your hand and Namjoon approached you, flicking his eyes back up and holding your gaze as he reached out to take it. His eyebrows furrowed while he inspected the ring and you saw his shoulders tense just slightly. You studied his handsome features and strong jaw with interest and you realized how large he actually was now that he was so close.

"What is your father's name?" he asked you after releasing his grip on you and taking another step forward to the edge of the stone slab you were still sitting on.

"Warner," you whispered. "Warner Allen"

Multiple huffs and low growls resonated through the room and you shrunk in on yourself as you watched Namjoon's demeanor darken.

"Careless of your Daddy to let you search for this ring without telling you not to put it on first," he mused, his eyes straying casually from your face to the three men standing behind you. He gave a slight nod and you whipped your head around and watched as the two other men approached, both with strong builds and long strides.

One of them was the angel from the portrait in the museum. Those were the eyes. He was there.

"Don't worry princess. You're not actually dead yet," the one with lighter brown hair said as he hopped up onto the slab of stone you were cowering on, his wavy hair bouncing with his steps. "And I'm not gonna kill you."

He flashed you a bright smile as he stood over you, his kind face allowing you to relax just a little bit.

But then he crouched down to your level and his expression changed so quick you weren't sure you'd even been looking at the same face only moments before.

"Although sometimes, death is a kindness," he purred while leaning in closer. His eyes were now reflecting something sinister and wild and a chilling grin crept onto his face. This man almost seemed like two different people, one moment charming and warm and then next, making you nervous to be within 10 feet of him.

You suddenly felt rough hands pulling you to your feet and looked up to see the man that had appeared in the museum, in the fog of your mind before you blacked out. He looked slightly younger than the rest, with a jaw so sharp you could cut yourself on it. His black eyes were impossible to look away from and his delicate features made his face so interesting that you could stare at him all day. He was even more captivating than his portrait had been.

"Don't let her run, Jungkook," Namjoon said lowly, prompting the younger man to secure his arms around your form and press you against the front of his body.

The older brunette flashed another unnerving grin and then turned on his heel to lead you out of the room.

"I'm Hoseok by the way, I hope we can have some fun together while you're here," he crooned as he walked, keeping a swift pace that the man holding you had no trouble keeping up with.

You looked up at his face again and his eyes stayed forward with his jaw locked tight.

"Can I talk to Taehyung again?" you asked quietly, wanting to find out more about your situation and figuring he was the most likely to help you.

Jungkook's hold on you tightened and you groaned at how hard he was squeezing your waist. Hoseok turned and grinned at you over his shoulder.

"Oh you like our Taehyungie, do you?" he asked suggestively, the wild grin growing even wider on his face. "You and Jungkook will have something to talk about then, although I wouldn't count on getting any actual words from him."

You looked back up at the man holding you and his eyes flickered down to yours briefly before refocusing on Hoseok.

"He's pretty," you whispered, the image of the dark angel flooding your mind as you recalled your conversation. His captivating gaze and seductive voice were enough to draw you to him, and you found it hard to think about much else as you were carried to another stone-walled room with impossibly high, misty ceilings.

A drawn out sigh came from Hoseok as Jungkook set you down on your feet again and stepped back.

"This is where you'll be kept until Namjoon decides what he wants to do with you. Don't even bother trying to escape. That ring will let Jungkook know exactly where you are," he explained with a smile. Somehow, even though he was telling you that you were basically being held prisoner in death's grip, his voice and expression made you feel comfortable.

"Your leader is pretty too," you said as you gazed around the room, making Hoseok chuckle and nod in agreement.

"We may look like angels, princess," he purred lowly as he stepped up directly in front of you and brushed your hair behind your ear. "But our intentions are far from pure."

You held still as he swiftly leaned in and connected his lips to yours, not wasting any time before running his tongue over your lower lip and following it up with his teeth. When he pulled back you were gasping for air, completely taken off guard by the action.

When he saw you draw a deep breath, his hand shot out and wrapped around your throat, effectively cutting the breath off. The wild grin crept back onto his face and he stared into your eyes while tightening his grip.

Your own hands came up to hold his wrist and he backed you up against Jungkook's chest, who stood firm in his spot.

"Don't fight it," Hoseok purred before leaning in so that his lips were right next to your ear. "The darkness makes everything more exciting."

Chapter Text

You let your thoughts wander as you sat back against the wall of the vacant room you'd been brought to. It felt more like a cell than anything, but Hoseok had said that it was the leader's room and you figured there was more to it than you could probably see.

Perhaps it was a cell. It certainly was being used as one right now, although there was nothing stopping you from leaving it.

Your brow furrowed while inspecting the ring on your finger. Hoseok had said that as long as you wore it, Jungkook would be able to trace precisely where you were. You considered taking it off, but almost as if he had read your thoughts, Hoseok warned you that he would also sense the moment you took it off.

He did little to explain how you had gotten here or /why/ you had been brought here before leaving you alone in the frigid room. You assumed Jungkook had brought you to this barren place, since he was the one that had appeared at the museum before you blacked out.

But why was he able to find you when you put this ring on? What connection did he have to it?

The jewel felt heavy on your hand as your thoughts drifted back to your brother and father. What had happened after you passed out? How would they rationalize your disappearance? An even better question would be if anyone had actually even seen you there committing the crime that wasn't now dead. That possibility gave you hope that you wouldn't need to run or use a false name when you returned to your father... if you returned.

Warner must be heartbroken. He had lost his wife and now his son, and for all he knew he had lost you too, although that might not weigh as heavy on his heart as Kain's death would.

A exasperated sigh left your lips as you dropped your hands to your lap and leaned your head back against the hard stone, allowing your eyes to fall closed while you attempted to quell your racing thoughts. Tears were useless at this point. There was nothing you could do now except wait to find out what these dark angels planned to do with you.

You assumed they would ask you questions, ones you didn't have any answers to. Once they figured out that you were useless they would probably kill you considering they were angels of death and that was their entire purpose.

You had to scoff at just how absurd this whole situation really was.

If angels of death existed, then did the Devil really exist too? And God? You suddenly wished you had attended some church services or at least prayed on occasion.

Was it too late to start now?

The sound of approaching footsteps made you snap your eyes open and stand up, keeping your back leaned up against the wall so that no one could sneak up behind you this time. That, and you were absolutely exhausted. You were determined not to show your fear even though any sane person would be terrified by the situation you were currently in. But the lingering need you felt to prove yourself outweighed the fear.

"Please, no need to get up. I'm sure you're still feeling drained," Namjoon said as he entered the room and saw you pushing yourself up from the floor.

You narrowed your eyes at him and crossed your arms over your chest defiantly.

"I'm feeling just fine actually."

The angel chuckled at your obvious lie and then stopped a few feet away from you with an amused expression on his face, keeping his distance unlike Hoseok had. His physical size was enough to make you feel small, but his appraising eyes made you feel like a cornered mouse. They scanned the length of your body before finally rising to meet yours, and it took everything in you not to look away.

"Do you know who I am?" he asked you.

The blunt question confused you. He was Namjoon, the apparent leader of this group of angels, and he delivered death.

You watched his jaw clench as he considered your answer. Clearly it was not the one he was looking for.

"Is that it? You know nothing else about me?" he pressed, his eyes studying your face carefully as you chewed on your lower lip and thought hard. You finally shook your head and he let out a small huff of frustration. "And the ring you stole? What do you know about that?"

You lifted your hand to look at it again, your brows furrowing as you tried to remember any details your father might have told you about the piece of jewelry, but other than it being worth a shit ton of money, you came up with nothing. You didn't even know who he had intended on selling it to.

"I- I don't know anything... except that when I put it on, I saw Jungkook. There was a painting of him in the museum too." Namjoon nodded as you spoke, his eyes never straying from your face. "If it's his, then I'll give it back. I just want to go home. My brother was just killed and my father... my father has no one except for us."

You saw his jaw flex again while hearing this bit of information, but you continued.

"How do you know his name anyways? And what's so important about this ring?"

Namjoon scowled at you, seemingly debating internally on what to reveal and what to keep to himself.

"I don't think that information is necessary to give you."

You would have laughed at how similar he sounded to your father just then if you weren't so exhausted. And somehow you didn't think Namjoon would appreciate the comparison anyways.

"My mother died when I was a baby. I'm all he has left. Please."

The leader considered you for what seemed like ages, and then finally let out a sigh as his jaw relaxed and his eyes softened.

The change in his demeanor allowed your own body to relax, and your exhaustion, both mental and physical, hit you like a truck. The adrenaline began to fade, causing you to start to slide down the wall as your knees weakened involuntarily.

Namjoon seemed to be debating what to do before you let out a tiny whimper. Then he was rushing forward and reaching out, supporting your weight with his hands under your arms as you let it slump entirely into his grasp.

You thought you blacked out for a second because when you blinked and opened your eyes again, he had you pulled into his chest with your head resting against the smooth black fabric of his shirt.

"Please," you said again, your voice barely a whisper now as he looked down at you with an unreadable expression in his face. "Please don't hurt me."

Chapter Text

You let out a groan as you rolled over and buried your face deeper into the pillows of the bed you were in, your head aching and vision swimming as you slowly woke up.

Wait... bed?

You shot up straight and rubbed the sleep out of your eyes while they adjusted to the dim light in the room. This was definitely not the same room you had been in before. It was filled with dark wooden furniture and ornate rugs covering the stone floor, as well as a large hearth that had a steadily burning fire in it, right across from the foot of the bed you had apparently been sleeping in.

The high, misty ceilings and stone walls seemed to be consistent with every room you'd been in so far, but you had to wonder why you were now being kept here instead of in the cold cell where they had been keeping you before. 

