A Veil of Black and Gold
Andrea was the last person to get her blood drawn. After Jenner was done, she stood and nearly fell to the floor. Jenner stood quickly as she was caught by Jacqui and looked at her with worry.
“Are you alright? You don’t look so well.” He told her as he walked closer to the group.
“When you haven’t eaten in days, you tend to get a little lightheaded.” Rael said from his place beside Shane. He took Bubba’s hand repositioned the bag on his shoulders.
Jenner looked at the group and an idea was formed in his mind.
“You know, we have a very well stocked kitchen and an assortment of pots and pans. I’ll be more than happy to fix you all something to eat.” The eyes of the survivors have never been brighter.
“Excuse me, doc,” Nicole walked forward with an interesting look on her face. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to be the one who cooks. I happen to be a very talented chef and I haven’t cooked anything for a large group of people in a very long time.” Nicole looked at the doctor and he raised an eyebrow at her as he shrugged his shoulders.
“That’s ok with me, I suppose.” The rest of the group seemed to not mind either. “Let me lead you to the kitchen.” The group followed the doctor once again through the cold maze of the CDC. Nicole slowed a few steps to meet up with her brother.
“You know I want you to cook with me, right?” She asked him. He looked down at her, Bubba in his arms, playing with the small curls growing from the base of Rael’s neck.
“Why?” Bubba looked down at Nicole, proceeding to grab a lock of her hair.
“Maybe because, you’re a damn culinary genius,” He gave a small smile. “These people could use it, Rael. We’ve all been through a lot and a good meal would really hit the spot.” Bubba looked up at his dad and Rael looked down at his son.
“You want daddy to cook for you, Tres?” Bubba gave a big smile and nodded his head. “Alright,” Rael laughed. “I’ll do it.” Nicole gripped her brother’s hand and squeezed it, right as they arrived at the huge kitchen.
Nicole went to the fridge and cabinets to see what they could make. There was a lot of pasta and loads of spaghetti sauce. Not to mention, there were a few assortments of white and red wine. She grinned when she saw the ingredients for making garlic bread from scratch, something that Rael was very good at. She was going to make her friends a real badass Italian dinner.
The dinner was a huge hit with the survivors. Nicole and Rael prepared spaghetti with meatballs, garlic bread and enough wine to get everybody very tipsy. Once the food was eaten and the first bottle of wine emptied, Nicole began reminiscing every single time she had eluded suspicion of being the ‘Raventon Drug Lord’ as the papers called her.
“All I’m saying is, you have to admit, you guys never suspected the towns lawyers children to be behind it, did ya?” Nicole asked Rick, raising a glass in his direction. “I had all of you tan boys duped!” She laughed loudly and took a haughty gulp from her glass, leaning her head onto Daryl’s shoulder.
Rick sheepishly grinned down at his empty plate and nodded his head.
“Alright, I admit, Nicole, that you honestly were the very last person I suspected. Dixon on the other hand,” Rick pointed a slightly shaking finger past Nicole. “I had severe suspicions about. Not you, in general Daryl, but your brother. Shane and I have busted him a few times in possession of some very heavy drugs.” Rick took a swig from his cup and by his glassy eyes; Nicole could see she wasn’t going to envy him in the morning.
She looked over to her brother, who hasn’t said a word since they both served their friends. Once again, he had a long lost look in his eyes and he was steadily drinking straight out of one of the bottles. While everyone was laughing and talking Rael broke the silence in a very uncomfortable way.
“What the fuck are we doing sitting here and laughing like a bunch of fucking retards?” The room got quieter than death and Nicole glared daggers at her brother.
“That’s exactly what I was thinking.” Shane added, looking over at the doctor, who had been sitting quietly since dinner ended. “Where is everyone?”
“Maybe that can be discussed at a later time, Officer Dickhead, I mean, Walsh.” Nicole said, getting shocked and silent sideways glances. Shane gave Nicole a look that made her think he wanted to hit her or have sex with her.
“She’s right, Shane. We’ve just enjoyed a wonderful meal and I’m sure the good doctor wouldn’t want us to bombard him with questions.” Rick added as he shifted uncomfortably in his seat in between Lori and Carl.
“Wasn’t this your big plan, dude?” Rael asked him rudely, not noticing Bubba shy away from him and hide under the table. “Weren’t you the one who said we needed to come here?” Rick stared at Rael and Rael stared at Rick, neither one of them flinched or move.
“We didn’t know what it was,” The doctor said, causing everyone to look in his direction. Bubba brushed against Nicole’s knees and looked under the table, seeing him crawl into Daryl’s lap. “It spread so fast. We didn’t know what to do. We all worked as hard and fast as we could, but we lost people once it started getting bad.
“We still kept working, even with a fewer people. We worked but then the military got overrun, even with all their weapons and bombs. After that, there were only a handful of people. You could count them on your hands. They all just bolted.” Rael scoffed at the doctor.
“That’s a lot of people, doc. You’re telling me every last one of those fuckers bolted?” Jenner looked at Rael with a sarcastically calm look on his face. That look caused Rael to straighten in his chair and glare at the doctor.
“Not every single one. We had full and constant access to what was going on out there. The news feeds and videos from all over the world that people were sending in. Once the realization of what these things were and what they were doing to people caused some of the folks who stayed behind to be so scared that they couldn’t even take a step out the door.
“Those folks,” Jenner looked right into Rael’s eyes. “checked out early.” Everyone at the table seemed to take an extra long draught of the alcohol they had in their glass at that moment. “It was a bad time for me, a really bad time.” He looked down at his empty plate and finished off his wine.
“There’s one thing I don’t get, doc.” Nicole said as placed her elbows on the table. “You could’ve let at anytime. You saw it was all going to hell, why didn’t you leave?” The doctor shrugged and reached for the closest bottle of wine, which T-Dog handed him.
“I thought that, maybe I could do some good if I kept working.” He poured himself another glass of wine, and stood up. “If you’d like, I can show you folks where you can sleep. It’s getting pretty late.” The group slowly began to stand and follow the doctor.
“Way to go, asshole,” Glen spat at Rael as he passed him on his way to catch up with T-Dog. Rael muttered ‘whatever’ under his breath and grabbed Bubba from Daryl’s arms. Bubba began to protest along with Daryl but Nicole intervened.
She pulled Daryl away from her frowning brother and fell into the rest of the crowd. Rael stayed behind, far enough to be alone but close enough to keep up.
“What the fuck is his problem?” Daryl asked as he hung one of his arms over Nicole’s shoulders.
“I don’t know, Daryl. He’s all fucked up and I don’t know why. Just don’t bother with him, alright? I can take care of my brother.” She grinned up at him and he knelt down to kiss her. She smiled into the kiss as she returned it. She could taste the wine on his breath and tongue and she shuddered as he nibbled her lip.
She suddenly bumped into something and they broke apart. Andrea and Carol were glaring at them and the rest of the group was trying to hold back laughs.
“Maybe you two should focus more on walking instead of making out in front of everyone.” Carol exclaimed quite loudly, causing Jenner to stop talking and walking to look back at them. She then grabbed Sophia’s hand, which was on the verge of a very serious case of the giggle fits, and walked away with Andrea.
Nicole cleared her throat and continued walking; trying to focus on what the doctor was saying about showers and cots and not on what Daryl was whispering in her ear.
sorry it took so long. Please enjoy