Aurora Mathews —along with Damian Deshea, a man who aggravates her more than the walking dead—somehow manages to survive the first onslaught of violence and destruction only to be taken captive by something possibly more terrifying than zombies —vampires.
Each passing night reveals new horrors to the duo. Most alarming of all is the presence of Kieran, a vampire whose newest goal in his afterlife is to see Aurora dead.
Kieran has a history of violence, and women tend to disappear once he takes an interest in them, and he sees Aurora as his last chance of showing off his skills. To top it off, Damian is hiding secrets nearly as dark as those kept by their captors.
Between looking for other survivors, desperately searching for her family, and fighting off attempts on her life, Aurora must learn to adapt to this new world or perish. This is the battle of human survival that she fears can only end in death.
“Oh shit,” he said under his breath. “Aurora?”
“Yeah?” My voice trembled as I slowly backed away.
“Run.” With that, he dropped the chair, pushed me in front of him, and did as he instructed me to do. He ran.
I went as fast as I could, but with his six-foot-two frame, it didn’t take him long to catch up to me. We both turned simultaneously down the hallway, sprinting for our lives.
“Is there a window in the women’s bathroom?” he hollered.
“What?” I yelled back breathlessly, having a hard time hearing over the pounding of my heart and the pursuing monsters.
“Fast! Is there a window in the women’s bathroom?”
I scanned my mind, trying to remember the layout of the restrooms, a hard thing to do when being chased by a psychotic monster that wants to eat you alive. “Yes,” I said uncertainly, my answer sounding more like a question.
“You better be damn sure, or we’re both dead,” Damian came back gruffly.
At his somber statement, I really concentrated, picturing the arrangement of the bathroom interior. “Yes! Yes, there’s a window.”
Before I had a chance to take another step, I was thrown to the side. I went barreling into the women’s room, forcing the door open with my body as I went.
Damian was a step behind me. He lurched into the room, his tall frame slamming into mine and knocking me off balance.
As the door swung shut behind him of its own momentum, we both collapsed to the floor in a pile of tangled arms and legs. The air rushed out of my lungs as his full weight was thrown on top of me. One of my knees slid dangerously between his, and I accidentally caught him in the ribs with an elbow. “Damian,” I groaned, pushing against his chest with my free hand. “You’re squishing me.”
With a grunt of discomfort, he rolled to sit next to me, breathing hard. His hands ran through his dark hair, and his fingers trembled with shock and adrenaline. While I struggled to a sitting position, he touched a hand to his jaw and winced in pain.
With his weight no longer on me, I was able to convince my lungs to start working again. I sucked in deep gulps of air, my throat feeling raw.
As we both tried to collect ourselves, the door flew open, and three mutilated faces stared in at us.
I stopped complaining. Scrambling to my feet, I threw myself against the door. It closed for a moment before being smashed into from the other side, forcing me backwards.
It opened enough for one of the men to get his arm into the room. I spun around, pressing my back against the door, trying to dig my feet into the floor to give me extra leverage.
Damian was on his feet in an instant. He hit the door hard, his hands on either side of my head, the front of his body slamming into the front of mine. He was jammed up tightly against me with my nose practically in his chest. His head was lowered toward me, and I could see his jaw clench with effort.
The door slammed shut on the thing’s arm, and it gave an inhuman screech.
I glanced to the side to see the arm dangling limply next to my head. Blood poured down torn skin and dripped to the floor.
I opened my mouth to scream when Damian pulled back and slammed into the door again, knocking the air, and the scream, out of me. There was a sickening wet noise as the arm detached, landing with a thud at my feet. Without the arm blocking the door, it closed.
Damian reached above my head and clicked the lock into place. With a shaky sigh, he leaned his head against the door just above my shoulder, his body still pressed flat to mine. His breath was hot against the side of my neck, and his body covered me completely. I could feel him all the way down to my toes. He was just a little too close for a casual acquaintance, especially for one I didn't like all that much.
I brought my hands up and pushed on his shoulders. “You can get off me now.”
He pulled his head back and looked down at me through his hair, his eyes glinting with amusement. “If I must.” He lingered a second too long for my taste before moving away from me.