Series: A Rasper Novel #1
on April 5th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon
Trust no one.
Never go out in the dark.
Always have a weapon.
Sixteen-year-old Val lives by these three rules etched on her arm. Her rules and her gun are the only things standing between her and assimilation by hordes of human-looking aliens she calls Raspers.
By day, Val gathers supplies. By night, she hides and wishes she could go back in time…before her family died…before the annihilation…before the Raspers began stalking her and demanding she join their collective.
But when the Raspers attack in broad daylight, the truth becomes startlingly clear.
A fellow survivor crashes into Val’s life. Adam’s full of charm and promises—like rumors of a safe haven—but there’s something wrong. He’s survived with no supplies, no weapons…no plans. Time is running out. With the formula for survival shifting around her, Val must decide how many rules she’s willing to break to escape the Colony.
**Against her rules, Val has teamed up with another survivor, Adam. In this scene, they are hiding from the Raspers and Bugs at an auto body shop.**
I ducked into the tight space. A stained toilet and a blackened sink took up most of the area. I hung my bag on one of the hooks on the wall. A work shirt and a leather jacket hung on the other hooks.
It took me a minute to get my boots off, but I changed as quickly as possible. Here I was changing in front of a virtual stranger when no guy had even seen me in my bra before. When I got to my underwear, I moved as if my life depended on it. Jeans, tee, hoodie. Check. “Okay, I’m ready.”
I zipped up my hoodie and left the confines of the dingy bathroom. Adam turned; his wet clothes clung to him like a second skin. The faint light streaming in through the garage windows highlighted his broad shoulders.
I had to remind myself to breathe. “You didn’t bring the other shirts I gave you? You’ll freeze if you don’t change.”
“No. I kind of forgot them in my hurry to make sure you didn’t ditch me.”
“Don’t worry about it.” He touched his bandage. “I could use another bandage though. This one’s soaked through.”
I nodded and pulled out my first aid kit. “Take your shirt off.”
“You’re not going to cut it off this time?”
When our eyes met, my heartbeat thundered in my ears. “No. But there’s a work shirt in there.” I hooked my finger to the bathroom.
I averted my gaze to the window while he removed his shirt. Rivulets of rain ran down the glass and I tracked the water until a crack of thunder made me jump.
I turned back to Adam. Shirtless Adam.
I closed my gaping mouth and focused. I pulled off his wet bandage. His skin radiated heat, but the wound didn’t look infected. In fact, it looked like it had healed more than it should have. Maybe the original wound hadn’t been that bad. No. I didn’t buy it. I had seen it. Cleaned it. Bandaged it.
I shifted my focus to the dull-but-once-sparkling, emerald-colored car. It was the same shade as Adam’s eyes. That line of thought wasn’t helping to clear my mind. “You’re hot.”
Adam winked and grinned. “Thanks for noticing.”
Heat flared across my face and neck. Had I really said that? Dumb. “I meant, do you have a fever?”
“I don’t think so.”
Moving much slower than I wanted to, I put on a new bandage. A loud clap of thunder shook the building. I jumped and almost landed in his arms.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah. Fine.” I wasn’t. I didn’t like thunderstorms. Hadn’t since I’d been stuck alone in the basement for three weeks.
“If you say so.” He went into the small restroom and came out buttoning the faded blue shirt with the name Dale embroidered on the pocket. He had the leather jacket draped over his shoulder.
I tried not to stare at how Dale’s shirt defined Adam’s shoulders.
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Kathleen wrote her first story in elementary school about a pegasus named Sir Lancelot. It had no plot or conflict, but it sparked a dream. After serving a fifteen-year sentence in retail management, the bulk in big box bookstores, she turned her love of reading into a full-time career writing dark and haunting characters and stories.
She lives by the mantra that a day is not complete without tea. Lots of tea. Kathleen lives in Ohio with her husband, two boys, and two attention-demanding dogs. When not writing or editing or revising, you can find her reading, cooking, spending time with her family, or photographing abandoned buildings.
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