The Escape
© 2014 Shoshanna Evers

 Barker couldn’t tear his eyes away from her full breasts, naked and so beautiful. It had been too long. God, how he wanted to wrap her in his arms and forget everything, for just one night.

No. Don’t do it. You can’t do it.

“Put your shirt on, Jenna.” He turned his back to her, confident she wouldn’t escape in the pitch-blackness outside the room, not with the way she’d clung to him earlier.

He waited for her to tease him again, but she didn’t. He heard the sounds of her putting her shirt on. The bed creaked when she sat on it.

“I must really disgust you,” she said softly. “I’m sorry.”

“No,” he said, swallowing hard. “You do not disgust me. Not at all.” He knelt down on the carpet and looked up at her pretty face. “You’re incredibly beautiful, Jenna. I want you, I do. But I refuse to take advantage of you.”

“I’m offering myself to you.”

“Would you have done that back in the day? Before the Pulse?”

“Everything’s different now.”

Barker got up and sat beside her on the bed. “Everything’s different, but I’m not. At least, I’m trying not to be.”

“See?” Jenna wrapped her arms around him, surprising him with the ferocity of her embrace. “You’re a good guy, Barker. You don’t want me to die. Don’t take me back there.”

Her body felt so good pressed against his, so right. Here, unlike the Tracks, they’d have real privacy. A bed. They could lose themselves in each other’s arms and pretend everything was normal, if only for a few hours.

“Are you hungry?” he asked. “I have food, in my bag. Water.”

“Yes.” Her voice sounded so small, like a child.

He pulled his bag on the bed and opened it. “I have a sleeping bag. We’ll use that as a blanket, okay? On the bed.”

Jenna smiled. “That sounds lovely. I haven’t slept on a proper bed in a long time.”

Barker smiled back. “I have two weeks of rations, because they didn’t know how long it would take for me to find you. We can eat until we’re full, if we want.”

“I don’t even remember what that feels like,” Jenna laughed.

He handed her two thick pieces of bread, and several strips of dried meat. It was chewy, but it did the trick.

They ate in uneasy silence. What would happen when they were done eating, and it was time to go to sleep?

He wasn’t sure how long he’d be able to resist her.

“Barker?” she asked, swallowing some water. “Do you miss your girlfriend? Is that why you don’t want to be with me?”

“I can’t even remember what she looks like anymore. Whenever I try to picture her face, it’s not quite right. So I don’t try anymore.”

“Why did you give me your ration that time?”

Barker shrugged. “Because I wanted to go to sleep that night, knowing you were sleeping too. Not—not being abused by one of the assholes who call themselves soldiers.”

“Sometimes I like it, though. A lot of times. Does that bother you? That I might like being a whore?”

Her long, unkempt blonde hair fell into her eyes, and he resisted the urge to touch her, to smooth it in place for her.

“I guess it’s better that way. Better than being like some of those other women. The ones who show up for morning rations with bruises. But don’t ever call yourself a whore again.”

His anger simmered within him. Fuck. He wished he could shoot the Colonel himself and take over, make everyone toe the fucking line and get their shit together.

Whoa. Where did that come from?

Something about this entire situation, being with Jenna, seeing her fear about being killed—it made him see everything he thought he knew about the camp in a different light.

Could he really trust the Colonel?

“Thank you for dinner, Barker.”

“I’m glad I got an opportunity to feed you,” he said.

“Let’s go to bed,” she whispered. “But . . . I sleep naked. Just thought I should warn you.”

Barker laughed, his mood considerably brightened now that his belly was full, and they were safe for the night. Alone. In a bedroom, with a bed.

And with a beautiful woman who was throwing herself at him.

“Fuck it,” he said, and set his rifle down on the dresser top.

He noticed her eyes follow his movements, but she quickly looked back at him, and grinned.

“Well, hello there. Glad we’re finally on the same page.”

She started to pull her own top off again, but Barker pulled her in close, and stripped it off for her, running his hands along her curves. Her hips flared out despite the lack of any extra meat on her, and he held her ass through her pants, his cock hardening.

“Fuck yeah, soldier,” she murmured against his lips. “Let’s do this.”

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Finding Love in Post-Apocalyptic America
by Shoshanna Evers

When I wrote the The Pulse, the first book in the Pulse Trilogy, I wanted to write a story about how romance and love can blossom even in a dark, dystopian, post-apocalyptic land. After all, you’ve got men and you’ve got women, and they’re forced to work together to survive. The only pleasure freely available to everyone—no matter how little they have—is sex.

But sex is also power, and when those in power are abusive, things will go wrong.

Jenna is Emily’s best friend and roommate on the Tracks (Emily is our heroine from The Pulse, Book 1 in the Trilogy). While Emily—like most of the women imprisoned in the FEMA camp at Grand Central—hates having to prostitute herself to get extra rations and such, Jenna doesn’t. She looks at it with a different viewpoint. For her, this is her chance to feed her voracious sexual appetite with zero social consequences.

In the second book in the Pulse Trilogy, The Escape, I was able to spend more time with Jenna. She uses sex however she chooses to—as pleasure, as currency, even (at times) as a way to manipulate men to get what she wants.

But then the danger gets real—when her life is in danger, Jenna can’t continue to pretend that everything’s just peachy at Grand Central.

And then she’s on the run…fleeing the camp, and the soldiers, and unable to manipulate the one man she needs to most: Private Barker. Barker’s job is to catch Jenna and bring her back, but he’s also the first man to actually see her for who she is inside, and not just what she’s trying to portray.

Jenna doesn’t feel as if she’s the victim she actually is, and it made for a truly unique writing experience for me—as an author—to view my post-apocalyptic world through her eyes. When she and Barker team up…holy hell, the sparks fly!

The Escape also weaves Emily and Mason’s continuing story from The Pulse throughout—and it all comes together in Clarissa and Trent’s book, The Thrust, Book 3. These are gritty and intense books, to be sure, and quite a departure from my contemporary erotic romances. Thank you to my readers for sticking with me and joining me on this adventure!

I hope you enjoy reading The Escape as much as I enjoyed writing it.