Chapter Nine

"So...can I ask you a question?"

"Anything you desire."

"How did you get these?" Vivian traced the lines of his neck and along his face. "Because I know you, I can tell you I've also noticed scars along your chest and one on your right leg. I want to know how you got them."

"A reaper's work is of quite a unique nature. Some people really don't wish to pass on. Then there are the demons to consider."

"Who gave you this one?" She traced around his neck.

"Another reaper. A long time ago, when a few of us didn't get along, he took me straight on with a hedge clipper death scythe. Ran me near to asphyxiation, he did. Blood everywhere."

Vivian gasped, suddenly withdrawing her hand from around his neck.

"Water under the London bridge. He's long since passed. A demon bested him."

"And this one?" She slightly lifted his hair in order to fully take in the sight across his face.

"Lost souls. Even I've had my share of more than I can chew."

"And they got your face with what? A knife?"

"We could say that. It doesn't matter anymore," Undertaker said, wrapping an arm around her. "All I care about are my alliances, this shop, and you."

"Still, it's got to be difficult to forget things like that."

"I'm a reaper. Some people already don't like the fact that I merely exist. I'm bound to a few fights. For being as old as I am...why does this bother you so much?"

"I was only curious as to where you got them. They are part of you, and I don't know. I love you, so I want to know..." Vivian was trailing off a little.

"Then you have your answer," Undertaker replied. They'd been lying in bed together, and Undertaker turned away for a few moments. "However, you don't seem too thrilled."

"I just thought that maybe you were in some sort of war or something like that. It's just not the answer I expected. That doesn't mean I'm disappointed," Vivian said. She felt around the scars again.

"They're just, I don't know, fascinating to me. I know you can't die by mortal hands, but the scars almost make me want you more."

"Really?"

"Yes. I can't explain it, but I feel like your life is more fragile than even you think." Vivian felt the scars some more, leaning against his shoulder and being sure to stay close. Silently, she kissed his neck only once. He leaned his head down to face her.

"My my, what a treasure I've got here," he said. She could see his eyes through his white hair, and all she could decipher from his eyes was a soft gaze and that look he always gave her before thing were about to become more...physical.

"You chose this life, and I suggest you never forget that. A few scars are inevitable."

"I don't think you want me to experience what you did to get those scars, so I'm not worried over a few scratches I might encounter."

She'd done it. She read Undertaker like a cinematic record, clear as day. Not that he personally minded, but it was a bit surprising.

"You are correct. If it is in my power, not a scar will be placed upon your body. Not even in death. On this I give you my most sincere word."

"Good," Vivian said, coming in closer. "Now I can say I've had the pleasure of Death embracing me."

"You will be the end of me." Undertaker shrouded her among the dark sheets and his black robe.