“Fine. I’ll show you, but you have to keep it quiet. I wasn’t kidding about it being a danger.”
He laid the case on its side, put a key into the lock, and two metal flaps popped open. Pressing those toward the handle, he lifted the top.
The padded interior held dozens of transparent plastic cubes, each one labeled and containing . . . a bug? “What are these?” She resisted the urge to pick up one of the cubes.
Hector grabbed one and held it in front of her. A small, dead bee was inside.
“Apis mellifera.” He rotated the cube in the light. The bee rolled along with it. “It’s a honey bee. These all are. I collected them from different regions.” He put the cube back in its spot and closed the case. “Are you happy now? I don’t think I’ll be killing anyone with dead bees.”
“What’s so dangerous about dead bees?”
“You’re nineteen. How complicated can it be?”
“I study them. It’s my job.”
“Isn’t your job to date girls and get into trouble?”
He laughed and shook his head. “I finished grad school last year. I have a doctorate in entomology.”
“At nineteen?” She didn’t try to hide her skepticism.
He ran his hand over his hair. “I can tell you I’m twenty-five, if that’s easier to believe.”
“I’d rather know your real name. And why I found you in the courtyard.”
Author: Allison Maruska
Book title: The Seventh Seed
Author website:: allisonmaruska.com
While researching the cause of beehive demise across the country, scientific prodigy Javier stumbles onto a breakthrough discovery—a virus carried by bugs that insecticides can’t eradicate. It explains a string of human illnesses and deaths, and it means a vaccine is possible. But instead of his achievement being celebrated, his bosses try to murder him.
Bloody and bruised, Javier flees only to collapse in the courtyard of a homeless shelter. Liz, a jaded widow, saves him and agrees to help as the authorities trump up charges against him. Together, they become fugitives, and in searching for a way to develop a vaccine, they discover an intricate chain of secrets that leads to the most powerful entities in the country.
Now, to win freedom for themselves and for millions of others, Javier and Liz must fight an impossible battle against government bodies and corporations that will imprison and kill before letting their secrets out. While winning means relief from decades of manipulation and oppression, losing would result in more deaths than the virus ever threatened—including their own.