Meilin’s never believed in fairy tales. Happy ever afters might have happened in the old days – before zombies. But this is 2089, and the zombies beyond City are nothing like the ones your parents warned you about.
When their father promises riches to the one who can rid their city of zombies, the twelve King sisters rush to develop a solution that won’t bankrupt Dad.
The war overseas left Will disillusioned, but fighting zombies at home is a cause he can embrace. Meilin’s another. Tough but sweet, she might make him believe in life again, and maybe even love, if she doesn’t kick his ass first.
When zombies kidnap her family, Meilin must rescue them. But can she and Will save them from the worst fate of all?
Miles from the boundary surrounding City, Will had somehow stumbled into their realm. He could tell by the stench, first of all, the unmistakable rot of flesh that permeated the air, made worse by the night’s humidity. Second, they left an obvious trail – they’d pushed through branches and snapped off the ends, shuffled across the forest floor and crushed undergrowth, basically clearing a path, visible enough in moonlight to follow. No wonder City residents had given up on farming the Grey Zone. Worse than grey – a fallow, and foul, wasteland.
Hopefully the zombies would make enough noise to cover the accidental snaps of twigs beneath his boots. It helped that some asshole blasted music somewhere nearby. Club music, of all things. Why so far from City? No one lived this far out, not these days. Like the other zombie-infested areas, people clustered their homes behind protected boundaries.
He caught sight of something moving ahead and ducked behind a tree.
Yep, a zombie.
How many, though? New to zombie hunting, Will found it difficult to guess, and it might end up being the one variable that could get him ripped apart.
He followed at a safe distance, always glancing behind and to the side. Two advanced from the rear, a few more on either side of him. Hell, he’d put himself in the middle of them. If he scrambled off, they’d charge him and not stop until they tasted blood. No, better to make like one of them and move slowly. And don’t sweat it – the phrase took on critical importance; perspiration would be a dead giveaway. Like he used to before deer hunting, he’d masked his scent to throw the zombies off. No advance warnings for his prey. Will wanted to keep the element of surprise.
Careful not to make any sudden movement, he increased his pace to get ahead of them. Every step brought him closer to the source of the music, and to the crazy lighting. In a clearing, about a dozen females danced on a makeshift floor. A freaking disco ball sent orbs of light fluttering across the forest, a disorienting effect.
Will had to warn them. The girls appeared to be about his age, so they had youth on their side, but where were their vehicles? Had someone dropped them off to dance in the middle of nowhere? Stupid. Really stupid, in every aspect.
No sense keeping up the slow pace. He jogged ahead. The nearer he came to the dance floor, the more he couldn’t believe it. King’s daughters! He and his friends used to joke about wanting to get them alone, but he’d never dreamed he’d have the chance, and especially not like this. Adopted sisters, all about the same age, they looked more like a mini U.N., each one a different nationality.
Maybe he’d been in the service too long, but the four years he’d been away, the sixteen-year-olds he’d last seen had grown into amazing women. Strikingly beautiful, and their graceful moves meant they were in top physical shape. Good thing, they’d need to put it to use very soon.
Their names escaped him except for one. Meilin. Since the first time he’d glimpsed her, when they were both kids, she’d especially captured his attention. If their father hadn’t hired a private tutor, he’d have pursued her during school.
Petite, but excellent muscle tone. Long dark hair cascaded like a silken waterfall down her back, flowing with each sway of her hips. Hands raised above her head, eyes closed, as if lost in the music. The sweetest face he’d ever seen.
He glanced back. No sign of the zombies yet. It would take them awhile to reach this place. He hadn’t danced with a girl in forever. He wanted to dance now. With her.