Untitled Part Five: Confessions

I grabbed a bottle of vodka and sat on the couch in my room. Smoking a cigarette I just stared out into the dimming sky as twilight was nearly upon us. I could hear my fellow housemates below me, talking and walking about and I was glad to be away from them. I always enjoyed my alone time, even if it were mere moments. I wished I had some pot I had to admit. Really zone out but all we had was alcohol. Not to mention it probably wouldn’t be such a good idea to get too zonked out when I had to constantly keep my wits about me. The vodka burned going down my throat but I welcomed the warmth in my stomach. It made me feel relaxed and safe somehow. I laid back on the couch and stared up at the ceiling.

I thought about the newcomers and what that meant for the four of us. We were well stocked but our vast supply would dwindle quickly between eight people. We’d have to establish roles, who was good at what things.

Max seemed to like being in the kitchen and doing the domestic things, which had surprised me being that I had never seen that girl cook anything except in a microwave and drove back home every other weekend so her mom could do her laundry. She seemed content doing it too. I think she was doing it to impress Paul. They were really quite sweet, reminding me of how easy things used to be. I guess Xander and I were on the road for just that… love, but not without me fight tooth and nail against it. I still really believed that it would be too dangerous but it seemed no matter how much my head was against it, my heart was all for it.

There was a knock on my door, which startled me. I put out my cigarette and climbed to my feet reluctantly. When I opened the door, Kellon was standing there with a goofy grin on his face, as he leaned against the door frame, looming over me. “May I help you?” I couldn’t help but smirk up at him. Men were so transparent and I knew exactly what he was there for.

“What’s up?” he said like we were in the middle of a crowded Downtown bar and he was trying to pick me up.

“Nothing much.” I said flatly.

“You just chillin’ in there?” he licked his lips like he was LL Cool J and then grinned at me with sex in his eyes.

“Had a busy morning. I’m just taking a breather.” I explained folding my arms across my chest.

“Oh, that’s cool.” he said slyly. I chortled looking down at his blood splattered Nikes. Seriously, he wasn’t going to let even a zombie apocalypse break his game. “Could I join you? I didn’t get to see this room when Maxine gave us the tour.”

“This is my room. The only people I allow in is by invitation only.”

“VIP… I getcha. You like your privacy, that’s cool too. I’ll work on my pass.”

“Really kid. I’ve only known you for what? Ten minutes or so and I already know who you are. Nothing phases you. You see a pretty girl and you just can’t help yourself despite the hell that is going on in the world around you.”

“I am very aware of everything that is going on. You don’t know what I’ve seen, fought, killed to still be alive today. You don’t know me and I don’t know you but I think you’re gorgeous and I want to protect you. Survival of the fittest, right? We’re just resorting back to the primal days, as I see it. Population has decreased and soon we will have to start thinking about the future. I don’t know about you but I think we’d make some gorgeous A type offsprings.” He leaned down closer to me, getting closer to my face.

“You Jane. Me Tarzan.” I mocked him in a neanderthal voice. “What are you going to knock me on the head with your club and drag me into your cave?” I chuckled shaking my head. “You’re right, you don’t know anything about me or what I’ve gone through either. I will tell you one thing, I am not going to be anyone’s brood mare.” I leaned against the frame of the door as I stared up into his eyes.

“Well of course, I knew you’d be a lot of work. Anything worth anything is a lot of work, honey.” he chucked my chin up, making me frown. “So, that Xander guy, is that my competition? Maxine made it known that she was all about that tall glass of chocolate milk, Paul.”

“Yea, she’s pretty enamored of him. As far as I go, I’m not some gold metal you have to win, so there is no competition. That being said, Xander and I are figuring things out.” I shrugged.

“So you’re fair game?” Kellon smirked. Before I could answer I saw Xander walking up the stairs out of the corner of my eye. He frowned when he saw Kellon leaning over me with a smirk on his face.

“Dinner’s ready.” Xander said flatly turning around and heading back down the stairs. I sighed, knowing I was going to hear about it later. Needy jealous fucker. I closed the door behind me and started walking towards the stairs with Kellon on my tail.

I helped Maxine serve everyone at the formal dining room table. The electricity was working now, though we wanted to keep the usage down to one room at a time and only when needed. Maxine had prepared a big pot of vegetable and beef stew. We also brought out two bottles of merlot. I took my place between Xander and Max. We all sat quietly, eating our stew and drinking our wine. No one really knowing where to start. I looked over at Max who gave me a crooked smile, silently thinking the same thing I was. Awkward. Kellon kept staring at me, making me blush. Xander saw this and shot Kellon daggers. Kellon just grinned, so very sure of himself.

“So, how long have you guys been held up in here? Is this one of you guys’ family home or are you just squatting?” Natalie broke the silence, smiling cheerfully.

“It’s my parent’s house. They evacuated before we got back here from San Diego.” Max explained. “Liv and I lived downtown in an apartment and so did Paul and Xander apparently. But we didn’t meet them there. When we were driving back we found these guys on the side of the road. Well, actually, what had happened was, Xander jumped out into the middle of the road like a mad man and Liv almost got into an accident. Then after our car stopped spinning Xander banged on our window, startling Liv and I. Liv pointed a gun at his face.” Max started to laugh. Xander and I looked at each other and smiled as Max reminisced about our first meeting. “After deliberation we decided to save them.” She continued. “We were happy that we did, huh?” Max snickered, elbowing me in the ribs.

“Uh, sure, Max.” I rolled my eyes. I saw one of the corners of Kellon’s lips turn up and both Xander’s turned down. Xander reached down and put his hand on my thigh, establishing ownership. I sighed, refilled my glass with some more merlot, taking a long sip out of pure exhaustion of the whole matter. There was plenty of other things these guys should worry about besides me. Men and their one track minds. Always thinking with their dicks. I didn’t want any part of it. I removed Xander’s hand from my thigh and put it back on his own. He gave me a hurt, confused face. Burrowing his eyebrows together. Didn’t he know that I didn’t belong to anyone. Yes, I care about him. Of course I do, after all the things we’ve been through in such a short amount of time, how could I not, but, because the world had gone bananas I couldn’t really seriously think of him as my boyfriend. Though, I guess he was. I wasn’t going to screw Kellon but I liked to think I could if I wanted to without making a big deal about it.

“Oh wow. What a small world. We all know each other from school. Well we knew Luke’s older brother, Burt, we were all friends. There were a few of us but we ran into some trouble. Three of us didn’t make it. Burt, Sarah, my roommate from college and Lindsay her sister, who had been visiting. It was horrible we were in Burt and Luke’s family RV, coming home from Mexico. It was our spring break. We were stuck at the border when a bunch of those zombies attacked all the cars waiting to cross. As the zombies ravaged through the rows of cars they became larger in numbers. We all booked it on foot but Lindsay twisted her ankle. Sarah ran back to help her sister and before we could double back to help them, the zombies tore them apart. Later when we made our way back into the states, we were drudging through the forest or some shit. I mean we were in the middle of nowhere trying to get back to main road. I thought we were going to die from exposure, starvation, dehydration but we found the main road. We also found a jeep luck would have it but there were more zombies and that’s where we lost Burt.” she looked down into her plate and the room suddenly got quiet.

“I think everyone has lost someone during this whole… I just can’t wait until they figure this all out and we can finally get back to our normal lives.” Max sighed. I could see that she was still in denial.

“So here is the deal, everyone has their sleeping arrangements. We’ll have to run this house like a well oiled machine if we want to be safe. As far as chores and other household needs we will be working in a revolving schedule. Everyone will learn how to do everything. I don’t want anymore lost souls. Not on my watch.” I said just so everyone was up to speed.

“So are you like boss lady around here?” Kellon asked with a smug grin.

“Well I’d be glad to hand over the reigns, if you’d like the job.” I smirked back.

“Naw, that responsibility is all yours. I was just trying to establish roles here. I like to know my place.”

“I think tonight… we’ll all just relax maybe open up a couple of bottles of wine and get to know each other. I mean if that sounds good to everyone else.” I smiled picking up my empty plates, then Xander’s and Max’s taking them into the kitchen. Natalie and Max followed my lead clearing the rest of the table as I ran the water to wash the dishes. Natalie stood next to me as I began to wash the dishes and she began drying them and putting them into neat stacks to be put away.

“You’re one of those rough chicks, aren’t you?” Natalie said as she rubbed a black ceramic plate in a circular motion to dry it. I looked over at her, she was really pretty with a sweet disposition on her face. Tall and skinny, she could be a super model. Her skin was so smooth it reminded me of Natella spread across a piece of bread flawlessly.

“Rough? Do I seem rough now? How I am seen seems to change daily. I didn’t think so. I wasn’t always so focused in my life. I guess this is how I am going to evolve. I like the violence, the macabre scenes, the realness. The dirty of life that we’ve always known was there, hidden behind the glitz and glamour that had become so in before the world decided to show it’s true ugliness, turning like against like. Call me crazy but I like feeling powerful in a chaotic situation.” I shrugged.

“Yea, I can see how that could thrill a person. I think, like every woman, I want to portray that very ideal of the strong independent woman but I still enjoy the idea of a man taking care of me. I like to feel protected as long as I run into his big strong arms. I’d like to think chivalry isn’t dead.” she smirked stacking the plate neatly after drying them throughly and timely.

“I wish I could’ve seen it prior to all this. I mean if only I had met Xander earlier, things wouldn’t be so urgent and stressed. I wish I could just relax and take my time. There is so much to worry about, other people to worry about. It just seems selfish to start a romantic relationship with anyone. Love makes you fuzzy and we all need to be as clear headed as possible… especially me.”

“But you’re already falling, aren’t you.” she gave me a closed mouth smile, gently bumping into me with her hip. I blushed, shaking my head as Max joined us. She started to put the dishes away.

“She so is falling for Xander. I can always tell when she likes someone and she is falling head over heels for this one. It’s because he likes to protect her.”

“I can protect myself, so why would I need him to do that? He’s just… goofy and cute and I really want to trust him. I’m looking at that like it’s a good sign. It’s just bad timing.” I handed Natalie the last dish and drained the sink. I walked past the doorway and I saw Xander staring at me through it. Everyone around him seemed to be bonding and having a good time but he was zoned out. I signaled for him to meet me up stairs and before I could even move he was out of his seat beating me to the stairs. He took my hand and lead me to “our” bedroom, locking the door behind him. I sat down on the white leather loveseat, reopening the bottle of vodka that I had left on the coffee table. Xander sat beside me, taking the bottle out of my hand and placed it back on the coffee table.

“So what was up with you and that Kellon character?”

“Are you seriously asking me that right now?” I chuckled. “Nothing Xander. He’s probably going to try to win my heart though.”

“Which already belongs to me, right.” he picked up my hand and kissed it looking brightly at me with his big green eyes.

“It belongs to me.” I softly smiled. He leaned over and kissed my lips.

“Stubborn.” he grinned leaning back on the couch then pulling me into his arms. “I’ve been dying to get you alone it seems like an eternity.”

“We were alone all day.” I laughed.

“Yea, but I mean like this. Chill, quiet, relaxed in our room. We can really talk in here.”

“Shouldn’t we get acquainted with our new housemates?” I scrunched down closer to him, snuggling against his chest that easily went up and down with each of his breathes.

“According to you, they will be around for a long time, therefore I have plenty of time to get acquainted with them. Right now, I just want to be with you. Savior this moment of calm and get to know each other, so you can make up your damned mind about me.” he gave me a playful squeeze.

“Alright, so you want to talk.” I sat up, grabbing the vodka and taking a swig from the bottle. “I better get comfortable if you want to do all that.” I laughed as I got up and walked over to grab some pajamas. As I started to strip off my clothes Xander attacked me passionately, scooping me up in his arms and laying me down on the bed. He had me out of my clothes and stripped down to just my panties before I could free myself and roll over onto my stomach, putting the breaks on him doing anything more. I looked up at him coyly. “I thought you wanted to talk.”

“You’re right.” he kissed my naked shoulders. “So what do you want to know about me?”

“Um… tell me about your family.” I ran my fingers around his bicep and squeezed it to give him encouragement.

“Oh so we’re going to start with the hard hitting questions are we Barbara Walter?” he chuckled laying back on the pillow of the bed. I laid between his legs, resting my chin on my hands on his rock hard abs. I stared up at him and smiled. He looked down at me and brushed my hair behind my ear. “There’s not that much to tell honestly. We don’t really talk that much, anymore. Not since I left Virginia. I’m so happy. I really don’t think I want to talk about that. I left that life years ago and I am enjoying my new life immensely. I’m excited to do things differently. Build a house somewhere, live off the land. Start a new… with you.”

“Yea, I guess we’ll have to do that now. Start fresh. I was just becoming used to my life in San Diego. I was actually pretty content. Things were on track, finally. It just sucks that all my hard work was sort of in vain, ya know.” I sighed and traced his abs with my finger. “All we can do is just keep surviving.”

“But really wasn’t that we were doing before? Trying to survive.” he profoundly pointed out.

“Hmm… I thought I was trying to live and be happy.” I shrugged.

“Do you think you succeeded? Do you have any regrets?” he asked handing me another beer.

“I was close and as far as regrets go I can name a million and two but they were my mistakes to make. I don’t think I really have any real regrets though, just lessons learned.” I gave him a closed mouth smile.

“Well if I could do a few things over again I think I would.” he sighed looking thoughtfully at the dark sky outside thoughtfully. “If we did go to Appleton, do you think we’d find anything there?”

“I’m sure we’d find something but it just might not be something we’d want to find. It’s not so far out into the boonies where it wouldn’t be affected. There were a lot of people going there, so there could a possibility that it could be over run which means we should only resort to attempting that surely perilous journey as a last resort . Main goal is to make this place as secure as possible. Or we could try to make up to Canada. Nothing seems to touch them.” I laughed.

He sat up and pulled me up into his arms. I wrapped my arm around his waist and cuddled up against him. He scooted down and we stared into each others eyes, occasionally touching each other. I caressed his face, he gently cupped my breast, I rubbed my thumb along his bottom lip.

“Xander, don’t you think we’ve been at it a little too much?” I whispered.

“It’s never too much with a minx like you, Darling.” he kissed my forehead.

“Seriously, Xander. Don’t get me wrong, it really is great that you want to jump my bones every five minutes but we lived in the same town for who knows how long. If none of this was happening do you really think you’d ask me out?”

“Are you kidding me? If we had met before I’d be an idiot not to ask you out. You’re gorgeous. I wish I had met you prior to all this, believe me. My life would have been a lot brighter.” he kissed my lips.

“Really?” I smiled feeling like a giddy school girl. “Well I like my relationships to more than just sex. I want to be able to trust you.”

“You don’t trust me?” Xander frowned.

“I trust that I can count on you to do certain things in certain situations.” I answered him honestly. “But I really don’t know who you are, Xander. I want you to be open with me.”

“I thought I was being open.”

“Tell me why you stopped talking to your family.” I waited patiently, searching his suddenly pain filled face. I ran my fingers through his hair and kissed him gently to put him at ease. “No judgement.”

“My family is old school Virginian money. They are very highly regarded in our small community. If your last name is Donovan than you basically have a golden ticket. My father was a judge and then mayor of Shutterland, Virginia. My mother was a member of city counsel and defense attorney. I am the middle child of five children. I have two older brothers, Stephen, the oldest and Marcus, the second oldest. Stephen, who only likes to be called by his proper name, unfortunately set the bar for the rest of us. He’s a high power criminal defense lawyer, married to a perfect blonde super model of a wife who bore him three perfect little Arian children. This pleased my mother and father greatly, especially since Stephen stayed close to home.

Marcus, Marc is a brain surgeon who is obscenely rich with the combination of his wife’s income. His wife is real estate mogul who made millions by hard work and being a phenomenal business woman. Despite this, my mother despises my brother’s wife because she believes Laura stole her baby away, forcing him to move to New York. But really my mother doesn’t like the fact that Laura is Puerto Rican and stands up to her.” he took a deep breathe as he shook his head before continuing. “Then there are my younger sisters. Pamela, who the last thing I heard was at Harvard medical school. I left home when she was thirteen, so I don’t know very much about her except what Alex tells me. Alexandra is the youngest, she is now twenty one. She goes to Michigan State to my parents dismay. And she is the only one of them who has stayed in contact with me since I move to California. She visited me every summer. It was our tradition and we are really close. My baby sister is everything to me.” I touched his cheek and it was wet with tears.

“I’m sorry Xander.” I whispered.

“She was the only one who believed one hundred percent and she was only eleven when it happened. My whole future looked bright. I had gotten into Yale, pre-med. I was a shoe in for Prom King and I was going to ask Lily Charleston to be my Prom date. I had been head over heels crazy about Lily since freshmen year. She of course said yes.

I wanted the night to be perfect. I have to admit I am a bit of a romantic. I rented this James Bond looking tuxedo and bought this really expensive silk scarf to go with it. I got a sleek black stretch limo, made reservation at the swankiest restaurant in town. I was determined to sweep her off her feet.

I picked her up promptly at seven, arriving with a dozen long stemmed roses and a pale pink lily corsage to match her name and her dress. She was the most beautiful girl to me as I watched her glide gracefully down the staircase in that gorgeous satin pale pink gown. She was so classic looking, like Audrey Hepburn. Her raven colored hair was put up in a neat ballerina bun on the top of her head, natural soft makeup with soft powder pink gloss. She smiled ay me as I drowned in the hazel-grey pools that were her eyes. And then when she kissed me on the cheek, I would have been hers forever.

We went to dinner and I made her laugh, she was a total angel. She seemed to like me back, really like me for me and not because I was popular or came from a wealthy family. I felt completely foolish for not asking her out sooner. She had always seemed like the cool, alternative, free spirited art chick who would never have been interested in a jock like me. She wore vintage concert tees and converse. She seemed so unattainable. Here I was having a phenomenal conversation of my life with the very same compelling girl I thought would never want to be with me.

We arrived at the dance thirty minutes late because we had been so wrapped up in our conversation at the restaurant. I could hear the whispering speculations as we walked into the gym. She held my hand tightly as we walked through the dance floor to the registration table for King and Queen. We dance and drank punch and laughed with our friends. Our hands never unlocked and the night seemed full of possibilities. They announced King and Queen. I won King but Evelyn Smith won Queen. In the middle of the King and Queen solo dance I grabbed Lily’s hand and finished it with her.”

“How romantic.” I sighed. “You really are a sap.” Xander gave me a half-hearted smile before continuing.

“Lily left me to go to the bathroom and my friend, Noah, informed me that there was going to be a party at a local hotel and handed me the key, saying I’d probably need it. I told Lily about the party and the room when she returned she told me she wanted to spend more time with me and that private room would be the perfect place to do it. It was oh so innocent. I had no indication that we would have sex or that she wanted to.

So after the dance we got into the limo and I told him to take us to the hotel. When we got there, there were kids everywhere. They were playing loud pop music, jumping into the pool with their tuxs and gowns on, underaged drinking and the other cliches. One of Lily’s friends grabbed her arm and ran away with her. ‘Room 206′ I yelled after her.

I waited patiently in the room for her for about an hour. I could hear the troubled masses outside, yelling and laughing. Finally she stumbled into the room completely shit-face and on E. I helped her sit on the bed, closing the door and then sat next to her. She put her head on my shoulder. Her bun, that had been so neat earlier, was now a messy high ponytail, a strap had fallen off of her shoulder. I could help to think that she was really quite lovely even in her drunken sloppy state. She looked hazily looked up into my eyes and smiled, then she kissed my lips so sweetly. Her lips tasted like strawberries and tequila.

Lily straddled me, kissing me wildly, unbuttoning my shirt. She then pushed me back on the bed, pulling the other strap down. I watched as the smooth satin feel gracefully around her waist. Her young supple breasts were perfect. She put my hands on them and squeezed gently. She reached over and grabbed something out of her purse.

‘Take this so you can feel what I’m feeling.’ she smiled down at me. I let her put the pill on my tongue and I swallowed. She started making out with me. ‘I feel absolutely delicious. I want you to be my first Alexander.’ she told me biting my ear lobe.

‘Lily, I really like you and believe me I want this. I really want this but you’re really fucked up. If this is your first time, don’t you want to remember this?’ I brushed a stray hair out of her face. She smiled down at me and then kissed me sweetly.

‘Wow, if you aren’t the perfect guy I don’t know who is.’ she giggled.

‘I’m far from perfect.’ I snorted. She got up and pulled her dress back up. ‘Where are you going?’ I propped myself up on my elbows.

‘To get more booze.’ she stumbled and fell to the ground.

‘No way. Stay here and I’ll go get you some water.’ I told her getting up and helping her back onto the bed. She laid on her back and I left her there alone to retrieve some water.

I went down to the vending machines and bought a couple of bottles of water. As I left and headed back upstairs to the room a couple of guys ran past me nearly knocking me over the railing. I dropped one of the water bottles I was juggling and it fell over the railing, exploding as it hit the concrete by the pool that was in the middle of hotel.

‘Assholes!’ I called after them. One of them turned back and flipped me off as he continued to run. I collected myself and continued towards the room.

As I got closer, I noticed that the lights were no longer on. I thought maybe Lily just went to sleep. Then I hesitated at the door, debating if I should go inside and sleep with her. I decided that it would be alright just to sleep next to her as long as remained a gentleman. When I entered the room I didn’t turn on the lights. I just put the water on the dresser, took off my pants and shirt and got into bed next to her. She didn’t stir when I cuddled up beside her. I didn’t think anything of it. I figured she’d probably just passed out.

The next morning…” he paused there and sat up. I sat up next to him and stared at him. He had a pained look on his face, tears rimmed his eyes, his bottom lip started to quiver. I put my hand on his bicep but he got up suddenly and walked over to window, peering out of it, deep in thought. I sat on my legs on the bed, watching him, waiting in anticipation for him to continue his story. He finally turned and looked me in the eyes. “I can’t believe I’m telling you all this.” he shook his head, hugging himself as he leaned against the window sill. I sat the silently, giving him my most sympathetic look to ease him. He took a deep long sigh before finally continuing. “I woke up and the sheets were warm and wet. I sat up wondering what it could be. Then I thought Lily may have wet the bed from being completely trashed. I quietly got out of the bed. When I looked down I noticed the flat sheet was covered in blood. I instantly began calling Lily’s name pulling the covers off of her. She didn’t respond, her skin was gray and I knew then she was dead. I called the front desk and told them to call the police. When I hung up the phone I noticed a switch blade open and covered in blood laying on the floor next to Lily. I picked it up in shock. I dropped it when I noticed Lily’s grayed over eyes were staring directly at me. I ran to the bathroom and vomited. Lily had been raped and stabbed to death and I wasn’t there to protect her. I left her in the room alone, completely shitfaced and the door was unlocked. It was my fault. I had lost her forever.”

I covered my mouth and tears filled my eyes. I wanted to run to him and hold him but I couldn’t move. I just stared up at him in silence.

“Of course, the police tried to pin her murder on me. There were no witnesses, my prints were on the murder weapon and I was the last person seen with her. I stayed locked up for a couple of days before my parents finally posted bail. My father said that he would get me off this one time but afterwards he wanted me to pack my bags and go to college early. I had shamed the family’s name. They didn’t believe me when I told them I didn’t do it. It floored me that they could even think that I could be capable of such a thing… my own family. They didn’t want to be associated with an alleged rapist and murderer. I left right after graduation. The real culprits were caught three months later. The guys who ran past me at the hotel. There were four of them. One of the boys, the one who flipped me off couldn’t stand the guilt and confessed, narking out his buddies at the same time. Even though the real criminals were behind bars and my name was cleared the damage was already done. My family had already shunned me and I never looked back. I didn’t need them. Instead of going to Yale, I moved to California and attended an Architecture school in San Diego. It was the only school I could afford on my own. But I made it work and worked hard.” he gave me a half-hearted smile.

“Man, Xander. That’s beyond fucked up. I’m really sorry. You’re family hasn’t tried to reach out to you at all?” I got up and went to him. I wrapped my arms around his waist and he embraced me back.

