Bells & Nikki #1: Apocalypse Dance (eBook) - Dragon Dance Cycle

$5.99
518 pages | eBook | 6x9"
Date of publication: 07/30/2015
  • ISBN: 978-1-941984-94-9
  • Model: 107656 words

Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Heat Rating: 4 Flames

 

For Nikki, salvation is just a Dragon away.

With the world population decimated by a mutated strain of Ebola, civilization as we know it has gone down in ruins. Warlords rampage across what was once the United States of America, killing, raping and adding to the misery and horror that has swept the once proud nation.

Nikki, once on her way to becoming a brilliant doctor, is being sought as a concubine by Roderik, self-styled King of the Lone Star Empire. Now it's up to Nikki, her friends, and an enigmatic blond known only as Bells to end his reign of terror. The problem is, Roderik is an Immortal Dragon, and only another Dragon can stop him.

CONTENT ADVISORIES: This is an extensively expanded and re-edited story. NOTE: While the books in Dragon Dance Series by Michael Barnette and by Jaymie Michaels are set in the same world, they are otherwise not related. While the books by each pen name should be read in order, you do not need to read the other side to understand the whole.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

The heavy motorcycle sped down the cracked highway, weaving between cars that were either abandoned or had passengers he didn't want to study too closely.

No point. They were long dead anyway.

And he'd seen enough dead people to last a lifetime.

Several dozen lifetimes in fact.

He slowed the bike. He was coming to an exit and he was getting tired. Hours of endless riding, looking for survivors and finding no one had made for a seriously depressing day. But then, most days were like that.

So many dead, and he carried a gun on his hip in case a few more wanted to join the majority of humanity in the silence of the grave.

Welcome to the Apocalypse, six billion served, no waiting.

The unknown disease had spread so fast, killing so many people that there weren't enough living left to bury the dead.

It had been worst in the cities. People getting sick so fast and not enough hospital beds. Not enough doctors or nurses, and they'd died like everyone else, making the situation even more critical.

Death had walked the streets, arms spread wide, welcoming humanity in their millions.

There really weren't enough people to even keep civilization, the old World As We Knew It, from crumbling to ash.

Now the cities were full of nothing but ghosts.

Lost hopes, lost dreams.

Lost lives.

And he was tired. Tired of being alone. Tired of waking up. Tired of being alive.

And that was the real bitch, because he couldn't die.

He rode the bike down the ramp and came to a stop at the traffic light. It was dead, like everything else. Strip malls stretched out to either side. Windows smashed, shops looted.

The man wondered how many people had taken TVs from the Hal's TV and Video store he could see in the nearest shopping center. Lot of good that would have done. There wasn't even a working power grid. But if you had a generator you could watch Blu-ray, DVDs, old VHC. Movies. TV shows. Cable.

The good old days.

Gone like a puff of smoke on the wind.

"God..." the man whispered to himself, his voice like audible velvet, smooth, deep toned. It was a bedroom voice, but there wasn't anyone alive to hear it.

Not here.

Not anymore.

A super strain of SARS had seen to that.

Pulling his helmet off caused a Medusa's tangle of corn silk-pale braids to fall from inside. The bells at their ends rang softly, grey and brown feathers fluttering in the light breeze, glass beads catching the light. Cobalt glass, their rich color as blue as the man's eyes as he scanned the empty main street of yet another dead town. Two days' worth of beard stubble glinted gold on his jaw, but there was grey showing in places, just as there was some grey streaking his hair.

Old. He was getting old in a world now as dead and empty as his own soul.

As empty as the world he'd failed to save.

He turned his head and the silver bells in his hair rang.

It was the way he remembered his name. Bells. It was the only name he'd had in so long; most days he couldn't even recall his real name. It had been Jason once, a very long time ago. Jason Whittier. His nickname... Well some of his friends had called him "Billy-badass", and he remembered that name more often than he remembered Jason.

He'd forgotten the names of his friends. Forgotten their faces.

Forgotten too damned much, and not enough.

