Authors: Alexis Martin
Vander sat up, ripped the IVs from his arms, and shook his head. “So who are you guys?”
“Settle down, big fella. You are too large of a bloke for us to be fighting. We are the resistance you might say. Our community is 5,000 strong, and we grow every day. We are the largest survivor camp in North America. I am the joint operations officer of Bravo Team.” Nick extended a hand to Vander, and the big man shook it with force.
“Vander Lungren,” he offered.
“My pleasure, Vander. So will you become part of the team and join our ranks?”
Vander sat quietly for a moment and rubbed the underside of his chin. “Y’all don’t run any breeding programs do you?”
Nick obviously found some humor in that and chuckled. “Absolutely not, my large friend. We are a free society trying to rebuild lives and reclaim lands. One entire city is nearly infected free.”
“Then I may join you, but first I have to do something.” Vander gripped the man’s hand. “I thank you all for saving me, and I ask of you one last favor.”
“Don’t jiggle my jellies, mate, we are in the business of helping people. Now what is this one last favor?”
* * * *
Cody hadn’t eaten in two days, and Skye felt sick at the pit of her stomach. William was obviously suffering from some mild depression himself because he barely made eye contact with anyone and kept quiet.
She didn’t think anyone could ever get past the fact that Vander was no longer with them—part of their core group. The loss was immense, and Skye didn’t want to think about it because it always brought on tears. She would never fully recover from such a devastating loss—none of them would.
They had made it to their little oasis paradise, but the cost was great and the area, the sea and sky, didn’t seem as sweet as it could be. Will was obviously the strongest of the group because he took charge as their team leader. The first night without Vander was spent in complete silence, but the second they had all talked at length, cried, and consoled each other in a grand, macabre scene that played out beneath the stars on the beach.
It was nearing dusk, and the low-burning coals of the fire basin illuminated their sleeping area. Will stepped away to rinse the pans from their meal, and Cody sat on a blanket beside the fire, his hands covering his face. Skye wrapped a caring arm around his shoulder. “I know this really sucks. We must move forward—we have to get through this, Cody. We must force ourselves to concentrate on what is left.”
Cody leaned in and caught her off guard with a deep, passionate, penetrating kiss that she never experienced before, their tongues connecting in a fiery bliss. “I love you, Skye. I also loved Vander, and I won’t be the same without him.”
“Me, too, Cody, me, too.”
They stretched out on the blanket gazing at the array of stars above, wondering what the future would hold.
* * * *
Skye watched from a lounge chair while Will taught Cody the finer points of saltwater fishing. The picturesque view was breathtaking, the sky a seamless blue that seemed to go on for eternity. White sands and water so crystal clear that it made Skye nearly cry. It all could have been so perfect, the scene, the weather, zombie-free environment, if only Vander was among them.
After nearly dozing off from the warm ocean breeze, Skye removed her top then slid off her shorts always cognizant of where her guns were. Old habits die hard. Even in paradise she was aware of danger and possible threats.
Both of her men glanced back at her for a long while and gave her wide smiles.
It was only them, so why not get comfortable?
She adjusted her wide sunglasses and tilted her head back listening to the sounds of surf and breeze. Nature’s music and the placidity of it all had her relaxed and eyes growing heavy. She was almost asleep when something wet tickled her ear, a strong tongue caressing her lobe.
She kept her eyes shut, knowing it was something Will or Cody would do. “Did you miss me, beauty?” The husky voice froze her. But it couldn’t be—it wasn’t plausible. Then a dominant, hot mouth claimed her lips, and she brought a hand up to feel his face, too scared to open her eyes and lose this wonderful dream.
“Vander?” she whispered.
“Who else would it be?”
She smiled for the first time. Was it real? “But how?”
He broke the kiss and grabbed her hands. “It’s a long and miraculous story. He lifted her from the lounge chair and spun her around to greet a small squad of dark-clad men in flight suits. “They saved me, Skye, and provided me with an antidote for the virus. I am healthy again!”
“Pleasure to meet you, Skye—name is Nick Muldune. Vander holds you in high regard, basically forced us to find you.” The young, blond-haired man shook her hand in a greeting.
Skye then concealed her most private areas with an arm across her breasts and a hand over her pubic mound. “Excuse my nakedness.” She could feel herself blushing.
“No worries, Skye, you’re a real beaut.”
“Ummm, how did you get here?”
“Flew in low and saw your heli three miles back. Vander was able to track you on foot, figured where you might be.”
“I am not sure how to thank you for bringing him back to us.”
“It’s what we do.” Nick smiled brightly and looked up at Vander. “You know where to find us. I circled it on the map just in case you forget.” Nick gestured to his crew. “Back to work, people.”
Skye watched in silence as the trio left the way they came. She then hurled herself into Vander’s large arms, and the squeeze he gave her assured her that he was safe and it was indeed Vander. Will and Cody ran upon them, both huffing and out of breath.
Will smacked Vander’s shoulder. “So I guess you are immune to the virus and somehow sported wings and flew here to find us?”
Vander nudged Will. “Not exactly, but pretty close really.”
“Well, you have got a lot of explaining to do, partner.”
“All in good time—all in good time.” Vander began walking for the coast.
“Where are you going?” Will queried.
“I am going to fish awhile. Come on, Cody, let’s catch us a marlin.”
Cody was ashen and appeared awestruck. “Is this real?”
“No, dipstick, I am a figment of your imagination,” said Vander good-naturedly.
Cody’s lips turned into a brief smile. “It is you. I’ll race you to the water.” Both took off like a shot.
Will glanced at Skye. “Vander always claimed he was a tough son of a bitch to kill. Guess he was right. What now?” He shrugged.
Skye slid into Will’s accepting arms and kissed him lovingly, sweeping a hand down the back of his pants to cup the right half of his ass cheek. “Whatever we want,” she answered. Her other hand moved to the front of his pants, feeling the firmness beneath a thin layer of material. “What do you say we have some private fun while Cody and Vander are busy fishing?”
Will grinned at her mischievously. “I’d say that is a proposition I would never refuse.”
The days looked brighter for Skye because all of her men were safe, and there was a new hope for the future, and whatever it held they would be together, and in the end that was all that mattered.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
She was raised in Illinois, a rural town just east of the Mississippi River, and now resides in Missouri—the Show Me State. Alexis enjoys reading and writing, having fun and exercising. All things at the lake are fine by her. She also loves hearing from her readers. Ask her a question or share a random thought. Her e-mail is always open. See her web site at www.Alexismartin28.com.
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