“They haven’t tried to contact me in nearly ten years. I only speak to my baby sister, Alexandria. She was actually named after me. My parents didn’t always hate me. I let her have Alex and I took on being called Xander after she was born. She is the sweetest, most beautiful, smartest girl I have ever known before I met you. You and her would like each other. She’s a bit of a firecracker too.” I could see his eyes glazing over again. I got on my tippy toes and kissed him.

“I know confiding that with me was really hard for you. You could’ve lied to me or just told me to fuck off.” I wiped the tears from his cheeks. “That was really intense and I feel closer to you now.”

“I wanted to tell you and it made me feel better to talk about it.” he smiled then leaned down to kiss me. “So tell me something deep and dark about yourself”

“I really don’t think I can top that. I don’t have any deep dark secrets.” I shrugged and sat back down on the bed.

“Tell me about your marriage.” Xander sat next to me and held my hand.

“Oh, well, it’s the same old tale. Love just wasn’t enough. We tried to work out but we were better as friends. We struggled financially and at the end of the day we didn’t know how to communicate. When this all started I was thinking about trying to find him.” I told him. He suddenly gave me a look like I had just asked if I could fuck him in the ass and that wasn’t his cup of tea. I couldn’t help but laugh at how somber his expression became. “Logan is a survivalist. He’s probably at his parents old house, safe and comfy. Probably built a fort around it and Mcguyvered himself a generator and hunts animals for food.” I chuckled.

“I don’t know how clearer I can be. I really like you, Liv. So the very thought that you would want to run to be rescued by your ex doesn’t sit right with me.” he frowned.

“It was a thought. Like I said he’s all the way in Michigan. Plus Logan and I are beyond over. We have been for a long time but we are still friends. I don’t want you to be jealous for no reason. You just shared something incredibly heavy with me and despite my better judgement I want this too.”

“Come here.” he whispered. I scooted closer to him, nuzzling up against his chest. His skin was warm and his heart was beating steadily.

“Believe me, that’s the past and even though the present is grim, I have to admit it seems a little brighter with you in my life. So don’t worry your pretty little head about it.”

“I’m not worried about it.” Xander kissed the top of my head. “I’m not worried at all. I got this.”

“Oh yea? Well I recall you saying that earlier today and I had to take out a zombie.” I laughed. He kissed me passionately laying me back on the bed. “You know,” he began looking down into my eyes, caressing my cheek. “I never even told Paul about Lily. I want us to be open and honest with each other.”

I wrapped my arms around his neck, kissing him sweetly, feeling like I was floating and didn’t have a care in the world. I wanted him. I knew that. I liked the danger. “We should really get some sleep. I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be chaotic. Four more people to worry about.”

“Yea but not tonight.” We crawled under the blanket and he cuddled behind me, spooning me. I snuggled with our clenched hands, hugging his arm and smiled because I never felt as safe as I did in his arms.

Dreams and Reality

Note:  This… what ever the hell would you call it?… I’m more a storyteller than a serious truthful writer. I like to lie… to embellish… to over exaggerate. Things just seem more interesting that way. Though I am sure I’ve added a little bit of truth into my writing time and time before. I’ll try to be as truthful as possible.

I want to have a carefree life where I don’t have to worry about money, I can be completely comfortable lounging by a pool somewhere with my Macbook and a mimosa. I should re-marry rich. Really rich, gorgeous Nordic type man with beautiful green eyes, witty, brilliantly bright but not so brilliant he’s boring and 6″4 with an amazing body. That will give me gorgeous super babies. I should probably move to LA or better yet New York. And just live like a starving artist. Fabulously, making money come from the heavens and never sell anything. Oh if only the world was that perfect!

I find myself not caring anymore. Things that used to be important are no longer important to me and honestly, it’s liberating. The people around me have now adapted. My life isn’t perfect but then again perfection is in the eye of the beholder. I did spend a lot of my life with other people in mind. My family, my friends, significant others but now I just live for myself. I never claimed not to be a selfish person. I am and it’s okay. I just want to enjoy my life and I realized I don’t need much to accomplish that. I was always taught to want the big house, fancy cars, money money money but that isn’t really what life is about. If I get those things, great, awesome but if not I’d be okay too. I love being the observer. To sit back and be happy for the ones around me.

I have a really dark personality but a heart of gold. I am offensive without meaning to be. I can’t be what other people want me to be and I might disappoint but it’s my life. The main goal is to make myself happy even if I have to stand alone. I am stronger than most. I’ve developed a tough thick skin over my thirty years. The walls are high and hard to climb for a reason. I’m happy within my fort.

That being said, I just want to have a good time. Write even if I never sell one copy. Get fucked up on Saturdays! Fall in love often (not in just the romantic sense). I like the simple pleasures in life. Good friends, good times, good music, good dog! I can laugh when I fall on my ass in the middle of Downtown in 6 inch platforms. That just means I’m having a great night. lol. I don’t take things seriously. And if you ask me if I died today when I look back on my life I would have to say hellz yea! I loved every minute… good and horrible.

Of course I have dreams and aspirations. They’ll all come true in time but if not I’m still satisfied and that’s the honest to God truth. :) This was a ramble. I like to ramble but it’s all the truth.

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Untitled Part Four: Changes (Warning Explicit Material)

After dinner Max and I talked for a while at the kitchen table, drinking another glass of wine while the boys played cards in the living room. Xander wasn’t speaking to me. I couldn’t believe he was being such a bitch about the situation. Max and I decided to go upstairs to check on Beth, sneaking through the formal dining room so the guys wouldn’t see us. Apparently Xander no longer trusted me. I could hear Beth whimpers as we approached her room at the end of the hall. The candles were starting to burn out so I lit some fresh ones as Max carefully shut the door behind us. Beth was lying on her back staring up at the ceiling with tears gently pouring down her eyes. Her skin almost looked silver now. I stroked her strawberry blond hair and she gave me a petrified look.
“I-I’m dying.” She said in a whisper of a voice. What could I say to that? I believed it was true also. Max walked lightly over to the bed.
“I’m going to look at your leg,okay, Beth.” Max peeled back the blankets revealing that the sheet underneath the wounded leg were drenched in blood soaking through her bandages.
“I-i f-feel so weak… c-c-cold.” Beth whispered. “Please, Liv-iv-iv, j-j-just do it.” Her eyes pleaded with me. “I c-c-an-an’t… come back…” She put her hand out and I took it, rubbing it. It felt like a ice sickle. “P-p-please, L-Liv.” I looked up at Max who covered her mouth and was now crying.
“Keep her comfortable Max.” I told her as she took my place holding Beth’s hand. “I’ll be right back.”
I left the room closing the door behind me and then walking into my room across the hall. Xander was standing in front of the window peering out of it, smoking one of my cigarettes. His face was serious and distraught, it looked hard like a marble statue. He turned his attentions towards me changing his expression now to disgust and anger. I didn’t say anything. I was used to making hard decisions now and people not agreeing with me. I walked over to the nightstand and picked up Lucy. I popped the cartridge out to reload her and snapped it back in. Then I turned to leave the room but before I could reach the door Xander rushed over and grabbed my arm roughly. “Let me go, Xander!” I said fiercely.
“I won’t let you do it, Olivia!” he glared back down at me, his mouth in a hard line to so he meant business. I yanked my arm away.
“Beth is bleeding out.” I said calmly. “She’s asking me to end it.” I looked down at the gun in my hand and I realized I was now trembling. I didn’t know if it was because of anger or fear of what I was about to do. I closed my eyes tightly and gritted my teeth. I looked up at Xander, my vision fogged from building tears. He still was giving me that hard stare. “I’m sorry Xander. I know how important saving her meant to you. She’s fading fast and could go at any moment. She doesn’t want to come back and can you blame her? I just hope someone could do the same for me one day if the time ever came.” The tears were now flowing from my eyes but my voice was steady and resolute. Xander’s eyes softened, his look of anger and disgust turned to sympathy and admiration. “Come see her. Say your goodbyes. There is so much blood, she is drained of all color.”
Xander let out a long breathe and then followed me into Beth’s room where Max was now sitting beside her holding her hand tightly. Paul was standing at the foot of the bed. The room suddenly smelled of metal and infection. Beth weakly turned her head to look at me. Her eyes looked like glass orbs. “P-p-ple-ease.” I took a deep breathe and then looked up at Xander who I could tell now understood. He clasped his hand around mine and squeezed it.
“I’m sorry… it’s my fault.” His voice was tremulous.
“You tried.” She smiled. “Thank you.”
“I can’t stay here for this.” Max let go of Beth’s hand and blew past me and Xander.
“I better… yea.” Paul sighed patting me on the shoulder before going after Maxine.
I walked over and sat by Beth’s side again, trembling again. This morning I had killed my little brother… again, this afternoon I had beat a zombie into a bloody pulp and now… I didn’t love Beth, I didn’t even know her but for some reason this was really hard for me. I knew it had to be done and I was the only one that could. I felt a great sadness maybe because she was so young and that she was technically still breathing and no threat to me in her current state. She gave me the sweetest smile telling me it was alright before shutting her eyes again. Her breathing was so shallow. I took the gun with both hands to keep it steady. I breathed in, placing the gun to her forehead and as I exhaled I squeezed the trigger. The blood and brain matter blew out the back of her head hitting the white wall behind her. Some blood splattered onto the candle on the nightstand putting it out.
I dropped my hands into my lap and realized my face was wet with tears. I looked up at Xander needing comfort but he had tears in his eyes too, covering his mouth in shock. He fell into the arm chair near the bed. His eyes darted to mine and we stared at each other silently. He got up from the chair and walked out the room leaving me with Beth’s corpse, dead and not coming back. I buried my face in my hands and wept. I took her hand in mine again. Why was I left with this on my own? They all just ran away… cowards. I stood up covering Beth’s face with the blanket before blowing out all the candles and leaving the room.
I went back into the bedroom, putting Lucy down on the coffee table and plopping down on the couch. I lit a cigarette while I slipped off my flip flops, tucking my legs underneath me. Xander was staring out the window again and I could hear thunder in the distant. As the rain started pouring down I noticed that he was crying. I walked over to him and kissed his bare shoulder. “I’m sorry.” he said wiping his face. “You were right.” He leaned back against the window sill. He gently stroked my arm. “I’m an asshole.”
“No you’re not. Your heart is too big for your own good. It wasn’t easy you know.” I brushed his hair back out of his face with my fingertips.
“i know and I’m really sorry.”
“Perfect ending to a terrible day.” I shrugged. I felt like something was now missing from me. I had changed permanently and there was nothing I could do about it now. I had to accept it like I accepted everything else. “I should be pissed at you.”
“Why aren’t you?”
“Life’s too short. I’m in the role that I’m in.”
“What does that mean?” I smiled up at him and kissed him.
“Let’s not get into some deep conversation. I’m tired.” I walked over to the bed and climbed under the blankets. I felt him climb in beside me, wrapping his arms around me.
“We have to figure out what to do with the body.” he whispered.
“We? You brought her in… I took care of her so it’s only fair you take her out.” I closed my eyes and nodded off.

I awoke the next morning, Xander was staring out the window again. I sat up and stretched before getting up to join him. He didn’t say anything he just stared out the window. I looked out to see a couple of corpses knocking around on Max’s front lawn. “I think they’ve been there since last night. Maybe they heard the gunshot.” Xander finally broke the silence.
“Well I think we’re pretty safe for now. The windows are all boarded up and the door is latched. I’ll take care of them after I fully wake up.” I said walking back towards my suitcase to get some clean clothes.
“They don’t seem to know we’re in here. They’re just bumbling around on the front yard. It’s so weird.” he said not taking his eyes off of them. “I still haven’t thought about what I was going to do with Beth. I mean should I bury her?”
“Well I think that would be the nice thing to do.”
“The back yard is all concrete.”
“Front yard.”
“Zombies.”
“I told you I’ll take care of them.”
“We’ll take care of them. There’s only five of them but I’m not letting you go out there alone. As a matter of fact, Paul and I will take care of them. Go help Max with breakfast or something. I think you need a break. It’s not healthy.”
“Not healthy.” I snorted walking into the bathroom.
When I got out of the shower I put my hair up in a bun, put on a navy ribbed tank top, some jean shorts and pulled on my hi top converse. I grabbed my bat and left the bed room. As I walked passed Beth’s room I noticed the door was open. Her body was gone and so was the mattress. The room had been cleaned. Then I heard voices coming from Max’s (now Xander’s) room. I walked in and Max and Paul were standing on the balcony. I joined them trying to be as quiet as possible as we peered off the ledge down at the corpses below.
“Can you believe it? They just showed up out of nowhere.” Max whispered shaking her head.
“Practice. Come on Max.” I grabbed her hand and started pulling her out of the room.
“Practice? What are you talking about Liv?” She yanked her arm away. “You’re not expecting me to go down there, are you?”
“You need to be prepared. There aren’t that many of them out there and I’ll be right beside you.”
“No fucking way, Liv. There are like five of them out there. Are you crazy?”
“Oh come on Max. We dealt with far more than five of them in the city. They have to be taken care of.” I ran down stairs and started unlatching the door. I could hear the loud moans outside.
“God damn Liv!” I heard Xander said grabbing my arm and spinning me around. “I told you, Paul and I will take care of them.”
“I’m up and since I seem to be doing the dirty work anyway might as well keep to it.” The resentment in my voice even astonished me. “We need to clear them so we can go scavenging. There are so many thing we need to pick up to secure this place.”
“Liv… you’re worrying me. You are going like a mile a minute, we’re fine. Go… sit down some place. Have some fucking cereal or something.” He gently pushed me away from the door and into the living room. I plopped down next into the nearest chairs, listening to the zombies calling me, asking me to slaughter them. Were they all stupid. They were only going to attract more and then where would we be? “I’m making you some oatmeal.” Xander said as he washed an empty pot. Max and Paul came downstairs, joining me at the kitchen table. Max stared at me hard.
“What did you do with the body?” I asked darkly.
“Garage… temporarily.” she answered flatly.
“Okay….”
“Are you okay?” She looked down right perturbed, which made me laugh.
“I’m fine. Are you okay?”
“Well you went through some pretty traumatizing shit last night..”
“And morning and afternoon and for the past two weeks almost. I’m fucking brilliant, considering.” Xander dropped the bowl of oatmeal in front of me and then folded his arms standing at the head of the table. They were all giving me these looks of concern like I was going to freak out or something at any moment. “What the hell?” I frowned.
“You’re acting like it doesn’t even bother you. You’re just on this violent killing spree and I don’t know where it’s coming from? The look in your eyes… something isn’t right. It’s freaking me out.” Max told me.
“What the fuck is this? An intervention or some shit? I’m sorry I’m the only one who has the balls to keep this shit together, to do what needs to fucking be done. It’s gonna fucking change me a bit, harden me up.” Max frowned at me, Paul looked sympathetic and Xander… looked annoyed.
I got up from the table and ran up stairs. I grabbed Lucy from the coffee table, then went into Xander’s room and onto the balcony. I stared down at the zombies. They were so lost, some of them were already falling apart. I raised Lucy flipping the safety and cocking the gun. I began taking them out one by one. My aim perfect, controlled, steady. The sound of the gun shots echoed through the neighborhood. When they were all dead… really dead, I breathed out, feeling a whole lot better. Xander stood in the doorway.
“There.” I frowned. “We can go now.” He let out a sigh and took Lucy from me. “Believe me, Xander. I’m fine.” I stared up into his emerald green eyes fiercely. “Do you believe me?”
“No, but…” he pulled me into his arms, hugging me, kissing the top of my head. “This really sucks, you know?”
“What sucks?”
“Olivia, we’ve been here three days and I know I didn’t know you before but I know you weren’t like this. Not from what Max says. She thinks you’re losing it. I understand you’ve gone through more than we have and the only other person who could get close to understanding is Paul. I’ve seen a change in him too. He’s a lot quieter, in his head. He’s found Max and he’s clinging to her. Just like maybe she’s clinging to him… because she feels like you’re becoming lost to her. Me, I… I am feeling things and clinging too… to you. I want you to be okay. I care about you more than I care about myself. But you… you don’t need us. You don’t need me. I’m not going to leave you alone though. And I promise you, you won’t lose Max like you lost your family. You don’t have to be made of steel. I can be strong for you.” I pulled back from him. He was trembling, teary eyed. “I hate myself for last night. That was unfair. I’m a fucking pussy. I should have taken that burden off of you especially after you went through having to deal with… I’m really sorry and if I could take it back…” I held on to him again, feeling warmer. Not so cold and hard.
“What’s done is done. It’s okay.” I told him and he fell to his knees burying his face into my stomach, gripping my back. “Get up, please.” I lifted his face up with my fingertips and smiled down at him.
“Liv.” Max said so low I could barely hear her. She crossed her arms across her chest tight as she pierced me with those big brown eyes. “We should go try to find our families. I don’t want to be here anymore. I think you need your parents… your brother. We need to be somewhere safe. We need to find out where they have evacuated everyone.”
“i know where they evacuated but it’s too dangerous. We need to stay here. I promise you I’m going to make it safe. I’m not going to lose anyone else.” I told her as I stroked Xander’s soft auburn hair.
“What do you mean you know where they’ve evacuated everyone? And what do you mean you won’t lose anyone else? You can’t blame Beth’s death on yourself. You saved her.” She asked confused coming in and sitting down on the bed. Xander released me so that I could join her on the bed. I took her hand in mine and looked down at them.
“Xander and I have seen signs that said they were evacuating everyone to Camp Appleton.”
“Camp Appleton? That isn’t that far away. We could make it. It’s like 30 minutes on the freeway.”
“Maxie, the freeways are probably a deathtrap. It’s too dangerous.”
“But our families… don’t you think it would be worth it? We got out of a whole demented city. Don’t you want to see your parents and little brother?” She was now in a frenzy.
“I’ve already seen my family.” I sighed. Max looked at me even more confused, furrowing her eyebrows together. I took a deep breathe and told her everything that had happened at my parent’s home in great detail. After I had finished describing the whole bloody affair, her body slouched over and she seemed completely defeated.
“We’re all going to die.” she said, tears dropping from her eyes onto her trembling forearms. I wrapped my arms around her pulling her to rest on my bosom so I could stroke her long wavy black hair.
“Not if I can help it.” I kissed her forehead as I pulled away from her. “Do you understand, Maxie?” I put my hands on her cheeks which were now flushed red from crying. “I cannot lose you too. So we’ll stay here. I’ve already crossed the line.” I gave her a soft smile. “So you don’t have too, alright? We’re going to beat this. I have a plan and a back up. Do you trust me?” She reluctantly nodded, which I accepted as good enough. I looked over at Xander, he was staring up at the blue skies like he was praying. The light hitting his eyes made them appear even more like gems.
“So where first?” he sighed. “Are we taking two cars or one?”
“Oh, well I think we should go try to find guns and try to pick up some more food and water… other personal effects. Maxie… if you want to make a list. I’m going to find a generator so we can have electricity… a little at least.” I got up and they followed my lead. “Is everyone okay now?”
“I’ll be okay when you’re back here safely.” Max said.

Xander drove this time as we rode in the Hummer towards the nearest convenient shopping center that held our needs; a Walmart. The weather was dreary yet really humid again. Like I had mentioned before the humidity was high for California. I stuck to the leather seats of the Hummer and Xander’s white tank top was see through. As we pulled into the massive parking lot I noticed that we had been noticed by wandering corpses. I tensed up. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.
“Don’t sweat it. I got this.” Xander grinned. “How many points will I get if I can take out every single one of these fuckers?”
“Points… towards what?”
“Towards getting to know you better.” The zombies inched towards us, all neatly in a group now.
“I’m an open book Xander. What do you want to know?”
“What is your full name?” he reeved up the engine. I hadn’t realized it but in the three days that we had been together… so very intimately and I didn’t even know his last name. I didn’t know that much about him at all. I just thought it didn’t really matter who we were before. Things were changing so rapidly.
“Olivia Catherine Nelson.” I smiled.
“Alexander Sebastian Donovan. It continues to be a pleasure.” he reached over and caressed my check. Then he put the Hummer in drive bulldozing through the corpses, doing donuts, throwing it in reverse until every single one of them were pulp on the asphalt. I breathed heavily because I was for sure this tank would flip over. He pulled up in front of Walmart, right on the sidewalk. I opened the door to get out.
“Wait.” Xander said grabbing my arm. I closed the door again. “We have to be careful. It’s dark in there and we don’t know what’s in there.”
“All I know is there is a shit ton of stuff that we’ll need including arsenal in there. So fuck it.” I smiled.
“Is that your answer for everything?”
“Pretty much.” I grinned.
The front doors to Walmart were locked so we smashed the glass with the baseball bat. I collected toiletries including as many maxi pads and toothpaste to last at least a year. We took as much canned food and snacks too. Then we went upstairs where the hunting, electronic and sporting goods section was. I filled a couple eco friendly bags I found with an assortment of batteries and flash lights. A couple of universal Ipod chargers because I needed my music, some lanterns, a mini portable barbeque and battery operated hotplate just in case. Once we put that load into the car it was back upstairs to the hunting section for weapons.
I looked in amazement at all the hunting weapons around me. Xander had already jimmied opened the pistol case and was pulling out, I guess, the ones he liked best, placing them on the glass counter. I ran back to the camping equipment and grabbed two large black heavy duty duffel bags to put the guns in. I broke the lock on the shotgun/rifle cage and started to fill the bag. I found some machetes and a kick ass cross bow. I grabbed as many arrows as I could carry. I handed Xander a gnarly looking stainless steel combat machete.
“Aw babes, thanks.” he smirked “This is the sweetest gift any girl has ever given me.”
“Anything was better than that dumb ass Lacrosse stick you were yielding.” I laughed shaking my head. I continued to load the bag with boxes of bullets. As many as we could carry. Xander joined me behind the counter and stood in front of me as I packed the last box.
“So I take it you didn’t like my stick?” he grinned making it sound like a dirty joke. I smirked up at him as I stood.
“It’s alright but you have to be more badass if you want to get anywhere with me.”
“Let’s talk about you and me.” he pulled me over to him by the waist with one hand.
“What about you and me? I think we should let things happen at it’s natural pace. Everything has been so accelerated with us and I’ve only known you for a couple of days. I like you a lot but I shouldn’t feel like I should need you so soon.” I stepped away picking the full duffel bag off the floor and placed it on the counter. “I want to get to know you as if none of this shit is going on. Have a couple shared moments before falling head over heels for you.”
“Everything seems rushed because every second that passes could be our last. I know how I feel and I can’t easily turn my feelings off like you can. We’re living in a fast paced environment here. It’s like we have to take what we can get. I appreciate the little things like kissing you, holding you, laughing, appreciating something beautiful. Every moment I spend with you is a godsend to me as cheesy as that sounds. I’ve never met a girl quite like you.” he grabbed my face with both of his hands and kissed me slowly. Our lips pressed together, lingering between breathes, only coming up when needed. I braced myself against the corner as I felt my knees getting weak. He picked me up, sitting me on the counter. I wrapped my arms and legs around him as we took our time to make out. I felt good not feeling some sort of urgency.
Suddenly, I heard a bunch of crashing around behind the employees only door. “Shh..” I stopped him. “Did you hear that?”
“Chillax, babes. It’s just you and me and an arsenal of weapons. I’m pretty sure we’re safe.” he stroked my cheek, looking longingly into my eyes.
“Xander, stop calling me babes. It makes us sound like we’re official. I want to keep my options open. I don’t want to slap a title on us just yet.” I told him while unbuttoning his jeans and pulling down the zipper. I put my hands down the back of his boxers, leaving my thumbs out so I could push them down along with his jeans in one easy movement.
“Fine. I just know you’re frickin’ awesome, Olivia Nelson.” he smirked down at me. “You can use my body anytime you want to.” I started moving my hand up and down his shaft, twisting it a little as I moved quicker. He kissed me passionately sticking his hands down the back of my shorts and squeezed my ass.
“Do you want me?” I whispered in his ear. He crinkled something beside my ear. It was a condom. “Prepared?” I’m impressed.” I hopped off the counter. Xander pressed up against me putting his hand down the front of my shorts now and started playing with me until I was extremely wet. He unbuttoned my shorts and pulled them down along with my underwear, turning me around so that I was bent over the counter. I could her the wrapper ripping and then pushed my legs apart and entered me. I gasped, so delighted to be doing this. I was totally getting off on the danger of it all. Him banging me out in the open like this. It was exciting to feel so vulnerable, knowing something could pop out at any moment.
Xander kissed my moist shoulders, it was really muggy in that Walmart because of the humidity. I began leaning to the left, not being able to help myself but the gentle movement of him shifted to one side was beyond pleasurable for me. I squeezed my eyes shut as I bent my head back, letting his lips land upside down on mine. I kissed his soft bottom lip. I noticed as I opened my eyes that he was looking straight ahead with a sort of determination on his face. Then I noticed that he was also holding on to the crossbow. I hadn’t even realized he had grabbed it out of the bag. This confused me, but then I heard it. The soft wheezing sound of an undead female Walmart employee. She swayed back and forth, staring at us hungrily. She started to shuffle towards us.
I watched as bit and pieces of her flesh dropped from her body, plopping onto the white linoleum flooring. Her left leg dragged, it looked as if the ankle was broken. She reached for us, sticking out her tongue. Her eyeballs looked like they were going to burst out of her skull.
“Xander, stop. There is a zombie a foot.” I told him as he continued to pump back and forth, making me bite my bottom lip.
Fuck that! I got this.” Xander extended his arm over my head and aimed it at the middle aged zombie.
“Have you ever even shot one of those?”
“No… have you?” he laughed. He fired, missing the zombie completely and hitting a stand up display of a hunter holding a rifle right between the eyes.
“That wasn’t the zombie.” I told him. He slapped me on the ass making me breathe out heavily. He felt really good and it was really hard to stay focused but I had to keep my eye on the zombie. “Maybe we should stop… so you can focus.” I suggested as I gripped the edge of the counter. The corpse was getting closer. I just wanted her gone so I could get off.
“I’m fine. I’ve totally got this bitch in my sight.” He shot another arrow which nicked her in the ear, making her stumble backwards a little.
“Well, I think you need glasses. Here give it to me.” I yanked the crossbow out of his hands not being able to take it anymore. I propped myself on my elbows. I tried to be as still as possible despite Xander now focused on me and was going to town. That really wasn’t helping my concentration. I tried to zone into the zombie’s forehead which was really hard considering. When I finally focused I started to squeeze the trigger and then Xander touched me in a way that made me nearly collapsed. I shot the arrow out of reflex but luckily hit the zombie right in the eyeball. It fell to the ground with a thud.
“Are you you naturally great at everything? Show off.” I felt his lips curl up into a smile as he kissed the back of my neck.
After we got dressed I went in search of a generator. The Hummer was nearly full and I really wanted to get back to the house. There was so much to do. It was going to be dangerous but I was determined to make Max’s house a fortress. But then what? We just stay hauled up in the house twiddling our thumbs until we die. Ugh… I couldn’t think about that now.
I found myself wondering through the aisles downstairs. I remember when this was a place for me just to blow my money on things I didn’t really need and household items. Now it was a place that provided me supplies to survive the zombie apocalypse. How the hell did this all happen? I hated not knowing anything.
“Babes? Earth to Olivia.”
“Liv.”
“I got a pretty descent generator. I hope it fits in the Hummer, it’s pretty packed.” He said carting a rather large generator by a hitch. I followed him out. There were a few zombies shuffling around the parking lot. I took care of them with Lucy as Xander hooked the heavy generator onto the tow of the Hummer. Once he closed the back, we hopped into the car and took off towards the house making sure we stole some Diesel gas on the way.

