Beware the hellhounds who lurk in the shadows for they are so hungry, and you are so tasty.

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Deleted scene #HopeOfTheFuture

This scene was later in the novel, but I had to remove it. It sucked a bit from the chapter it was in, and didn’t lend any important details to the story, but here it is for your pleasure.


Ronin went in search of food in nearby homes and found a few cans of soup, a sleeve of unopened crackers, but that was it. Hope’s job was to fix a room for sleep, but since only one was habitable, she made do and made it into a partial home.

The rest of the house barely stood around them. The house served as nothing more than shelter. Ronin and Hope lucked out when she discovered the bed covered in plastic. They would have to share the bed, but they had a clean area to sleep.

It took all of Hope’s effort to take the plastic off the bed. By the time Ronin came back, he was the one who tidied up the room, sealed off the door, then set to making the food. He had ordered Hope to lie down as soon as he came back.

Hearing him walk over to the window—boarded over as they all were—Hope rolled over to face him.

“Ronin,” she whispered.


“Lay with me.”

Ronin turned to give her a quick glance, but went back to watching over things. “I need to keep an eye out.”

Hope pushed herself up to her elbows. “Since when are you the more stubborn one?”

With a shake of his head, Ronin came to lay on the bed next to her. Hope scooted over to lay her head on his chest. “How do you feel?” he asked.

“Like I’ve been run over by a truck. My stomach hurts.”

“You should’ve eaten something.”

“No. Tired.” Hope clutched his shirt and Ronin wrapped an arm around her shoulders. When he smoothed the hair from her face, she snuggled in further. “You’re a stubborn as hell woman. You deserve a good hard spanking for it.”

Hope smiled against his chest. “You know you love it.”


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