Two days later found them out of the woods and running in the opposite direction of the camp. Going by Ryan’s guess, the city would be to the west rather than the east, and that was the only thing they had to go by
“Favourite colour?” Ryan asked.
Gwen hummed softly. “The colour of the sky.”
Ryan glanced up at the sky and then shrugged. “I’ll pretend that I know what that looks like.”
“It’s beautiful.” She told him. “You wouldn’t believe me how beautiful it is unless you saw it for yourself. Do you think James will take your place in the Night Watch?”
“Maybe. He was on the list of candidates for it; not on the very top, but he wasn’t on the bottom either. Who’s older out of you, James and Chris?”
“James is the oldest by a few months; something he made sure we all knew when we were younger. Whose older, you or Zeke?”
“I am. Who’s the youngest in your group?”
“Chris is older than me by two days. Do you think that we’ll actually find a cure in the city?”
“Maybe. Chances are that there are still people are researching, we might be lucky enough to find them and offer help. Why?”
“Just curious. I’m bored of this game, by the way.”
“Fair enough. We might have to stop soon anyway.”
The sun was starting to descend in the sky and night would be upon them in a few hours. They had learnt the hard way that running through the night with no light was a terrible idea, resulting in bruised knees from Gwen and a sprained wrist on Ryan’s side. Tree roots proved themselves to be a danger.
“Have you ever played ’Never Have I Ever?” Ryan asked her suddenly.
“I’ve heard of it, but never played it. We weren’t old enough to drink when we first heard of it, so we made plans for someone’s eighteenth to play, but that never happened. Have you?”
Ryan laughed. “Yes, and it wasn’t pretty. We all got pretty drunk, woke up in Zeke’s backyard, none of us remembered the night before, but I’m willing to bet it was pretty great.”
“I don’t think I want to play it if I’m going to wake up in a backyard.”
“It’s usually a little tamer than that.” He told her with a grin. “To be fair, we did start the game after some heavy drinking.”
“You were probably one of those rebellious kids that everyone else’s parents told their children to stay away from.”
“I was, and I liked it that way.” He winked at her.
The sky was threatening to open the heavens and have the rain torrent down on them soon. “We need to find somewhere to stay for the night. Shame that we couldn’t grab a tent, or a map for that matter.”
Gwen hummed. “Or a car. We might be lucky and find houses that we can ransack.”
“Maybe, but I doubt it.” Gwen glanced towards him before looking up at the sky that was almost covered by rainclouds. “You know, your eyes are the colour of the clouds before it rains.”
“Really? I don’t know what colour they are.”
Gwen shrugged. “I don’t know how to explain the colours to someone who doesn’t know how to see them.”
Ryan shrugged as well. “It doesn’t really matter right now anyway.” He pointed into a dense area of trees. “That should shelter us from most of the rain tonight, if we’re lucky.”
“And if we’re not?”
“Then I’m willing to bet that we will be very cold and wet tomorrow, and you’ll be moody and not want to talk.”
“I won’t be the only one that’ll be moody.”
“I’ll have you know I’m never moody.”
Ryan sighed. “If only you would trust me.” He said, but the truth was that she did trust him, and they both knew that. She had trusted him with ending her life, and though he had failed with that, he offered her an alternative. He didn’t have to come with her, but he had, and that was more than enough to warrant her trust.
Yet, she wasn’t sure if he trusted her. He was friendly enough, sure, but she wondered if he ever looked at her and worried that she would kill him if he turned his back for a moment too long, or if he was scared every time he blinked, because he was terrified of seeing colour.
She didn’t like that she wasn’t sure if he trusted her or not. Trust was a two way street –or at least, that’s what she was always taught – even if she was infected. She wanted to be trusted to protect him like he was protecting her, and it hurt a little bit.
They forced themselves into a sprint, reaching the grassy area in a few moments. She threw herself down on the grass, finding herself almost getting lost in how long the blades were. She sat up, watching Ryan sit down across from her. They stared at each other for a long moment before Ryan spoke.
“So what colour are your eyes?”
“I’m not sure.” She said, “Why?”
“Because I want to know if they’re as beautiful in colour are they are to me now.”
She let out a shocked laugh. “You think my eyes are beautiful?”
“I think you’re beautiful.”
She smiled at him, finding the urge to laugh again too hard to supress. “Thanks, I guess.”
He hummed. “Just telling you what I think.”
She wondered if he knew how beautiful he was, with his hair the colour of wet sand and eyes the colour of rainclouds, and decided that if he didn’t, she would surely have to remind him every day.
The sky made good on its threat to rain, and though the foliage had provided some protection, it hadn’t been enough from stopping them from getting wet.
“This sucks.” Gwen sighed, grimacing as her clothes stuck to her skin. She regretted that they hadn’t had the chance to at least grab another set of clothes. She grabbed at the fabric, pulling it away from her skin.
“I said you would be moody.”
She glanced over at Ryan, frowning at him. “How can you be so chipper about this?”
He shrugged. “I used to go camping a lot. I’m kind of used to it.”
“Aren’t you uncomfortable?”
“Extremely, but don’t tell anyone, otherwise they’ll think that I’m not a bear fighting champion, and then they’d be wrong.”
She rolled her eyes at him. “Come on, the city is waiting for us.” She started to move forward but turned around when she noticed that Ryan wasn’t following. She was ready to make a witty joke, but stopped short when she saw the absolute terror on his face.
“Gwen?” He breathed, turning panic-stricken eyes to her.
It was like an earthquake had occurred, but only right underneath her feet, because she knew, she fucking knew, that she had infected him.