When we walked into the house there was a woman sitting on the leather couch in the living room drinking a bottle of water. I stared at her. She looked up at me with big brown eyes. Her hair was a big afro and her clothes were tattered. I dropped the bag of weapons onto the floor.
“Hello.” she smiled. “I’m Natalie Walker, you must be Liv, right? Maxine and Paul let us in.”
“Us?” This was so not good.
“Me, my boyfriend, Hunter, and our friends, Luke and Kellon.” Four more people. What the hell was Maxine thinking. “We’ve been out there for days… and we saw the boarded windows so we knocked.”
“You knocked?”
“Yea… see we drove here from my house, down off of Lilith Street. We heard the gun shot last night and we thought we’d come over. We had actually been driving for days. We tried to go to Camp Appleton but the freeways are overrun with zombies, abandoned cars and all the other routes are confusing. We finally just got back two days ago.” she explained. “We just didn’t know what else to do. You guys have weapons. We thought we might be safer here. Safety in packs.” she smiled again. I picked up the bag of weapons and left the living room in search of Paul or Maxine. What the hell were they thinking? We were just supposed to share all of our hard work, our food, our weapons with a bunch of strangers? Not to mention put our lives in jeopardy.
As I walked into the foyer Xander was putting down some supplies by the door. “Uh oh. What now?” he sighed.
“Paul! Max!” I said loud enough for my voice to echo throughout the house with yelling. I looked up to see Max grinning down at me from the top of the stairs. I did not return the smile, I just wiggled my finger, instructing her to come down. She walked down the stairs in a pair of black jeans, a v-neck plain white tee and a pair of flip flops. Her hair was down but tucked behind her ears and her cheeks were pink like she was blushing. When she reached me she couldn’t stop grinning. She took my hand and stared at me all doe-eyed.
“Oh my god those guys are so cute.” She was damn near giddy.
“Yea? Are they? Well, I’d like to talk to you about that, outside. Why don’t you help me and Xander with all the shit in the car. Alright, Maxie?” I lead her outside to the Hummer, putting the bag of weapons in the passenger seat and closed the door. I leaned against the door and folded my arms across my chest. “What the fuck? Who the hell are those people?”
“Oh. Well Kellon, Luke and Hunter are upstairs checking out their new rooms. I figured since you and Xander are pretty much bunking up together and Beth is no longer with us they could take the extra rooms. The more the merrier, right?”
“No… no Max. We don’t know them they could try to fuck us, you do realize that right?”
“Five dudes and three girls? How is that going to work out?” Xander said. Max and I both gave him a disgusted grimace.
“We’re no trying to have an orgy, Xander. That is besides the point. I’m worried about what’s ours. This is our house. Our supplies. Our weapons.”
“Technically this is my house. They seem like they are okay people and they can help us, just as much as we can help them. We can really be safe in numbers. Plus you trust me. Right Livy?”
“Of course. With my life.”
“Then trust my judgement. They’re a little bit younger. They are scared and need our help. I wouldn’t have let them in if I felt threatened in anyway.” She walked to the back of the hummer and grabbed some bags then I watched her disappear back into the house.
“Max is right you know? This is could be a really good thing. More hands to help. More chance of survival. We’ll keep the weapons for now, locked in our room.” Our room. I think I liked it better when it was my room that I let him sleep in with me. Things were moving really fast and out of my control. I knew this was how it was going to be but I just didn’t want it that way. I wanted to have a choice. Made me miss life before a whole lot more. I had taken it for granted.
“Whatever.” I sighed making my way back towards the house. They were all standing in the living room with Paul and Max.
“Hey Liv.” Paul smiled at me. “Let me introduce you to everyone formally. This is Natalie who you’ve already met.” Natalie walked over to me and shook my hand.
“I’m really sorry to just barge in on you guys. I promise we are here to help out with whatever we can.” Natalie said sweetly.
“No, I’m sorry. We’ll all have to talk about things but nice to met you.” I smiled back finally.
“This is Hunter Nguyen, my boyfriend. He’s a total electronics whiz, if you need anything.” Hunter a really handsome Vietnamese man who was probably around 5”10, with short emo hair cut letting his bangs fall into his face. I shook his hand.
“Actually, we have a generator. Do you think you could figure out how to hook it up?” I told him right away.
“Oh for sure. Where is it?”
“It’s still hitched to the Hummer. I’ll have Xander show you where it is when he comes back in.” I told him.
“Hi, my name is Kellon Quinn. Wow, you are gorgeous.” Kellon took my hand and kissed it, making me blush. He had black in a Ivy League crew cut, sparkling crystal blue eyes, as tall as Xander with a strong jaw line and a cleft in his chin. Oh great I thought. Now there would be two. “This is Luke Sandoval, my kid brover.” Kellon laughed. Luke was a lot shorter than the other guys, possibly even the youngest of all of us. He smiled up at me shyly, not lifting his head. “Can you believe we found this rascal out there all by his lonesome. No weapons, no food or water… he was just walking. He’s only 17 and really shy but he’s a damn good fighter. I love this scrappy fuck.” Kellon put Luke in a headlock and gave him a noogie.
“Great to meet you all. We have a shit ton of supplies outside and we would really appreciate if you guys could help bring it in the house so we can close the door. You never know what can be lurking. We’ve run into a couple of the undead in here.” They all started walking back toward the front door, like good little soldiers, except for Kellon who just stood in front of me with a goofy grin on his face. “Can I help you?” I frowned.
“I don’t know? Can you?” Did he think that was charming?
“For fuck’s sake.” I huffed walking around Kellon toward Max and Paul, signaling them to follow me into the kitchen.
“He’s pretty cute huh, Livy.” Max smirked. Paul looked down at her in a disapproving look making her blush.
“Paul, we got a shit ton of weapons in two black duffle bags.”
“Really? That’s what’s up.”
“Yea so here’s the deal. They seem okay for now but I don’t want them to know what we’re packing. So when Xander comes back in could you tell him to bring them up to my bedroom? I need to change out of these clothes. They are like sticking to me.”
“Of course Olivia.” Paul smiled.
“We’ll all have a family meeting after everything is sorted out. I think you guys should pick out what you want and keep it with you at all times. Be familiar with your guns.” I told them. They both nodded in agreement.
I went upstairs and changed. I wasn’t sure that taking in the strays were a good idea. Then again Paul, Xander and Max did have a point and I wasn’t running a dictatorship. Like I said before I didn’t really want the leadership role, it was a lot of responsibility but I kind of just fell into it. Would it still continue with more people in the house?

Xander came upstairs with the bags with Max and Xander at his heels. Max shut the door behind them and locked the door. I unzipped the bags and pulled out the crossbow, a semi-automatic 20 gauge shotgun and a 45 Colt caliber revolver, those were mine. Max took a 9 mm hand gun but I made her take two. Xander took the other shotgun and two 9mm. Paul took two a 22LR rifle and the other revolver. I hid the rest of the arsenal up on the top shelf in the walk in closet, out of sight of anyone that would go snooping.
“So what’s the game plan?” Paul asked me. “I think that Hunter guy is working on the generator. He never hooked one up before but he seems really smart.”
“The boarded up windows are not going to work out. We’re going to have to make this place a lot more secure.” I sighed sitting on the bed. “How… I haven’t quite figured that out yet. So let’s make a big dinner to accommodate our guests. Get to know them if we’re going to be sharing space.”
“I’ll get dinner together.” Max said getting up off the couch.
“I’m going to talk to Paul for a little bit, okay babes?” Xander smiled getting up. “Stay here. I’ll be right back.” He leaned down and kissed me. He looked into my eyes, kissing me again. I wanted to keep kissing him, to forget my responsibilities, to just be calm. I watched him leave the room with Paul. I laid back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. Life was going so fast now. There was no going back now, especially not for me.

Controversy…. No…. Hilarious…. Yes!

So I was web surfing… one of my favorite past times. Wikipedia is amazing. I am so knowledgable now about important useless information (Just because it’s useless doesn’t mean it’s not important) like I know everything there is to know about Passions (Controversial daytime television at it’s finest) and Batman (Harley Quinn is my favorite) and the Little Mermaid plus it’s sequels. I never have to watch anything, I can just read about it (Reading, people still do it). I just get these whims and I’m like hmmm…. I really wanna know about the different shades of yellow. Did you know there is a shade of yellow called Lemon Chiffon and it’s super pretty. It’s a X11 color and also a web color. They make colors special for the web. Wow now I have to look up what the hell X11 colors are. And goes on for hours. Good clean fun.

Anyway, the point or something is that today I looked up Daniel Tosh on Wikipedia. This is funny because I love Daniel Tosh! He’s German born (unknown why I like the Germs but I am a sucker for them), he shares my sense of humor, and I love it when guys tell me to go make them a sandwich (Not that I’d do it. They make me sandwiches but it’s cute when they think they’re in charge). I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about looking him up on Wikipedia before. So, I’m reading about how he was born in Germany and grew up in Florida (that is so not spelled how it sounds). But the thing that stuck out was the controversy portion of the article. Apparently, some chick got mad at him because he made a joke about rape. Quoting: “Actually, rape jokes are never really funny!” Daniel responds by speculating that the woman had “been raped by like, five guys”. He did what people do nowadays which is say that he was misquoted and then apologized on Twitter or some shit.

Being a female (whenever a guy says they have gotten raped I just have to call bullshit unless they have been in prison… Prison not holding. Yea I know the difference!), I find rape jokes to be very funny. I find most things that, according to society, I should be offended by to be funny as long as they are in a non-malicious context. I am female, Afro-american (yes I’m laughing), Puerto Rican, ad Filipino with a dash of German. All of these can be offensively made fun of. Racism is funny in the right context. Sexism is funny in the right context. Agism (Yep today I hit the big 30 and I will shank you if you call me old) is also funny in the right context. I lived in a house full of furries (no I am not one and never have been) and I find it hilarious. We’ve all said something a little tongue and cheek. If you claim to be super PC, just like with the fellas who cry rape (convicts excluded) I have to call bullshit.

We’d like to think that we grow up in a safe PC world when really… we’re still on the level of the early 20th century. We are just not as malicious about. Sounds nice huh? You take hateful things and make a punchline out of it. That’s how I live my life. And I know we hate to admit that those off color jokes are funny because everyone knows that jokes always have a bit of truth. I can admit that. I’m okay with that. As long as you’re not calling me a N****r S*** Jew killing G*** C*** out of anger then it’s fucking funny. Okay revise… change the er to an a… Ah that always makes it sound a little bit better doesn’t it?

Back to the rape, questions that should be asked. Was the raper hot? Did he use a condom? If not, we resort back to was he hot? If he was hot… did he really have to rape me or was I just playing hard to get? Was there alcohol involved? What was I wearing? Did I ask for it? Am I currently dating someone at that time? Blame alcohol. It was rape. If he was not hot… it was definitely rape and where is the nearest planned parenthood? Context… situations are all very important. But after a year or two it could be a funny joke possibly if it happened to me… depending on the situation. So, my point is that NEVER is a strong word just like love and hate.

I recently watched Straw Dogs (the remake) with my love… Alexander Skarsgard. And I was like shit… I’d let that sexy mfer rape me anytime he wants. I’m just saying. I realize this may be offensive but I don’t care because I just got 9 hits… which is a record and I’m sure they are people I know. I’m a blogging loser who doesn’t blog enough. Always in good fun. So don’t get all pissy. People need to laugh more. Another reason why I love Daniel Tosh and I miss Dave Chappelle. I miss Dave Chappelle. Sad Panda.  Dueces!! <3

07/22/2013- So I wanted to state that I’ve been proven wrong. Guys can get raped. I stand corrected. lol Just wanted to give you guys the memo. NO MEANS NO ASSHOLE!!

Untitled Part 3: A Family Affair

I awoke to the sound of the early morning birds chirping and the bright grey morning sky. I rubbed my eyes, annoyed that those dumb ass birds were just going about life unscathed by the ever changing world below them. I realized Xander had his arm tightly around my waist, spooning close behind me. I carefully unwrapped his arm as I rolled over, placing it on his own side. I stared into his sleeping face and thought only that he was going to be a lot of trouble for me. If he really was this heroic, a little naive, boy next door type, I could see why his girlfriend cheated on him, as horrible as that sounded. I couldn’t help but smile as I looked at him. I gently stroked his stubbled cheek. I knew absolutely zilch about this guy and yet somehow I cared about him, literally, overnight. I worried about his survival. That was exactly what I was afraid of.

He started to stir, squishing his face together and stretching nearly hitting me with his long arms. I sat up, leaning back on the soft white leather headboard. “Good morning, Darlin’” he said finally, grinning up at me with those hopeful emerald green eyes.

“is it? Last time I checked we still have a critically wounded sixteen year old in the house and the world has been taken over by brain eating zombies.” I frowned looking back out the window. It was cloudy outside, maybe it was going to rain but it was surprisingly humid for California in the Spring. I already felt sweaty.

“We’re still breathing, aren’t we?” he sighed and sitting up.

“I guess you have a point there.” I gave him a small closed mouth smile, wishing that fact alone could make me thankful, but it didn’t. I smelled an amazing aroma in the air. “Smells like breakfast.” I got up, walked over to my suitcase and pulled out a black Hurley hoodie.

“We should check up on Beth. I left a glass of water and a couple of Vicodin by the bed but she was pretty much knocked out by the shock.” Xander explained as he positioned himself on the edge of the bed.

“Well that wound on her leg is still open. She’s going to bleed through her bandages. So, I suggest that you find a way to sew it up. I’m sure there’s a sewing kit somewhere.” I told him. He gave me a disgusted look and swallowed hard. “What? Don’t tell me that grosses you out.” I laughed.

“I can’t.” he shook his head looking pale.

“Really Xander? After last night, I would imagine that would be a cake walk for you.” I folded my arms across my chest and shifted my weight to one leg. “You’ll have to do something, Xander. She will bleed to death if she hasn’t already.” I turned around and headed for the door.

“Where are you going?” he asked standing up.

“To get some breakfast. I need to keep my strength up. Lots of things to do today. I have to see if my family is home… alive.” I opened the bedroom door and started making my way towards the stairs.

“I’m going with you. You can’t go venturing out there alone. It’s not safe. I would never forgive myself if anything happened to you.” he followed me.

“How does that happen?” I asked standing at the top of the staircase facing him. He gave me a perplexed face. “I mean, I just met you yesterday. How do we start caring about each other literally overnight? We had an adrenaline fuck and a moment at best.”

“It was more to me than that to me.” he frowned. I started down the stairs. “Were you this disagreeable prior to this madness?”

“Nope, I was perfectly agreeable. I just lost my sunny disposition when the world went to shit.” I shrugged making my way towards the kitchen.

Maxine had made omelets with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms and green peppers. I watched as she cheerfully pranced around the kitchen like Susie Homemaker. I envied her, so easily pleased by the small things like cooking everyone breakfast. I sat across from Paul who had scarfed down one of his three omelets in a few bites. Max put a plate of two perfectly made omelets and a bowl of cut up fruit in front of me. I sipped on my coffee and popped a cube of peach into my mouth.

“Thanks Maxie, this looks delicious.” I smiled at her. She bounced happily away to prepare Xander’s plate. I looked out the window, I could see smoke rising up from the canyon. The clouds above it were just as dark as the black smoke coming from the fires and there were little droplets starting to manifest on the window glass. “Am I the only one worried about this shit?” I asked suddenly. “And I’m really going to be dumb enough to go out there.”

“Then don’t go. I’m sure your parents probably evacuated just like mine did.” Max sounded like she knew that for sure. She sat next to me with her cup of coffee, smiling to reassure me.

“I have to make sure. Plus I want to find out where they went if they did. I’m sorry but I’m not just going to stay here and wait to die.” I pushed the omelet around on my plate. Max looked out at the chaos below her back yard, deep in thought. I finally took a bite of my omelet that was now cold but nothing short of delicious. Paul just sat there, now finished with his breakfast, sipping his coffee as he too looked out at the rising smoke in the once beautiful canyon. None of us said anything and the mood in the kitchen had shifted.

“Did I miss something?” Xander asked finally coming into the kitchen, taking a seat next to Paul where his breakfast was waiting for him.

“Aren’t you going to eat Max?” Paul asked her. She looked over at him and then shook her head no.

“I suddenly lost my appetite.” She explained looking grim.

“Thanks for breakfast, Maxine. These omelets look spectacular.” Xander told her digging in.

“Yea… I figured I should use all the eggs before they went bad.” she sighed.

“How is… Beth, isn’t it?” Paul asked Xander who gulped down his omelets in the same manner as his friend, a few bites per omelet. There one minute and gone the next.

“She is still unconscious but breathing. I checked her bandages which were soaking through so I cleaned her wound with peroxide and changed them.” Xander sighed.

“I told you. You’re going to have to sew up the wound.” I shook my head.

“We should try to find something to numb it up at least before I do anything like that. That girl has already suffered enough. There has to be a medical center around here somewhere with some supplies.” Xander got up and started to clear the table after he finished his last omelet.

“Xander I am not going to risk my life for a girl who is already dead.” I told him matter-of-factly.

“How can you be so cold, Liv. She’s not dead yet and we owe it to her to at least try. She’s just a little girl and if we let her die now then saving her life last night was in vain.” he said fiercely.

“We don’t owe her shit! You made that decision! I told you when you brought her in here that she wasn’t my problem! I am going to go home and that is my main priority. You should’ve thought about the consequences before you decided to be a hero. Heroes die you know and I warned you ahead. My conscious is clear.” I stood up and headed back upstairs to get ready to leave with or without him.

Xander and I drove the Hummer out of the gates. The zombies that were there yesterday were gone. Maybe they had found someone else to eat but I still had a feeling they were somewhere near by. The road on the way to my parents’ home was filled with destruction. Capsized cars, debris on the usually clean roads, bodies scattered about half eaten. I was becoming used to seeing this, which made me feel a bit melancholy. The air was thick with smoke from burning buildings and homes. I couldn’t believe our once peaceful, beautiful, clean suburban town now almost looked as bad as the city we escaped from. No life in sight just death surrounding us. Staggering zombies walking about, they were the new residents of the higher middle class suburb. The sights were unnerving, yet vaguely familiar which made them even more gruesome. It was surreal.

We pulled into my family home’s driveway and the house seemed still. My house never seemed still in the thirteen years that we had lived there. For a while, we were the only family of color on the block. My parents were known for their lavish parties and our home was always full of life. The balcony that hung over the driveway usually had at least one of my parents smoking a cigarette awaiting my arrival when I drove up. Now it was empty. It sent shivers up my spine. I gripped the steering wheel, trying desperately not to think the worst. I dreaded going inside. The fear of finding my loved ones dead or undead paralyzed me.

“Are you ready?” Xander asked putting his hand on my thigh making me jump. I looked down at his hand and then up into his face that was full of concern. His eyebrows furrowed together with an unconvincing smile that made me feel worse. I let myself out of the Hummer without saying a word. We walked down the walkway up to the large double front doors. I tried the door handle and of course it was locked because unlike Max’s parents, mine were not that trusting. I fished for the keys in my short and then unlocked the door, opening it slowly.

“Mommy?” I called out. At first all I could hear was my own voice echoing throughout my seemingly empty house. I gave out a sigh of relief. They must have evacuated. I kind of felt hurt that they would leave me behind like this. The last time I spoke with my mother as Max and I were making our way out of the city she had promised they would wait for me no matter what. At the moment I felt resentment towards her. How could she lie like that? “Bitch.” I said under my breathe, frowning as I walked into the house.

I made my way straight back into the kitchen to see if they had at least left some food behind for me. I found my hidden bag off double stuffed Oreos my mom always hid for me in the back of the pantry so my brother wouldn’t find it. I pulled it out and sat on the marble topped kitchen island and started munching down on them feeling utterly abandoned and bitter. Xander started pulling out canned foods and putting them on the counter as I moped. “I can’t believe they left me, the bastards!”

“Are you seriously pissed at them, Liv? You should be grateful.” Xander glowered at me disapprovingly, like I was the selfish one.

“Fuck yea! I’m fucking pissed!” I told him with a full mouth of chocolaty cream goodness. I put the bag of Oreos down and stomped back towards my bedroom which was on the ground floor next to the garage and laundry room. I opened my closet and pulled out some clothes placing them on my bed. I found my photo album in my nightstand drawer and flipped through the memories of my past life. I couldn’t believe I would never see these people that I loved so dearly ever again. I fell to my knees as the tears started to well up in my eyes.

