Instinct by Niki Cluff

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SKU 978-1-77339-966-9
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A Breed Novel, 2

Kyle Singer knew she'd survive the comet with Ichiro, but the knowledge hadn’t prepared her for the guilt that came with surviving while the rest of her family had not. After arriving at the school, she discovers that Hartmann had kept track of the families before the comet hit—including Ichiro’s missing relatives. 

Keeping the family’s whereabouts a secret, Kyle is determined to find Andy and use their sixth senses to bring her brother back to the school. To safety. When Ichiro finds out that his family is alive, he goes after them, sending Kyle out on her own. No one knows what they will find venturing out into a world ruined by the comet. Or if they’ll be able to return to the school before a second ice age hits.

14+ due to adult situations

 

Excerpt:

Stop.

I pause just beyond the door. I leave it open, allowing what little light from my friends’ flashlights to pass into the room. Cool air brushes my skin and I shiver. Something snarls deep within the room. Something living. My mind shifts back to a cage with Ichiro and Preston inside. Jungle plants filling the desert landscape. To a tiger pacing back and forth.

I try to swallow the lump in my throat. The beam of my flashlight moves slowly over the space. There are lumps in the darkness, and every so often, something glints, but it moves faster than my flashlight and I can’t tell what it is. I draw one of the wooden swords from my back. It’s difficult to hold the flashlight in one hand and the sword in the other. I’m not as strong one-handed.

Duck.

I dip down as something soars over my head. It barely grazes my hair, pulling out a few strands as it goes. There’s a metallic crash and whatever jumped over me slumps to the floor. I turn my flashlight beam and take in the pile of metal.

“Kyle?” Ichiro calls out. I see his silhouette in the doorway.

“I’m fine,” I say, but I turn my attention back to the room. To the snarls and growls coming from it.

“What’s happening?” Ichiro asks.

I don’t answer. What if these things can locate me based on my voice?

Swing.

I don’t hesitate the way I had that night when I’d first arrived at the school. That night when we were forced to battle each other with wooden swords. When I didn’t want to hit the other student because I couldn’t hit them. I didn’t have the knowledge or the strength.

I let the flashlight fall limp against its strap wrapped around my wrist and use both hands to swing the sword. The wood cracks against something metallic. There’s a howl of some sort, something between a tiger’s yowl and the howl of a wolf.

Swing.

My arms stretch around me, the muscle bunching as the wood collides with something else metallic. All metal. Whatever these creatures are, they’re made like robots.

Duck.

“Ky, there’s a button,” Ichiro’s voice comes from the doorway. I’m barely a couple of feet inside the room.

“What?” I call out, smacking my wooden sword into another metallic creature.

“There’s a button on the other side of the room by the door. You need to get there,” he says and he takes a step into the room.

“Fact or instinct?” I ask, turning to face his shadowy figure.

I shouldn’t have turned. Shouldn’t have taken my focus off the creatures in the room.

“Instinct,” he says right as something cold and solid slams into me.