Present day.

• • •

Taryn awoke in Michael's arms and for a second it felt like the Zombie apocalypse had never happened, but lying on a dirty sofa quickly reminded her that the good days were long over and the fact that they had found no sign of living in Brisbane, meant they would never come back either.

She closed her eyes again and snuggled closely against the warm body of her boyfriend, trying hard to forget about everything that was going on in the outside world, but failed miserably. She ended up opening her eyes again and sighed. She looked up at Michael and pressed a kiss on his lips.

"I love waking up like this," he said in his husky morning voice as his lips quirked upwards in a joyous smile.

Taryn loved seeing him smile and covered his face with kisses all over, giggling as Michael's smile grew wider with each touch of her lips against his skin.

"You give the best kisses, babe."

"I know," she retorted, laughing as she said it. "You want more?"

"Of course! But let me eat first."

Taryn shook her head, still laughing. "You and food."

Michael shrugged, still smiling from ear to ear, and pushed himself up from the sofa to walk towards the kitchen.

Their journey to Brisbane had asked a lot of them, both physically and mentally. The days were long and exhausting, some of which consisted of little food or sleep, weakening them greatly. After having spent days out on the road, they were lucky to be back in the comforts of a house where they could stay dry, and were able to eat and sleep.

They'd been forced to flee Brisbane in a hurry the day before, and had ended up in one of its suburbs. Being hyper vigilant was something of a necessity in these times, and after checking for any immediate danger, they moved into one of the houses, of which the kitchen hadn't been completely raided. They had found canned beans and peaches, and though it wasn't much, it was better than nothing at all. At least they were able to gain some much needed strength this way.

Being able to rest had helped, too. When they'd arrived at the house, they were completely worn down. Their muscles were aching and they were in desperate need to catch their breath and have a proper sleep.

While they ate their breakfast, they talked about the journey that had brought them there and everything they had faced along the way. In the few weeks they had been out on the road, they had encountered more danger than they had in the entire two years before. They'd been in the comfort of safe places for so long, they had almost forgotten how scary it was to be out in the world, but they had been quickly reminded of the true horrors that lied out there and they were lucky to have made it so far, alive.

"Do you ever think about what happened to our old group?" Taryn asked, her voice was barely a whisper as if she almost didn't dare to ask.

"Not really," Michael shrugged. "They were crazy. I think they deserved what they had coming."

"Yeah," Taryn agreed. "But what about Bryce? Did she deserve it?"

Michael looked up from his food and directly into her eyes. They were usually a blue-green colour, but they looked more grey now and they were filled with guilt. "No," he said, shaking his head. "No, she didn't and I hope she got away safely. You taught her well." He put his hand on hers, rubbing the back of it with his thumb. "Don't blame yourself, please."

Before Taryn could respond, they were shaken up by a loud rattle of the back door. They both froze in their spots. Neither one of them dared to move a muscle.

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