Sixteen year old Wisteria Kuti has two optionsâtrack the infected around the Isle of Smythe or leave the only known safe haven and face a world infested with flesh eating biters. But even with well-armed trackers, things go wrong and Wisteria ends up alone facing certain death, until she is rescued by the mysterious Bach. Uninfected, Bach is able to survive among the hordes of living dead.
Eighteen year old Bach, from a race known as The Family, has no interest in human affairs. He was sent here to complete his Great Walk and return home as a manâas a Sen Son. The Family regard humans as Dirt People, but Bach is drawn to this Terran girl, whom he has never seen before, but somehow knows.
Hunted by flesh eaters, cannibals, and the mysterious blood thirsty group called Red Phoenix, Wisteria and Bach make their way back to the Isle of Smythe, a community built on secrets and lies.
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As she walked back to the ridge of the roof, Bachâs heart went with her. Someone had tried to hurt her. Tried to damage what belonged to him, and who he belonged to.
He started to feel dizzy from the volumes of strangle weed planted in the front of her house.
âThank you so much for coming and for the guitar. Itâs perfect.â She gave it back to him.
âNo, it is yours, Wisteria.â He refused to take it. âDo you not like it?â
âNo, I love it. Itâs so beautiful.â
âThen keep it.â He kissed her neck. Knowingâhopingâhis touch would soothe her pain, but he hadnât come here to comfort her.
âBach.â She used her instrument as a shield as she moved away from him. âItâs a bad idea. You wonât understand.â
âYou are right. I do not get why you would refuse something you apparently love,â he whispered while rubbing her forearms and taking in her scent.
âIf I accept your kindness, then Iâll have to face the consequences. I donât know if I can face those.â
âYou cannot face accepting my kindness, or is it accepting me that you cannot face?â
âTell me that you do not feel the same,â he whispered. âThat the moment you first saw me that I did not get inside your head. Tell me that you do not think about me all of the time when we are not together?â
The dark-eyed girl did not answer.
Wishing he could will her to speak, he pressed her against his chest. Briefly, he noticed a black spot at the base of her neck, where he had kissed her, and then it was gone. âOkay, Wisteria. Then tell me that you want me to leave, and that you do not care if you never ever see me again.â He felt like someone else was speaking for him, once again. The questions became pointless as he found himself still planting kisses along her neck and the sides of her face.
âI canât tell you that, Bach,â she replied softly, her voice breaking. âBecause itâs not true.â She wrapped her arms around him and held him tightly.
Desperately wanting to kiss her luscious-looking lips, he leaned into her.
Wisteria reached up to him, tugging his head down as she stood on the very tips of her toes, seemingly just as eager to taste his lips.
âWisteria, I cannot.â He broke away before it happened. âI do not want this.â
* * * * *
Wrapping her arms around herself, she moved away from him. Once again, humiliated and feeling foolish. âGoodnight, Bach!â She strode angrily to the side of the roof in order to climb down.
He grabbed her and held her back
The guy came here just to tease her, yet again! Didnât he know he was hurting her? Didnât he care? âIâm tired of all this nonsense. Iâm actually tired and need some sleep. Iâm done with this. All of this!â She shouldâve left the roof when she saw him appear. âLet go, so I can go.â
âWisteria, it is not that.â Exhaling heavily, he released her. âMy people could kill you if they knew I wanted you.â
This wasnât at all what sheâd expected him to say. âWhat?â
âI am in love with you. I do not know why, but I am. And it is selfish, because I just want you for myself.â Sadness filled his eyes as he spoke.
âWhy would they do that to me?â
âBecause you are human and because we see humans as Terran, or dirt people.â
âAnd you believe that too? So why are you here, living among us, if weâre so disgusting?â
âYou are not disgusting. You are beautiful.â Rubbing his temples, he seemed troubled and bewildered. âI came to Terra as a rite of passage. To be considered a man, to take a journey and experience the wild.â
âI chose Terra, or Earth, because I came here as a child. Your people treated me so badly in the past. When I learned about the Nero disease, I wanted to see your world.â He paused. âYou were right when you said there was something wrong with me.â
âBach, it cannot be that bad.â Stepping up to him, she stroked her fingers along his biceps.
The sweet motion made him smile at her, but he still looked distressed.
âLike about Garfield, you let him live with you. And now youâre here with me.â
âYou are not like the rest.â
âNeither are you. Youâre not so cold and cruel like Enric or patronizing like Felip. They think theyâre better than us. You just hate people because youâre a jerk, Bach.â
âHa.â Bach laughed. âA jerk?â
âYouâre a big jerk.â As the final word rolled from her lips, he kissed her.
She was stunned for a second. His lips tasted like a strange, tantalizing spice.
He squeezed her against his larger frame and rested his right hand on the small of her back.
She fidgeted, unsure about what to do with her hands. She tried to kiss him back, but she struggled because she was so short.
Bisi Leyton was born in East London in 1978. She grew up in London, Nigeria and the States, listening to the stories life and love from aunts, cousins and big sisters. She lives in London, but has worked around Europe including France, Germany, Ireland, Belgium and the Czech Republic. She has a fondness for reading graphic novels.
Author web links: (web, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads, etc)