Home > Reaper's Salvation

Reaper's Salvation
Author: Jamie Begley

 


Prologue

 

 

Ginny numbly stared out the window of the private jet that she and Hammer boarded after leaving Silas’s house. Sightlessly staring at the grey clouds floating below, she replayed the image of Gavin walking toward the waiting car that would take him to Taylor.

In her bedroom upstairs, she had heard the rumble of his voice as he’d talked on his cell phone. She’d dressed quickly and had gone downstairs to start breakfast to hear Gavin ending his phone call the moment she entered the kitchen. The sound of him starting the shower had her slapping several slices of bacon onto the sizzling skillet.

Blinking back tears of fright from what she had gotten herself into, compounded with her fear of Gavin’s reaction to the story she was determined to discuss with him, had her hands shaking. She knew she should have told him about her past the previous night, before her brothers arrived back home, but the precious moments with him had gone too quickly.

She promised herself as she flipped the bacon that as soon Gavin got out of the shower, she would tell him her history. However when the sound of the shower stopped, she revised her plan, deciding to wait to tell him anything until after he told her about Taylor being at the clubhouse. The time would also allow her the opportunity to settle the mounting trepidations as the minutes ticked by.

“Where’s all the jelly I saw sitting on the counter yesterday?”

Ginny looked up from the frying pan. “I gave it to Viper. Silas is going to bring more from storage when he comes back this afternoon. There’s some grape jelly in the refrigerator.”

“It’s store bought. You took all those jars to the storage building? Why didn’t you leave one here?”

“Actually, two were meant for here, but when I asked Viper to take a couple to Lily, he asked if he could to take another couple for the club.”

“You gave them my jelly?”

Ginny’s brows rose. Gavin was making no effort to hide his irritation. “Technically, those jars are mine. I don’t understand what the big deal is. I have ten more jars in—”

“The problem is I don’t want Shade eating your jelly. It’s mine.”

Ginny watched as he plopped down on his chair at the table and then stared sullenly at the plain toast.

Ginny placed a plate of bacon in front of him. “You could make yourself a bacon sandwich,” she suggested, trying to hide her amusement at his jealousy. She wondered if it was because she made the jelly or if it was an ongoing rivalry between Gavin and Shade.

“You made some to send to Shade.”

Rolling her eyes at him, she turned around, but then found herself being pulled down onto his lap.

“I’m sorry.”

Ginny could tell he didn’t mean his apology, so she wound her arms around his neck and called his bluff. “You don’t look sorry.”

“I’m not.”

“Didn’t your mother teach you to share?”

“All the women in the club cater to Shade.”

Ginny frowned. “When I worked there, I didn’t see anyone catering to him.”

“I’m not talking about the wives.”

“Oh … I see. The women who live there?” Ginny never paid any attention to the men in the club, so she couldn’t say if the women had or hadn’t.

“Yes.”

Goosebumps rose on her skin when Gavin began tracing imaginary circles on her arm with his thumb.

“Don’t give any more to him. Please?”

When he touched her like that, she was willing to jump off a cliff if he asked—though even under extreme torture she’d refuse to admit it … but God knew she would.

“I won’t make him any more jelly. Satisfied?”

Agreeing so easily to his request, she saw the suspicion in his eyes. What could she say? She had bigger fish to fry than dealing with Gavin’s ridiculous jealousy over Shade.

“What are your plans for the day?” Unable to resist taking the opportunity to touch him as well, Ginny carefully gauged his reaction as she waited for him to tell her that Taylor was at the club. She promised herself she wouldn’t react to the mention of Taylor’s name on his lips.

“I’m going to the clubhouse to have a talk with the brothers. They want to return a few of the gifts I gave them.”

As Gavin spoke, Ginny realized he wasn’t going to admit his ex-fiancée was at the club.

“I bet,” she said with a heavy heart. “That’s one gift I’m glad I wasn’t on the receiving end of.”

He lifted her off slightly, then slid a small box out of his pocket and held it out for her to take. Ginny stared at the box, as two separate fears cut her to the quick. Was Gavin still contemplating taking his life, or was this a good-bye gift before he reunited with Taylor?

Seeing the reaction she was unable to hide, despite for her best efforts, Gavin shook his head at her. “This gift is not like the ones I bought for the brothers. I bought this because … I know the bracelet means a lot to you, and I wanted you to have a piece of me, and because I was missing you.”

His explanation didn’t erase the fear of Taylor, but it did give her precious seconds to regain her composure.

“Then I’ll accept your gift.” Pressing a kiss on the corner of his mouth, she jiggled the present in front of his face, pretending to be excited.

Ginny didn’t tell him her closely guarded secret—she hated presents. Most of the presents she’d received in her life had been given as a replacement for the person being there. In reality, the only present she ever wanted was to be surrounded by the people she loved.

“Let me guess.” She jiggled the small box again, hoping the gift was a sign he was beginning to care about her. “They’re charms.”

“Good guess.”

Ginny could see his eyes watching her nervously, waiting for her reaction, despite him trying to joke.

“Aw … they’re beautiful.” She kissed him, and as it spun into a passionate haze she plastered herself against his chest.

Please, God, don’t ever let the kiss end, Ginny silently begged.

Her prayer was short-lived and bittersweet. Gavin pulled back from their embrace to straighten her on his lap. “Behave. Viper will be here in five minutes.”

Her face fell at the reminder of how fast time was getting away from her. She had yet to confess her past. “So soon? I thought we had at least an hour. Silas just left, and I was—”

“You thought you’d get a little nookie after Silas left?” He gave her an unapologetic, I-told-you-so smirk. “You should have taken my suggestion and snuck down to my room after he went to bed last night.”

Ginny’s breath caught in the back of her throat as she stared at Gavin. God, he was beautiful. Even though she’d only met him year ago, she could see a glimmer of the man he probably had been, before life irrevocably changed him. Laughter warmed his expression, and she saw the devil-may-care attitude that could attract both men and women like fish to bait.

“Your room doesn’t have a door,” she reminded him, wanting to continue the banter, hoping to catch another glimpse of the carefree man he used to be.

 

“Which is one of the chores I have to take care of today, but you need to open my present first.”

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