"Jason?" My head whiplashed in reaction to my name. I frantically looked around. I was still standing with the duct tape in my hands. Another growl erupted from behind me and I slowly turned to face it. Kyle was sitting on the couch with a hand on his stomach. The sound came again. It was then that I realized what I had heard.
"Geez, hungry much?" He blushed, embarrassment all over his face. Seeing anything but blood lust in him relaxed me immensely.
He crossed his arms playfully. "I can't help it... I've been trying to make what I have last, so I haven't eaten very much the past few days." I gave him an accusing stare. A few seconds passed by before he cracked. "Ok. Ok, these past weeks."
I threw my arms up in disgust. "You can't not eat for that long!" I chucked the roll of tape into the bathroom from where I stood. I scooped up his pack and slung it over my shoulders. "I'll be right back. I can't have you burning up and starving at the same time. You need your nutrients."
I mentally kicked myself as I watched him check his forehead for a fever he didn't have yet. "But I don't have-" I was out the door before he was able to complete his sentence.
Over the next few days I was in and out of Kyle's apartment. When I returned from my first official food gathering duty he finally had the fever I was waiting for. He was passed out on the couch. When I knelt beside him, he clung to my coat as if it was his best attempt to get closer to some warmth. Except I haven't had the kind of warmth a normal human would want for a long time. That was yet another sign as to his change. A good sign at that.
He ate and drank just about everything I brought him, no matter how suspicious it looked. I was always able to concoct some bullshit answer for what it was and why it looked or smelt the way it did. It was even easier since his fever impaired his thoughts just enough.
I was out gathering and draining commons most of the time. So by the time three days had past I was able to provide a decent stockpile for Kyle if something happened. I had decided to go back out for one last time, at least until the stock was beginning to run low again. I filled the backpack with any empty jars I found around the room. When I left the sun was just rising and Kyle had just fallen back to sleep in his bedroom; which, over the last few days, I had to make sure was void of any light, sunlight especially. When I returned to the building, the sun was just beginning to set.
Feeling lazy, I decided to scale the wall and just climb in through the window. As I reached the window ledge, I noticed light leaking out from the curtains. Damn it Kyle... I told you... I stuck my hand through the hole I made in the glass days ago and unlocked the window. I pushed it open, vaulted inside and closed the window behind me. I slung the pack off my shoulders and into my hand, the glass jars clanked inside. "I'm back. Took longer than I expected, but I found a really great place that was full of supplies..." Not hearing a response I called out his name once... twice... I checked his bedroom. Empty. As I started back towards the main living area I noticed the bathroom door was closed with the light on. I knocked, waited, then opened the door slowly. Kyle was on the floor with a broken glass in his hand, water on the floor and the 'pills' I suggested he take in the mornings scattered along the floor. The pack in my hand dropped, breaking the containers inside. He must have gotten up moments after I left to make sure he took them...
At his side I checked his pulse and listened for his breaths. There was no pulse and his breathing was extremely slow. Kyle was dead. Yet, something wasn't right. It was as though he wasn't quite a Hunter yet. I slipped my arms under his body and began lifting him into my arms. As soon as his hood fell off his head, revealing his face, Kyle awoke. His eyes shot open and he screeched. He raised his arms over his eyes, thrashing in my grip. He escaped my arms knocking me hard against the wall. He continued his strange fit in the middle of the floor, banging and ripping apart anything he got close too. Determined, I stood and delivered a blow to the back of his head, successfully knocking him out. Without a word I lifted him up onto my back, crossing his arms around my neck. I went to the window and kicked it open, sending shards of broken glass into the streets. Confident Kyle was secure on my back I jumped.
I bolted through the streets. Maneuvering through the commons, around the buildings and over the cars. I stopped briefly when I entered a very familiar alley, the same one where Andrea and I first spotted him. I looked back at the changing Hunter. His face was buried into my neck, his hair brushing against my cheek. "I hope I'm not too late." I continued through the alley and made a sharp turn into the streets where I ran into a familiar body. I stumbled back regaining my balance. "What the fuck-?" I looked up and Andrea was on the ground, an annoying pout on her face.
