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Embrace the Reaper









By Blak Rayne





Blak Rayne Publications Ltd.



By Blak Rayne

The Ideal Side of Love

The Ideal Side of Life

Carson’s Story

Older the Better

The Jock

Tease to Please (multiple authors)

Turkish Delight

Put Your Ho Ho’s On (multiple authors)



Reaper Series

Kiss the Reaper

Maximum Kill

Jack the Anthropophagite

Apprentice Killers

Embrace the Reaper

The Reaper Complete Series



Embrace the Reaper

Copyright © 2017 Blak Rayne


ISBN: 978-0-9959839-0-8 (epub)

All rights reserved. The use of any portion of this publication, reproduced, transmitted or distributed in any form, by any electronic or mechanical means, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, now known or hereafter invented, which includes retrieval systems or information storage, without prior written consent from the copyright owner(s)—or in the case of photocopying or other reprographic copying, license from the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency—or with the exception of a review, where the reviewer may quote brief passages in his or her review—is an infringement of copyright law.

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, businesses, locations, events, and incidents are either the product(s) of the author’s imagination or have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or actual events is entirely coincidental.

Book Design by Blak Rayne Publications Ltd.

Cover Design by Book Cover by Design

Editor Amanda Bidnall


For more information visit: www.blakraynebooks.com



Dedication

In fond memory of friend and author Michael J. I miss your unprecedented support, passion for the written word, and sound advice.



Table of Contents

Author’s Note

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

About the Author



Author’s Note

This series has been a blast to write. I wanted to create a dark storyline without boundaries and characters with intrinsic chemistry, which I think worked out pretty well. Embrace the Reaper is the final book, and it contains the most emotion. Zeus and Brody have come a long way from their initial encounter. As they confront their most formidable opponent, Zeus finally matures, and Brody seems practically human. If only for a moment, the pair swap identities and get a chance to truly understand one another. Value isn’t in the material but in those we hold dear, and love is what makes that value real.



And I looked, and behold, a pale horse: and his name that sate on him was Death, and hell followed with him.

— Revelation 6:8

The Holy Bible

King James Version

Authorized Version Published 1611



Chapter One

I dashed into the woods. Every muscle was on fire, and my throat was dry and sore. After running over a mile bathed in moonlight, I lost my bearings in the pitch black. Branches whipped my chest like jellyfish tentacles; one stung under my right eye, splitting the delicate layer of flesh. Fuck! I shielded my face, crossing my arms.

The agents’ voices and the barking of their tracker dogs were clear and growing louder. And when I peered back, a dozen flashlights floated between the trees like orbs…

***

The beginning of my end and Brody’s started at the Golden Valley Amusement Park. The last thing I remembered was a brief scuffle when someone clamped my mouth and nose, and 50,000 volts surged through my chest, prickling my breath. When I came to, I had a splitting headache. I was strapped to a bed—by my limbs and even my head—and dressed in what looked like plain white pajamas. I saw stark walls and a metal door with a mesh window, like a psychiatric ward. And I knew I was in the End Life facility.

I freaked, screaming and straining against the straps. Seconds in, three men wearing mint-green, straight-cut slacks and smocks entered the room. While two restrained me, the third jabbed me with a needle. A cold sensation rapidly saturated my entire arm then leaked into my chest muscles, freezing me slowly, taking over inch by inch. My heart rate decelerated dramatically, and my head became too heavy for my neck to support. I felt sluggish, worn-out, and vulnerable.

My captors unclasped the leather straps, hoisted me to standing, and stripped me naked. Completely stoned, I possessed no mobility control and fell forwards. They hauled me, feet slapping the cool linoleum, through a too-bright corridor. Squinting, I listened to my hollow inhalations. I was a prisoner in my own head. Even if I’d wanted to fight, my body wasn’t capable.

The next room was just as bleak as the first, with a solitary, caged light in the ceiling and an execution-style chair in the center. A variety of syringes lined a table against the rear wall, and there was a metal pail on the floor. The men bound my wrists and forearms, ankles and calves, to the chair. The bare wood slats pinched my scrotum, and I winced. Worse, I knew they hadn’t brought me here to discuss the latest political election.

Once I was secured, the three men in identical uniforms filed out of the room as another man dressed in a white lab coat entered. Middle-aged, tall, broad-shouldered, and towheaded, the man had a goatee and a handsome, leonine profile. He moved with an air of superiority, and his piercing, pale blue gaze never strayed. He was the same man who had spoken to me at the amusement park, just before I was Tasered.

