#SampleSunday – After The Virus, Chapter 8:
Over the next 12 weeks I will be sharing a chapter of my novel After The Virus each sunday. Warning: for coarse language and brutal content. This is a post-apocalyptic love story. I hope you enjoy getting a peek. Feedback is welcomed and appreciated. If you are so inclined, purchase links can be found on the side bar. – Meghan
He’d been worried about the introduction, had hoped the presence of the dog would smooth it, but B.B. didn’t seem to register for Snickers. He felt off. Snicker’s shotgun swung from her shoulders, Rhiannon all but radiated heat behind him, and B.B.’s nails clicked on the hardwood.
They’d settled into a kind of routine, Snickers and him, for the last ten days, but Rhiannon was an unknown, another in a long list.
Snickers climbed on her stool to stir the pasta sauce she had made. He put the box on the table and turned to catch Rhiannon’s reaction. Rhiannon stared at the working electric stove and raised her hand to flick the light switch. The light over the kitchen table turned on.
“Electricity?” she asked.
“Multiple generators,” he answered, trying to stop his chest from swelling too large, but enjoying her amazement.
Snickers crossed to turn off the light and then resumed chopping carrots.
“We’re still careful about how much we use,” he apologized.
“Fresh veggies?” Rhiannon moaned as she removed her hat to expose her golden hair. He could feel the silly grin taking over his face again.
“Greenhouse out back, self-watering. It was crazy overgrown, but Snickers has tamed it,” he was happy he sounded steady, despite the grin.
Rhiannon swayed, dead on her feet, and he reached for her, despite the wary look Snickers threw his way, but she stepped out of his grasp.
“You’ll want a shower,” he offered as cover. “The bedroom to the left of the main bath has clothes that might fit.” He indicated the stairs.
Rhiannon looked unsure, but seemed compelled to ask, “A hot shower?”
“You wouldn’t want a cold one,” he teased.
“Right,” she seemed to be lost within her own thoughts.
“Snickers, we’ll have to pick up dog food for B.B.,” he prompted. Snickers leaped down to write DOG FOOD on the magnetic list on the fridge.
Rhiannon looked like her head might implode and he worried he was playing it too cool. If B.B.’s appearance was any indication, they’d been in hell and more.
“Or you could sleep,” he started, but then Rhiannon snapped to awareness.
“Yes, thank you…I…thank you,” she backed out of the room with B.B.
He stepped forward to watch Rhiannon climb the stairs.
Snickers tossed carrots into the sauce.
He placed a hand on her tiny head, a gesture she accepted now.
“Maybe she’ll stay, maybe not,” he soothed, “but we’ll be okay either way. I found some wagon wheels,” he pulled the peace offering from the box of supplies.