The next morning was an odd one for me. I was having a tricky time getting my head around the fact I had slept with a stranger six years my junior, yet she was perfectly natural about it. God. A sixteen year old was less nervous about getting laid than I was. I rolled over and stretched, and jumped a mile when I saw she was already awake and watching me. She smiled. “Your tattoos look even more sexy in the sun.” I smiled. “Thanks.” She leaned over and kissed me, out of the blue. It felt like fireworks were going off in my chest, scattering stars. She pulled away and began to get dressed, leaving me feeling like I had been hit by a sledgehammer, and wanting more. Damn, she was good. I watched her dress, wanting to touch the smoothness of her back as she slipped her t-shirt on. I raised an eyebrow. “No bra?” She giggled and pointed to the scrap of black fabric lying next to me on the ground. I held it up, realising as I did so that one of the straps was broken. I blushed. “Sorry.” She laughed again, this time the sound was low and sexy. “You wanted it off me sooo bad…” She ran her finger up my still-bare chest, making me inhale. She was so damn intoxicating. She kissed me, a quick peck, then laughed and resumed dressing, once again leaving me wanting more. Fuck.
I sighed and reached for my jeans. I stood and pulled them on, and felt her hands slide around me. I stood still for a moment, enjoying the embrace, then turned and wrapped my arms around her. She snuggled into my chest, and in that moment I was more insanely happy than I had been in what felt like forever. I dropped a kiss on the top of her spiky head. After a moment that stretched into eternity, I pulled back to put my t-shirt on. She went to sit in a pew, looking so beautifully out of place that I smiled. I pulled on my hoodie, and went to sit beside her. “You okay?” I asked her. She nodded. “Yeah.” I kissed her again, just because I wanted to, and pulled out my cigarettes. She pressed her lighter into my hand, and I could feel her eyes on me as I lit up. I exhaled, and turned to her. “What?” I asked her self-consciously. “Nothing.” She smiled, plucking my cigarette from between my fingers, taking an expert drag. She smiled at me. “You’re a bad influence on me, Will.” I laughed. “You’re already the baddest girl I know.” She winked. “And don’t you know it.” I smiled, then leaned over to kiss her, taking my cigarette. After a few minutes I pulled away, leaving her hanging this time, flushed and breathing heavily. I laughed, a surprisingly masculine laugh coming form me, and took a drag. She grinned, silently acknowledging that I’d won… For now, anyway.
We shared the cigarette in silence, although not an uncomfortable one. I was still thinking the night over, and she too seemed to be deep in thought. Could I have a real relationship with her, bearing in mind she was six years younger than me? More importantly, should I? Did it make me sick for wanting to? I smiled to myself, shaking my head. That ship had definitely sailed. I took another drag. I decided to just see how things went. Maybe it could work out, maybe, just maybe, we could be happy… I drifted into a daydream, and nearly leaped out of my skin as there was a crashing sound from the small door at the other end of the room. Mandy grabbed onto my arm with a grip so strong I wondered if I would have a bruise. Even in my fear, I felt a little rush of pleasure that she turned to me for protection. I shot to my feet as the door began to open, running for our weapons, tossing Mandy her club in a movement so fluid and she caught it so perfectly that it seemed rehearsed. We both stood by the door, waiting for it to open…
A boy, a little taller than Mandy, walked into the church, his eyes huge, hazel-green and wary, brandishing what looked like a genuine sword. We stared at each other, then all relaxed simultaneously. He let out a nervous giggle. “You definitely alive?” I let a little humourless smile creep onto my face. “Hard to tell these days.” Mandy snorted, and lowered her club, walking over to lean it back against the altar. I studied the boy as he watched her walk away. His soft brown hair flopped over one of his eyes, not styled, just falling wherever it felt like. He had a small, almost feminine face, at odds with his muscular tattooed body. He had his nose and lip pierced, and somehow managed to be masculine while wearing a pink belt, something I could never pull off. He wore converse that were so tattered they were pretty much falling off his feet. Those large liquid eyes flicked to me as I shifted position, and my mind instantly compared him to a nervous animal. I almost wanted to pat him on the head to reassure him, but I felt that would be hugely patronising so resisted the urge.
“What’s your name?” Mandy asked curiously. He smiled sweetly. “Frank.” She stepped towards me, saying “I’m Mandy, and this is Will. Is this your place?” She said, gesturing to the church. He shook his head. “It was just the nearest place…” He said, looking uncertain. “Is it your place?” I looked at Mandy, who shrugged. “Seems to be.” I said. “Oh, I’ll just, uh… Go…” He said, looking like he might cry. “Stay.” I said. He looked up. “What?” I looked to Mandy for words. “Stay with us.” She said, smiling at him. “We’re the survivors.” That seemed to say it all for him, and with a smile wider than his face, he leaned his sword up against the altar. I did the same with my fork, then laughed. “Dude, your sword puts my rusty piece of crap to shame.” He grinned, and said “Bought it online, a week before the outbreak. After this, I’ll never complain about my impulse buying again.” I laughed. “Seen any action with it yet?” He shook his head. “No, and hopefully never will either.”
I opened my mouth to reply, and was cut off by a crash. I whipped around and saw Mandy fall from a pew onto the floor. “Fuck!” I yelled, running over, as she sat up, brushing herself down. I stopped as she stood up, perfectly unharmed, feeling pretty stupid. She was fine, why was I freaking out like this? “You okay?” I asked to cover my embarrassment at overreacting. She nodded, a look on her face that I couldn’t quite place. I went red as I realised I had just ignored Frank. He was looking at me with a knowing little half smile that I chose to ignore.
“So, do you smoke? I asked Frank, pulling out my pack, noting with sadness that I had smoked half of it. He nodded, patting his pocket. “I’ll join ya.” said Mandy, producing a pack that I hadn’t even known she had from somewhere. “I’m a girl of hidden depths.” She said in response to my questioning glance. I fought to keep my mind out of the gutter. We all passed around a lighter, sitting in comparative silence. I thought about how this new dude, Frank, already seemed to fit with us. I just hoped that, when it came down to it, he could keep himself alive. Little did I know how soon we were going to find out.
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