Wolf in My Heart
“Where is she?” Shane asked Rushing Daryl and Rick as they returned once again empty handed. Shane grabbed Daryl by the vest, “you’re the damn tracker were is she!” He yelled “Shane be quiet you’ll wake up Carol!” Lori warned in a low hiss as she stood by Rick hold his face in her hands. “We had a trail but it’s starting to run cold” Rick muttered. Shane Let go of Daryl’s vest as he was pushed away lightly. “Look, we all want to find them” Daryl tried to remain civil. Shane glared and stormed off to the car which he had successfully got to start, he got in the driver’s seat and slammed the door shut. He gave the steering wheel a hard slap.
“I should go talk to him” Rick said slowly, he didn’t want to, but he knew what Shane felt. If it was anything like the icy jitter running through his own body, like the itching feeling in his limbs, every inch of his body wanted to be in those woods, searching. “And she’s not even yours” a feeling in the bottom of his heart whispered. How much worse had the feeling have to feel for Shane? Rick looked up to see his friend, his longtime childhood friend hanging his head in the car. He had to talk to him.
Rick opened the passenger’s seat door and got in the car with Shane. Shane never lifted his head, instead her gazed at the carpet of the car between his legs. “Look I know you’re scared…I am too, but Eva’s tough. I bet she just got a little lost, I bet she found Sophia and just lost her way” Rick reasoned calmly. Shane scoffed and smiled bitterly “you don’t know the half of it Scared?” Shane asked the bitterness dripping form every word “I ain’t scared, I’m shitting god damn bricks, Rick” He said looking up. He leant against the steering wheel is arms cross at the top of it. “She’s been out there in the dark for two nights now, He knee is busted, and she just survived a walker attack and nearly being blown up” Shane ranted looking out the window “and both times it was because I wasn’t were I was ‘sposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to do” Shane went on, Rick fell silent as Shane looked ahead “Protecting her at her side” he muttered, his eyes glazed over and he remembered every night, ever moment of the day he’d every laid with Lori during Ricks absence. How back at the CDC he couldn’t stop himself from going after her when Eva stayed behind. He was making himself sick.
Rick blood ran cold listening to Shane’s words, and he couldn’t look at him, Shane had always been the one she looked to when she was in trouble. He’d always envied him for it, Rick, although happy to be her crying shoulder, had always wanted to be the one she could look at and know he would have her. He it never worked out that way, He was never strong enough, never had the same gall Shane did.
An image flashed in ricks mine, Blood splatted onto a young version of himself, it was all on his face, as he held tightly onto a weeping younger Eva. Another flash showed a younger Shane, holding a gun, blood droplets on his white shirt.
Rick exhaled and willed the memory away “even then” he thought. “My hearts out there in those woods” Shane said pointing out the window. “My hearts out there somewhere being walker bait looking for that damn child” Shane went on his voice rising in anger as he kept pointing over and over that the woods. His voice pitched and cracked as water stung his eyes. Rick still unable to look at him, stretched out his arm and pulled Shane over to him, resting Shane’s head in the crook of his neck, Rick held him there in a brotherly hug, “I should be out there!” Shane called. Rick looked up “we’ll head out with a bigger group in the morning, we’ll find her, I swear” Rick promise the grit and firmness in his voice was binding, Shane shook his head and continued to ramble incoherently.
The next morning, Rick awoke to find he had fallen asleep in the car with Shane. Leaning over he shook Shane, whom had made a pillow out of the window, awake. “Shane come on, we gotta head out” He rasped, Shane’s eyes darted open and in a quick movement he opened the car door and got out. Rick followed after stretching before leading Shane over to the RV. “Okay so Shane, Daryl, and I are going back out, we’ll need more eyes with us though this time” Rick spoke as every had gathered around. Andrea whose eyes were red from tears nodded “I’ll go, I lost one sister, I’m not going to lose my friend, or let Carol go through what I did” she added, glancing at Carol who nodded and gave a mute thank you. “I want to go” Carl stated standing on the steps of the RV. “It’s to dangerous” Rick sighed “But I want to go to, besides, Carl is Sophia’s friend…he may be able to help think like her” Lori reasoned.
It was true, she didn’t care much for Eva, and as horrible as it was, she could care just as less if Eva had been bitten. But Lori was a mother, and she could only imagine how Carol was feeling, she could only imagine the sheer horror of not knowing were your baby was, if she was alive, if you’d ever see her again. Lori glanced over at Carl as he walked to her side, she brushed back his dark hair aimlessly and looked to Rick. “I’m coming to she’s my daughter” Carol stated, Rick nodded “alright, that’s fair” he said sympathetically.
“We’ll stay here in case they show up back here” Glenn spoke out nodding, “yeah and I’ll keep an eye out on T-dog and Jenner in the meantime” Dale added in. “thanks” Rick said turning to everyone. “Let’s head out”
The group had been in the woods for hours, searching with no sign so far, following Daryl’s lead. Daryl halted the group as he looked down and spotted the gurgling head of a walker.
Just the head.
“Looks like Eva’s been this way, it would take a Machete to get that clean a cut” Daryl said before smashing the Walkers head with his foot. Lori, Andrea, and Carol grimaced and turned away as the head make a sickening splatter. “Ugh” Andrea grunted quickly following after Daryl as he walked off wanted to get away from the nasty mess. “Come on must be this way” Daryl called.
