Night Betrayed

Night Betrayed by Joss Ware Read Free Book Online

Book: Night Betrayed by Joss Ware Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joss Ware
Tags: Science-Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Zombie, Dystopia, Apocalyptic
with the faintest hitch in his step, but at a pace that would leave most people half his age in the dust. Theo had to squelch the urge to follow him.
    “So you got her stitched up?” Theo asked, sliding onto a stool at the kitchen counter as Vonnie busied herself at the sink.
    For a moment, a blast from the past settled over him and he felt a long-submerged wave of nostalgia. He was catapulted back to his mom’s sunny lemon-and-lime kitchen.
    He and Lou sat at the counter and Mom made them oatmeal or eggs or whatever for breakfast in the morning before school. Dad would come streaking in to grab a cup of coffee on his way out the door to the hospital, where he managed the lab. He’d cuff them each affectionately on the back of the head as he passed by. Their older sister was already at work, so they didn’t have to fight her for the bathroom.
    When they got older and visited home from college, Mom made them sit there and talk to her while she cooked dinner, refusing to let them have their laptops or iPhones open. Anyone who dared even think about accessing a keyboard would be served cold liver and onions, she’d threaten. Or lima beans with some awful healthy grain called quinoa—a threat she actually carried out once. And after they turned legal, she even offered beer or wine as an incentive for getting information about what was new in their lives.
    “I only find out what’s going on when I check your Facebook page,” she’d complain good-naturedly. “Can’t even call your mother and tell me you got a new job, but you can post it for all and sundry to read?”
    The memory of his mother—a PhD in English lit—using such phrases while wielding a wooden spoon coated with spaghetti sauce brought a breathtaking pang of grief to Theo.
    Mom and Dad, and their older sister from Dad’s first marriage, had perished during the Change, at least as far as he and Lou knew. Since the catastrophic events had wiped out ninety-eight percent of the human population—as well as actually changing the continental makeup of the earth—there was no reason to think otherwise.
    “Are you hungry?”
    Reality swooped in over him, jerking Theo back to the year 2060, where he looked as if he were no more than thirty years old, even though he’d been alive for almost eighty.
    “I could eat,” Theo said, looking at Vonnie. He suddenly realized how starved he was. Maybe that hollow feeling in his stomach was because he was hungry. Maybe not. “Something more than soup, if that’s all right.”
    Vonnie beamed at him. “Eggs and sausage sound good?”
    Theo liked the sound of that, and as he watched her mound scrambled eggs onto a plate, he realized she hadn’t responded to his earlier question about Selena. But rather than call her on it, he decided to take a different tact.
    The eggs were like ambrosia: light and fluffy, salted just right. And the sausage wasn’t in casings but fried up like ground beef. He didn’t think he’d ever tasted anything so good. Vonnie poured him a cup of hot tea—something Theo hadn’t been a big fan of in the past, but he found that by adding a bit of honey, he almost enjoyed it despite its woodsy aftertaste.
    “This is really good. Do you do all the cooking around here?” he asked, figuring that while food might be the way to his heart, admiration of mothering skills was often the way to a woman’s heart. Especially one like Vonnie.
    “As much as I can,” she said, bumping her round hip against the counter as she reached for something.
    The kitchen, it seemed, couldn’t be a quiet place when she was there. Pots clanged, silverware clashed, things fell on the floor and bounced into the sink—she was the epitome of “haste makes waste” . . . but in a delightful sort of way.
    Theo watched her drop a towel twice, then lunge too fast to grab an apple in the bowl across the counter, knocking over the salt on the way. “Oops,” she said, picking up a pinch of salt and tossing it over her

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