"I never lived where it snowed," Landon murmured. "The shower tent," he continued. "I had this paranoid feeling that one of the girls was going to follow me in there and see my scar."
"Maggots," I supplied with a shudder.
"You prefer your undead to look like beef jerky?" he asked me, his fingers toying languidly with my hair.
"Did you notice no one ever ate jerky in our crew?" I asked him, snuggling closer to his chest. "I used to eat Slim Jims, when I'd just come down from Canada, and the kids in the convoy talked me out of it 'cause it grossed them out to watch me chew it."
"That's disgusting," he snickered. "You ever seen the ocean, Lynnie?"
"Off a cliff in Washington State," I murmured. "They walk up out of the water. Fuckers don't need to breathe."
Landon made a small choking sound of disgust that he tried to hide with a fake cough. "So that screws any daydreams I may have had about going home," he muttered.
"They rot faster, though," I told him, "and I think the fish help them along some. They look like the cursed pirates in that Johnny Depp movie. Mostly bone. Easy to take out." I figured it'd be better to disgust him a bit more then, seeing as the last bit was fairly good news.
"Easier than dried-out desert dudes?"
"A little, yeah. You just have to get them in the head, same as always."
"I'm picturin' you in a bikini with a machete in your hand…" Landon said, teasing but probably actually enjoying the visual.
"One-track mind, I swear," I teased him back.
"A man can dream, Hell-Kitten," he chuckled. "Oh, yeah… I won't miss girls that stopped shaving," Landon remarked.
"You boys mostly stopped shaving, too," I pointed out, nuzzling the soft, days-old stubble under his chin with my nose.
"Yeah, well, it stings to shave your face a lot in the desert. I just wish the ladies had kept up their legs and underarms. The rest is fine by me, but I don't dig feeling up a chick that's almost as hairy as a guy." I burst out laughing, burying my face in his chest to try to stifle the volume. "Of course you think it's funny. You're one of like three women who bothered not to look like monkeys."
"How would you know?" I asked him suspiciously.
"Come on, Carolynn, no girl does her armpits religiously and neglects her legs. Especially one who has a steady guy," he explained. It was funny how he analyzed even imprudent things logically.
"You are such a pain in the ass, O'Connell," I said with a chuckle. He had a smug little smile on his face. "Do you have any idea where we are, Landon?" I whispered after a minute or so.
"I'm not sure." He pondered the question for a few moments before replying. "Some kind of a bunker, maybe. Relic of the Cold War if we're still Stateside, but what use would Canada have ever had for bunkers?"
"For the Zombie Apocalypse, of course," I tossed back, mostly jokingly. "Duh."
"It is, you know," Landon murmured. "They called it a Doomsday Outbreak."
"The whole world, then?"
I nodded. I'd always figured as much. "Carlo was hoping…" I whispered.
"Well, sometimes hope is all a man has, Sugar."
* * *
I had fallen asleep and was rudely awoken by rough, gloved hands. My first instinct was to fight back, and I fell to the floor as the soldier behind me took the heel of my right foot in the crotch.
I got to my feet and held my hands up in surrender. "Sorry!" I said as another man took hold of me. "He surprised me. I thought he was a Red." He didn't loosen his hold on me, but he nodded curtly, understandingly. Behind me, Landon was being strapped to the bed. "Don't fight, O'Connell," I called to him. "Please?"
"Okay," he conceded, still breathing heavily. "All right. I'll stop. Do it." I heard the unmistakable sound of leather on leather as they strapped his arms down, then a moment later I heard him start to struggle again. "What the hell! What are you doing that for? Don't touch me, you sick fuck!"
"Doctor Baker," I said as calmly as I could, without fighting to turn to look, "what exactly are you doing to him?"
"We need a sample," he replied indifferently.
"What sort of sample?" I pressed, knowing that Landon would never have reacted in such a way to a simple needle to draw more blood.
"He's got his hand on my dick, Lynn, what kind do you think?" O'Connell said with an edge of panic to his voice.
"Landon, do me a favor and close your eyes," I told him, fighting to keep my own voice steady.