How long had it been anyways?

Your head was a little clearer now that you'd caught up on sleep, and you immediately began to worry about your father again, about how heartbroken he probably was having to re-live the pain of losing his family.

Tears quickly began rolling down your cheeks and you buried your face in your hands, the guilt of being the cause of your father's pain and another family member's death overwhelming you for once again. If you had just been able to keep your grip on that damn ring, then Kain would still be alive and you wouldn't be in this mess.

You looked up when you felt another presence in the room and then quickly wiped your tears away while sniffling and trying to even out your breathing. For some reason you hated looking so weak in front of these powerful beings, even though you knew they would see you like that anyways and there was nothing you could do to change it.

"So, Namjoon let you stay in his room," the pale angel said from the edge of the room. You squinted, trying to see him better while he stayed hidden in the shadows. You knew who it was by his gruff voice and patronizing tone, but the only detail you could see of him was the tips of his black shoes as he leaned against the stone wall. "I thought he would have killed you by now, seeing as you're completely useless."

You swallowed hard and he pushed off the wall, his eyes zeroing in on you and making you shrink back into the blankets as he approached. His features seemed to be made for the shadows. You couldn't peel your eyes away from his menacing gaze despite how urgently your instincts screamed at you to run. It was completely unexpected, the effect he had on you, but you weren't about to question it.

You stared at him while he glared you down, until he eventually came to a halt at the foot of the bed.

"What did you say that convinced him to let you live, hmm?" he asked you lowly, his eyes burning into yours and making your thoughts jumble into an incoherent mess. You couldn't help but focus on his mouth as he spoke. His lips looked so soft and sweet, the complete opposite of the rest of him. Somehow his appearance was both soft and scary at the same time.

His suspicion was clear and for some reason it hurt your feelings that he didn't trust you, although he had every reason not to. Thankfully, you were saved from having to answer him by another voice ringing through the room.

"Oh, lay off her Yoongi. She seems innocent enough."

You almost smiled when you saw that it was Taehyung that had entered the room next, but it quickly faltered as you watched Jungkook follow in closely behind him. Your hands moved to twist the ring on your finger nervously until you realized that it was no longer there. Taehyung chuckled as he watched you frantically search the blankets, worried that you were now in trouble for taking it off when you weren't supposed to, before you thought to look at Jungkook's hands.

And there it was, adorning his right hand as Taehyung held it up for you to see.

"Missing something?" he teased with a smirk, making Yoongi roll his eyes and let out an annoyed sigh. "Don't worry, little one. We took it off of you while you were out. Looks better on Jungkookie anyways, doesn't it?"

You glanced at Jungkook and he was staring at you intensely, his hand still being held up by Taehyung while they each waited for you to respond.

"It looks like it's back where it belongs," you finally answered, and Taehyung dropped the youngest's hand along with the smile on his face. "It's yours isn't it?"

You directed your question at Jungkook, but Taehyung answered for him.

"It is. You should apologize for stealing it."

His voice had lowered to a more threatening and expectant tone, taking you off guard.

"Now who needs to lay off?" Yoongi grumbled while crossing his arms over his chest and pouting at the floor.

You couldn't figure out who was scariest here. Yoongi had been so cold minutes ago but now he almost looked cute, and the relief you had felt seeing Taehyung come in had quickly dissipated now that his demeanor was so darkened. Jungkook hadn't taken his eyes off you this entire time and it felt like they were burning a hole right through your head.

"I- I'm sorry, I didn't know it belonged to anyone," you managed to mumble out, averting your gaze from all of them by staring at your hands in your lap instead. Taehyung scoffed and his charming smile returned as quickly as it had left.

"That's kind of the definition of stealing," he said as he hopped up on the bed next to you, dragging Jungkook with him and patting the covers to get him to join. "So, Jimin and I were talking, and we realized that you never did tell us your name."

You noticed Yoongi perk up at the mention of the small blue haired angel before he quickly returned the scowl to his face.

"Oh, it's Ash," you answered, relieved that Taehyung seemed to be back to his perky self. You didn't think you could handle being near him any longer when he was straight faced. It was somehow the most intimidating thing you'd witnessed here so far.

"Hmm, Ash... simple. I like it," he mused while playing absentmindedly with the silver rings in Jungkook's ear.

His response made you blush as you chewed your lower lip and looked back down at your lap. But your eyes snapped up again when you heard Jungkook suck in a sharp intake of breath through his nose, just to find his black eyes now trained on your mouth.

Taehyung giggled at the tense angel before leaning in and putting his lips by his ear to whisper something you couldn't hear.

"Oh god, you guys are insufferable. I'm leaving," Yoongi spat out before turning and vanishing with a flourish of his wings.

"Don't listen to him, we're fun and he's just hangry," Taehyung said in return with a warm smile. You simply nodded and continued to stare at the spot where Yoongi had just been standing. "Speaking of fun," he piped, a hint of mischief creeping into his voice as he stood and offered you his hand. "You seem like you could use some. Come with us."

You easily allowed yourself to be pulled through the winding, cavernous hallways by Taehyung's large hand. His long strides made it difficult for you to keep up, but Jungkook didn't seem to have any trouble, staying shoulder to shoulder with the chatty angel every step of the way.

You eventually found yourselves standing outside of a large doorway and both males had matching grins on their faces as they looked down at you.

"What? Where are we?" you asked. Taehyung clamped a hand over your mouth while he held a finger up to his own lips.

"Hey Hyung, can you come out here for a minute?" he said then, before the two grinning angels took off without warning, leaving you standing alone and scared in the empty hallway.

You stammered after them as you stood with your eyes blown wide and your knees knocking.

Your stomach dropped when you looked up to see Seokjin's strikingly handsome face and tall frame suddenly appear in the doorway, his broad shoulders filling the space with ease.

"Oh, hello," he said as he cocked his head and looked at you in surprise.

Oh god oh god oh god, not him. Anyone but him... You thought to yourself as you swallowed hard. This man made you embarrassingly nervous despite his relatively sweet introduction. But that alluring voice and those dreamy eyes rendered you speechless, and all you could do was just look up at him like a scared puppy while he spoke.

"Those boys set you up to this, didn't they?" he asked you with a smile tugging at the corner of his lips. You felt your palms begin to sweat as you nodded, your eyes fixed on his face even though you wanted to look away, you really did. "Well, come on then. Join me."

Seokjin turned and walked back into the room and you hesitated in the doorway before following behind him. Your eyes widened as they drifted over the thousands, maybe even millions of books that were stacked along the walls, and he let out a deep sigh as he sat down in one of the large leather chairs in the room. His dark eyes ran down your frame as he brought his hand up to thoughtfully play with his lower lip, before patting his knee.

You froze while just staring at his lap. It looked so inviting but you didn't know if it was really okay that you wanted to sit there.

Oh god how badly you wanted to sit there.

He let out a soft chuckle at your obvious flustered state and then leaned back against the leather, spreading his legs out a little wider and looking at you with a raised brow.

"Don't be shy, I won't bite."

His eyes flashed as he spoke, making your brain scream at you to run the other direction, but your body seemed to move on its own. You approached him without taking your eyes off of his and he offered a sweet smile in return as you lowered yourself down onto his knee.

A cold hand found your waist and you stiffened at the contact.

He just lifted the book he had previously been reading back up in front of his face and began to rub soothing circles into your lower back with his thumb.

"I'm surprised that you're still here," he said casually after a moment, making you blink back at him in a daze. "Namjoon's not usually inclined to let people live once they're in his grasp, let alone such a dangerous girl."

His words puzzled you. Dangerous? He was calling you dangerous?

Seokjin looked up from his book to meet your gaze and his eyes narrowed as he studied your reaction to his words.

"You don't think so? What you did in that museum was very dangerous. For us as well as yourself. I don't think you should try anything like that again."

You were about to respond, but his hand drifting up your back made the words catch in your throat.

"Promise me you won't do something like that again."

"I promise," you breathed, trying to keep your voice even while chills broke out over your skin from the feeling of his large hand running up and down your spine.

"Mmm, good," he replied simply before his captivating gaze returned back to the book in his hand.

You peeked over at the pages to try and see what he was reading, but you didn't recognize the language that the text was in, so you just frowned and looked down at your lap. Seokjin noticed and let out a soft chuckle at your pout.

"You're a curious one, aren't you? Don't you know what they say about the curious cat?"

His tone was playful but you didn't miss the intent behind his words.

"How about this," he said then, making you look up hopefully. "You can ask me a question and I'll answer honestly, but then I get to ask you one of my own in return."

"Okay," you said while readjusting in his lap to face him more.

If you only got one question then you had to make it good. There was one that had been pressing on you, that you really wanted an answer to.

"How do you decide who dies? I mean, I'm assuming you don't just stand in a circle, take a vote and majority wins, so how do you do it?"

Seokjin shifted you on his lap before answering and you nearly stopped breathing when he pulled you closer into him, allowing you to relax more into his hold.

"No, you're right. We don't take a vote," he said while grinning down at you. "But we don't necessarily get to decide either. When we do, it's a choice we don't take lightly and have to make individually. Although I have to admit that my track record doesn't look so good." His voice sounded almost sad now and you resisted the urge to comfort him while he continued. "Most of the time, we act as a ferry to the other side. An escort of sorts."

"What's there? On the other side?" you asked him, but he just smirked at you and shook his head.

"No no, you've asked your question. Now it's my turn."

You chewed on your lower lip and nodded, feeling nervous about what he was going to ask you but also curious to hear what he wanted to know.

His dark, dreamy eyes held yours for a moment longer and you saw something flash in them again before he spoke.

