The Revolt (The Reapers: Book Two)
maybe I was just sick and tired
of getting pushed two steps back for every step I made forward.
    Her face crumpled and her sky blue eyes
watered. “I wouldn’t ask if it weren’t important. You know I
wouldn’t. I love him, Kelsey.”
    I almost gave in. Angelica wasn’t the kind of
girl who cried easily and she certainly didn’t turn on the
waterworks to get what she wanted. Jed walked over to grab my bags
from the living room floor, and spoke up before I could waver.
“Kelsey’s right, she can’t help you. You should leave.”
    Angelica watched me like Jed wasn’t in the
room. I didn’t give her anything. She nodded and left without
another word. It had been a lot of years since I’d talked to the
dead for anyone, but I still remembered the way living people
looked at me when I gave them a message. The hurt, anger, and
sorrow were always directed at me, because the dead never say what
the living want to hear. Death doesn’t change the dead, but the
living always expect that the spirit will have gained some sort of
insight by leaving the body. They think the mother who never showed
them love, the lover who cheated on them, the daughter who left
them, will be repentant and loving in death, but I’ve never seen
it. If I’d been smart, I’d have lied to the living, but I was never
a good liar and I’d always felt a tinge of satisfaction when the
woman, man, boy, or girl who called me a freak, or ignored me,
heard harsh words from their dead. Knowing that made me hate myself
a little bit, but I couldn’t change it.
    I felt sad and angry and terribly, terribly
lonely, like I had when I was a child. I’d thought I was past such
emotions, but I guess you’re never too old to be a freak. I pulled
my knees up to my chest and rested my head on them. I understood
that my life in Briarton had come to an end. It was time for me to
move on and I could only hope that people would be more
understanding at Varius.
    “Why’d you get so mad at her?” Jed asked.
    “She made me a promise.”
    He grunted. “We’ve got to go.”
    I stood and tried to shake off my anger and
hurt, then I pulled on my coat, shoes, hat, gloves, and scarf and
followed him out.

    Jed drove me to the airport in a car full of
reapers. Tucker was the only one I recognized and the one
responsible for gathering the dead bodyguards. He sat between me
and Jed in the front, squeezed on top of the gear shift. Every time
Jed shifted, his right arm passed through Tucker and appeared to
touch him in a sensitive location. And every time, Tucker giggled
and made some sort of lewd comment or sound. I did my best not to
laugh and encourage him.
    Tucker kept one hand firmly planted on my
thigh. I didn’t ask him to move it. I liked the implication of
comfort, even if I couldn’t feel it. Whatever had allowed us to
touch the morning before wasn’t in play at that moment.
    Jed made several attempts at small talk and
even resorted to making fun of the other drivers and cars we passed
at speeds I chose not to think about. We were turning into the
airport, when he gave up trying to be lighthearted. “You couldn’t
help her even if you wanted to. We don’t interfere with
    I sat bolt upright and Tucker swore. “You
mean the curse is real? It’s not just some myth passed through his
    Jed cleared his throat and concentrated on
the road. “Oh, I don’t know anything about Bruce. It’s
probably not real.”
    “But curses are real? It’s possible that
Bruce is actually cursed?”
    “Technically speaking, yes, but I didn’t see
a curse in his aura.”
    I faced Tucker. “How about you? Have you
heard anything about Bruce and a curse?”
    Tucker looked like he wanted to hit someone
and I was betting on Jed. “I haven’t heard anything. My attention
has been on you, which is where your attention should be.”
    “Can you find out for me? Please?”
    He shook his head. “To find out I’d have to
leave you, and I’m

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