“Hey” Xander said appearing in my the doorway. I looked up at him wiping my face with the back of my hand. “Sorry, I was just wondering if you had any bins or something to put these supplies in.” I sighed climbing back to my feet. I made my way past him and towards the garage door which was locked. I turned the dead bolt which made a loud click. I then heard a scuffling sound from behind the door and a choking sound. I looked up at Xander before unlocking the bottom lock. My stomach began to flip and a lump jumped into my throat. Xander pulled Lucy from the back of my shorts, taking my arm and pulling me back.

“Xander,” I whispered. “What if it’s one of my… I can’t let you just…” I began to shake, grabbing his forearm with both of my hands. He handed me Lucy and then kissed my forehead.

“I’ll be right behind you.” he said softly. I reached for the door again, Lucy at the ready and turned the knob. The scuffles became more frenzied and the moans became louder. I pulled back the heavy garage door.

Tied to a white pillar in the three car garage was my little brother. His hands were bound with rope behind him. His mouth was gagged with duct taped wrapped around his head. His once reddish brown skin was now gray and pale. His legs kicked wildly a he stared up at me with his grayed over empty eyes. I covered my mouth and then buried my face into Xander’s chest.

“Oh God! It’s my baby brother.” I cried into his navy blue t-shirt. My tears soaked into the cotton.

“It’s not your brother anymore Liv. I’m sorry.” He stroked my hair to console me. I turned walking slowly into the garage as my brother struggled to eat me. I fell down to my knees next to him. “Olivia, be careful.” Xander warned.

“Aw man, Patrick.” I stroked my brother’s cold cheek. He whined with frustration, trying to break free. “My poor baby. I’m sorry.” I could feel the tears streaming down my face. I knew what I had to do but I didn’t know if I could do it.

Patrick was only nineteen years old, a journalism major at Long Beach State. He had his whole life ahead of him. He was going to be the next Matt Lauer and I wasn’t here to protect him. He growled behind the tape. His once big brown stared at me like I was dinner and he had eaten in days which was probably really the case. I put Lucy to Patrick’s temple then looked over at Xander, who was watching intensely, with tears still in my eyes. He gave me a sympathetic look, folding his arms across his mid section his right hand lingering by his throat. I took a deep breathe and turned my attentions back to Patrick. I put my forehead to his as he pushed me with his face, still holding the gun to his temple, I stroked his cold cheek again as a failed attempt to calm him. “Oh, Ricky.” I wept putting my finger on the trigger. “I’m so sorry.” I kissed his forehead. “I love you.” I whispered sitting back on my heels, firmly wrapping my finger around the trigger. I stared right into my little brothers eyes and pulled the trigger. Blood splattered across the concrete wall behind me. Chunks of his brain and pieces of his skull slid down the white wall slowly. I held on to the gun with both hands letting it fall into my lap. Then I heard screaming, loud, deafening, blood curdling screaming that I realized was coming from my own throat. “FUUUUCCCCCKKKKK!!!!” I punched the pillar so hard I was sure I had broken my hand but I didn’t care. The physical pain couldn’t come close to the emotional and mental pain I was now enduring. I wrapped my arms around the limp neck of my brothers, curling up in his lap, weeping uncontrollably.

“Liv, please. We should get going.” I heard Xander say cautiously. “If there are anymore zombies they will definitely be heading this way now.” He was right. I had to pull myself together.

“My parents.” I whispered trying to climb to my feet. Xander took my hand and helped me up. I ran up the stairs, checking every room and then ran down the hall to my parent’s master suite. I stepped into the room where the curtains were drawn shut making the room look eerie. I noticed a trail of blood leading into their bathroom and I nearly collapse bracing myself on the shiny mahogany dresser. I took a deep breathe, making my legs strong again. I walked into the bathroom. There they were laying in the bathtub. My mother was lying against my father both with a bullet wound in their heads. Blood filled the tub originating from a large bite in my mother’s arm. Their clothes were soaked up to the neck with the crimson liquid. I dropped to my knees again at the sight of the carnage splattered on the mirror behind them. I stared down at the gun in my hand again and then slowly lifted it up to my temple, closing my eyes.

“LIV!” Xander yelled running to me, snatching Lucy out of my hand. He pulled to him, incasing me in his arms, shielding me from the gore, the pain, the loss of everything. I grabbed on to the back of his shirt, burying my face in his chest, crying uncontrollably. He picked me up and carried me out of the bathroom, out of the bedroom and then sitting me down at the top of the stairs. The light flooded the foyer below and hurt my eyes. Xander tried to wipe my wet face to no avail since my tears did not desist. I looked up at him in a daze. I just wanted to die. To reunite with my family. I wanted my mother. I had been preparing myself for just this situation but how could I really prepare myself for it. The whole scene was just so horrific and tragic. I was an orphan, alone in the world and I didn’t want to be. I imagined putting Lucy into my mouth and pulling the trigger but I couldn’t even have that satisfaction since Xander had taken my friend away from me.

“I’m really sorry, babes.” Xander said kissing my face, rocking me in his arms. “There was nothing you could do.”

“They should’ve evacuated. They stayed to wait for me and I am such a fucking asshole. When I thought they had left me I couldn’t help but curse them. Thinking my mother was such a bitch who lied to me but in reality she hadn’t. I should be with them.” I cried.

“Shh..” he cradled me, holding my face against his neck. “They would’ve wanted you to survive.” I wrapped my arms around his neck, digging my nails into his skin. “We have to keep moving Liv.” I stared up into his emerald green eyes fiercely.

“Why can’t I mourn for five fucking minutes, Xander? My whole entire family is dead. I had to put a bullet in my little brother’s head. I am cover in their blood.” I stared down at my knees that were painted a crimson red and sticky. I could feel the wet splatters on my face that was the blood of Patrick.

“Please, I know this is hard but if your family… your brother… I’m sure they aren’t the only ones and that gun shot, your screaming is sure to have attracted them. We need to grab the supplies as quickly as possible and get out of here. I promise you, you’ll have enough time to fall apart later. I’m really not trying to make this sound unimportant. I’m just trying to get us out of here safely.”

I knew Xander was right despite my suicidal thoughts. They would’ve wanted me to live. So the main thing now would be to survive I had to get myself together and deal with his later. I stood up feeling woozy. I grabbed a hold of the banister. Xander put his arm around my waist to brace me. “I’ll tell you want.” he started as he helped me down the stairs again. “How about you go wait in the car. I’ll grab anything of use.”

“No.” I shook my head. “I’ll be fine. I’m going to take my brother’s Prius too so we can carry more things. We should get blankets, pillows, canned food… anything useful.” I sighed pulling my black t-shirt up and wiping my face. He stared into my eyes, searching them and then suddenly smiled. He leaned in and kissed me.

“The more time I spend with you, the more I wished I would’ve known you before all of this.” he kissed me again. “You are a remarkable girl.” I had no idea what he meant by that. I appreciated not having to deal with this alone but his dreamy, nice guy act was getting on my nerves.

We went into the garage, covering my brother’s corpse with a near by beach towel, we found two large bins that held my mothers shoes and dumped them onto the ground. We filled them with water bottles, alcohol, food then took them out to the cars. We grabbed comforters and pillows next. Then I grabbed a couple of suitcases giving one to Xander to fill with clothes, underwear, socks and any other personal effects needed. I also took some towels and all of my family’s photo albums. We finished packing the cars and I followed Xander who drove the Hummer, in my brother’s Prius.

We drove around for a while looking for any information regarding the evacuation and where they took everyone. We stopped at a blockade not too far from Maxine’s house and on the bulletin board, we discovered that they were instructed to go to Camp Appleton, a nearby Marine base but it was about a half an hour away. It might as well have been on the moon. I thought about what we should do next. I plugged in my Ipod, the Deftones, always helped me to clear my mind. We could try to go to the base but it would be dangerous and we had Beth with us. She was definitely a problem. And what if the base was over run. We could be headed into a death trap. Or we could try to wait it out at the house… wait it out. Wait for what? To die? To become one of the growing population of the undead. What the fuck? I needed a more concrete plan and no time to think. I made Xander promise not to tell anyone about Camp Appleton until I was for sure that was our only option. He reluctantly agreed.

When we walked into the house Max and Paul had boarded up most of the windows. Max nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard us walking into the kitchen with one of the bins of food. “Jesus Christ!” She shrieked, spinning around. Paul caught the wooden board that nearly landed on Max’s head. Max stood there holding her chest breathing heavily. “Are you trying to give me a heart attack?”

“Dramatic much?” I snorted trying to act as normal as possible. “Where did you guys find the boards?”

“The garage. Don’t ask me why they were there. Maybe my Dad already knew what was going to happen and prepared early.” She shrugged.

“We just have to finish these back windows and then the whole downstairs will be done per your request.” Paul smiled then continued to hammer.

“Any news? Is your family okay?” Max looked hopeful, smiling brightly in her powder pink track suit. I smiled back at her even though I felt like dying inside. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her just yet. It would kill her just as much as it killed me. I needed her happy.

“Oh, well they weren’t there. I guess they evacuated with everyone else.” I tried to make my voice sound steady as I lied to her.

“Great. Did you guys find any medical supplies for Beth?”

“Oh shit! I knew we were forgetting something. How is she?” Xander asked Max.

“She’s still sleeping. I just peeped my head in about twenty minutes ago. What’s the plan anyway?” She asked directing her question at me, like I had all the answers. I guess I had really taken on the role as the fearless leader in their eyes.

“Well for the time being we’ll have to stay here until I can think of something better. We have tons of supplies; food, water, blankets, booze. We should try to conserve the hot water just in case. We’ll have to go out again. I want to see if I can find some sort of generator. We have to keep checking the net to see if any important news pops up.” I told them pouring myself a glass of vodka.

“All the computers are dead. My phone isn’t working either.” Max looked sadly at he Iphone.

“How could we get online if there are no working internet providers?”Paul pointed out.

“Makes you wish you didn’t divorce Stephen huh? Too bad he moved back to Chicago I bet he could figure it out. He was such a electronics whisperer.” Max laughed.

“A fucking MacGyver is what he is. Yea, he would’ve come in handy in a situation like this.” I sighed.

“You were married?!?” Paul and Xander said in unison in totally shock.

“Yea, for like four years. What’s the fucking big deal? People get married… people get divorced. You’re over it.”

“I just didn’t know. You never told me that.” Xander said looking a little hurt.

“Xander, what you don’t know about me can fill a book.” I sighed sitting down in a near by armchair feeling exhausted, feeling weary and I just wanted to lock myself in the room upstairs. Xander put his hand on my shoulder. I put my hand on his and smiled up at him to let him know I was okay.

“Come on Liv, let’s go outside and finish unloading the cars before it gets dark.” he told me. I got up and followed him outside.

The street was quiet, the clouds had cleared and it was now a beautiful day. I had barely noticed it. I felt like I was in a daze. I sat in the back of the Prius, lighting a cigarette. Xander came back out after taking in the last load and sat next to me. We didn’t say anything. He held my hand as we stared out into the empty street. I had splatters of my brother and mother’s blood on my arms and knees. For some reason I couldn’t bare the thought of washing it off. It was the only thing I had left of them.

“Liv, you should go upstairs and get some rest. I can’t even imagine what you must be going through right now. Let me run you a bath. You need to mourn. I’ll just tell them you weren’t feeling well. We’ll get everything situated in our rooms and I don’t want you to worry about anything.” Xander said as he rubbed my back.

“I… I just don’t know if I can do this. I know I have to be strong for them… for Max but I can’t help thinking about my brother, Patrick. I always protected him all his life. I would’ve died so that he would’ve lived but now there was nothing I could do. I hate this feeling. The feeling of not having controlled. I failed my brother and if I failed then what did I have to live for at this point?” I began to cry again. “I feel like I have no control over anything.”

Then I saw it… something to get take my frustration out on. He was a long fellow, staggering slowly up the hill in some khaki cargo shorts, one of his brown rainbow flip flops was missing and a AE graphic tee that was ripped across the chest. The zombie looked like he once was probably cute if half of his jaw wasn’t missing. He’d do just fine. I opened pulled the baseball bat out of the back of the Hummer. My trusty shiny baseball bat. “Olivia? What are you…” Xander followed my gaze to the zombie that was now heading towards us. “Shit.” He pulled Lucy out of the back of his shorts. I yanked it of his hand and put her back in my pants. He looked up at me confused.

“Just sit down and look pretty, I got this.” I told him.

“Are you fucking serious.” He said. The zombie startled gurgling, coagulated chunky gross blood plops dropped from his… mouth?? Then he raised his arms, reaching for us. I took a deep breathe and ran up to the zombie drop kicking him in the chest making him fall backwards. I fell on top of him, my knees landing on his arms. The zombie wagged his tongue at me. I raised the bat high over my head, my face all a fire and slammed down on his skull, screaming nonsensical obscenities. I beat the bat over and over and over until there was nothing left of his skull. Then I jumped to my feet and worked on the rest of his body. Bones cracked, blood oozed, squishes echoed down the street.

“LIV!” Xander yanked the bat out of my hand. I looked at him fiercely, breathing heavily, fist clenched, teeth gritted. “Liv, I think it’s dead… again.” I looked over at the front yard where Max was standing looking at me like she didn’t recognize me.

“Fuck! That so did not make me feel better!” I stormed past Xander and then past Maxine back into the house. I stomped up the stairs and slammed “my” bedroom door. I screamed and smashed everything in sight. The stupid vases I threw against walls. I smashed hanging pictures of stupid cheerful landscapes with my fist into them shredding my knuckles. I yanked the clean white sheets off the bed and fell onto my knees in the broken glass. I had officially lost it. I let out a loud shriek and buried my face in my bloody hands. I just wanted to die.

“Liv?” I heard Max’s sweet voice. She sounded scared. “What happened? Did something happen to your family?” I smeared my tears that were infused blood across my face and looked up at her… hopelessly. “Oh my God.”

“Just… leave me alone. Everything is fine. They evacuated and I’m just having a moment, okay, Max? I’m fine.” I climbed to my feet, pieces of glass stuck into my knees. I forced a smile on my face.

“Why won’t you talk to me?” Max looked hurt and I hated seeing her like that. I had lost control and I didn’t lose control. You couldn’t really fault me for doing it though. I put my hand up to touch her but stopped because I was covered in blood. It was now smeared all about what used to be her older sister’s bedroom. I felt like an ass now. Could this day get anymore fucked up? Xander appeared in the door, trying to assess the situation. Paul was right behind him. They all looked at me like I had lost my mind, which I guess I had. “Damn it Olivia! Tell me what the hell is going on!!” Max yelled.

“I’m fine, Maxine.” I said firmly. “It’s just that all this shit is finely hitting me. I lost it for a moment but I’m okay now. I’m going to clean all this gore off of me, clean this room and then rest okay. I need to rest.” Max furrowed her eyebrows together, her mouth in a hard line.

“Fine.” she said flatly. “If you don’t want to talk to me that’s fine! I thought we were best friends… family. I thought we told each other everything! But I get it… I’ll leave you alone.” She stormed out pushing both Xander and Paul aside. Paul followed quickly followed her. Great, I thought, now she was pissed at me when I was only trying to protect her.

Xander leaned against the frame of the door with his arms folded across his chest. “Why didn’t you just tell her?” he sighed closing the door behind him. I felt weak again. He looked around at all the destruction. Glass broke under his feet. “Remind me never to piss you off. That stain outside barely looks human anymore. Did you get it all out. Do you feel better?” He asked me raising my chin with his finger tips. “You, darlin’, are a hot mess and I’d kiss you again if you weren’t all gory. So instead I’ll draw you a bath.” He disappeared into the bathroom and I heard the water running.

“I think, I’ll just take a shower.” I told him. He unplugged the tub and switched on the shower. “Thanks.”

“Don’t worry about the room. I’ll have it cleaned up before you get out of the shower.” he said walking out the bathroom.

“Xander…” I called after him. He turned back around at the door. “You know that ex of yours? She was an idiot.” I smiled.

“Yea, well… karma. I know we just met as you keep reminding me but I care more for you than I ever did for her. I can’t wait to get to know you even more. I’m gonna go check on Beth. You should really talk to Max. She really loves you. I know it always makes me feel better to talk to my best friend.”

“It’ll break her. She maybe angry with me but she still has hope. I’ll be alright.” I reassured him. He smiled at me, not really believing me and shut the door.

When I finished with my shower I felt cleaner but no less depressed and enraged. I blamed myself for my family’s demise. Xander had cleaned the room as promised… when I had left the room it looked like a Tasmanian devil had got loose, now it looked like nothing had happened at all except for the blood stains in the carpet… those couldn’t be helped. He had put fresh linens on the bed and everything. I sat down on the bed and just stared at the wall listening to my fellow housemates moving about below. I wish I hadn’t left my Ipod in the car. I then realized I hadn’t heard one plane fly above us. Random thought I know but it depressed me even more. Everything seemed hopeless.

Suddenly, I heard Beth call out weakly from across the hall. I climbed to my feet and went to her. Beth was trying to pus herself up into a sitting position to no avail. I went over to her propping some pillows behind her and helping her slide up against them. Her skin was so pale, her blue eyes were rimmed with red and the skin beneath them looked bruised, and her small heart-shaped lips were dry. I grabbed the glass of water, holding it up to her lips so she could drink from it. She looked like she was death’s doorstep.

“W-who a-are you?” she asked in a wobbly voice.

“My name is Olivia but my friends call me Liv. You’re in my best friend’s Max’s house. She was your neighbor. Do you remember her?” I asked pulling the floral print arm chair closer to the bed and sitting in it.

“M-maxine? Y-yes. A-are we s-s-safe?” She winced in pain. I handed her a couple of Vicodin and refilled her glass of water. She put them and in her mouth and swallowed them down.

“Um… sure we are.” I said unconvincingly. “For now at least. You lost a lot a blood. You should really take it easy. I’ll go down and make you something to eat. It’ll be getting dark soon so I’ll also bring you up some candles. How does that sound?” I got up from the armchair and pushed some of the damp blond hair out of her face. Her forehead was burning up. She smiled at me but from the look of her that even looked like it hurt. “Alright, sweetie, I’ll be right back.”

I made my way downstairs, where Paul, Xander and Max were playing a card game in the living room by candlelight. It was so much more darker on the first floor than the second because all the windows were boarded up. I walked into the kitchen without saying a word because Max shot me a look of daggers. She’d get over it, I thought. She always did. And once she understood she wouldn’t begrudge me I hoped. I pulled a can of chicken noodle soup out of the bin we had brought from my house and poured into an empty, clean pot. Xander of course appeared behind me as I stirred the broth as it warmed.

“Your patient is awake.” I informed him. “She looks really bad but I thought I’d try to feed her though I doubt she’ll be able to eat even soup. She could barely speak.”

“Let me do that Liv. You don’t need to worry about that.”

“No, I’m already doing it. I need to do something.” I smiled up at him. I could feel his hands start to gently rub my shoulders as I stirred the soup. He kissed the top of m head before retrieving a tray, a bowl and a spoon making it ready for me to serve his patient. “Could you also grab some candles for her room? We have to make sure to close the curtains In the upper rooms.” I poured the soup into the bowl and put a couple of napkins on the tray. Xander followed me upstairs with a handful of candles.

“Paul modified the door so that we can bolt it closed and the put a heavy beam across it for more security.” Xander briefed me.

“Sick. I’m just glad those things haven’t figured out how to climb yet.”

“Yet??”

“Yea, if movie rules are applying here, they will eventually start to figure shit out basically, sort of like they’ll remember how to do other basic things besides eat. But hopefully by the time they start figuring out things like that they will be too decomposed to do very much and we can just take them out. I really hate the runners. I’m hoping after a few weeks we won’t have to worry about them too much.”

“I hope not.”

We walked into the room where Beth had nodded off again. I put the soup on the nightstand and felt her head again. It was burning up and covered in a cold sweat. This was not good. She opened her eyes slowly looking up at me.

“Hi, sweetheart, I brought you some soup.” I said said sitting in the armchair beside her. I took the bowl of chicken soup and blew on a spoon full before feeding it to her. Xander started placing the candles about the room. She watched him as I feed her. “That’s Xander. He’s the one who actually save you last night from those…”

“M-my p-parents.” She put her hand up to tell me to stop feeding her and didn’t take her eyes off of Xander. “T-thank you. D-Dad-dy was sick so we c-c-couldn’t move him w-when they…. but he died. Mommy locked herself in his room f-for a whole day. I h-heard her screaming.” She looked away from us for a moment, a tear dropping from her eye. “I t-tried to help but… D-Daddy was eating Mommy when I came into the room. I locked them both in until I could… figure out what to do. Eventually, they broke down the door and was after me.” She seemed to have depleted her strength by telling us that and she slumped back in the pillows, her eyes half closed, tears falling effortlessly from them. “I don’t h-have anyone else. I was an only child and my grandparents are all dead.” she whispered. My grandparents weren’t all dead but they were too far away for it to matter and I really felt for her. She was alone like I was alone in the world. I took a napkin and wiped her face.

“You have us now.” Xander said putting his hand on my shoulder. He was saying it to the both of us. “We’ll all get through this together.”

“Yea.” I said half-heartedly. “Well get some rest okay. We’ll just be right across the hall if you need us.” Beth’s eyes were now closed. I pulled the blanket up under her chin and got up exiting the room. Xander closed the door behind us. “She’s burning up, Xander. She’s going to die.” I said walking into the bedroom and sitting on the couch. Xander closed the door then joined me.

“You don’t know that.” he said.

“I may not be a doctor but I know that high fever, loss of blood, pale skin, cold sweat… she’s on her way. Not to mention that she’s suffering. That girl must be really strong because I know she is in pain. She could barely eat.” I lit a cigarette with one of the candles I had lit and placed it on the coffee table. “We have to do something.” The question was really a thought out loud.

“We are doing something. We’re doing the best we can. I’ll go out and look for medical supplies tomorrow morning. She probably needs some antibiotics.” I looked at him like he was a complete moron who had no idea what he was talking about because that was what he was. I knew that girl was going to die soon. Maybe even tonight and that was a major problem. If she dies, she will surely come back and I didn’t want some teenaged zombie running around while I was sleeping. I only had one choice. I would have to take her out. “What are you thinking? You have a wild look in your eye and that could only mean something I don’t agree with.”

“Nothing. How’s Max and Paul?” I decided not to reveal what I had planned for Beth. Don’t get me wrong, I did feel bad for the girl. She was so young, so helpless, alone but it was survival of the fittest now. I could no longer afford to have a conscious on this matter. She was a liability and I was somehow responsible for three other lives that were healthy and that would be able to contribute. I knew Xander would try to stop me. I had to figure out a way to convince him I was right on this.

“Max, is really pissed at you. She’s been cursing you like crazy but I think she’s just hurt you haven’t talked to her. We figured out room assignments, though I doubt they’ll stick. Paul said he’ll take the room on the first floor to keep guard during the night. Maxine has moved into the master suite but I’m pretty sure she’s going to sleep where ever Paul does. Beth’s got her room and I will be in the room next to yours.” he smiled sitting back, putting his arm around my shoulder.

“I wish we could go somewhere cool like the mall but I know people have probably already thought of that. And now they’re all probably dead. When I lived in SD I always thought where would I go since all the fucking malls there were outdoors.” I laughed. “I miss the city already. It was such an awesome one. A perfect medium. Not too wild, not too chill. It was just right.”

“Yea, I know what you mean. It was my home.” he smiled reflectively.

“Yea, even more than OC for me. I never felt like I belonged here and once I left I rarely ever came back except on holidays or special occasions. San Diego was home to me. I didn’t want to leave it. It’s funny how things work out.” Then I felt tears well up in my eyes. I laid my head on Xander’s chest suddenly feeling weak. I wanted to be that strong woman he first met but my head was spinning and I felt absolutely lost. I needed to feel protected, safe, okay. Xander was the kindest man I had ever come across and maybe it was that I was feeling really vulnerable at that moment but I just wanted to be near him. I wanted to feel him. I wanted him close to me. He smiled down at me, caressing my cheek.

