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“I’m sorry!” the girl exclaimed, her head bowed low and her hands together. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”

“It’s okay,” I said to her. “It’s fine. No harm done.” I stood a few feet away from her, scratching the back of my neck with my fingers and trying to not look like I got a surprising wake up call. My face was still burning like a kettle over a fire. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was still bright red, too. Me waking up to find my face between her boobs really caught me off guard. I was definitely not expecting that. It was a shock as much as it was embarrassing.

But the good news was that she was awake and she had some of her strength back. And I suppose that was really all that mattered. Another survivor, another sign of hope for our species.

I looked at the girl, who looked back at me in silence. I could see the confusion in her deep blue eyes.

“How did I get here?” she asked, looking around the room.

“My friend and I found you washed up by the river yesterday,” I replied. “You weren’t breathing, so I gave you CPR. After that, we brought you here.”

Her eyes popped with disbelief. “Friend? You mean there’s more than one of you here?”

I smiled and nodded. “Mm-hmm. There are four of us, myself included.”

I saw her eyes gleam with radiant joy. “So there are more survivors. Just as I hoped.”

I felt myself smiling again. “My name is Tobias Horner. But everyone calls me Toby. What’s yours?”

The girl walked over to me so we stood about a couple feet apart from each other. She held out her hand to me. “Natasha, but you can call me Tash.”

I took her hand in mine and gave it a shake. Her skin felt warm and smooth in contrast to my rough, calloused hand. “It’s a pleasure.” I released her hand and turned towards the door. “Make yourself at home. I’ll get you some breakfast.”

“Okay then,” she said.

I marched my way through the room, out the door, and then went down the stairs. And the whole time, I couldn’t find a way to stop smiling.

* * *

Natasha sank back into the bed, wrapping herself back into the sheets. She could feel her whole heart racing as she did. She had definitely not expected such kindness from a stranger. Stefan was really the only exception… until him.

Tobias Horner…

That name replayed itself again and again, like a broken record. And to her surprise, Tash felt her heart speed up everytime she heard it. She felt heat flush to her face.

What is going on with me? she thought. Why am I acting like this? He’s a total stranger? He could even be a pervert. He probably liked being between my boobs.

And yet… he didn’t seem like that at all. He doesn’t even seem to bring ill will at all. He looks sweet and cute. But also… sad. As if he, deep down, he is full of regret.

At that point, Tash sat up and clutched her head, which she shook vigorously. AHHHH!! WHY AM I THINKING LIKE THIS?! I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HIM!! I SHOULDN'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS LIKE THAT!!


Tash slowly settled back down into the bed. She could just tell that those blood red eyes had a story to tell. A sad, tragic story. Tobias maybe hiding a dark part of his past he had been carrying for so long. Something that nearly destroyed him inside. Something he has never revealed to anyone in his life.

And Tash thought she could see the slightest trace of anger deep in his eyes. A violent, burning rage she had never encountered. Was it something to do with what happened to him? What was the inner demon Tobias was hiding inside his heart?

And as she pondered this, Tobias came through the door holding two steaming bowls and spoons in his hands. He smiled warmly--Why does he have such a cute smile!?--as he walked in. He moved quietly but with purpose. Tash then wondered how his butt looked.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!!! she thought flushing.

“Are you okay?” Toby asked, his eyes full of worry.

Tash tried to get a grip on herself. “I’m okay. Just hungry.”

If Tash saw his smile like the one he gave after hearing that she would likely die of embarrassment. He offered a bowl to her, which she took. She brought to herself and peered in.

“Oatmeal?” she asked.

Toby nodded. “Sorry. It was the only thing I could prep on short notice. Hailey is asleep, and I don't think you’d like Walt or Vinny’s cooking, either.”

“It’s okay,” Tash assured him, taking the spoon and shoveling a mouthful of oatmeal. It was warm and the heat brought her veins the warmth they needed. “How many of you are here?”

“Just me and the other three,” Toby responded, leaning against the wall next to Tash. He ate the oatmeal swiftly, which made Tash giggle.

“Afraid it’ll run away?” she teased.

“ Nah. I just eat fast because I’m used to it.” He shrugged. “Makes it so I don’t leave a lot when predators are nearby.”

From then, the two ate in silence. When Tash finished, she still felt hungry. Toby must have caught on because he strode to the door. “I’ll make a second helping,” he said. “You can rest more, as well if you like. When you’re ready, we’d like to ask a few questions about you.”

Tash smiled and nodded. “Thank you, Toby.”

He grinned softly. “Welcome to our home, Natasha.”

Good thing Toby shut the door before he could see Tash blushing again.

Submitted: July 12, 2019

© Copyright 2022 Tyrannos Senpai. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments:



Ah, that's so sweet that Natasha has a crush on Toby.

Tue, September 24th, 2019 9:47pm


It gets better. Just you wait.

Wed, October 16th, 2019 12:18pm

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