Lindy is the only surviving member of the First Family.
During the first television broadcast in a decade, direct from the White House, terrorists attack. Eighteen-year-old Lindy escapes thanks to her secret service officer, Henry, and now finds her country under the control of a cruel, oppressive regime—and she and Henry the targets of a countrywide manhunt.
Using fake identities and Lindy’s engineering skills, which allow her to build a network of radios, Lindy and Henry join a group planning to fight back against the new regime. Lindy must decide if she can sacrifice the relationship closest to her heart, her safety, and possibly her life to give millions of others hope for their future, and take back the White House.
14+ due to violence and adult situations
“I’m impressed,” Henry says. “Most people, including me, don’t know a damn thing about radios.”
My chest and neck start to heat at the unexpected compliment. He didn’t mean it like that, Rosalind.
“You could learn. About radios,” I say.
“Not my thing.”
“What’s your thing? Waiting?”
His mouth twitches, but he tries to hide it. I grin.
“Safety,” he says.
My smile drops. Safety. My eyes well up, thinking about what that implies. That there is danger. Danger because my whole family is dead, and I probably would be, too, if Henry hadn’t been looking out for my safety quite so well. I should probably thank him for this but…
But I don’t fully believe this outcome is the better one.
I swallow hard. Those thoughts do not belong in my brain. My family would be so disappointed to hear me thinking it for even a second. I have a gift here—which is why it is painful to just be waiting.
“Lindy.” Henry barely says it, but his body suddenly pulls taut. I immediately flash to our instinctual communications with one another during the attack. I automatically tense as well, shift silently, and follow his gaze.
Neon-clad bodies walking down the road. Marching in formation.
The bastards are right there, about to march by us.
Henry motions for me to lay flat with him, and I do. He’s the expert here, I know that. But he’s not…
“Your gun,” I say, deadly quiet.
He just shakes his head, hard. No.
He gives me a sharp look, and even with no words, I get it. There are so many of them, and there are two of us.One gun. I wouldn’t even know what to do.
I clench my jaw against the frustration. Against the hate bubbling up inside me that I want to let out with a scream.
Through my anger, I watch them. There must be a hundred men. Vehicles bring up the rear, with neon flags stretched across them. I wait until the entire caravan is well past us, and I start to follow. I haven’t gone two steps when strong hands grip my shoulders, pull me back—not roughly, but still—against a solid chest.
Oof. I try to pull away, and Henry’s arms stiffen. I wiggle but I can’t break free of him.
“Let me go!”
“Lindy, please.” He turns me to face him.
“You can’t just … manhandle me when I don’t do what you want.”
He flinches—second time today—and loosens his grip. I can’t read his expression.
“If you run into danger, I have to. You don’t give me a choice.”
I want to roll my eyes at him, but we don’t have time for that.
“We have to follow. Please, Henry,” I say. “I’ll let you lead and I won’t go past where you say but … we have to see if we can learn more.”
“You promise you’ll let me lead this?”
I nod. “Promise.”
“Stay right behind me.”
I follow all his directions, moving silently and swiftly, hunched low. Sometimes a little too swiftly and a little too low—my legs start to burn. I really need to get in better shape. Like Henry. I take in his form in front of me. Totally fit. I bet he could teach me.
We come to a stop behind a half wall and some evergreen shrubs lining the path, with a small sliver of the crowd of men in our view. Not ideal. They are gathered in a parking lot. From our vantage point we can just see the men at the front of the group, standing on a truck bed to see the whole crowd.
Weird. It looks like they’re all men.
The neon-clad men on the truck turn to the crowd, but I can’t hear what they say. A man on the ground holds up a hand-held radio.
I lunge for Henry and he instantly has both my wrists clamped in one of his hands. Large hands.
“Geez!” I try to tug my hands back.
“What are you doing?” He doesn’t look me in the eye, his voice level and cold.
“Your radio,” I say. I nod toward the man with a radio outstretched.
“Oh.” He hands me his device.
“Oh,” I say. “Manhandler.”
He shoves his hands in his pockets. “Make sure the volume is down.”
I try to find the frequency they’re on, while keeping an eye on their movements, but I can’t find anything. I start muttering curses under my breath. We have to get access. We’ll never be able to get close enough to hear them without being spotted, but with the radio we could hear all their plans.
I gesture for Henry to follow and we move father from the neon men.
“Neons,” I say. “That’s what we should call the bastards.”
Henry makes a humph sound of agreement.
“Okay, I have a plan."