Indie had Ryan back into the garage so they could load everything without being attacked. As they entered the house she pushed the button to close the overhead door.
“I'm kind of amazed the power still works,” Ryan murmured as they entered the kitchen.
“For now, but it'll go down at some point without anyone to maintain it.” She continued into the living room and flicked on the TV, turning the volume way down. It seemed like the thing to do so they didn't draw unwanted attention.
The screen filled with a male reporter, a red scroll flying along the bottom. “Again, we must urge citizens to avoid all contact with contaminated people. The virus is spread via bodily fluid and, to an extent, scratches. The disease initially incapacitates victims, but later returns them to a mobile state. This allows them to infect others. If you are attacked, run or use whatever weapon you can to defend yourselves. Destroying the brain is the only way to kill an infected person. At this time, the Center for Disease Control has not identified the virus that is reanimating victims but has tracked it back to several meat processing centers around the country, determining that this was caused by a bio-terrorist attack. The organization responsible is still unknown at this time. The Center for Disease Control has set up camps in various areas for any survivors, a list is scrolling across the bottom of your screen. Stay away from large cities and anywhere people congregate in large numbers. All hospitals, schools, colleges, and government offices are closed. If you are in need of emergency services find a CDC camp in your area and go there.”
Indiana sank down on the couch as the reporter continued. “The continental United States are in quarantine. No travel in or out of the county.”
She tuned out the rest, calculating how long it would take to load up the supplies, drive back to the compound and hike in. Even if they got out of town without problems, driving on the curvy roads was dangerous even during the day. “We're going to have to stay here for the night.” She looked up at Ryan. “We can't make it back before dark.”
He looked out the window, then back at her. “You're right. So what do we do?”
Indie closed her eyes, leaning back on the couch. “I'll radio the compound and let them know. Load the truck before dark then wait it out.” Opening her eyes, she looked around. “It doesn't look like they tried to get in while we weren't here, so as long as we keep the lights off and noise down, I don't think we have to worry. Then as soon as it's light, we'll haul ass.”
“Sounds like a plan to me.”
Indiana came downstairs after taking a quick shower. She bypassed her comfy pajamas for clean cargo pants and a t-shirt. It wouldn't be comfortable to sleep in but if they needed to leave in a hurry at least she'd be wearing clothes. She carried several comforters and pillows. They'd decided to sleep on the living room floor, that way they had escape routes. Indie would never admit it but she felt safer with Ryan nearby.
Tossing the bedding on the floor, Indie went to the kitchen and grabbed two flashlights. Just in case. When she came back Ryan had the blankets spread out. She sat down and handed him one of the lights.
“Thanks. Good idea, but we should only use them if we need to.”
“I figured in the bathroom, since there are no windows.”
He chuckled. “Good idea.”
Indie smiled, sitting her gun and flashlight next to her pillow, along with her boots. “I've been thinking.”
“Uh oh,” Ryan murmured. He grinned and sat down.
“Funny. But seriously, the news said this was a terrorist attack. So why hasn't any group come forward screaming ‘We did it’. I thought they were all about making a name for themselves and instilling, well, terror?”
Ryan shrugged. “Don't know. Maybe this was a test and they're going to do something else and don't want to tip their hand.”
Indie shook her head, flopping down on the blankets. “None of this makes any sense.” She closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Why fill the country with creatures that can kill you?”
“Well, technically those creatures are taking over the country for them. If they can control them then they control the country. In this case, if someone had an antidote then they could just waltz in and put whatever price he or she wanted on it. Theoretically speaking, of course.”
Indie cracked an eyelid and peered at him. “Big word.”
He grinned. “I'm more than a dumb redneck, you know.”
“I never called you a dumb redneck.” She dropped her arm over her forehead. Hearing a shuffle as he got to his feet, she peeked out again. Ryan was standing in front of the mantel studying the pictures in the fading light.
“Are these you?”
“I didn't know you were in beauty pageants.”
Indie blew out a sigh. “Mom dragged me to a few small time pageants. County fairs, local flair things...Dad put a stop to it when another girl tried to break my leg during a rehearsal.”
“Mmm hmm. I think he'd been looking for a reason, but I was happy to not have to deal with it anymore. Those pageant girls can be catty.”
Ryan chuckled. “I believe it, girls in general can be catty.”
“Hey!” Indie jerked up, looking at him, then shrugged. “You're right.” She turned to look at the french doors. The blinds were closed but the setting sunlight still peeked between.
Ryan sat back down next to her. “I think we should try to get some sleep so we can get an early start.”
“Yeah.” She nodded. He was close, his dark eyes searching her face. Indie could smell spearmint and Irish spring as he leaned closer. Her eyes fluttered close as his lips brushed hers, and she wrapped her arms around his neck. He didn't try taking the kiss any further, pulling back slightly away. Indie looked up at him. There had always been chemistry between them, but neither had acted because she had been with Todd. Indie pushed her fingers into his still damp hair, tugging him toward her. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed movement by the front door. Without thinking she yanked Ryan down on top of her.
He chuckled. “If you were this forward with Todd, I understand why he didn't want to let you go.”
“Shh,” she whispered, pushing him off her. “I... what?” She frowned at him and shook her head. “Never mind, I saw something by the door.” Slowly and carefully she rolled over and belly crawled to the steps leading into the living room. Due to the depressed floor she knew no one could see them if they looked in the front door windows. They'd closed all the blinds. Peering over the steps she saw a silhouette of a person through the curtain on the front door. Whoever it was weaved back and forth, for a few seconds then turned and shambled away.
Letting out the breath she didn't know she was holding, she turned and crawled back to where Ryan lay.
“So what was it?” he whispered.
“You mean who. I don't know, but it looks like they went away.” Indie settled down next to him. “Let’s get some sleep and get the hell out of here in the morning.”