Happy Saturday everyone. I have another HOT new release and this one is all about sword wielding barbarians known as the Huntsmen. They take what they want. They hunt for their prey. They are dangerous and rugged. Sound delicious? In the future, there are several classes of people, all forged from a horrific war, chemical warfare that would forever change the landscape, turning men into predators. And our heroine? She refuses to give in…
Find out her destiny.
As always – FREE to read if you have a KU Subscription!
Post-Apocalyptic Year 2102
“They’re going to hunt you down, ravage your body for hours, punishing and fucking you. Then you’ll belong to them. They are savage beasts. The true monsters of the apocalypse.”
How many times had I heard the damning proclamation from the others in the village? I shuddered at the thought, refusing to give into fear. I knew what they were.
And I knew exactly what they hungered for.
I’d spent years in some form of captivity or another, fighting the scourges of the earth. I’d kill them as necessary. I’d gotten very good at killing.
A roar floated above the trees, what few species of birds remaining from the apocalypse cawing at the morning sky, racing away in fear. The sound was savage, just like the ogres responsible.
Since my arrival they’d warned me about the beasts living in the forests, hunting for prey. Strong and virulent, they captured and caged any human they came into contact with. They warned me I wouldn’t be protected, unable to fend for myself if I stayed out too long.
But I didn’t listen…
Once upon a time I believed in fairy tales, rugged knights on great white steeds coming to rescue me. I’d envisioned their steel armor shining in the afternoon sun as they rode through town, annihilating anyone who stood in their way. I’d been certain one day the nightmare would end, my saviors arriving in dawn’s mist, whisking me away to some magical land. A place where every wish came true.
Then real-life monsters chomped at my heels. They were coming for me.
Ready to devour me.
The elders within my sacred city had been right, but I refused to surrender. The monsters would never take me alive.
The huntsmen pack were little more than wild creatures searching for the finest breeding stock. And I was considered prime meat.
One night when I was little more than a child, my entire world had collapsed, once magnificent cities and towns devoured by walls of flames, searing human flesh as it ate through skyscrapers. The initial bombs sent from Russia had taken out almost forty percent of the United States, leaving carnage in its wake, but the gas used later by the American government had been worse. Our own leaders had betrayed their own, all in an effort to gain power. Nothing had made any sense, the terror paralyzing.
Other countries had been severely affected as well, although all the lines of communication had been broken. I certainly hadn’t been too young to understand the effects of the EMP, another device used by some third world country in response to our bombs, turning formally civilized nations into primitive cultures. While the wretched visions had faded with time, nothing would erase the horrific screams, people pleading for mercy.
There was no such thing.
The gas had dissipated after two years and life for some had returned to normal, including mine. I’d entered college early, one of the few government-run organizations that actually allowed the privileged children to attend. Everything had changed, shifting toward socialism, a necessary evil we’d all been told. For a time, almost fifteen years, the powerful and wealthy maintained a beautiful life, sheltered from the reality of what was occurring outside of locked-down cities and underground facilities.
The day I’d learned about the true horrors was the very day I turned my back on the government and even God.
Run. Run. Run!
I heard the sound of hooves, the thunderous noise approaching my position from deep within the forest. I had no more than one minute, maybe two before they arrived, murderous creatures hell bent on capturing me. My fingers were almost numb as I pried at the harness, desperate to free the prize I’d secured, a small amount of nourishment for my people. “Come on. Come on, baby. Don’t fail me now.”
I nicked my finger attempting to cut through the thick rope. My knife had seen better days, the once razor-sharp edge dull and almost useless. I continued whittling away, darting glances over my shoulder. The rumble of the earth was jarring. There had to be at least four of the bastards hunting, maybe more.
The last string cut, I jerked away the hunk of deer the huntsmen had secured to a pole, wrapping it crudely and shoving into my bag. I grabbed the few medical supplies I’d collected from an abandoned home and took off running in the opposite direction. I’d been outside the compound walls for far too long. However, today’s haul had been worth the risk. I hadn’t anticipated on finding one of the huntsmen’s traps, my good fortune making me almost giddy for the first few minutes after the discovery.
