Nocturnal - By Jacquelyn Frank & Kate Douglas & Jess Haines & Clare Willis Page 0,1

she’d been there.

“Big day today.”

Raul turned and left after that rare parting remark and she gaped after him.

Big day today? What the hell did that mean? A cold feeling of dread infused her every cell as she wrapped her arms around herself against the chill and hurried into the small cubicle shower off her room. It was the only amenity this place had over the workhouse. A private bathroom. But that was probably because it made it easier to control other bodily samples and monitoring of private behavior. She had figured out there were cameras in her room and bath pretty quickly. She might have to put on a show every time she went to the damn toilet, but at least she’d caught on before they’d caught her masturbating or something. Perverted jerks. What in hell did science need to know about that required them to watch a woman pee?

Big day today.

Ninety percent mortality rate.

She doubted it was going to be a good day.

Then again, it never was.

Chapter 2

“He’s new,” Mina said with an affected meow and growl as she leaned forward in her chair to peer with her usual obviousness at the man in question. He was dressed in the same heather gray sweats and T-shirt as everyone else, but even Amara had to admit he stood out from the others around him. But that was probably because he was at least a head taller than the others around him. “Wow. Look at the shoulders on him. No wonder they nabbed him. Talk about a physical specimen.”

Okay, Amara grudgingly agreed, she has a point there as well. The guy was built like a brick institution. That would probably change, the boring days of playing cards in the sanitarium or the walks around the drab perimeter hardly made for an active lifestyle. The broad shoulders wouldn’t stay so thickly muscled, and the tight six-pack abs would no doubt fade. It would be a shame to lose those thighs made like the trunks of two trees and the cut of his fine ass, though, because he was all kinds of juicy at the moment.

Amara indulged in a smile and watched as the dark-haired male turned again in the agitated circuit he was pacing in. The beauty of sweats, she mused, was that they clung very nicely to certain male body parts. She could definitely make out the hefty line of his cock beneath the snug fabric. Realizing where she was staring, Amara chuckled to herself and looked for neutral territory.

“He seems a bit tense,” she noted to her companions as she took in his clenched jaw and fists. He looked like he would really like to punch someone.

“I bet I could relax him,” Mina chuckled. “All that tension all knotted up inside him. I bet he’d come after just a few deep sucks.”

“Mina!” Amara scolded. Still, she squirmed in her seat and laughed at her friend’s blunt audacity, trying to quickly push away the imagery Mina’s words drew up. “Don’t you ever think about anything but sex and blow jobs?”

“Oh, please, like you aren’t thinking about sex and blow jobs just looking at him? You know you are. He’s oozing testosterone. He’s out in the common room, so he’s been here long enough to have learned the score, obviously, but he’s not happy about it and is fresh enough from the outside that he hasn’t grown apathetic yet. He’s full of piss and vinegar. Look at him. He’s prowling that corner of the room like a caged jaguar.” Mina smiled. “He’s all male animal.”

“For now. He’ll be like the rest of them soon enough.” Amara sighed, nibbling her lip nervously as her attention left the new male and returned to Raul. Big day today. Why? God, what did they have planned this time? Which of them would never come back? Mina, Rachael, and Devona were the closest things she had to friends, despite her efforts not to get attached to anyone else around her. She had made fast friends in fear early on when they all had been new and in the dark, but when Julie had dropped suddenly dead right at her feet from the new drug they were testing on her, she had realized she would never survive if she continued to give parts of herself away to anyone else. Despite those intentions, the three tough women who had survived just as long as she had had begun as a coffee clatch, progressed to a breakfast clatch, and now