Whimper by Erin McFadden
Despite sweltering heat, Saturday night is in full swing at the local campus bars and cafes. Thumping techno bass competes against raucous voices and laughter until screams suddenly shatter the party atmosphere. A half-naked man charges through the crowd, savaging his peers. Zoe Clark witnesses the bloody attack and the unnatural behavior of the assailant and knows something horrible is happening in her quiet college town. Zoe opens her home and her heart to a mysterious newcomer who claims to have an explanation for the grisly attacks. Elliott Carter needs any help he can find as he struggles to discover a cure for the virus that can turn ordinary students into mindless, violent attackers. Attraction and dedication collide as the two are drawn into a high stakes race against a government gone awry and a menace invisible to the naked eye. As they fight to stop the spread of the deadly microbe, secrets and bloodshed threaten to destroy any hope they might hold for a happily ever after. When the world teeters on the brink of a deadly pandemic, how much will they sacrifice to save it?
***Warning for adult language and violence***
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1122118213?ean=2940151595537
1.“Do you think the vaccines they’re giving are contaminated, Elliott? Would you like to fucking find out? Because I figure you’ve got a matter of hours before you’ll have conclusive evidence to support your theory.”
2.Zoe was the only thing that made me feel alive while I was busy dying. But humans are so damn fragile. What if I was the next to bleed? What if I killed her right along with the rest of the world?
3.It isn’t safe to stay here while everyone we know and love dies out there either! No help is coming unless we do something. The fact that I’ve got breasts isn’t going to stop me from doing whatever the hell I can to get help here faster. Got it?”
4.She scared me a little, this hellion who was determined to save me and the rest of the damn world in the process. Where did the mad passion come from? Why this determination to be involved when most people would gladly stay safely hidden away?
“Zoe,” he said raggedly, his breath hot against my neck. “You’ve got to give up this idea that you can save me. You’ve got to stop giving me hope. I don’t…I can’t…”
I cut him off by pressing my lips to his and wrapping my arms around his neck to pull him closer. I wasn’t willing to listen to any talk about lost causes. The whole damn world is a lost cause, but that doesn’t mean we lay down and accept it. I was going to keep fighting for the things I wanted until I drew my last breath, and right now there wasn’t a damn thing I wanted more than Elliott.
“I’m not letting go of you that easily. You picked up the wrong girl in the wrong bar if you were looking for easy,” I whispered back fiercely. “I am in this fight and I’m not backing down. Deal with it.”
Fire lit in Zoe’s eyes immediately. Oh shit. If there was a list of “wrong things to say,” I’d evidently picked the top phrase. “We girls need to stay out of your way? We GIRLS have been saving your ass. Your sister is the only reason you’re still alive to be standing here belittling her, you stupid son of a bitch. If you were doing such a damn good job of handling the problem, we wouldn’t be surrounded by a sea of infected… Oh, for the love of God, let’s call them zombies and stop pussy footing around about it! We wouldn’t be in the middle of a plague, arguing about whether or not it’s safe for us to go out. I know it’s not goddamned safe. It isn’t safe to stay here while everyone we know and love dies out there either! No help is coming unless we do something. The fact that I’ve got breasts isn’t going to stop me from doing whatever the hell I can to get help here faster. Got it?”
“Zoe, I’ll leave right now if you want me to. I hate that you’re in danger because of me. It’s tearing me up. I don’t know how to prove to you that you’re different, that we’re different. We haven’t had much time and everything is in chaos, I know. But when I’m with you, the only things I’m desperate about are how badly I want to kiss you and how much I want to be able to stay right where I am.” I stared into her sapphire blue eyes, willing her to believe me and wishing that my life was different. Why couldn’t I have become a psychiatrist like my mom instead of wanting to fulfill Dad’s life ambition? I could be on this campus for a symposium or something and stop into Firebrand for a drink. No viruses, no patient zero, just a guy meeting a girl.