[If you’ve never read Oasis before, you should start at the beginning. I had to run this one by my wife first.]
Kevin opened the door and Kim blasted through.
She grabbed Kevin’s hand and kissed him full on the lips.
“Come on, they’re getting dinner ready.”
It probably shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. I suppose relationships speed right along under extreme circumstances.
Lily poked her head and flashed a smile. “Hi, Corbin.”
I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes, but if she noticed, she didn’t let it show.
“You want to come up with us?”
I shook my head. “I’d like to get a little cleaned up first.”
I reached up and felt my sparse but thickening stubble.
It was, however, a good excuse for staying behind and getting rid of the teens.
“Kevin, you got an extra razor I could use?”
He pointed to the dresser. “There’s three or four of them in there somewhere.”
“Thanks. I’ll see you guys up there.”
I marched toward the door and herded them all out.
I thought for a minute about Lily.
She was obviously doing everything in her power to come on to me. And even underneath the makeup, she was beautiful. Firm body, perky attitude, nice hair. There was only one problem.
She was just so young.
I pushed her from my mind and dug through two of the drawers in the hotel dresser until I found a razor and some shaving cream.
I lit the candle that sat by the sink.
It wasn’t much extra light, and I probably did a horrible job, but it felt good to shave again.
I splashed water on my face.
The cool water felt good in the heat of the building.
I considered taking a shower, but I didn’t want to run the risk of missing yet another meal.
I zipped out the door and headed for the stairs.
My heart stopped and I just about screamed in surprise.
Lily was jogging down the hall toward me.
Doesn’t she ever quit?
She caught up to me and smiled. “Did I scare you?”
“Yeah, you’re terrifying.”
“I was thinking. Maybe you’d like to hang out with Kim and me after dinner.”
I tried to come up with a good excuse, but the only thing I could think up was, “I’m not sure.”
She took a couple of quick steps to get in front of me, turned, and stopped.
Our eyes met for a moment.
She cocked her head and bit her lip. “Then maybe you’d like to hang out with just me?”
“I’m not sure that’s a great idea.”
The smile left her lips and she put on her best pouty face. “Really?”
Don’t hurt her feelings.
“You’re cute and I’m sure it would be fun, but I’ve only slept a few hours over the last few days.”
That answer brightened her spirits.
I made for the stairs, climbed them quickly, and said as little as possible.
The trouble was that Lily could keep pace and still do enough talking for the both of us.
Even more troubling was the fact that for all her talking, she didn’t seem like an airhead.
It also came out that Lily had no idea where her parents had ended up. They had been out of the house on the morning this all started.
Soon enough we reached the big room where everyone was eating.
Linda, Samson, Kevin and Kim were all seated in a corner. I claimed a seat by them, and Lily pulled up a seat next to mine.
Dinner was a buffet of random packaged objects.
I found some fruit cups, a bag of chips, a package of Twinkies, and a warm hot dog.
I made a mental note to find out how they managed to cook the hot dogs.
As I returned to my seat, Samson caught sight of the Twinkies.
“Did you know that Twinkies aren’t cooked?”
I scrunched up my brow. “What?”
“I’m serious. I saw the machines with my own eyes. Two days ago, we raided the Hostess factory a few blocks from here. As it ends up, Twinkies are squished from little copper tubes. It’s a chemical reaction that makes ’em foam up when they hit air.”
I couldn’t quite tell if he was joking or not.
Lily sat down next to me and scooched close.
The conversations around the room were quiet and strained. No one knew how much time we all had, and no one knew when any of us might really be safe again.
I only had time to finish off the chips and fruit cups before it happened.
Across the room, a man got very sick. He rushed to the nearest garbage can, but didn’t make it in time.
The smell of vomit filled the hot room.
Within a couple of minutes, a couple more people became ill.
It ended up being the hot dogs. Pretty much everyone who had eaten one got sick.
I was glad I never got to mine.
Linda and I gathered up everybody who had the food poisoning. We figured it would be easier to help if we moved them all down to the “hospital wing” of the hotel.
Lily stopped me before I could follow the group out the door.
“So do you think we can hang out when you get done?”
I can’t deal with this now.
I looked in her eyes. “Lily, how old are you?”
“No, how old are you really?”
She frowned. “Sixteen. Next month.”
“Look, you’re a beautiful girl, but nothing can happen between us. You’re just too young. It wouldn’t be right.”
She spun around and stormed away. She didn’t look crestfallen or depressed, though. If anything, she just looked more determined than ever.
Linda and I took all the sickies downstairs.
We did our best to keep everyone hydrated and comfortable.
It was late by the time we finished up and could be sure everyone was going to be all right.
Every part of me was tired as I lumbered back to my room. I tossed my dirty clothes on the foot of my bed then took a quick, cold, and dark shower.
The moon was full enough to let some light in through the window.
I opened up my backpack and pulled out the extra underwear and scrubs.
The door opened behind me as I pulled on my boxers.
Must be Kevin.
“Back? I’m not Kevin.”
My stomach dropped. It was a female voice. One I’d heard a lot in the past day.
Did she see my butt?
I scrambled to put on the scrub pants, which is hard to do when the room is dark and you’re in a hurry.
Lily stood just inside the door.
Through the fuzzy darkness I could see that she was wearing a white tank top and a pair of boxers.
The corner of her lips raised in a seductive smile. “I know what you said earlier, but let’s face it, we’re both alone. We could both use a little… love right now.”
My voice wasn’t much more than a whisper. “Not like this.”
“You’ll thank me later.”
She reached down and tugged at the base of her tank top.
My tired brain couldn’t think of anything to say.
She lifted the bottom of her shirt.
Is she going to…
Lily pulled the tank top over hear head and let it fall to the floor.
Lily took a step toward me, crossing one foot slightly in front of the other. She moved like a cat sneaking up on its prey.
My heart raced.
She took her time prowling toward me in all her full and perky glory.
I couldn’t tell if it was lust, surprise, curiosity, or something else entirely, but I was mesmerized.
She stepped into the more direct moonlight, which gently lit her smooth and perfect curves.
She soon stood inches in front of me.
I exercised every bit of self-control I had to keep my eyes up. I could feel my hands quivering.
We looked in each other’s eyes.
Her breath was sweet and tempting.
I tried to say something, but it got caught in my throat.
The moral struggle raged deep inside me, but my thoughts were swimming so fast I could no longer make out what the arguments were.
She raised her two soft, warm arms up around my neck, tilted her head, and leaned in.
Will Corbin be a prude or a pedophile? Keep reading to find out!
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