This week’s snippet is from Deacon, our burned out Reaper hero. A Reaper’s work is never done. Always with the dying. It’s all so…exhausting.
From Reap & Repent:
Deacon flashed into the small rural cemetery and waited for his eyes to adjust to the moonlight. It was dark in the countryside. He’d decided to try the Scott house tonight. In case he could get that lucky.
After the week he’d finished, he was pretty confident luck was not on his side. He was not a patient man, and this was an inconvenient trip. The address was in the middle of nowhere, nearly thirty miles from his regular hunting grounds. Plus it was two miles from the nearest cemetery. He could have chosen a more conventional mode of travel than the consecrated subway reapers used to get around, but nothing was faster. Even with the walk.
He really didn’t want to make this trip very many times. If she didn’t show up, he’d have to track her down another way, but that would take even more time. Time he couldn’t afford to waste. Souls piled up if you weren’t diligent. And while the souls of the newly dead pulled at him, that feeling began to fade after a day, or sometimes even a few hours, making them more difficult to track down. If too much time went by, it was all but impossible to find them unless you practically stumbled upon them. The lost and lingering souls were called sleepers. He’d found a few in his day, but it was like picking a needle out of a haystack.
Even one day off would create an uncomfortable backlog. Most territories the size of Deacon’s were serviced by a team of reapers, but he was single-minded in his work. He didn’t take vacations. He didn’t socialize. He worked.
As a result, he drew attention—good and bad—but all of it unwanted. What he really wanted was to be left alone to do his job. His profession was not necessarily enjoyable, but the intense and pressing nature of the work didn’t leave him with much time to ruminate on things. He spent zero time in his head because it was almost constantly occupied with detecting, locating and transporting souls. The rest of the time was devoted to sleep even if it was an hour or two at a time.
Because he’d been on the job for a long time, his body didn’t require as much nourishment as it once had—a benefit of being a seasoned reaper. But all this demon hunting was wearing him out, and it was taking a lot more energy than usual to fuel his body.
Seasoned, he scoffed, as he exited through the wrought-iron gate of the cemetery.
Disgruntled, he stalked down the secluded driveway, his steps crunching against the gravel. At least it would be quiet here—maybe he could get a few hours of sleep while he waited for her to show. As he reached the house, he stopped. There was a car in the garage and a light on in the house.
Looks like this might be my lucky night after all.
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Reap & Repent blurb
They see death. Can they share a life?
Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.
Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.
A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.