Queen of The Reapers by Jessa Halliwell
Fear issuch a fickle emotion and we, as humans, fear so many things.
Change. Death. Love.
We get so blinded by our fears that if we aren’t careful; they end up consuming us. Swallowing us whole. Leaving nothing more than a shell of a person who’s too scared to trust anyone, especially themselves.
Fear is what led me into the world of The Reapers.
To save his life, my shit-for-brains stepfather, Malcolm, sacrificed my little sister to the devil, or rather, devils; The Reapers of Caspian Hills. The arrangement he made was simple: The Reapers get to keep Alex, and in exchange, he gets to keep his life. But, as with any sordid deal, nothing is ever quite that easy.
There was one determining factor The Reapers didn’t consider. One factor that could have changed their entire outlook on Malcolm’s tempting offer.
My sister wasn’t just some nameless girl that no one would miss. She was loved, she had a family, and there was someone willing to fight for her. Someone who would stop at nothing to protect her. And that someone was me.
Growing up, I was always Alex’s protector. I shielded her from our mother’s cruel reign and when that stopped; I shielded her from the fallout of her father’s addiction. I wasn’t about to stand idly by and let some low-life criminal assholes take her away. She was the only family I had left, and I wasn’t willing to let her go without a fight.
Offering myself in my sister’s place was borderline suicidal, but I willingly walked into the lion’s den, anyway. The Reapers couldn’t break me anymore than I’d already been broken and while I was terrified of what they’d do to me, nothing scared me more than the thought of what they’d do to her.
The last thing I wanted was for my sweet little sister to end up as cold and jaded as I was. She deserved a better life, and I was ready to do whatever it took to give it to her.
I knew the risks when I stepped through the doors of their mansion. Knew they could and would try to break me behind those walls. What I failed to take into consideration was just how much I might like it.
Atlas, Ezra, Cyrus, and Tristan Cole evoked feelings within me I forgot existed. Feelings I had securely locked away as a child. And while every interaction with them was confusing, jarring, and sometimes painful, each of them made me come alive.
I planned to fight The Reapers tooth and nail. To do whatever it took to keep my sister safe. The one thing I never planned on was catching feelings for them.
By an ironic twist of fate, the dangerous men I thought would ruin me ended up being the only men I could rely on. The only men, besides my late father, I could see myself trusting.
But the shitty thing about fear is, just when you think you’ve conquered it, that bitch rears its ugly head again and, well, old habits die hard.
The minute I thought Alex was in danger, all of my newfound allegiance to The Reapers went out the fucking window. I thought I trusted them, but when it came down to it, I couldn’t bring myself to ask for their help.
Sure, they played nice around me, but bringing my sister around them was an entirely different ballgame. Everything I’d done up to that point was to protect her, and I still didn’t trust that they’d keep her safe.
Like an idiot, I snuck away from The Reapers and fell headfirst into a trap.
Without my bad-boy cavalry at my side, I was seriously outnumbered and completely fucked. No pun intended. If it weren't for The Reapers busting through the door and literally saving my ass, I'd be lying dead in a ditch somewhere with no one to blame but my stupid choices.
I didn’t deserve the second chance they gave me, or the third, if I’m honest. But this time around, I refuse to let my fear fuck things up again. The Reapers are my happily ever after and I won't let anyone stand in the way of that, not even me.