I Hold On
Fateful Encounters and Decisions
Ellie's vibrant green eyes slowly raised to meet the dark brown eyes of the man who had a shotgun aimed at her head. She kept her gaze on him, taking in his tall and well built form. He wore khaki cargo jeans, black boots and a navy blue hat with the word 'Police' on it. The dark blue buttoned up shirt he was wearing was tucked into his pants neatly revealing a black belt with a knife sheathed on the side, much like the one she owned. His handsome and rugged face showed a seriousness but worn fatigue to it. He never once took his sights off of her, even when she started to slowly reach back for the bucket of precious water. That was when his deep hick accent broke the silence again, making her frown a bit.
"I asked you a question girl, where the hell you think you're goin'?"
This time the redhead felt the barrel of the mans gun touch the side of her temple and she let out an annoyed sigh as she let go of the bucket. Turning to him slowly her eyes became fierce as if they were glowing with a dangerous green flame. Although she felt somewhat relived to actually see that there was in fact another living breathing human being around, she had no time to waste in whatever game he was playing. She had to get back to Ariel with that water before sundown came and that was her top priority.
"If you'd lower your gun you'd find out that I don't mean you any harm. I have to take this water back."
"Back to where? You got a camp or somethin' 'round here? That ain't your water to take."
Ellie watched the man as he kept his gun on her, never once moving it from where it rested on her right temple. She suddenly became quite irritated, wanting to just grab the water and go. So long as he was threatening her with that gun of his though, she was stuck.
"I ain't tellin' you where I'm goin' or who I'm with. And for your information Officer, if you haven't noticed, society has gone to hell so as far as I'm concerned, this here water is finders keepers. I found it. I keep it."
"You best watch your mouth girly, I'm the one with the gun remember? And you don't think I don't know that the worlds gone to shit? Supplies are runnin' lower than low making people desperate. Not to mention those damn man eating corpses are everywhere. So you can understand why I can't just trust you and let you up and walk away with that water. Not unless you tell me how you ended up here and who you're with."
"I'm not tellin' you a damn thing. You'll have to shoot me first."
The southern woman stood her ground, her eyes continually blazing with the fierce desire to survive. By the way the man was standing she could tell he wasn't going to shoot her but the look on his face said otherwise. Ellie winced a bit as the barrel of the gun was pushed into the side of her head more, making her arch her head the opposite way.
"Shane! What the hell is goin' on?"
Just then the gun was quickly pulled away from Ellie's head, making her relax a bit as she looked up to see what was going on. Another man came running towards the man now known as 'Shane'. This man was dressed in dark brown pants, a sheriff's shirt, leather boots and he had a silver gun holstered at his side. Quickly without thinking, the woman got up on her feet, grabbing the bucket of water while 'Shane' had turned around to greet his companion. Before Ellie could take any further steps though she heard the familiar sound of a gun being cocked back and she froze.
"Ain't no one told you to go nowhere. Now you put that bucket of water down 'fore I really do shoot you."
The auburn haired female scowled and turned to the brown eyed man and almost threw the bucket down but instead placed it on the ground and stood there, both hands at her side clenched into tight fists. His gun was once again pointed on her and as much as she wanted to just get the hell out of there and take off, she didn't dare.
"Shane, what's goin' on? Who's this woman?"
"I don't know Rick. Found her takin' water from that well there. She won't say where she came from or if there are more with her."
Ellie's eyes narrowed a bit as she watched the two men talk. Rick and Shane looked at her every few seconds, his shotgun still pointed at her. They were going back and forth as if they were contemplating on what to do with her. She could feel her heart beating rapidly in her chest as she just stayed silent and listened.
"She doesn't appear to be dangerous. I mean look at her. She's all skin and bones."
"Yeah well you should listen to the mouth on her. Besides Rick, we ain't got no more food and water for another person! We barely have enough for our own group!"
"Well we can't leave her here and we sure as hell aren't going to shoot her."
"And we can't let her go neither. What if she does have a group out there and we let her go and she tells them 'bout this place and they come back and try and take this farm? What if they got guns and ammo and she was just sent out here as a pawn? We can't take that risk Rick. Think about Lori and Carl. This is the safest place we've been to yet and I ain't about to let no mouthy redhead ruin it for us!"
