1. “Nothing works.” He pointed overhead. “All power’s out, and that includes anything that uses electricity. I’m also talking cars and even stuff that’s battery-operated. Same for weapons. I tried to fire my pistol earlier, and it wouldn’t fire. And I have no idea why. I don’t know where this mist came from. I don’t know where everybody went. Like you, I thought I was the lone ranger until you showed up.” Griff ran a hand over his chin. “You walked over here from Tybee? That’s got to be a good mile from here. What made you decide to hoof it?”
2. “It’s very possible there may be more survivors wandering around out there, but we can’t automatically assume the next person we meet up with is going to be easy to get along with. Listen, Roose. After years in the military, I’ve learned there are three stages of fear—flee, fight, or figure out a solution.” Pulling the trowel from his pocket, he held it up for the man to see. “The next person we meet may want what we got. Or they could be so tripped out by what’s happened, they’ll attack without provocation. We have to be ready for anything.”
3. Crossing his legs, he contented himself with watching the flames as the world gradually grew darker. After another quick glance out the front window, he realized it might be wise to draw the blackout curtains, to prevent someone from seeing the light inside the house. Griff got to his feet and went over to shut them, when he spotted the figure standing in the snow in front of the porch. For several seconds he stared at the woman, who shivered in the cold. She wore what looked like a red raincoat.
4. Griff glared at the man, who either didn’t notice or didn’t care. From the casual, almost condescending way the guy was reacting, Griff knew immediately what kind of person he was dealing with. He’d met plenty of this man’s ilk in the past, and none of those encounters had ended on a good note. He had to get Nat away from these people as soon as possible, before someone got seriously hurt. Or killed.
5. “Nat.” He bowed his head again, as if he needed to examine the decking beneath his feet. When he raised his head, he seemed to have come to some sort of decision. “Nat, I have a confession to make. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been alone with a woman. I’m not saying you’re in any danger from me, but I wouldn’t turn down your offer, if there was one. That’s why I’m afraid that if I get into the water with you, it could lead into something more serious. You know that, don’t you?”
6. A shriek behind him curdled his blood. Whirling around, he saw a man had his arm around Nat’s throat. His other hand held a pocket knife with the blade open and pressed to her jugular. His instincts screamed another warning, and he ducked a fraction of a second before a tree limb swung over his head. Griff launched himself toward his attacker, aiming for the legs, when a second blow across the small of his back stunned him. He fell face first onto the ground as the heel of a boot pounded twice between his shoulder blades. Temporarily unable to move, he was hoisted between two men, who threw his arms around their shoulders.