The Grim Reaper (The Grim Reaper Duology - Book 1)

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I blink the sleepiness from my eyes as Lucy’s bare skin brushes against mine. For the most of the night, we’ve been hugging into each other tightly. The bed is too small for us to have any space for ourselves. But, I don’t mind. I’m just glad that I have her with me. She’s lying on her side, her face leaned towards mine. She’s still asleep, the graceful features of her face softened. She looks peaceful. Her lips are pursed slightly. I smile at her and plant a kiss on her cheek. She’s so beautiful. So perfect. I’m completely and madly in love with her. I want to be with her forever.

I guess I’m struggling to reach a decision over what I should do. Knowing what I know about my dad and the grudge the Reaper has for him, I could be endangering Lucy by staying with her. At the same time, I don’t know what I’d do without her. I feel like I should break things off with her for her own safety, but I don’t know if I can. I’m selfish and I want her to be with me.

I slide from under the covers and grab my shirt from the floor. As I pull it over my head, there’s a knock on the door. It’s Cole. “Hey, Thomas,” I call. “Are you alive in there? We were thinking--”

I pull my slacks on and rush to the door. I yank it open. “Keep it down,” I whisper. “Lucy’s, she’s--”

The corners of Cole’s lip turn upwards into a teasing smile. “She’s asleep? So, she stayed the night then?” he smirks. “In your room?”

I step out into the hallway and face him. “She, we just--”

“Thomas, it’s cool. I’m not judging,” he smiles. “Breakfast in a few minutes, yeah?”

“Yeah,” I say. Cole nods and strides across the corridor to his room. I smile to myself as I close the door over. He was definitely judging the situation. I know it wouldn’t be convincing for me to deny what Cole thinks went down between Lucy and I last night. And I know if I tried to convince him otherwise, I’d be lying, but why does he have to make assumptions?

“Good morning,” Lucy yawns. I turn to her, the smile still plastered on my face. “Hey,” I smile, stepping towards the bed as she sits up and searches for her top and skirt. I pick up the pile of her clothes from the floor and pass them to her. I take a seat beside her as she pulls her top on over her lace bra.

“So, we got a bit distracted last night,” she smiles. She forces her smile into a vacant expression. “But, I meant to ask you, what is this about, Thomas? The big escape.”

“Luc,” I sigh. She nods. “Is it to do with the Grim Reaper?”

I bite my lip. “Yeah, Luc, and I’ve actually been thinking and I think it would--”

“Do you still want to catch him?”

“Yeah,” I swallow.

She nods. “Then, I want to help you.”

I shake my head fervently. “No, Luc, look, this is for me to--”

“You are my boyfriend, Thomas. So, if you’re going to do this, then I’m with you all the way. We’re in this together.”

I look down. “Luc, look, I love you, and I wish I could involve you, but I can’t. It’s too dangerous.”

She looks down. “Thomas, I know that it’s risky, but I am doing this with you. Whether you like or not. I’m your girlfriend, so I am involved already. I believe everything you said about the Reaper. You said he planted a camera in my bedroom. That means he has stalked me Thomas, so I’m in no more danger than I have been in. I want what you want. I want him locked up. So, we are going to make sure of it.”

“No, Lucy,” I assert. “I’m not letting you.”

She jolts up from the bed. “You can’t stop me, Thomas,” she snaps. “Why are you so against me helping you?”

I look down. “Look, Luc, I--”

She shakes her head. “Oh, I get it. No need to explain. When you originally had it in mind to catch him, you sought everyone’s help but mine. Andrew’s, Evan’s, your dad’s. I was talking to your mate, Cole, is it? And he told me all about how he and the other guys are helping you in your plan. You’ve also known them five minutes. And yet, when your girlfriend, who you’ve known since you were five years old, offers to help, you shut her out. Correct me if I’m wrong, Thomas, but from where I’m standing, it seems that my boyfriend is quite blatantly sexist,” she spits.

I rise from the bed and bring my face level to hers. “That is not true,” I bite. I swallow and step away from her. I didn’t mean to come across as aggressive as I just did. I throw myself onto the bed and release a despairing sigh. Lucy slowly takes a seat beside me and gently intertwines her fingers with mine. “Tell me, Thomas. If that’s not it, then what is it?”

“I love you Luc, and I’m sorry if that’s how it comes across. But, I care about you more than anybody else I know. You and Alex were the most important people to me. And now that he’s, now that he’s... gone, you’re the one person left in my life that I can--” I trail off, as a tear falls down my face. Lucy’s face softens and she pulls me closer to her.

“I know you loved Alex, Thomas,” she cries. “I did too, but I am begging you to not push me out because you’re so hell bent on protecting me. I don’t want you to protect me. I want you to trust me with the truth. If you’re chasing down a psychopathic serial killer, I’m potentially in danger anyway, so I want to be able to do something to help. Please, Thomas. Please tell me everything that’s going on. I want to know.”

“Okay, Luc,” I say. “This may take a while. So, here it goes.”

“Oh my God, Thomas,” Lucy gasps. “This is horrible. You had a vision that he was holding a knife to my throat?”

“Yeah,” I swallow. “And I’m just terrified that if I drag you further into this, it’ll come true.”

She blinks away a tear. “Thomas, you had a vision of Mr Blanchard being murdered. And he was killed in exactly the same manner as the vision. That means your visions are coming true, and if that’s the case, then that is going to happen to me.”

I was kind of wishing she wouldn’t say that. That thought has entered my head, but it was too gut wrenching for me to entertain, so you’ve tried to push it to the back of my mind. “Thomas, I understand that you’re worried, but if that’s going to happen, it’s going to happen anyway. So, I want to at least try and help you. Thomas, please let me in.”

I guess she’s right. There is a possibility that it’s going to happen. And she’s not going to give up until I allow her on side with me. “Okay,” I surrender. “But please, don’t do anything risky without me knowing about it.”

“I promise,” she says.

“Right,” I gulp. “You hungry? Cole, Lenny, Matt and I are going into town to buy some new clothes and grab some breakfast.”

“Sounds great,” she smiles. Her phone buzzes from her pocket and she sighs. “It’s my dad, sorry, I’ve got to take this.”

She places the phone to her ear. “Hi Dad. Oh, I’m.. just at.. Maria’s house. I hope you don’t mind that I stayed the night,” she smiles, giving me a playful look. I smile back as she resumes her conversation with her dad. “Yeah, we’ve just gotten up, so I’ll probably be an hour or so. Okay, bye.”

She hangs up and turns to me. “I’m so sorry, but I’ve got to get back home now, or he’ll get suspicious. And he would freak if he knew I had been with you all night.”

“I understand,” I chuckle.

“I’ll see you later. I’ll be back this evening,” she smiles. “I love you.”

Lucy leans her face to mine and we share a tender kiss before she backs away. “I’ve really got to go. Bye.”

She slips her feet into her shoes and grabs her jacket. She rushes out onto the corridor and I follow her closely. Lenny, Cole and Matt step out of Cole’s room as I rap on the door. “Let’s eat,” Cole says.

I chuckle at him. I don’t Cole has an off button when it comes to food. He’s always hungry.

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