Bad Lands by Alexis Martin

Bad Lands
by Alexis Martin


eBook ISBN: 1-61034-207-0

In the town of Last Chance, Quincy barters for goods with his findings, has a nice warm meal with Tegan and beds one of his favorite harlots, Hannah. Tegan decides to make Quincy jealous by taking Jimbo to bed. Quincy McAdams and Tegan Sparrow survived Armageddon, but will they survive each other?

Chapter One

She gazed up at him, her face beaming, doing a horrible job at concealing her joy. Quincy peered deep into her eyes and nodded approvingly.
“Good job, kiddo. That is a rare find.” Pulling down the hood of his dusty cloak, he snatched the gold locket from her palm and inspected the piece more carefully. “This will bring a good price at market.”
She spun away and flipped down her visor. The harsh sun rays were beginning to sting the retinas. She looked back once as she stomped off toward the dirt field behind what had once been an interesting home. Not now though, not after Armageddon.
Tegan glared over the barren landscape, watching the bloodred sun fade behind a wall of dust. Another freak windstorm was brewing, and they would be forced to hunker down here for the night. “Good job, kiddo?” she whispered miserably to herself. He still regarded her as a child. She plopped her athletic frame into the dirt and ran a hand through the soil where she had unearthed the last treasure.
Well, she was not a child anymore, for his information. Far from it, in fact. How could he not see it for himself? The irritation slowly grew into anger and festered like a thorn in her foot until she recalled who Quincy was and what he had done for her.
When she was seventeen, he had freed her from a militant group of slave traders that called themselves the Cobras. She still didn’t know the reason he had chosen to free her—to sacrifice himself for her, a complete stranger in a strange land. What compelled the man to be such a hero? It was an enthralling mystery to her—an enigma. She wanted to find out more than anything.
On that fateful day, he had saved her from a slave’s life that would have been riddled with many forms of sadistic abuse. She would have been a sexual toy for the Cobras’ henchmen or auctioned off to the highest bidder for who knows what unspeakable purposes. Quincy was a hero all right, a knight in shining armor who was there for her. His only reward was a knife blade across the left eye and a bullet lodged near his spine for the past five years. She had partnered with Quincy ever since. She was his eyes in a way and was exceptional at uncovering artifacts from the past. A fresh, younger set of oculars was invaluable in the wastelands. She assumed it was the sole reason he allowed her to stay on for this long—to team up with him. Whatever the true reason, he had saved her life, and it was good enough for her. Someone actually had the balls to show some compassion in this twisted world of strange storms and mangled dumps that were once sprawling cities.
In the farthest reaches of the barren wastelands, strange cults had developed, some delving into the dark arts of blood rituals and paganism. She had heard of townships that made human sacrifices to sun gods while others worship earthly beasts. Tegan inwardly shuddered. Yeah, the world had gone to shit, but it was all she had and with people like Quincy still in it, there was hope.
Sand and small pebbles began stinging her face as a cooling wind rushed across her dry, cracked lips. The arid conditions had an unnatural way of sucking all the moisture from the skin. With the storm approaching, and gaining intensity, she made the decision to head for the shelter. Quincy was already there and had prepared a modest fire with a skinned rabbit rotating over the flames. The room smelled good enough to eat.
Quincy’s shirt was tied at his waist, and his outer cloak was folded into a pillow beside him. She removed her visor and sat cross-legged, warming her hands near the flickering fire. She fixated on his shoulders and chiseled chest as he leaned over to cut away a piece of meat. Beneath the scruff of a dark, close-cropped beard, she knew there was a ruggedly handsome man with a dominant chin and a square jawline.
“Dive in,” he told her.
“Wha-what?” she stammered, her focus still directed toward his chest and well-formed biceps. Dang! He had to of noticed her gawking like a love-struck puppy or, worse yet, a sex-starved maniac.
“Eat, before the meat gets tough.”
“Right. Smells awesome.”
He cut away a generous portion and gave it to her. She smiled gratefully and ate peacefully next to the man she desired more than anything else in the world.
Quincy was a protector and a provider of many things, food, water, and the necessities of life, but she wanted more. She wanted him since the first day he entered her life.
“You all right, Sparrow? Thought I sniffed out a little anger in you earlier.”
“Nawww…I’m fine. I’ve got a full belly and warm place to sleep tonight. Just don’t like these godforsaken storms is all.”
“I don’t care for them either.” He chuckled. “We will be fine in here tonight.”
“Here,” he said while scooting closer to where she sat. He removed a small canister from between his legs and dipped his index finger into a soupy mixture. Bringing his finger to Tegan’s mouth, he then softly applied a slick substance over her cracked lips. His delicate touch burned her as their eyes locked for a moment in the shadows of the flickering flames. She had an overwhelming urge to take his greasy finger into her mouth—to kiss the hand that was
caressing her puckered lips. She held in a breath for a moment, waiting for him to lay claim to her mouth. Any second now he would kiss her. She felt it in the lingering stare that bore down on her.
“Rabbit oil,” he continued. “Use it three times daily to soften the skin. It will also help to keep the moisture in.”
* * * *
He never noticed how full and kissable they were until now. She had developed into an extremely beautiful woman right under his nose. Just then her mouth opened, tongue moving slightly forward to lick his finger, but he offered her the canister, taking his finger away from her lower lip.
* * * *
Reclaiming his spot on the floor, he reclined on his elbows, unaware she tried kissing his finger.
“Thanks,” she sighed. Was he really that dense, or was he playing games with her? What would it have to take? Would she have to strip off all her clothes and jump on top of him—or what?
“Don’t mention it, kiddo. I saw a need and filled it.”
Why couldn’t he fill the need between her legs? And what gives with that stupid “kiddo” remark again? She would need to have a serious discussion with him about that tomorrow.
She snuggled herself into the makeshift bed that Quincy had prepared for her earlier and listened to the howling winds bristling through the cracks along the brick and mortar foundation. The sand sounded like a steady rainfall pelting the outer walls and roof. “Tell me more about the world before the Great War.” She yawned.
“Let’s save it for another night, aye. I’m spent, and we have a long trek to Last Chance at first light.”
“So soon?”
 “We are running dangerously low on our fresh water reserves. We must.”
She absolutely despised the town of Last Chance, including most of the people in it. The town was nothing but trouble. Quincy was fantastic at three things: bargaining for supplies, drinking like an Irishman, and wasting perfectly good money on whores. Going to town meant doing all three things in any given order. There was no real method to his madness. He would most definitely bed one of the local sluts. It was his way, but it was the one thing that infuriated her above all else. What did those fake bimbos have that she didn’t?
The only saving graces of the trip would be a warm bath, a soft bed, and clean clothes. She desired all three more than anything right now. A weird mix of red dust and sweat coated her flesh, and she smelled of wet leather or dead goat. She couldn’t decide which odor was more fitting. Keeping her thoughts on a soothing bath, she nodded off without dreams.

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