"Lynnie," he groaned in desperation. "I can't take it."
"For me, Landon," I said calmly. "Close your eyes, babe, and trust me."
"They're closed, Lynn. I– I want this bastard's hand off me."
"Remember that question you asked me, the time I bloodied your lip? About you and me, and what it would be like between us?" I ventured, hoping he would know what I meant. He had a mind like a steel trap, and a soft spot for sex. I hoped the combination of his greatest strength and his most troublesome weakness would help us through that tight situation.
"I remember, Hell-Kitten," he said.
"Focus on my voice, keep your eyes closed, and I'll tell you all about it," I told him, switching my tone to a mixture of soothing and sultry. "There was a field out behind the trailer I lived in growing up," I said. "Far enough outside of Tulsa that at night it looked like every star in the universe was tangled up in the sky like dewdrops on a spider web. You and me, Landon, we're under all those stars, and there's a sliver of a moon out, just enough to see each other by. We have a blanket, because the stars aren't the only dewdrops in that field. The grass is glittering like diamonds.
"It's the 4th of July and we were in the middle of a heat wave, so I'm wearing a tank top and cut-offs. Every time I bent to help my daddy at the grill that afternoon you'd sneak a glance down my top or try peeking up the hem of my shorts. I'm wearing hot pink panties with lacy edges, the same color as my top, but you don't care that they match except that it makes me seem girlier, softer. We sneak out back when everyone else is drinking too much to notice, and I drop the blanket because you keep pulling me against you, keep showing me how much you want me." I heard him struggle with a small sound of arousal, the telltale sound of a lubricated glove stroking heated flesh filling my ears. I had to continue or I'd break the spell, and I had a feeling it was a fairly fragile one to begin with. "I pull my shirt off because I'm in a hurry to feel you, any part of you, against my skin. You never give me a chance to deal with the bra, though, because you're in a hurry, too. You yank my shorts and panties down, and I'm a little scared of you, but it's an exciting kind of scared. When you push me to my knees, I move without you having to tell me what you want. You plunge into me from behind, hot and hard, and I'm hot and tight and wet for you. So tight, and you feel so good inside of me, baby, and I want you to fuck me harder, but I can't say it, so I just move for you until you're balls-deep in me, filling me up…"
"Oh, Lynnie," I heard him gasp as he came, ejaculating into the sterile cup in the sterile room of the unknown bunker in the middle of nowhere, and suddenly I couldn't stand it anymore.
"Get out," I told the soldiers and the medics. The one who held me was stunned into letting me go. "Leave him to me," I told Dr. Baker. "You've done enough for one day, don't you think?"
The man, surprisingly, didn't argue. "I got what I came for, gentlemen," he said, gesturing for the others to leave with him and his little sample. He hadn't even set Landon's pants to right before taking his leave.
"It's me, baby. We're alone now," I told Landon gently. "I have to touch you, hon. Your bits are kind of saying hello to me just now." He smiled, his eyes still closed, but whimpered a bit when I took hold of him and tucked his vulnerable parts back in. "Are my hands cold?" I asked him.
"No, Sugar-Sweet. They're small and just right," he murmured. "Can I have my arms back?" He didn't open his eyes until I'd freed him, and then he pulled me forcefully into his arms so that I was straddling him in bed. "You sure can spin a hell of a yarn, Grier," he said gruffly. "Was that any reflection of reality at all?"
"Not much," I admitted. "I lost my virginity well after Resurrection Day. It was an empty house, not an open field."
"Dekker?" he ventured.
"Dekker," I confirmed. "I was so hot for him I bit him," I admitted with a chuckle. "I felt pretty stupid after, but now… After all this time it's sort of funny. Did you have someone before Res Day?"
"Molly," he nodded. "Sweet little redhead. Real good to me. So of course I was screwing the secretary on the side, 'cause I'm an asshole that way."
"Did you love her at all?" I blurted before I could stop myself.
