~ Chapter Twenty ~

Start from the beginning

"Okay. Let's move." Were the last words that the Sergeant voiced before he led them all up the street.

~~~

Travelling faster than most of the survivors were used to during the day, they were admittedly making great time. With any luck, they would reach the outpost in less than half-an-hour.

First, they needed to navigate the vehicle labyrinth.

"Keep it tight." Warned a soldier as he redirected a survivor who was about to split from the group to walk around the far side of a car.

Skeet was about to do the same.

Perri gave his hand a gentle squeeze to grab his attention. "Skeet." She whispered.

When he looked to her, she flicked her chin at the queue of soldiers and survivors alike that were channeling through the gap between two cars.

Skeet took the hint and stopped veering away.

Occasionally, a soldier would spot an infected and quickly dispatch them with two shots to the head from their silenced rifles.

The trek had been uneventful thus far.

A soldier stepped in beside Perri and cleared his throat to announce his presence before he asked, "How are you holdin' up?"

Perri only glanced at him for a second before returning her attention to the path ahead. "I'm okay." She replied. "It's Jack, right?"

"That's correct." He confirmed. "Speaking of names."

"Yes?" Perri raised a brow before the other joined it and she gave Jack a playful look. "Don't tell me, you've forgotten my name? I don't know how I'll ever forgive you."

Jack's smile reached his eyes and revealed two dimples on his cheeks—one dimple longer than the other.

Perri couldn't help but mirror his expression, though she quickly turned her face away willing it not to blush.

"No, not that. I was just wondering... where did you get the name 'Skeet' from?" He asked.

Perri frowned at the question. What? She thought to herself.

Shifting her gaze to meet his, there was only genuine curiosity on his face. But, Perri still didn't quite understand the question.

She opened her mouth to ask him what he meant—

Then it hit her.

Her eyes shot open wide. "Oh! No. No, no. Um... He's not my kid. Skeet isn't my son."

"My apologies. I just thought—" Jack glanced at Gavin who walked just ahead of them. "I mean, I saw the three of you—"

Perri noticed the glance and could sense another question looming, so she quickly answered it. "That's my friend, Gavin. And before you ask... No. Skeet isn't his son either."

"Then... who?" He asked, his focus back on Perri. "You were very protective of him back in the truck. And, even now, he still holds your hand."

"I'm just looking out for him until his dad catches up with us." She replied. "I, uh, didn't get to meet his dad, but, Skeet believes that his dad is alive and that's good enough for me."

"How will he find you?"

"We left him a map with our destination on it."

"And, you think he'll make it all the way through the city? By himself?"

Skeet cut in, "He will. I know he will." The boy said sharply.

"Well okay then." Jack flashed a sincere smile at him. "If you say he will. Then, I believe you."

Perri gave Skeet's hand a gentle squeeze and said, "Don't worry about your dad. He'll find you. No matter what."

When Perri looked up, she almost walked into Gavin.

Everyone had stopped.

"Excuse me." Jack said plainly before he left their company and maneuvered through the bodies that stood jam-packed between vehicles, shoulder to shoulder.

"What's going on?" Asked someone as he squeezed through the crowd.

"Why have we stopped?" Questioned another.

Jack reached the head of the group.

Carter, Holloway and the Sergeant stood at the end of a bus that cut through the middle of an intersection in the road.

The outpost was within view, but an obstacle stood between them and their destination.

A horde of infected were crowded around the entry.

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