Reads: 188

Page, Steve, and Helena walked to the other side of the Castle where the gardens were. The open area was full of various plants and shrubs to beatify it. It seemed like a nice area just to come and relax in. Page guessed they left it intact for just that reason. Once they were out of earshot of anyone, she looked to the two leaders.

‘I know a place.’ Page told them. ‘There are guns, ammo, medical supplies, and anything else that your people would need to make life a little more comfortable here. It is in a ripper free zone but, difficult to find.’ The two looked to each other confused. ‘I will give you two the location with a few of conditions. I want your solemn word you will follow these conditions with no variations.’

‘What are your conditions?’ Helena asked.

‘I want a monument of some sort erected to honor First Privet Kadin Macaroy, US army.’ Page said and was not happy to see Steve scowl at the condition. ‘Second. Macaroy’s final resting place is in the attic of the house. His remains are not to be disturbed. I found his journal and it was his final request. When you report all of this, my name stays out of it. Macaroy will get all credit for the find.’

‘Why?’ Steve demanded annoyed ‘We don’t know this man? Why should we erect a monument to a stranger?’

‘Because he saved our lives,’ Page started ‘and will improve yours. I want him honored and when you see this place, you will understand.’

‘You said there were guns?’ Helena asked. Page nodded and told her about the shed with the wall of guns on it.

‘We found more stashed all over the house.’ Page continued. ‘The basement has enough basic supplies for all of you. Toothpaste, seeds, toilet paper, you name it and he has it. In the dining room is his journal. It has a list of houses in the area of other preppers. He marked off the ones he raided, but there were dozens more unchecked. It is a very rare and untapped treasure trove of resources. If Kidd and I did not have our hearts set on going to NY, we would have stayed there.’ Both Helena and Steve were silent as they looked to each other.

‘All right.’ Helena said looking back to Page. ‘Considering the little you asked, I agree to you your conditions and give you my word to honor your request.’ Steve nodded his agreement. Page nodded and gave them the location.

‘You have to look hard for the blue house.’ Page finished with ‘I almost missed it myself, but the wind blew the grass just right and I spotted it.’ Helena nodded. ‘I also suggest you take all of your wagons and a good escort. When I say there is a lot of stuff there, I meant it. I just wish we had our wagon when we found it so I could have taken more.’ Helena shook her head.

‘I don’t know how to repay you for this Page.’ The woman said and then looked to her. ‘We are the most secure outpost in the whole state. You and your son could live considerably comfortable lives here.’ Page shook her head.

‘I appreciate the offer.’ She said ‘My brother is waiting for us. He and Kidd are my only family left in this world. That means more to me than anything else.’ She shrugged. ‘Just remember to keep my name out of it when you contact Mouth. It is bad enough he is reporting my every move on the radio. I can’t take a shit without hearing about it ten minutes later.’ Steve chuckled shaking his head.

‘We will keep you out of it.’ Helena promised. Page stood.

‘Good,’ she said ‘Now if you will both excuse me, I am going to grab Dan and my son so we can go fishing at these ponds I have heard so much about.’ The two waved her off and Page headed back to the training grounds.


Page shook her head hardly able to contain her laughter as she pulled the big cart behind her. She and Kidd had been feeling stir crazy after a week at the castle, and decided to go investigate a trailer park in the south. It was in thick ripper territory and no one at the castle wanted to risk going.

‘Not funny.’ Kidd said torn between amusement and annoyance. Page looked back to the boy. He was pulling the small cart and covered head to toe with thick brown mud.

‘Pretty funny from here.’ She giggled. The boy stuck his tongue out at her and Page laughed shaking her head.

‘What the hell?’ Larry the gate guard asked as they pulled up to the lowered gate.

‘Kidd decided he wanted to take a mud bath.’ Page chuckled. Larry shook his head and called someone to open the gate.

‘Good haul I see.’ He said looking at the over full carts.

