Room With a View: Hot Down Under
Author:Scott, Kylie

Room With a View: Hot Down Under

 

Scott, Kylie

 

 

 

 

Caloundra, Queensland

 

 

 

Thirty-eight days post-apocalypse

 

 

Waves crashed and rolled onto Kings Beach across the road, the white expanse of sand a beautiful thing. The ocean had long since washed away the bulk of the dead bodies and debris. Only the tank remained and each tide buried it deeper.

 

Angus had abandoned her. Which was probably for the best.

 

She couldn’t stand to watch him die too.

 

The summer sun was blindingly bright, the weather hot and humid, typical for January. Or was it February? She’d lost track of the days.

 

Natalie breathed in the salty sea air as she huddled behind the curtains. She watched the world from four floors up. The penthouse apartment, because Sean had to have the best. No matter her terrible fear of heights.

 

Another sucky relationship indicator she’d chosen to ignore.

 

Sean wasn’t looking so good anymore.

 

His body was black and bloated, floating facedown on the surface of the large and lavish lagoon-style pool below. The stench of decay didn’t tend to reach her unless it happened to be a particularly still day. Sean hadn’t believed the reports on the TV and internet. He’d mocked her when she’d filled the bathtub and every other available container with water, shut up the unit and flat-out refused to leave. Sean had wanted to swim some laps, do a little sunbaking. Plus the beautiful blonde from the unit next door had been down there, artfully arranged on a sun-lounge in her teeny, tiny yellow bikini.

 

It hadn’t ended well for either of them.

 

Hmm.

 

What was Angus doing?

 

Had he gotten away?

 

She bet he had. He was brave. Smart. Resourceful.

 

And damn fine-looking. Not that a thirty-two-year-old woman should be checking out a twenty-three-year-old boy, but hey … she might as well get her kicks where she could. Happy thoughts these days were few and far between.

 

He’d be okay. He’d be fine. She’d know it if something had happened to him. She’d feel it somehow.

 

Natalie scrubbed away a tear with the back of her hand.

 

Stupid. Pointless. The resort had become a death trap and she was caught. It was for the best that he’d gone.

 

The walkie-talkie sat beside her though, just in case.

 

So did the bottle of sleeping pills.

 

One of the infected out in the hallway rattled the door handle. Her breath stuck in her throat and her fingers clutched at the curtain. A pounding started deep inside her skull. They couldn’t get in. Not a chance. She’d barricaded the door with the chunky Asian-style coffee table. Backed it up with a couple of the heavy dining chairs for good luck and prosperity. She was safe.

 

Safe, but stuck.

 

Darkness owned the hallway. There was no night or day for the ones trapped in there. For them, every hour was party hour. She’d long since gotten used to getting by on little sleep. The three caught in the pool area below were huddled beneath the sun-lounges, cowering. Infected didn’t like bright light. And they couldn’t climb. She’d watched them try to clamber over the shoulder-high pool fence again and again, snarling and growling in frustration.

 

Like her, they were stuck.

 

They too would slowly starve.

 

She had enough food for a few more days, but after that …

 

The size of her ass had once been an issue for Sean. He’d helpfully stocked the kitchen cupboard with a variety of diet bars and drinks lest she be tempted to enjoy herself over the Christmas break. She’d been furious. Beyond words.

 

But without those supplies she wouldn’t have lasted a week.

 

Angus had been a miracle, magically appearing in the garden on the other side of the pool. He’d spotted her somehow, stuck in the apartment. He’d stood below the cluster of palm trees, arms waving madly and a gorgeous, crazy-ass grin on his face. She’d thought she was alone.

 

Angus played AFL. He also had a decent throwing arm. He’d demonstrated it by chucking care packages up onto her balcony. Protein bars, bottles of water. The walkie-talkie, wrapped tight in a towel so it didn’t shatter on impact. Lots of batteries, because they ended up talking for hours about everything and anything. His aim wasn’t perfect. One time, he accidentally smashed the glass door of the apartment next to her. Infected had shambled out, emerging from all their various hiding places, alerted by the noise to the possibility of a free meal. Angus could run like a demon, not that he had to. Infected didn’t move fast.

 

Natalie snuffled, blinked furiously. Crying didn’t help. So why had it become her favourite pastime?

 

He was gone. A good thing.

 

Right.

 

She sucked in a breath.

 

Except he wasn’t gone.

 

Suddenly, Angus was right there, below her. Striding into view and marching across the courtyard. Heading straight for the pool gate like he was contemplating a dip in the fetid green waters. There was a pack on his back and a sawn-off shotgun in his hands.

 

Her heart punched hard.