Series: The Bionics #5
Author: Alicia Michaels
Published: June 27th, 2014
Publisher: 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. Itâs been brewing for years as the government and Military Police wage war on the outcasts known as the Bionics. Itâs spilling out into the streets as the militant Rejects continue to wage war against the âinferiorâ 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 whatâs 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. Iâm in love with a beautiful girl who loves me back, and we might have a shot at a real future â¦ unless the enemy manages to snatch away from me everything that I hold dear.
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 forâ¦ something. Closeness. Comfort. Justâ¦ 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.
âThatâs enough,â she whispers, stroking the short strands of hair on my head. âIt wasnât your fault, Dax. Do you hear me? There is nothing you could have done to save those people.â
Somewhere, deep down inside, I know sheâs 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. âItâs not that,â 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.
âI know.â Her arms tighten around me. âI feel guilty too. We should have been thereâ¦ we should have died today. It doesnât seem fair that we lived and they didnât.â
âIsnât that the most fucked up thing youâve ever heard?â I say, laughing hysterically. My shoulders are shaking as I pull away from Yasmine and stand to my feet. âMy condolences to the poor bastards killed in todayâs explosion, but damn it, I sure am glad to be alive!â I laugh again, taking another swing at the heavy bag. âWho the hell feels happy about living when so many others have died?â
Yasmine comes toward me, her hands clenched in front of her tightly. Sheâs trembling like a leaf in the wind, and I know she needs me just as much as I need her right now. âI donât know, Dax. Normal people, I guess. I donât 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 werenât meant to die today.â
I shake my head incredulously. âGod? How can you bring God into this? Have you watched the news? Havenât you seen enough suffering since they dropped those nukes on us? What the hell kind of God lets these kinds of things happen?â
Of course Yasmine believes in God. Why wouldnât she? Someone that good and kind, that full of hope and loveâ¦ it makes sense to me. I am far more jaded. âGod is everywhere,â 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. âHe is in everything. Even tragedy. Even death. It isnât His fault people have torn his world apart. I think thatâs why weâre still here, to right the wrongs. Itâs our calling.â
I try to smile at her, but my face is frozen, hard and emotionless. Still, my voice hitches a bit when I answer her. âYou believe itâs our destiny to live when so many others have died?â
She nods. âI do. I also believe in you, Dax. Youâre being too hard on yourself. You lost a battle today, but youâve won so many others. And youâll keep winning. Until, one day, the fight will be over and we can live in peace.â
I take her in my arms and lift her. Her legs come around my waist as I kiss her. My lips arenât gentle and my touch isnât light, but she clings to me, answering with a desperate ferocity of her own.
âPeace,â I whisper against her mouth. âSomeday.â
She nods, her lips brushing mine again and again, teasingly slow and achingly sweet. âYes.â
âWe can be together without all this death and turmoil. A normal life.â
Her eyes widen as she holds on to me, her legs crossed at my lower back. âYou want that? With me?â
âYeah, donât 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?â
A wide smile splits her face. âOf course I want it, Dax. I just thoughtâ¦ well, I figured youâd want that withâ¦ someone else.â
Blytheâs face flashes through my mind, and Iâm 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 Iâve been dealt. Iâve been working with a shitty deck from day one: deadbeat dad, rough neighborhood, drug addiction, a girl who couldnât ever love me the way I loved her. But thisâa wildcard named Yasmineâis my ace in the hole, my chance at love and happiness.
âDo you see anyone else here?â
She bites her lower lip, shaking her head. âNo.â
âThen that should tell you everything you need to know.â
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.
Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Website