Chapter 1

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James Arnold gave no sign he heard the woman whispering in his ear. He gave no indication he noticed her presence; not even blinking an eye when she appeared out of thin air next to him with a quiet pop. He ignored her as she hovered in the air for a moment, smoothing her white dress and wings, and combing her fingers through her golden blond hair. It was as if he didn't know she existed.

But that was how it was. He didn't know she existed. She was nothing more than a tiny, angelic figure, perched on his shoulder, and offering guidance that would lead him to the Light. And if he knew she was there, would he mind?

"I would."

The voice came from James' other shoulder, a rich tenor-the opposite of her soprano voice. She wrinkled her nose as her opposite flitted in front of James' face, purposely smacking him on the nose in the process before landing next to her. James gave no sign he felt the blow, but she felt a bolt of irritation.

"Kale, we are not to disturb the mortal."

Kale grinned impishly, his brown eyes sparkling under a mess of reddish brown hair. Sticking out of the mop were two small, red horns. "Oh, come on, Ariel. It's not like he notices. We could do the waltz in front of his eyes and he wouldn't see." He grabbed her by the waist, spinning her in front of James' face.

Irritated, Ariel struggled to free herself before she became dizzy. Acidic thoughts churned in her head as she leveled an icy glare at Kale, but she reined her emotions in and drifted back to her spot on James' shoulder. Kale followed, still grinning.

"You're impossible," she sighed.

"Impossible?" He feigned hurt. "I think interesting is a more fitting term."

She snorted a laugh, and then focused on James who had started to rise from his chair only to stop, as if unsure what to do next. She laid a calming hand on James' ear, leaning in to whisper guidance. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Kale take note. Before she could attempt to delay him, he bolted to his side. Feeling James' decision waver, she whispered faster, hoping and praying the mortal would heed her words, and not whatever mischief Kale sought to lure James towards darkness with.

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