Status: Ongoing

Starting Over

Following A Hot Stranger

You whip your head around and come to face the end of a crossbow.
"What?" You ask a little too harshly as you adjust your eyes to look at the man on the other side. His blue eyes collide with your own with pursed lips. His face gives away nothing as he commands you to stand.

It's somewhat of a struggle, but you endure the pain as you lift your right arm in the air and leave your left limp at your side. He suspiciously looks at the red stained cloth on your arm, "You bit?"
He doesn't seem to falter as you shake your head.

"Shot." You say with anger evident in your voice.
"Got anythin' on ya?" He asks with his thick southern accent apparent. You know he's referring to weapons and see no reason to lie. He could easily put an arrow in your skull before you could even reach for your knife.

"An unloaded pistol and two knives." As you throw them down in front of you he makes a show of looking you up and down. You guessed you looked pretty damn terrible, currently wearing tight blue jeans that were ripped at the knees (thanks to your fall earlier) paired with clay covered converses.

Your black tee was shredded at the bottom showing off some of your flat stomach when you stretched up. Any hair not pulled up in your ponytail had to have looked dirty and very uninviting. The thing that stood out the most had to be the large amount of blood all over your body though. He probably thought you looked like a crazed lunatic.

He, on the other hand, looked quite well taken care of. He wasn't a hundred percent clean per say, but he was definitely in better shape than you. You actually couldn't help but notice how attractive he was despite the circumstances. Especially in that leather jacket.

Damn...those eyes weren't helping either. You're pulled out of your thoughts as his attention shifts to the duffel.
"What's in the bag?" He tilts his head in the direction of the open case making you turn to look at it momentarily.

Looking back at him, you shrug your shoulders being a little stubborn.
"Don't bullshit me. You were obviously searchin' for it."
How long had he been watching you? It was a bit unsettling to think of someone tracking you. You hadn't even put it into thought that he might be from the group that attacked you. Having that now in mind, you become protective and alert.

"Why should I tell you?" He looks plainly irritated as you turn the questions on him.
"Maybe cus I got a bow pointed at yer face." Well, that was a valid point. You could tell he was going to be a hassle to deal with.

"Are you from that group?" You seem to catch him off guard as confusion flashes across his face.

"What group?" He sounds honest, but you were still a bit hesitant.

"I..I had a platoon of men just yesterday. If you saw what was out there, you could tell it wasn't the infected that did them in." You explained as you pointed off to the open ground littered with bodies.

"Well, what did then? This group ya think I'm in?" He looks just as suspicious as you do, not fully believing you.
Looking around and blowing out a sigh you continue, "Some man called the Governor came in and told us he found one of our guys."

You look at his face and emphasize how hard it was to say this, "Then...then he pulls a gun out and shoots my best friend in the chest." You look down trying to push the image of Callahan's body out of your mind.
"Next thing I know we're surrounded, and I'm the only one left. I managed to escape, but was followed by a herd of zombies. Taking shelter in a tree I passed out and eventually woke up and came back here." You breath out all at once as you fight the tears. After actually saying it you realized how lonely you were now. The last one left.

He looks intrigued and a bit perplexed as to how you were still alive. Somewhere along the story, he lowered his weapon and now stood leaning against a tree. He obviously didn't see you as a threat least at the moment.

"Don't know no one named the Governor, but he sounds pretty bad." You scoff and finally put your tired arm down. "He's worse than bad. The bastard is sick." He seems to grow more and more docile around you as he lifts an eyebrow in inquiry.

You briefly remove your hat and push back any loose hair with your hand and then put it back on while sighing. "It was a fuckin' massacre. He killed a dozen military trained men without even blinking. I don't see how those people could have followed along like mindless dolls."
Despite the explanation, he still seemed to not trust you as he remembered the situation and narrowed his eyes. "Still haven't told me what's in the bag."

"Why should I trust you? You could be lying." You say with wariness as you concentrate on his finger only a centimeter away from the crossbow's trigger.

"Why the hell should I trust ya either?" It seemed like you were at a stand still, but he was obviously in charge. "Now tell me. What's in the bag?" He said sternly while getting a better grip on his weapon.

You waited a minute after looking into his unrelenting eyes. He was going to figure it out either way, so why not make it easier and oh...yeah, not get killed.

With an annoyed sound, you turn and bend down picking the bag up. You throw it at his feet as he looks a bit startled at your sudden movement. "See for yourself." His expression becomes irritated as he kicks it back toward you.

"Just tell me. I'll believe ya this time." You subconsciously roll your eyes, "There's a few weapons, some ammunition, a first aid kit, and enough food and water to last two days. Ya' happy now?"

"Just peachy." He says with a smirk. This guy was seriously getting on your nerves. His attitude toward you was exausting and the heavy accent was kind of annoying. Yet you found yourself feeling something else. He was too good-looking for his own good and it pissed you off even more.

Suddenly the sound of groaning draws your attention as well as his. A zombie appears from the thick brush and staggers toward the two of you. He easily puts it down with one shot and goes over to retrieve the arrow.