"What'd you do that for Jason?" She got to her feet, her disgusting rotting and sagging skin waving in the air as she moved. She cracked her neck, "What's the big hurry?"
I shoved her out of the way. "Move Andrea! I don't have time for your fucking parading around!" A sudden gurgling noise stopped me from advancing.
"Hey now, there's no need for that Jason." I reluctantly turned around, only to see Al emerge from whatever place he was hiding. "Andrea invited us to come visit the newborn. No need to be so harsh." Al raised his bubbling arm to his mouth, in an attempt to prevent himself from vomiting. He was extra large lately, which could only mean he was holding it in for a certain moment which typically never came. That of course comes with the disadvantage of becoming full beyond his bodies' capacity; since all Boomers produce the sweet smelling puke constantly.
I glared at Andrea, wishing I could just strangle her right then and there. But Kyle shifted slightly on my back and that was my cue to get moving again. I could not have him waking up before securing him somewhere. There was no telling what he'd do or if he'd be too disoriented and just run away. No doubt they both noticed Kyle's movement, I could see the curiosity light up in their eyes. Andrea's especially, questions amounting on her tongue and the pure desire to know the answers to them all.
As they took a step forward, I took two back. "Back the fuck off." I spat venomously. "I told you. I don't have time for your fucking parading around. Both of you." I turned and continued down the street as fast as I could, already knowing I had to make up the time I wasted with those two.
Andrea took a few steps forward, intent on following but Al grabbed her arm. "Let him be for now." She gave him a pleading look. "No Andrea."
She shook out of his grip. "It's not fair Al. He finds the first newborn in weeks and gets to keep him all to himself? Screw that!" Acid began pooling uncontrollably out of her mouth in her frustration. "Don't tell me you've already forgotten last ti-"
"Andrea. That's enough." Al cleared his throat of the vomit. "But I see your point." She raised her arms in the air as if saying 'finally! someone has come to their senses!'. "Why don't we gather the rest and go see what's up." Al turned and began walking the way they'd came from. He paused, waiting for another set of footsteps behind him. It took a few seconds but those reluctant footsteps appeared and they went off in search of the rest of their group.
I soon arrived at the front door to Mercy Hospital. The glass doors were chained up and locked from the inside. I took the chains in my hand and looked them over. They were partially rusted but not in a bad enough condition to just rip apart. I went back passed the ambulance towards the buildings across the street. I pulled Kyle closer to me and adjusted his hood so it covered his head more. I pushed off the wall one of the buildings for extra speed. I ran head first into the glass doors of Mercy. The glass shattered opening the way for us. I resisted the urge to land on my back for Kyle's sake and allowed myself to land front first on the shards of broken glass.
I heard Kyle groaned and I was up in seconds. After readjusting him I set up for the stairs. I wasn't quite sure why I brought him to the hospital. It's not like there's anyone here that could help. Maybe it's just an automatic thing from when I was alive...
On the seventh floor I stopped. The door was cracked open just enough for a small rat to fit through. It was also the only floor that didn't have some pointless barricade made by stupid people who thought that'd actually stops us. It only stopped them.
I pushed open the door, a soothing creaking sound burst into existence from the rusted hinges. Most of the doors were closed, broken or open with blood stains in their rooms. I was not about to have Kyle wake up in that. Too much explaining already to have to add that into the list. By the time I got to a clean room with an intact door, I had done down one side of the hall a ways and almost back to the stairs. This one was the third door down on the other side of the stairs. It was a regular patient room void of any electronic equipment. There was a simple bed in the corner and bedside table with a candle on top. I walked over and sat down on the bed. Loosening Kyle's arms from my neck, I gently lowered him onto his back to the bed and backed away, closing the door behind me.
Leaning against the door, I checked my torso. Green and red blood had oozed from the cuts, soaking into my shirt. As I ripped apart my shirt my mind wandered to all the tasks I had to complete. I'd have to work on another stockpile. Luckily, having Kyle in a hospital meant I wouldn't have to go far at all for food, what with the sick and dead around. Another issue was figuring out why he wasn't fully turning. "I guess I'll be busy..."