"Are you afraid to die?"

The question took you by surprise, but your answer left your mouth so quickly that it was almost embarrassing.

"No."

Seokjin raised his eyebrows and waited for you to elaborate.

"I've never met my mother. I've lived my whole life wishing that I was never born so that she could still be alive and I know that my family has always the same," you explained. "But since I was born, and she isn't alive... then maybe I can meet her in death."

Seokjin was clearly struck by your answer. His eyes became unfocused as he considered it and his hand stilled on your back.

"I'm sorry," he said softly, his eyes refocusing on you after a period of silence.

You just shook your head and looked down, willing the tears that were now pricking your eyes to stay put. You were fully aware that one of these seven angels had been the one to ferry your mother's soul that day, but you weren't sure if you wanted to know which one it was. "No need to be. It was my fault," you said quietly.

Seokjin let out a heavy exhale and then began rubbing soothing circles into your back again as he returned his attention to his book.

You didn't know how long you sat in his lap. You fell asleep eventually, but not before getting comfortable and leaning into his broad chest, your head resting on his shoulder while his attractive scent put you into a stupor. The feeling of his hand running along your waist and up your back was comforting too and it all helped lull you into sleep while he just read quietly.

This feeling of being so safe and content in a man's arms was foreign to you, and it surprised you even more that it was found in someone so unfamiliar.

When you finally woke again, it was because Seokjin's low voice was rumbling by your ear.

"-probably tricked her into coming here, the little pests. It's okay though, she's sleeping now."

You blinked yourself awake and leaned up from your spot on his shoulder, letting a yawn escape as you looked at who had entered the room. Namjoon stood a few feet away with an irritated look on his face, his dark eyebrows pulled together and jaw tense while he took in your position on Seokjin's lap.

"Did I tell you that you could leave?" he asked as he saw you slowly waking up.

You yawned again as you rubbed your eyes. "'M sorry. I didn't mean to upset you."

Namjoon let out a heavy breath as the tension relaxed in his shoulders, his fingers stretching out from where they had been balled into fists at his sides.

"Well you did," he snapped before taking another step towards you.

Seokjin pushed you up from his lap and you stumbled forward into Namjoon's arms, who immediately threw you over his shoulder as he turned to leave the room.

"Hey! I can walk you know!" you protested while you flailed your legs and took handfuls of the back of his shirt.

"I don't care," he replied simply, making you still your movements and pout instead with your hand resting in your palm on his shoulder.

You were now face to face with his wings and you studied the glossy feathers with interest as he walked, watching the way they flexed slightly with each of his steps. They looked so smooth and silky and you just wanted to touch them. So you did. You ran your fingers through the feathers of one of his wings and felt a shudder go through the leader before he stopped in his tracks.

Uh oh.

"What do you think you're doing?" he asked you once he'd pulled you down from his shoulder and set you back on your feet in front of him.

"I-I just thought.. I mean they looked so pretty and I wanted to know what they felt like so I-"

"Pretty?" he cut you off while studying your face intently, his dark brows pulled together as he searched your eyes for something.

"Well, yeah," you whispered. You were blushing furiously now and avoiding that intimidating gaze. His eyes were always searching, always analyzing, and you were afraid of what he might find if he looked too long. "You're all so pretty and I just- I wanted..."

"Ash, it doesn't matter what you want. It matters what I want. And right now I want you to behave."

His sentence ended in a growl and then he was tossing you back over his shoulder and taking long strides down the corridor.

You gasped when large hand suddenly came down hard on the back of your thigh and Namjoon kept it there, fingers gripping into the stinging flesh of your leg and making your cheeks flush.

"I'm sorry," you said quietly as he walked. He answered you by adjusting his grip on your thigh and smoothing over it. His touch became tender, almost apologetic. "And thank you for letting me sleep in your room."

He didn't respond, so you just laid your head down against him and relaxed into his grip, allowing yourself to be carried back to his room with bright red cheeks and a soft smile.

Chapter Text

There was a plate of warm, tantalizing food waiting for you when you returned back to Namjoon's room. You hadn't wanted to complain about the gnawing hunger you'd been feeling, so it was a relief that he had considered it on his own.

Days could have passed by now and you would have no idea. There was no way to gain a sense of time in this constant darkness. Now that you thought about it, time may be completely irrelevant here, where the angels didn't need to worry about how much they had left. So even this small gesture made you smile. Just to know that Namjoon was thinking of your needs meant that he cared a little, like he was taking care of you.

You offered Namjoon the first bite, but he just shook his head and then watched with a satisfied smile as you began to shovel mouthfuls of rice in.

After a minute he left you alone again to finish the food, saying that there were a few things he needed to do and that he would be back.

In the meantime, you were not to leave his room.

You had every intention of listening to him after he left, but the sound of aggravated voices in the hallway sparked your curiosity and you just couldn't sit still. So you put your bowl down and quietly crept over to poke your head out of the entryway to the leader's room.

"What are you gonna do Yoon, starve yourself? We don't have a choice."

It was Hoseok's voice, and he sounded upset.

"We do have a choice! That's why we made those damned rings in the first place!" You blinked and looked down at the hand that you'd previously been wearing Jungkook's ring on. There were more? "I'm sick of this. And that girl is trouble. She just goes and steals Jungkook's ring without knowing a thing? I don't think so. If I'm going to die it's going to be my choice, not by some fragile human with a fucking grudge. This is Namjoon's problem to fix anyways, not ours."

You had to bite your lip to keep from speaking up and defending yourself. There were so many questions swirling in your head but you could only focus on the fact that they didn't trust you.

A heavy sigh came from Hoseok and then it was quiet for a moment.

You inched out further, wanting to be able to see a glimpse of their conversation. When you craned your neck around the corner, you saw that Hoseok was standing in front of Yoongi with a face full of concern. You couldn't see Yoongi's expression because he had his back turned to you, but you could picture it based off the spite in his voice.

"I agree," Hoseok said. "I think she knows more than she's letting on. But Namjoon trusts her so we just have to wait and see what he's got planned. You know he's got it all figured out already, this is Joon we're talking about."

"Why the fuck is he even keeping her here? She's dangerous. Her and her fucking father. We should just kill them both now before they cause any more problems. Those rings are becoming a liability, Hobi. They are supposed to be for us, so /we/ can choose."

Your eyes went wide and you swallowed hard. If they wanted you dead then there was nothing stopping them from killing you. And your father, he would have no idea what was coming for him. You had no way to warn him and no options for escaping this forsaken place.

"Look, calm down. There's no way in hell Namjoon would let you kill her and get away with it. Just- you need to feed and then you'll feel better about this, I promise. Warner won't find the rest of the rings. He won't."

"If I'm draining anyone, it's Ash," Yoongi spat out. "She does look appetizing. I'll give her that." His voice was full of malice and it made your lower lip quiver at the thought of having a target on your back, especially here where no one would ever even be able to find your body. And what the hell did he mean, appetizing?

When you looked up again Hoseok had his hands on Yoongi's shoulders and was speaking so softly that you couldn't hear him. His brow was furrowed, giving him a stern look that made you wonder what he was saying so softly yet so seriously. You watched his perfect heart shaped lips wrap around his words so prettily, your mind drifting briefly to the way they had felt against your own when he had kissed you.

You didn't even realize that you were leaning in closer until you looked back up and his black eyes were trained on you.

You gasped and threw yourself back against the wall where he couldn't see, but it was useless. His echoing footsteps filled the hallway as he approached, and your breathing quickened. You were so scared that you thought you might drop dead right there from a heart attack.

Hoseok appeared in front of you with an amused expression on his face and then he gripped onto the front of your shirt to pull you off the wall.

"Well, well. What do we have here?"

You swallowed hard as you stared at him, your eyes wideneding in fear as you clung to his wrist. His lip curled up into a taunting smirk and then he shoved you down the hallway towards Yoongi, who was standing in the same spot with his fists clenched at his sides and a dangerous scowl on his face. "Looks like she's just been caught in the act. Maybe you should kill her, Yoon."

Yoongi's glare was so menacing that it had your legs shaking underneath you.

"W-wait I promise I didn't mean to spy on you, I was just-"

The snarl that Yoongi let out made you cut your own sentence off with a frightened peep, your hand flying up to cover your mouth while you watched him bare his teeth at you, wings stretching out behind him and making him appear even bigger than he was.

"I don't know why you thought you could hurt my family and get away with it," he growled as he stalked towards you, "But your father is next. I'm going to kill him slowly. I'll make sure it's so painful that you can hear his screams from the underworld."

You couldn't speak, couldn't move, just stood frozen to your spot as he gripped into your hair and yanked your head to the side so that your throat was exposed. "I'll escort you there myself, as soon as I've ripped your throat out."

This was it, this was how you were going to die. As someone else's meal.

"I'm going to enjoy this," he growled against the pulse racing underneath your skin. You stood completely still, frozen in fear as his eyes flashed and his pupils blew wide.

"ENOUGH!"

Yoongi stilled with his lips brushing your neck.

Your breaths were coming out staggered while your chest heaved, still frozen under his grip.

"Let her go, Yoongi."

You felt his cold breath coming out in huffs against your skin, debating whether to listen to Namjoon's command or sink his teeth into your flesh.

"Namjoon, she's a liar. We need to get rid of-"

"I said enough!" Namjoon growled from behind you, silencing Hoseok immediately. You heard him approaching your back and Yoongi finally released his grip on you, making you let out a choked sob of relief before you sank down to the floor at his feet.

"Leave, both of you."

Yoongi stood firm to his spot and glared back at Namjoon for what felt like an eternity, before he finally scoffed and moved to stand by Hoseok's side.

