Sequel: Their Rebellion

When the Sun Goes Down

Comfort In Others

I was curled up in the driver's seat of my car, cigarette between my lips and map in hand. My present goal was only to find a camp where we were hidden deep within South Carolina's woods. The attack that had presented itself two days ago only proved that the infected were able to find us again. I felt my eyes droop and remain heavy from the lack of sleep I had gotten. I seemed to be on red alert as of late and couldn't find the time to relax.

Relaxation was pulled from my vocabulary after Romeo had been sadly taken away from us. Connor and Murphy may not blame my mistakes for the loss of Romeo, but I knew deep down inside that I could have done better. If were had stayed further away from any cities or towns, Romeo would still be with us today. I yawned quietly and felt the corners of my lips pull up into a small smile. A large patch of greenery on the map showed no civilization and plenty of room to camp.

A small river was placed along the woods, giving us a large supply of water. I pulled once again from my cigarette and flicked it away. I was quick in finding Mama and explaining the new plan. It seemed as though everyone agreed and before I could recieve any doubts, we were ready to leave. Mama and Abby had been using the day light to pack up our things over the past two days, so throwing everything in the cars was not on our list.

I pulled open my back door and unzipped my duffle bag. I had few pairs of clean clothes left and knew I needed to keep them as long as I could. The Virginia heat only licked at my tanned skin, so I knew I was in desperate need for shorts and a spagetti strap shirt. I hid behind the open door as I slipped into my new clothes. I felt refreshed, but still incredibly dirty from the sweat and sun. I pulled my hair back and tightly wrapped it into a tight pony tail.

I was used to the heat, but when you couldn't step inside for a cool shower or dip into the pool, it seemed unbearable. I closed the back door and popped my trunk, where I found multiple boxes of ammo and guns. I pulled my forty caliber gun from the hem of my pants and slid the magazine out. I had a few bullets left, so reloading was the smartest thing to do. I followed through and replaced the gun within my shorts. I jumped slightly when a hand rested itself on my shoulder.

I turned, finding the beautiful blue eyes of Murphy. I offered him a smile as he asked, "Ya ready to go?"

"I'm all ready. I suggest loadin' your weapons in case we hit a snag."He nodded his head lightly and let his eyes roam to the woods.

He removed his hand from my shoulder and went to turn. I don't know what went over me, but I grabbed hold of his large hand. He looked back and I tried to form some sort of happiness for him.

"He's okay, Murphy."The corners of his lips pulled into a sad smile."I promise nothing like this will happen again."

"S'alright, Adrienne. I'll see ya when we get to camp."With a quiet sigh, I reached out and pulled him into a hug."Ya'lright?"

"I'm fine."I pulled away and patted his shoulder."Be safe, ya hear?"

"I hear."He chuckled."I'll see ya soon."

Murphy walked away as Mama and Abby came to the car. They quickly climbed into the back seat as I reached in for the radiator fluid. I could almost hear Romeo in my head, telling me to replace what little I had in the car. When it was all said and done, we were on the road once more. We listened continusouly to my cds, which were quickly getting old. When Disturbed started to play over the radio, I quickly went into thought. What happened to my favourite bands?

Where they sitting in a remote island, sipping peacefully from a Margarita? Or were they roaming their city streets, mauling survivors and digging through already deceased bodies? I shivered under my thoughts and shook them from my mind. The trip to South Carolina was only a few hours, leaving us to stop four times to fill up on gas. Two of the stations were all out, giving me the impression that we would have to walk. I was more than grateful when we found two stations with the fuel.

I drove down the long, bare roads of South Carolina and looked intently for the long dirt path I needed. We were only seconds away from pulling in to our new salvation. No towns were near by. The cities were even further away. It gave me a sense of comfort, knowing that people would have a hard time finding us. A smile sprawled itself across my face when I made the right turn onto the road. Mama looked up with tired eyes; she had fallen asleep nearly half way here.

"We here already?"She asked.

"Already? I've been drivin' for hours, Mama."I joked.

The van and Sean's SUV followed close behind. I stopped the car when I knew the other two had plenty of room to block the path, and emerged from my car. The large open dirt lot gave us plenty of space, as well as a small walking path toward what I believed to be the river. I killed the engine to my patrol car and woke Abby from her sound sleep. She wiped her tired eyes and gave me a toothy grin. It was a new start for everyone and it made me feel good.

I didn't feel half as happy as I should, knowing we were one man short, but I put on a happy face. Mama, Sean, Noah and I began setting up a small camp within the first few minutes we were there. Connor and Murphy stepped up to the group and stated smoothly that they were going to circle our surroundings. It was more than necessary to make sure we were alone. Noah looked up at his sons before giving Mama and I a fatherly stare. In such a polite voice, he said, "Will ya lass' be alright alone fer a few?"

I looked up at Mama as I tried to set up a small fire. The sun was begining to go down. I shrugged my shoulders and looked back at Noah.

"It's alright, Noah. Sean and I can hold down the fort. Go right ahead."I smiled.

"Da, we got this."Connor frowned.

Noah stood from his position and snaked his trench coat from his shoulders. I was surprised to see he was still wearing the coat. Connor and Murphy rid of their coats and had them sitting in the van the past few days. He gently set it down and replied, "I need to talk to ya boys. A heart to heart, if ya may."

"No, Da, we're -"Murphy began.

"I insist."He wrapped his arms around their shoulders and walked them away from the group. I looked up at Mama and whispered, "He's goin' to comfort them. They're so upset."

