"Just in time, Mr. Michael," Judge Octoselieus says in a grave voice. Unlike other Judges, Judge Octoselieus is the only one who looks old. By old, I mean seventy years of human age old. Most Judges prefer to stay in their fourties with enough grey hair to show off their maturity.

Demons and angels, on the other hand, are stuck in either of twenties or thirties. I take my place on the right side of the court. Lucifer takes the left side of the court where in between us lies Melanie Meridian.

"Today, Melanie Meridian will be Judged based on her deeds and sins. Lucifer, you may start," Judge Octoselieus orders, leaning back to his large chair. I take out a piece of paper and a pen from my briefcase, jotting down any points that I can come up with to save Melanie from falling into Lucifer's hands.

I take a moment to study her features. Melanie has a face of a warrior, one that is willing to sacrifice for anyone. That shows some goodness in her. Her skin is pale and covered with light scars, a sign that she had gone through so much. Like every other Judged, Melanie is wearing a white dress that every angel in Heaven wears. If I lose this case, she'll go to hell with Lucifer and who knows what he'll do to her.

I must win.

"Melanie Meridian had killed a total of fifty-six werewolves, twenty-two hybrids, ten vampires, and fifteen demons. Out of one hundred and three victims, thirty-two of them were innocent. She had killed thirty-two souls without feeling remorseful," Lucifer says, looking at Melanie.

I stand up from my seat. "Objection! He couldn't have known how she felt."

"He's right, Mr. Lucifer. Please stick to the facts and the subject of emotions is invalid. Mr. Michael, I believe it is your turn now."

Lucifer scowls at me. For a devil, he can act childish sometimes. I can't help but grin smugly. Lucifer and I have always been against each other in Courthouses to win each case. Nowadays, I have been losing because of the humans' ethics. Too many people are already in Hell and I can't let one of them be Melanie.

I keep standing whereas Lucifer drops into his seat with a dirt look. I can tell he wants Melanie for a reason. There's something about her that interests him and I'm afraid that he might use her for something.

"Miss Meridian was loved by many. Her parents, brother, friends. Even her mate, Augustus Caesar. She had sacrificed herself to save her best friend, Lisbeth Muller, from turning into a stone. She knew of her fate yet does nothing to change her destiny for any selfish reason," I speak, looking straight into Judge Octoselieus's eyes.

Lucifer stands and turns to me, growling, "You're wrong. Miss Meridian had lied for selfish reasons. She had let her twin brother think that she was dead when she had the chance to tell him. Melanie is not trustworthy and she fooled everyone in thinking that she was on their side."

"No!" I yell at Lucifer. "She was loyal to her loved ones and people who she trusts. She was betrayed instead..."

I am interrupted by Judge Octoselieus's gavel. "Settle down."

The Judge has a powerful gift and one of them is to force people to do what the Judge want. At the moment, Judge Octoselieus has forced Lucifer and I to sit back on our chairs and staring at the front.

Judge Octoselieus sighs, as if he's irritated with us. I won't be surprised since he had been working in the Courthouse for too long to know how Lucifer and I behave.

"I believe that Melanie Meridian has enough valid reasons to go to Heaven," Judge Octoselieus says, looking at me. Just before I can jump up and down in victory, he continues to say, "She also has an equal number of reasons to be sent to Hell as well. Since I alone can't come up with a verdict, I will leave the fate of Melanie Meridian based on her past life doing."

Lucifer and I keep quiet as we watch Judge Octoselieus sluggishly make his way towards us. To be more accurate, towards Melanie. He calmly brush her loose hair off her face before putting his hand on her cheek.

The Judge also has the power to read into people's mind and look into their past. Every Judge knows best for every individual. The only reason why Lucifer and I have this job is to convince the Judge so the individual might have a second chance. Unlucky souls will go to Hell. Some sinful souls goes to Heaven. It is a difficult job, but it is a job of the Head of Angels.

"Hmm..." Judge Octoselieus mumbles, moving away from Melanie. His aged face has a frown, which is something rare to see. "Interesting."

Lucifer and I let the Judge to take his time to collect his thoughts. The Judge shuffles back up to his place.

"I hereby declare that Melanie Meridian is sent to Hell for the sins she has committed. Case 100357293 is closed," he announces.

I jump to my feet so fast that the chair falls back. "No! Sir, I request an extension of time for this case."

Judge Octoselieus shakes his head. "Request denied. Melanie is to go with Lucifer. I'm sorry, Michael, but Lucifer's right about one thing."

"And what's that?"

"She deserves to be in Hell."

Lucifer walks over to Melanie with a grin. The moment he touches Melanie's hand, the two of them vanish, leaving me alone with Judge Octoselieus in the courtroom.

This is not a good sign.

Author's Note

I have to admit that I missed this story. Just thought that you would like to know that I wrote this not too long ago. If you have any questions regarding this book or the first or about the rewrite of Meadow Falls that I'm working on, do ask and I'll answer you in the comment section. Have a nice day!





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