“I really think you should work things out with Maxie, darlin’. She is really worried about you and you need to be social now, be with someone who loves you, who knows you, who can grieve with you. I’m doing my best but I don’t think I’m enough you know.” He kissed me on the top of the head. I looked up at his sweet face.

“In a little while, okay. I just need to sit here for a while.” I put my head back on his chest, hugging his strong mid-section tightly. He wrapped his arms around me making me feel warm. “We should go to Home Depot or something like that tomorrow. I think they sell portable generators.”

“You’re mind never stops does it? Just relax. We can think about all that once we get a good nights sleep.”

“We need to find more weapons, build an arsenal and maybe even come up with more ways to secure this place. Make it safe. Booby traps in the front yard. Or better yet we can take over this whole block. Scavenge through these houses. We live in a republican town, who knows what kind of defensive weapons we can find.” I went on.

Xander lifted my chin and kissed me. “Would you just shut up.” he smiled. He laid me back on the couch and kissed me again running his hands through my hair, feeling his hand move down my neck then stopping at me my breast. “Is this okay?” he whispered. I nodded yes and then he kissed me some more. I just wanted to forget about everything for a while. I liked him touching me, kissing me. It made things seem normal again. I mean what do you expect to happen when you have a male and female stuck in a situation together? Especially when danger is involved and they are sexually attracted to each other. It reminded me of that age old question: If you were the last man on Earth and I was last woman? The answer is hell yea! Why not? I ran my fingers through his hair, enjoying every kiss, every caress. I wanted him desperately, breathing with such fervor as he felt me up. “You’re so fucking sexy.” he breathed into my ear as he unbuttoned my khaki shorts.

“Wait.” I stopped him. He looked down at me, his hair feel into his face, brushing his forehead. I stared up into his eyes tracing his every inch of his face with my fingertips, burning it into my memory. Who knows this could be the last time I saw him. Anything could happen. He kissed my fingertips as I touched his lips. I pulled his t-shirt off and threw it on the floor. I ran my hands down his sculpted torso, pecs, abs, strong muscular back. I pushed him so that we both sitting up. He ran his big hand down my neck, then pulled my shirt off, examining with his eyes. I reached behind myself and unsnapped my bra, slowly slipping it off. The shadows danced around our naked skin from from the candlelight.

“What’s the matter?” he asked me in a hushed voice. I shook my head and then unbuttoned his pants.

“We’ll need a condom.” I told him, stroking his stubbled face. “I really don’t want to be knocked up fighting zombies, now do I?” I grinned.

“No, I guess not.” he chuckled.

“I saw a new box in the third drawer in the bathroom.” He leaned in and kissed me again before getting up to go into the bathroom. I stood up slipping off my shorts and underwear just as Paul opened the door. “Holy Fuck!” I ran over to the bed and got under the sheets. I guess Xander failed to lock the door.

“Oh, shit, my bad. I’m really sorry, Liv.” Paul apologized shielding his eyes. “I thought Xander was in here.” I was too mortified to speak, I just stared at him in the doorway. Didn’t he ever learn to knock?

“What’s up, bro?” Xander came out of the bathroom in his boxer briefs, how embarrassing. I began to blush and covered my face with my hands. “Is everything okay?”

“Uh… yea, man, everything is fine. I just came up here to let you know Maxine is done with dinner if you guys want to eat. I… guess I’ll… tell her… something. Sorry.” Paul closed the door looking just as embarrassed as I felt.

I was mortified. I looked over at Xander who looked sympathetic as he walked over and locked the door. “I thought I had done that earlier.” he chuckled. He took his boxers off and climbed into bed with me. “I found the condoms.” he showed me the wrapper. I gave him a hesitant look, the mood now leaving me as soon as it arrived. “Really?” he frowned laying back on the back board.

“Sorry but your best friend just saw all my goods and I really didn’t want him seeing that much of me. I won’t be able to look him in the eyes for a while.” I shook my head.

“Liv…” he whined. “Man.” He was frustrated covering his eyes with his hands. His biceps bulged, his abs tightened getting me back in the mood. I kissed his chest, then took his hands from his face, kissing his lips softly and sweetly. He brushed my hair behind my ear and I was back longing for him. I him rustling under the covers. “Get on top.” he commanded me.

“Yes sir.” I smiled mounting him.

I stared at Beth through the doorway of her room. She was asleep and I was pondering once again what to do with her. She was obviously on death’s doorstep and there was nothing I could do about that. I collected the dishes from earlier and took them into the hallway where Xander was waiting for me.

“We have to do something about Beth. She has a fever and I fear she’ll only get worse.” I told him staring back at the dying girl in the dimly lit room.

“We just will have to do our best to look after her. I’ll go out tomorrow and try to get things to treat her.” Xander said confidently.

“Xander, may I remind you for the millionth time, you are not a doctor. Even if we did find a medical center with supplies we wouldn’t have any clue what to get. She’s not going to magically get better. What if shit hits the fan? Her leg may not even heal properly, if it heals. She’ll be limping around, slowing us down. She’s a liability. She’s going to cost us our lives.” I told her.

“What are you suggesting, Liv? That we put her out of her misery like a lame horse?” he snorted. I looked up at me in horror. “You can’t be serious.”

“As a fucking heart attack. At any moment those things could show up here, surrounding us, maybe even breaking in here. We only have one gun and if there is a hoard melee weapons are not gonna cut it. We need a solid plan… an exit strategy and we need to acquire more arsenal.”

“We can’t kill her, Olivia.”

“She’s already dead, Xander.” Did I want to take out that little girl? No, but she was suffering and she would slow us down. Survival was the number one priority. I was thinking straight again and it only made sense.

“Liv, you cannot kill her! The very thought that you would even consider that… It makes me fucking sick!”

“Chill out Turbo! Nobody said I wanted to do it but I do think it needs to be done. She’s not a little birdie that you can nurse back to health with a popsicle stick and some masking tape. She’s a fucking human being.”

“Right, Olivia! She’s a fucking human being!” He frowned folding his arms across his chest.

“Those things out there are technically human beings too but you wouldn’t think twice about capping one of them in the head now would you?”

“They’re already dead. Beth isn’t. She’s breathing, her heart is beating. I really can’t believe you’re arguing with me over this. You must really be fucked up!” he huffed going down the stairs.

“I am fucked, but so is the rest of the world and the sooner you get that the better off you’ll be. She’s got a fever, she’s in pain and she’s suffering. It’s just cruel to let her go on.” I told him following him.

“Just drop it, Liv. I’m not going to discuss this anymore. It’s just not gonna fucking happen. I’m the one who is responsible for her remember? So don’t fucking worry about it.” He was pissed now. His voice was grating. He made himself a plate of mac and cheese and sat down at the kitchen table next to Paul who was talking to Maxine.

“I’m sure glad you’re not responsible for my life.” I shot as I made myself a plate and sat across from him. He shot me a look that made me cower inside. I looked down at my plate regretting what I said.

“Trouble in paradise? What’s up?” Max asked, I guess she was over being mad at me. Xander pushed his mac and cheese angrily about his plate with his fork.

“How could you be so heartless.” he said under his breathe, grimacing.

“How could you?”

“Can someone please tell me what is going on for fuck’s sake!” Max yelled. She hated being out of the loop.

“I’ll tell you. Olivia wants to put a cap in Beth’s dome.” Xander said throwing his fork down on his plate with a loud clatter.

“What are you two?” I frowned.

“What?” Both Paul and Max asked in unison.

“Well is she dead? Did she die?” Max asked alarmed.

“No, she’s still alive.” Xander answered her.

“Barely.” I added.

“Are you really just going to shoot her, Liv? I mean could you? She’s just a kid.” Max furrowed her eyebrows together, her big brown doe eyes glazed over, her lip started to quiver. I hated Xander for that. She was reacting like I had just told her her dog died.

“Have you seen her Maxie? She’s a goner and there is nothing else we can do for her. She needs a proper doctor. Since we can’t get her one and we can’t move her anywhere she’s just a liability. She’s going to die then come back, putting us all in danger.” I explained to her.

“You don’t know that for sure.” Xander said fiercely. I took a deep sigh and looked him in the eye. He hated me for wanting to do what even he knew had to be done.

“Well, I think I do.”

“Couldn’t we just wait? Give her some aspirin, put her in a ice cold bath to bring down the fever? I mean we shouldn’t give up, right?” Max tried to come up with a solution.

“We could.” I sighed.

“I think we should finish our dinner and sleep on it. Maybe until we make a decision we could take turns keeping an eye on her.

“I’ll take the first watch.” Xander volunteered looking at me suspiciously.

Untitled Part Two: Captain America to the Rescue

Our beautiful, quiet home town was now deserted. Buildings were on fire, debris scattered the empty streets, there were huge “EVACUATION” signs posted everywhere with abandoned blockades. We past our old high school which had abandoned police cars, ambulances, parking lot full of cars and a sign that read “Rescue Center” but there was no sign of life. We seemed to be too late. I stared in disbelief, feeling the tears flowing down my face as we drove down Hummingbird Parkway. I put my hand out and Maxine took it squeezing it gently as we stopped in the middle of the road. We looked at each other. Our faces wet with tears.

“They’re gone.” I whispered looking down at my bloody thighs all of a sudden feeling so weak. Our family and friends were all gone. There was no one here to help us now. We were on our own and the hope that had kept me so strong now was draining out of me. I let go of Max’s hand and let mine fall limply to my side.

“Are you giving up so easily, Liv? You… Miss Bad Ass? Look there are evacuation signs everywhere. They probably got out before it got really bad. Maybe we can find some sort of instructions on where to go. We live in a predominately white republican town… there is no way they would let it get too bad around here without making sure people were safe. Look at all these police cars and military vehicles.” Maxine said trying to plug the leak.

“All empty Max. There isn’t anyone here… at least no one alive.” I sighed wiping my wet face with the back of my hands.

“Out of our twenty-five years I have yet to see you give up so easily Liv. You just need to get some rest. We’re almost to my house. Let’s just keep going okay?” Max wrapped her arms around my shoulders and squeezed me tightly. “They made it out of the city safely. Please let’s go scout out the house.” She smiled and kissed my cheek. I took a deep breathe and put the car back into drive.

We finally arrived in front of the gates of her community, Woodcreek Canyon Estates. “How are we supposed to get in?” I sighed staring at the giant iron gates and thinking about how useless they really were.

“Remember I worked that summer after senior year as a security guard. All I have to do is hit a button.” Maxine smiled opening her door.

“Yea but I don’t think there is any electricity.” I told her.

“That’s okay I’ll just pull the manual lever thingy and we have boys with us.” She shrugged. It was kind of freaking me out how calm she was being. Max freaked out about everything… maybe she was in shock or something.

Max jiggled the door of the guard station. Of course it was locked. She pulled down the sleeve of her Juicy Couture black velour hoodie and smashed the window with her elbow. She smiled, pleased with herself, and opened the door. I watched as she hit something a couple of times and then she ducked out of sight for a second.

“Okay so we gotta push those bad boys open. Fellas?” Maxine signaled for Paul and Xander to get out of the car. They both jumped out not saying a word… just following orders, like good little soldiers. They both took a side of the gate and started pushing. Maxine got back into the car and I drove forward passed the guys and parked the car. I kept hearing this weird noise and at first I thought it was the guys moving the gate. I needed to stretch my legs so I opened the car door and got out.  I watched Paul and Xander pushing the gates closed again as I lit a smoke. I still kept hearing a whining sound. I climbed back into the car and grabbed the gun. “What?” Maxine looked around frantically.

“I don’t know. Just stay in the car Max.” I climbed back down out of the car and closed the door. Paul and Xander both turned their heads to look at me as I walked towards them. The gate shut with a loud creak.

“What is it, Liv?” Xander asked facing me now.

“Shh… I hear something. It could be just an animal.” I told him. I concentrated and for a while all I could hear was the sizzling of the paper of my cigarette. I looked up at Xander and then at Paul who’s full attentions were on me. Then we heard a hiss from behind… then the oh so familiar dragging of feet sound. They spun around and we all looked beyond the closed gate. There were about ten of them. Three were walking somewhat normally so I could only assume they had just been killed not too long ago. Of course those three smelled us first. “Shit!” I whispered. Xander went into defense mode in front of me. I snorted, rolled my eyes and pushed him aside. “Really kid? I have the weapon here. Run back to the car and grab some blunt objects and then come back to back me up. I want to see if this gate holds up.” I instructed them.

“Paul can run back. I’m not leaving you alone.” Xander, standing like Captain America, put his hand on my shoulder and looked at the zombies determined.

“That’s real cute, dollface, but I’ve gotten along just fine against more of those things without you. I’ll be fine. Go grab my bat or Max’s axe.” I pushed him towards the car.

They both ran towards the Hummer at high speed behind me. I watched as the fastest three charged the gate. Hitting it hard, shaking it and screaming at me, reaching for me. Thank God for the automatic lock on the manual lever.  I had heard it snap back into place once the boys had re-closed the gate. I pointed my gun at them. There were two men probably in their early thirties and a teenaged girl reaching for me. Their wounds were still fresh. I could smell copper. The tallest man who looked Mexican was missing his left arm which looked to have been torn clear off his body, he also had chunks of flesh ripped out of his neck and torso. The teenaged girl, no older than fifteen,was also Mexican, the bottom half of her jaw was missing and half of her skull was showing. And the other man was a bald white guy, the only wound I could see on him was a self inflicted shot in the heart. For some reason he was the scariest. His eyes were nearly white so I could only assume he had blue eyes. He stared at me fiercely, longingly, like a pedophile at a school yard. I was food to him and he was fucking starving. I aimed my gun right between his eyes.

“Don’t waste your bullets just yet Liv!” I heard Paul say running up behind me. “We told Max to wait in the car.”

The rest of the zombies started to crowd around them. All pushing and reaching for us against the gate. I watched as the gate shook violently back and forth. Creaking loudly but not budging. Maybe these things were sturdy. Maybe we would be safe here… even just for the night. But who knows what we could expect inside the community. What if we weren’t the only ones here.

“I think we’re good. If we drive away I think they’ll eventually give up right?” Xander asked me.

“I don’t know. The gate seems to be holding as of right now. But where the hell did they come from? We were sitting here for fifteen minutes before they showed up and I didn’t see any sign of them driving in. And a few always winds up being a shit load later” I sighed.

“So what do you suggest we do, fearless leader?” Paul smirked at me. I rolled my eyes at him.

“I really don’t need that responsibility.” I chuckled nervously. “Well, I guess we should just keep the original plan and go to Max’s house. Hopefully they’ll go away. She lives at the top of the hill.”

We ran back to the car where Max was now sitting in the driver’s seat watching in horror through the mirror. I got in the passenger seat and the guys climbed into the back seat. She started the car and started making her way up the steep hill to her house. We pulled into the driveway. The house was dark and seemed empty. We sat in the car silently for a while. I could tell Max was starting to silently freak out.

“I’m sure they made it out safely Max.” I reassured her. She forced a small smile. “Okay let’s go in… cautiously.” We got out of the car and followed Max to her front door. She grabbed the handle and pushed the door open.

“It’s unlocked. ” she said with a worried look on her face.

“It’s always unlocked.” I shook my head grinning.

“Yea… I know… I forgot for a second.” she gave me a relieved smile. “Hello? Baba? Mom?” she called into the house. No answer.

“See… no one is here. The cars aren’t even here. We’ll find out where they evacuated to tomorrow.” I told her.

Max walked into the house and tried to switch on the lights. Nothing happened. “Fuck the power is out. There should be candles and flashlights in the kitchen.” she informed us.

“Yea… I’ll go check since I also know my way around. You guys get the bags.” I instructed them.

“I’ll go with you.” Xander said moving to my side.

“I think I’m more than capable of finding a few candles and flashlights on my own, thank you.” I frowned.

“You’ll have to excuse my friend Xander. She has a problem excepting help. She thinks she’s Alice from Resident Evil or some shit. Paul and I will get the bags.” Max laughed shaking her head at me. I sneered at her.

“I’m sure you’re capable of a lot of things Liv but I’d like to come with you all the same. If that’s alright with you.” Xander smiled patting me on the back.

“Well fine! Let’s go then!” I huffed annoyed. I walked back through the living room into the kitchen with Xander on my heels. We went through all the drawers and cupboards… nothing. Then I remembered one time when I was helping them set up for a party and her mother told me to bring out a box of candles from the walk-in pantry. I walked into the pantry and sure enough on the top shelf I say the box of candles. Of course I was too short to reach them. “Xander! A little help here.” I called out. Xander flashed a light in my face.

“Wow you’re beautiful.” he told me. “I found four flash lights.”

“Well that’s spectacular. Could you get the box on the top shelf. I can’t reach it.” I sneered at him.

“Yes ma’am.” he handed the flashlight to me. “Are you going to be this moody all the time?” he asked grabbing the box.

“Sorry… I’m just really tired.” I was being a tad bitchy suddenly.

“It’s cool.” He smiled. He put the box on the kitchen island next to the three metallic colored flashlights he had found. We started lighting candles throughout the kitchen. “We make a good team.” Xander smirked as he lit the last candle.

“Heh… you think so?” I couldn’t help but blush a little. Xander was really cute but I felt like that should’ve been the last thing on my mind. “I think we’ll be safe here tonight. We’ll just keep the front rooms dark and not make too much noise. I need a bath badly. I smell atrocious.” I smelled myself and the sad part is I wasn’t sure what I smelled like because I had gotten used to it. We hadn’t showered in four days. Yuck!

“Yea… you guys do have a bit of an odor going on but I’m sure we’re no better. It’s to be expected. I kind of like your stink.” he laughed.

“Pheromones.” I grinned. Just then Max and Paul walked into the kitchen. They were giggling. Yes… giggling. Xander and I looked up at them. Max started blushing and Paul had a really goofy grin on his face.

“All bags are in. I’m starving.” Max said sitting down at the kitchen table.

“I need a bath. Your water heater is gas right?” I asked Maxine.

“Liv, do you really think I would know what kind of water heater we have? I know our stove is gas and there are those long matches in the top drawer beside it. So plus side we can cook.” That’s all she was concerned with at the moment. I could hear her tummy grumbling from across the room. I could only assume if the stove was gas hopefully so would the water heater. I needed to check. Worse case scenario I would have to take a cold shower opposed to a hot bath. I really wanted a hot bath.

“I’ll be back I’ll check it out.” I grabbed one of the flash lights.

“Do you even know how to tell the difference?” Max raised an eyebrow at me.

“I guess I’ll have to figure it out.” I shrugged.

“I know… allow me Madam.” Xander smiled taking the flashlight from me. He followed me to back to the front of the house and through the garage door. Lucky for us the water heater was right there in plain sight.

“Can you hold this steady while I turn the gas valve and light this bad boy up.” I handed him the box of long matches and he handed me the flash light. He turned the valve and got on his knees.

“Don’t blow us up!” I told him. He looked up at me and laughed. He struck the match and reached underneath the heater. I heard it ignite.

“Voila!” Xander climbed to his feet, towering back over me.

“Thanks… you should take a shower too. You smell like ass. ” I smiled up at him. I have to admit. I was being a bit flirty.  Here we were alone in Max’s parents’ crowded dusty garage with flesh eating zombies outside and a pistol in the back of my shorts.  This was real romantic.

“You want to take one together? Ya know, to conserve water.” He grinned.

“Um… no.” I patted him on the chest, which felt phenomenal. I couldn’t help to wonder what he looked like with his shirt off. What was I doing? I had to stay focused if I was going to survive this.

We returned to the kitchen where Max was pouring shots of vodka. That was classic Maxine… when the times got tough she brought out the vodka.

“So I’m going to go take a bath.” I told them. “Max what’s for dinner?”

“Hey why do you get to take the first bath? And why do I have to cook?” she pouted.

“There are three bathrooms in this mini mansion. I don’t freaking care. All I know is I’m going upstairs and soaking for at least an hour.” I sighed feeling disgusting.

“You sure are a take charge kind of girl… I like the spice.” Xander chuckled with Paul.

“Uh oh… you better watch out, Liv. I think my boy Xander is in love. You are definitely his type. You see he’s a masochist.” Paul slapped Xander on the back and laughed.

“I am not.” Xander shook his head and looked embarrassed. I just stared at them silently for a while and then I took a shot. Max poured me another. They cleared their throats and took their shots.

“So… anyway. Well I’m going to take a bath now.” I took  a flashlight, a few candles and I grabbed a bottle of vodka as I passed the bar. “I’m taking this with me.” I headed back towards the entry way and grabbed my suitcase and started lugging it up the stairs.

“Let me help you with that.”Xander appeared at the foot of the staircase. He bounded up the steps and grabbed the suitcase out of my hands.

“Are you going to follow me around all night because it’s getting a tad annoying.” I told him honestly.

“Geez woman. I’m just trying to be helpful. Plus I don’t think you should go up there alone. It might not be safe.” he pressed his lips together as he stared into the darkness upstairs.

“If one of those things were up there then we would’ve heard it by now or they definitely would have heard us.” I pointed out.

“Shit what do you have in here?” He said as he started climbing the stairs.

“My life.” I laughed following him with the flashlight. “It’s funny how you can acquire so many things throughout you life but the really important things fit in one suitcase.”

“Mine in a duffel bag.” he shrugged. Once we reached the top of the stairs we made our way to Michelle’s massive room (Max’s older sister) and put my suit case on the floor next to her white leather love seat. I started to light the candles spreading them out around the room.

“Thanks… for the help.” I told Xander. “Max’s room is next door and there is another room across the hall. She’ll probably sleep in her parent’s room so you and Paul can pick from the ones next door.” I informed him.

“Okay… thanks. I guess I’ll go claim a bed.” he smiled as he left the room.

I sat on the black plush area rug and pulled off my black low top converse. I could actually see the line where the dirt stopped. It looked like I was wearing socks which I was not. I cringed at the sight realizing that I had never been so dirty in my life. I unbuttoned my shorts and pulled them off laying back on the rug, staring up at the ceiling. I was so tired. We had been running for days. Everyone of my muscles ached. I heard a rap on my door.

“Who is it?” I asked.

“It’s me.” Max said from the other side.

“Come in.” She opened the door and closed it behind her. She leaned against it and grinned looking dreamily off to the side. I sat up and hugged my knees. “What?”

“This might not be so bad. Paul is really cute. He has me rolling. I like this dude.” she said smiled at me.

“Really Max?” I frowned at her.

“What?” she walked over and sat beside me on the floor.

“That’s like the last thing on my mind.” I lied. ” What about our families? What about the zombies? The world is practically coming to an end and all you can think about is boys?” I huffed getting up and pulling off my shirt.

“I know… but come on bitch! We’ve been in a nightmare for five days straight. Can’t you be happy for the break? And don’t act cute… you know you want you some Mr. Xander. He’s like your dream guy!” she pointed out. I looked at her appalled.

“Dream guy? Hardly.” I snorted. “He is way too clingy. I don’t have time for this.” I took a candle and went into the bathroom. I started to light the decorative candles Michelle had around her bath tub and turned on the faucet. Max leaned against the bathroom door.

“We need a little R&R after what we’ve been through. We can die at any moment so we might as well enjoy it. We’re two attractive young women, they’re two attractive young men and we might be the only people alive on the planet for all we know.”

“Can you bring me the bottle of vodka?” I said as I peeled off my underwear which I was probably going to burn. She disappeared into the room and I climbed into the tub. The hot water felt amazing on my skin. I dunk my head under the water and then pushed my shoulder length curly brown hair back away from my face. Max returned and handed my the bottle as she sat on the toilet beside me. I unscrewed the cap and took a swig then handed it to her. I leaned back and closed my eyes.

“Do you think we’re really safe here?” Max asked suddenly. Oh now she was starting to worry.

“I don’t know. It seems so. I think we’ll at least be safe here for tonight if we keep low key.” I assured her patting her knee.

