Series: The Bionics #5
Author: Alicia Michaels
Published: June 27th, 2014 by Crimson Tree Publishing
Word Count: 39,000
Genre: NA Sci-Fi Romance
Content Warning: Minor violence, coarse language, and mild sexual content
Recommended Age: 16+
War has come to the United States. It’s been brewing for years as the government and Military Police wage war on the outcasts known as the Bionics. It’s spilling out into the streets as the militant Rejects continue to wage war against the ‘inferior’ humans, the M.P.s are raiding neighborhoods and putting Bionics to death, and I am fighting alongside the Resistance to save our kind from extinction. To top it all off, the president has now declared martial law, and the rights of American citizens are being stripped away one by one.
Together, with the vigilante known as The Patriot, and my Resistance family, I am prepared to fight the impossible fight, to stand up for what’s right. From a single spark, our little rebellion has grown into a revolution, a roaring fire that will envelop the nation. At the same time, things in my personal life are finally turning around. I’m in love with a beautiful girl who loves me back, and we might have a shot at a real future … unless the enemy manages to snatch away from me everything that I hold dear.
Be sure to grab your copy of book one, The Bionics, on Amazon for FREE!!
I freeze, mid-punch, a shudder rolling through me as I finally surrender to the pain. Sinking to my knees on the mat, I stare up at her, pleading silently for… something. Closeness. Comfort. Just… anything to tear me out of this cloud of despair.
Yasmine kneels in front of me and takes me in her slender arms, holding me close, seeming not to care about the sweat. I cling to her, unable to comprehend how arms so willowy could be so strong, or how just the feel of her against me is enough to soothe the ache eating me up inside.
“That’s enough,” she whispers, stroking the short strands of hair on my head. “It wasn’t your fault, Dax. Do you hear me? There is nothing you could have done to save those people.”
Somewhere, deep down inside, I know she’s right. All I could have succeeded in doing was getting my crew and me killed by being in the right place at the right time. “It’s not that,” I pant between heavy breaths. My chest is heaving as I cling to Yasmine, anchoring myself to her to keep from falling to the floor.
“I know.” Her arms tighten around me. “I feel guilty too. We should have been there… we should have died today. It doesn’t seem fair that we lived and they didn’t.”
“Isn’t that the most fucked up thing you’ve ever heard?” I say, laughing hysterically. My shoulders are shaking as I pull away from Yasmine and stand to my feet. “My condolences to the poor bastards killed in today’s explosion, but damn it, I sure am glad to be alive!” I laugh again, taking another swing at the heavy bag. “Who the hell feels happy about living when so many others have died?”
Yasmine comes toward me, her hands clenched in front of her tightly. She’s trembling like a leaf in the wind, and I know she needs me just as much as I need her right now. “I don’t know, Dax. Normal people, I guess. I don’t know why these kinds of things happen, but I do know that they happen for a reason. God has a plan for our lives, and we weren’t meant to die today.”
I shake my head incredulously. “God? How can you bring God into this? Have you watched the news? Haven’t you seen enough suffering since they dropped those nukes on us? What the hell kind of God lets these kinds of things happen?”
Of course Yasmine believes in God. Why wouldn’t she? Someone that good and kind, that full of hope and love… it makes sense to me. I am far more jaded. “God is everywhere,” she says, reaching up to caress my face. Her touch is cool against my flaming hot skin and I lean into it, searching for comfort. “He is in everything. Even tragedy. Even death. It isn’t His fault people have torn his world apart. I think that’s why we’re still here, to right the wrongs. It’s our calling.”
I try to smile at her, but my face is frozen, hard and emotionless. Still, my voice hitches a bit when I answer her. “You believe it’s our destiny to live when so many others have died?”
She nods. “I do. I also believe in you, Dax. You’re being too hard on yourself. You lost a battle today, but you’ve won so many others. And you’ll keep winning. Until, one day, the fight will be over and we can live in peace.”
I take her in my arms and lift her. Her legs come around my waist as I kiss her. My lips aren’t gentle and my touch isn’t light, but she clings to me, answering with a desperate ferocity of her own.
“Peace,” I whisper against her mouth. “Someday.”
She nods, her lips brushing mine again and again, teasingly slow and achingly sweet. “Yes.”
“We can be together without all this death and turmoil. A normal life.”
Her eyes widen as she holds on to me, her legs crossed at my lower back. “You want that? With me?”
“Yeah, don’t you? A chance to walk down the street holding hands? To go on a real date without whispers, stares, or fear? To know that we have a future beyond here and now?”
A wide smile splits her face. “Of course I want it, Dax. I just thought… well, I figured you’d want that with… someone else.”
Blythe’s face flashes through my mind, and I’m unprepared for how much that stings. I did want that once, and maybe somewhere deep in my heart, I still do. But I learned a long time ago to play the cards I’ve been dealt. I’ve been working with a shitty deck from day one: deadbeat dad, rough neighborhood, drug addiction, a girl who couldn’t ever love me the way I loved her. But this—a wildcard named Yasmine—is my ace in the hole, my chance at love and happiness.
“Do you see anyone else here?”
She bites her lower lip, shaking her head. “No.”
“Then that should tell you everything you need to know.”
About the Author:
Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. The mother of two and wife to an Army sergeant loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.
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