My people were starving, food supplies dangerously low. My daily forages for anything to keep us alive had been somewhat worthwhile as of late. The huntsmen had left carnage in their wake, stealing everything from what few villages and towns remained—including every female of childbearing age.
At least the ones given the special serum the day they’d entered into puberty. I was one of the unlucky few, now fertile as a rabbit. I loathed the concept. But my fall from grace, entering the world of omega women had come much later than the others, forced by a truly evil man.
A man who no longer treasured anything but his growing wealth.
I bristled from the thought alone, desperate to get back to a simple but free way of life.
While my adopted people had taken great steps in hiding our little city, we all knew one day our luck would run out.
I prayed to some freaking God above that today wasn’t the day. I was in no mood for a fight. Exhausted and hungry, I wanted nothing more than to get back to the safety of my sanctuary. The huntsmen’s approach had cut off my initial path, leaving me few choices.
I raced through the woods, zigzagging to alternate my path, remaining low to the ground as I headed for the river. The huntsmen were consummate trackers, their skills legendary. The water would help mask my scent, a strong fragrance used to attract mates. I wasn’t certain about the dead deer carcass. Another chance I had to take. While I’d only taken a small amount, the meat rich in vitamins would help heal our sick and dying.
Please, God. Please.
Disease was rampant, taking down dozens of villages within weeks.
The roar of the horses continued to draw near. My heart was racing, my blood pumping to the point I heard echoes in my ears. I’d never been so frightened. I’d also never been this close to a pack before.
I’d heard wretched stories from so many broken families, their heartbreaking tales would forever burn into my mind. Three factions of what was left of humanity had risen from the ashes, forced to live in filth and squalor while the precious government leaders remained protected underground at first in order to rebuild Washington DC. Living in the lap of luxury. At first, my entire family had been considered the Elite, a class all to itself, given riches including a beautiful mansion far removed from the horrors of everyday living.
My father had worked hard, trying desperately to change things to a more equitable life. His choices hadn’t been well received.
But soon things had changed. The guilt would never leave me, my vehemence at doing the right thing the very reason we’d been forced to go on the run. Then we’d been labeled as dissidents, a menace to society.
As if there’d been a society left. There was utter chaos. The government would never stop hunting, their ordained soldiers just as brutal as any group, only they had myriad precious weapons to protect them.
I’d been able to hide amongst a group called the laborers, worker bees forced to aid the government with rebuilding, but the cruel treatment and brutal punishment from those in charge had turned so many against our illustrious and vile leaders. The subsequent rebellion had eradicated thousands of lives, thousands of male survivors sent to prison camps, others executed for betraying their country. Women had become products, vital for continuing the race, those of childbearing years rounded up. That continued to happen on a monthly basis, soldiers and other vile creatures scouring the countryside for victims.
What I knew and what I’d seen I kept to myself. No one would ever know the horrors inflicted or the punishments doled out for the slightest infractions. Only my nightmares would ever remind me that I’d once been a part of the regime.
Some prisoners had escaped, forging a life in dilapidated towns, living among the crumbled buildings, broken sewer lines, and rats. Hiding. Others had been driven to the forests and mountains, many dying from wild animals and horrific weather conditions. The lucky few survived.
Lucky, my ass.
I was one of thousands who’d survived for several years, escaping the tyranny of a man so many of the Elite trusted with their lives. As if my life held any meaning. I’d lost everything I cared about, including my mother, father, our beautiful cabin burned to the ground as my sister and I had been forced to watch. We’d run, trying to find safety but she’d been caught, ripped away from me by a band of soldiers. I’d escaped, finding safety in an old toolshed, leaving my baby sister to fend for herself.
The guilt was crushing.
One day I would kill the bastards responsible. If my true identity was ever discovered, I’d be sold into slavery.
Maybe I deserved such a fate.
The second group were little more than animals, predators feasting on human flesh.
Huntsmen were terrifying, mostly discarded men forging a pack-like unity, more like mountain men who’d turned survivalists after the Great War and the frequent bloody attacks. Ex-military. Mercenaries. Convicts. They were barbaric in nature, huge in stature, and very dangerous, their bodies altered by a variant serum, turning them into little more than savage beasts.
