**Please note: This is the first draft. Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors.

To read a revised + expanded version, get WHILE WE FALL as an ebook. THE EVA SERIES is now available for on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Nook + Google Play.

Find out more here: jenmariewilde.com/books (click the external link).**


The glowing sun rose on the horizon, sending streams of gold, orange and pink along the skyline. I sat cross-legged on the passenger's seat, my eyes feeling almost as heavy as my heart.

Wyatt had held my hand tight all night as he drove the RV, creating a frenzy of butterflies within my stomach. My emotions had taken me on a long and winding roller coaster ride under the cover of night, and as day two of this Australian apocalypse began, I hoped this ride would end soon. One moment I would feel overwhelming joy and gratitude for having survived the horror and finally knowing how Wyatt felt about me, the next I would be overcome by indescribable grief, fear and sorrow for all I had lost.

My head spun as I remembered that only a mere twenty-four hours ago, I was sound asleep in my bed in my little apartment in Melbourne, my biggest problem being that I had to get up early for work on a Saturday morning.

I admired the sunrise with great concentration, taking in every stroke of pink and streak of gold, breathing the beauty of it into my lungs and filling my heart. I knew this could be the last sunrise I ever laid eyes on.

The dessert highway stretched out in front of us, surrounded by the burnt land of the outback, interrupted only by a few shrubs of green dotting the scenery.

My breathing halted as I noticed something moving in the corner of my eye, and for a moment I froze, too afraid to look in case it was one of them.

Slowly, I moved my gaze towards the passenger window, and sighed in relief to see a kangaroo.

Watching it as it hopped along by the side of the road, I realised I had only ever seen kangaroos in zoos, never in the wild. I admired the native creature, in awe at its strength and grace. It looked so free.

The notion of freedom hit me hard somewhere deep inside my soul. In some ways, I have had more freedom in the last twenty-four hours than I have in my entire life. I haven't had to worry about work, money or paying bills. I haven't had to worry about fitting into society's norms - not that I really worried about that anyway. All I had to worry about now was staying alive, and keeping those I care about alive, too.

Yes, this is a newfound freedom, but it comes with a price.

I looked over at Wyatt, sitting with one hand on the wheel and the other intertwined with my own. His light brown hair was messier than ever and fell loosely onto his broad shoulders. Stubble had started to form on his chin and he looked as tired as I felt. Neither of us had slept much since the outbreak began.

His green eyes looked as deep in thought as I had been, but when he saw me looking at him out of the corner of his eye, a slight smile formed across his face.

Finally, we were together, but now I could lose him at any moment. The bittersweet taste of this new life kept me on that winding roller coaster of emotions, but I was alive. And for that, I was immensely grateful.

Gazing out onto the outstretched road ahead of us, all I wanted to do was reach our destination. Our plan, and our only option if we wanted to survive, was to drive from our hometown of Melbourne all the way up to Cairns, where Wyatt's brother lived a secluded life in the rainforest. According to Wyatt, his brother was quite the conspiracy theorist and had been preparing for the impending apocalypse for years. He would have everything we need to survive.

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