He was transported from his scorched apartment by an unknown force. His every atom shriveled, grew, burst and bubbled in relentless turmoil of liquid-solid agony. Still, aside from the feeling of being drastically misplaced, he was unaffected by the pain of the dimensional shift, almost as if a separate being played surrogate for his splitting nerves.

Taking a swift, evaluating look around, he found he had no immediate idea where in hell he was. He even questioned being there, since there were no suffering souls, demons, or suffocating stench of brimstone. Nonetheless, there was an unsettling uncertainty flowing freely about the breathable air. All around him, all he could see were dark shaded clouds in a black sky, with little winged bubbles, clear as crystals, flapping to and fro. There was an ungodly number of them as well, surrounding him all over at one time, and they didn't seem disturbed in the slightest as he passed his free hand through their loose forms.

"So, you're my new reaper, are you?" a lethargic voice questioned at his back. It sounded entirely alien, although he knew who it belonged to regardless. He turned to see her descending from a stairwell constructed of clouds. "You don't look like much, but then again, most of you hardly ever do in the beginning." She advanced until they met, glowing eyes to arrogant smirk. "Well, aren't you going to bow?"

The arrogance might have bothered him if the beauty of her face had not struck first. Her skin was powered-snow pale, and the scorched black hair woven in tight braids down her back seemed both ominous and alluring, like a bush of thorny roses. Her voluptuous black lips, tilted up in a cocky sneer, caused something primitive locked deep within his core to stir and rise to the surface. She was agonizingly gorgeous; hypnotic to his sense of sight; inspiring a pit of passion inside he was unaware he had until now.

He always envisioned death as a gruesome, disfigured beast. But true to her title, she had the perfect appearance of a gorgeous goddess. It was no wonder why the monsters and humans alike lucky enough to glimpse her face, worshiped her so passionately. Still, even magically bound to being her slave, he resented being controlled by an egotistical puppet master.

"Are you going to make me?" he asked, matching her confidence by stepping closer. Surprisingly to him, she laughed off the challenge. "What's so funny?" She took a sudden step forward, pushing her breasts against his chest. He was sure that his pulse had stopped just by being in contact, assuming his current body even had a beating heart to begin with. She leaned down to kiss him on the forehead, and his knees nearly gave way. He tried to pull away, but found his body immobilized.

"If I wanted you to bow, you would already be on your knees." A gentle hand cupped his cheek like a lover, rolled off his face as she circled him like a predator, and returned on his shoulder while her lips brushed softly against his ear. "As it is, I prefer to have a slave with free will. But do not make the mistake to think that I am generous or forgiving to any who defy me. If you ever do anything I'm not willing to tolerate, I will break you."

She moved away, and whatever spell that kept him paralyzed dispersed. And still he dared not move. The cloud stairway morphed into a throne that sparkled at the base with black lightning, and the Goddess took her time sitting down before him. Legs crossed, same smirk from earlier, she studied her new servant as well as the scythe that hung limply at his side. First encounters were usually the most exciting time of the new relationships, and she was determined to make this moment last as long as possible.

She dropped the smirk and adopted a stern face to tell him, "If you have any problems or questions to get out of your system you should breathe them now before you start working. Something major has me in more of a relaxed mood than usual. Besides, there may not be much of you left to voice opinions afterwards."

There were many thoughts flowing through his mind, but he did not care to speak. His new right hand warned him, and his own limits of intimidation were already overrun. But somehow, with genuine animosity, the words spilled out on their own. "Why me?" he seethed.

"Pardon? You know, I'm not very fond of mumbling, you'll have to speak up when addressing me." A shadow of her former smirk returned, but only for a moment. She was toying with him, and it was very agitating.

"You heard me, witch…" he grumbled lowly, "Tell me why you plucked me from my insignificant little universe and exposed me to all of this? Why couldn't you let me die peacefully like the rest of my kind? Why the hell did you choose me to be your pet!" His voice had grown into a full raged roar, abandoning all fear until his last word was spoken before his mind reminded him that irritating the Goddess of death was not a wise decision.

"Oh," she said flatly. Her lids lowered closed and reopened slowly to reveal black veins throbbing inside her eyeballs. "I should have expected that bonehead not to have explained anything to you. I bet you don't even know how to use that thing at your side." Her mocking of the scythe had apparently awoken it, as the stones lightened and his arm regained the ability of motion.

"Fine, I'll answer, but you'll be immediately dismissed to go do my dirty work. Come here." She motioned for him to approach with a curling finger. The tips of her hair had attained a strange purple blaze, and it worried him more so than the trip here that had literally ripped him to pieces.

He took a few cautious steps forward and stopped, waiting to see what she would do. "Closer" she sighed, "I don't want you to forget, so come closer." He obeyed, knowing he had tempted his new Mistress to wickedness enough already. "Sit. Here." She pointed beside her throne and he fell to her feet.

"Good. Now, reaper, there are two reasons I selected you and they are both very important. Do you understand what a soul is?" He shrugged and her smirk briefly returned, making her current appearance all the more disgustedly sinister in his opinion. "Good, then I don't have to go over any particulars. Just think of them as living batteries, and think of my realm as an eternal place where they can rest and recharge."

He looked more than a bit doubtful and she laughed. "It's true; my craft has gained a negative reputation in your world. Yet none of the souls I take are permanently gone, merely resting amongst each other here. And when they grow fit again, I send them back to my sister and they go back to the world of the living. They are recyclable beings, just as you are. Your soul has bonded with the scythe already, on numerous occasions, and you were absolutely the best. Don't look so surprised," she cooed, catching his brief disbelieving expression. "I could not wait to reinstate you as my servant."

The young reaper was shocked at her revelations, almost enough to accept her casual dismissal before asking, "What's the second reason?" She looked confused. "You told me there were two reasons why you picked me. So, what's the second?"

"Ah," she started with renewed intensity, "but is it not obvious? When I say you were my best soul reaper, I mean it as you were my favorite. No? You don't understand it? Well, let's just simplify it by saying, all girls have their crushes." And with an adorable wink he was sent away, cast out of her dimension by the purple blaze that shot from her covered him and transported him to only Goddess knew where.