The Becoming: Excerpt #10 — In Which Cade and Brandt Bicker Like Children

One more week until the audiobook of The Becoming hits the e-shelves! For the past nine weeks, I’ve been making a series of blog posts with excerpts from the novel to celebrate the official audiobook release of The Becoming.

So now, I give you the final excerpt from the novel, in which Brandt and Cade find themselves in a sticky situation and much bickering is to be had.

Brandt smiled and slid off the desk to go to the window. He brushed the blinds aside to look out at the street below. The fire from the destruction of the RV had burned out half an hour before, so the street had fallen into darkness again. He squinted as he tried to make out any finer details, but it was too dark. Most of his planning would have to wait until morning; what they did would be contingent on where the infected were, and if he tried to plan without knowing, he’d have to wing it again. And that hadn’t worked out so well last time.

“You’re still pretty pissed at me, aren’t you?” Brandt asked suddenly. He’d noticed a frigid tinge to Cade’s voice throughout their entire conversation, and it had begun to bother him. He hated people being angry with him if it was something he could fix. He turned away from the window and dropped the blinds; they swayed, banging together for a moment before going still.

“I don’t know, Brandt. What do you think?” Cade asked. Her voice was smooth and steady, but a heavy undercurrent of anger lurked beneath her words. “I’m pretty ticked, yeah. But right now, I’m trying to not focus on that. We’ve got more important shit to deal with. Like how in the hell we’re going to get out of here.”

Brandt blew out his breath in a hint of relief and nodded. “Exactly. I figure we’ll have to wait until dawn before we start planning anything. It’s too dark right now.” Cade raised an eyebrow as she realized he was studying her, and she propped the foot of her uninjured leg against the edge of the desk and started rocking the chair slowly as she continued to stare back at him in silence. Brandt was unnerved by the blank look in her light blue eyes. He fought against the urge to fidget as he looked back at her; her look made him feel like a five year old facing down a teacher after doing something bad. When she’d stared him down long enough, she averted her eyes to the dirtied bandage wrapped around her right hand.

“So. We need a plan,” Brandt said after the moment had passed. He leaned against the wall beside the window and crossed his arms over his chest. “At least, we need a plan for right now, anyway. Got any ideas?”

“Hmm,” Cade hummed. She tilted her head back to look up at the speckled white ceiling tiles. “How much ammo do we have?”

“Not enough for much of anything,” Brandt admitted ruefully. “Maybe enough to make a run for it, but I can’t say for sure. We left all of our good stuff in the Jeep.”

Cade hummed again. She made no comment as she continued to contemplate the ceiling, pushing off the desk with her foot as she methodically rocked her chair. When Brandt finally grew impatient, he demanded, “So what’s the plan, Cade?”

Cade shrugged and hissed through her teeth. “Oh, I don’t know. Why don’t you give me all your guns and go out the front door as a distraction while I sneak out the back and get out of here?”

Brandt blinked. “Wow, you really are mad at me.”

Cade slammed both of her feet to the floor and rocked her chair forward. She barely winced as her twisted knee was jarred by the action, but Brandt definitely flinched at the pen that flew at his head with surprisingly good aim. He raised an arm to block it before it put one of his eyes out. “No, you think?” she snapped. “No wonder the fucking quarantine of Atlanta pissed all over itself if people remotely like you were in charge!”

A silence fell over the office as Brandt and Cade stared at each other. Brandt didn’t dare say a word. Whatever defense he could mount would be shot down by Cade in a fit of anger—if she didn’t just shoot him first. He pressed his fingers to his temples and closed his eyes. He could feel a headache coming on, and his supply inventory had already told him there was no aspirin to be had. Finally, he repeated, “We need a plan.”

“No shit, Sherlock. Got one?”

Brandt pressed the heels of his hands against his temples, massaging in slow circles. He was sure that within the hour, his skull was going to split open. “Jesus, just give me a minute. Let me think,” he grumbled.

“Oh, for the love of God,” Cade groaned. She dropped her head back against the headrest of the chair and covered her face with both hands. When she continued, her voice was muffled. “Please, please, please don’t do that.”

Brandt shot Cade a dirty look, but the woman didn’t notice, hidden as her eyes were. He huffed out an irritated sigh and turned to look out the window again. “You’re sort of right,” he conceded.

Cade dropped her hands to her lap with a thump. “And you finally admit the obvious,” she said with a pleased little sigh. She fell silent for a moment as Brandt attempted to study the street below. Then she leaned forward, the chair creaking with the motion, to rest her elbows against her thighs. “What, exactly, am I sort of right about?”

“The whole distraction thing,” Brandt replied.

“The distraction thing? You mean you’re actually going to run out the front door?” Her tone suggested she was joking, but only halfway. The other half just sounded incredulous.

Like what you read?

You can now “LIKE” The Becoming Trilogy on Facebook! To check it out, click here and hit that LIKE button!

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.)

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