A quick sweep got rid of all lurchers remaining in the office building, though nobody was especially happy about staying there. There were two sofas in the lobby and that was about as luxuriant as it got. Uncomfortable computer chairs were the only other seats available. More to the point, there was no food aside from vending machines.
With the town cleared of the large majority of lurchers, it was quickly decided that a more appropriate place should be found to stay. Ryan, Jay, and Kas headed out into the town to find alternative accommodation while the rest stayed at the office block.
Ryan strolled around twirling his trusty 7 iron golf club, the SA-80 now strapped to his back. He’d become exceedingly proficient at dealing with lurchers with his, by now, signature weapon and always immediately stepped forth ahead of the other two to take care of any they saw. His penchant for meting violent punishment didn’t go unnoticed by the other two.
It didn’t take too long for them to happen across a hotel. It had been part of a famous chain, but was now just another abandoned building whose only present occupants were a handful of undead ambling around in search of something living to feast on.
The few lurchers loitering in the lobby were despatched with minimal fuss and the trio got immediately on with reconnoitring the rest of the building. They were delighted to see that the hotel was relatively clean. One or two rooms contained lurchers, though happily not as many as they were expecting.
They came together again in the lobby after checking the entire hotel and neutralising any threats.
“Seems we’ve found the perfect place,” Jay enthused.
“The kitchen’s a bit light on supplies, but there’s plenty of drink left in the bar,” Kas added.
“We’d better keep an eye on that. The last thing we need is anybody getting plastered and then bringing trouble to our door.”
“Perhaps best we stash it somewhere else in the meantime and ration it as and when,” Ryan suggested.
“Good idea. Let’s lock it in one of the rooms and then we’ll head on back to the office and drag everyone over. This’ll do in the short term. I suggest we don’t get too comfortable though; this apocalypse has a way of whipping the rug from under your feet!”
A little over an hour later and everyone was at the hotel. Nobody was disappointed with the discovery. They each chose their room. In reality, they each could have had four rooms apiece and there still would have been rooms to spare.
Kas parked the truck in the adjoining car park, close enough that it was accessible at a moment’s notice.
Jay gathered everyone together to lay down ground rules. He assigned the scientists the task of continuing their research into Georgina’s immunity using the resources brought along from New Haven. His team were split up and assigned both patrolling and scavenging duties. Two men a time would perform either duty while two others would rest up.
As it was already late in the afternoon, Jay decided duties should be suspended until the next morning. He allowed those who wanted it access to a little alcohol. Naturally, Ryan took more than he should have. Against Jay’s wishes, he wanted to get good and drunk.
It didn’t take all too long for him to decide he was inebriated enough to pay Georgina a visit in her room. Despite the fact she was tired she invited him in and took up the offer to share the booze he’d brought along: a bottle of Tanqueray gin. Their conversation turned deeper the drunker they became.
Sat upon the bed, Ryan held his gaze on Georgina the best he could and lightly held her hand. “When I looked at you earlier and saw that thing on top of you… something snapped inside me. I was scared. Not because of the gawker, but because… losing you… y’know?”
“I understand. I got the same feeling when you wrestled it off me and it was trying to eat you. I knew I had to protect you, like it was more important than anything else.”
“You see?! You get it! I don’t care about any of these other people, George. I only care about you. I want to take care of you and make sure you’re okay. That’s why I was so obsessed in finding out about Mel’s plans. I knew he was making a guinea pig of you for your immunity.”
“That’s wrong though. You have to care about these other people. We’re all in it together. I’m happy you’re so protective of me, but you need to be protective of everyone else too.”
“I don’t feel for them the way I feel for you. If this apocalypse has taught me anything it’s that I don’t want to lose you again. I made that mistake before; I don’t want to make it again.”
Georgina placed a soft hand on his face and focused her slightly glazed eyes on his. “You aren’t going to lose me. I can see how much you’ve grown. I always knew there was a good man inside. It’s a shame it took disaster to drag it out of you. You got there in the end though. I’ll fight by your side for as long as I have to.”
“Until the bitter end,” he said quietly as he closed his eyes and leaned into her. He expected his lips to hit only air; that she’d pull away as she always had since their reunion. So, he was surprised when they made contact with hers.
He snapped open his eyes to see that she really was kissing him back. The simple kiss quickly turned into one of passion as Ryan wrapped his arms around her and guided her down until they were both lying on the bed.
TO BE CONTINUED