Let’s Write Something With Zombies – A Message Delivered

She untwisted the ties holding the fence shut, peeling away the tendrils of vine, holding her breath the entire time. Part of Oakley was worried the house was empty, another part of her was worried a team had been sent to tear apart her trailer and take her stuff.
The yard behind the huge hulking monstrosity of early twenty-first century stucco suburban dream home was empty, as she’d left it. First, she headed to her work bench and grabbed her sheath and machete, fastening it to her back and feeling much better for it. Then she headed into her trailer.
There were only so many things she needed to have on her at all times. The machete was one. The other two were hanging from a silver chain slung over the wall scone inside the door. Her parent’s wedding rings.
She hung them around her neck again, tucking them down the front of her shirt. Then she grabbed the girl necessities and tucked them into her backpack.
Exiting the trailer, she crossed the yard to the back porch of the house, crept up the wooden stairs and peered around the corner of the patio doors. Someone passed the doorway into the dining room, and she’d bet all the rum in the trailer it was Jess.
The door was open, and she allowed a moment to curse Hunter and his band of bastards. Greenwater had no bloody idea what was coming.
Oakley left the patio door open and crossed the kitchen, ears straining to see who else might be in the house. She heard nothing.
Jess was heading up the stairs, and when Oakley gave a low whistle the girl squealed and spun, nearly toppling down a half a flight of carpeted stairwell. She caught herself and Oakley held a finger to her lips, indicating silence. Jess’s eyes were huge as she nodded, then made her way down the carpeted steps.
“Oakley? What are you doing here?”
“I need a favour,” she whispered, taking Jess by the arms. “You need to get Tink and tell her that the men are attacking Greenwater tonight. She has to warn Memee, tell her to arm the supply run teams and hide everyone else. They want to take over Greenwater, which means they’ll take it by force.”
Jess was still blinking, trying to absorb all this.
“People will get hurt. And die. And it’s us they want too, not just the houses and water supply and fences. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
Jess opened and closed her mouth a couple times, then nodded. “Oh no,” she whispered, and Oakley felt sick to her stomach.
Jess was young, innocent. Pure. She’d never been with a man, Oakley knew that very well. She didn’t want Jess initiated the same way she had been.
“Get all the girls hidden once you tell Tink, everyone that’s around your age, okay? I need you hidden. Okay?”
“Can we run?”
Oakley shook her head. “There’s creepers out here, honey. Unless you know what you’re doing, it’s dangerous out here, too.”
Jess shook her head. “We can’t win this.”
“You can if you’re smarter than them. Tell Tink to find Sawyer, okay?” As much as she hated to admit it, Sawyer was the only one remotely capable of staging some kind of defense.
“What about you?”
Oakley kissed her forehead. “I gotta leave, I can’t be here, you know that. I’m with Hunter, we’re both going to run. If you,” she paused since she hadn’t discussed this with Hunter yet. “If you get through the fence behind my trailer as the attack is going on, we’ll all run together, okay? But bring something to kill creepers. Baseball bats, tire irons, and there’s an assortment of knives in the trailer. Those are handy too, when you need to kill one of the living. Jess, you following this?”
Jess nodded jerkily. “Heavy things to crush skulls and knives. Got it.”
“Good. Now tell Tink first and tell her to tell Memee. You find Sawyer, okay?”
“Yeah.”
Oakley nodded, satisfied, and turned back for the patio doors.
“Oakley?”
She turned back. “Yeah?”
Jess grinned. “Are you, like, with Hunter?”
The last thing she needed right then was a reminder of just how young Jess was. “Yeah,” she had no lies to substitute. “I guess I am.”
Jess sighed. “You’re so lucky.”
Oakley shook her head. “Focus Jess, or everyone here is going to die.”
Jess nodded then scurried through the sunken living room to the front door.
Oakley exited the way she came, stealing across the unruly lawn and back out the break in the fence, closing it up, and running back for the treeline.
Hunter was waiting, but he was busy. Two creepers were at his feet, unmoving, and a third and fourth had gotten too close for the bow, so he’d pulled his bowie knife and was trying to give a good and deep brain poke.
