Kissed by the Reaper
Some loves are worth a battle with both heaven and hell to keep.
Rose committed an unpardonable sin right before she died. As penance, she has been reaping souls for Lucifer for over twenty years. On Halloween night she finds herself in Podunk nowhere ushering souls back to hell when she runs into the mysteriously handsome Gabriel who’s not at all what he seems. After chasing him into a cornfield and battling an angel to get Gabriel’s soul, she leaves with more questions than answers.
Gabriel is an angel hiding out as a jumper. A soul that jumps from body to body to stay hidden on Earth. But when he finds himself mortally wounded there is only one person he can turn to for protection. The feisty and beautiful reaper who tried to kill him the year before.
With Gabriel recuperating in her bed, Rose is summoned by her boss to hell where he makes her a proposal. Find the jumper Gabriel and deliver his soul, and she will be set free. Fail and become Lucifer’s bride forever. It should be an easy choice. Problem is, Gabriel is the first person Rose has been able to touch without scaring to death in the last twenty years. And just his presence has begun to bring back hidden memories from her human life. In the end, Rose will have to make the ultimate decision. Choosing Gabriel or choosing herself.
Rose’s heartbeat pounded in her ears. She pulled the door open the same moment someone stepped out. She was propelled backward in a tangle of arms and legs, onto her bed.
“Whoa! Hey!” said Elijah, his face inches from hers. “I thought we were friends.” He stared at her Reaper blade. The weight of his hipbones on hers sent a thrill through her. His lean muscular body pressed her down into the plush comforter.
“Elijah!” She closed her eyes and sighed. “Freak. I called you but you didn’t answer. I had no idea what I’d find in there.”
“Sorry. I was cleaning up the mess I made. I didn’t mean to knock you down.” His gaze searched her face, his lips inches from hers.
Her brain fogged with desire, making it hard to think straight. “Um… there’s food.”
“Right. Sorry.” He stood, leaving her body too cool, solitary, and alone.
She sheathed her Reaper blade and closed her eyes. This was stupid. She shouldn’t even be helping him, let alone allowing him to lie all over her like a personal electric blanket. Lucifer wanted him. If she turned him in, she was free. No more reaping. No more torture. No more death.
“Which burger is mine?” he called.
“They’re both the same.” She sat up. Get answers and then turn him in. That’s what she had to do. He wasn’t supposed to be in that body anyway.
She joined him at the small table.
He’d already dug into his food.
She picked at hers.
“So you were attacked by three Reapers, huh?” Subtle.
He stopped chewing and looked up. He took a giant swig of soda and nodded. “I was just hanging out, minding my own business, and they popped up out of nowhere.”
“No Gabriella to help you out?”
His expression darkened. “Do you want me to go?”
“No, I want to know what the hell is going on. You were attacked by three Reapers. One of them is missing, yet you survived. How’s that possible?”
“He’s not missing.”
“The Reaper, Timothy. He’s not missing, he’s moved on.”
“Moved on? What do you mean moved on? Reapers don’t move on without Lucifer’s permission and he never gives that permission.”
“They can move on but they have to choose to.”
She snorted. “If it was that easy, every Reaper would’ve moved on by now.”
“Really? After what you’ve done. The things you’ve been forced to do by your boss, would you really choose to move on right now? To face judgment?”
She swallowed. He was right. Her penance wasn’t yet complete for the unforgivable act she’d committed right before dying. She couldn’t remember what that act was, but she remembered how it felt.
“How do you know all this?” She swigged her soda.
“I’m an angel.”
Rose snorted and gulped her soda. “Yeah, you were an angel. Now you’re just a Jumper.”
Elijah sat down his burger and stood. He closed his eyes and looked as if he were praying. Slowly his entire body filled with light. The mortal body that housed him fell away and she saw him for who he truly was. She saw the soul within. He was amazing. A Greek god complete with eight packed abs, chiseled chest, and powerful, muscular thighs. His wheat colored wavy hair would have even made Fabio cringe in shame. He stared at her through bright aquamarine eyes.
“Wow. You’re seriously hot.” She clapped her hand over her mouth.
He chuckled and his light faded, but she could still see his true form.
She had so many questions for him. “How can I still see the real you?”
“Because I’m letting you.”
“And your body is…”
“So what’s the deal? Why is everyone after you?”
He looked away. “I’ve… gone rogue.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean I don’t play by the rules anymore. I help those who need help. I don’t wait in hopes that another human will help. Humanity has fallen too far for that. But most of all, I don’t take orders.”
“And so you were what? Cast out?”
His eyes turned hard. “I left.”
She nodded. “Your Father must not be very happy.”
“Yes, our Father is not too happy. I have a few brothers and sisters, like Gabriella, who believe as I do. They try to help or protect me as much as possible, but they have their own problems right now.”
“So you’ve been living here, on Earth this entire last year?”
“Longer than that.” He sat down and bit into his hamburger.
“Doing what? How do you live? Eat? Where do you sleep?”
He shrugged. “I travel around the world helping people.”
“Quite the saint.” She swirled a fry in ketchup.
“And I spend a lot of time here in Savannah.”
Her heart thundered. “Here? Why?”
“For you.” His angelic gaze bore into her, making her insides turn to gelatin.
“Me?” she croaked.
He held out his hand and without thinking she slipped her palm onto his. Again his touch caused her body to tingle all the way down to her toes. The action so natural, it was like they’d done it a thousand times before.
“Because you’re special. You should never have been made a Reaper. You weren’t meant to be one. You should have been like me, an angel.”
She snorted. “An avenging angel maybe.”
“No.” He pulled her to her feet and stepped close. “I’ve watched you for the last year. Seen you with the witches and with other people. I see how it pains you to reap them. How you only want to go back to the way things were.”
His hand caressed her cheek and she focused on his plump lips.
“How can you touch me and not feel my Reaper’s curse?”
His body compressed into hers and his arousal pushed hard and long against the flat of her stomach.
“I don’t know,” he whispered. “How is it you can make me feel something besides apathy for the first time in a thousand years.”
Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite
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