"I know,"Mama frowned."but they'll be okay."

"I hope so."I gasped when the small fire sparked to life."We have life!"

Abby chuckled loudly before sitting down on one of the logs Sean and I dragged in. I threw small twigs into the fire and stood up. I placed my hands on my hips and smiled down at the first fire I had ever brought to life. I turned to the group and said, "I have some left over food in the car. I'll cook it up for you guys."

While the boys checked out our surroundings, I had made sure to put aside enough food for the three of them. They came back, but even though I had mentioned food, they shrugged their shoulders. Connor and Murphy replied that they weren't hungry and stepped into the van. I looked up at Noah, who gave me a sad sigh. He sat beside Mama and I and picked up the medium amount of beans I had put aside for him. He looked at me and asked, "Give them a lil' while, girls. They'll be okay."

Mama gently placed her hand on my knee and said, "Why don't you go talk to'm, sweetheart? You're very close in age."

I frowned slightly, knowing that my comforting words weren't much help. I had told the boys multiple times I was there for them. They simply needed alone time to weep. They needed eachother, and the simple comfort of a woman wouldn't be much. I was no mother to them and they knew that. If anyone should talk to the twins, it should be Mama. Her words were so comforting and helpful that it changed anyone's mood into a good one.

"I don't know, Mama."I said softly."I don't think -"

"It's worth a shot."Noah commented."'Sides, yer the only one they've befriended."

"They barely know me, Noah."I frowned.

"The boys aren't as strong as ya may think, lass."Noah spooned some of the food into his mouth and sighed."I don't ask fer much, but I will ask ya fer this one favour. Just this one time."

I put my head down and out of guilt, agreed. I picked up both Connor and Murphy's food and got to my feet. I walked away from the group, trying desperatly to find a group of words I could tell them. I wasn't one to give much comfort or help. I was there with a gun and ready to shoot the bad guys. As I walked up to the van, I gently kicked at the door. Within seconds it slowly began to open. Connor and Murphy looked up at me and gave me a warm smile.

"Do ya need anythin'?"Connor asked.

"I came baring food and smokes."I chuckled.

"We're not hungry, but -"I stepped into the van and plopped down in between the brothers.

"You're hungry now."I dropped the food in front of their laps and playfully glared in their directions."You boys need your strength. It's not much, but I managed."

Connor let out a low chuckle before reaching down at the beans. Murphy followed quickly after him and they both began spooning the food into their mouths. When they finished, I reached into the pocket of my shorts and pulled out my pack of cigarettes. I stuck one in between my lips and shoved the pack in their direction. With quiet thank yous', they took one from my hands. A light was passed around and within a short amount of time, the three of us were conversing amongst ourselves.

I began to listen in as the boys spoke about their memories with Romeo. Murphy let out a loud chuckle before saying, "'Member when we first met? Scared the piss outta'm! Thought ya were gonna shoot'm!"

I laughed quietly as Connor began shaking his head.

"Aye,"He sighed."he was a crazy spick, but with good intentions."

"He wanted in so bad."Murphy looked in my direction."He had to prove'mself."

"That's understandable."I smiled.

The twins grew quiet before staring down at their covered feet. I let a frown come to my lips and gently placed a hand on each of their knees. I wanted to go back in time and shove Romeo into the van. I wanted to make sure he had someone by his side so his death could have been prevented. I felt my eyes warm up and knew I was begining to cry. I was happy that the back of the van was fairly dark. I wiped at my eyes and whispered, "I'm sorry, boys."

"Sorry?"Connor asked."What fer?"

I bit down on my bottom lip, preventing myself from breaking down. I wanted to curl up into a ball and never see the light of day again. If it weren't for Mama, I wouldn't be here. I would have taken the cowards way out and thrown my life away. I choked back a sob as I whispered, "For gettin' us into this. I didn't mean to have any of this shit happen to us."

I took a drag from my cigarette and felt the light burn at the back of my throat. I was begining to remember why I started smoking in the first place.

"Adrienne, it's not -"I shook my head and rose my hand to Murphy's face.

"No. It is my fault. If I had just taken the extra time to hide ourselves away further into the woods, Romeo would still be here with us today. Romeo would be sittin' back with us at the fire, jokin' and callin' me country girl again. I just want to go back in time and change it all."I whimpered."I want to,"

I wiped my hand down my face and shook my head. I was begining to break, which was the last thing on my mind. I cleared my throat of my shakey voice, but before I could speak, Connor cut me off.

"Don't put this on yerself, Adrienne."He seemed so serious and caring.

"This is not yer fault."Murphy glowered."We had to survive the horde. We did are best. Ya did yer best. If this shit stays on yer shoulders, yer gonna go crazy."

"We tried."Connor stole a pull from his cigarette before pushing it out on the aluminum ground of the van."We all tried, but in the end, Romeo was the short man out."

"Don't apologize fer somethin' ya didn't do."Murphy said."I wont hear anymore of it."

I leaned up against the side of the van and nodded my head in their direction. As much as I tried to make the boys understand how I felt, I knew I wouldn't get into their heads. I wiped at my wet eyes and brought my knees to my chest. I took the last drag of my cigarette before pushing it out into the ground. I stayed quiet while the boys eventually started to talk amongst themselves. I think it was because I had gotten so little sleep, but within a few moments, I fell asleep along the van floor.
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The next chapter is in Mama's pov. :D