The Becoming: Excerpt #4 — In Which Cade and Ethan Make a New Friend
It’s now seven weeks until the release of the audiobook of The Becoming, and in anticipation of that release, I am posting a weekly series of posts pimping out the novel in question, including excerpts from the novel, songs from the playlists that I’ve compiled, and whatever other fun stuff comes to mind as I progress through this.
Obviously, things have been a little hectic on my end, so I haven’t been able to get the playlist posts compiled yet (though they’re–hopefully!–coming soon). Still, at least you get some excerpts from the novel, yes?
Throughout the excerpts, I’ve been introducing the major characters of The Becoming and the general situation they find themselves stuck in. And believe me, that situation isn’t exactly GOOD.
In this week’s excerpt, Cade and Ethan meet a new friend, rifles are waved around, and demands aren’t exactly met.
Before Cade and Ethan had passed even one house, Cade saw movement in the corner of her right eye. She froze, and her shoulders tensed in a moment of indecision. Then she turned on her heel and moved to stand between Ethan and the threat that presented itself. It was a man, and he crossed the yard of the house across the street and headed directly toward them.
“Hey!” the man shouted. The man’s eyes flicked to the rifle aimed directly at his head, and he skidded to a halt at the edge of the sidewalk. He lifted a gun of his own and pointed it at Cade. Ethan sidestepped from behind Cade to point his own gun at the unknown man, pulling the slide back to chamber a bullet. The man tensed visibly at the ominous sound, but he continued to aim his weapon at Cade.
“Who are you?” Cade demanded.
“Are you one of them?” the man countered.
“I asked you a question,” Cade snapped.
The man ignored Cade’s reply. He said again, slowly and carefully, “Are you one of them?” His voice was strained.
“Are we one of what?” Cade asked as she glared at him. She never appreciated having a gun in her face. She flipped the safety off on her rifle with a slow, deliberate move of her finger to make sure the man saw the motion and to make sure he knew exactly what it meant.
“Are you infected?” the man asked impatiently.
It was as the man uttered those words that Cade noticed the way he stood. Despite the tenseness underlying his words, the man wasn’t physically tense at all. Indeed, he was nearly relaxed, his stance speaking of professionalism and expertise with the weapon he held. The idea of him being in the military flitted through Cade’s mind, and she stiffened slightly as she narrowed her eyes.
“Infected?” Cade repeated. “What the hell are you talking about?”
Cade didn’t dare look away as the man met her gaze. His eyes were warm and brown, flecked with a hint of gold. They drew Cade in like a moth to flame, and she was forced to break their eye contact. The man hesitated before he removed his hand from his gun and put it up in surrender. He lowered the gun to hang at his side.
“Put it down,” Ethan ordered, speaking for the first time since their encounter with the man. “On the ground. Now.”
The man sighed again, the noise touched with a tinge of exasperation. He leaned to set the weapon on the ground at his feet. Cade made note of the camouflage pants and scraped, dirty black combat boots the man wore, which supported her suspicions. He straightened and held both hands out to his sides, as if to show Ethan and Cade that they were now both empty.
“Who are you?” Cade asked again now that they had the man unarmed. She suspected, though, that despite his weaponless state, he was far from defenseless.
The man made a cautious gesture at their surroundings and said, “It’s not safe out here. We need to get inside.”
“What is going on?” Ethan demanded as Cade lowered her rifle. He did not put his own gun away.
“I’ll explain in a minute,” the man said. He turned and headed back toward the house from which he’d come. “Once we’re inside.”
Cade lifted her rifle again as the man put his back to them. “Not until you tell us who the hell you are,” she said to his back. He stopped and turned slowly to look at her. His dark eyes were curious as they skimmed over her entire body. Cade stiffened self-consciously as he studied her, but she held her ground and kept her rifle steady.
“Interesting accent you have there,” the man observed. “What is it, Middle Eastern? Israeli, perhaps?” He stepped forward and held out a hand to her. “Lieutenant Brandt Evans, United States Marines,” he said.
Like what you read?
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You can now also pre-order The Becoming, the first book in The Becoming Trilogy, at Barnes & Noble for only $10.08!
(As a side note relating to the pre-order, I’ve gotten several people asking me if there’s a way they can get the book autographed. To answer that question, I’ll have more information posted closer to the book’s release on how you can get that done.)