Nick slicked his hand through his black hair as he watched Rochelle and Coach talk about where to go next on the map that was laid out on the wooden table, uncaring, as long as they got out of this safe house, and safely into the next. It was quite a way until the next safe house, about 10 miles, but if they walked fast all day and all night, they would make it just fine. The question was, were they up to it?

His gaze wandered to the Hick-Boy, watching Ellis intently load his guns with his face superbly close to the actual gun. What, was he study it? How dumb…it was a fucking gun. Nothing else to it. But no, Ellis just had to take the time to examine every little fucking thing. What a fucking hillbilly. But, whatever. Let Ellis get killed. Like Nick cared!

You know the feeling of someone watching you? It itches at you, makes you tense, and is just unbearable…you have to look up. Ellis paused his actions and looked up at Nick, frozen completely by the gambler's intense icy-glare. "Wha' Nick?" He supposed Nick was staring so hard at him because Ellis had taken the best guns selfishly this time. Any other time, he'd offer up a gun to Rochelle at the least, but to Nick? Nick had his Desert Eagle. He'd be fine.

Nick just shook his head and rolled his eyes, breaking the gaze. "Nothin' Ellis…just nothin'. Are you guys ready to leave?" He cocked his Desert Eagle and held it at the level of his eye, ready to go out into the zombie-infested world.

With nods, they packed up their items quickly and prepared for battle against the moaning, groaning, disgusting zombies. Coach counted to three before opening the door slowly and stepping outside. There weren't any zombies to be found nearby, but a few were off in the distance, about 20 yards away, just stumbling about absent-mindedly.

Nick lowered his gun and walked casually in the zombies' direction. "This isn't right…something's going on. I can feel it." He squinted as he scanned the entire area, pausing his movement to listen. "Everyone shut up…I hear something…" The others became deathly still and silent, looking from one another to try and figure out what Nick was hearing. They heard nothing. "Nick, sweetheart, I don't hear anything…" Rochelle sighed and put her hand on her hip, getting a bit agitated.

Nick did not like that comment, but he was right. There was something. A giant horde of zombies came running over the hill, screaming loudly with many specials mixed in with the bunch. His eyes widened and he backed up, getting ready to fight. "Fuckin' hell!" He looked at Ellis to do most of the work since he had the best equipment out of all of them.

Understanding Nick's look, Ellis opened fire, shooting most of the ordinary zombies before they reached the survivors, but even his guns were no match for the Tank, the Witch, or the Charger. He had done the best he could do with what he was given, but he couldn't waste his ammo like this. He stepped back and prepared a pipe bomb for throwing, then threw it as hard as he could. The zombies ran after it, clawing at it with all their might as the beeping became more frequent, and then a blinding light blew the zombies to shreds.

Rochelle clapped Ellis on the back and praised him. "Holy shit! That was amazing Ellis, sweetie!"

While Ellis blushed and accepted his praise from Coach and Rochelle, Nick busied himself with adjusting his suit to fit comfortably on his body. He had gotten worked up over nothing, because Ellis had stepped in and taken action before any of the others could do anything. Maybe he was a bit jealous…just a bit.

They continued their journey on for miles on end, not stopping to rest until they had travelled 7 miles. By then, it had become dark and everyone was tired. But, someone had to stay awake to keep guard and shoot any stray zombies that dare come near the house they were taking refuge in for the night. Nick offered to do the first shift, and would wake up Coach around 2am to do the next watch, so on, and so forth.

Everyone shared canned ravioli that they had found at a store a while back and had stuffed their bags full of. One good thing about canned stuff—it kept for a very long time, and was always delicious when it was cooked over fire until it was bubbly-hot. Ellis usually cooked, since he had gotten a lot of his cooking talent from his "Mama". Rochelle always complimented him, and then rubbed the back of Ellis' neck for a few minutes before heading to another area of the house to go to sleep. What a flirt.

Nick would watch from afar, seething in silent anger. He didn't know why he was jealous, but it really got to him that Rochelle gave all of her attention to Ellis, and only Ellis. Favoritism wasn't a wise decision in a world of zombies. You had to work with what you had been given.