Daryl’s tracking had lead them to a campsite it was different form the one Eva had been too the previous night. It had a tent. The group glanced at each other apprehensively “Call for her” Rick urged Carol as Daryl inched towards the tent “Sophia!” Carol called, but there was no movement “Sophia bunny it’s mommy” Carol called, still no response, Carol covered her mouth, Lori and Andrea rushed to her side. Daryl unzipped the tent, he quickly covered his mouth as he went inside, but only found a dead man in there, sitting in a lawn chair with his brains blown out. Daryl exited the tent. “Ugh, she’s not in there…just some poor fool who, what was it called” Daryl paused drying recovering from the overpowering smell “Opted out?” He said looking at Andrea “isn’t that what you and Jenner call it” he asked walking off. Carol sighed and shook her head, her hopes dashed, yet she was grateful it wasn’t anything worse.
Bells sounded in the Distance, the group stopped “Church bells?” Andrea questioned, “It might be Sophia!” Carol gasped, “Come on” Daryl said leading the way. Pushing through the brush, they made it to an old church in a large clearing. They ran around the outside of the building, Sophia was nowhere around. Daryl opened the churched doors looking around it seemed like people were sitting in there having service or praying. But as they rose to their feet and stumbled unevenly it became clear. They were walkers. The group collectively took out the few walkers, and deflated. Rick went out to check the outside one more time, he had to find out how the bells were ringing. Around the side of the church a leaver had been pulled. Rick sighed heavily and returned to the inside of the church. “It’s a timed bell” He muttered, Carol sat down in one of the seat and wept. “Are you sure Sophia couldn’t have pulled it?” Lori questioned, “No it has been like that for a long time” rick confirmed. Shane stormed out of the Building a pacing back and forth.
He rubbed his head and was screaming at himself on the inside. Lori stepped out of the churched and walked over to him “you know she’s probably not coming back Shane” Lori said hugging herself as she walked closer, “You don’t say that, you don’t know” Shane barked pointing at her. “Oh I know, she’s about as handy in the woods as I am” She added. “Once she’s gone you’ll be alone if you leave, you need to stay, for Carl, for Rick” Lori reasoned “I can’t do that! I don’t belong here anymore, I belong with Eva, and we’ll find a place. Things will be less” Shane paused “Complicated” he said. Lori leered at him “You can’t run away from your problems Shane” she stated. Shane glared at her “It’s not my problem it’s ours, and you’re running just as much as I am or do you wanna tell him? Huh!” Shane raged.
Andrea lingered in the doorway of the Church listening, she recalled the fight she had with Dale, about her father’s gun. It was true she just wanted to end her life, but nothing made her madder then how Dale was trying to push his way into being her father. It was as if he was trying to replace him. Andrea glared at the ground. If Shane and Eva where leaving she wanted to go with them. With the only two people who might be able to remotely understand her.
“I didn’t think so” Shane rumbled walking away from Lori, Andrea took this as her chance, and ran after Shane. “Hey!” She called. “Oh for Christ sake not another one” Shane barked turning to face her. “I heard you talking with Lori” Andrea spoke, Shane paled but remained calm “and what?” he asked “and if you’re going to leave you need to take me with you, when we find Eva” Andrea reasoned “why should I do that?” Shane asked “why would I need to do that?” he asked Andrea smirked “well I’m an extra pair of eyes, and Eva’s never going to Leave Rick behind next to you and Me he’s her best friend.” Shane glanced off to the side “at least if you tell her I’m coming long she might consider it more, she’s like my sister Shane, No one else here can stand me, and they just tolerate you and her” Andrea added. “the three of us make the most perfect third wheel ever seen” Shane grumbled “yeah well you’re going to have to come up with a better excuse than that” He said holding his ground. Andrea smirked “I can always let it slip…about the times you and Lori got yourselves…lost, we’ll call it, in the woods” Andrea blackmailed him with a smirk. “Eva already suspects” She breathed, Shane’s head shot up “I wonder how Rick would act…maybe if you’re lucky he’ll get mad at you and Lori and you can finally have Lori all to yourself” Andrea sighed as if she hadn’t a care in the world “of course” she said pausing, Shane glared at her “Eva would never want to see you again, I suppose she’d end up with Rick” Andrea added with a sly smile. She had seen it every bit as much as the others, there was something, even if small, between Rick and Eva. The way he look at her, the way she touched him. It was hard not to notice, but not easy to believe.
Shane sighed and wiped his face with both hands, “fine” he huffed, “you can leave with us, but keep that damned mouth of yours shut!” Shane barked storming off. Andrea nodded and smiled to herself proud of her handy work. Now she needed to find Eva.
Rick gazed up at the wood cross carving of Jesus, he felt awkward, like she shouldn’t be there. After all it’d been years since he’d set foot in a church. He felt like the carving was judging him and his failure, his adulterous thoughts that were emerging for Eva in the midst of his wife and child. Rick quickly exited out of the church. “You guys should head on back to the road, Shane and I will keep looking for a bit” He stated, there wasn’t a lot of Protest, except “No I want to stay Aunt Eva and Sophia are out there still I want to help dad” Carl piped up. Rick looked down at him “It’s not safe, and I need you to guard your mother for me” Rick tried to reason, but Carls eyes were hardened he wasn’t going back. Rick sighed simultaneously with Shane. Shane looked at Lori and then to Carl. “Hey let the kid come, he wants to help, he won’t be trouble and we’re not going to be out here long” Shane reasoned, Lori smiled at bit at this. While Shane wanted to kick himself. It was like he was a puppet and she held the strings.