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Cancer: Penny Candles [Boys Of The Zodiac Series]
by Vivien Dean

Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Gay Fiction
Description: Two men separated by chance must build their futures, without letting the past destroy them...

In the year 2184, the U.S. is divided. Half the country has moved on with the rest of the world, while in middle America, the survivors of the terrorist biological attack that split the country struggle just to stay alive. Though a century has passed, few people brave going behind the borders meant to contain the danger. Even the privatized military is reluctant to do so.

But that doesn't stop recently discharged Sullivan Eberle. Only one thing drives him anymore--the need to find Raphael Hamada. He doesn't know why; he only knows he must. If that means a lifetime behind the borders, then so be it.

Rafe Hamada ran away from the real world when he was still a kid. The last thing he wants is to be found, especially by a soldier who can't even tell him why it was so important to locate him in the first place. He'd like nothing more than for Sullivan to leave, but turning his back on a man alone and friendless is against everything Rafe stands for...

Genres: Gay / Futuristic / Interracial / Multicultural / Series
eBook Publisher: Amber Quill Press, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: February 2011

eBookeBook

11 Reader Ratings:
Great Good OK Poor
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [263 KB]
Words: 58391
Reading time: 166-233 min.


"5 Stars!...Right from the beginning the characters pulled me into their story and I was dying to know what Sullivan's mission was...Vivien Dean's latest addition to the series is one I will be rereading soon. The strong characters and intriguing story line held my attention 'til the end. Not only would I strongly recommend this story but the rest of the series as well."--Lydia, Rainbow Reviews

"4 Nymphs!...Pulled me into the story from the very beginning and left me wanting to know more about Sullivan's history, and what drove him to find Raphael...A touching romance and a hope for a happy future."--Mystical Nymphs, Literary Nymphs Reviews

"...A futuristic novel with a gentle pace and the tightly bound plot of a cozy mystery...The intimate scenes between Rafe and Sullivan were beautifully drawn, tying into their emotions, their chemistry with one another instantaneous...Ms. Dean has built a tightly drawn futuristic world...I'm a fan of Vivian Dean and look forward to her next book. Those who enjoy the slow unravel of a mystery amid a warm and touching romance will likely enjoy this one."--Stacey R, Reviews By Jessewave


CHAPTER 1

June, 2184

Sullivan Eberle found it ironic that after almost failing the physical to enlist because he had abysmal night vision, he was now forced to do most of his traveling after dark. He'd tried walking during the day. While his time was better, the fear he encountered in every stranger's face wasn't worth it. Scared people acted irrationally. It was a risk he wasn't willing to take.

The journey might have been easier if he had a fixed destination in mind, rather than a name that meant nothing to him and puffs of memory that evaporated when he tried to catch them. He walked on instinct, catching the occasional faded sign and steering his course in a new direction. The slip of paper in his pocket got heavier every day. Taunting him. Begging him. Screaming at him to get there, damn it, who did he think he was dawdling like this?

The screams were the easiest to block out. He'd trained too many years to fall prey to such manipulative tactics. Strike would be proud of him.

At one point, he debated losing the uniform for something less noticeable. Civilian clothes would help him blend. He might be able to risk journeying during daylight hours then, provided he also had a hat to hide his shaved head. But he'd left his money and credit behind, ties he'd cut without knowing why, and nobody in their right mind would trade for a Strike set. That left thievery. Somehow, in logic he knew was twisted, that was too much. He couldn't justify crossing that line.

At least his other crimes had been officially sanctioned. He refused to break this particular law. On this, he had a choice.

He marched along deserted highways under pitch-covered skies. Only once did a vehicle pass him, but the roar of its archaic engine proclaimed its presence long before twin beams pricked the darkness. He hid in a wet ditch until it passed, vaguely wondering where they got the fuel to make the vehicle run. Brackish sludge seeped inside his boots, his pants hems soaking even more, but he remained stationary long after the night was silent again.

When he resumed his trek, the oppressive silence tried to flatten him into his own grave. The earth was more than ready for it, which bothered him on a whole lot of levels. At the fronts, they had to burn the dead, in pyres, with throwers, anywhere they could find. Even before the current insurgences, he didn't know anyone who'd died who hadn't been cremated. There was just no place to put the bodies. People wouldn't have to worry about that out here in the middle of nowhere, but then again, he didn't know how people could live where it was so quiet. In the beginning, he'd hoped he'd hear crickets, not that he was really sure what crickets even sounded like. Story was, some rural areas still had them. There had been a kid from Ohio in his squadron who spent hours telling him and anyone who wanted to listen about growing up on a farm. Nobody ever told him to shut up unless a ranking officer was in earshot. That kind of life seemed like a fairy tale.

Sullivan probably wasn't in Ohio, anyway. That was farther north and east. But if his search proved fruitless, he might consider going there instead. His hair would be growing back by then. He could leave his career behind him. Where it belonged.

He was always hungry.


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