Authors: Nazarea Andrews
Tags: #Nazarea Andrews, #Post Apocalyptic, #World Without End, #Romance, #Zombies, #New Adult
The World Without a Future
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The author makes no claims to, but instead acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of any wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction including brands or products.
Copyright © 2013 by Nazarea Andrews.
Summary: 20 years after the zombie apocalypse, two unlikely allies struggle to survive when their town is overrun by the undead.
1. Romance. 2. Zombie. 3. New Adult.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
For information, address 14207 Ridge Court, Upatoi GA 31829.
Edited by Rachel Bateman
Cover design by Melissa Stevens of The Illustrated Author
Cover art copyright©: Nazarea Andrews
Ebook Formatting by
Ink in Motion
Paperback Formatting by
Ink in Motion
After the Fall Series:
Chasing the Wind (March 2014)
University of Branton:
Sweet Ruin (April 2014)
World Without End:
with AJ Elmore
The three ladies I couldn’t do without, and
The ones who loved this world first:
Chanteé, Bri, and Jess.
Hugs and chocolate for all of you!!
We know we're getting old when the only thing we want for our birthday
is not to be reminded of it.
The children born the Day of Death will be the
key to our salvation.
Their death will bring new life to our world.
The Writings of the High Priest
I was born the day the world died.
Sometimes, when my brother—he’s all I have left—talks about that time, I wish I had been alive for it. I wish I had seen it—shopping malls, grocery stores, even playgrounds without razor wire fencing and armed guards.
Then again, I don’t always believe him. Who the hell goes somewhere open and exposed without some visible protection?
I think the ones who were born after the change were lucky. We don’t know enough to miss the old life. We didn’t lose anything. We’ve always had the infects, the razor wire and guns, the drills. We’ve always lived behind walls.
Sometimes, I’ll see Collin watching the horizon, watching the clouds scuttling over the walls, and I know he misses it—the freedom of travel, of life without our fences. And I’ll pity him, a little. Because he is old enough to know exactly what was lost twenty years ago.
The day that I was born.
I wake up to warmth, an arm thrown over my hips, pulling me into him. I smile, a happy little movement. It's still new, this thing between Dustin and me. New enough that waking up next to him is a little bit thrilling. I snuggle closer to him and feel his lips curve against my neck. "You’re awake," he says, drawing me to him. He shifts, so I'm pinned under him as he grins down at me.
Dustin. The best friend I've known my whole life—or long enough that nothing else matters. He came to the Hive when his parents were relocated to Hellspawn—Haven 8, to the rest of the world. Walked with me to and from our daily classes. Protected me from the bullies and new Walkers looking to make an impression.
He was the big brother whenever Collin wasn't around. He was with me when Collin Walked the wall for the first time.
And he kept me safe, kept my name and what I was quiet.
He leans down and kisses me, and I arch up to meet it. It still shocks me, the first brush of soft lips, the intensity that builds up beneath it, the fact that the hands that have cradled and helped me are holding me again, differently. Warming and gentle as he strokes over my arm and eases my sleep top down. Outside the tiny window, I can hear the low clang of the church bell.
"Stop," I murmur, catching his hand as it slips under my shirt. "Collin is on his way."
Resignation flickers across his face, and he nods. "I should get dressed."
I prop myself up and watch as he crawls from bed, his smooth, unscarred chest rippling with motion. I grin, and he smirks at me. "See something you like?"
I shrug. "Maybe."
He laughs and leans down to kiss me. Beyond the thin cloth barrier, I hear keys in the front door and the tumble of the locks being slid back. Dustin winks and slides out of my tiny room.
There's a frozen moment as the door opens and my brother and Dustin face off. Then, a low, softly accented voice mutters, "Get out of the way, Collin."
My lips curl in disgust. Of course he's here. He seems attached at the bloody hip to Collin these days.
My brother's voice, deep and steady and reminiscent of everything safe, fills the small apartment. "You should head home, Finn."
The air goes still, and I hold my breath. Danger changes the way the air feels, the way it moves around you. It feels charged, somehow. I feel it during a breech, when zombies swarm sections of the Haven. I feel it again, now.
Then I hear heavy footsteps and Dustin releasing the breath he's been holding.
"Is she asleep?" Collin asks.
"I like you, Dustin. You've been good to Ren—protected her as much as you can and been a solid friend."
"Thank you, sir. I try."
“How long has this been going on?”
Dustin shifts, clears his throat. I grin—he’s intimidated by my tall, quiet brother. Always has been. “Long enough.”
I hear Collin sigh and drop his bag on the table, the blades inside clattering noisily. “I can’t stop this—and don’t even want to. But have a little discretion, huh? She’s my baby sister.”
I flush, but lie quiet and still. Dustin mumbles something, and Collin steps over to the door. “She’ll meet you downstairs for work duty. Go on.”
The door clangs shut, and Collin sighs again. I should have told him about this—about the night at the track three weeks ago, when Becks said something nasty and rude to me and Dustin pulled me back before I punched her. About him dragging me down the beaten dirt path and calming me down, and me leaning up and kissing him, a kiss fueled by aggression and liquor and the simmering attraction that had been getting harder and harder to ignore.
I didn’t though, because Collin didn’t have anyone—hadn’t had a woman in his life since before he Walked the wall. The only people who mattered to Collin were me and his best friend.
I step out of my curtained bedroom when Collin calls me for the fifth time. He’s glaring at his watch and points abruptly at my breakfast. A mushy apple and a piece of stale toast. Ration day is still two days away, and we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. Because Collin gave the orphans next door some of our rations. Again. I toss the apple at him wordlessly, grab my bag off the floor, and head for the door.
“Where’s your gun?” Collin calls out.
I stop, lifting my work shirt to expose the snub-nose revolver tucked into a holster on my hip. It’s my favorite, because Collin gave it to me, when I turned ten. That was the year Mom died. “And I have my 9mm in my bag. And my knife in my boot,” I say.
That’s his rule. Three weapons any time I leave the house. And four back up rounds of ammo.
We haven’t had a breach in Haven 8 in six months. The last one was in sector four, down by the tracks. Completely other side of Hellspawn. But Collin never lets up—every morning when he stumbles in from Walking, before I leave for work, he checks my weapons.
I guess if I watched everyone I knew die, I’d be super careful with my baby sister too.
Collin follows me to the door, leaning against the wall as I begin to undo the locks. “What do you want for your birthday?”
It’s that time of year again, and I bite my tongue on my answer
. A party.
A real one, with cake and laughing, music and dancing, presents. A party where people aren’t looking morose and crying and talking about that day twenty years ago, when everything changed. A party not tainted by mourning, incense, and the screams from the Order’s victims.
I don’t say that, because a party isn’t possible—not for me. Not on Day One. So I shrug and try to look like it’s not a big deal, even though Collin sees through me, and always has. “A new bag would be good—this one is getting ratty,” I say, holding up the bag I’ve been carrying since he handed it down to me.
His eyes narrow, assessing me, and I grin at him. He’s not buying it, but I just need to get out the door. By tonight, he’ll be too tired to ask me about my birthday. Or Dustin. We’re both pretending that didn’t happen, which I’m perfectly okay with.
He opens his mouth to say something, but I step out, yelling, “Bye, stay safe!” I let the door slam shut on his words and dart into the wide open hallway.
Collin hates living in the complex. He says that during the change, they were deathtraps, whole floors being changed and spilling out on the next until the entire complex was one hungry infection. Narrow hallways and no way out made for a chute of death that left no one alive.
That was at first. It took a while, once the change hit, for the survivors to learn how to fight back. How to survive.