“I just hope everyone is okay. I wonder where they are. They’re probably worried sick. The cells are completely useless now.” she sighed taking a drink of the vodka.

“This is some super heavy shit, I know, but we just have to remain calm and stay focused. That is how we’re going to survive this Max! You were right though. I think we should enjoy the quiet but still keep our eyes and ears open.” I looked over at her and she had that familiar worried look on her face. She was deep in thought and I knew she would soon start panicking. “You should try to check the news. Go on the internet maybe there is something new on there.”

“That would be a great idea except there is no electricity.  Maybe one of the laptops has some battery life and hopefully there is some service still available. My phone is not connecting anymore.” she shook her head looking doubtful.

“I can’t believe the state of things. It’s really disconcerting. And what is the deal really with these guys? I mean they both look like Calvin Klein runway models, they’re real sweet but can we really trust them?” she asked in a hushed voice.  I began to wash my hair.

“They basically need us right now, at least that’s how I look at it. We have the food, the car, the shelter, all the supplies for survival. Not to mention Lucy.” I pointed out and then dunked my hair under the water.

“Lucy?” she asked confused.

“Yea Lucy… the gun.” I smiled now shaving.

“You named the gun?” she laughed and shook her head.

“Mmm hmm.” I nodded.

“Lucy? Why Lucy?” she asked handing me the towel as I got out of the tub.

“Why not?” I shrugged drying off. I wrapped the towel around myself. “Hey… go take a shower. You wreak.” I laughed. She looked at me startled like she was miles away and then smiled.

“Alright.” She stood up and started disrobing.

“We’ll cook after we’re all nice and clean.” I left the bathroom as I dried my hair.

“Sounds good.” she said as she turned on the shower.

I wrapped the towel around myself and started to brush my hair at the vanity.  I looked warn out. There were dark circled under my eyes and I actually looked my age. And believe me with the genes I had I at least looked 6 years younger than I actually was, 25. I rubbed some moisturizer into my skin and then put on a charcoal colored ribbed tank and some black track shorts. I heard the water stop in the bathroom and a few minutes later Max came out in a sweatshirt and some navy pajama pants with penguins. I snorted walking past her to brush my teeth.

“I guess I’ll start dinner.” she shrugged frowning.

“What? I forgot to brush my teeth.” I laughed.

“Yea… yea. Lazy bitch.” she huffed leaving the room.

I finished brushing my teeth and threw my shoulder length brown hair up into a bun. Then I walked downstairs and met up with everyone in the kitchen again. The room was lightly dimmed with candlelight. Max brought out her mother’s good crystal and tapped into her parents wine collection. She was making chicken and mixed vegetables. I sat down across from the boys who were already enjoying the wine. They had too taken showers. Both wearing tank tops, basketball shorts and flip flops. Xander’s hair was ruffled and damp upon his head. He smiled at me as he poured me glass of wine and I sort of lost myself for a moment in those deep green eyes. I almost forgot about our plight. Max plopped a plate in front of me and sat down next to me snapping me out of it.

“Sorry… I am so tired. Did you say something?” I asked looking over at her.

“Yea… I have been trying to tell you the food is ready. Where did you go?” I looked across the table at the boys who looked perplexed as they gobbled up their dinner.

“No where… I’m just really out of it.” I took a bit of the chicken. It was moist and really quite delicious. “This is great Maxie.” I complimented her.

“Thanks Livy.”she smiled. “I dabble.”

“I haven’t eaten this well in days.” Paul said as he chowed down on a chicken breast. “If I see another Twinkie I’m going to kill myself.”

“Yea… I don’t think we could convey how grateful we truly are. We had no idea what we were going to do.” Xander added smiling at me again. I wished he would stop doing that. He was going to be a distraction… a distraction that just might get me killed if I let him.

“One day at a time. We should enjoy the splendors because we will not have them everyday. ” I raised my glass, sipping my wine and shying away from Xander.

“Here… here.” Max giggled. “Anyway the army or government will figure out things and life will go back to normal soon enough.”

“Well Max… we have to be real about this. There is the possibility that it’ll never go back to normal. No one will come to save us. We will never see our families again. We have to face that!” I said taking another bite of my food. “We should enjoy the small things and just recognize we might be in a world of pain in the near future.”

“Why do you have to be so doom and gloom?” Max snapped pounding her fist on the table.

“I’m not. I’m being realistic.” I shrugged. It was the truth and they were all quiet for a while. “Really?” I looked around at them surprised that they looked like they had not known the truth until now. The whole thing frustrated the hell out of me suddenly. “Are you all that naive? ” I got up from the table. “I need some fresh air.” I left the kitchen, opened the sliding glass doors and out into the back yard. I sat down on the swing bench and lit a cigarette.

“Fresh air huh? Those things will kill you, ya know.” Xander sat next to me.

“Add it to the list.” I sighed taking a long drag.

“It’s been a rough week. You were right in there. This could all be the end. I think we’ve all been thinking what you said out loud in there. It was just a shock hearing it… out loud… get it. It sort of made it real. Maxine was just trying to be positive.” he said thoughtfully. He took the cigarette out of my hand and took a drag.

“Saying that out loud made it real. Not the freakin’ zombies or the burning buildings or fighting for our fucking lives?” I was completely appalled. “And I’m the fucking bad guy for saying the truth and bursting everyone’s bubble. We have to be clear minded and face the fact that everyone we love could possibly be dead. The only way we can survive this is to keep fighting and fuck the bullshit!” I pounded my fist hard on my thigh to push the point.

“Well it seems like we’re safe for the night. Enjoy the splendors, right?” he smiled rubbing the spot on my thigh that I pounded gently. I looked at him with a sneer but he just looked out at the view of the canyon below with a dumb grinning look on his face. He still had his hand on my thigh. I could hear laughter coming from inside. I thought about the zombies that had greeted us right down the hill and I felt a shiver roll up my spine. He looked over at me. “Are you cold?” he asked looking concerned.

“No.” I told him taking his hand off my thigh and taking another drag of my cigarette.

“You really aren’t alone in your worries, Olivia, but you are really going to have to cherish the good or else you’re going to go crazy.” he put his hand on my shoulder. “Look at my pal Paul. He knows for damn certain that his parents are kaput… gone… never coming back but yet he’s a lot like Maxine. They seem to take the good in with the bad. He couldn’t fall apart. His parents would want him to fight to survive and that’s what he’s doing… just that.”

“The funny thing is Maxine is usually the one that sees the worst in everything. She worries over everything but she’s just resorted to denial now. The one thing I have realized this week is that you have to stay on your guard because any overlook could cost you your life. I guess I could say fuck it. Let’s say I survive another week, month, year. The world is at an end. Everyone is gone. What’s the point?” I sighed and laid back in the swing and stared up at the stars.

“Liv…” Xander said turning his body towards me. He stared at me silently for a long time, just smiling softly at me. I stared at him back wrinkling my eyebrows together, getting extremely annoyed that he wasn’t saying anything. I could only make out the shadows of his chiseled face. I finally couldn’t take it any longer.

“WHAT?!?” I yelled, hearing it echo through the hills. He kissed me then suddenly. I mean really kissed me where I couldn’t move I was so stunned. His lips were so soft and I kind of just went with it for a while, letting my body relax. He put his hands on either side of my face cupping my cheeks gently.  When he finally stopped he added a little kiss upon my nose and smiled.

“There.” he whispered. “Feel better?”

Better wasn’t really the right word. I didn’t know how I felt but I involuntarily slapped him hard across the face, he nearly fell out of the swing. He looked at me in total shock and held his cheek. I covered my mouth totally shocked I had done that myself, then I burst into laughter.

“Ah… now I feel better.” I stood up, still laughing and walked into the house.

Paul and Maxine had vanished out of the kitchen. I shook my head assuming where they could possibly be. I poured myself a shot of vodka and shot it back. I looked out the window and Xander was still sitting on the swing staring out into the dark canyon. He looked like he was in deep thought and a little sad. I poured another shot.

What the hell did he expect? Did he expect that I would just fall for him instantly and everything would be peachy? What was his motives here? He obviously wasn’t thinking straight. Under other circumstances I could possibly see myself with someone like him but this was definitely not the time to think about romance. I had to think about myself. If he happened to get into trouble and become one of those things I couldn’t hesitate on killing him. It was already tough knowing that could also be Max’s fate. I didn’t want to add another person to worry about. I was really regretting picking them up now. I should have thought that through but I couldn’t just let them stay there stranded. The decision was made. I just had to remain smart about it.

I grabbed the bottle of vodka, sat down on the couch and stared at Xander through the window. I didn’t even know who this kid was and yet that kiss he gave me lingered with me despite myself. He seemed like a nice enough guy. He was definitely “my type” but this was absolutely nuts. I took a swig of vodka feeling a bit tipsey now. I watched as Xander stood up suddenly. He looked over at me through the window and gave me a very adorable half smile through the window. I couldn’t help but blush and I quickly turned around. I heard the glass door open.

“That really hurt you know.” he said sitting next to me on the couch.

“Sorry.” I shrugged taking a drink of vodka and looking away.

“It’s okay. I guess I deserved that. Where’s…” he looked around and then grinned.

“Yea…” I chuckled shaking my head. “I forgot how it felt to relax.” I smiled at the bottle of liquor.

“Tell me about it. I feel so tired but since I’ve been sleeping with one eye open lately I wouldn’t even know how to just fall asleep opposed to passing out in exhaustion. It’s so funny. The week before last my life seemed so mapped out. I had just bought a condo for my girlfriend and myself, moved out of Paul and my loft. I had gotten my first contract to oversee the design and planning of a new building in the city. Everything was almost perfect.” he reminisced.

“Oh you have a girlfriend?” I raised an eyebrow at him.

“Not anymore… we broke up a week ago. I caught her fucking someone in my bedroom one night after work.” he explained frowning.

“Wow… that sucks.” I scowled.

“Yea… I was beyond pissed off.” he shook his head.

“What did you do?” I asked leaning in closer.

“I had gotten off early that evening so I decided to surprise her and take her out for dinner at the Gaslamp Strip Club. Made reservations and everything. When I got home I kept hearing this moaning and groaning coming from upstairs. I bounded up the steps three at a time and swung the bedroom door open. There she was getting pounded spread eagle by this ginger hipster douchebag. I didn’t say a word. I grabbed the slimy bastard and beat the holy shit out of him. I just kept punching him square in the face. By the time I was finished his face was unrecognizable and my fists were swollen and bloody.” he held out his hands and I could see the now nearly healed cuts on his knuckles. “He was unconscious on my carpet.”

“Wow… what happened then?” I leaned my face into the palm of my hand.

“Then…” I breathed out. “the police came. They arrested me but once the douche came to he decided not to press charges. He probably figured he deserved it. When I got home all her shit was gone.”

“That’s really fucked.” I shook my head.

“It was probably for the best. Ashley wasn’t a very good girlfriend.” he sighed.

“Obviously.” I snorted.

“We were together for three years and I still felt like I was getting to know her. I tried to make a future that wasn’t there. The girl was a knock out though and extremely fun. We had a good time together but was that really enough to carry a relationship? It was what it was… fucking whore.” he frowned again and took a swig of the vodka.

“I’m sorry Xander.” I put my hand on  his shoulder and gave him a sympathetic smile.

“It’s alright compared to the shit that’s going down right now. It’s really irrelevant.” he smiled back taking my hand and squeezing it. I blushed again and took my hand back. “But I think this zombie apocalypse may even have it’s perks. I saw Ashley when we were trying to escape the city.”

“And…”

“And she was trapped in a car with the ginger hipster surrounded by zombies. Paul and I snuck past them. I could hear her screaming above all the God awful grunting and moaning. She had seen me and she started screaming ‘Xander! Xander! Help me! Xander I love you!’ At first I kept arguing with Paul about trying to help them but when she said those three little words… I don’t know… something happened inside of me. I was just like fuck that bitch and we continued running.” Xander closed his eyes for a moment and leaned his head back on the couch. ” We could hear them screaming as the zombies burst into the car. I never thought I could ever be capable of being so cold. I’m usually the boy next door type.”

“We are capable of a lot of things. I’ve killed so many people to survive these past few days and I don’t feel bad about it at all. It was me or them. I feel absolutely numb. I should be a bit remorseful right? But I feel absolutely nothing.” I sighed. “If anything, I feel liberated.” I looked up at him and he had this look of understanding across his face.

“I want to apologize to you.” he said suddenly.

“For what?” I asked confused.

“For the kiss outside. I just really wanted to kiss you. You looked like you needed to be kissed.” he said looking really uncomfortable.

“It’s okay. I’m sorry for slapping you.” I put my hand on his cheek and smiled before returning my hand to my lap.

“You’re a right fiery one.” he smirked. “I like you and I think it’s looking like we all are going to be together at least until we get rescued or… die. So… maybe we should get to know each other.”

“Maybe we shouldn’t. I think it would make things harder in case something did happen. I’m just being honest. I like you too but we just met and the less I know the better. I can’t risk it.” I told him getting up off the couch.

“Life is nothing but risks Liv. Where are you going?” he asked me.

“To bed.” I started blowing out the candles in the kitchen. Then I made my way back to the stairs.

“Liv?” Xander said getting up off the couch.

“Xander?” I retorted continuing walking up the steps. He began to follow me.

“This might come off like I’m just trying to get some or that I’m a pussy but I really don’t want to be alone tonight. That’s the God’s honest truth.” he told me. “I think we should bunk together tonight.”

I turned around at the top of the stairs to face him. “Sleep together?” I folded my arms across my chest.

“I mean sleep… not sleep, although I wouldn’t be opposed to that either.” he clarified grinning.

“Come on, ‘boy next door’.” I smiled turning around and walking into the bedroom. I closed the door behind us. I pulled blanket down and got into the bed. I watched Xander pull off his red tank top. He had an amazing toned body, every muscle was chiseled into his skin. His tanned skin glowed under the moonlight gleaming into the window. He grinned at me noticing me, noticing him. I laid down and pulled the covers up over my shoulder. Xander climbed into bed beside me. I could feel the warmth of his body beside me and I involuntarily quivered thinking about his amazing pecks.

“So here we are.” his voice startled me. I turned around and looked at him.

“We should really get some sleep.” His eyes were amazing, his breathe was warm and sweet smelling. Stay focused Liv and go to sleep. I turned back over and hugged the pillow. I bit my lip shutting my eyes tight. We were dead quiet. All I could hear was our breathing, then I started to hear moaning. Loud moaning and screaming. Was Maxie getting it in? I couldn’t help but laugh and Xander began to laugh too. I rolled over onto my back. I covered my face with my hands and just laughed.

“Paul is definitely the man!” Xander laughed.

“Oh yea? So what does that make you?” I smiled leaning back on my side to face him. He grinned at me then looked down at my lips. I looked down at his and then back up into those emerald colored eyes. He caressed my cheek then kissed me again so sweetly, so sensuously so all the other s words that would describe the amazing kiss in which he bestowed upon my lips. I was lost… nothing mattered except that kiss. We finally stopped letting our lips linger for a while, his was so soft like a woman’s lips. I breathed out, eyes still closed feeling completely relaxed. “Xander…” I whispered, my eyes still closed. There was the moaning again and I suddenly realized that it wasn’t coming from inside the house. I opened my eyes and Xander was looking out towards the window alarmed.  I sat up and looked towards the window also. “What is that?” he asked sitting up too.

“Shh…” I covered his mouth with my hand. I then heard screaming and someone crying for help. I hopped out of bed and peeped out the window. There was a girl limping down the street. Her leg looked like it was broken.

“Please!… Someone please help me! Is there anyone here?” she screamed. And then I saw them, two middle-aged zombies limping towards her. The male was wearing a light blue mesh button up with short sleeves, some khaki shorts and loafers. He had almost all grey hair except for two streaks of black on each side of his head. The female had two perky implants guiding her way. She was wearing a peach low cut pencil dress and some wedges. Typical OC parents. Of course she was blonde with an overboard tan. They charged after the girl who, I thought to myself, was a definite goner.

“What’s going on?” Xander asked coming up behind me and looking out the window over my head. “Oh shit… should we help her?” I looked over at Lucy (the gun) sitting on the nightstand. I weighed my options carefully. I could run out there and risk my life to save the wounded deer… not knowing whether or not she had already been bitten in which case it would be virtually pointless. Or I could just go back to bed and hope the zombies wouldn’t catch wind of the fresh meat in the house. Before I could make a decision Xander had already grabbed Lucy and was flying out the door.

“Xander!” I yelled chasing after him. I managed to beat him to the front door. I slammed myself against it blocking his exit.  “You are not wasting my bullets on that lost case out there!” I had made my mind up. “We should stay in here and be as quiet as possible.” I put my hand on his chest gently pushing him away from the door.

“She needs our help Liv. Just like you couldn’t leave Paul and me for dead, I can’t just stand by and watch that poor girl get torn apart by her parents.” Xander said anxiously. “She’s hurt bad and can’t defend herself.”

“Xander if you go out there you’re not only are putting your life at risk but all of ours. You’re just going to draw more attention to us and if there are more of those things lurking around you can be sure they’ll come after us!” I told him glaring up at him. He looked out the window past me.

“I can’t Liv… I’m sorry.” he said trying to gently push me aside.

“Wait! let’s say you  do save her…” I started.

“I don’t have time for this.” he said grabbing the door handle.

“Look at me Xander!” I grabbed his cheeks pulling his head down and looked into his eyes hard. “She is clearly badly hurt. None of us are doctors… she’ll probably just die from her wounds anyway not to mention she could possibly already be infected. It’s too much of a risk no matter which way you look at it. Your big heart is going to kill us all.”

“PLEASE! ANYBODY!” the girl screamed.

“I have to go Liv!” he finally pushed me hard out of his way and flew out of the door. He quickly shot both of the zombies right between the eyes. Their brains splattered out of the back of the heads onto the asphalt. Xander scooped up the girl and ran back towards the door which I had shut behind him. The whole event had remarkably only taken like 10 seconds max. I opened it,hesitating for a moment because I knew it was a colossal mistake and I should just leave him out there. But despite my better judgement, even though I had just met this person I couldn’t bring myself to just abandon him. Xander blew past me and I locked the door behind him. I could still faintly hear the gunshots echoing through the canyon. I took a deep breathe and then walked into the living room where Xander had put the girl down on the black leather couch.

I folded my arms staring down at the girl. She was pretty, no more than 16. She had strawberry blonde hair, hazel almond shaped eyes, small heart-shaped lips. She looked scared and sad. The tears rolled down her mascara smeared face. I looked down at her shin, the bone was sticking straight out and she was bleeding all over the couch and the marble floor.

“Liv, is there a first aid kit around here somewhere?” Xander asked me appearing back from the kitchen. He had a broom in his hand.

“What the hell are you going to do, Xander? Put a fucking band-aid on it? She’s losing a lot of blood!” I sneered up at him.

“Just get it!” he gave me the hardest, most serious look. I sighed and walked into the laundry room. I grabbed the first aid kit out of the cabinet above the washing machine bringing it back to him. He opened it up, took the big bottle of peroxide out and dumped it on her wound. The girl screamed in pain and clawed at her thighs. “Liv, please, could you like hold her hand or something?”

I sat on the arm rest next to her and held her hand as requested. The girl looked up at me with tears streaming down her face. She looked so lost. I petted her her hair to try to console her. “I feel so weak.” she said in a whisper of a voice. “Am I going to die?” She asked looking into my eyes.

“Let’s hope not.” I smiled. I heard Xander behind me frantically looking through drawers and cabinets. When he returned he had a bottle of vodka and a stick that was about a foot long. “What the hell are you going to with that?” I frowned.

Xander handed her the bottle of vodka. “Chug this and tell me if you start to feel it?’ he told her. The girl looked up at me, I guess for approval. I shrugged at her, having no idea what Xander had in mind. She did what Xander told her. We waited for a little while and she had nearly killed the bottle.

“Xander… she’s still bleeding all over Max’s floor. Are you trying to get her wasted so she doesn’t care if she dies?” I asked him totally perplexed.

“Ah… for fucks sakes… hold her hand.” He took the bottle of vodka away from her and pouring what was left on her leg. I grabbed her hand again as I watched him grab her ankle and the back of her thigh. I instinctively covered her eyes. “This is really going to hurt like hell kid. Sorry.” he said before he pulled her leg straight pushing the bone back into place. She screamed so high pitched my ears rang afterwards. “Hard part over.” Xander smiled pouring the peroxide on her leg again washing off the blood.

“Shit Xander!” I said completely grossed out. He folded up some gauze putting it on the wound, put the stick behind her knee and wrapped it all in gauze. He lifted the freshly wrapped leg up and put a couple of throw pillows underneath it. The girl moaned in pain.

“So, can you tell us your name?” Xander asked her.

“Beth…”she whispered, hardly able to keep her eyes open probably a combination of the vodka, shock and weakness from losing so much blood.

“What the …. what happened here?” Paul said staring down at the trail of blood across the marble tiles. He was just in his plain white boxer briefs. His body was also a equally as amazing as Xanders. Where the hell did these guys come from?, I thought shaking my head.

“Who is that?” Maxine asked appearing behind him.

“Beth?” I said as I unclenched Beth’s hand from around mine.

“Beth? She’s my neighbor’s daughter. What happened?” Max ran over to see the damage better.

“Her parents tried to eat her.” I sighed. ” Didn’t you guys hear all the screaming and moaning and gunshots?”

“The screaming in here is what woke us up.” Paul sat down in the couch across the room.

“Hey Max do you have any strong, preferably prescribed pain relievers… Vicodin… Norco… Oxycontin?” Xander asked as he stood up.

“I could probably find something along those lines.” started back towards the stairs.

“She’s lost a lot of blood.” he stroked Beth’s hair with his bloody hand. I looked up at him and he had this weird look in his eyes.

“Did you like use to save animals when you were little or something? I mean that was pretty amazing” I admitted. “And the way you shot that gun… I mean were you in the military?”

“No” he grinned shaking his head. ” Could I talk to you in the laundry room for a second?” he asked me.

“Uh… sure.” I raised an eyebrow standing up.

“Watch her.” he told Paul as he grabbed my hand and dragged me away,

When we got into the dark laundry room he closed the door behind me blocking me against the door with his arms so I couldn’t go anywhere. It was so dark I couldn’t see anything, all I could hear was his heavy breathing. I could feel his warm breath on me. “What?” I trying to make out his face above me. Then I felt his hands on my shoulders and he began to rub them. “Xander?” I whispered.

Xander kissed me then hard, passionately. I wrapped my arms around his neck as he picked me up putting me on top of the washing machine. I could feel him yank my shorts off and then the next thing I knew we were full on at it. He banged me wildly making the metal machine hit the wall loudly. I felt my body start to quiver as I had the most exciting amazing orgasm of my life. He held me close to me breathing heavily. My head was spinning not knowing what exactly just happened but feeling wonderful that it did.

“That was really intense.” I breathed out pulling my shorts back up and leaning my head back on the cabinet.

“Sorry, I guess, it was all that excitement. I just got caught up in the moment. It was just such a rush saving her.”  he told me. He put his sweaty forehead to mine.

“Yea, that was pretty great.” Of course I was referring to the mind-blowing sex.

“You really think so? You don’t think it was stupid?” he asked kissing my forehead.

“Of course I think you’re stupid. Now we’re going to have to take care of her. She’s lost a lot of blood and even if she does make it, she’s going to take forever to heal and slow us down. Obviously we’re not as safe in this house as we thought we were.” I told him honestly. ” But I also think you’re really brave for doing it.” I smiled.

“Don’t worry your beautiful little head about it. I’ll be responsible for her.” he sighed moving away from me.

“Think logically though Xander. Do you really want to be dragging dead weight with you running from a swarm of those things behind you? I know I am for damn sure not getting killed because of her.” I jumped off the washer and straightened myself out.

“It’ll work out. I promise.” he patted me on the butt as I opened the door and left the laundry room.

Paul and Max were sitting on the couch when I returned the living room, grinning at me. “What?” I barked at them.