Nick sat on the ground against the door outside of the house, his back against the door. He sighed and checked his watch boredly, having not seen any sign of a zombie anywhere, luckily! He just hoped 2am would come quicker, but he knew it wouldn't. 11:57pm. Damn. 3 hours and 3 minutes left. He hung his head and sighed loudly, annoyed beyond belief now. "Fucking great…"

He felt the door move and his body was pushed forward slightly—someone wanting to come outside with him. But why? The gambler got up and dusted himself off, turning to look at who had come out. Ellis.

"Hey…thought you could use 'a bit of a nap. You been out here since…well…since 8. That's long 'nuff, don't ya think?" He gave a toothy grin, his teeth as white as ever. How in the hell did he keep his teeth so white at such hard times like these? Whatever. It didn't matter right now.

"Sure…thought you were asleep. You should be, after all that walking we did today. And after all the effort you put in to killing those damn zombies. I don't think I said it, but…thanks. I wasn't prepared." Nick didn't dare look at him, but he stuck his hand out to Ellis for him to shake.

Ellis looked shocked at first and stared at his hand for a second before grabbing it and shaking it gently. Nick's hand was…so soft. Such a rough man with a soft-center…he'd never seen anything like it before. It was interesting. And here Ellis thought that Nick had hated him for the longest time!

Ellis' hand was calloused, of course from doing so much mechanic work and making pipe bombs for the group. But, it felt nice against his hand and it made Nick think about how sweet Ellis was, but how rough his hands felt. It was quite ironic, yet it made him feel like Ellis really wasn't trying to get on Nick's bad side when he acted "dumb".

Nick pulled his hand away awkwardly and headed inside, stretching and yawning quietly. "Hey…you probably won't see any action. I haven't at all. I think you got em all." Nick smirked at him and finally went inside, shutting the door firmly behind him with a laugh.

Morning came and now Coach was awake, keeping guard as the others began to wake up one by one. Of course Rochelle was the first up, then it was Nick, then Ellis…well…he didn't wake up until it was about time to leave. He was quite a kid at heart still, and besides—Nick couldn't find it in himself to wake the exhausted boy up, so he just let him sleep, making sure everyone was quiet as not to disturb him.

When Ellis finally woke up, he came into the kitchen and sat on the counter, staring at the floor tiredly. "Mornin' everyone. Sorry I slept so late…just so damn tired an' stuff. I might be gettin' sick with somethin'." Immediately, Rochelle got to her feet and went over to Ellis, pressing her cheek to his forehead. "Yeah, you're a little hot honey. Do you want some water?" She offered her canteen to him, truly worried for the young boy.

Ellis shook his head and sighed. "We gotta go soon. They'll track us. If I had Jimmy Gibbs Junior's car, we'd a been to the next safe house days ago!" He imitated driving a racecar, intrigued by the thought of thrill.

Nick shook his head and got up, finishing loading his gun and stuffing it in the back of his pants for easy access. "We should go now so the fuckers don't find us. I bet they're still trying to get to us, but they can't get us because we're too far away from our last position. And shut up about Jimmy Gibbs already Ellis." He shot Ellis a glare.

"Uh, it's Jimmy Gibbs JUNIOR, Nick. This one time, me an' Keith, we went to go see Jimmy Gibbs Junior in person, right? Well, Keith didn't know that Jimmy Gibbs Junior was stayin' in our town, so he ran into him at the mall…man, did he freak out! But, these big guys took Keith OUT and tackled him when Keith tried ta get his autograph. Funniest shit ever! Shoot, I won't ever forget that."

Nick groaned and glared harder at Ellis. "Ellis, you're an idiot…no one cares. Enough with the stories. I don't know about you, but I'm leaving and I'm going to make it to the next safe house, so…see ya." He grabbed his first-aid kit and put it on his back, then left the house.

Taking the hint, the others got their stuff and quickly followed Nick, not wanting to mess with him. Lately, Nick had been very grumpy. Why? What was itching at him? Was it the false sense of hope he had always been feeling? Maybe. Or was it one of his team mates that got under his skin, and he just had to deal with it? That was most likely the answer.