"Well, Billy-badass, what now?" he asked himself. Bad habit, talking to himself. But there wasn't anyone else to talk to other than himself. Not that talking to himself was good company. These days it was either that, or talk to the bike, and it never answered anyway.

He dropped the kickstand and got off the bike to stretch aching thighs.

Not a tall man, under six feet in height, he moved with the grace of someone able to handle himself in a fight. Someone used to guns and violence.

Using a bungee cord, he fastened the helmet to the back of the bike over the small duffel bag of his gear, folded himself in half, the palms of his hands touching the pavement to work the kinks out of his back before he mounted up on the bike, slammed the kickstand up, and took a left down Main Street. The sign said that way led to a back county road, which could be a good thing.

There was more chance of meeting people away from the towns, and he was at the point where he was ready to go and look for someone, just to hear another voice. Even if it was just a shout before they started shooting at him.

He drove down the street, his bike making the only sound other than the soft sighing of the wind through the scattered trees.

Most of the birds were dead, the West Nile virus having run rampant after the people were gone. So were the dogs and cats, SARS mutating enough that even man's best friend hadn't survived. If he'd found any alive he'd have gotten one for company. He liked animals. They never judged you. Or shot at you.

He gunned the engine and the bike flew down the street. The man wove the bike between any and all obstructions, mostly more cars with their dead passengers. He reached the outskirts of the town and took the bike faster, wanting away from the reminders of what had been, what he'd lost.

How he'd failed.

The sun set, stars came out, and still the bike sped over the rolling highway. Like its rider, it wasn't what it appeared to be.

He looked like a man.

He wasn't.

It looked like any other motorcycle.

It wasn't.

Looks could be quite deceiving.

So was the fabric of the universe.

The bike hit one hundred miles per hour and the world dissolved in a rippling maelstrom of screaming light and echoing darkness. A nimbus of cobalt and aqua light swirled around him, taking on the shape of a dragon with cobalt eyes and green and blue scales with glittering gold edges. A rift, black as the night between stars, opened up and a gigantic hand reached down to sweep the dragon up and hurtle it, and the man it represented through the hole in time and space.

The blond managed a shouted "Fuck!" as torn reality healed and he found himself flying across a field full of tall grass. A tree loomed out of the fading polychromatic ripples of the time shift and his world burst into another brilliant cascade of rainbow fire before it went dark as the grave.

About the series: With the world population decimated by a mutated strain of Ebola, civilization as we know it has gone down in ruins. Warlords rampage across what was once the United States of America, killing, raping and adding to the misery and horror that has swept the once proud nation. But hope springs eternal, and with her Dragon by her side Nikki will do everything she can to bring order from the chaos, at least in her little corner of what was once America. NOTE: The Dragon Dance Cycle includes both MM and MF titles. These titles are NOT interdependent on each other, and readers can choose to read only the MM or only the MF titles, without losing track of the series continuity. To aid readers, MM Dragon Dance Cycle titles are Michael Barnette titles, and MF ones are Jaymie Michaels titles. Additionally, book titles will include the names of main characters and the book number for that couple (if applicable) before the main title.

Authors:

About Jaymie Michaels:
Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Jayme Michaels is the pseudonym of Michael Barnette. The name is used to distinguish heterosexual content stories from Michael’s more common tales of manlove. Jayme/Michael has been writing tales of erotic romance since the late 90s. Fleeing from the tropic heat of South Beach and Miami, Florida, Michael has steadily migrated farther and farther west and now writes with a view of the Flat Iron Mountains of Colorado. Readers can reach Jayme/Michael via email at: m_barnette_author@yahoo.com

For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

Other books by Kathy Kozakewich- EDITOR:

Care Package (eBook)
(Proofreader)
Care Package (eBook)
(Proofreader)
Light Me Up (eBook)
(Proofreader)
Lily (eBook)
(Proofreader)
The White Cat (eBook)
(Proofreader)
Werewolf U (eBook)
(Proofreader)
For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

Other books by Sheri McGathy- COVER ARTIST:

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This book was added to our catalog on Wednesday 15 April, 2015.

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