"You're making a mistake, Joon. You're letting a snake in," was all he said before they both turned and vanished down the black corridor.

As soon as they were out of sight you broke out into full sobs, covering your face and curling into a ball at Namjoon's feet. He crouched down beside you and then hesitantly reached a hand out to rub your back.

As soon as you felt his touch you threw yourself into his chest and continued to cry, not even caring anymore if you looked weak or afraid.

"I told you to stay put for a reason, Ash. I've told my brothers not to touch you, but they're unpredictable. They don't always listen."

"I'm s-sorry, I just wanted to hear what they were saying and I- I...." You could barely get the words out.

Namjoon let out a heavy sigh and then gathered you in his arms before he stood straight again. You cried into his neck as he carried you back to his room, not knowing how to calm you down but just knowing that he hated seeing you so upset.

You kept a firm hold on his shirt even when he set you down in his covers and he had no choice but to join you in them.

"I trust you," he said earnestly after pulling you back into his chest. "But some of the others need more convincing."

You let out another sob at his words, more relieved than anything. He obviously had the most authority here and if he believed you, then the rest eventually would have to too, right?

Not only that, but you felt butterflies in your stomach at the fact that he trusted you and came to your defense the way he did.

"I don't understand why they think I'm dangerous. Please, I'm so confused. Just tell me what I've done," you pleaded. It seemed like you were completely in the dark about what was really going on and just wanted him to explain what kind of danger you'd put them in so that you could apologize properly for it.

Namjoon let out a sigh and then looked up at the clouds circling above, seemingly debating how much to share. He stood up after a second and you were surprised that your first thought was how much you wanted to stay laying on his chest.

"Jungkook's ring is one of seven," he said while standing at the foot of the bed with his hands leaned onto the wooden frame. His jaw flexed and you chewed your lip while staring at it, the butterflies returning to your stomach in full force. "The reason he was able to find you when you put it on is because it's part of him. His existence is tied to it. If it were to be destroyed, Jungkook would be too."

You swallowed hard and looked down at your lap. For some reason, the thought of Jungkook's destruction made your stomach turn. You didn't want to see him hurt, let alone dead. And you knew his death would cause unimaginable pain for his brothers.

"We each have a ring, but we've hidden them," Namjoon continued, keeping his eyes on you. "I believe your father is now looking for them. If he found Jungkook's, then he may be able to find the others."

Now you looked up at him in confusion.

"No, that can't be right. We were just doing a job for a buyer. He just wanted to steal it for money, why would he possibly want to kill Jungkook?"

Namjoon's eyes became solemn and he scanned over you slowly before meeting your gaze again.

"He wants to hurt me. Wants to make me suffer like he did when your mother died."

You just sat in stunned silence while processing his words. You knew what him being there for your mother's death meant, and for some reason, you were hoping it hadn't been Namjoon. The sinking feeling in your chest brought fresh tears to your eyes and you couldn't keep them in.

Namjoon watched the tears stream down your cheeks as you just stared back at him, waiting, hoping that he was going to say something else that would make it all better. Something like he could bring her back, or that she was in heaven, or anything to keep you from hating him in this moment.

He had seemed like your only friend up until this point and you'd begun to trust him too, to find comfort in his presence and discerning words. He had even let you sleep in his bed... was that just because of pity? or guilt?

That thought hurt you more than you expected.

You covered your mouth with both hands when you realized that you weren't crying over the memory or even the thought of your mother's death, you were crying because it was Namjoon that had delivered it.

Chapter Text

You needed time to yourself to process your emotions after finding out that your father had a personal vendetta against not only an angel of death, but their leader. So you shakily asked Namjoon if there was a place you could have to your own. One where you could calm down.

Preferably one that wasn't a cell.

The somber angel nodded before turning and opening up his heavy oak wardrobe, pulling out one of his shirts and then handing it to you without a word. You hesitantly accepted it while avoiding eye contact, confused by the offering but not willing to reject it. When he offered his hand for you take next, you just stared at it. It looked so large and inviting and you wanted to take it, but it felt wrong after what he had just admitted to you.

Had your mother taken this same hand as he pulled her soul from her body?

After a moment you reached out to place your palm into his, and he pulled you from the sheets into his arms. You just stared at the broad chest in front of you, keeping your eyes averted from his. You didn’t want to look up at them and feel the guilt that your emotions would bring on.

Your attraction to Namjoon was fundamentally wrong and you knew it, but you'd never felt so drawn to someone and you couldn't just ignore the butterflies in your stomach whenever he touched you.

"I won't hurt you Ash. All I do is hurt people," he told you softly as he studied your face with a furrowed brow. "People like your father, whom I pity. But I have no intention of hurting someone so innocent."

You figured pity would be the closest thing these angels would ever feel to regret. And you knew he didn't mean innocent in the biblical sense. He meant that you were free of blame, free of malice or real offense to his family. Namjoon's voice always seemed to drip with distain when he spoke about your father, but the softness always returned while addressing you.

You finally looked up at him right as his eyes fell closed and a small gasp left your lips as you were both shrouded in darkness, your hands still intertwined while he held you against his chest. For a moment the only sound was his deep, steady breaths that you could feel as his chest rose and fell against you. Then he was opening his wings back up to reveal a dark room that was filled with the smell of wet stone.

"I always find that a bath is the most effective way to clear my mind," he explained after stepping back from you and letting go of your hand. "Perhaps it can do the same for you."

You blushed and looked down at his shirt in your hands as you came to the realization that he meant for you to wear it after you were done.

You wanted to say thank you, but it felt wrong to thank the one that had just admitted to stealing your mother's soul, so you just nodded while keeping your gaze down.

Namjoon's hand came to rest on top of your head for a moment, before you felt a wave of his scent wash over you and your hair brush over your shoulders with a sudden breeze as he turned away. And when you looked up, he was gone.

You sighed as you considered the silken shirt in your hands. Once again you were struck with emotion that went beyond the pain associated with your mother. This was pain caused by the empty memories of your father.

He had never given you a piece of his clothing to wear. You wouldn't have even considered borrowing his things even when he was gone from home for days and you just missed him and needed some comforting. Not even Kain had ever loaned you a T shirt or a hoodie. They clearly didn't care about you enough to think about the fact that their scent would comfort you, that their thoughtfulness would make you smile.

You sighed again as you started to pull your clothes off, tossing your shirt and pants into a heap on the stone floor before carefully laying Namjoon's shirt down on top of them.

"Well this is a pleasant surprise."

A startled yelp left your mouth when you heard another voice in the room.

You turned and frantically searched the large, steaming pool that took up most of the stoned-walled room, breath catching when your eyes landed on a head of wet blue hair and expanse of pale skin.

Jimin cocked his head to the side as he scanned over you. He was sitting in the pool with his arms resting casually on the ledge, his smoldering gaze raking over your body as if he could see right through what little clothing you had left on. You just stood there speechless with your eyes glued to his outstretched arms and naked chest.

Jimin chuckled at your stunned expression and then dragged his teeth over his bottom lip, making you even more flustered, to the point where you didn't even remember the fact that you were standing there in your underwear like a fool.

"Namjoon is clearly distracted by you. He didn't even notice I was here," he said after a minute of tense silence. "Lucky me."

You snapped out of your shocked state and immediately wrapped your arms around yourself, a deep blush taking over your cheeks while he chuckled again.

"I- I just came for a bath," you stammered out when you registered that he was waiting for you to speak up. "I'll come back later."

He tilted his head at your response and then leaned forward in the water, allowing a charming smile to take over his face while you just swallowed hard.

"I don't mind the company. Stay."

His voice was syrupy sweet and so seductive. You wanted to both run away and jump in with him at the same time. The conflicting urges made it impossible to move, stuck between your instinct to flee and your desire to appease the attractive man in front of you.

"You know, you're acting shy but I have a feeling that there's a lot you want to say," he added when you didn't respond. "Relax. I'm not going to drown you or anything. Just get in the water, Ash. Let's have a chat."

"O-okay," you finally agreed, stepping to the edge of the pool and then carefully lowering yourself down into the hot water.

Jimin smiled at you and you let out a sigh of relief as you sank lower, eventually submerging yourself completely before coming back up and grinning back at him.

"Shit this feels good. Actually just what I needed right now," you said while you moved lean back against the wall of the pool. He laughed and your heart leapt at the sound. It was so light and cute and warm. You already felt much more relaxed despite the fact that you'd accidentally just stripped in front of the man a couple minutes ago. And Jimin's smile seemed to be contagious because the reason you'd asked to come here in the first place was already fading from mind.

"How have the others been treating you?" he asked you after settling back into his original position with his arms splayed out casually along the ledge of the pool.

"I don't think Yoongi likes me.” You pouted at the water in front of you. “He tried to eat me."

Jimin grinned, not showing any surprise at all at the fact that you'd almost been Yoongi's meal.

"Yoongi Hyung isn't quick to trust people. He's cautious of others and protective of what's his, which includes us. The fact that you stole Jungkook's ring definitely doesn't help your case," he explained while smoothing his hands out over the water and creating ripples that eventually found their way over to you. "Jungkook may seem untouchable, but he is technically the youngest and Hyung just has a soft spot for him."

You nodded as he spoke, trying to picture Yoongi being soft with anyone. It seemed impossible after witnessing the murderous display he put on earlier.

"Was he going to drink my blood?" you asked him then, earning a sly grin from the blue haired angel. After a moment he composed his features while keeping his lips pulled into the slightest teasing smile, unable to completely mask his amusement at your curiosity.