That was when Ellie's eyes went wide as Shane turned to her, he walked forward and in a few steps he had his gun aimed right at her head once again, this time in the center of her forehead.
"Now you listen real good sweetheart, if you don't tell us how you got here or where the rest of your group is, I swear this time I'll splatter your brains so good you won't dare come back as one of them things. You hear me?"
"Go to hell. I ain't tellin' you nothin'."
"Okay, you asked for it."
Shane put his finger on the trigger and Ellie closed her eyes, too stubborn to give her sister up. She didn't trust these men even if they had food and supplies and there were others. If it meant putting Ariel in more danger than just being out in the open with all of those flesh eating zombies, so be it.
Rick ran over and grabbed his friends arm and pulled him back just before he had the chance to pull the trigger. Shane lowered his gun, his face still serious but with anger to it.
"You have got to be kiddin' me Rick! It's obvious she's hidin' somethin'! Just let me shoot her and be done with it!"
"That's not how we do things! We don't kill people Shane! We don't kill living people!"
The eldest Lavelle watched as Shane pushed his friend away and she frowned a bit. Rick's words seemed sincere. It didn't look like he killed people but Shane? He was another story. If Ellie was seeing things right it was his dark brown eyes that gave it away. It seemed to her that he had in fact killed someone, and not just one of the few thousand zombies roaming around in the heat either. Wiping her brow, Ellie shook away her doubt that she couldn't trust these men. She had promised Ariel she'd find more people and these two were as good as any (not that there was a choice in the matter) and from what she heard before, they even had more people, a group. Even if Shane was a bit hot headed and trigger happy, so long as Rick was the voice of reason in the situation, Ellie could deal with that. The 'Sheriff' seemed to definitely have a strong head on his shoulders. Hell if Rick hadn't shown up when he did she knew she'd of been dead. So with a long sigh, the redhead let go of her mistrust and her stubbornness and unclenched her fists.
"Excuse me, Rick?"
Rick looked away from Shane who seemed a bit more calm then he was moments ago and gave the foreign woman his attention.
"My name is Ellie. Ellie Lavelle. My sister Ariel and I have been traveling for almost two weeks on our own. We're very tired, thirsty, hungry and in much need of shelter. I swear it's just us. I know you said you had a group and I understand not having enough food and supplies to go around but if you could take us in for just tonight, we'd be eternally grateful."
Ellie noticed how Shane scowled and whether it was because she opened up to Rick and not him or because he still didn't trust her, she didn't know. All she knew was the next words out of Rick's mouth made her happier then ever.
"Nice to meet you Ellie. I'm sorry Shane here went off on you. The world's really gotten to him. It's gotten to us all. Now you said you have a sister who's traveling with you? Where is she? Shane and I can go with you to go get her if that's alright? Maybe help you carry your things?"
"She's in an old barn not far from here. It's just up the road. Thank you for the offer but I can go by myself. I'll be right back."
"Well if you're sure. Shane and I will be waiting right here for you and your sister to come back."
"You can't be serious man. She's obviously playin' us! She'll bring back an army or some shit and kill us both. I ain't lettin' that happen."
With that Shane ignored Rick and suddenly approached Ellie and with the hand that wasn't holding his shotgun, he grabbed her arm.
"Come on girly, I'm goin' with ya. I'm wise to your tricks and I ain't allowin' you to just sneak away and bring back your people to kill us and steal our stuff."
Her green eyes went wide as he tugged her arm and she scowled, pulling away from him.
"I'm tellin' the truth! My sister is dying of heat exhaustion all alone in some dust infested barn and I told her I'd be back by sunset with some water!"
"Well then, I'll carry the water and you lead the way."
Shane suddenly picked up the bucket of water and nudged her forward, looking back at Rick.
"I'll be back 'fore sundown. You'll see you can't trust nobody. Not walkers or people."
Rick sighed and shook his head, hoping he was right about the stranger and her story about her sister. If not, he sure was going to get an earful from Shane when he got back. Before Ellie could say another word, Shane nudged her again but this time with the end of his shotgun in her lower back.
"Come on now, we ain't got all day. We got at least an hour 'fore the sun goes down. Now hurry up if you wanna 'save your sister'."
It was obvious the man wasn't going to let up or give in so with a long aggravated sigh, the redhead walked forward, heading to the barn where she left Ariel. Unknowingly though, bringing Shane along was the best decision she could ever make.
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