If you’re new to this serial, you can find part 1 right HERE
“Both of you, calm down. Shouting at each other won’t help.” Wolf frowned, annoyed that he had to play peacemaker between them. He was the one who dolled out punishment when people stepped out of line. He was not a fucking peacemaker. He turned to face Reaper and knelt down, getting at eye level with her. “Listen, none of us have a choice in the matter. You have to stay here, and we have to keep you here. I’m guessing that you actually know what Death is capable of, and none of us want that to happen. So, it would be nice if you could just talk to us. Tell us why you are running? Or who you’re running from?” Wolf knew he had hit the right note when she went stiff before exhaling slowly. She looked between him and Phantom, and for once, she didn’t look at them with anger or that condescending look she had down to perfection.
“I need a drink,” she finally said and crawled into the middle of the mattress. Wolf exchanged a look with Phantom before unlocking the door. He ran upstairs and grabbed a bottle of whiskey, three glasses, and a handful of beers. Down in the basement again, he locked the door before pouring each a glass and handing them over. Reaper emptied hers in two mouthfuls and handed it to Phantom.
“As I’m sure Wolf told you already, I was taken by a biker club when I was sixteen. They held me as their captive for sixteen months and four days.” She held out her hand, and Phantom handed her the glass back. Once again, she emptied it in two gulps, though this time, she just placed the glass on the bed beside her. “I wasn’t rescued because the only person who knew I was held captive didn’t dare start a war with them. So I rescued myself.”
“How,” Phantom asked.
“He thought he had me under his foot. He thought he had broken me. So he started to become less vigilant around me. He was a fucking idiot. I took his head, then burned the house down with all his little minions inside.”
“And where does Death fit into all of this?” Phantom asked.
“He helped me get back on my feet. I stayed with him for a while, but he wanted to control me just like they had. So I took his bike and left. He didn’t much appreciate that, though.”
“I still don’t get why you’re running?”
Reaper held out the glass, but Phantom ignored her and found a beer for her instead. She didn’t seem to care and took a few long drags.
“When I left Death, I was kind of just drifting around. I didn’t have any education, I was pretty fucked in the head, and I was basically mad at the whole world. But then I met a woman. She took me in and taught me a trade. She gave me purpose and somewhere to direct all my anger.”
“So again, who are you running from?”
“The Santiago Family.” Reaper emptied her beer, and Wolf suddenly felt an overpowering need to start drinking too.
“The Santiago Family, as the mob family that runs half the east coast?” Phantom asked his expression a mix of confusion, anger, and disbelief.
“That would be them.”
“And why are the Santiago Family trying to get their hands on you?” Phantom asked, and Wolf nodded in agreement. What had the stupid bitch done? Stolen something? Was she trying to blackmail one of them? Or had she… No, she wouldn’t be that stupid. “Did you kill one of them?”
Wolf rubbed his head and exchanged a look with Phantom. Who the fuck was this woman? “Who did you kill?”
“What the hell made you stupid enough to kill the youngest of the Santiago brothers?”
Reaper glared at Phantom, and Wolf was somewhat happy to see the condescending look back on her face. At least this side of Reaper he could sort of deal with. Even if he felt like beating her right that second.
“Because I was contracted to do it.”
“Yeah, you know, when someone pays you to take someone out. I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept.”
“So, you’re a contract killer?”
“Got a problem with that, pretty boy?”
“Not at all,” Phantom said, and Wolf couldn’t agree more. The idea of Reaper with a high-powered rifle made him hard as a rock.
“But I do have a problem with the fact that you have the Santiago Family gunning for you. Why the hell would you take a contract against the Santiago Family?”
“Because the Santiago Family pays good money.”
Reaper rubbed her head, and Phantom handed her another beer.
“Look, all I know is that our normal contact in the Santiago family paid for me to take out a target. I didn’t know it was William before it was too late.”
“So you were set up?”
“Looks like it.”
“What an asshole.”
“Yeah, let’s just say he’s off my Christmas card list.”
Wolf almost snorted, and a rough laugh left him.
“So why are you running from here? As long as you stay behind our walls, we keep you safe,” Phantom said.
“Do I look like a fucking parrot? You think you can just stick me in a cage, and I’ll happily live my life behind these walls? I’m not one for hiding. I just need to get home, get my ducks in a row, and then I’ll deliver whoever paid for that hit. As soon as the Santiago family has the real trouble maker, they will ignore me.”
Wolf rubbed his head and sat hard on the floor. Well, this was one hell of a clusterfuck, but it didn’t change that none of them had a choice. All the brothers would pay if Reaper wasn’t here when Death arrived.
“So, what do we do now?” she asked, and Wolf had a sudden urge to grab her and hold her. It was completely stupid. He wasn’t a protector. And he had never in his life wanted to make the world better. He was an outlaw. He was a murderer.
“Nothing has changed. We all need to stay here until Death arrives. Once that is done, I’ll take you wherever you want to go,” Phantom said, and Wolf suddenly realized his old friend was as caught up in Reaper’s spell as he was.
“You’re naive if you think Death will let me go once he gets his hands on me,” Reaper whispered so low Wolf wasn’t even sure he heard it right. Phantom held a beer out to him, and he took it without a word, leaning against the wall. Reaper was drawing small circles on the bed with her fingers. Getting drunk seemed like an excellent idea.