‘Superb.’ Page agreed. ‘Those trailers were not the only thing down there. We found a whole suburban neighborhood.’

‘You went into Chutney Valley?’ Steve said joining them. ‘That place is over run with rippers. How did you get in?’

‘The woods are packed.’ Kidd agreed ‘All the houses are empty. Mom got in and out with no trouble.’

‘And then, Kidd tried.’ Page chuckled amused.

‘Still not funny.’ Kidd said peering at her.

‘Come on mud man.’ Page teased. ‘We will drop this stuff off and you can go take a bath.’ He rolled his eyes and pulled the cart toward the cottage they shared.

Both froze to see a big muscular man sitting on the bench in front of the cottage. He was taller than Page with dirty blond hair and a full beard that was neatly trimmed. His silver eyes shine with happiness at the sight of them. Page smiled and dropped the handle of the wagon going to him. Ty stood and picked her up off the ground in a tight hug.

‘It’s about time.’ She chuckled and let him kiss her. Like the first and only time the two kissed, the world around them faded and their bodies melted together as if they had been designed to fit.

‘I think she found him.’ Martha giggled and the two reluctantly broke apart. Martha, Tucker and Gwen were standing by Kidd. ‘What did you do to your son?’ Page chuckled amused as Kidd peered at her.

The boy went to Ty, and the big man did not hesitate to pick him up and hug him. Page was a little surprised the boy did not protest. He did not let any male with in five feet of himself let alone touch him.

‘Hi Ty.’ Kidd greeted with a big smile.

‘Hello Kidd.’ Ty chuckled. ‘What has your mother been feeding you boy? You are at least a foot taller than the last time I saw you.’

‘Mom says I will get bigger than her.’ Kidd announced proudly.

‘I just bet you are.’ Ty chuckled. ‘At this rate, you will be taller than me.’ He shook his head. ‘How did you get covered in mud?’ Kidd rolled his eyes.

‘I let Kidd walk a house.’ Page chuckled. ‘I didn’t realize the back yard had been washed out by a mud slide. Kidd decided that would not stop him from walking the house and tried to go through the mud. He slid about fifty feet down the hill before I could get a rope to him.’ Page shook her head giggling. ‘I don’t know what was harder, pulling him out of the slide, or keeping from cracking up and alerting the rippers in the woods.’ She smiled amused at Kidd. ‘I learned I need to watch my language around him. He said quite an ear full as soon as we were at a safe distance.’ Kidd gave her a sheepish smile and Ty set him down chuckling ‘Go get washed up boy. I will take care of our stuff.’ Kidd looked up to Ty.

‘You’re staying right?’ He asked worried.

‘Yeap.’ Ty chuckled. ‘You two are stuck with me from now on.’ The statement had the boy grinning and made Page smile. She had been looking forward to the big man’s return. Once Kidd rushed off, Page brushed the mud from Ty. She gave his beard a genital tug.

‘I almost didn’t recognize you with hair.’ She chuckled. ‘It looks good on you.’ She looked around not seeing Theo. ‘Where’s Theo?’

‘He stayed at the last settlement.’ Ty told her. ‘His ankle is healing, but it’s slow. We will pick him up on our way through.’ Page nodded. Tucker came forward offering Ty a hand.

‘It’s good to see you again Ty.’ Tucker greeted. ‘How are the roads east?’

‘Clear until Oliverville.’ Ty sighed. ‘The roads and open areas are fine, but a huge swarm moved into the town. There are so many of them, they are killing each other for hiding places. The damn things have been making raids on the Spring Gulch settlement every night. Corbin has been talking about luring Red a little east to see if we can expand his territory. It end five feet shy of their walls.’

‘Wouldn’t it just be easier to move the settlement?’ Page asked. ‘I know little about behemoths, but I know males will not leave their own territories. Romeo and Ulysses stopped following us as if they ran into a wall. Carla, Ulysses mate, only came a few feet before going back.’ Ty nodded.

