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Thirty-four

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Thirty-four

"Name's Kris. I heard you lot are passing through," the man with shorter blond hair said. A grey shirt clung tightly to his build. Torn, white-washed jeans covered his legs, held up by a black leather belt.

"Our supplies have run low. We were looking to stock up when we ran into Darius," Dante said standing up.

Kris smiled. "Darius' heart is bigger than his head sometimes, but it is nice to meet humans who don't have a hankering for brains. Do you guys have a settlement of your own?"

Arryn felt the air thicken at the question. Peeking back, Daniel had his jaw clenched.

"Not yet, we are just passing through town. Thought this would be the best place to stock up," Dante answered.

Arryn felt the air lighten at the lie. Daniel looked almost relieved.

"I'm going to cook while you mates chat it up. Have fun." Giving Kris a pat on the shoulder, Darius headed off to one of the small restaurants in the circle. His fading footsteps left a brief silence between the groups.

"I'm Duke," the blond with longer hair said, introducing himself. The blond hairs of his thin beard shone golden in the candle light. Baby blue eyes ran over the group. He adjusted the sleeves of his red plaid shirt. "I'm the one who invented all those traps you saw around."

"They seem a little dangerous," Savannah replied with a shrug. Her eyes had fell on Kris, looking him up and down.

Duke's smile turned into a frown. "Well that's the point. Keeps out the Rotters. The three of us have worked hard to keep this place safe."

The group fell into a routine of twenty-one questions. They found themselves talking about their occupations and hobbies before the apocalypse. Even Daniel seemed to loosen up a bit and chip into the conversation. By the time Darius appeared with a cart of food, Arryn was ready for her ears to fall off from all the chatter. She was happy at the scene of unison before her.

Steaming bowls of white rice with various vegetables mixed in headed in their direction. The smell alone was enough to make her mouth water. Everyone took their seats around the table as Darius passed the food bowls around. The steam tickled Arryn's nose as she placed her bowl in front of her. The warmth felt as a soothing sensation on her tender skin.

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