It was raining that day when Bill woke them, and Zoey found herself longing to curl up under the blankets again and sleep a few hours more, just in case the rain would stop or the 'zombie apocalypse' would be over when she woke again. She knew as well as the others, though, that she had to continue forward and hopefully reach the area where evacuations out of the city were still occurring.
Zoey pulled the hood of her jacket up as they crawled out of the saferoom and into the pouring rain outside, her pistols already out and her eyes scanning the darkness for any sign of the infected.
It was hard not to think of them as just mindless zombies… she knew that once they had been people just like they were, and she knew they were just sick, but it didn't stop them from killing every single one they came across.
Francis was sticking closer to her than normal, but after the events of yesterday and their narrow escape from the tank that had attacked them, Zoey wasn't surprised. The warmth of his body was welcoming in the bitterly cold rain, and every time they brushed against one another, she was tempted not to move away.
Gunshots punctuated the darkness, the noise dulled by the rain, and the survivors were finding it a lot harder to see… this was a problem.
"We need to get to the next safe room." Bill muttered as they gathered briefly under an awning. "If we stay out here, we're nothing but bait for the infected."
"When we get there, we should wait out the storm." Louis put in, looking up at the building tops across the street from where they stood. Zoey murmured in agreement, shivering lightly in her soaked clothing.
They pressed on shortly after, not wanting to invite trouble by lingering longer than was necessary, but Zoey wondered what the point was of even trying. Twice, Francis was attacked from behind by infected that blended in with the dreary backdrop, and Louis managed to stumble right into a Witch, resulting in a heated battle that took up much of the stamina they had lingering.
They hurried onwards, finding their way into a back alley that led to another safe room, but as they ran, they could hear the sounds of an approaching horde.
"In here!" Zoey called, hurrying into a solid looking room and crouching in a far corner. The three men came in after her, peering out the door, but when Louis got snagged by a Smoker and dragged back out into the rain, Bill was quick to chase after him, leaving just Francis in the doorway, shooting the infected as they rushed forward. He glanced over his shoulder at Zoey, who stood to assist him, and shook his head.
"Stay put, alright?" He muttered, stepping out into the rain and grabbing the doorknob.
"What?!" Zoey bleated indignantly. "C'mon Francis, you know I'm not some damsel in distress!!"
"Right now, you are. So stay put!" He growled, closing the door. She heard his shotgun firing outside, heard the shouts of Bill and Louis draw closer, a snarl escaping her throat as she moved towards the door.
"Hey!" She shouted, the sound of soft growling somewhere near the door making her stop short. She reached down in the dark and fumbled with her flashlight, not making any sudden movements, her eyes adjusting to the dark well enough to show her two darkly glowing points of light that belonged to the infected that had been hiding behind the door when she came in. The growling grew louder, a little higher pitched, and she flicked the flashlight on.
Standing near the door, slightly hunched over, was a Hunter. Rain dripped from his clothing, his hands were stained darkly and from here, she could see the blood around his mouth.
He must have eaten recently… it was only a tiny hint of hope in the fear that now raged through her. None of the survivors were sure if the infected fed on human flesh, but since they were still living and breathing, they had to eat SOMETHING. Maybe the blood was just a byproduct of this particular Hunter attacking some other hapless survivor…
He turned his eyes to the door, dark eyes that caught the light from her flashlight in a way that made them glow, then he looked back at her and slowly crouched down.
Zoey didn't lower her pistols, her breath now heaving in her chest, and her legs were beginning to feel weak.
"This isn't happening." She whispered, the Hunter beginning to move closer to her now. "This isn't-"
A savage growl from the hunter silenced her, and she swallowed hard, closing her eyes.
His quick breath was hot and reeked of blood as he leaned into her, a soft noise of distress escaping her throat involuntarily. If Zoey screamed, she knew the Hunter would kill her faster than her friends could rescue her.
The Hunter let out another deep growl, snuffling against her neck and near her ear, making her whimper in terror and confusion. Her eyes squeezed tightly shut, Zoey waited for the killing blow, but no pain came as she expected.
This Hunter wasn't trying to kill her.
His head snapped away from her when the voices of the men reached through the door once more, then he turned his dark eyes back to her and tilted his head to the side. Crouching down slowly, he gathered all his strength into his legs and leapt straight up into the air, disappearing into the black again. All sounds of his growling ceased, and light flooded in as Francis jerked the door open again.
His expression twisted from one of concern to a very 'I told you so' look, and he sighed shortly as he approached her. Even as he helped her gently from the room, Zoey heard no further noise from the Hunter.
For some reason, she found herself keeping quiet about the whole incident. Something told her the others wouldn't believe her, and just didn't need to know…