"There will be more soon." You say as he walks back to you. With an annoyed expression he grabs the bag and hefts it over his shoulder. He begins to walk off gaining a shocked exhale from you.

"You're just going to leave me here without any supplies? What the fuck! Everything in that bag is mine."

He stops and lets out an exasperated sigh as he turns and approaches you. "I got a camp not far from here. Ya can come if ya promise not to try anythin'." You look at his face with a bit of disbelief but decide you have no choice.
"Do I at least get a knife for protection." He gives you a don't-push-it expression before turning around and continuing. "You still don't trust me do you?"

"I just met ya'. Of course I'm not gonna trust ya'." You'd actually completely forgot for a minute that he just had his crossbow aimed at you. "Good point." You look down with furrowed brows at the branches you stepped over.
"I think the blood loss has started to affect my judgment. I probably wouldn't have trusted you this quick either." He looks back at you for a moment and glances at the blood stained cloth.

"You needed that kit didn't ya?" He refers to the small clear box with a red cross over it in the bag. Suddenly you remember that was the main reason you were there. "Yeah. I can't believe I forgot."

You've come to a sudden halt as he throws the bag onto the leaf scattered earth. "Ya' need to do somethin' about that bleeding. Walkers can smell it pretty far." He says as he rummages through the bag.

"Walkers? Is that what you call them?" You inquire while he tosses the box to you. "Well, yeah. What do you call 'em?" When you open the case you thank Jameson for putting the small bottle of Aleve in there. You also notice a few strong sleeping pills that reminded you of Johnson's addict problem.

"We just called them infected or zombies." You gain a chuckle from him as he looks up from going through the bag. "Zombies? Seriously?"
Shaking your head you smile, "Well technically that's what they are. You never played those video games with flesh eating people?" His face goes cold as he looks off into the trees. "Didn't have a very privileged childhood."

You dropped the conversation and just continued patching yourself up. When you finished you walked over to him sitting indian style by the bag and smoking a cigarette. He took the box and set it back inside.
"Smoking's bad for you." You gain a chuckle as he extinguishes it in the soft soil. "Can you hand me a bottle of water?"

He complies and hands it to you. Taking the bottle you then swallow down the two pills you had kept. You were hoping that they would help somehow relieve the pain. Keeping a respectable distance you questioned him further. "Is it just you in this camp?" He starts to stand up silently and continues on the path.

"You're not much of a conversationalist, huh?" His silence is more than enough of an answer. "At least tell me your name? Mine's Y/N" You hear an inaudible mumble and step a little closer.

"What?" He turns his head slightly, "My name's Daryl." You can't help the slight smile that spreads across your face as you feel victorious. Leaving it at that you both walked on quietly.

As the walk continued you began to notice the lack of infected in the area. You actually hoped that a majority of them followed that herd North, but you knew you couldn't rely on that.
You're abruptly brought out of your thoughts though as you and Daryl exit the woods onto a gravel road. Looking both ways you see no infected and follow behind him as he makes his way up the road.

Further up, the low sounds of walkers could be heard. Daryl motions to the edge of the trees behind cover. Both of you scout from the treeline and count about five aimlessly walking in the direction you were headed. You hear a disheartened sigh escape him as he reaches into the bag.

Before handing you the large hunting knife Daryl gives you the don't-try-anything look and tilts his head toward the small group. You take it with an understanding nod and you two proceed to take them out.

Daryl manages to shoot the two farthest from you as you swiftly thrust your blade into another's head. It goes down easily as you hear the crunch of bone. You continue to the next as Daryl reaches the third.

It's a bit on the heavy side, so you use your weight to push it down and drive the knife into the top. The skull is too thick though, and you're left struggling to remove it. The walker's arm flies up and swings against your left side causing you to wail in pain.

Without warning, a sixth one appears and makes its way toward you. In a panic you look over to see Daryl dealing with two of his own. There were more than you thought and it was starting to look badly.

As the zombie gets closer and closer you somehow dislodge the blade and jam it into the other's eye. It goes limp and you jump up just as the other reaches you. With one quick lunge you shove the knife deep into its temple and it drops to the ground.

You look over and see more coming up the road. A lot more.
"Hey! We need to go." You look at him panting above the three bodies and can't help but notice how his muscles flexed each time he breathed in. He then looks up at you with those eyes and you almost falter as you grabbed your knife.
Without another word you both take off.

You begin to come into view of a large fenced in building. A prison? It was genius! Nothing could get through three fences and solid concrete walls except a tank, and you were pretty sure walkers couldn't even operate a flashlight.

As soon as your hopes are lifted though they are destroyed. There had to be at least twenty zombies between you and the gates. Without stopping Daryl turns and yells to you to keep running. "Are you crazy?" He seems to not acknowledge you as he sprints ahead while waving his arms at someone behind the gate.

Bodies begin to suddenly drop left and right as shots are fired from one of the towers. You start to believe you can actually make it. Then out of nowhere a hand flies out from one of the fallen bodies and takes hold of your ankle.

You fall to the ground on your chest making your sight blur. The pain was finally reaching its max as your body rejects any more effort. Within one minute you black out, expecting to never wake up again.