"He would have drained you, yes," Jimin answered as he held your gaze. "He would have taken your soul, your life, everything except the flesh and bones that hold it all together."

Scared was an understatement. Jimin's burning eyes had you more than flustered, and paired with his words it caused a lump to rise in your throat and chills to break out over your skin despite the steaming hot water you were in.

"Does it hurt?" you asked at a whisper, your thighs squeezing tightly together under the water while you pressed your hands down into your lap. Nothing about what he was saying was erotic, and yet the pang you felt ripple through you was so strong that you felt like you had to physically push it back down.

Jimin's eyes drifted from yours to scan over your face, down your neck and over your collar bones, tongue peeking out to wet his lips as they continued to trail down to your chest.

"Yes," he spoke lower now as his gaze slowly came back up to meet yours. "But pain isn't the only thing we're capable of." He leaned in towards you from the other side of the pool and you couldn't help but mirror him. "Though the flush in your cheeks right now is truly mouth watering."

Instead of the fear that you should be feeling at the moment, you felt drawn towards the dark angel sitting across from you. Jimin's gaze was enchanting and as much as it made your stomach flutter and your heart pound, you couldn't break it.

"I hope Namjoon is willing to share. I have to admit that I've been dying to know how you taste."

At this point you weren't sure if he meant to feed on you or fuck you. Either way, you couldn't find it in yourself to refuse him at this point. It felt like you were listening to a siren's call and you fixated on the being in front of you, barely even registering as your body rose from its seated position and began to wade through the steam towards him.

Jimin didn't let you take two steps before he was standing too. Black wings and inky blue hair dripping bullets of water onto his deathly pale skin. Your strides almost faltered when his torso came into view and he noticed, cocking his head to the side while running his tongue over his upper lip again. Your gaze followed a single droplet of water that ran down the firm counters of his stomach, down into the lines of his hips that met the surface of the water.

"I knew you weren't shy, Ash," he crooned as you neared. Your cheeks were burning hot but you couldn't stop yourself, you needed to be closer to him. You wanted to read the ink on his torso and trace the lines on his wrist. Wanted to feel the milky skin and toned muscles that rippled along his arms and chest. Wanted to know what those glossy lips tasted like. Just wanted to touch him everywhere.

You stopped at about an arms length away and then just let your lips part slightly as you held his gaze.

"Do you have to kill the person you feed on?" you blurted out next, making him smirk at your persistent interest in their diet.

Up close you could see that his pupils were blown wide and his teeth had become more prominent. The horrifying mental image of Yoongi with pitch black eyes and bared teeth flooded your mind and made your breath hitch before Jimin could even respond.

"That depends on who you ask," he replied simply while tilting his head to the other side.

You didn't miss the way his eyes flashed while he spoke. Like Taehyung, it felt like he was playing with you.

"I don't like being teased," you warned. He let out an amused laugh, eyes crinkling as he tossed his head back, and you frowned.

"We're not so different, you know," he said once he was done laughing at you. Your frown became a scowl and you crossed your arms over yourself defiantly, causing him to laugh again. "Trust me, Ash, that's a compliment."

You scoffed and uncrossed one arm to poke him in the chest. "How is being compared to someone whose entire purpose in life is to destroy it a compliment?"

You hadn't intended for your words to have such an impact, but Jimin's smug smile faltered and you swore you saw pain flash across his face for a moment before it was replaced with something much darker. A step back wasn't enough, you wanted to turn and sprint as far away from him as you could. If you thought Yoongi had been scary when he was angry, you were so wrong. Jimin was absolutely terrifying and everything in your body trembled in fear as a threatening growl built up in his chest.

You knew there was no way you were going to escape him but you still turned to flee, only to be caught by the wrist and yanked back into his chest.

A gasp escaped your lips when your back came into contact with his wet skin. He was so cold, even after you'd been soaking in steaming hot water, and it caused goosebumps to break out all over your skin.

"You know, you sound pretty ungrateful," he hissed into your ear, "considering any one of us could have killed you by now."

How many times were you going to have your life threatened in one day?

"Am I supposed to thank you for not murdering me? I didn't ask for this," you forced out, attempting to sound confident but not being able to hide the slight waver in your voice. The fact that one of Jimin's hands was gripping your hip while the other brushed over the exposed skin of your neck wasn't helping either. You had to inwardly kick yourself for being so affected by his touch, but it was like your body was craving the contact, unconsciously leaning into it, encouraging him to keep going despite your harsh words.

"Does that mean you're telling the truth? You really didn't know it was Jungkook's ring you were stealing?" Jimin squeezed your hip as he slid a hand over your shoulder to graze down the length of your arm. His lips were brushing the skin right below your ear now, cold breath tickling you and making you shudder in his grasp.

"I didn't know, I promise," you breathed out as your eyes fell closed and you leaned your head back to rest lightly on his shoulder. He tilted it even further, pulling your head back so that your neck was completely exposed to him before running his tongue along the prominent vein that hid underneath your skin. You gasped at the sensation of his wet tongue trailing along your neck and he hummed against you in response.

"Can I trust you?" Jimin whispered, finally pulling back to let you catch your breath. He tilted your face towards his before you answered so that you were forced to look him in the eye.

"Can I trust /you/?" you countered, eyes flicking down to the intimidating angel's lips briefly when he licked them.

To your surprise, a smile broke out on his face and he turned you in his arms, catching you even more off guard as he hugged you tightly, looping arms around your waist and pushing his nose into your neck.

"Oh!-" you gasped, startled by the sudden change in attitude. But it only took another second for you to return his sudden embrace. “Does- does this mean we're friends?" you asked in a small voice. Even though he still slightly terrified you, you really did want to be his friend. You wanted to be closer to him in any way you could.

Jimin pulled back but left his hands to rest at your waist.

"You want to be friends with a killer?" he asked you mockingly, making you crack a shy smile as the tension relaxed out of your shoulders.

"Well, you were born to kill and I was a killer the moment I was born. Maybe we aren't that different after all."

He laughed, the sweet sound echoing slightly off the stone walls and forcing a giggle of your own. With this brightened demeanor, Jimin's face morphed from its initial searing expression into one that was light and charming, one that you could smile with all day and not get tired of.

But then his voice cut off and his face went slack, hands abruptly stilling on your waist.

"Jimin?" you asked nervously. He stopped breathing, stopped moving entirely as his eyes glazed over and became distant. When he didn't respond, you put your hands on his cheeks, looking into his eyes frantically. "Jimin, say something."

Nothing.

You grabbed his shoulders and began to shake him, scared out of your mind at how unresponsive he had suddenly become. The next thing you knew he was leaning in, knees buckling underneath him as his full weight slumped into your arms.

It took everything in you to hold both your heads above the surface of the water. He was so heavy. His wings were soaked too and it just made it that much harder to hold him up while you panicked and dragged him to the edge of the pool.

Tears started streaming down your cheeks and your chest tightened while the image of his vacant expression stayed at the forefront of your brain. This couldn't be normal. Something was very wrong.

"Jimin please! You have to move!" you cried, receiving no response from the limp angel in your arms.

You were fully panicking know. Was he dead? What the hell was happening to him and... had you somehow caused it?

"Help!" you screamed, your muscles burning from having to hold both of your upper bodies above the water. "Someone please!"

All you heard was your own voice echoing back to you and you let out a choked sob while hugging Jimin's lifeless form even tighter. Were you really that toxic? The people around you seemed to be dropping like flies and- oh god, Yoongi really was going to kill you now.

You whimpered out another plea for Jimin to respond, but before he even had a chance to, you were being pulled out of the water and out from under him. A loud yelp escaped you as you were shoved aside, landing hard on the stone floor.

"What did you do?!" Taehyung's panic stricken voice pierced right through your heart, making you choke out another sob as you watched him leap into the water and pull Jimin's limp body into his arms.

"WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?!" he roared again while tears began immediately spilling down his cheeks.

You cowered on the floor and he let out a menacing snarl, his lip curling as his watery eyes looked back up at you.

"Stop it!" he nearly screamed when you didn't respond. "Whatever you're doing to him, please make it stop!" He was hysterical now, his eyes blazing with fear, anger, and desperation all at the same time.

"I- I can't!" you shouted back. You hugged your knees to your chest and began to cry, just watching helplessly as Taehyung dragged Jimin out of the water and into his lap. His clothes were soaked, even his shoes were still on, but he clearly didn't care about that right now.

You went silent when Taehyung's head snapped up, looking right over your shoulder.

"Hyung! Please, please help him. Tell me you can help him," the frantic angel begged as he cradled Jimin to his chest.

Fresh tears filled your eyes as you watch Seokjin's large frame come into view, taking long strides over to Taehyung and then scooping Jimin out of the panicking angel's lap and into his arms. "What happened here?" he asked you after he stood straight again and turned to face you.

You looked up at him from the floor with trembling lips and teary eyes. "I don't know, he just collapsed. His face... he... it was..."

Seokjin's eyebrows knitted together, concern apparent in his eyes when he looked down at the unconscious angel in his arms.

"Taehyung, did he tell you where it is?" he asked the frantic angel that was now standing at his side. Taehyung nodded and bit down hard on his lower lip to stop it from trembling, his eyes glued to Jimin's slackened face. "Go. Now. Take Hoseok with you."

Taehyung nodded again quickly and then rushed in to grab onto Jimin's hand, giving it a kiss before he turned and took off to find Hoseok.

"Jungkook, stay with Ash," Seokjin ordered next. You spun around to find the youngest standing directly behind you, making you gasp and scramble away from him. His eyes quickly snapped away from Seokjin's when he saw you start to move away. Before you could even get a sound out he was looming over you, reaching down to pry your arms away from your body and yank you back up to your feet.

