Reaper's Fire (Reapers MC #6) - Joanna Wylde Page 0,1

Brandon opened it, stepping into the room.

“Tinker?” he asked softly. He carried two dozen red roses, which meant he at least had the presence of mind to feel guilty. One dozen for romance, two for forgiveness. That time he’d cheated on me, I’d gotten diamond earrings.

I hated diamonds. Always had. Seemed like a husband should know that about his wife.

“Little late, aren’t you?” Margarita asked, her voice like ice. Brandon stared her down.

“I’d like some time alone with Tinker.”

“No fucking way—”

“It’s all right,” I told her, twisting my wedding set around on my finger. The engagement ring alone totaled nearly four carats, encrusted and bright. It wasn’t the original, of course. Brandon liked to upgrade it every few years, because God knew his wife couldn’t wear something simple. His family came from money—supposedly a lot of it, based on the prenup I’d signed—but I’d always thought it was tacky as hell. Margarita glanced toward me, and I read her look. Are you sure you want him here?

“It’s fine,” I told her. “Why don’t you take Craig to find some coffee or something? He’s probably had a long day.”

“Coffee would be perfect,” Craig blurted out, more rattled than I’d ever seen him. I had to give him credit—coming to the hospital couldn’t have been easy. The flowers he’d brought probably cost ten bucks down at Pike Place, but I liked them better than Brandon’s overpriced roses.

They were sincere.

Margarita and Craig walked out, leaving me alone with my husband.

“So,” he said, setting the bouquet on the small table next to me, nearly knocking over my cup of water in the process. “How are you doing? I’m so sorry I couldn’t come down. It was the motorcycle gang case, and you know how big a deal it is. Today we were scheduled to cross-examine a key witness, and I didn’t feel comfortable letting anyone else take over. I would’ve come if I could.”

Brandon gave me his politician’s smile, the same smile he used to schmooze future donors for his campaign. He hadn’t announced anything yet, but I’d known for a while that he planned to run for King County Prosecuting Attorney when the position opened up in two years. The current prosecutor would be retiring, and as head of the criminal division, Brandon was the logical successor.

“Sit down next to the bed,” I said quietly. “We need to talk.”

“Of course,” he replied, all concern. The portrait of a loving husband. Too bad there wasn’t a camera to capture the moment. Might make a good campaign poster, so long as they Photoshopped some color onto my cheeks.

“She was a little girl,” I told him. I hadn’t known ahead of time—I’d wanted it to be a surprise. “They don’t know why she died. They said that sometimes late-term miscarriages are caused by genetic abnormalities.”

He sighed heavily, then looked down, shaking his head. God, but the man was a good actor. Guess that was my consolation—I wasn’t the only one who’d fallen for his shit. There was a reason he always won with juries.

People wanted to believe him.

“It’s probably for the best,” he said slowly. “She wouldn’t have been healthy, and you have so much to handle already. Once the campaign starts—”

I studied the man I’d slept with for ten years, ignoring the drone of his voice. There was just the hint of a bald spot on the top of his head. Nothing serious, but I knew he’d met with a doctor to discuss hair plugs. Dreamily, I pictured taking my big chef’s knife and chopping it down through his skull. Bone was hard, but I kept my knives very, very sharp.

God, but I was a fucked-up excuse for a human being.

“It’s over,” I said shortly, sliding my rings off my finger. Brandon’s head jerked up, and he stared at me, his expression genuine for once.


I held the sparkling jewelry out toward him, but he didn’t take it.

“It’s over,” I repeated. “This whole marriage was a mistake and I’d like you to leave now. My lawyer will be in touch—I’ll ask Smith for a referral. I think the faster we finalize things, the better.”

“Baby, I’m so sorry,” he said, and while the words were apologetic, I could see the little vein in his forehead starting to pulse. Brandon was angry. Good.

I was angry, too.

“Get out of my room,” I added, my voice low but fierce, my free hand rubbing across my empty stomach.

“Tinker, they’ve obviously given you drugs for the pain—you’re not thinking right. We need