The End’s Beginning by Debra Smith
part of the End of Days anthology
erotic post-apocalyptic romance novella
Cover Art by Winterheart Design
Release Date: 03/07/2013
Nicole has lost everything—her family, her identity, and her world. Her only reason for living is for revenge against the “abominations” or Abomos—a race of genetically enhanced soldiers.
Each day is just another day to die until she meets Seth.
When she meets her new partner Seth, she hopes her attraction is nothing more than a need for sex. Joined with him in a dangerous mission to find a master hard drive with the key to ending the war against the Abomos, she discovers that they both need…each other.
Seth’s a man with secrets, which he’s struggling to keep from Nicole. She’s fearless and strong, a match for him in all things. He’s risking everything to help humanity, but there’s one more risk he has to take—revealing the truth to Nicole. Together can they stay alive long enough to find out if this new world has room for them, and their love?
Nicole was getting antsy. It had been a few days since she’d been sent out on a mission. Trying to put a Band-Aid on her need to kill, she worked out in the training center.
She’d been at it for probably an hour and a half, maybe two. Her long, blonde hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail, her hazel eyes focused, and her trim fit body poised to attack. Sweat condensed on her body, making her sparkle like some sort of angel, but her full lips and pixy like features didn’t really help her tough-girl image.
She held her silver throwing knife loosely and without any warning or hesitation, she let it fly.
A low whistle sounded from her left. Turning to see who it had come from, her decent mood fell to ruin. An unwanted audience skulked in the dark. It wasn’t that she was being watched, but the fact she hadn’t noticed that really pissed her off. She was never unaware and this unknown person watching from the shadows really made her temper flare.
Out of pure reaction, she let her spare throwing knife fly toward the intruder’s head. Shit, she was going to get into trouble again. The first time she hurt a coworker, they had slapped her on the back of the hand. The second she had to take anger management classes for two full hunting cycles. She was going to get suspended for sure this time.
She walked closer to the shadowed form expecting to see…well, something other than what was before her. He was propped up against the brick wall with his arms crossed over his chest. Nicole had to admit they were really nice arms. His limbs were strongly muscled but not bulky or heavily veined. There were no imperfections on his tan, smooth skin. He had a tattoo on the back of his arm, but she really couldn’t make it out. His chest was nicely defined and easily visible because of his tight black t-shirt. His hair was dark brown and disheveled. A pair of Oakley Juliet’s covered his eyes, and a hard jaw with a slight dusting from a five o’clock shadow formed the lower half of his face. His mouth was set in a cocky half smile. The last part really added to her irritation.
She reached down to her side to grab another throwing knife to fix his attitude, when he unfolded his arms and held up her throwing knife for her to see. The silver tip glinted in the light cast by the halogen lights.
Slowly stalking toward her, he moved like a lethal predator with a false calm and the kind of grace she only remembered seeing portrayed by dangerous hunters in the animal world. He leaned into her body, so close they were almost touching. Closing her eyes, she savored his dark and spicy scent. It screamed danger and hot nights full of amazing sex.
His mouth poised by Nicole’s ear; his breath caressed the sensitive skin as he whispered, “Missed.”
Nicole suppressed a shiver brought on by his sensual tone.
“How did you do that?” Nicole asked with her eyebrows drawn together in genuine confusion. She never missed. It was the main reason why she was still alive in the new and completely messed up world.
He didn’t answer her, just shifted his weight, and the knife was gone. Nicole blinked and checked herself for injuries. She had none. She turned around and stopped mid-search when she found her missing knife. It was next to her knife in the practice dummy from her earlier workout, dead center of the target’s bulls eye, from a distance of over forty five yards. She wasn’t even that good.
She turned to the stranger with a whole new level of emotions, part anger and part arousal. She only slept with men that could beat her, and it had been a very long time since that happened.
“Where the hell did he go?” Nicole asked herself in a murmur. She felt cold, a result from his absent body heat. Whatever—she just shrugged it off. She had a meeting with her commander and she really needed to shower. She was getting a new mission today. Meeting with the terminator wannabe would not ruin her good mood. After walking over to the practice dummy, she retrieved her knives. Silver was hard enough to come by, she wasn’t going to leave any behind.