Chapter 03: The Long Road Ahead

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Mike came awake to gray light and the smell of a woman and someone pressed up against his back. Someone naked and very shapely and warm. For a long moment, he simply laid there, trying to sort through his thoughts. He was groggy and felt like he'd slept in for far, far too long. It took him a moment, but he finally nailed himself to the here and now. He was in an emergency medical facility in Peaceful Trails Valleys, he'd been in a coma for awhile and there were zombies. Also, he'd had a night of honestly stunning sex with a woman he'd just met. At that thought, he shifted and began to roll over. Laura came awake immediately.

"It's okay," he said softly as she jerked awake.

"Wha...what time is it?" she asked sleepily.

"I don't know, but we're okay, you can relax," he replied.

She took a deep breath and let it out slowly, seeming to scan the room, then she did relax. She pressed herself up against him. When he tried to move, she wrapped her arms around him and held him closer. "No, you're warm."

He laughed softly. "So are you, but we've got to get up and be responsible adults."

"I don't want to. I've had too much responsibility lately. It's warm and comfortable and I'm still tired. We've got a long, hard day ahead of us and I'd like to put it off for like five minutes, if at all possible," Laura murmured.

"Fine, you've convinced me. I'll continue lying here in bed with a beautiful naked woman for another five minutes," he replied.

She laughed and pulled the blankets more tightly around them.

"How do you feel about last night?" he asked.

"Why, how do you feel about it?" she replied. When he hesitated, she sighed. "Sorry. It's been a tense couple of days. I feel great. I got a full nights' sleep and I feel way more relaxed than I have been for weeks. You are...a really great fuck."

He laughed loudly. "Back at you. I feel great," he replied.

"Good to know I've still got it."

They laid there for a few moments longer, basking in the warmth, before Laura finally heaved a sigh and stirred. "Come on, time to be responsible adults."

"You know," Mike said as he pulled the blankets back and they sat up. "It'd be reasonable for both of us to take a shower, and...we'd save time if we showered together."

She giggled. "I think we'd lose whatever time we saved by the other thing we'd end up doing in the shower."

"I'm okay with this," Mike said, standing up.

Laura stood as well. "Me too."

* * *

Laura was right. They took a bit too long in the shower. By the time they were out, dried off, and dressed up again, the others were already up and eating breakfast. Laura dressed in red, Mike again in blue, and they'd both found heavy boots that would suit the walk ahead. Laura loaned him her pistol again, this time with a holster, and kept her shotgun. They both grabbed some breakfast burritos and sat down with Viktor and Turner.

They ate in silence until they were finished, then began discussing their plans.

"So, now that I can actually think, I can offer a plan," Mike said. "I'm the one who knows this valley system best. I've been here for six months, I've been all over it. I make house calls and repairs all over this area. Our best bet is going to be a military complex about three miles south of here. If anyone is still alive, they'll more than likely be there and if there's a ship anywhere, it'll probably be there. I think our best bet for the moment would be to search this facility up and down, find everything we possibly can to help keep ourselves alive, and then get a move on. I'm sure we can find a map to help nail down the specifics...agreed?" he asked.

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