Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #1)
by Leslie Lee Sanders
M/M Post-Apocalyptic Romance
Released on July 1, 2012
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 45,000
After an asteroid strikes Earth, a series of violent earthquakes destroy secluded Phoenix and leave survivor Elliot struggling to stay focused in the bleak aftermath. And then he meets fellow survivor Adam. Together, the two search for reliable shelter and other survivors while distant murky clouds fast approach. Their hunt for shelter leads them down an alternate path when they find spray painted symbols directing them to a mysterious place: Refuge Inc.
As ominous clouds slowly shut off all light to their devastated world, they are forced to come to terms with their pasts and their growing attraction for each other.
Neither thought their pasts and personal crises would affect their ability to endure the horrors they’re forced to live through. Neither thought they would be drawn so close to one another in the aftermath of an unimaginable catastrophe. By working together, can they continue to survive? Or will the mystery of Refuge Inc. cause diverse expectations and lead them to decisions that further threaten their lives?
WARNING: Contains explicit male-male sexual practices, graphic language, some violence and brief descriptions of the dead.
“See that dark color on the horizon?” Adam pointed to the east, suddenly looking somber. “That’s a wall of smoke, ash, dust and who knows what else, and it’s coming our way.”
“What? What do you mean?” A bit of panic began to stir in Elliot’s stomach like a bowl of his mother’s spicy and overly greasy chili. He’d thought the worst was over.
“Ever heard of impact winter?” Adam’s green eyes pierced his and neither moved. “What’s headed for us isn’t good. We’re gonna have to take shelter somewhere and fast before it blocks out all light and it gets so dark we won’t be able to tell which way is up. Can’t run from it either,” he added, as if predicting Elliot’s next question. “Been watching it for a couple hours now and it’s moving pretty fast.”
“What do you mean it’s going to get dark?” He knew he looked like a wide-eyed idiot, but he didn’t care much about his appearance at the moment.
“Let me put it this way. Once the sun sets we’re not gonna see it rise for quite some time. That wall of soot headed our way is so thick it will block out the sun. It will take months, maybe years, for all the crap to fall down.”
“Are you sure?” He dipped his eyebrows suspiciously. “How do you know all this?”
“When those assholes finally told us that an asteroid might hit, I went looking for info about anything to do with asteroids hitting Earth and that’s what I found out. We need to find some shelter.”
Elliot looked at the dark grey horizon. Indeed, the cloud of unnerving darkness grew bigger, wider, closer. His heart dropped, it sank in the pit of his stomach like a ton of concrete rubble. “We’re not going to make it, huh?” He gulped, suddenly feeling defeated. Panic. “What’s the point in finding shelter when we’re not gonna live to see the sun again?”
Adam grabbed his hand, gave it a gentle squeeze and let it loose before Elliot realized it had happened. The friendly squeeze hadn’t been part of his imagination. A look of sincerity and concern painted Adam’s handsome face. “I was beginning to think the same thing and then I saw you. Like I said, two heads are better than one.”
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