"Please, I swear! I would never hurt him!" you cried, squirming in Jungkook's rough grasp before he finally clamped a hand over your mouth. He muffled your cries while he dragged you from the room, not even pausing to grab your discarded clothes from the floor. You fought him every step of the way, struggling to free yourself from his steel grip even though you knew it was futile.

You finally had the thought to bite down on Jungkook's hand and he hissed in pain before releasing you. Fresh tears filled your eyes as you took off down the corridor, streaming down your face as you ran for your life. Your legs carried you faster than they ever had even though you were running without any direction. The cavernous hallways in this place were like a maze that you couldn't escape. It didn't matter how fast you were.

When you finally glanced over your shoulder, Jungkook was gone. Your lungs and legs were burning, your chest heaving as tears continued to slip down your cheeks. So you finally slowed to lean against the stone wall and catch your breath.

You'd never been so terrified in your entire life. Not even while watching your own brother be shot in front of you. Something about Jungkook chilled you to the bone and you couldn't breathe when his hands were on you. His touch made you feel like you were drowning, pressing down on you from every angle and making you wish you could just die already so you could escape the fear.

But now that you had just escaped death's clutches, you'd never felt more alive. You took a deep breath and then exhaled while letting your head fall back, your eyes falling closed as you just stood and felt the adrenaline coursing through your veins.

Sure, the heists you went on with your brother and father had been thrilling. But nothing could compare to high you were on right now. You felt like prey that had just escaped a predator, somehow beating the odds that were stacked so high up against you that they would break the misty layer of clouds above.

When you finally opened your eyes again, you froze.

You should have known. There was no real chance of escape.

You were going to have to face those black, unceasing eyes if you wanted even a chance of making it to tomorrow.

Chapter Text

You shouldn't have been surprised that Jungkook found you so quickly. No doubt he knew this maze of hallways like the back of his hand and there was clearly no where for you to run. So your only other option was to stand your ground and try to convince him that you weren't the threat he saw you as.

It seemed like a near impossible task. It was Jungkook's ring you had stolen in the first place. And you had both seen the state Jimin was in when Seokjin carried him from the room, you knew he was in danger. What you didn't know was what had caused it, or who. For all you knew, /you/ had been the cause of his sudden vacant expression and unresponsive limbs. The thought terrified you. You couldn't bear to keep losing people. To be the cause of another family's pain. You had already destroyed your own and now you would do anything to keep this one from falling apart.

"Jungkook, I promise. I would never hurt him on purpose," you said earnestly once you had found your voice again. "I don't want to hurt any of you."

He stood a few feet away from you, black eyes burning into yours and jaw locked tight while he listened. It was clear that he was deciding. Deciding whether to trust your words. Deciding how he was going to kill you if he deemed you a liar.

But words clearly didn't hold much weight to Jungkook, actions did. So you put your hands out, palms up, and then took a deep breath to steady yourself before leaning away from the wall.

A low growl built up in his chest as you moved towards him and his lip curled, flashing you the sharp canines in the front of his mouth. He only let you take two steps before he snapped, shoving you roughly back into the wall and knocking the breath out of your lungs again.

The drowning sensation was back now. He had one hand wrapped around your throat and the other holding your wrists so tightly together that you thought they might break. It was all you could do just to breathe, inhaling shakily and then whimpering through your exhale. But you were determined to survive this, to prove that you weren't weak and useless.

"W-want to h-help." You forced the words out of your mouth while keeping your eyes on his and he snarled in response, leaning in even closer to your face and making you shudder at the dangerous gleam in his eye. A pleading sound left your lips when his grip tightened on your throat and that made him pause.

"Please," you breathed out, your vision starting to go fuzzy in the corners. "Please, trust me."

He hesitated for another moment before your lungs were suddenly gasping for air, being allowed to draw in labored breaths after Jungkook's hand slipped away from your throat. He gave you your hands back too but didn't let you go entirely. You were now caged in between his arms with your back pressed against the cold stone behind you.

His eyes were so dark and yet so expressive, not even needing words to fill the silence as he studied your face.

Jungkook rarely blinked, but when he did it was slow. To the point where you watched his pupils have to readjust to the light as he opened them back up to look into yours. They reminded you of the nights away from the city, when it was too cloudy to see a single star and too dark for even a ray of moonlight to make it down to you. It's when the world ceased to exist and there was nothing left but black sky. No horizon, no ground in front of you.

Or it was the feeling of being completely submerged underwater, nothing to be able to tell you where up and down were, left and right. You were swimming, or maybe it was floating, but you felt weightless while you lost yourself in Jungkook's dark eyes.

A tiny gasp escaped your mouth when you felt his chest press in closer, bringing you crashing back down to reality. His red lips parted and he sucked in the breath with you, leaning in so close that if you had even just puckered your lips, you would be kissing him.

And you wanted to. You really did. But you were terrified. You were terrified that he would decide he didn't want to trust you and rip your throat out instead. You were terrified that he would be disgusted and reject you. And you were even more terrified of the hell you would bring upon yourself for willingly kissing death.

Was death supposed to be so attractive? You should be doing everything in your power to attempt to get away from it and yet you couldn't find it in yourself to escape this time.

So with your heart racing you lifted your hands and pressed them against Jungkook's chest. He blinked slowly again in response, his lids staying low when he opened them back up to look down at you.

"Trust me," you whispered into him.

Your hands slid up his chest into the thick hair on the back of his head, and then you were closing the small space left between you.

Jungkook's kiss hit you like a wave. He crashed into you and it took the air right back out of your lungs. Once again you were left breathless and tumbling through space without knowing anything except the feeling his lips on you, his hands on you, his hips and chest pressing into you.

There was no space left between your bodies. It was like he was devouring you without ever sinking his teeth in.

And then it was over.

His lips disappeared from yours and you blinked your eyes open to see he had taken a step back. Huffs of breath came out through his nose while you panted, your back still pressed to the wall and your cheeks flushed.

You just stared at each other while catching your breath. It was as if you both needed a second to come back down from that high.

Thank you didn't seem like the right words to say, but that's what you felt like saying. You felt like he had given you something by trusting you. And now you didn't want to break it, would do anything to keep it because it had felt so good.

You really didn't needs words with Jungkook though, so you just stepped closer again and reached for his hand instead of speaking. He watched your face as you lifted his decorated fist to your lips and kissed the stunning purple amethyst that had brought you here in the first place, the jewel that held a piece of Jungkook within it.

So many emotions flashed across his face that you couldn't keep track, but for a moment he looked the youngest he ever had, features softened and eyes wide. You wouldn't forget that. It made you feel protective and you knew you would do anything to keep him from hurting. And right now, that meant keeping Jimin alive.

"What the /fuck/ is this?"

Jungkook's eyes snapped up to meet Yoongi's furious gaze as the older male approached down the corridor. He looked like he was about to scream. When his murderous eyes landed on you it made the hairs on your arms stand up and your heart begin to race. It was haunting, even demonic. He could have killed you with that look alone if Jungkook hadn't suddenly stepped in front of you and blocked your view.

The younger angel opened his wings out wide to conceal you behind him and Yoongi let out a growl that seemed to rip from his chest when he saw it, making you cower at Jungkook's back.

"She's trying to destroy our family and you're defending her?" Yoongi spat out.

His tone cut into you and his words stung like venom. Because he was right. You really had no idea what peril Jimin was in right now and you had been the one to put Jungkook in danger in the first place. The only reason your father was even seeking revenge was because Namjoon had taken your mother's soul, but if she hadn't died that day then Namjoon would have never even had to be there.

So once again, you were to blame. You really couldn't escape the threat of death no matter how hard you tried to prove yourself worthy of life.

"I don't know what she's done to turn you all into complete assholes, but look where that's got Jimin," Yoongi spat. He sounded more than angry, he sounded scared. But Jungkook was unmoving. He didn't even flinch at the grey angel's words.

However they definitely effected you.

Yoongi was just confirming your role in all of this. Your heart sank hearing him say it out loud. And the waver in his voice brought on more emotion than you could handle right now, making you sink into a crouch at Jungkook's heels and just curl in on yourself. You wanted to just disappear, make yourself as small as possible so that you didn't feel like such a threat to everyone else.

"It's sick. This is sick, Jungkook. Whatever feelings you may think you have, just remember that she's a human and she will die and nothing will change that."

Yoongi seemed out of breath by the end of his rant. His heaving chest seemed like it was on purpose, a display, until his breaths became shaky and his face contorted in pain.

Jungkook didn't even leave a second for you to think before he was leaving your side and crossing the hall towards Yoongi.

"No, I'm fine Kook," the grey haired angel panted while swatting Jungkook's hand away. When he looked over at you again, you barely recognized him. "Just- just hungry." Yoongi’s eyes met yours and all you could do was stare back at him. They were pitch black, terrifying voids of nothingness that made you bury your face back into your knees.

You felt relatively safe with Jungkook here, knew he wouldn't let Yoongi hurt you. And besides that Jimin had said that Yoongi had a soft spot for the younger, so you were fairly confident that he wasn't about to rip your throat out. But that could change any second and you knew it. It didn't keep you from being terrified of the dark angel in front of you, from needing to hide your face because you couldn't stand to look at those haunting eyes any longer.

But even with your face covered you couldn't stop his chilling voice from getting to you.

"If Jimin dies, I will kill you myself. I will drain every drop of life from you slowly, so you can feel me killing you. I'll show you just how excruciating death can be."

"I'm sorry," you whispered without raising your head from your knees.

"You will be."

