Book Two: Simon
Embrace the Night Eternal took me by surprise and left me hungering for more - Joss Ware's vision of the future is dark, complex and sharply original. I'm eagerly anticipating the next installment in what promises to be a fascinating new series."
– Nalini Singh, New York Times Best-selling author of Branded by Fire
Everything they knew is gone.
From the raging fires, five men emerge with extraordinary new powers. They must learn how to survive this dark, ravaged world ... but they cannot do it alone.
Simon Japp will never forget his violent past. But when civilization is all but destroyed, he sees his chance for redemption. Blessed with a strange "gift," he's determined to help the resistance against the Strangers, the mysterious force that stalks them at every turn. He can't afford to get distracted, even by the stunning, soft-spoken woman fighting by his side...
Sage Corrigan has learned to be careful where she places her trust. But she sees something good in Simon, even if he can't see it in himself. Posing as lovers to infiltrate a group key to their fight, they find that their staged affection soon develops into a desire that will leave them fighting for their lives in the night eternal...
Simon looked toward the entrance of the Pub. That uneasy feeling crawled over him, and he nearly stood to go check things out in person. But then he saw Sage.
She was talking to someone just out of sight of the doorway, but at least he could see her and know that she wasn't being dragged off into a dark corner. Her body language was one of awkwardness, but that didn't surprise him--she was fairly shy, and not at all gregarious like her friend Jade.
Theo had slipped into a familiar argument with his brother about something geek-related, and once plunged into that topic--which included terms such as bigtable and redundant storage--seemed to forget about everything around him. Including Sage.
Damn good thing Simon was there. Watching out for Theo's girl.
Of course, that was what he was trained to do. Watch out for the other guy's girl.
Sage shifted, and her hands fluttered in stiff animation. And then she moved again, and Simon saw whom she was talking to.
He was out of his seat in an instant. Striding through the Pub, he knew he appeared calm and casual, not a hair out of place...but inside, his muscles bunched and black violence stirred. He didn't make the mistake of reaching for that non-existent holster this time, but instead he felt for the knife that he'd tucked into the back of his belt, beneath a tattered jean jacket.
Marck saw him coming. To his credit, he didn't flicker an eyelash. But their eyes met, understanding flashed between them, and then, when Simon was just out of earshot, Ian looked back at Sage. Said one more thing, leaned in much too closely and touched her arm, then turned and walked away.
Fuck-you was stamped all over his swagger as the bounty hunter melded into the crowd.
Sage turned and started back toward the Pub. Simon would have let her walk past and gone after Marck, but she noticed him and halted.
"Following me again?" she said. Chill brushed her voice.
"Do you know him?"
"No. He caught me as I was coming back." She seemed to rethink her coolness. "Do you?"
"That was Ian Marck." He knew she'd be aware of the name, but wasn't surprised she'd never seen a picture of him. The days of cellphone pics and Facebook were long gone.
Her eyes grew wide. "The bounty hunter?"
"What did he want?" But Marck'd already told him: Same as you. Celebrating. Relaxing. Looking for a good lay.
She started to speak, then stopped. "I think I'd better tell everyone at once."