All hungry for a taste of a female, to plant their seed.
The rumors surrounding them were that they were dumb as stumps, a horrific side effect of the gas used to keep us under control, acting on primitive instinct alone. I’d heard of hundreds of women who’d been abducted against their will, taken to whatever camps the hedonists had built to mate and breed. The beasts were mute, savage, and very sexual in nature.
I’d made a promise to myself years ago that I would never be taken alive by one of them. Fuck them.
The third group made my skin crawl. Scavengers were even worse, although they were truly slave traders. Hidden behind masks, they were said to be horribly disfigured from the gasses used, barely recognizable as humans. Their goal was to round up every laborer, flesh they could trade for food and drink, weapons and other equipment.
An extension of the government. Or so everyone believed.
The few who continued to believe in God chose to hold onto a prophecy born out of the horrific holocaust—a hero who could restore humanity, a true leader amongst thieves and murderers. I held no such belief.
My entire body ached, my legs giving way several times. The terrain was rough, getting worse the deeper I moved into the forest, the foliage so thick the canopy blocked out the sunlight. I’d gone much further than I ever had, moving in a direction that I’d been warned to stay away from.
The horses kept coming.
They were closer.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
Everything in the forest shifted from the power of the massive steeds.
My mind reeled, the fear turning almost paralyzing. I dropped down, taking several deep breaths. I wasn’t going to be able to outrun them. Crawling forward, I moved behind a scrubby bush, thorns immediately digging into my skin as I fought for some level of coverage. I bit back a cry, crouching lower. My entire body shook, goosebumps floating along my arms. I’d been such a fool to think I could get away with stealing from them.
The rumble increased, the noise furrowing into my stomach. I could hear the horses snorting, the way their hooves stamped down on the ground in both fury and fear. They were coming. They were coming!
A single whinny was followed by a horrific roar, the bellow deep and masculine, brutally savage in nature.
This was nothing more than a battle cry.
Sweet, terrifying silence.
I sensed their presence all around me, could almost smell their stench, the notion making my skin crawl. Patience wasn’t one of my virtues and never had been, but I hesitated, waiting for one of the jerks to make a move. After at least five minutes, my legs became to cramp. God damn, the bastards were cagey.
I dared peek around the leaves, holding my breath. I could just make out the four horses, beautiful majestic creatures in various colors. Chestnut. Ebony. Ivory. Palomino. They were truly regal, their silky manes floating in the light breeze. The men were equally as impressive and all completely different. Then I locked eyes onto one of the men, by far the most mesmerizing.
For just a second in time, everything dropped into slow motion, allowing me to inhale the very thought of his roughhewn, dangerous nature. And I could swear that I’d seen him before. The thought was fleeting, albeit leaving me wet and hot all over, my skin crawling from some wicked anticipation.
Shame rushed through me from my body’s reaction, my breath skipping. Shivering, a wet pool developed between my legs, staining my already damp panties. My nipples hardened, swollen and aching. How could I react this way to a monster? A barbarian who only wanted to feast on me, capture and cage me to use for his every carnal desire? I shrank closer to the tree, biting back a moan as my pussy clenched.
My body as well as my mind betrayed me. Without thinking, I glanced again, hungry to see him. To touch him. No. No!He was my enemy and I was going to escape their clutches. Period. My people were counting on me. I couldn’t let them down.
The barbarian exhaled, lifting his head and taking a deep whiff. Dear God, had he detected my scent? An omega’s scent was more powerful than anything else to true primates, alpha warriors like the huntsmen. Then he narrowed his eyes, a slight smile curling on his mouth.
He turned the horse, slowly scanning the perimeter as he held out his hand to the others. The group of marauders seemed to obey his command, pulling on the reins of their horses. As he tilted his head, his gaze falling onto the clump of bushes, I could see his gorgeous eyes even in the waning light. They were blue like the deepest ocean, adding to the sultry look of his features. His nostrils flared seconds before he jumped off his ebony steed, huffing under his breath. Even the huntsman’s massive chest was rising and falling. The man was riddled with exasperation and I was the cause.
What a shame.
Mmmm… What did you think? A little dark science fiction might just be the perfect read this weekend!
Kisses and spanks…