"Not like I love you, Lynn," he whispered intensely. "I'd tear the goddamn world apart for you." Tears sprung to my eyes. It wasn't that I didn't love the crazy fool; I felt far more than I should for him; but the one I'd tear the remains of the world to pieces for was Carlo, and Landon knew it. "Tell me about Dekker," Landon murmured.
"Why do you want to know about him?" I evaded.
"Because you loved him. Part of you still does. How did you meet?" he pressed.
"Random chance," I shrugged. "He survived because he was a trained soldier. I did because my father was paranoid and well-prepared. How did you make it?"
"Tranq guns," he grunted. "I'm a good shot because I had to practice for the tranq guns. I just stole some guns and ran. Didn't have the balls to shoot myself when I was bitten. Then I didn't get sick, so I hunkered down. Moved when I could. Why hook up with Dekker?"
"He knew things I didn't. He was stronger than me. He was there," I shrugged again.
"Convenience?" Landon pressed.
"When did that change?"
"He'd made mistakes. He'd gotten people killed. He wasn't perfect," I enumerated. It wasn't something I'd given thought to in a long time. "He was a wounded soul," I concluded.
"Not so different after all, were they," Landon pointed out, raising an eyebrow.
"Different enough," I told him. "Dekker was a hard man when he didn't need to be."
"And this one's sometimes soft when he needs to be hard," he observed. I didn't contradict him. It was true enough.
The lights switched over to the opposite room. It was unpredictable. Our days and nights were short, sporadic, jumbled. "I'll never get used to that," I murmured, snuggling down onto Landon's chest as I usually did when it was dark.
"You will. You'd be surprised what you can get used to," Landon stated. "They used to let us use a computer. We could talk, and Linda likes chess."
"I'd have taken you for a poker man," I remarked.
"That, too, and I was teaching her. The computer and I got along a little too well, though, and I saw something I shouldn't have. Well, a lot of somethings, but one in particular might interest you," he told me enigmatically.
"Well, as far as I know you're Patient Beta, but only 'cause they got ahold of me first." I bit back a chuckle; it really was ironic for Landon O'Connell to have been labeled Alpha. Fitting, even. "Before you were grabbed, babe, when did you last have your monthly visitor?"
"My period?" I blurted. "Not long after Res Day. Most of the other women's cycles stopped, too. Nerves, airborne side-effect… I don't know. We figure anyone who didn't get pregnant within that first year is probably sterile now."
"You're wrong, Sugar Pie," Landon whispered.
"How do you know?" I murmured back.
"Because Patient Beta, on the day they took away our computer privileges," he told me gently, "was six weeks pregnant." I choked on my own voice, on the cry of terror and joy and desperation and love that was fighting to escape my body. "Breathe, Kitten," he soothed me. "I should have told you sooner. Just breathe."
"Why now?" I choked out.
"Why did I tell you?" I nodded. "They wanted my sperm today, Sugar-Sweet. If they come after you with it…" He let the thought sit unvoiced in the air between us. "But if they don't, you've got someone to take care of in there. And with how much you sleep lately, Kitten, I think your bean's still sprouting."
I giggled at his wording. "A little bean," I echoed.
"They'll take it from you, Lynnie," Landon whispered. "You know that, don't you?"
"If they can," I whispered back enigmatically. I wasn't counting on getting away clean, not then, but I sure as hell planned on going down fighting.
A/N: Another super-long wait, another apology… This is doubleplusungood for sure, but there wasn't much to be done about it. I am indeed living in Atlanta, Georgia now. Going through an adjustment period; I am neither accustomed to living long-term in a big city, nor to living in the South. It's nice here, at least when the neighbors aren't yelling "nigger" and "redneck" across the courtyard at each other. It could be worse. At least there are no firearms involved…
"Resurrection Day" is not complete. Normally I don't start posting something unless I know exactly how it's going to end. This is an exception, and I'm trying not to post everything I have before I write more. There are eleven or so pages after this… and then I got writer's block. I don't want anyone to think this story's dead, though. It's simply been waylaid by me having to move three times in a year, two of those times being out of state. That's enough to throw anyone out of their groove, I think.
I don't know when you'll get the next chapter, but you will. ~M