She pulled her machete, spinning it through both hands to get acclimated again, then gripped the handle with both hands and bisected the head of one creeper just as Hunter sunk his knife into the temple of the second one right up to the hilt. Both dropped, and Oakley was wiping brain off her machete against a tree while Hunter braced one foot on his creeper’s head and yanked his knife free with both hands.
“Are you okay?” she was asking as she turned.
She was wrapped up with Hunter immediately, his chest to hers, his arms tight around her back, his lips coming down on hers with force and passion. She was startled by it, and momentarily distracted by the feel and smell of him.
Then she pushed him back.
“What are you doing?” she hissed.
He moved his eyebrows to the left, and she frowned.
“What?”
He sighed, exasperated, knocked the machete from her hands and grabbed her around the waist, lifting her right off her feet and slamming her back to the trunk of a birch tree, kissing her again and urging her knees up to his waist.
“What are you doing?” she was gasping, admitting she liked the kissing.
“They’re coming,” he grunted back, hands cupping her bottom as he pushed his tongue into her mouth.
Oakley’s head spun momentarily, then she heard a voice.
“Patrol my ass,” a voice drawled sarcastically. Hunter raised his head, turning to the voice just as the one called Hawk led a handful of men out into the open.
Oakley felt her entire body grow tight. Hunter’s hands dug into her hips, which didn’t make her feel better.
“Why not just stay in your cabin, Hunter?”
Hunter chuckled, helping her back down to her feet. “Yeah right. With all of you listening at the door?”
Hawk’s smile was outright creepy. And predatory. “Hardly seems fair. You’re the only one with such a pretty, soft and sweet distraction.”
Hunter shrugged. “I’m lucky she picked me I guess.”
The meaning was clear. Hawk read it. Then he looked at the dead creepers and raised an eyebrow. “Little delight to take the edge of a fight. I can understand that.”
Hunter shrugged. “Told you. We’re on patrol.”
The other men chuckled, and Oakley held onto a feint hope that they were not as hell bent on taking over Hunter’s crew as Hawk was.
“All right then,” Hawk allowed, backing away a few steps. “As you were. But I can’t guarantee no one’s watching.” His eyes flicked to Oakley, and she shivered at what was in that look.
If she’d been in Greenwater during the attack, he’d come looking for her first. She just knew it.
When they were alone, or, more alone, Hunter picked up the machete and handed it to her.
“I found Jess,” she whispered. “Jess will tell Tink and Sawyer. But we have to come back here during the attack.”
His head came up quickly. “What?”
“We have to be here during the attack. She’s going to get the younger ones out with us.”
He grabbed her arm. “No, we’re leaving right now. We can’t wait around.”
“I never once said we’d wait here. We go back to camp, wait for the attack, then come here and get the girls.”
Hunter sighed, hands on his hips, head hanging down. “Oakley -”
“You don’t get this. You’re not a girl. But they haven’t … been around men. I know not all men are like Hawk, but they don’t. And I don’t want their first experience with men to be like mine.”
Hunter’s eyes met hers, still angry, but they softened immediately. He sighed, scrubbed his face with both hands. “I’m sorry,” he muttered, surprising her.
“What?”
“I’m sorry,” he repeated, backing her up again but hugging her to his chest this time. “You’re right. You’re so damn tough, I forget how you were hurt sometimes.”
“You just have to fear being hurt and dying,” she mumbled, closing her eyes and enjoying the feeling and warmth of him wrapped around her. “We have a fear of being hurt another way.”
“I know. I’m sorry.” He sighed. “Okay. We come back here as the party is beginning. But we’re not going in to get anyone, we can only help those who want to be helped.”
“Okay,” she agreed, admitting it was a decent compromise.
“But if I think you’re in danger, I’m calling the whole thing off and getting you the hell out of here. There is no debate on that.”
She closed her eyes, hands fisting his shirt. “So bossy,” she accused, relieved when he chuckled.
“So stubborn,” he threw back at her, and she had to admit he was right.

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