Chapter Text

You expected Jungkook's bedroom to be just as muted as he was, and in some ways it was, but you couldn't help the surprised sound that left your lips as you followed behind him through the doorway.

The seemingly constant rough, uninviting stone that lined the walls of every room and every corridor you had been in so far were now nowhere in sight. They had been replaced with stone that almost seemed like it was alive. It looked like it could be fluid, like it was mimicking the gentle curves of a wave that was rolling over you.

The swimming sensation that you had felt while looking into Jungkook's eyes returned as you gazed around his room. It was almost like you had been transported into your own bubble of breathable air that was trapped on the ocean floor.

The understated furniture did nothing to distract from the stunning walls. Jungkook's bed was low to the ground and framed with dark wood that resembled Namjoon's, but there was nothing but a dark gray sheet covering it. Not even pillows decorated the massive bed and it made you look over at the silent angel questioningly.

He had been studying you just as closely as you had been studying the room, and your sudden eye contact seemed to pull his mind out from wherever it had just been.

"I know you expect me to just stay here and wait, but I need to talk to Namjoon. I meant what I said earlier. I want to help," you said while stepping towards him.

His eyes flickered between yours as you approached but then he suddenly took a step back, keeping the distance between you and making you hesitate.

"Jungkook?" you asked him while he averted his gaze to the floor. He seemed distracted, almost like he was trying to ignore you, and then you noticed that he had stopped breathing altogether. It made you panic for a second, thinking he was about to drop like Jimin had, so you reached out to take his arm while moving another step closer. But then Jungkook's eyes snapped back up to yours and you froze. They looked glazed over and clouded and it seemed like he wasn't even looking at you. Your nerves immediately kicked in at the sight of his predatory gaze, making your heart start to pound in your chest, which in turn only made things worse.

He suddenly began stalking towards you and you shrank back as his grip found your shoulders, pushing you backwards and making you stumble under his hands. The backs of your knees eventually hit the edge of the bed and you dropped down onto it.

You sat with your hands between your legs and your lips parted in surprise while you looked up at him, startled by his sudden action.

His eyes were so dark, flashing dangerously as he crouched down in front of you and leaned his face in towards your neck, his cold fingers brushing your hair over your shoulder and out of way as he did.

All you could do was sit there and allow it to happen. You could feel his cold breath on your skin as he exhaled against you, letting out a sound that was something between a growl and a hum as he took in your pulsing scent.

"Jungkook," you said again, trying to get him to respond to you and lean away. A tiny peep left your lips when you felt his tongue brush over your throat next, like he was tasting you.

Under different circumstances you would be thrilled to be sitting on Jungkook's bed with his tongue gliding up your neck, but at the moment it seemed like he wasn't even hearing you. He continued to lean in closer until you had no choice but to lie back, your eyes staying glued to the ceiling as he followed you down and pressed his body into yours while keeping his nose at your neck.

Jungkook's touch was always so suffocating, like he couldn't just touch one part of you at one time. Like it was either all of him or none of him.

"Jungkook stop, please," you whispered, your voice coming out shaky and unsure as his teeth grazed your throat.

He pulled back just enough to look you in the face and what you saw terrified you. He looked just as lost as Yoongi had before he was about to rip into you, pupils blown so wide that his eyes were entirely black and void of any life, canines coming to a sharp point in his mouth.

You were surprised that he had even paused at this point. Clearly he meant to feed and there was no one here to stop him from doing so. But after a moment he blinked hard, his eyes coming back into focus slowly and zeroing in on your terrified expression.

What surprised you now was how disappointed you felt when he pulled back. You had just asked him to stop and yet you had to resist pulling him back in. For some reason you wanted to know what it would feel like to have him sink his teeth into your neck and taste your soul.

But how could you be so conflicted about something so sinister? At this point you were scaring /yourself/.

Before you could process all of this he was already standing straight again and stumbling backwards, eyebrows pulled together while he glared down at his flexing hand.

What went wrong?

The moment the question popped into your mind, he was already turning away from you. And before you could get a word out he vanished, leaving you alone and shivering in the empty room.

~

Jungkook's quick strides down the corridor and away from you echoed loudly off the walls. He was too determined on making it to Jimin and the distinct sound of Taehyung's voice to care about moving silently.

He needed to focus. Jimin was in danger and Jungkook needed to know he was safe before he allowed his ring to really get hold of his thoughts. He could suffer for a little while longer.

"We know he has Jimin's ring, we just don't know where. And we can't kill him until we find it," Taehyung explained as Jungkook entered the room, receiving a frustrated huff from Namjoon.

"We think Warner took it apart, hasn't destroyed the stone but just separated it," Hoseok added while keeping his eyes fixed on Jimin's unconscious form in the bed. Jungkook had strode in and headed straight to Taehyung's back, throwing his arms around the worried angel's shoulders as he leaned against the younger's chest.

"Why wouldn't he have destroyed it already?" Namjoon mused out loud. "What is he waiting for?"

"Maybe he hasn't figured out a way how," Seokjin offered from his spot against the wall. "Which is good. This gives us time to find it before he does any real damage."

Yoongi scoffed while staying stretched out on the bed next to Jimin with his arms tucked behind his head.

"Any real damage? He already has. Jungkook is wearing his ring and clearly it's already affecting his judgement, considering I just found him with his tongue down that girl's throat. And now Taehyung decides to come back with his ring too? Why don't we all just say fuck it and put ourselves out of our misery?"

Everyone was silent for a moment while Taehyung played thoughtfully with the emerald that now decorated his fist.

 

*(I really just wanted to add a photo of Taehyung's hands - ok continue)*

"And listen, I don't blame you two. We can't act like we haven't all seriously considered recovering our own rings, but we need to focus on getting Jimin's put back together so he's not stuck in whatever limbo he's in right now. You two need to take those rings off before there's no going back," Yoongi warned.

The air turned solemn as every angel in the room thought back on all the times they had considered uncovering their hidden rings again. There was a reason they kept them out of sight, out of reach. Besides keeping others from finding and destroying the stones that held a piece of each angel inside them, they all tried to keep them from themselves too. Because the stones held the piece of these angels that allowed them to take without thought, to kill without remorse, to exist without the pain of knowing they were the monsters that everyone feared worst in this world. Wearing their rings would allow that part of their being to slowly slip back into their minds, taking over their thoughts and feelings and allow them to turn to instinct alone.

"What about Ash?" Hoseok asked suddenly. "Maybe she knows where Warner could be keeping it."

"That's actually a good idea," Namjoon agreed. "She trusts me the most, so I should probably go talk to her alone. Jungkook, she's in your room?"

Namjoon's sudden outburst caused everyone else in the room to crack a smile despite the somber atmosphere.

"Oh sure, Hyung. A little eager aren't we?" Taehyung teased.

"Did I mention she's still not wearing any clothes?" Yoongi added with a smirk. Namjoon took a deep breath and then poked his tongue in his cheek while sending a glare over to jungkook, who just grinned back at the elder triumphantly.

"Oh, no. You're not going in there alone," Seokjin spoke up from behind Namjoon's shoulder with a smug smile. "And I happen to be free right now."

Namjoon looked around the room at all the raised eyebrows and then sighed. "/Fine/. C'mon Hyung."

Seokjin grinned and began to follow Namjoon out of the room before turning back around and pointing at Yoongi. "You. Eat something. You look too frail. People will start to think /you're/ the oldest here."

Yoongi just sighed and closed his eyes, waiting until Seokjin and Namjoon had left the room before glancing over at Taehyung. "So, you and Jimin hid your rings together?"

Taehyung nodded, and frustrated tears filled his eyes as Hoseok recounted their mission to retrieve the missing ring. The tree that had grown around both Taehyung and Jimin's rings had been carved into, but only the one had been stolen.

"It could just as easily have been me. It should have been me, and now he could die and I don't know how to save him," Taehyung said as Jungkook leaned in to rest his chin on the older male's shoulder. "I've never felt so powerless."

"What I don't understand is how he's finding them in the first place. If he knew Jimin's was in that tree, then why did he leave yours?" Hoseok asked with a furrowed brow.

"Well lets just hope the girl knows something," Yoongi said while letting his eyes fall closed again.

He was exhausted. He hadn't eaten in weeks and the fatigue was starting to take its toll, but Yoongi couldn't even stand the flavor of blood anymore. Because to him it tasted like regret. It was a reminder of every fatal decision he had made and every life he had wrongly taken, would have to keep taking as long as he existed. The very souls that depended on the seven angels to ferry them to the other side were simultaneously their prey. It was fucked up that he had to feed on humans to live, because without these angels of death, their souls would be stuck. Lost and wandering with no direction or purpose.

And the most fucked up part was, the innocent ones always tasted the best.

"She has a name, Hyung," Taehyung said while settling in next to Jungkook on the small couch off to the side of Jimin's bed. "And she's just a little thing. You really shouldn't be so cold towards her."

"Ash caused this," Yoongi snapped back. "And she's yet to prove herself trustworthy."

"Jungkook, was Yoongi right about you feeling the effects of your ring already?" Hoseok interjected while eyeing the stone on Taehyung's hand.

He understood the two youngest angel's desire to lose their minds to instinct and become their old unfeeling selves. Knew what it was like to live with the pain of knowing how many lives you'd destroyed. But Hoseok didn't want to lose them. He wasn't ready to let himself slip into that state again and he definitely didn't want to watch his youngest brothers slowly descend back into ruthless monsters either.

Jungkook nodded slowly and his eyes met Taehyung's in silent understanding, earning a sad smile from the older.

"You know you're putting Ash in danger too by keeping those rings on, don't you?" Hoseok added. "If you lose control around her, we might not be there to stop you."