I watched through a murky fog as he picked up the pail and threw the contents at me. Freezing water splashed my face and torso. The cold gave me a jolt. More lucid than I had been seconds earlier, I hung my head, gasping and shivering, as ice cubes settled in my groin and twirled across the floor like translucent ballerinas. “Where’s Brody?” I hissed, spreading my thighs so the ice would slip away.

“Brody is just fine,” he replied. “Did you think we’d dispose of our greatest asset? He is worth ten times more than any of the others. He was exceptional from the moment of discovery.”

Teeth chattering, I eyed the man; I recognized his German accent. He was the same man Brody had talked to over the phone the night of Maxine’s death. “What do you want with me? And why am I naked?”

“We’re going to run some tests.” He reached back and grasped a syringe filled with clear liquid off the table. “Bare flesh has a way of humbling the subject.”

“Is this how you treated Brody, asshole?”

He paused to smile. It was nefarious at best, and I knew I was dealing with a very deranged but intellectually sound man. “Brody’s brain works the same as a computer, albeit more advanced. Through simple observation, he can evaluate the emotions and thought patterns of those around him and account for any unpredictable factors, such as a knee-jerk reaction, and more predictable ones such as general behavioral traits shared by all humans. In other words, he has extraordinary insight, and he can turn a wrong situation into a win-win. Whatever scenario he creates in his mind will come to pass.” He emphasized his words. “He just makes it happen.”

Günter paused, his face solemn, then he said in monotone, “For example, we tested him in public once. The subject was a pedophile who had just been released after serving an eighteen-month prison sentence. Under close supervision of one our female staff, a girl, aged six, was placed in a park where other children were playing. She had the physical features the pedophile would find most appealing—golden brown hair and big brown eyes—and she appeared doll-like in her frilly pink dress. We’d been watching the man’s movements for weeks, and just as I’d predicted, he returned to the park that day and took notice of the girl.”

“Holy shit. You actually used that little girl as bait.”

“I did.” He folded his arms over his midsection. “Do let me finish. Brody was there as well, of course. We’d allowed him, with no prior information, an hour to observe the playground and assess whatever the situation might be. It was quite remarkable, really, how quickly he pegged the pedophile and his target. Within less than five minutes, he knew why he’d been summoned to the park, and he’d come to the only conclusion he could.”

“He killed the man,” I said.

Günter’s thin-lipped smile was nauseating. “Dennis O’Connor, with the adeptness of a pro, stealthily snatched the girl right from under our female staff member’s eyes by giving her a lollipop. He took her by the hand and simply walked away. What he didn’t realize was that Brody was lying in wait. So, by the time Dennis reached his minivan, it was already too late. My sweet, sweet Brody follows his own code of justice, and anyone he deems detrimental to society is exterminated.”

He chuckled, and then said with unbridled delight, “As soon as Dennis opened the side door of the van, Brody grabbed him, dragged him kicking and screaming into the darkness behind the seats, shut the door, and slit him from stem to stern. After which he quickly changed his shirt, removed his gloves, put the soiled clothes and knife in a bag, and then climbed out the rear.”

“What about the little girl?”

“Brody walked her back to the park to meet with our female staff member. It was an incredibly touching moment. The child was holding his hand with both of hers, snuggling into his side, scared to let him go. Ah, but what a befitting death!” Günter resumed his position, standing tall in front of me.

“You’ve been using his ability to control him and make him kill whoever you think should die.”

He clasped his hands behind his back, bent forwards, and searched my eyes. “I’d assumed you were dull-witted, but that isn’t the case. Perhaps you could be reprogrammed.”

“You like to toy with peoples’ lives. It seems you’ve got a God complex.” I scowled. “Which makes you a coward.”

The bastard seized my arm, and the needle sunk into my flesh. In less than a minute, tears were streaming my cheeks as indescribable pain welled up inside me like a geyser, threatening to tear my whole body apart at the seams. I bit my lip. My stomach and abdomen hurt the most, and I groaned, trying to curl in a ball.

“This next injection,” he said as he held up a different syringe, “will induce a fight-or-flight response. I can hardly wait to see what you do.”

As soon as the narcotic hit my bloodstream, a sense of anxiety came on overpoweringly fast, the likes of which I’d never experienced. My heart pounded, causing my body to tremble and grow clammy, and sweat broke out in beads across my brow. My chest tightened, and I dug my fingers into the armrests, my breathing dipping dangerously to shallow.

Günter untied me, then stood back like an enthusiastic father waiting for his toddler to take its first unaided step. I got up from the chair and managed to stand. I didn’t care about him. My only goal was the open doorway. I wandered slowly from the room and fell, my damp back crashing against a corridor wall. Sliding my shoulder along the white paint, I focused on my next goal.


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