“Do you love Bishop?”
“You’re really determined to find out who I love, don’t you?” she asked.
“I love Bishop as a friend. Not as anything else. He hated me for it. When I was pregnant, he couldn’t stand to know his father had what I wouldn’t give him. I didn’t always have feelings for Preacher, they developed.”
“How did they develop?” He held his hands up. “I’m asking as a friend.”
“Do you really think you can just be a friend?” she asked.
“I can be whatever you need me to be.”
“Apart from taking me home, you mean?” she asked.
“Anything but that.” He winked at her. “Besides, what is there not to love? You’ve brushed death and had some kickass fun, right?”
She rolled her eyes.
“So, tell me. How did your feelings for Preacher develop?”
“If I tell you this, you cannot use my feelings or what I share with you against Preacher.”
She didn’t know if she believed him, but seeing no other reason to argue with him, she tucked her hair behind her ear and stared down at her nearly empty plate of pancakes. “He was the only one who wasn’t going to force me to give up my baby. He simply wanted me to be happy and comfortable and the only way to do that was to, you know, get to know each other. He was there at every single scan without fail. Bishop was supposed to be there, but he would always leave me. I hated to be alone. I was pregnant and I’m not going to lie, I was freaking out a whole lot. This was all new for me, and he just left, which sucked. I hated him a little for that. Okay, I hated him a lot, but you get the drill. Preacher was merely happy to be there with me. Nothing was complicated with him. I liked that.”
“You liked a world without complications.”
“Yeah, I guess I did.”
“Eat up. You’re going to need your strength.”
“I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get used to this. You being all caring.”
“I’m sure there’s a lot you can take.”
They stayed at the same hotel for another week.
Robin got her strength back. She finished taking her medication, and as soon as she was fit to survive, they were back on the road, journeying to the next hotel, apartment, or abandoned building.
Reaper didn’t care where he stopped so long as there was access to food and water. Most of the time, they kept to old roads where they passed the odd minivan but mostly truckers.
The seasons changed from winter to spring, into summer.
Her time with Reaper wasn’t bad. In fact, he gave her everything he heart desired. If she wanted to read, he’d provide her books. New clothes, she’d wake up or come out of the bathroom to beautiful new outfits.
Of course, nothing she could ever keep for long. The books always stayed in one place or Reaper burned them the night before they were due to leave.
She looked over at the clock on one of the walls which held not only the time, but also the date. Staring at it now, she realized she’d been with Reaper for nearly eight months. She’d missed her birthday and she was now nineteen. It was only by a couple of days, but she was now a nineteen-year-old, yay.
Returning her gaze to the fire, she tried not to think of her feelings when it came to Reaper. They shared a bed every single night. He never drank himself into a stupor. The meals they shared, the memories they talked about. He never spent time with any of the women he brought to the men. Even now, she looked across the fire to the three women who were drinking, snorting, and enjoying the attention of all the men. They were lavishing it up.
“I’m going to head to bed,” she said, getting to her feet.
Reaper captured her wrist. He was sitting, talking with Trick, who’d come and given him a new tattoo.
Robin had been thinking of having another, but she hadn’t talked to Reaper about it.
The chains around her wrist had started to grow on her. Where she once saw them as her prison, she now saw them as something more.
“Are you okay? Do you want me to send them away?” Reaper asked, looking toward the group.
“No, not at all. I’m tired. I’ve got to get some sleep.” She needed to create distance. Whenever her feelings for Reaper blurred, her first and only instinct was to run. It was all she knew how to do. Trying to face the harsh reality of actually having feelings for the man who took her was too much.
Stepping into their room, she went straight to the shower, removing her clothes. They were all brand-new as her old jeans had gotten torn during one of their camping nights. Sometimes when the men got tired, they would find a spot and camp out in the open. It was dangerous, but she saw the men got a high out of trying to live on the edge. For her, she didn’t get any kick out of doing anything that could get her mauled by a large grizzly bear.