Both Taehyung and Jungkook looked down at their laps until Yoongi spoke up again. "I definitely won't stop you."

"You couldn't stop them even if you tried Yoon, not while you refuse to feed at least," Hoseok scolded, earning a scowl from the elder. "Seriously, Seokjin was right. You need to eat something."

"I'll eat when Jimin can eat," Yoongi stated simply.

Hoseok sighed in defeat. At least it wasn't a flat out no.

It was all the more reason to find Jimin's ring, and quickly.

Chapter Text

When Namjoon and Seokjin walked into Jungkook's room, you were busy looking through drawers for some clothes to put on.

The leader halted in his tracks when he saw you leaned over and rummaging through one of the lower shelves, with nothing but a pair of thin underwear on to shield you from his appraising eyes.

He finally cleared his throat after Seokjin had nearly stumbled right into his back, and you spun around with one of Jungkook's corsets clutched in your hands.

Your face lit up when you saw who had entered the room. "Joonie!" you shouted before dropping the leather and running into his arms.

"Oof-" he huffed out as you barreled into his chest and squeezed your arms around his waist.

"Hi," you said with your cheek pressed against his chest. His smile grew even wider and he let out an amused chuckle while pushing your hair back from your face.

"Hi babygirl," he cooed down to you, making your heart flip at the affectionate nickname.

Paired with his deep, comforting voice you felt so safe in his arms. It was the perfect escape from the constant fear you felt when you weren't at his side.

"Joonie hm?" Seokjin piped from behind Namjoon, making the purple haired angel turn with you still clinging to his front so that he could throw a smug smile at the elder.

Seokjin's warm eyes found yours and you blushed while returning his smile with a shy one of your own.

"Hi Seokjini," you murmured. He crouched down and opened his arms up towards you, and you chewed on your lower lip for a second before unwrapping your arms from around Namjoon and hurrying into Seokjin's instead.

"You've had quite the adventure, haven't you?" he asked you with his chin resting on your shoulder and his eyes holding the leader's. You nodded against him and he ran a large hand up your back. "Maybe we should just let her sleep, Joon."

Namjoon shook his head. "We don't have the time. However we do have time to get you dressed," he added while untucking his shirt and tugging it off over his head.

Your eyes went wide as his upper body suddenly came into view and you turned your face into Seokjin's shoulder, making the eldest chuckle while you peeked back out at Namjoon.

"Come on angel. Want me to help?" Seokjin asked as Namjoon held his shirt out to you. You nodded as you took the garment from his hands and then hugged it to your chest, letting yourself swim in Namjoon's comforting masculine scent for a moment before Seokjin helped you slip it on. Both angels grinned when you looked back up at them and flapped your arms at your sides. The material hung almost to your knees and the sleeves were far too long, falling past your hands and causing you to drown in the soft material.

"Cute," Seokjin said quietly as he tucked a strand of hair behind your ear.

"Are Taehyung and Hoseok back yet?" you asked.

"They are. That's actually what we came to talk to you about," Namjoon answered while leading you to sit down on the bed in between them. "They think that your father found Jimin's ring and separated the stone from its band, which why he's just unconscious and not dead."

This meant that they were right about your father. He had been hunting the rings all along and was lying to you. You looked down at the floor as tears immediately threatened to well in your eyes. Did that mean Kain knew too? That your whole family had been lying to you about something so dangerous?

They had let you go into that museum blind, completely unaware of the perilous situation you were really putting yourself in.

Hurt quickly turned to betrayal and your tears became angry ones.

"So what are you going to do?" you asked them with your hands balled into fists in your lap.

Namjoon frowned and glanced over at Seokjin.

"Well the thing is, Warner's hiding the ring and they weren't able to find it. We were hoping you might have an idea as to where your father could be keeping it. Then once we mend the ring and Jimin is conscious again, we can kill him and this can all be over for good."

"No!" you shouted as you jumped back up to your feet. "You can't kill him!"

Even though he didn't always treat you like a daughter, he was still your father. Still the only family you had left and you loved him. You couldn't let him be killed when there was a way for you to prevent it.

"Ash, he's already tried to kill two of us. We can't let him live," Namjoon pressed, looking over to Seokjin for affirmation.

"Why can't you just wear your rings so no one can take them?" you questioned.

If your father couldn't find them, then problem solved, right?

"It's... it's a little more complicated than that," Seokjin spoke up. "Namjoon, you explained this to her didn't you?"

"Explained what?" you asked frantically while spinning back towards Namjoon.

"I, uh, I explained what I thought was relevant... at the time..." Namjoon said as he rubbed the back of his neck. "I didn't want to scare her, okay?"

Seokjin let out a sigh and you turned back towards him expectantly. "You know each ring holds a piece of each of us right?"

You nodded.

"And the part of us that we've trapped is one that we don't want to let back out, yes?"

At this, you frowned.

Seokjin hummed in understanding and then took your hands in his before he continued.

"Well, what Namjoon left out is that wearing our rings will unleash a side of ourselves that we had to fight hard to contain. It's nearly impossible to control, and very deadly. If we were to uncover our rings, the temptation they'd bring would ruin us all. The us that you know would be as good as dead."

You looked between Seokjin's dreamy, honest eyes and Namjoon's intelligent ones, trying to picture them as the monsters they described. But you couldn't see it now. It was hard to believe that there was a part of them that would kill without mercy after having seen how attentive they'd been to you.

This would explain Jungkook's behavior earlier though. And now you worried for him, that he was going to be lost to the influence of his ring and that it was you who had practically set it right back in his hands.

"I'll help you get Jimin's ring back, but you have to promise you won't hurt my father," you said after a minute. "I don't know where he's keeping it now, but maybe I could get him to show me."

Namjoon and Seokjin exchanged glances and then looked back at you. "How?"

"I could tell him that I know everything. That I know he lied about hunting down the rings. That I know who they belong to. That I know you were the one who took my mother's soul and that I want revenge too. If he thinks I'm helping him, maybe he'll show me where he's hiding it."

Both angels looked deep in thought after you spoke. Obviously it was risky, considering you could be lying just to get back home and betray them in the end. But Namjoon was more worried about what your father may do to you if he didn't believe your story. If he knew you were in league with them, he wouldn't hesitate to take his wrath out on you too.

Although he hated to admit it, you'd already become a weakness of his. Namjoon didn't like the idea of putting you out there with so much unknown.

He had seen glimpses of the way you'd been treated at home by your father and brother over the years while keeping an eye on Warner. The leader had always felt unsettled after Warner's desperate threat on the day your mother died, so he began checking in occasionally to make sure he wasn't making good on it. He had eventually stopped after years of inaction, finally having deemed the threat empty. What a mistake that was.

Not only could he have caught on to your father's plan to go after Jungkook's ring before it happened, but he wouldn't have missed watching you grow into the woman that was standing in front of him now.

"It could work," Seokjin said eventually, snapping Namjoon away from his memories.

The latter shook his head while sighing in defeat. "I don't like it. But it's the best we've got and we don't have time to come up with something better. Though I don't want you going alone," he added after standing up again and taking your face in his hands.

"Hoseok is the best with parents," Seokjin offered up, earning a hesitant nod from Namjoon.

"He's also the most unpredictable," the leader added warily.

"Well I would offer myself up, but I can't promise I won't pull his stomach out through his throat the moment I see him," Seokjin said, studying his nails while crossing his legs casually. You whimpered at his words and Namjoon threw the raven haired angel a look while hugging you to his chest. "And good luck explaining to Yoongi why he won't be able to do it himself once we've gotten Jimin's ring back."

"I'll deal with Yoongi. You just focus on getting those two brats to take off their rings. It's not too late. We can't lose them Hyung."

"Joonie?" you whispered against Namjoon's chest, looking up to meet his watchful eyes after Seokjin nodded. "I'm tired."

Namjoon's face softened and he took yours in his hands again. "I know, baby. Let's let you rest for a bit, hmm?" Then he leaned down and gently kissed each of your eyelids as they fluttered closed.

"God she's cute," Seokjin breathed while he watched you giggle at the affection. "You want to sleep in Namjoon's room again angel?"

You nodded enthusiastically, earning a smile from both of them before Namjoon was picking you up and holding you against his chest with your cheek resting on his shoulder. Seokjin followed you both out of the room with his hand on Namjoon's back, grinning at you from behind the tall angel as you walked.

He couldn't help but smile at your squished face and sleepy eyes. Found himself hoping that the plan to send you back to your father would work, not just for Jimin's sake, but selfishly because he wanted you back here when it was all over.

Within just a few days, you'd managed to find your way into both of their cold hearts, bringing out a side of the dark angels that they'd almost forgotten had even existed.

"We can only let you sleep for a little bit," Namjoon told you as he approached his bed set you in the covers. You scrambled underneath them and then peeked back out with the blankets pulled to your chin and your eyes drooping.

"Will you sleep with me?" you asked, glancing between the two tall males. Seokjin chuckled and shook his head while Namjoon just smiled fondly at you.

"We don't sleep Angel," the elder told you. You pouted and he smiled again before leaning down and pushing your hair back so he could press a kiss to your forehead.

"And there's a lot we need to discuss with the others before you and Hoseok leave," Namjoon added. You nodded sleepily and they just stood for another minute, watching as your eyes fell closed and listening to your heart beat slow, your breaths turning heavy as you slipped into sleep.

"Goodnight sweet girl," a soft, low voice said in your ear.

"Goodnight Daddy," you murmured back.

Your dreams were shrouded and dark, but it no longer scared you.

A warm sense of belonging lulled you into a deep stupor and you welcomed the darkness in with open arms.