I'm almost done with Backs Against the Wall, the second installment in the Survival Series! I'm hoping to have it out in early March.
While Ryan is not in this excerpt, I promise there's a lot of him in this story. This book is also where we start seeing ties to the Quarantined Series really kick in. Some familiar names, places, a few faces...
The room is small but warm with two beds, one small desk and a window that has been all but boarded shut. The beds are nothing but old, bare mattresses with blankets tossed over them. I notice that the floor is covered in clothes. I glance at Trent in surprise, shocked to see that Mr. Methodical is a pig at heart, but whatever insult or question I had for him dies on my lips. The wall beside one of the beds has been hollowed out, the drywall stripped down, the insulation yanked out. In its place is shelf after shelf secured between the wood. On those shelves are more books than I can ever remember seeing in one place. I’m sure I went to the library at some point as a child, but I honestly can’t remember and right now, I truly do not care. Even if those libraries of the old days had housed a million books, they couldn’t compare to this. To one wall full of treasures saved and preserved in a world where everything and everyone wastes away to ash and dust.
“They’re Ryan’s,” Trent tells me, seeing my stare. “He’s a bit of a collector.”
“Little bit,” I mutter in agreement.
“That’s his bed on that side if you want to lie down and rest. He won’t be back for another few hours. You may as well get some sleep.”
I feel myself blush at the idea of laying in his bed. Honestly, I think I’d be more comfortable laying in Trent’s. There’s something less…I don’t know. Meaningful about it, I guess. Sleeping in Ryan’s bed, well, I almost feel like I’d enjoy it too much.
“I don’t want to bleed on his bed,” I say lamely, gesturing to my jacked up arm.
Trent quirks an eyebrow at me, not buying it. “You’re giving his bed more credit for cleanliness than it deserves.”
“That doesn’t really entice me to jump right in.”
Trent shrugs before taking a seat on his own bed. “Stand then. It’s your call.”
I’m too tired to stand. I’m too beat down, exhausted, aching tired to be proud or embarrassed either. I carefully step through the room, mindful of the piles of clothes on the floor, trying to avoid them, but failing. Then I carelessly collapse on his bed. The sigh that escapes my lips is pure joy leaking from my soul. I slept on a bed in the Colony. It was weird and awesome at the same time, but I also resented it. It was always a sign of the world being forced on me, of the lie they were all living. But this is different. This mattress is far less comfortable, far more worn and it smells of dude. It has the faint scent of a very familiar soap made by the wizard of the woods and the earthy smell of good old fashioned stink. It’s earth and sweat. Grass and warm skin.
This I kind of love.
Author of YA/NA science fiction and romance peppered with wit and sarcasm.