“Nothing” the giggled. I was glad I didn’t have Lucy with me or I would have probably shot them both in the knee caps.

“I’m going back to bed.” I grumbled. ” Make sure the candles are all blown out and keep it down the rest of the night. We don’t want to draw anymore attention to us.” I sighed leaving the room again.

“What about her?” Max called after me.

“Ask frickin’ Captain America. She’s not my problem.” I told her climbing the stairs to bed.

Untitled Part One: On the road home

I stared out ahead into the dark highway with nothing but the headlights illuminating the road ahead. I had plowed through abandoned cars that blocked my way leaving the city behind us and the road was now clear… deserted. It was so very eerie even despite what I had gone through this past week. The chaos… the death and destruction. This wasn’t a movie or a nightmare, the dead were actually coming back to life. All I could think about was getting to my family. Thank God everything was still working. Cell signals hadn’t gone out and the internet still was available but it was only a matter of time before civilization completely crumpled. I had to get home before time ran out.

I had actually survived the havoc in the city for a week. It had amazed me that I had considering what we had gone through to escape it. God only knows how many people I have killed just today. People who were alive that got in my way and of course those who were already dead trying to eat me. I could feel the dried blood from a week of carnage clinging to my skin, on my thighs, on my arms, on my face. And to think I had never even gone hunting. After my first kill I went directly into survival mode.

Now I just drove in silence. My hands gripping the leather bound steering wheel of the H3 Hummer we had stolen. I barely noticed my best friend mumbling beside me as she scrolled through he I-phone rapidly searching the news. Her eyes darting back and forth frantically, semi having a nervous breakdown as she read the bad news. She rambled incoherently to herself as I drove the SUV at a speed of 100 mph. I had to focus on the road so that we wouldn’t lose control. I took the back road home, highway 72 to avoid the panicked masses. No one really ever used this road anymore. It was secluded, hidden in the thick of trees with twists and turns. No one really lived off the highway so it made it the perfect route to avoid people. And right now people were our greatest threat.

“Mother of shit… of course.” I sighed glancing down at the gas gauge. This gas guzzler was nearly empty. I knew I had to pull over as soon as I saw a gas station. Luckily I remembered flying by a sign that marked a rest stop ahead.

“What?” Maxine, my frantic bestie turned her attentions towards the road searching for danger.

“We are going to have to stop soon.” I informed her spotting the glow of lights ahead.

“Bitch, are you crazy? We are in the middle of nowhere. Who knows what’s lurking in those in those woods.” she shuttered at the thought.

“As soon as we reach the rest stop I’m pulling off. We’re almost on empty and I don’t want to risk it. We don’t want to have the make the journey on foot in the dark now do we?” I saw the exit growing closer. The rest stop was brightly lit. There was a gas station, a few food stands and a park, all appearing to be completely deserted. I breathed out a sigh of relief. There was a possibility that there would be no people to deal with but then again appearances could be deceiving. I pulled off and parked in front of a pump.

“Okay… what’s the plan Rambo?” Maxine inquired raising a skeptical eyebrow at me.

“Well… for one I think we should both get out of the car. You’re pretty useless but I need you to cover me just in case. I’ll do the rest.” I frowned.

“Look here bitch don’t get cute with me!” Maxine automatically jumped on the defensive. “I think you should be able to handle things by yourself!” She folded her arms across her chest and turned away from me.

“Okay.” I took a deep breathe. “We’ve been through a shit storm… we’re both tired and on edge. I’m sorry okay?”

“I’m sorry too.” She turned back to face me and smiled. We hugged. “I have a really bad feeling about this Liv.”

“When do you not have a bad feeling?” I laughed putting my forehead to hers.  We unbuckled our seat belts. “You ready?”

“I guess as ready as I’ll ever be.” She grabbed the handle of the door.

“So wait… here is the plan. Just watch my back. I’m going to go in there, turn on the gas pump, grab a few things and were back on the road.” I said unlocking the door. “Come on grab your axe.”

I jumped out of the car and grabbed the steel baseball bat I had effectively been using as a weapon out of the backseat. I returned to the driver’s seat because Max had yet to get out. She sat there gripping the handle of the axe tightly.

“Balls up Bitch!” I told her. She took a deep breathe and jumped out the car. “Okay, wait here and guard the Hummer I’m going in.” I told her. I turned to start heading towards the station but she grabbed my arm.

“Liv, please be careful.” she told me with a worried look on her face.

“I love you Maxie Pad” I laughed.

“I love you too.  And hurry the fuck up. It’s even more creepy out here than it was in the city with swarms of zombies.”

“Yea.. yea.” I rolled my eyes. “Maybe I’ll come across something useful like a shotgun.”

“Like you would know how to use one… I swear ever since we were little kids, you think you’re invincible. You’re not you know!” she frowned.

I ignored her, quickly yet quietly making my way towards the gas station convenient store entrance. I gripped the bat tightly with my left hand and pushed the glass door gently with my right. “Hello?” I called out into the brightly lit store front. If there was anyone living or dead hopefully they would make a noise. Better to deal with formalities right away. “Is there anyone in there? Please make you’re presence known. I am armed.”  Silence. I cautiously made my way in gripping the bat with both hands now.

I heard a crash coming from within the store room and then a muffled cry. Oh great, I thought. I hoped it wasn’t a freshly killed zombie. They move pretty quickly and were hard to over come since they no longer felt any pain and moved on pure adrenaline.  Rigamortis hasn’t set in with them so they moved very fluidly. Major pains in the ass. Good thing I was in pretty good shape, I was small and quick my damn self but I was so fucking tired.

I gripped my bat even tighter and walked lightly towards the store room. The white washed door had a red plaque on it that read “Employees Only”. I stood in front of the door and listened. I heard another rustle and then a slap like someone hitting there hand against the linoleum  floor. “Hello? Are you alive? Please make it known now, I am armed. ” I warned.

“Help… help me… please.” I heard a weak voice call out from the other side of the door.

“Are you okay? Have you been bitten?” I asked the mystery person.

“I’m not sure but I’m pretty hurt. I killed… I killed Renee.” the voice sounded remorseful.

I took a deep breathe and cautiously opened the door. The room was straight out of a horror film. There were two clerks on the floor. The first one, the dead one was laying face down in a pool of blood. Her strawberry blonde hair was matted in the crimson colored liquid. Her limbs were strewn about like a disregarded rag doll. The second clerk was a seemingly handsome young Indian man. He looked up at me with his big dark almost black brown eyes rimmed with thick black eye lashes. He was leaning against the white washed brick wall which had quite a few blood splatters on it. I couldn’t really tell where he was hurt. His white work polo was almost nearly soaked in blood and so was his khaki pants.  He was beginning to look pale.

The room was thrashed. Shelves were knocked over, paper tossed about, a chair was laying on it’s side on the floor, the computer was broken. I could see that there was a crowbar sticking out of the female clerk’s eye. He really jammed it in there.

“Shit…” I gasped. The man stared up at me and forced a smile putting his hands up to show that he was unarmed. I shut the door behind me. All I needed was to get ambushed from behind.

“I’ve been in here for a few days. I thought no one would come for me.” he told me, his voice barely louder than a whisper.  “I need a hospital.”

“Who was she?” I asked gawking at the corpse on the floor.

“She worked morning shift. I came in Sunday to relieve her but she attacked me. She looked really sick and I tried to help her but she attacked me so … I had to…” he looked really sad when he said this. “It was self defense though. I think she had that weird disease going around.”

“It’s called she was a zombie.” Duh seemed like it should have followed that statement but I thought that would over kill. I knelt down closer to examine the body. “You certainly didn’t go down without a good fight. Wow I’m surprised you aren’t dead yourself. You’ve been here for two days, losing blood. What’s your name?”

“Jeremy. I need to go to the hospital. Please help me ma’am.” he pushed his eyebrows together pleadingly.

“It’s Liv and I am so sorry Jeremy.” I said pulling the chair upright and sitting down. “I don’t see a hospital in your future. The hospitals are really unsafe right now. They couldn’t help you. Are you sure you haven’t been bitten?”

“I can barely feel the wounds anymore. When Renee and I were fighting she took a chunk clean out of my arm.” he raised his right arm so I could get a clear look. The wound was turning black with black veins reaching out from it. “But I think most of the blood is from the gash in my side. She’s a lot stronger than she looks. She knocked me clear across the room and I feel on an exposed nail. It sort of ripped my side. I’ve lost a lot blood but I think if I get medical attention I’ll survive it. I’ve already survived two days.” he smiled hopefully.

“You poor poor sweet bastard. Do you have any clue what’s going on out there? It’s total anarchy. As a former punk kid you would think I could appreciate that but no it fucking sucks! I had to take on mobs of those things escaping the city. You’re out here with no one around and you only had to deal with one of them.” It all seemed so pathetic to me. I’m not a very big girl, some would even call me petite and yet I have successfully avoided bite and scratches. Even Maxine, who has been completely panicky and uncoordinated throughout this whole ordeal has come out unscathed. And here was Jeremy, a good looking strong young man, tore to shreds by one female zombie. “Like I said the hospital is out and even if I could get you to a hospital before you changed into a zombie they couldn’t help you. It’s just spreading all around out there like VD at a college fraternity.”

“Zombies? No fucking way!” he said in disbelief. I nodded yes. “Shit… are movie rules applying?”

“Pretty much. New and old school. The fresh ones are quick. They move on pure adrenaline but only for a few hours. They start to stiffen and slow up after a while. I’ve been dealing with shit for almost a week now. It took us that long to get out of San Diego. So many infected. It spread like a fucking wild fire but it’s not as fast acting as the movies. They couldn’t figure out what it was but I knew exactly what it was right away. Thank God I’m a total horror freak.” i shook my head and chuckled because what else could you do in a predicament like this but laugh. “A shot to the head is the only cure.” Jeremy looked at me gravely and I realized I wasn’t being very sensitive to his plight.

“So pretty much… what you’re saying is… I’m fucked.” he frowned.

“Seems so. I’m terribly sorry Jeremy. I really am. Believe me you’re probably better off. I’m trying to get home to my family who could possibly already be dead. They haven’t answered any of my calls for the past 3 hours. I may die my damn self but all I’m pretty much running on is hope. Not to mention even if I reach them and they’re fine, then what? I haven’t thought that far ahead and honestly I can only handle one task at a time right now. It really fucking sucks!” I grimaced.

Jeremy sat there quietly. His, I’m assuming, auburn colored skin was now turning pale yellow. His lips were dry and cracked. I got up and grabbed a bottle of water off of the desk. I tossed it to him. I didn’t want to get too close to him. I felt really bad for the poor guy. He couldn’t have been more than twenty-one.

“I don’t want to be like that.” he finally choked out. “I looked into her eyes and they were empty… soul-less. I knew Renee well. We were friends and I really liked her a lot. She had such a sunny disposition all the time. Her eyes seemed to sparkle every time I saw her. And right before I killed her I looked into her eyes and that signature sparkle had vanished. Her gorgeous blue eyes were greyed over. I don’t want to be like that. I can’t be like that!” I noticed a single tear escaping his eye.

“I really wish I could help you.” I fought back my own tears. “The only thing I can think of… I could…” I shuddered to think I would have to be the one who had to do what needed to be done one way or another. I’ve already killed the living but in self defense. This would be… murder, wouldn’t it? I mean currently he was of no threat to me. I could get what I needed and bounce before he turned.

“There is a gun in the safe… a 9 mm.” Jeremy pointed a bloody finger towards the safe underneath the desk. “The combination is 6, 4, 8, 3. I punched in the combination and the grey safe popped open. Sure enough there was a black gun resting on the top shelf with 3 boxes of bullets beside it. “A cartridge is already loaded. You can have whatever else you need. There are big gas canisters in the garage. I’m sure you’ll need those too. The keys to the pumps and register are in the top drawer of the desk. Just have mercy on me please, Liv, and put me out of my misery.”

I looked down at the gun in my hand. I had never held a gun before. It was a lot heavier than I thought. I wondered if I could actually do this. I’ve played loads of video games, first person shooters with fake plastic guns at Dave & Busters and I was a good shot but this was for real. I had to actually reload the gun myself instead of just pointing the gun down. When I blew Jeremy’s head off he’d really be dead.

“Okay.” I took a deep breathe and stood up. I stepped a little closer to Jeremy and pointed the gun at his head. “Should I get closer? I probably don’t want to fuck this up, right?”

“You should flip the safety.” he informed me. I lowered the gun. “Good luck Liv! I’d hate to think of you in my position.” he frowned.

“You and me both.” I snorted. ” Do you want to say a prayer or something?”

“I already have a million times over in my head. I hope… I hope…” His eyes started to tear up. He shook his head as if to shake off his thoughts. Then he looked up at me and smiled. “I’m ready. Goodbye Liv.”

“Goodbye Jeremy.” I turned my head and squeezed the trigger. The force startled me a bit pushing me back a step. I felt his blood hitting my thigh. I couldn’t believe it. I breathed heavily with my head still turned away from the carnage. When I finally turned to look at him I saw that I had gotten him right through the eye. I sat down in the chair again and stared at the Jeremy’s corpse. I felt wet droplets hitting my forearms as I held the gun in my lap and realized I was crying. “Fuck.” I breathed out.

“What the fuck happened in there?” Maxine asked as I ran towards her with the supplies I had collected. “Was that a gun shot I heard?” I handed her the bags and she opened the back of the Hummer.

“I… had to kill the clerk. We have a gun now. I think it’s a service pistol or Beretta or some shit. It really sucks what I had to do in there but fuck if it didn’t feel amazing shooting it. I got my undies all soggy.” I lifted my shirt to show her the gun stuffed into the back of my khaki shorts. “Help me fill up the canisters and then we’ll be on our way.” I smiled at her.

“Liv… honey. You’ve lost it.” She looked at me stunned. “You killed a clerk? What the fuck? Was he a zombie?”

“No… he was bitten. He was going to change Max.” I said handing her two of the canisters. “He asked me to shoot him.”

“Seriously Liv, I have no idea how you got like this. Don’t get me wrong, I guess we need you to be like this but … you are completely fucked, you know that right? You’re enjoying every second of this and I honestly don’t know what scares me more.” Max looked at me concerned.

“Yea… I know. I’m just in survival mode Max. Don’t sweat it. I’m sure if this all dies out and we get to go back to normal… I guess I’ll go back into my normal stasis.” I shrugged.

We began filled up the canisters with gas and then put them in the truck. We then got back into the Hummer. I pulled the gun out of my shorts and put it in the middle console under the radio.

“How do you even know how to use that?” Maxine asked staring at the gun.

“It’s not rocket science, Max. You make sure the safety is off, aim and shoot. Easy Peasy.” I smirked at her. ” I have sixty bullets… well 59 bullets and I can shoot if I have to. I guess all that video game playing pays off.” I started the car.

“What if you accidentally shoot yourself?” she worried. Max was constantly worrying.

“I’ll make sure the safety is on when I’m not using it. Don’t worry so much. We have bigger problems to worry about.” I smiled at her to reassure her everything was fine.

“Last week I was worried about turning in my mid-term on time and you were stressing about your art project. I was finally feeling like we were getting our lives on track and our futures were bright. Now here we are and the only thing I’m stressing about is surviving the night. And you are totally are going all GI Jane on me.” she stared out the window thoughtfully into the blackness of the woods surrounding the road. “Not once have I thought about a boy or that my nails look like total shit or that I left my S500 behind. The things that used to matter seem so unimportant now and it’s only been five days.”

“Are you having an epiphany?” I laughed. “Well it’s been pretty quiet since we got out of the city. We’ll hit your house first and we’ll rest up there. Tomorrow we’ll check out mine.” I told her lighting a cigarette. “Have you heard from your folks or sibs?”

“No… I keep getting busy signals now. I think things are finally going to shit. Oh what if they…” she started.

“Shhh… don’t even start Max. We have to think positively. Remember the secret!” I looked over at her and put my hand on her shoulder. “We have to stay focused.” She nodded and then looked up.

“SHIT LIV LOOK OUT!!!” she yelled. I looked back towards the road. There was a man running out into the road. I slammed on the breaks. We swerved and spun. The Hummer came to a screeching halt facing the opposite direction. I looked back towards the road breathing heavily, holding my chest where my heart was thudding hard beneath my palm. The man had vanished.

“Fuck me… are you okay?” I asked Maxine who was also out of breathe still holding on to the dash board, her knuckles turning white. She nodded slowly looking up at me. “Where the hell did he go?” I said looking around.

“HEY!” Someone yelled banging on my window. Maxine and I screamed at the top of our lungs. “Hey, hey, it’s okay.”

I looked out my window. The man was tall probably  about 6″3, chestnut colored hair, emerald green eyes, blood splattered tan skin. I grabbed the gun and pointed it at his head. He threw his hands up and jumped back.

“What the fuck!” I yelled at him.

“Sorry. My buddy and I have been lost in these woods all day. Yours is the first car we’ve seen in hours. Our car broke down a couple of miles back.” he called through the glass.

“Get away from the fucking car!” I told him fiercely.

“Please… help us!” he said raising his hands up.  I looked over at Maxine who was shaking her head no. I took a deep breathe to clear my head.

“Listen Max… maybe this is colossally stupid but what if it were us out there?” I asked her seriously. She gave me a royal fuck you look but I could tell she understood. You couldn’t ever say that we didn’t have hearts.

“But Liv… they are guys. They could rape us and kill us. Take our supplies. I really don’t think it’s a good idea.” she pointed out.

“And you wouldn’t be you if you did.” I smiled at her. I grabbed the gun out of the console and then rolled down the window.

“Thank you. It’s just me and my best friend Paul.” he informed me. I stuck the gun in his face and he took a step back startled.

“Are you fucking bananas, Liv?” Maxine said digging her finger nails into my thigh. I tensed up from the instant pain and rage that filled my body. I grabbed her hand and ripped it away from my thigh.

“No… but I really hate it when you fucking do shit like that Maxine. And it’s not very wise for you to do it when I have a loaded pistol in my hand.” I said through clenched teeth. I turned my attentions back on the man. ” We will give you a lift but this here is just a warning not to pull anything funny. You would not be the first person I’ve killed with this thing. You get me dollface?” I warned him.

“I get you… I totally get you.” he smiled nervously.

“Good. So where is your pal.” I said putting the gun back into the console.

I looked out the windshield and saw who I assumed was Paul emerging from the woods. He was also tall, about 6″1, dark chocolate brown skin and a shaved head. He was built like a football player. If these two wanted to over power us they definitely could do it very easily. And under normal circumstances we’d probably let them. But this was serious business and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried. But they could come in handy when the time got tough. I couldn’t leave them. I had done too may heartless things this week.

“My name is Xander by the way.” he put his hand in the window and I shook it.

“This is Maxine and I’m Olivia…. Liv and Max for short.” I introduced us.

“Angels if you ask me.” Xander smiled as Paul handed him his duffel bag. “Paul this is Liv and Max. These lovely ladies have come to our rescue.”

“Nice to meet you.” Paul smiled a bright white straight teeth smile and I could hear Max swooning. They climbed into the back seat. “Thank you. We thought we were goners for sure.”

“Where are you two headed?” I asked as I started the Hummer again and turned it back in the right direction.

“We are headed…” Xander started but then started to chuckle. “Somewhere safe… anywhere. We didn’t really have a plan when we left. We just had to get out of the city.”

“What city?” Max asked.

“San Diego.” Xander answered. “I’m surprised we made it this far.”

“Small world, that’s where we escaped from. It’s completely fucked.” I shook my head.

“Where are you guys headed now?” Paul asked in his very deep voice.

“Orange County. Our families are there… hopefully.” I told them. ” They live in gated communities so we’re hoping they are just held up in their homes.” I tried to convince myself that made them safer.

“Ah rich girls.” Xander smiled.

“Well I wouldn’t go as far to say all that… especially in this economy.” I snorted.

“So what’s your story?” Max asked them.

“We fought our way out of the city as I’m sure you two had to do too. I’m a graphic designer and Xander her is an architect. We shared a pretty descent apartment in Downtown. When things weren’t looking up we decided to go to my folks house in Chula Vista but when we got there…” I watched Paul’s face grow grim suddenly in the rear view. “My mom and dad… had killed themselves with my dad’s hunting rifle.”

“Oh shit.” I gasped.

“That’s awful. I’m really sorry.” Max pouted.

“Yea… so we took off in my Jetta but the damn piece of shit broke down on us.” Xander continued putting his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “We’ve been walking for hours.”

“Where’s your family Xander?” I asked.

“Virginia but I don’t talk to them much. My family isn’t that tight nowadays. I’m on my own except for my friend Paul here who has been like a brother to me. His family is more of a family to me than my own.” Xander explained looking sorrowful himself.

“Well I guess you guys can stick with us until you come up with your own plan. My mom always has plenty of food and we have tons of room at our house. We can stay there until we figure out what’s to next.” Maxine told them suddenly now on board with our new road buddies. I think Paul had something to do with it.

“Thanks again for picking us up.” Paul smiled.

“It was either that or blow your heads off.” I laughed. Maxine looked at me appalled and they gave me nervous grins.

“What?” I smirked.

Life and the pursuit of I don’t know what

I haven’t blogged in a few weeks… I haven’t really written in few weeks and my life seems so chaotic. There is so much going on and I’ve been in the weirdest moods. I feel like I may be going a bit crazy… Or I’ve always been and it’s just now coming to the surface. Writing always seems to put things into perspective for me so hopefully by writing about this I will find clarity.

I recently became separated from my husband of three years and shortly there after I met someone else. Nothing too serious but I have to admit I liked him. He was fun, handsome and a total wreck. A great outside appearance with a run down inside. I sort of like fixer uppers. Lol. I think I felt sorry for him a little. On our first date he told me that he used to sell condos back in his hometown in Virginia. He had had a four bedroom home, two cars and girlfriend that he adored living with him. But one day, on valentines day of last year, his life changed for the worst. He disclosed that he never had a good valentines day ever and I already knew where the story was heading before he finished. He had decided to surprise her and come home early from work but when he arrived home he noticed an unfamiliar car parked in his driveway. He went into the house and up into the bedroom. Sure enough there was his girlfriend being banged by some other dude. Needless to say he lost it. He broke his girlfriend’s lover’s jaw and then took off to his local bar. Later shit faced and distrot he started to drive home unaware that his girlfriend had called the cops and given them his information. They were looking for him. He was caught and was charged with assault and a DUI. He spent his savings on a descent lawyer but still had to spend four months in jail. I was like man… That sucks. He was all embarrassed to tell me like I’d blow him off or something. Though going to jail is not a good look considering the circumstances it wasn’t that far fetch to react that way. I’ve reacted way worse to lesser offenses I just never got ratted out. I’m pretty much a realist. Shit happens.

So anyway, this guy, like I mentioned before, was totally fun. That’s what I wanted someone to have fun with so I wasn’t dwelling on the divorce. He kept my mind off of things for a minute. He was very sweet. He took me out. He was a gentleman most of the time and I thought he really liked me. He said he did at least. I have to admit going in I wasn’t so into him though. He was a filler… A distraction and that’s all he was going to be. He was broken… I could tell he was broken because he never hid the fact though he was very apologetic for it. He was a very heavy self medicater. But I’m not judging anyone. As long as he treated me right than that’s all that mattered. And he totally did … Or so I thought but we’ll get to that in a moment. I’m still coping with this crazy major change going on in my life. I’m back on my own again… Having to start from the bottom… It’s very stressful. So I’ve been partying a little hardcore my damn self. I guess to celebrate and mourn my past life. I’m not looking for anything serious but it was nice to have someone there and he just kind of conviently fell into my lap. Here’s where it gets completely fucked up. I’ve been seeing him for almost a month. Last week after coming home totally happy on cloud nine, excited to see him the next day (he had asked me to spend the whole day with him), I get this text from… Duh duh duh… His fucking girlfriend. Wtf? Is how I responded back to her. She proceeded to beg me to let him go. I was like whoa… It’s nothing too serious and we’re not really together.

