Chapter 8:

The Riders (2)

Don't Die, Will

"Hey, be careful of what you're touching!" Olivia shouted.

"S-sorry." Will's hands accidentally touched her butt as he was trying to move away a little from her, "I can't seem to have a good balance on the horse."

"You've never rode a horse before?"

"There's a first time for everything you know."

There was a slight change of the plan. The group decided to split in two. One group would stay in the forest for hunting while the other group would go to the nearest town to collect foods and other necessary items. Nolan was the most experienced hunter among them so he decided to go hunt along with Ethan. Olivia and Will decided to head for the town near them. They also agreed to meet back at Rust.

Olivia and Will got out of the forest and took a highway road. It's been a while since Will was on the streets. His father always avoided the cities and towns after the apocalypse. He was more of a person to explore the forests and stuff that involved nature.

"Stay alert, we are on the road now. We will see more cannibals on the way."


"Yeah, cannibals." she said, "Why? What do you call them?"


She made a sound as if it was a joke, "Deads, really?"

"Hey, don't laugh."

"Cannibals is way better."

He didn't say anything. 

They were getting close to a town road. Olivia slowed down the horse to make less sound. They could see few deads far away. But it was safe for the time being. The street was covered with broken and abandoned vehicles. Not to mention about the dead bodies. The horse was kinda freaking out because of those.

"Easy Buck, easy easy." She had him on control.

"Buck, huh." Will tried to make a conversation.

"What? You don't like the name?"

"No, it's a fine name."

"He's my old man's horse." Olivia smiled, "He gifted him to me before he died. Buck wasn't old enough."

"Oh, I am...sorry."

"He also taught me how to ride him too."

"So ahh...where is your mom then?" He felt like he shouldn't have asked that.

"I never saw her. She died when I was still a little child." It didn't seem like the question bothered her,  "My dad raised me all by himself. He was a good father."

He wanted to ask how he died but couldn't bring up the courage to question.

"He died of cancer." She stopped Buck, "We didn't have the money for the chemotherapy."

They got off the horse. She patted Buck for a while. Will kept staring at her the whole time.

"Would you stop looking at me like that?" She noticed.

"N-no no, you got it wrong. I was looking at Buck." He scratched the back of his neck.

She tied Buck to a tree. Will looked around a little bit. The town was completely ruined. Broken windows and doors are all over the place. Some of the houses even fell down.

What the hell happened here? He thought. Then he realized, I wonder what happened to my town after we left.

"Do you know anything about combat and stuff?" She suddenly questioned.

"What do you mean?"

" to shoot a gun, arrow, the use of knives."

"How do you think I've been surviving all this time?"

"Yeah, I wonder about that too." She mumbled.

"What?" He couldn't hear her.

"Nothing." She pulled out her gun, "You have a gun, right? Take it out."

He took out his sheriff pistol.

"Show me how to hold and point the gun."

"You don't believe me?"

"It's not about what I believe. I am just making sure that if you know you're stuff or not." She said, "If you die out here, I wouldn't take the blame for it. Now show me how it's done."

He showed him how to hold and point the gun, "You see that?" He looked at her and smiled.

Olivia exhaled out of disappointment and rubbed her forehead, "I knew it. You don't know anything."

"W-what do you mean? I did all correctly."

"No, you didn't. That's not how you use a gun."

"Then how?"

She showed him how to hold a gun and point and gave some instructions.

"Now, you try."

Will tried to do as she told her.

"No, you're left hand is not in the right place."

"I can't seem to get it fixed."

"Huh...lemme help."

She came close to him and touched his hands. Her chest touched his right arm a little.

"Don't move your hand. Keep it like this. Memorize this position."

"Oh, o-okay." His face turned red. He never knew that a girl's hand could be that soft. It gave him the cold creeps.

They went into a house. They also made sure there weren't deads.

"So, what about your family?" Olivia went for the kitchen.

"My family? saw my dad. The little girl is my sister. And the other one is a friend of mine."

"What about your mom?"

"She's...she's dead." He really didn't want to talk about this, "She ahh...she died in an accident."

She looked at him, "Sorry...I shouldn't have asked."

He gave a smile, "Don't worry. It's okay. We all have holes in our hearts."

She smiled back, "Yeah."

He was amazed. It was the first time he ever saw her smiling. She looked really beautiful there. Will shook his head.

Not now, Will.

After searching the house they moved to another one. Surprisingly, the place had a big amount of can foods.

"Hey, we got coffee." She raised a coffee powder jar.

"There are more." He pointed.

"We made a right decision to choice this house."

Will went upstairs. But didn't find anything. He peeked at a room. Small bed, posters from toy story were hanging on the wall, a broken Mickey Mouse clock was on the reading table. Suddenly, he remembered his own room when he was little.

Wish I could go back.

He came downstairs. Olivia was still looking for food.

"Did you find anything up there?"

"No, nothing."

"Then I guess, we should head back." She suggested, "We got enough food. And I am kinda tired."

"All right."

They went back to Buck and headed for Rust. It didn't take them long for getting off from the highway and entering the forest.

Will felt like she opened up a little bit to him. He wasn't feeling that nervous like before. This time, he tried his best to not look at her bra.

"So..." She smiled a little, "Are you a virgin?"


"Yeah, your gesture said enough." She kept laughing.

"I-i am not!" He wasn't very good at lying, "Why would you even ask!"

"Umm...No reason. Just making up conversations."

He was still a bit shy.

"Ever had a crush on someone?" She kept going.

"Huh, you're not stopping, are you?"

"Just say it."

"Nah, not actually." He said, "It didn't matter anyway, nobody gave a shit about me back then."

"Ah? Why?"

He remembered his past, "I wasn't a popular kid back in school. Other's used to bully me. I had to spend my school times sitting on sit all day, alone." He didn't mention Arthur.

"Bullied, huh? Well, I am not surprised." She also said, "Nolan mentioned that he is your friend from back then."

I wouldn't say "friends"

"Yeah, he is." He said, "Speaking of Nolan, you seem really closed to him. Y-you have a crush on him or something?" That slipped his mouth.

"What? You creep, what are you saying?"

"I-i was just curious."

She signed, "He is like a brother to me. When I was in the woods, he found me and took to Rust. Just like you."

"I...didn't know that."

"Now you know. But next time you say something like that, I'll punch you i the face."

It didn't felt like a threat.

"I get it. By the way..."

"What now?"

"Would you ahh...teach me how to ride a horse."

"No. Learn yourself."

"O-oh. All right." He seemed disappointed. He thought they got a bit closer maybe he was wrong.


"Huh?" He didn't heat her.

"I'll teach you. Maybe."

It put a smile on his face.


"What's happening here?" Nolan asked Emma.

"Oh my God, where were you!"

"Just went for hunting with Ethan." He said, "But don't mind that. Tell me what's going on? Why everyone is freaked out?"

"Katie was shot." She said, "Jack and other's are missing."