A New Dawn by Highlanderprincess

Summary: As a virus spreads across the country, Bella fears she has lost everything. Searching for a cure, she leaves her home behind, traveling into the unknown for the sake of her family. During an attack, Edward loses his girlfriend, Kate, and will do anything to find her. On his journey, he runs into a brunette with her own agenda. Can they help each other survive or will they succumb to the circumstances of this new world? E/B. Rated mature for violence and sexual content.

Chapter 1: A New Dawn

Five Days after National Outbreak

Edward POV

The sun is blinding. Squinting my eyes and ignoring the blistering heat, my legs propel me forward - never slowing down; never giving them a chance to catch-up. My hand grips hers. A smile almost tugs on my lips as I feel the beat of her heart thumping against the calloused skin of her palm. She's still here; I'm still here. That's all that matters. In a world full of absolute shit, she's the only ray of light - the only semblance of anything good. Sometimes when I look at her, my eyes captivated by the way her golden hair reflects the sunlight; I think she may just be the only pure thing this world has left.

A scream tears me from my thoughts. Although it's far off in the distance, I know it can only mean they're getting closer. Kate's grip tightens and although I can't spare a moment to look at her, I know there are tears in her beautiful cerulean eyes.

"We're almost there, babe."

A soft sob escapes her lips and I slow my pace to glance over my shoulder. Emerging from the forest is a large group of them. I can't bring myself to name them. If I name them, they're real. And if they're real, I'll have to accept this new world as my new reality. Our new reality. How can so much change so quickly? Only a few days ago I was waking up to the sound of my obnoxious alarm clock with Kate tightly wrapped in my embrace and now… Now I would give my right arm for a slice of normalcy I once had. I would give anything to go back to my normal job; I would give anything to go back to my normal life.

"Edward, they're coming."

"Don't look. Don't look back," I plead.

"I can't… I can't go much further," Kate says as she gestures to her ankle.

It's swollen. I can tell by the puffiness I see through the thin fabric of her tights. After the way she fell on it yesterday, I'm surprised she's been able to move this far. God, if only we had someway to fight them off. I look back over my shoulder at them again. The hair on my body stands as anxiety trickles through my veins, making every inch of my body judder. They're so horrifically captivating. Their fresh corpses carry forward through the field like something out of a nightmare. Their gray flesh is slowly beginning to rot as nature takes its toll on their bodies. Bloodied and broken, they move toward us like broken marionettes, twitching along. It's almost as if God is their puppet master and we're all extras in his unseemly play. I tear my eyes away from them, tugging Kate forward despite her groan of discomfort.

"Please. Can we rest for a moment?"

Between the people who have already lost their damn minds and the living dead, we don't have time to pause. At least, not yet. Not until we find someplace safe. Everyone has been moving toward the local mall nearby. The one place with plenty of supplies and shelter. Allegedly, it hasn't been taken over by them. With how quickly everything has deteriorated, I can't confirm its safety… but what really is safe now?

"We're so close, baby. Just a little bit further. Don't you see it?"

"I can't feel my foot. I just need a rest."

The sound of another scream fills the air and despite my own exhaustion, I reach for her, lifting her up and safely into my arms. She groans a little, reaching for her ankle as I carry her the rest of the way, moving across the field as quickly as my feet will manage. More screams sound as I close the distance between us and the mall. As soon as we reach the chain-link fence that's blocking off the back entrance of the mall, I set Kate on her feet and push her toward the diamond-shaped wire mesh.

"We have to climb, baby. The whole thing is surrounded now. The only way in is up."

"You can't be serious. You know I can't."

"What do you want me to do?" I spit out, growing frustrated and helpless, knowing her recent injury puts us both at risk. "The only way to safety is to climb over, Kate. Do you want to turn into one of those things, too?"

"Don't look at me like that."

"Then stop being so foolish and climb!"

Her eyes snap to meet mine and while they're filled with fire, she doesn't comment. Maybe she's just too tired, or maybe she can see that I'm right. This is the only way. With the world becoming more and more bleak, we have to keep chasing after every sliver of hope we can. I bend down to give her a boost, and with one glance over her shoulder, she's quick to climb. As soon as she's halfway up the fence, I begin to climb as well, ignoring the throbbing in my thighs and the numbness in my arms. My fingers shake as they grip the fence. My mind tries to decide if the jitteriness comes from nerves or exhaustion of my muscles, but I'm too weary to decide which as I continue to move. They grow closer and we move faster, although, it feels like we're suspended in time. The world around us is so surreal; I feel as if time has escaped us completely. No matter how quick I attempt to be, I feel as though I'm watching my body move in slow motion - it's like I'm hovering above my body, watching in a distance as I attempt what feels like a great feat.

Inches away from the top of the fence, I feel I can finally breathe again. The air tastes so good - so fresh, despite the dark clouds which loom over us. Peering up at the sky, I feel the wind shift. Rain will fall soon. Kate cries out and my eyes shoot down to discover the horror in hers. Her knuckles are white as she struggles to hang on. Reaching for her, I yank on her jacket, refusing to let her fall.

"We're almost there, baby. Power through for me. Okay? Just a little bit longer."

"I can't."

"Don't say that. We've come this far."

"We haven't even made it out of town," she remarks as her eyes cast down to the muddy ground.

Without another word, I yank on her raincoat, helping her up to the top of the fence. Letting go of her for a moment, I straddle the fence before grabbing her jacket and giving it a gentle yank.

"Use the momentum in your legs to hoist yourself up." When she doesn't move, I spit out a, "Kate," as I yank on her jacket.

Casting one final look to them, she climbs the rest of the way. Straddling the fence, she looks at me, her fear of heights slowly creeping in.

"Don't look down."

"Isn't that a little hard to do?" She giggles.

Music to my ears. I smile at her, unable to help myself. As the world crumbles around us, she still finds a way to tease me. Everything is going to shit and yet, she can make me smile. She's always had the ability to make me smile when no one else could. It's one of the things I love about her the most. And in this moment, I know we will be okay. The entire world may be falling apart but I have her. Maybe love is truly all powerful. Maybe love can get us through this hell.

"Are you ready?"

She nods, smiling at me. When her gaze doesn't leave my face, I question, "What is it?"

"Nothing." She shrugs. "I'm just lucky, I guess."

"Lucky? Only you would talk about luck at a time like this. How on earth are you lucky?"

"You." Her lips curl into a soft smile. "I have you."

A/N: Guys, I went to TFMU and saw Damsel and came up with this entire fic in my head for some odd reason (since Damsel has nothing to do with zombies lol) and I just couldn't write anything else until I got this out. This story is going to be pretty short (compared to my other ones) and I've prewritten basically the entire thing before posting (which is new for me). After this my plan is to finish Rodeo Nights and A Rogue's Desire while also finishing the first draft of the second book in my Colorado Series (Yay!). Before anyone flames me for writing a new story in the reviews, just know that I plan on finishing all of my stories. So, every story I post will be completed.

Giant thanks to Sherry and Paige for betaing (is that a word?) story for me! Also, thanks to Trina Smusic Patterson for listening to me ramble on and on about this idea.

Hope you guys enjoy! And like always, please take a second to review. I might be pretty bad at replying to them, but I do read every comment and they mean the world to me. :)