At first I wasn’t really mad about it. For some reason I kinda saw that coming. But I was in my happy place. Reality always fucking sucks so I wanted to hold on to it as long as I could before my bubble was burst. Subconsciously I think I already knew. I mean the signs were there. I just chose to ignore them because I really really really wanted to be wrong.

As I spoke with this chick I automatically went into mommy mode right. I told her that once a cheater always a cheater and blah blah blah girl power and all that. But if she wanted a continuous world of hurt have at it. Not my problem. My dad was a notorious cheat and my mom would find out forgive but then he would do it again… Over and over until she finally said I’m done. When I look at people who are dealing with cheating significant others… I don’t mean to sound insensitive or cruel but it’s just so idiotic. Why would I want to be with someone I didn’t trust. I get the forgiveness the first time but there really isn’t any forgiveness. They turn into parole officers but worse. Both partners become prisoners. I’m not trying to be a grown man’s mother. Watching every move they make, watching their texts, phone calls, FB messages, whatever. That’s just wrong. Plus if ur shopping around u really don’t want to be with me in the first place. (I can kind of understand the sex thing… But in this sitution in particular i was more of the aggressor on that end than he was. He wanted to take me out and court. Honestly, i just don’t go banging a bunch of guys but it was just one but i really didn’t want any strings. That probably sounds horrible but it’s the truth. ) That’s really not worth it to me, to each is own I guess.

That being said if I know what’s going on… Both parties are honest I’m very open minded as long as I agree and I’m aware of the situation. I just hate being lied to. And I know what people are going to say well if you really love someone… Stopping you right there. I really fucking love my husband… Still present tense but i sacrificed my ending twenties because I loved him. I sacrificed a whole lot more than that and people in my life looked at me like a moron but I had to deal with things my way and end results… Here I am. I always say life is too short. I’d love to believe there is a heaven. I hope there is. I hope there was some point to all this. I believe in God because I am witness to it. But I think of God in a very unconventional way which maybe I’ll save that for a different entry. I am aware there is a possibility that this is it. So I gotta live my life to the fullest and just enjoy enjoy enjoy.

Okay back to the situation. I had forgotten my ID at his “apartment”. I finally got it after about a million texts telling him to just return it to me and to not be a bitch about it. Two days later I meet him near his apartment and after he gives me the ID he says nothing significant. I walked away because I had a lunch date but it completely pissed me off. And then I was in a major bad mood for a week. I feel really sorry for my friends. I text him the same day and I told him exactly how I felt. He text me back and apologized and I thought I was okay… But of course I wasn’t. Bringing us up to present day I got really drunk last night and proceeded to drunk text and FB message. So I’m not over it sue me. I got hurt and as my friend likes to say my horns came out and I turned into dazmania lol. I’m questioning everything this guy told me and even though we are so beyond donezo I hate loose ends. And I hate feeling like I didn’t get the last word. It’s stupid.

There are so many real things going on my life this is all a distraction because I don’t want to face reality just yet. But I’m thankful for all the good things that are coming my way. I’m moving in with my best friend of twenty years. It’s exciting to be single. Everything seems brand new again. I’m working on looking on the bright side of things. I dodged a bullet. Could u imagine if I actually fell for this guy? And this is why I believe in God. I needed a temporary distraction, He gave me one, and made sure it remained temporary. Thank you God! I know I’m completely nuts. But if u only knew what I’ve been going through these last few years you’d understand. I am not ready to get into that just yet. Giant gaping wound that will take centuries to close it seems like. Le sigh.

Bitches man!

Have you ever met anyone that you saw so much potential and good in but they don’t see it in themselves? They whined up disappointing you greatly to the point where you can’t even feel angry towards them anymore you just get really annoyed and then don’t want anything to do with them. You forgive them for there faults but deep down you just want to see something really horrible happen to them just so they wake up? I’ve worked hard on being able to forgive because I am far from being perfect my damn self. But what happens when you forgive a person so many times and they keep doing the same thing over and over again? What then? You still love that person and for some reason you still want them in your life but when is enough enough? It’s crazy. I don’t want to feel sorry for them. I want to help them. But how can I help when that person doesn’t listen. If I tell a person something it’s not to hurt them. It may come out harshly because being nice about it rarely ever is taken seriously. So it used to make me angry. If this person was my friend why would they want to cause so much havoc? So I learned to just let it go… no more talking… just let it go. Obviously I’m not what they need. I can only pray that they will grow one day. And maybe one day we’ll meet again when the time is right. It used to make me really sad and it would weigh heavily on me. I would feel like I couldn’t trust anyone and that it was my fault. Now… I’ve realized it’s not in my hands. I can’t play Cap’n Save a Ho as my best friend so colorfully puts it. I gotta let people live out their lives and hopefully they too will realize who they are. Or not. Not my problem. And I’m not going to get dragged down into all that. It’s draining.

It feels good to be focused on myself and the ones I love… Positive people who only want me to see me be the best person I can be. I can’t save the world.  We can’t have balls like Kick Ass… see what happened to him. Matt doesn’t need to get raped and I couldn’t lose my family over trying to do the greater good lol.

Don’t judge a book… Part One

Hunter sat at his desk tapping his pen against the open empty notebook. He knew he had to write something amazing, Rayne deserved nothing less. Hunter had been in love with Rayne since Thursday when he accidentally spilled his Irish creme latte on her at The Meeting Place, a local coffee shop he frequented to study. Her thick long mane of wavy mahogany colored hair and her brilliantly bright emerald green eyes are the attributes that caught his attention. She walked by him one day on the way to the restroom and he caught the aroma of vanilla and jasmine. Admiring Rayne from a far but never having the nerve to say anything until that day he stumbled clumsily as he passed her table opening a long conversation. They wound up exchanging cell numbers. Now that introductions were made he thought that he should move quickly to tell her how he felt. Hunter had been staring at the same empty college ruled page for the past hour. Everything that he wanted to say was coming out all wrong in his head.

Hunter felt like an idiot. What would a girl like Rayne want with a guy like him anyway. He was a twenty-two year old unemployed student who still lived and got an allowance from his parents. How pathetic, he thought biting on the end of the pen. “Mom?” he yelled out. No answer. “MOM?” He was dying for a cup of his mother’s hot chocolate (which was really Swiss Miss cocoa but she made it with steamed milk and big marshmallows with a dash of her love making it taste just right). Where the hell was his mother? His father was working late at the law firm as usual but his mother should have been home. Odd.

He stood up from his chair and walked over to his bedroom window. The rain was really coming down outside. The asphalt of the street was shiny reflecting the single street light the stood above it. It was about nine o’clock and the street had no activity because of the rain. He could see the dim lights on in the house across the street but other than that it was almost completely dark outside and absolutely quiet besides the hard rain drops hitting the ground. He had lived on Gingerbread Road all of his life. He had stared out the very same window about a million times but it had never seemed so eerie as it did now.

Blep Blep Blep. Hunter jumped as his computer beeped letting him know some one was trying to video chat with him. He grabbed his chest and gave out a long sigh. Hunter turned and looked back over at his desk. Skylar was calling him on Skype. He walked over and answered. Skylar in his dumb red baseball cap turned backwards grinned at him as he popped up on the computer screen. “Whud up Asshole!” Skylar greeted Hunter deepening his voice.

“Oh I’m just hanging out in my room. What are you up to?” Hunter plopped back down into his computer chair and gave his friend his full attention.

“Gemma Preston is having a party tonight dude. Her creepy dog roommate went home for the weekend so she’s celebrating.” Skylar informed him as he played with his hat staring down. Hunter only could assume Sky was looking at his own tiny picture at the corner of the screen.

“Alyson isn’t that bad. She’s nice.”Hunter stood up for Gemma’s roommate who he met a total of twice.

“Naw dude. I was over there one time… you know trying to get it in with Gemma…” Skylar started.

“Give it up Sky! You’ve been trying to hit that since Senior year.” Hunter interrupted rolling his eyes.

“So… what’s your fucking point. Any-fucking-who, I was over there, Gemma and I were on the couch watching the English Patient. I was in the middle of trying to cop a feel when out of no where this bitch comes out and starts yelling at us. She said every time I was in the house she felt like going to her dark place. What the fuck does that mean? I’m telling you that girl is psycho. She’s always held up in her room listening to fucking Marilyn Manson or some god awful gothy electronica shit like that. And it’s like dude, take a fucking shower once in a while. That chick freaks me out.” Skylar shook his head. In the background Hunter saw a really skinny blond girl walk behind his friend.

“You talk a lot of shit man. I’ve had a few conversations with her. Yea she’s a bit… different but she has been cool to me.” Hunter smiled thinking about the short little goth girl with red almost orange colored bob. He remembered her being actually quite sweet to him.

“Everyone likes you. You’re the boy next door type. You’re not a threat. And I know for a fact that bitch likes you.” Sky laughed.

“How do you know that?” Hunter raised his eyebrow and smirked at Skylar awaiting some sort of colorful explanation.

“Because Gemma told me, dude. She said that chick has like a creepy little shrine dedicated to you. I think she’s a witch, bro, you better watch out.” Skylar warned.

“Sky?” the girl, who had been searching Skylar’s room in the background, whined in a nasally voice.

“What’s up baby?” Skylar turned around and looked up at the girl. All Hunter could see of the girl now were her boobs. He averted his eyes away from the screen. This wasn’t uncommon when dealing with Skylar. He was just one of those douchey guys that girls just couldn’t help but fall for. Hunter had known Sky since the third grade, once they hit high school he all of a sudden became this ladies man. Hunter never really got it. Skylar wasn’t particularly a good-looking guy and frankly he treated every girl he ever met like crap but they kept coming back to him.

“Have you seen my bra?” the girl asked Skylar.

“I think it’s out in the living room.” Skylar told her. The girl leaned down and looked into the screen. Hunter realized it was Michelle from his creative writing class. He hadn’t recognized her. She flipped her hair and licked her lips. Hunter blushed and turned his head away again.

“Hey Hunter. I didn’t know you knew Sky.” she said tucking her wheat colored hair behind her ear and grinning.

“Yea Hunter and I go way back. Bitch, I thought you were going to be late or something. Stop trying to ho it up in front of my friend.” Skylar said bluntly slapping her on the ass.

“You’re a real prick, ya know that?… Bye Hunter.” she sneered at Sky and walked out of view.

“Yea… yea. I’m done with you.” Skylar waved his fingers at the girl so coldly. Hunter just shook his head. It couldn’t be helped.

“Are you going to bring her to the party?” Hunter asked as soon as he was sure Michelle was out of earshot.

“Hellz naw. Why the fuck would I bring a trick like that to Gemma’s party?” Skylar looked appalled that Hunter would even ask him a question like that. “So are you coming or not?” Skylar asked. Suddenly a loud thunderous roar came from outside. Hunter jumped and looked back towards his window. “Pussy.” Skylar laughed.

“Shut up.” Hunter sighed looking back at the computer screen. “No I don’t think so. I’m in the middle of something. Plus I really don’t want to go out in this storm.”

“It’s Friday dude! What are you doing? Do you need me to pick you up? Is your vagina okay?” Skylar laughed.

“No… I’m having writer’s block.” Hunter admitted. He picked up the pen again and looked sadly at the empty page.

“Hunt? Really? You haven’t even talked to her yet have you? Are you really brooding over writing some random girl a poem or some gay shit like that? Come out… I promise there are going to be girls there that all you need to say is hello and their panties will drop.” Skylar shook his head looking disappointed.

“As enticing as that sounds I’m still going to have to decline.  For your information I did speak with her. We had a delightful conversation yesterday and I even got her number.” Hunter smiled proudly.

” ‘Delightful conversation? You’re a trip man. So call her bitch. What are you doing? I can’t wait until your balls drop!” Skylar shook his head.

“I’m trying to figure out what to say.” Hunter sighed. A bright flash of light lit up Hunter’s room suddenly.

“Shit what was that, lightening? It looked like it struck right in the front of your house bro.”

Hunter got up and returned to his bedroom window. He peered out of it. The only street light was out. He squinted his eyes to see if he could make anything out in the darkness.

“Hunt? What are you doing?” Hunter could hear Skylar say. He took a deep breathe and was about to turn around again when lightening struck another time. He instantly put his hand up to shield his eyes. In the split second the street was lit he thought he saw a woman standing there. He cupped his hands around his eyes pressing them against the window to block the light from his room. Sure enough there was the shadowy figure of a woman standing in the middle of the street.  “Dude!” Skylar called. Hunter shushed Skylar, waving his hand to signal Skylar to be quiet. The woman seemed to be staring up at him. Hunter felt a shiver run over him. The street lamp flickered and then dimly lit the street again. The woman was gone.”Don’t shush me Bitch! What the hell are you looking at?”

“There.. I thought I saw…” Hunter turned around, not knowing what to make of it, and returned to his seat at the desk. “There was a woman.” was all he could say.

“A woman? Where?” his friend asked.

“In the middle of the street but when the street light came on she was gone.” Hunter said in disbelief.

“You need to get laid. You’re imaging chicks now.” Skylar laughed.

“That was really freaky.” Hunter breathed out.

Knock knock. “Hunter honey? I made some cocoa.” he heard his mother say on the other side of his closed door.

“Awwwww.” Skylar cooed. Hunter flipped Skylar off and Skylar began to laugh again.

“Okay Mom. I’ll be right out.” Hunter called back. “Have fun Dude! I’ll hit you up tomorrow.”

“Dueces!” Hunter closed his laptop and left to go get his cocoa.

Later that night Hunter still hadn’t wrote anything. He laid on his bed staring up at the ceiling. He didn’t feel tired. Actually he was still freaked out about seeing the mysterious woman in the street. He knew that he wasn’t crazy. She was there. He couldn’t stop thinking about it.

The rain was still pouring down outside and he could hear the loud rumbles of the thunder once in a while which made him jump every time. He felt unnerved for some reason.  Hunter sat up on the edge of his bed and stared at the window. It was black outside. Maybe he should have gone to the party with Skylar or maybe he should just try to go to sleep and forget about it. But he couldn’t sleep, every time he closed his eyes he could see the shadowy figure looking up at him. He looked at his phone… eleven thirty. Then his phone rang. It was Rayne.

“Hello?” he quickly answered a little overly excited despite himself.

“Hunter? It’s Rayne. Sorry to call you so late. I hope I didn’t wake you.” Rayne had a voice that could only be described as whimsical. The sort of voice you would imagine a sprite having yet not as annoying.

“No.. no, you didn’t wake me. H-how are you?” Hunter stuttered as he sat up against his headboard.

“Oh… I guess I’m alright. I’m calling because I was wondering… do you like me?” The question sounded odd. Was she nuts?

“Of course I like you otherwise I wouldn’t have made such a complete ass out of myself yesterday.” he chuckled.

“What are you doing now?” she asked suddenly.

“Um… I uh… I’m just hanging out in my room.” Hunter answered.

“Could I come over?” Hunter’s heart started beating hard. He couldn’t believe Rayne wanted to come by this late. Then he remembered his sleeping parents in the room down the hall. This was obviously something more than innocently playing Halo until the wee hours of the morning. This could possibly be his first booty call. But he wanted more than that.

“Um… Well my parents are home and…” he started feeling like a total loser.

“Really? Are you not allowed to have girls in your room or something? I promise I’ll behave.” she chuckled. Now he definitely felt like a loser. He thought about it for a second. What’s the worst that could happen? Skylar would probably tell him to grow a pair.

“Okay… I live on 78603 Gingerbread Road. Call me when you get here and I’ll let you in.” he told her.

“Solid… see you soon.” she hung up.

Hunter jumped up and ran into his bathroom. He checked his hair, smelled himself and after spraying on a ton of Axe body spray he decided that he was looking pretty dapper. Then he went downstairs and waited in the “fancy room” and stared out the window anticipating Rayne’s arrival.

He could barely see out of the window the rain was coming down so hard. Everything looked like a big blur. Lightening struck again and he could actually see the bolt this time. It struck the Tanbark Oak tree in front of his house taking out a branch. It fell to the ground with a crash making him jump backwards off the couch. He thought about calling Rayne and telling her he’d meet up with her tomorrow. It was really dangerous outside.  He took a deep breathe and grabbed his cellphone out of the back pocket of his cargo shorts. All of a sudden there was a knock on the door. Wow, she got here quick. She must not been that far away.

Hunter walked to his front door and looked out the peep hole. It was so dark he couldn’t see anyone. That’s weird. Why wasn’t the porch lamp on? He unlocked the door and opened it.

“Alyson?” he was surprised to see Gemma’s roommate standing on his front porch soaking wet. She just stared up at him… silently. He got a chill up his spine. Her mascara was running down her face, she was wearing all black as usual. She just kept staring up at him not saying a word. “Ummm… hey Alyson. W-what are you doing here?”

“Can I come in?” she asked in a whisper of a voice.

“Are you okay? Did something happen?” Hunter asked her. Maybe her car broke down or she was hurt and he was the nearest person she knew that could help. He didn’t remember telling her where he lived. They weren’t friends or anything. He had only talked to her twice ever.

“Can I come in?” she repeated.

“I’m kind of expecting…” he felt bad to keep her out in the rain. “Yea… come on in.” he sighed stepping aside so she could walk by.

Alyson was dripping all over the tan marble flooring. She just walked by and then stood behind him while he closed the door. Still not saying a word she removed her long black trench coat and then took off her red and black striped fingerless gloves.  Underneath that long trench was a ratty Nine Inch Nails concert tee, a long layered black skirt and some red hi top converse. She didn’t look like she was hurt.

“So… Alyson… What is up?” he smiled at her nervously not knowing exactly what to say. She was still staring at him not saying a word. After a few moments he then said ” I don’t really know why…”

“I wanted to see you.” she said in her monotone voice.

“Oh yea, for what? It’s like nearly midnight and I kind of am expecting someone so… is it important? Did something happen to Gemma?”  He couldn’t think of any other reason why she would show up at his house late at night. And why couldn’t she have just called.

“Do you have anything to drink?” she asked and then she gave him a weird awkward Cheshire cat smile.

“Um… sure.” This girl is so strange, he thought. “You can come back here into the kitchen with me. We have an assortment of beverages.” he laughed nervously walking back into the kitchen. She followed him closely. He could hear her converse squeaking. “So what do you want? Something hot? Something cold? A soda?”

“Do you have any beer?” she asked sitting down at the kitchen table.

“Um… sure.”  Hunter opened the refrigerator door and grabbed two Blue Moons. He sat down across from her and slid the beer over to her. She took a yellow Bic lighter out of her pocket and then popped the cap off. He watched as she chugged the whole beer back releasing a satisfying gasp when she was done. “Whoa.” he said in disbelief. “Okay… so are you going to tell me what’s up? Like I said I am expecting someone and…”

“I saw you.” she said suddenly.

“Huh?” he raised an eyebrow at her.

“I saw you in your window.” she told him staring at him blank faced.

“That was you out there earlier?” Thank God, he thought, he wasn’t crazy. But ew creepy. Why the hell was she standing out there like that? Then Hunter thought about what Skylar said earlier about Alyson have some sort of shrine to him. Was she stalking him?

“I like to watch.” she said and then gave him that eerie smile again.

“Alyson… I’m not going to lie you are sort of creeping me out.” Hunter said honestly. He took a sip of his beer.

“Do you like me?” she asked.

“I-I… I think you’re a nice girl but…” What the hell was he supposed to say? Was he supposed to be flattered or something? He just wished she would leave.

“I like you.” she said and then blushed which was the most human thing he had ever seen her do. He couldn’t help but smile at this.

“That’s real sweet Alyson but I have to be honest I like you as just a friend. I don’t want to lead you on because that wouldn’t be fair and if I have some how lead you to believe that I do, I apologize. I actually like someone else. She’s on he way over here.” Hunter thought that if he was clear she wouldn’t be hurt.

“Who is she?” Alyson’s smile faded and she looked down grimly.

“Um… just this chick I…” His phone rang again it was Rayne. He put his finger up to Alyson to give him a minute. “Hello?”

“Hey you. I’m outside. It’s really coming down out here. Can you let me in?” Rayne asked. Hunter got up and jogged to the door.

Rayne stood there smiling brightly at him under her pink and purple cheetah print umbrella. She looked absolutely beautiful in her short floral tank dress and some leather hot pink flats. Her hair was done up neatly in a bun on the top of her head.

“Well are you going to let me in or are you going to just stand there undressing me with your eyes? I’m sort of freezing my ass off out here.” she grinned.

“Oh… sorry.” Hunter stepped aside to let her in. She stepped in and shook her umbrella off closing it. She put her umbrella in the ivory elephant shaped umbrella holder by the door.

“Hi” she smiled holding her hands behind her back.

“Hi” he sighed smiling back at her. Hunter couldn’t believe she was actually here. He just stared at her grinning dumbly.

“What?” she giggled nervously.

“Oh… nothing. You must be cold. Do you want me to make some hot chocolate or coffee?” he asked her gesturing towards the kitchen.

“Sure… that actually sounds amazing. Do you have the kind with the marshmallows?” Rayne asked cheerfully taking his arm.

“As a matter of fact my mom just made some earlier. I’ll warm us up a cup.” They walked back into the kitchen where Alyson was still sitting now drinking Hunter’s beer. “Oh.” He had totally forgot about her. “Shit… sorry… Rayne this is Alyson. Alyson… Rayne.” He introduced them.

“I didn’t know you had company.” Rayne said looking at Hunter confused.

“Yea well Alyson kind of just popped by. Did you need anything else Alyson?” he asked trying to hint to her that it was time to go.

“You’re just like him. So superficial.” Alyson frowned tearing the label off the cold beer.

“What? Who am I like?” Hunter asked.

“I can come by tomorrow if I’m interrupting something here.” Rayne let go of Hunter’s arm and took a step back.

“No…. no. Don’t go.” Hunter grabbed her hand maybe being a little too zealous.

“He wants me to go. I’m not pretty enough for him.” Alyson stood up quickly pushing the chair back so that it made a loud dragging sound across the floor. She started to walk past them angrily but then stopped right next to Hunter and looked up at him. He could see fire behind her eyes. “You’re just like him.” she repeated and then stomped away. He heard the door open and then slam shut.

“Whoa what the hell was that?” Alyson asked.

“She’s my friend Gemma’s roommate… she just showed up here.” Hunter said kind of in a daze.

“Okay… so how about that hot chocolate?” Rayne smiled at him.

This girl was amazing! Hunter thought to himself as Rayne laid across his bed and singing the lyrics to Digital Bath by The Deftones perfectly. He had found out that she shared his love for Independent films, Coffee Ice Cream even microwaving it just a little to get the perfect consistency, she had watched every episode of the Boondocks and her favorite character was Riley and her favorite actor was Jack Nicholson. They had so much in common. It was like she was created just for him. He watched her as she sang with her eyes closed. Wow.

Rayne sat up and wiggled her finger at him to come over there. She patted the empty space on the bed beside her. He got up and went to her. She wrapped her arms around his neck pulling him down to lay next to her.

“Could I spend the night?” she asked yawning. “It’s pretty late and I can’t even fathom trying to stay awake while driving in this weather.”

“Um… sure. I’ll get you something to wear.” Hunter got up and grabbed a t-shirt and some Paul Frank pajama pants that were too small for him out of his drawer. She took them and went into the bathroom.

Hunter couldn’t believe it this was turning out to be the best night of his life. He turned off his computer then striped down and put on a tank top and some sweats to sleep in. He climbed under the covers. Rayne came out of the bathroom and jumped into bed with him. She snuggled up to him. He hesitated at first but then put his arm around her.

“I’m glad I met you” Rayne smiled closing her eyes. “I was starting to give up on men all together but your like absolutely… perfect.”

“Me?” he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. She sat up and looked into his eyes. She was so lovely he couldn’t help but smile.

“Yea you.” she put her index finger on the tip of his nose and wiggled it. Then she kissed him. Her lips felt like two soft satin pillows, he thought. Had he died and gone to heaven? She laid back down on his chest and closed her eyes. “Good night Hunter.”

“Yea… Good night.” he smiled and closed his eyes.

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