Death and the Lion: Chapter 2

By Amanda Pizzolatto

Word Count: 31845

Rating: PG (For scary situations)

Summary: Nico Di Angelo, son of Hades, is used to being alone, until one day a girl with auburn hair waltzes into his life…

Death & the Lion
Image Credits: the BBC, Disney/Walden Media, and Viria

Chapter 2: The Uninvited


Hanging around the cemetery for the past day and a half paid off as Nico saw Lucy again, this time with a procession heading straight towards the tombstone she had knelt at when he first met her. She was wearing black like the rest of them, and though Nico did like that color, he thought she looked prettier in blue. The group itself consisted of about three or four families, who seemed to be very close to the one family who was mourning. Nico wondered which family was the Coopers, since the tombstone advertised the name of Abigail Cooper, beloved wife and mother. If she had left children behind, he could understand their pain; losing family was never easy. He then thought that he could follow the group for a bit and hopefully find out a little more about Lucy. He edged closer and closer to the group, trying to get as near as possible and pass himself off as another visitor to the cemetery. That didn’t work too well, for he found himself staring into a pair of grey eyes.

“Why, Nico di Angelo, fancy meeting you here again!” blurted Lucy, bringing his presence to the attention of her whole group.

Nico began feeling uneasy with so many eyes on him. He really wished he could shadow travel, but then, that would alert them to his strangeness.

“Is there someone you know buried here?” Lucy asked, the question not really helping the awkward silence.

“Uh, well, no not really,” muttered Nico.

“Oh, is this just a quiet spot for you then?” she continued.

“Uh, yeah, something like that,” Nico replied, shifting his weight on his feet.

Most of the group went back to tending the grave while two tall teens and a man eyed Lucy’s conversation with Nico. Nico quickly figured that they had to be her brothers and father; the rest of the group didn’t seem to pay them much mind until they had finished with the grave. By then, Lucy had wormed some info about Nico out of him, like his family and friends. He couldn’t tell her too much, as she wouldn’t understand that he ordered ghosts around for a living or that most people, dead or alive, practically feared him since he was a son of Hades.

When Lucy’s friends and family regrouped, Lucy introduced Nico to everyone. Nico had been right; the three guys who had been eyeing the budding friendship were Lucy’s brothers, Peter and Edmund, and their father. Lucy also had a sister named Susan, who was practically drop-dead gorgeous, though she was focusing her attention on Jay Cooper, a tall blonde who reminded Nico of Jason in some ways. Jay’s sister, Lila, looked similar—same blonde hair and blue eyes as her brother and also her father, Jacob.  The other two families, the Aarons and the Burkes, were longtime friends of Lucy and Edmund, especially the Burkes since Lucy and Edmund had saved Leslie’s life while they were out playing one day. Lucy then explained as they left the cemetery that Jacob Cooper was going to marry Meghan, who had also lost her spouse, whose grave they had visited last week.

“So, uh, now where are you going?” asked Nico as they neared the vehicles.

“The rehearsal dinner,” quipped Lucy as they approached her father and Mr. Cooper, who had been talking in low voices.

Nico winced when the two men turned and seemed to scrutinize him. Mr. Cooper then smiled and said something that threw Nico off-guard.

“Would you like to join us?”

Nico blinked, then glanced at Lucy before replying, “May I ask why you are inviting me? We’ve only just met.”

Mr. Cooper laughed. “A good point, my young man, but you seem to be a decent fellow, and I trust you.” Then leaning in, he whispered, “Besides, you look a little lonely, and Miss Lucy seems to have lit a light in your eyes.” He winked before straightening up and continuing, “So, what do you say? Care to join us for a bit of fun?”

“Didn’t you just visit your wife’s grave?” Nico asked incredulously.

“That we did; it’s been awhile since she’s been gone, but I know she would want us to continue our lives. We will never forget her, but it’s time to move on. I want to do what I can until I can join her in the afterlife. Besides, it’s not every day you hear of someone getting to fall in love twice,” said Mr. Cooper, smiling warmly as he glanced at Meghan. He turned back to Nico, “Well, my boy, have you decided? Will you join us?”

It was then that Nico did what he later thought to be the stupidest thing. He glanced at Lucy before he answered, “Yeah, okay, I’ll go.”

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