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Graham's Resolution - Book 7 - The Long Goodbye

Graham's Resolution - Book 7 - The Long Goodbye

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"As I stand here, watching the enemy approach, I know this is it. I've fought so hard to survive, to keep those I love safe, but it seems like it's all for nothing. My heart aches for the people I've grown to love in this harsh new world.

I feel a wave of anger and desperation wash over me as I raise my weapon and prepare to face the enemy head-on. I know I won't make it out alive, but I'm determined to take as many of them down with me as I can. No matter the cost..."

Sample: The Long Goodbye

He held the steady cadence in his ear like a tether and tore his eyes away from his son in the bed and looked out the window on the other side of the room. Past the boy in the bed, admitting to himself the boy was a man now, but Bang would forever be his boy. One beep followed another. The pale-yellow window glass was smudged since the end of time, except for the center of one pane, busted out long ago. The edges were chipped of paint and nearly cracked out, but through the pane, Graham glanced into a field of golden wheat, each strand waving. The sun had nearly made its return to rest once again, giving way to a cool evening breeze so soft it found its way back through the broken panes and into the hot room where Graham’s eyes once again landed on his son’s rising chest, keeping the beat of a machine that was powered by battery packs strewn along the tile floor that heated the space even more than the day’s late summer sun. 

One beep followed another. He willed the steady drum with his dry eyes, and yet he wouldn’t blink as he sat there in the chair next to Bang’s bed. Canals of sweat trailed slowly down the sides of his face, neck, and under his arms along the itchy parts of his chest, and he barely breathed to keep from waking the other child who shared a part of his heart that he nearly lost in one day, Tehya, whose body was draped across his middle like a lazy Lab. What mattered was that he had both of them safe, at least for now. His eyes bound one now, as he held the other. 

Only Bang wasn’t safe…not yet. He knew this because he heard Clarisse sobbing in the hallway earlier when she didn’t think he could hear past the doorway.

“It’s okay,” Dalton had urged her. “He’s going to be fine.”

“I don’t know that yet. There’s nothing else I can do…” she admitted, choking on each word. “He either lives or he dies,” she choked out. “He was fine until the infection…there’s just nothing else…”

“He’s a strong kid, Clarisse,” Dalton whispered. “He’s determined. He’s going to make it.”

She didn’t say anything for a while, but Graham imagined her looking up into Dalton’s eyes and shaking her head…too afraid to utter what might be true. Bang might be too far gone. Bang might not make it after everything…after the battle of a lifetime.

“We have to get Graham out of there. He won’t leave,” he heard her whisper next after the silence.

His eyes had flashed away from Bang to the doorway behind him for one mere second as he said in a voice more ragged than he’d intended in a single word that meant don’t even try, “No…” He meant it kindly but firmly.

There were no more whispers from the hallway after that. Only the scuffle of shoes retreating. Graham returned his gaze then and settled Tehya against his chest a little more when she stirred, kissing the top of her sweaty head. There would be no taking him from them. Not until Bang was out of the woods…and then he would enter the woods willingly. But that wasn’t a worry at the moment. He’d failed them. He would not fail them again. His daughter, once as free as a fawn running through the golden field on the other side of the glass pane, was now terrorized…and it was all his fault.

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