This week’s snippet is from Deacon, the Reaper hero of Reap & Repent. He’s had his fill of demons and has been battling them for weeks alone in Meridian. Now it looks like they might be winning.
Deacon crossed back into the cemetery and steadied himself against a large crypt wall, trying to ground himself. Between the demon and the three souls he’d just consumed, his insides felt like a macabre kaleidoscope of swirling colors and emotions. He expected his free will to be overcome at any moment. God help the souls when that happened.
God help him, as well.
He wished he could purge them all, souls included. But there was only one place he could even hope to accomplish that. Maybe if he could make it to Purgatory in time there might still be a chance to rid himself of the fiend.
Then there was the body to contend with. Normally he’d find a place to dispose of it, but he didn’t think there was time. Improvising, he carried the corpse and its head back to one of the larger crypts, popped the lock with a blast of orange and threw them inside. He locked the padlock again and memorized the name above the door, hoping the Summerall family didn’t have a lot of frequent visitors.
He paced in front of the crypt, wasting even more precious time trying to make up his mind. Now that Ruth was out of his immediate reach and hopefully safe at home, the souls were his most important consideration.
Worst-case scenario: he’d be overcome by the demon in Purgatory, causing him to make a scene, and Rashnu would smite him.
Best-case scenario: he didn’t hold out much hope for a best-case scenario.
Once again he’d sent Ruth away unprepared and unarmed. Of course, the alternative was no better: frying pan or fire.
He replayed the events over and over in his mind. The demon had appeared to be waiting for him. So where was Kylen?
His head hurt. His heart hurt. He wanted the demon inside him destroyed. Good and dead. Since it hadn’t made a peep yet, he had no idea of its name, so exorcism was out.
And who knows if Nate can really do what he says he can.
Deacon wasn’t equipped to do the job himself, having never successfully captured a demon. Reaping them had never occurred to him as an option…until it was his only option. And now? He’d give anything to be rid of the evil force inside him.
Realizing that Rashnu was his only hope was one of the worst parts of the situation. He’d almost rather make a deal with the Devil than that pompous asshole angel, but Deacon was confident that Rashnu would know how to destroy the demon permanently, or that he could at least lead him to someone who could. He needed permanent. For all their sakes. Because two demon-possessed reapers on the loose would not end well for anyone.
He willed himself to the one place he might seek refuge
* * *
Landing in Purgatory, Deacon strode toward Rashnu, his rage increasing with each step as the demon pulsated within him. He hoped he had enough time left to state his case.
The reaper hoards parted in front of him as he stalked across the depot. Surrounded by a glowing bright white light, which—he realized with surprise—was his own aura manifesting, electric-blue sparks danced from his fingertips as he made his way.
He was death incarnate. And Death was pissed.
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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.