I’ll totally admit it. I’m a writer who reaches for the dark side. A lot. What this means is that my imagination delights in creating stories about the bad things that can happen and therefore I write suspense and paranormal elements in quite a few of my stories. How do people react when faced with an event such as a super volcano eruption? How do they react when the dark side of society comes out to play? Take a peek of this excerpt from Darkfall (The Wasteland Trilogy #2). Beware, salty language ahead. Oh, and there’s that whole hot attraction between the hero and heroine thing, too.
A woman determined not to repeat the past and a former SAS soldier reunite to survive in a challenging new world forged by an apocalypse no one could stop.
Penny Graham once fought her powerful attraction to Special Air Service soldier Ian MacDaniel. But when their undeniable attraction was condemned by her father, they parted ways. Apocalypse pushes people to violence, and when she turns to her father for help, Ian volunteers to rescue her. Forced to fight for survival while trapped in a bunker, they can’t ignore the desire still sizzling between them.
Penny rushed into the shelter and turned in time for Ian to follow her inside, slam the door and seal it. The locking mechanism twirled in Ian’s hands as he made certain the men charging couldn’t enter. She tripped backward and landed butt first on the concrete floor. Her gun went spinning across the floor. She didn’t move as she stared up at the monitor and the men outside. Ian’s back stayed toward her as he also watched the crowd.
“Crap, they’re more of them than the last time.” She almost gagged on the words. Fear seized her throat, and she took in a half-choked breath.
Ian was breathing hard, his shoulders heaving. “Fuck.” He growled his next words. “Fucking hell.”
Behind the heavy door the shouts of enraged people sounded minimal.
“Ian–” She saw red spreading over the back of his right shoulder. A small stain but growing steadily. She scrambled for her weapon and launched to her feet as her heart banged in her chest. She put the weapon on a small table. “You’re hit.”
He turned away from the monitor and toward her. “What?”
She rushed up to him to check out his wound. “Your right shoulder. You’ve been shot.”
She tried to see around the flak vest. A tiny tear in the turtleneck shirt showed a small pool of blood.
He shrugged, winced, and turned back to the door. “This is a cliché, but it’s only a flesh wound.”
More pounding on the door made her jump and step back. Dammit, those assholes would not debilitate her.
She moved to the cabinet above the bed to retrieve a first aid kit. She tossed the kit on the bed as the pounding stopped and voices faded. Her heart still thundered in her chest.
“Motherfuckers,” he whispered under his breath.
Despite the fear she managed a small smile. He’d always cursed too much, even in front of her. She didn’t mind it, because she tended to curse too often as well–she couldn’t deride him when she didn’t always control her potty mouth.
After they’d stood there some time, the monitor showed the crowd had left the basement. He turned toward her. His taut strength was evident as he moved–all of it made her feel safe while thoroughly unnerving her in other ways.
Ian’s expression blazed with slow-simmering anger. “Shit. I should have gotten you out of here instead of fucking around.”
“You didn’t know they’d come back.”
“My assault rifle is in the SUV. Damn it! What a stupid, fuckwit thing to do.” He hissed the curse, but she didn’t flinch. She knew his piss and vinegar belonged with the creeps outside and not towards her.
She gestured at his shoulder. “Let me look at the flesh wound.”
He glanced down at his right shoulder again and shrugged. He winced, and at first she thought he wouldn’t oblige. Instead he stripped off his flak/utility vest and dropped it on the floor.
“It’s hardly worth bothering with,” he said.
“Yeah, yeah.” She planted her hands on her hips and tried for humor. “Big bad SAS man. Don’t tell me. You’ve had all your limbs shot off at one time or the other, and you’re now like the Universal Soldier with all your parts sewn back on.”
For a second his mouth dropped open, pure incredulousness on his face. Then he cracked a smile that almost destroyed her ability to breathe. The grin, though small and a bit lopsided, made his eyes brighten with stirring warmth. He’d never smiled much–the damn man took strong and silent to the extreme. Always watching, always keeping his back to the wall, at least metaphorically speaking.
And then there was his freaking body. Ian brought new meaning to the word ripped.
The turtleneck molded to his broad shoulders, bulging biceps, and hard pecs in sinful ways she couldn’t ignore even after what they’d just experienced. He drew the turtleneck over his head as he walked to the bench and sat down at an angle so she could reach his shoulder. She sucked in a breath. She’d never seen his naked torso before, but she’d fantasized about it enough times. Holy crap. Her imagination had nothing on reality. As she tended to the wound, she ogled him. Before he’d turned his back, she’d spied an eyeful of russet hair sprinkled lightly over hard pectorals, a six-pack and down into the waistband of his pants. Muscles bunched and released in his shoulders as she dabbed antiseptic on the wound.
“You’re right.” She cleared her throat as her voice almost squeaked. “This isn’t bad. It’s not even bleeding anymore. Definitely a scratch.”
He grunted. One of those male sounds which could be easily construed as agreement or mockery. She drew in a deep breath, not wanting to think of what could have happened if the shooter had better aim. The thought of potent, totally alive Ian being killed or seriously injured sent a shudder of pain through her she didn’t want to acknowledge. She patched him quickly, and when she closed the first aid kit, he turned straight on the bench to look at her. He scrunched the turtleneck in his fist, and her gaze snagged on his big hands. A heatwave slammed through her when she remembered the one and only time those hands had threatened to send her over the edge with pleasure. God, I’m nuts. Why the hell am I responding to him like an infatuated teenage girl? Especially when danger lurks right outside the door?
“Something wrong?” His voice was craggy as a cliff.
Penny licked her lips, and her mouth felt so parched she thought she might choke. She walked to the storage cabinet in one corner and opened it. “Water?”
“Catch.” She tossed a bottle at him. He caught it with ease.
He stayed on the bench, and damn him but she wished he’d put on the turtleneck. Her gaze kept straying to yards of hot male muscles. He opened the bottle and took a swig, then wiped his mouth on his forearm.
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