‘I told them that.’ He sighed. Corbin is a good man and a great leader, but he is stubborn and prideful. He doesn’t want to let the rippers win.’

‘But he would risk his people’s lives for his pride?’ Martha said annoyed.

‘I agree.’ Ty chuckled holding up his hands in surrender. ‘Theo is working at changing his mind now.’ He smiled down to Page. ‘I am sorry I didn’t tell you these guys were here. I wanted it to be a surprise.’ Page returned his smile.

‘It was a good surprise.’ She admitted. ‘I was a little curious why you insisted we come here and not to the settlement you were at.’ Ty nodded amused.

‘We will leave you two to your reunion.’ Gwen said with a knowing look. ‘Kidd can spend the night with Dan and me.’

‘Thanks guys.’ Page said smiling and looked up to Ty. ‘Want to help me get this stuff into our wagon?’ He nodded and the two went to work. Once they finished, Page told Ty to wait. She went into the cottage and grabbed two towels, soap, extra cloths, and shampoo. Outside she led Ty through to the security area. All but one of the privet baths were taken.

‘Kinky.’ Ty chuckled as she locked them in. Page gave him a sad smile.

‘Wish it was that simple.’ She told him ‘I am gross and probably smell like dead things. That mud was disgusting.’ Ty nodded his agreement sniffing his shirt where it had smeared on him.

‘Hate to say this Page, but I don’t think this is all mud.’ He said a little disgusted.

‘Yeah, heavily infested ripper territory.’ Page sighed ‘I know it’s not all mud.’ He nodded and took off his shirt. The sight of his naked chest should have floored her. The sight of the white scars slashing across his tanned skin however tore her heart out. ‘My god Ty.’ She said going to him and touching the scars. His skin was hot to the touch. ‘You’re lucky to be alive.’ He smiled down to her warmly.

‘I had good motivation to make it.’ He said stroking her cheek. His eyes turned sad as he took her hand into his and ran his thumb over the scars on her wrist. ‘This is new.’

‘It’s from the basturd.’ Page sighed as Ty took her other hand into his and looked over the other set of scars.

‘Are there more?’ he asked worried and Page nodded. She took off her shirt showing him the scar on her ribs where the chest tube was put in. The bastard had not done that, but it was still a result of his abuse. He caressed the scar but it was not a sexual touch. She took his hand and moved it around to her back. ‘Oh my god.’ He whispered after he moved around behind her. There was a rumble and she realized Ty was growling. ‘That son of a bitch is lucky to be dead.’ Page nodded and turned to face him. He took her into his arms and held her close.

Page took a deep breath and told him everything. Ty remained silent the entire time laying his head on top of hers. She felt his tears wet her hair but did not stop. She even told him about her shame of almost getting Kidd killed after leaving the bunker.

‘You never would have let him starve.’ He told her sighing. ‘You need to stop beating yourself up about that. Hell you two pulled more edibles out of the woods when we were camped at the ponds then I knew existed.’

Page had not thought about that. The woods on the road had thicken after they left the Macaroy house. Had they not of found the blue house, she would have gone into the woods for food. Maybe not meat, but she could find them enough to sustain them. ‘Okay?’ He asked rubbing her back. She nodded and looked up to him.

‘It was not all one sided you know.’ She told him. ‘When I first woke up hanging from my wrist, he got into my face to tell me how screwed I was. I head butted him and broke his nose.’ Ty smiled. ‘Did it again the next day.’ She frowned. ‘For a serial killer, he was not that bright. I bit two of his fingers off on the third day.’ Ty smiled shaking his head.

‘Remind me never to piss you off.’ He chuckled and then kissed the tip of her nose. ‘Now let’s take a bath. Sorry babe, but you stink.’ Page smiled and step away from him to remove the rest of her cloths.

Submitted: January 17, 2016

© Copyright 2021 CJones. All rights reserved.


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