After a mysterious virus makes its way into the United States, the government demands that states seal themselves off from one another and do their best to protect their surviving residents. When the state of Florida is bordered off from the surrounding states, Taylen Fincher, a seventeen-year-old girl with a yearning for her former life finds herself wondering how much of what they’ve been told is true.
When Troum took control of the state, he told the residents that the other states had fallen to the virus and that he wouldn’t allow the same thing to happen to them. But Taylen doesn’t believe it. She insists that there is still life outside of the state, and she is going to do whatever it takes to prove it… but her actions will cost her more than she ever expected.
Troum kidnaps Taylen’s sister, Penelope, in hopes of coaxing her into behaving – into being a submissive resident, much like the others. But Taylen isn’t one to give in that easily.
Eager to rescue her sister, Taylen will set out on an adventure that’ll force her to open her heart to the unexpected and to uncover secrets that will change everything.
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“What’s wrong, princess? You couldn’t stand to be away from me?” He winked.
“You are aware that I have a knife in my pocket, correct?” I reminded him. “I’d be more than happy to use it if you’re going to continue being a jerk-face.”
He burst into laughter, his body vibrating the mattress. “Anyway, back to what I was saying.” He ran his fingers along my spine. Goosebumps developed over my body, alerting me of just how close he was. “We have to locate Troum’s headquarters. If we find his headquarters, we’ll find Penelope.”
It sounded easy enough, but nothing was ever that simple.
Not with Troum.
I lay down beside Glate and closed my eyes. I thought that escaping the Family Sector would bring me a sense of happiness, but it didn’t. It only brought me more pain. Lex and his men were still searching for me, and I’d yet to rescue Penelope. Nothing was going as planned. I should have had Penelope by now. I should have been half way out of this state, not curled up on a mattress with a boy that I hardly knew.
That wasn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy Glate’s presence because I did. He was the comfort that I needed; the only thing keeping me sane throughout the chaos. It wouldn’t be hard to fall for Glate, hell, it’d be easy, and that frightened me.
Even though I wouldn’t admit it, I was still heartbroken over Lex. He was the boy that I had grown up with. He was my best friend. He was someone that I thought would always be there, someone that I could start a life with, and then he betrayed me.
And it was his betrayal that led me to Glate.
Being this close to him, with his body pressed against mine, it felt wrong; wrong because I barely knew him, wrong because he wasn’t Lex, and wrong because I didn’t want him to leave.
What is wrong with me? I thought.
“Taylen,” Glate whispered, wrapping his arm around my waist. “Are you okay?”
Was I okay? No. I was a complete and utter wreck, but there was no way in hell I was going to show him that. “I’m dandy.”
“You’re a terrible liar.” He propped himself up on his elbow, and leaned in closer, resting his chin on my shoulder. My body was well aware of how close he was, and it took everything in me to fight the urge to turn and face him. Teenage hormones were the absolute worst. “You know how I can tell?” he asked, running a single finger down my arm.
“How?” the word barely escaped my lips.
“Your voice trembles,” he whispered. Glate moved his hand to my hips and pulled me back towards him. “Whenever you lie, you get this slight tremble in your voice. It’s almost as if you’re scared to admit the truth, so you try to conjure up a lie, but the fear engulfs your words on the way out, calling your bluff.”
He pressed his lips against my neck, and my body quivered, welcoming the feel of his mouth against my skin.
The right thing to do would have been to move away, to tell Glate that this wasn’t right because it wasn’t right. I was supposed to be rescuing my sister, not getting it on with the first cute guy I met outside of our Sector. But every cell in my body was eager for his touch.
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