Reaper Page 18

But then it was gone, and Levi was staring up me, his pouty child’s mouth pursed in a frown I found really hard to take seriously.

“What’d you say?” I asked, fighting the urge to scruff his curls. He didn’t like that. At all.

“I said, you’re a smartass, Hudson.”

I grinned. “I recognize no other kind of ass.” I glanced at the list one more time, then started walking backward away from him. “Now if you’l excuse me, Death waits for no man. Except me.” I shrugged, stil grinning. “It waits for you too, obviously, but ‘Death waits for no kid’ just doesn’t have quite the same ring.”

Levi rolled his eyes, then blinked out of the waiting room, leaving me to my first non-geriatric reaping, scheduled in a mere five minutes, in Triage E.

I walked through the double doors, unseen and unheard, and made my way past a nurse’s station and the first few rooms, most of which were blocked from view by curtains on steel tracks. But the third room was open.

In it, a girl lay strapped to a stretcher, arching fiercely against the restraints, throwing long brown hair with every violent toss of her head. She moaned incoherently, but something in that sound drew me closer, until I found myself in the doorway, listening, picking out low, eerie notes in the last sounds she produced before her voice gave out. She twisted toward the door then, and her medicated gaze met mine, pain and panic swirling in sluggish shades of blue in her irises.

Holy shit. A female bean sidhe. I’d never even seen one, other than my mom.

She went still then, her limbs lax, and for just a second, we watched each other as she blinked slowly and I was unable to blink at all.

Then a nurse walked through me and into the room, and the spel —whatever it was—was broken. And only after I’d walked away did I realize that she shouldn’t have been able to see me. No one could see me, unless I wanted them to….

Several steps later, I found Triage E, and with it, the man whose time on earth was over. Martin Gardner, 58, had suffered a heart attack, and the doctors had just gotten himstabilized—or so they thought.

But before I could help Mr. Gardner into the great beyond, shouting at the end of the hall drew my attention. I turned to find a man on a stretcher being wheeled toward me, his arm flapping as a nurse walked alongside him, trying to calm him down. “Drunk driver,” the EMT pushing the stretcher said to a man in scrubs, madly scribbling on a clipboard. “Cops are waiting in the lobby. The bastard killed three people, but only broke his own arm. Figures, huh?”

As they wheeled the man closer, I saw his face, and rage shot through me, hotter than a bolt of lightning. I knew that face. I’d only seen it once, but I could never forget it, even if my afterlife stretched into eternity.

The bastard who kil ed Nash. And now he’d killed again.

Staring down at the man on the bed, I couldn’t help but suspect the coincidence. What were the chances he’d be brought in on my first day at the hospital? Levi was a shrewd little bastard, and the man on the bed—

practically gift-wrapped for me in a hospital gown, terror dancing in his eyes—was proof of that. I was no angel in life. Why should that be any different in death?

I glanced at Mr. Gardner, sleeping peacefully with his daughter at his side. Then I turned and followed the other stretcher into Triage H.

Levi wouldn’t know the difference, so long as I turned in a soul. At least, not until the exchanged death date showed up on another list, farther down the road. And if he fired me then, so what? It’d be worth it to know this asshole wouldn’t be killing anyone else behind the wheel.

When the nurse finally left the room, I stepped in, taking on just enough corporeality for the man on the bed to see me. I watched his eyes widen in terror when I appeared out of nowhere. Then I leaned over and whispered into his ear.

“Time’s up, you drunk driving piece of shit.” His hands shook on the bed rails, and the scent of urine 64 Reaper blossomed into the air. “Just FYI, in your case, I think it’s okay to fear the reaper.”

Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies