Read The Truth is Contagious (The Contagium Series Book 4) Online

Authors: Emily Goodwin

Tags: #undead, #dystopian, #paranormal romance, #paranormal, #zombie, #romance, #living dead, #walking dead, #apocalypse, #survival

The Truth is Contagious (The Contagium Series Book 4)

BOOK: The Truth is Contagious (The Contagium Series Book 4)
6.78Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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A PERMUTED PRESS book

Published at Smashwords

 

ISBN (Trade Paperback): 978-1-61868-396-0

ISBN (eBook): 978-1-61868-395-3

 

The Truth is Contagious
(
The
Contagium
Series
Book
4
) copyright ©
2014

by Emily Goodwin

All Rights Reserved.

Cover art by Dean Samed, Conzpiracy Digital Arts

 

This
book
is
a
work
of
fiction
.
People
,
places
,
events
,
and
situations
are
the
product
of
the
author’s
imagination
.
Any
resemblance
to
actual
persons
,
living
or
dead
,
or
historical
events
,
is
purely
coincidental
.

 

No
part
of
this
book
may
be
reproduced
,
stored
in
a
retrieval
system
,
or
transmitted
by
any
means
without
the
written
permission
of
the
author
and
publisher
.

 

 

In memory of Kami:

Mother, friend, sister

You will be missed.

 

Table of Contents

 

Part I

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Part II

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Epilogue

 

Acknowledgments

Other Books by Emily Goodwin

About the Author

PART I
Chapter 1

 

“What?” I asked, my voice shrill, though
there was no mistaking what Hayden had said.

“I know how the virus started,” he
repeated.

“Don’t make shit up.” I shook my head and
leaned away. “There’s no way you could know that.” I swallowed hard
and pressed my lips together.

Hayden’s fingers curled around the flash
drive. “Fuller knew. He fucking knew all along and never—” He
abruptly cut off and closed his eyes. “I have to tell everyone…let
them know.” He shook his head and let out a deep breath. “We should
go. Now.” He turned his eyes up to mine.

Suddenly all the air was sucked from my
lungs. My head spun. I pushed off of Hayden’s lap and backed away.
I inhaled and got nothing. Fuller was dead. Hayden and me—of all
people—were supposed to take over the role of running the compound.
And Hayden was holding some magical flash drive that held all the
answers. “No,” I said and shook my head, whipping my wet hair over
my shoulder. “You need to explain. Now.”

Hayden turned the flash drive over in his
hand. He set it down on the desk and glared at it. “You might want
to sit down.”

“Is it that bad?” I asked. My blood ran
cold.

Hayden flicked his hazel eyes up at me. “Yes.
And it’s that long.”

“Right,” I said and sat on top of Fuller’s
desk. The back of my purple tank top was soaked from my hair, since
I had just showered. When the air conditioner kicked on, I
shivered. I rubbed my hands along my arms and stared at Hayden, not
sure where we should start. “What’s on that?”

“This?” Hayden held up the flash drive again.
“Nothing now.”

“What do you mean?”

He let the little device drop onto the desk.
I picked it up. The plastic and metal was warm from being in
Hayden’s hand. I turned it over, inspecting it as if it could
somehow give me a clue as to what the hell Hayden was talking
about.

“It was set up to delete after one view.”

I rolled my eyes. “Typical Fuller. And delete
what?”

“A video message Fuller recorded of himself,
explaining everything.”

“Ok, tell me.” I put my hands down on the
desk to keep them from trembling. With all the shit we had just
gone through, this shouldn’t scare me. But it did. Finally finding
the truth that we had so desperately wanted was terrifying. What it
if was worse than what I had imagined? Reality had a nasty habit of
doing that.

Hayden put his head in his hands. “It’s a
mess, Riss. A huge fucking mess.”

I pushed aside my feelings of impatience and
stood to comfort Hayden. I wanted to scream in anxious frustration
and demand Hayden spit out every last detail about the virus and
why the hell Fuller wanted me to help him run the compound. But I
wanted to help the man I loved even more.

I stepped close to him, leaned over, and
wrapped my arms around his shoulders. Hayden reached up and looped
his hands through mine, gently pulling me back into his lap.

“You’re cold,” he said softly.

“And you’re still dirty.”

He gave me a small smile and nestled his face
into my neck. I tightly held onto him, able to feel his rapid
heartbeat. “Yeah. I am,” he said.

I took in a slow, steady breath and closed my
eyes. I needed to stay calm for Hayden’s sake. Hayden relaxed just
a bit when I ran my fingers through his messy brown hair. “Want to
take a shower first? Then we can talk about all this.”

He moved his head to the side. “No. I just…I
don’t even know where to start, Riss.” His jaw tightened and he
blinked back his emotions. I was mad at Fuller. Really fucking mad.
Who was he to put this on Hayden? What on earth possessed him to
wait until Hayden was grieving over his loss before he dropped a
bomb on us?

“Let’s just start with running the compound.
Why us? I mean, it doesn’t make sense. Hector knows pretty much
everything Fuller did.” I raised my eyebrows. “With the exception
to the whole origin of the virus.”

Hayden nodded. “I agree. But in this,” Hayden
reached over me and picked up the letter, “he said that Hector
wouldn’t be able to make the necessary sacrifices to keep this
place running. You know it’s not easy running this place and
certain things have to be done for the greater good.”

I nodded. And I couldn’t disagree. Plus, I
knew as well as anyone that Hayden would do whatever it took to
keep this place safe.

“And,” Hayden continued, “Hector knows it.
He’s going to stay second in command and help me.”

“What about me?”

Hayden’s lips pulled into a small half smile.
“You’re by default.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Default? What the hell
is that supposed to mean?”

Hayden flicked his eyes to the letter,
letting me know he was voicing Fuller’s words, not his. “You
wouldn’t just stand back and let me do this alone, would you?”

“Of course not.”

“You’re more than just my partner, Riss. I
love you and respect you. Though you might be a little…uh,
unorthodox sometimes, you know we would do this together, equally.
And Fuller knew that too.”

“So that’s why Fuller was hard on me? He was
trying to school me into being a leader?”

“Yeah.” Hayden crinkled the paper. “He said
that he wants you to know he really respected you as a soldier. And
he said he thinks we work well together.”

“I have to agree with him there.”

“Me too.” He set the letter down again. His
eyebrows pushed together. He was tired, so tired. “Taking over is
going to be…hard.”

It suddenly dawned on me that I had no idea
what Fuller actually did. My interactions with him were limited to
being disciplined and discussing missions. The room spiraled around
me. How the hell would we do this?

Hayden shifted his legs. I stood, knowing it
wasn’t comfortable for him to have me on his lap while sitting in a
small desk chair. I perched on the edge of the desk again and
realized I was shaking. I looked at Hayden, not even having to say
it out loud.

“The virus,” he stated and I nodded. “The
fucking virus.”

“How did Fuller find out the truth?”

“He knew all along. Since the start of it
all.”

“What?” Nerves prickled though me.

Hayden nodded and ran his hand over his hair.
“Ok…ok,” he said to himself and bounced his leg up and down. He
clasped his hands together and inhaled. “Ok,” he said to me and put
his hands on his thighs. “The virus was created in a lab.”

“Of course it was.”

“On purpose.”

I leaned back. That wasn’t what I was
expecting to hear. Ever. Something this horrible had to be some
sort of vaccination research gone wrong. No one would ever
make
a zombie virus. “W-why?”

“To make people crazy.” He held up his hand
to keep me from firing off another question. “Do you remember how
shitty the economy was?”

I moved my head up and down. “Of course. That
was why I dropped out of school. I couldn’t afford it anymore.”

BOOK: The Truth is Contagious (The Contagium Series Book 4)
6.78Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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