Their love is forbidden…their lives in danger…
Trapped in a dystopian America where men are being exterminated and relationships are forbidden, Nyla is determined to change the course of her future and protect Ethan. Fleeing means abandoning her grandmother and imprisoned mother, but Nyla and her friends will do anything to escape an authoritarian government which has stolen their freedom and prohibits personal expression of any kind.
Desperate and dreaming of a new life, the group makes a run for the Mexican border through the inhospitable Big Bend region of Texas. Persistent patrols track and corner them, while a vast and desolate landscape inhabited by brazen predators tests their ability to survive.
Will they live to realize their dreams of a new life and a chance at love?
PUBLISHER EXCERPT COPYRIGHT 2014 KIM MCMAHILL
The sounds made the hairs on the back of Nyla’s neck tingle. She couldn’t tell how close the predators roamed, but as her mind replayed the scene from the highway through the abandoned towns she decided any distance was too close. She would never forget the hunger in the predator’s eyes, the gleam of their long teeth or the absolute lack of fear the wolves had shown for their passing vehicle. Now, they didn’t even have her tiny car for protection.
Nyla stayed close to Ethan as she cautiously walked on, picking up anything that could serve as a weapon for self-defense. She hoped the two wolves they kept hearing were the extent of the pack. The size of the group they had seen on the road would be impossible to escape from or fight off if an encounter occurred.
Another wolf returned the call and the sounds grew closer. Nyla had read that the animals’ sense of smell was highly evolved and feared their group had already been detected and determined to be an acceptable meal.
“I think they caught our scent, the sounds are getting closer,” Nyla said.
“Just keep walking and don’t talk,” Ethan said as he listened to the howling. His mind wandered back to the highway and he felt true fear for the first time in his life.
Soon the howling stopped and the silence made Nyla even more nervous. She could almost feel eyes following their movements. She heard a rustle up ahead and huddled close behind Ethan as he flicked on his light, illuminating the animals. Two large four legged bodies whirled around and disappeared into the brush.
“Here.” Nyla handed each of her friends a sturdy stick about four feet long.
“If they come at us, don’t turn your back to them. If there’s only two maybe we can hold them off,” Ethan added as he took the stick from Nyla’s hand.
Nyla watched as Ethan quickly extracted a knife from his pocket and secured the blade to the end of the stick, making a spear. Just as he finished wrapping the string and tying it off, Nyla spotted the two shapes re-emerging from the shadows, this time from behind.
“Behind us,” she hissed as the group whirled around to meet their enemy.
Ethan tried to shine his light in their eyes, but this time the wolves kept their eyes diverted and began circling the group.
“Huddle up, backs together,” Ethan whispered.
The wolves paced slowly and methodically, moving in closer with each circuit around the group, spacing themselves so the potential meal was sandwiched between them.
“Claire and Jared, stay focused on the animal closest to you no matter what you hear from us. Nyla and I will concentrate on this one. If we lose our focus on one, it will expose our flank. That’s probably their plan—one strikes and the other attacks from behind when everyone’s attention is diverted.”
The moment the words were out, a wolf lunged at Claire.