I had just gotten to the banks door, when I suddenly realized Vera hadn't spoken a word. She was leaning heavily on me, my grip on her arm around my neck slipping.

"Vera…" I said.

"What…" She breathed.

"Almost there."


I tried the door… locked.

"Who had time to lock the door behind them…" I muttered.

"The key is right there…" Vera pointed a shaky finger. There was a nail that had roughly been pounded into the wall… and on it a key.

"How convenient." I said. I set Vera down gently. And grabbed the key. I shoved it in the lock… and the key snapped off. "We can't seem to catch a break!" I cursed, "Is there another way in?" I looked down at Vera. She looked up at me.

"Ya…" she looked at me and I waited for her to answer.

"What?" I asked after a long moment of silence. She raised her gun and shot the door handle off.

"Does that work?" she asked. I couldn't tell if she was being sarcastic or if she was loopy. But just as she said it, the screams started down the street. I snapped around, gun raised.

I saw two heads pop up just over a Honda Accord. I shot them both before they could get over the hood. Then three more down the street. I emptied my clip on them and they fell just more came around the corner. I looked at Vera… she looked passed out.

I kicked the door down.

"Vera! Stay with me!" I grabbed her, my shoulder straining, bloody oozing down my arm.

I threw down whatever I could find in front of the door and picked Vera up again.

"Vera which way?"

"Straight…" She rasped. I was practically dragging her now.

"Come on… on your feet!" I said as I took the hall behind the counter.

"No…" Vera was trying to keep up…

I took a left just as I heard a crash from the lobby.

"We need… to get to the elevators…" she rasped. I shook my head. The elevators were back in the lobby. "Stairs…"

"This way…" I heard another crash. We stumbled through the door labeled stairs, my blood visibly smearing across it.

"Dani…" Vera breathed… "Dani somethings wrong…"

"Just stay with me Vera…" We hustled up the stairs, tripping to many times. I pushed the pain out of my head… I had to get us out of here. I had to.

We got to the second floor. I could hear them screaming behind us… following the scent of blood. I made my way as fast as I could down the hall to the elevators.

"Vera which one?" I asked her. There were three…

Suddenly Vera got sick, her stomach revolting on the floor. My own stomach squirmed.

"Vera?" She didn't answer. I looked at her… she had passed out. I swore again.

HURRRROOOOAAAAAAAAARRRR! I could hear the swarm of infected coming after us. My eyes could easily follow the blood trail. I looked at the elevators, wiping away the sweat from my eyes.


At the end of the hall was a container…. A clear container marked with a marker: Bleach.

Instantly a plan formed in my head. I set Vera down, taking her gun and reloading my own. I bolted down the hall grabbing the bleach.


A rotting face came out of one of the offices and jumped at me, her claws slashing. I fell back landing on my bad arm, and kicked the infected into the wall hard. The infected, growled catching sight of Vera… lying motionless on the floor.

I emptied a full clip.

I slashed the stomach, adding to the stench already in the air. I ran back for Vera, and dragged her over to the nearest elevator. I pried the door open and looked down. The elevator's roof was a few feet below. I held the door open with a broken broom handle and lowered Vera down, before jumping back up to the floor. I poured the bleach all around the elevator, saving the last cupful and dumped it on my arm. I didn't have to suppress a yell now. I screamed. It burned my entire arm, the watery blood flowing down my arm. I sloshed the bleach around with my foot, just as I heard the infected stumble through the stairs door. I dove just as I caught a glimpse of movement in the hall. I slid across the bleach through the elevator doors, and dropped the few feet landing hard. I rolled to my back, pulling my gun and fired once. The broom handle snapped in two and the elevator doors snapped shut, enclosing us in darkness.

I heard the infected swarm outside. Their screams and yells… even the gnawing and bone breaking. The screams ceased as their meal preoccupied them.

I was bruised all over… sweaty, bloody, and sore. I lay motionless in the darkness for a moment trying to catch my breath. I listened for Vera but she didn't move. By the time I caught my breath and sounds of the infected had ceased to gargles and… munching. I hadn't heard anything against our elevator door so I figured my plan was working… for now.

I crawled through the darkness toward the direction of Vera.

"Vera…" I whispered. Nothing. I licked my lips moving forward again. Finally my fingers brushed against something hot… burning hot. Her hand. I grabbed her hand and propped her up against the wall. I searched through both our bags and snapped the glow sticks I had found. Vera was deathly pale in the green light, her lips almost white. Around her eyes… was dark.

"Geeze…" I dug through the backpacks again and found bottled water, "Vera… Vera…" I shook her awake. She barley opened her eyes.

She moaned.

"My head…" she said.

"Drink." I ordered. Her hand moved to the bottle but suddenly her whole body jerked violently and shut curled up hugging her knees to her chest, face twisted in pain. I waited until she fell back against the wall and held the bottle up to her lips. She drank greedily and swallowed.

"Where are we?" she asked.

"The top of the elevator. Between the second and first floor." I said. She looked at the elevator doors slightly above our heads. She heard the sounds outside… smelt the bleach.

"Smart thinking…" she said. I had to smile.

"You know Alex is going to kill me if you don't show up at the castle in the next 8 hours." I said. She said nothing. I saw her look… she didn't think we would make it out of here. I licked my lips.

"Well…" I continued at a low voice. "You owe my team and I a good meal when we get back." I moved around and sat next to her. She was silent.

"I was thinking…" She finally said, "I was thinking that you guys… that you could stay… if you wanted. At the castle." I stopped and looked at her. Through the dim light her half closed eyes were clouded.

"Ya…" I said… "Ya I'd like that."

She looked at me… and then back at the wall.

She leaned over towards me and put her head on my shoulder. My cheeks got hot. "Me too."