~ "There is not any present moment that is unconnected with some future one. The life of every man is a continued chain of incidents, each link of which hangs upon the former. The transition from cause to effect, from event to event, is often carried on by secret steps, which our foresight cannot divine, and our sagacity is unable to trace. Evil may at some future period bring forth good; and good may bring forth evil, both equally unexpected."

~Joseph Addison (1672–1719)

The Domino Effect

Juno ran as fast as she could through the small amount of snow, large amount of ice, and biting wind. No, she wasn't running from anything in particular, but honestly, what else was she going to do? There was no food, no shelter, no nothing; was she just supposed to sit on her ass until she became a human popsicle? She snorted at the visual in her head, shells might actually like that...as long as the blood was still pumping of course.

She was pretty sure she was fighting a losing battle anyway-her vision was starting to go spotty and she giggled as she watched a truck in the distance plow down a shell, the blood and body bits painting grotesquely across the almost pristine ice. Juno jerked herself further onto the road watching the show. She frowned, the truck was coming at her now...but she wasn't one of those things! Her brain clicked into survival mode seconds too late as she tried to scramble out of the way. The truck slowed but not enough, and as it hit her left arm she heard a loud crunch before she flew through the air and everything went silent.

. . .

"Lookie here boys! Ten points!" Merle shouted almost disturbingly gleeful as he swerved in the ice to hit yet another biter. Decayed matter sprayed across the windshield and he used his bad arm to flick on the windshield wipers.

"Cut it out man." The hispanic man sitting next to him snapped. "You know the Governor don't like it when you do that shit. 'Sides we're supposed to be lookin' for supplies and pucha, pendejo."

"You gonna' talk ta me Caesar ya best be doin' it in English. Fuckin' taco bender." Merle spat at him.

"Yeah yeah. Shut the fuck up Merle. You gotta work with a nigger and a spic, and we gotta work with a white trash, hillbilly, redneck. Fuckin' deal." A black man older than Caesar spoke up irritably; there wasn't much they could do-they all knew Merle was in charge.

Merle turned sideways to look at the man. "The fuck you-"

"Watch it, cabrón!" Caesar shouted.

Merle spun facing forward to see a woman stagger out into the road, obviously alive, hair streaming around her head like it had a damn electric current running through it. he chuckled. "Watch this ya fuckin' dumb asses." he grinned. "Gonna scare us up some fresh meat."

Unfortunately he forgot to account for the ice and when he made to break the truck slid, hitting the woman fairly hard, throwing her into a small bank of snow that had managed to accumulate overnight off the side of the road, where she lay completely still.

The men jumped out of the truck guns, blade, and bow at the ready, running to where the woman lay. "Did you just kill the only new pedazo de culo we've seen in months idiota?" Caesar snapped nudging the woman with his foot.

The black man shook his head. "Governor's gonna be pissed." He muttered.

"Shut yer' crybaby mouth Shupert." Merle snapped at the man. "Caesar, the fuck I say to you about english motherfucker?" He crouched down next to the woman's prone form.

"What are you doing, man!" Caesar jumped as Merle used his blade to move her hair out of her face.

"Only a few ways ta' find out if she's still alive..." He trailed off looking at the bruise forming on her bicep where the truck ha hit, grinning sickly he reached out and squeezed it.

. . .

Holy mother fucking cock sucking shit! She hurt! Her throat felt like it was on fire and that was nothing compared to her arm. Belatedly she realized she was screaming and forced herself to stop. As she stopped her ears were filled with what she swore were the devils chuckles.

"Was that necessary tonto?" Another mans voice spoke sounding like he was on the verge of puking.

"We know she's alive now don' we boy? Rise an' shine sugar tits." The devil called much too cheerfully.

"Go fuck yourself." Juno groaned out cracking her eyes open, meeting a pair of crystal blue eyes surrounded by a jackass.

The eyes narrowed at her. "The fuck you say ta' me?"

"Listen," she ground out. "I realize that you probably haven't gotten laid in a long while..." She looked him up and down critically, noting the missing hand and mean looking blade on his right arm. "Or maybe ever, but I'm sure you're familiar with a 'do it yourself' job, so really, what part of go fuck yourself needs explaining?" She really needed to work on her conversation skills she mussed.

Choked laughter from the two other men could be heard as the devils face went an angry red. He grabbed her by her injured arm and hauled her to her feet. "C'mon ya big mouthed pair a tits." He snarled as she yelped in pain. "Lets git goin'."

He dragged her to the truck and released her for only an instant as he hauled the passenger door open and hopped in. Grabbing her around the waist he yanked her up into his lap. "Caesar! Yer drivin' ya ugly spic!" He shouted out at the two dumb struck men.

"You know, when I made the observation that you hadn't been fucked it wasn't an invitation." She grumbled. Nope, still needed to work on the art of conversing with others-especially others that potentially held her fate in their hands.

Merle tightened his grip on her thigh with his 'good' hand. "Dunno darlin', sounded like one ta' me." He rasped in her ear.

Juno decidedly ignored the heat in her belly at being placed in this mans lap with his hand rhythmically squeezing and then soothing her thigh. She shifted slightly, ignoring the way the movement ground her into his crotch ."So your names are...?" She asked addressing the two other men.

"Shupert." The black man grunted, looking anywhere but her.

