Priscilla stood in the tiny, dimly lit room, anxious and already prepared for her lover Evan Duvall to arrive. Every chance they got they came to this isolated two-room cabin in the woods to steal a little privacy. Traveling the weathered, beaten, barely there path could be dangerous and not because of animals. No, even the animals relocated deeper, farther up into the mountains to avoid the new level of savagery man had reached.
Even now, as she stood seemingly safe and secure so far away from civilization, Priscilla knew fierce unrest could reach out and smack her down. Not so many years ago—twelve perhaps, she couldn’t be sure anymore—life was good. A living could be made, a family could exist, eat and purchase clothing, have a house of their own and even take trips abroad. The only limitations were your imagination and the amount of money you could make.
Moving to the dingy mattress sitting on the floor, Priscilla removed a soft blanket she carried in her shabby backpack and smoothed it out, covering the unsanitary piece of furniture so she and Evan could lay together. A memory flickered inside her head. She’d once had a bed, a nice, clean, soft bed with a frame and flowered sheets. A fluffy comforter spread out on top that she would snuggle under on cold nights.
Pushing the memory away, because it did no good to wallow in the past, Priscilla stood and tugged her faded green shirt up and over her head. Beneath she wore a black lacy bra she’d found scavenging through an abandoned house. Evan loved the flimsy material, always remarking how sexy it looked against her fair, creamy skin. Priscilla took extra care of the tiny treasure, only wearing it for Evan on these special nights. Who knew if she’d ever find another?
Wiggling her hips, she shucked her faded jeans down her legs and carefully folded them. Her panties were nothing to rave about. Simple, pink cotton bikinis she’d acquired from a local girl trading for some fruit.
At one time her mother had spoiled her with silly, frivolous gifts on her birthday, again a memory that shouldn’t be thought about too much. Priscilla had learned early pining away for the past got you nothing but heartache. Strolling toward the cracked window, she leaned against the frame and stared out into the night, watching for her lover, praying he made it through the woods without being spotted.
Since the civil war had broken out, groups had formed to rebel against the government. Not exactly a bad idea since the government had gone the way of being ruled by only the most wealthy and powerful. Over-taxing, stealing land in the name of security and basically taking anything they could had become a way of life. The rich got richer and the poor existed only if they were willing to take the meager wages the wealthy handed out.
So groups formed to rise up against the dictatorship that masqueraded behind democracy. Only without real leaders, the groups began to fight each other instead of the real enemy and when their numbers dropped they began the so-called drafting stage. Priscilla closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She’d seen a few young men get drafted. They were stolen from their bed, dragged out into the night and beaten in front of their families until they swore their allegiance. Those who still refused watched in horror as another member of their family was beaten, tortured or—for the lucky ones—shot once in the head.
Now living outside city limits unprotected by the government was as dangerous as working for the fat, greedy rulers. She’d heard horror stories about what they did to their workers and it made her blood run cold. Girls disappearing, some forever, others returning maimed, scarred both mentally and physically. No, she’d take her chances out here, thank you very much.
It seemed time had turned backward somehow. The country divided into kingdoms with supreme rulers. Trading went on with other cities to gain the supplies they needed. Those supplies were trucked on the highways by only the most trusted and well-paid drivers. How much longer could this country exist like this before an outside force decided to claim her for their own?
“You look cold.”
Evan’s gentle, soothing voice drifted through the dim light and wrapped around her like a heavy, comforting blanket. Immediately her blood heated as it raced through her body. Turning, she gazed at her lover with a hunger so consuming her body quivered from it. Liquid lust pooled between her legs, her breasts swelled with an almost painful ache and her nipples pebbled against the sheer lace. Only Evan could instill such feelings inside her.
In the dim, flickering candlelight he looked almost like a dream. His shoulder-length, jet-black hair waving around his face, his deep blue eyes framed by thick, long lashes and his square jaw all gave him the appearance of a mystical man instead of her Evan, her lover, her soul.
“I love it when you look at me like that,” he whispered softly.
His lean, muscled arms and chest bunched beneath his thin blue T-shirt. His jeans hugged his thighs and when her gaze drifted to the bulge pressing against the zipper, her heart fluttered, making her head spin. The scuffed boots he wore finished his rugged look and she loved every inch of him.