Chapter 7- Part 2
Susie stepped out of the kitchen as Indie stormed into the cabin, followed by Dan who slammed the door. Smiling she started toward her friend, relieved that they'd found Indie safe, but stopped when Dan growled at his daughter.
“Why didn't you stay with the truck, young lady?”
Indiana whirled on him. “Because there was more of a risk staying than leaving.”
“We would have found you faster.”
“So could those things, hillbillies, animals...” Indie clicked things off on her fingers.
Dan shook his head. “Sweetie, you guys would have been safer in the cab. Also, how could you forget gas?”
“We're not all super survival guys, Dad.”
Susie blinked and stepped back into the kitchen. She'd never heard Indie talk to her parents like this, it was kind of a shock.
Indiana continued. “I weighed the risk vs. reward. We didn't know if you would or could come get us. We didn't know if those things were following us. We didn't know if there were scavengers around who would kill us for the supplies. We did everything right as we saw it.”
Tera appeared from the bedroom. Walking over to Indie, she slid her arm around her daughter’s shoulders. “I'm sure you did, honey, your father has just been worried. Like the rest of us.”
Indie shook her mom's arm off. “I'm sorry for making you worry. But I am able to make the right decisions on my own when needed. You two can't hover forever.”
Susie watched her stalk down the hall, then walked over to the cupboard and grabbed a couple chocolate bars Tera had stashed.
As she started to follow Indie, she heard Tera ask, “What in the world did you say to her?”
“I have no idea. I just mentioned what they did wrong.” Tera sighed, crossing her arms. “I might have also commented on how them making out in the tent wasn't part of survival.”
Susie smirked and continued down the hall as Tera chewed Dan a new one. Pushing open Indie's door, she found her friend lying on her bed. Tossing one of the bars over, Susie kicked the door shut behind her.
“I guess you heard all that.”
Susie nodded, sitting on the bed. “And then some, but you shouldn't be hard on your parents. It's crazy right now.”
“I know.” Indie shook her head. “You have no idea what it's like down there.”
Susie was quiet, picking at the candy bar in her hand. Actually, she probably had a better idea that most.
“Indie, I lied. My mom never made it to the hospital.”
A puzzled look crossed Indiana's face. “What do you mean?”
Tears pricked the corners of Susan's eyes. “Mom refused to go to the doctor when she got sick. She said it was just food poisoning and she'd be fine. Then she just kept getting worse and worse. By the time AJ got home, she was gone. I called nine-one-one, but before the ambulance could show up Mom was back up. At first we thought she was better, that we'd screwed up. Then she attacked AJ.” Susie shook her head. “I freaked and smashed her in the head with a lamp. The EMTs arrived and took them both away. The hospitals weren't letting family in, just sick people.”
“Wow. So that's why you flipped when you saw...” Indie looked away and bit her lip.
“Your neighbor, she looked just like mom after she woke up.”
“Why didn't you say anything?”
“I don't know. I was trying to process it and you were in Miss Bossy mode so I just...”
“Pulled your usual, keep it inside until you blow?”
Susie smiled tightly and nodded. “I'm a little worried. Mr. Anderson was bit and he's getting worse, what will they do if he turns into one of those things? All it takes is a tiny scratch to transfer the virus, right?”
“The news said it was possible. Dad told us he'd quarantined Ted in the office until they decide what to do with him.” Indie’s voice sounded detached and void of emotion. She was looking off into space, her eyes slightly glazed.
“Hey, are you okay?”
“Hmm.” Indie snapped back to look at her. “Yeah. Sorry. Just tired and stressed.”
“Okay.” She didn't buy it, this wasn't like her friend. Indie could be bossy, and self-absorbed at times, but she was always there for her friends. But if she didn't want to spill the beans then Susan decided to change the subject. “So. You and Hottie Hillbilly.”
Indiana shrugged, tearing into the candy. “Dad had to open his mouth.”
“Is he why you broke up with Todd?”
“No. Todd was a dork. I only went out with him because it was the thing to do. Cheerleader, jock... Mom was thrilled.” Indie rolled her eyes and leaned against the head board. “Sorry.”
“It's okay. I've come to grips with what happened.”
Susan shrugged looking down at her hands.“It wasn't my mom anymore.”
Indie nodded. “I shot Ms. Weltner in the shoulder, she didn't even feel it. Even though I know she was already dead, I still feel bad.”
“Don't be. They’re not people anymore,” Susie said, standing and walking out the door.
A shout from the bunk house had Indie and Susie exchange a glance before jumping to their feet and running across the grounds. A crowd had gathered around the doorway, but no one seemed to want to venture in. A loud thumping came from the back of the building. Anna stumbled out toward them clutching her arm which was bleeding pretty badly. There was a crash, Dan ran toward the door, his shirt ripped and looking worst for wear. He was followed by a gun shot, then a second. A few moments later, Ryan stalked out. He shoved the pistol into Dan's hands and walked away.
Torn, Indie looked from Ryan's disappearing back to her father. Dan gave her a subtle shooing motion and she turned and headed after Ryan. She found him at the edge of the lake. Stepping close, she slid her arms around his waist. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her tight, and buried his face in her hair.
They stood like that for a while, then Ryan turned to look out at the water. “That was the hardest thing I've ever done.” Unsure what to say, Indie stroked his back and he continued. “Anna didn't realize he'd turned until it was too late. She wasn't supposed to go in alone, and we were only a few minutes too late. Your dad intervened, but I think he got scratched. Anna ran for it, Dan got out of the way, I hesitated...the door gave out then...” His arms tightened around Indie.
“You don't have to say,” Indie murmured, running her fingers up and down his spine.
He shook his head, then looked down at her. “We should bug out.”
He grabbed her shoulders. “Listen the more people that are around us the more of a chance there is to get infected. I get you don't want to leave your family, but Anna got bit. It's going to keep repeating until everyone's gone.”
Indie pried his hands off her shoulders. “You're upset right now. We'll talk about this later.”
Running a hand through his hair, Ryan stalked toward the water, then turned back toward her. Indie tensed as he grabbed her again, but when he pressed his lips to her forehead she relaxed.
“Okay. I need to take a walk and blow off some steam.”
She nodded, biting her lip. Ryan kissed her again, then headed toward the woods. Indie watched him go, thinking about what he'd said. Then she headed off to find her dad.