The hispanic man eyed her as he started the truck. "Caesar Martinez, mamacita." He finally said with a grin. "And you are?"

She liked him-he had a nice smile and an easygoing air about him. "Juno Nyx." She smiled, ignoring the slight nausea from her arm. "Cuál es el nombre de este Diablo?"

Caesar's eyes widened a fraction in surprise. He choked out a laugh. "Diablo? Merle es su nombre." He shook his head chuckling under his breath. "Diablo."

The man named Merle tensed under her. "The fuck I say bout english ya god damn wetbacks!?"

Ooohh, so he was one of those angry rednecks. She simpered at him and put on her best southern drawl. "Dunno suga', I wasn't here. Think ya' could enlighten me han'some?"

Merle's jaw dropped and Shupert looked at her incredulously. "You some kind of changeling or just fucking stupid?" Shupert asked her.

"Neither." She snapped. "I'm also not Mexican, black, or some backwoods hillbilly. So for now, for our quaint little car ride, do you think we can put a sock in all the racist name calling?"

To hers and apparently everyone else's shock, Merle laughed outright. "Hell nah firecracker. Don't you worry none though, even if ya' had been a spic-Id'a still fucked ya."

"Thank goodness." Juno said dryly. "That was an incredibly big concern of mine."

Merle leaned in dangerously close to her ear. "Oh, it will be darlin'." He rasped lowly, pulling her flush against his body with his arm wound tight around her waist, his voice laced with innuendo. "A incred'bly big concern." His hand bunched in the material at the bottom of her shirt, and his callused fingers meet her skin. "I may well be the devil, but ya'd still be screamin' my name when I'd get done wit'chu so you bes' learn it. Us Dixon's do our do our shit right."

Well fuck me sideways. If that wasn't the hottest thing she had ever heard... She mentally gave herself a shake, now was not the time to be getting horny-besides this guy was an asshole. She would have to watch what she said in spanish around him though, he knew enough to know she had called him a devil, the fact he caught on at all was surprising. Maybe she should give him more credit after all?

. . .

When Merle had first dragged the girl into the car he was hell bent on teaching her a lesson. Feel her up an' rough her up a bit, meb'be make her cry. He had never forced himself on a woman and he wasn't about to but she didn't need ta know that. Then as he pulled her into his lap he watched as a flush crept up her neck-the little woman was enjoyin' sittin' on his lap! He had to bite back a groan as she had turned and unintentionally ground herself into his crotch.

The fuck was this shit? Shouldn't she be worried where a group a men were takin' her or what was goin' ta happen ta her?

As if on cue Shupert spoke up. "Don't you wanna know nothing?" He sounded surprised.

Caesar winced before training his face blank, and Merle did nothing having just wondered the same thing himself. She shrugged and then grimaced at the way the movement jostled her arm. "About what? Where you guys are taking me? Should I be quivering in fear about what's going to happen to me?" She almost snorted.

"You don't know us, hermosa. We could be bad men." Caesar looked at her calculatingly.

To their shock Juno just shrugged. "Any worse than the shells out there?" Before they could answer or question her she continued. "You kill me? So what? They'll do that out there to. You rape me? Beat me? I highly doubt you won't get bored eventually and kill me anyway. Right now I'm warm for the first time in weeks, and not walking for the first time since this all started."

Well, now. If tha' ain't one fucked up way a thinkin'.

Apparently he wasn't the only to think so as Shupert put his two cents in. "You just have a death wish? Don't care to defend yourself or nothing? The fuck is wrong with you?"

"I never said any of that." She smiled sweetly. "You try to kill me I'll fight, same if you try to rape or beat me. And you give me any opening I'll fuck your shit up."

At this Merle chortled. "No offense meant doll, but I'm bettin' even without yer' lame arm ya couldn't take even one a us."

She turned to lock eyes with Merle. "Never said I could. But I'll sure as hell try." She said simply. "For now though I'm not stupid enough to throw myself out of a moving truck, as its getting dark, with a possibly broken arm, in the cold. I'm warm and I'm not walking." She turned back to face the front of the truck. Wow the silence was actually awkward. She sighed turning to look at the men again. "If I scream some and pretend to beg, maybe I could even work up some tears, would it make you guys feel better?"

Hmmm, now there was a damn good thought; woman wasn' bad lookin. Bet I could have her beggin' an' screamin' sumthin' fierce.

Caesar chuckled at her while Merle leaned in. "Won't be all pretend darlin'."

. . .

Her mouth dropped thinking that he was telling her that yes, that's exactly what they planned to do with her.

What the fuck?

She whipped her head around to look at him and was relived and somewhat irritated when she saw him wink and waggle his eyebrows at her. "Yeah, you're real funny." She huffed facing forward again.

"Here." Shubert threw a wad of cloth at her. "Tie it around, make a sling." He said and then abruptly faced forward. The tension in the truck dissipated and she leaned her head against the window, fighting to keep her eyes open.

A/N~ I just realized that I didn't put up translations! So sorry!

pucha, pendejo- pussy/cunt, dumbass

pedazo de culo- piece of ass

idiota- idiot

cabrón- idiot, dumbass etc.

tonto- pussy, cunt, dumb or stupid person

mamacita- hot mama, used to flirt

Cuál es el nombre de este Diablo?- What is this devil's name?

Diablo- devil

Merle es su nombre- his name is Merle

hermosa- beautiful