Nothing in her graduate history courses prepared Judith Graham for the monotony of her existence in the weeks following a zombie apocalypse. Hiding from the rotted world in her makeshift fortress, she subsists on dehydrated food and lonely thoughts, but she’d give anything for some sugar.
When she gives up and decides to indulge her sweet tooth, she crosses paths with Sky Beckett, a high school physics teacher making his way to his Southern childhood home. Several passionate encounters coupled with Sky’s assertion that things are only going to get worse not better, spark Judith’s doubts about the isolated life she’s chosen.
But can Judith find the strength to leave the false security of her past behind to create a new future with Sky in an uncertain world?
The banging of the intruders covered the mindless, grating sounds of zombies. He hoped the gang would be overcome, allowing them to escape. If they were lucky. Because the closet was so small, she remained crammed against him, his arm still around her waist. He could feel her rib cage expanding and contracting with each breath, and her bottom pressing into his lap. Sky closed his eyes, praying his dick wouldn’t choose this time to stand up and introduce itself. It had been too long since he had kept company with any female, much less had a firm ass shoved against him. He hugged the good-smelling woman to him and enjoyed the weight of her body against his. If a grinding lap dance was what he had to endure to keep her, and him, safe, then so be it. It might be an awful, terrible burden, but someone had to take the job.
Her heart beat like a jackrabbit’s against his chest. She had no pack, no gear. She must be staying nearby. He inhaled her scent again, an intoxicating mix of vanilla and something floral.
Male voices interrupted his thoughts, and Sky saw the beams of her pursuers’ flashlights through the crack at the bottom of the door.
“She’s gotta be in here. No way she could have gotten out the front without getting nabbed,” one of them snarled as they pulled the back door open with a screech. The men from the alley joined the conversation.
“That cunt fucked up my balls, man. I can feel ’em swelling up. And she almost took off Jay’s ear.”
“Fuck yeah. When we find her, first thing I’m gonna do is– What the fuck? Collie, look out!”
The woman pressed back against him, crushing him into the back wall. The gun dug into his back, grinding against his vertebrae. He slid his arm under her breasts and pulled her still tighter against him.
“Don’t be afraid. Nobody’s coming in here.” He didn’t know this for sure, but he hoped she would draw some comfort from his words. She trembled so much he swore he could hear her teeth chattering even over their confused shouts, then bellows of terror.
Sky put his mouth close to her ear. “We’ll wait till they’re busy with your friends; then we’ll go.”
The shrieks and cries continued as well as the soggy ripping sounds of human flesh being consumed. The groans of the zombies grew louder and more frantic as the attack continued, the flashlight beams jerking around as their owners were either attacked, torn apart, or ran for their lives. Bodies smacked wetly on the concrete floor as the wails of the living dissolved into pitiful moans, and their pleas for help went unanswered.
The woman shivered and shook against him, no matter how firmly he held her. There was moisture on his bare arm, and he realized she was crying. “Don’t cry for them, honey,” he whispered in her ear. He smoothed her hair back away from her sweaty face. “They woulda done worse to you. I can guarantee you that.”
After the cacophony of mindless hunger and zombie carnage, an eerie silence reigned, punctuated by the occasional groan and tearing, squishy noises. His watch ticked off the seconds.
“Come on.” He stood the best he could in the cramped space and helped her up. “We can go.”
“No, no,” she pleaded, a death grip on his arm. “I can’t go out there. I won’t. We’ll wait until they leave.”
“They can’t leave,” he whispered. “We need to go now, while they’re distracted with their eating.”
“Be quiet and come with me. It’ll be fine.” Something in his voice must have convinced her, because she relaxed against him.
With his gun at the ready, he nudged the closet door open with the toe of his boot.