Author's Note:

Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you so much for the warm response for this zombie fic--I've felt the need to update to express my sincere gratitude (and @brattybattyboo & @whammystyles are persistent to remind me). Feel free to throw me ideas every now and then. ;)

Happy reading and happy holidays!

Much love,

Jac

* * * * * *

His fingers were kinda clammy, but it was alright. Jasper was so focused on the way he pulled her hand that she had completely forgotten to mind her surroundings as he guided her out the building. She didn't even get to say that last farewell to Josh's remains. All she could think about was this wonderful male specimen who had been so patient with her ever since he rescued her...

And she was grateful in more ways than one. For the longest time she had spent abroad, Jasper had encountered that random hottie on the street--but not in such close proximity. Studying for her scholarship had been so intense that she hadn't had the time to brag about endless meet-cutes with her ideal men. Then again, this man was more than exception just as he looked awfully familiar. Like... na na na na na na na. Na na na na na na... Just in time, she looked to her right and there was a bloodied poster of an upcoming tour--"Zayn? Zayn Malik?!"

Zayn stopped abruptly just to glance behind him, the red bandana back in place. "In the flesh." He chuckled and gave her hand a squeeze. "That was a bad pun but yes. It is I."

Jasper's jaw just hung open the whole time they moved. She didn't know if it was sweet or weird or anything else. When they got to the main street, that's when she saw what she had been hiding from these past few days. That, and she was holding Zayn Malik's hand. After he rescued her. After he just killed some random zombies for her.

Back to the horrid sight in front of her, Jasper sees her surroundings. When everything went downhill, she had been home; it was a weekend. She had watched the breaking news, followed their advice to stay inside their homes. She had listened and watched until the service and electricity went out. She had hoped for the best, but no help came. Just loud riots outside and screams of sheer terror and hopelessness she would always take with her whenever she closed her eyes.

Everything was familiar in a sense. Jasper felt like she was in a movie set for a zombie movie. Wrecked cars were parked on different directions on the street. An ambulance was smashed against the grocery store across her place. Another car was flipped upside down. One was even totaled, and it was oozing smoke in some parts. She had smelled the smoke last night. The air was cold and thick; the sky was dark.

There weren't any traces of human remains anywhere, but the blood stains... It was enough to make her want to cry. So many people died in just a short span of days. As they treaded on, Jasper wanted to vomit when they spotted 3-4 zombies munching on something. It wasn't human. It was a sight she never wanted to see again. A huge chunk of leg splattered on the pavement, and a zombie quickly fell face front to gnaw on it hungrily. Was that a dog? She sobbed uncontrollably, and when Zayn realized she was crying soundlessly--hands mashed against her mouth, he pulled her in for a tight embrace.

Despite remembering her dog, seeing how ugly everything had been, how she managed to escape all these... Clinging to Zayn's firm chest and arms was simply delightful. It calmed her soul. Soothed her senses. She closed her eyes fondly, and noted that he smelled something close to magnificent. Sweat, smoke, and... Was that mint? She shivered. She wanted to sob louder when he drew back. Thankfully, she remembered they were still running for their lives.

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