Whatever It Takes

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Chapter 4 - Zachariah's point of view

Seeing a chiselled body first thing in the morning was definitely not on my agenda. I sat there, watching as the various muscles contracted and relaxed as he tugged the jumper down. I was glad that my back was turned to him, as he wasn’t able to see the drool which threatened to fall any second. My eyes shifted to the small trident tattoo at the base of his neck. He turned, and I was able to appreciate how well-fitted his shoulders and chest were, as well as the tight fit at his biceps. God what was happening to me?

“How do you feel?” He walked over, sitting at the side of the bed.

“I feel ok. A little tired and in pain but I should be ok.” He nodded, moving over to collect the paracetamol and ibuprofen medication. I sighed.

“Is something wrong?” I shook my head. He proceeded to pierce the foil, handing a glass of water and multiple tablets. I put all of them in my mouth, using the water to gulp them down.

“You can go shower and I will wait here for you.”

I nodded, standing up, slowly walking towards the wardrobe. I took out the clothes that I liked, walking to the bathroom. I turned shower on, wanting to stay on my own for some time. Rapidly, I threw on some black, comfortable jeans and a grey low – necked jumper. I cleaned my husband’s ring, stowing it into my pocket, along with my own.

I walked out, noticing a perfectly made bed. True to his word, he stood near the curtains, his back to me as he spoke to someone over his phone. I moved to the dressing table, taking a seat before combing my hair and pulling it into a tight, messy bun, leaving a few tendrils out. I found some moisturiser, applying some to my face, neck. I put on the walking boots, washing my hands and applying some moisturiser. By now, he had finished talking over the phone, his face a little contorted.

“What happened? Is there a problem?”

“No,” his voice was harsh, but he tried again. “Let’s go down for breakfast, that should help. May I?” He gestured towards my hand. I nodded, feeling a pang of pain from his sudden change in behaviour. Slowly, we made our way down the grand, oak staircase, firmly gripping the large, wooden hand railing. “Isabelle, I didn’t mean to be harsh to you. I apologise for that; it was out of order and …”

“Don’t sweat it, I understand. You have a lot going on and it’s ok. It happens.” He stared at me, his mouth slightly open but soon resumed his stance, looking from my feet to the step ahead of us.

Zachariah’s point of view

I wasn’t expecting her to be so calm about it. For the past while, all she did was shock me. How could she feel so serene after everything that transpired? Before I could ponder on this, a powerful smell of sausages and bacon assaulted my senses.

“Yayyy, oh, sorry, it’s… been a while,” her head was dipped down, her voice quietening with each word. I laughed at her outburst.

“It’s alright, let’s go.” Her head shot up, her irises dilating as she moved slightly faster towards the table, practically dragging me. I let her, ignoring a few glares, as a small group of survivors muttered under their breaths. It was a shame that despite most of the survivors feel better and are making an effort after Isabelle’s speech, some of them were too blinded by this whole ordeal that they were forgetting about what really mattered.

“Zach, are you ok? You just zoned out,” Belle asked, worry and confusion evident on her face, as she waved a small, feminine hand in my face.

“I am fine, don’t worry,” I reassured her. She looked at me suspiciously, before shrugging her shoulders and setting out breakfast. She placed quite a lot of food into my plate and into hers. I arched my eyebrows, looking at the plate and her.

“I am sorry… do you want me to eat all that?” I questioned, staring at the mountain of food in front of me.

“Yes. You need your breakfast and all the energy possible as the leader. We have a long day ahead of us, and besides, you look quite thin.” Her cheeks went red as she giggled.

“Yes, you saw how thin I am this morning,” I retorted. She choked on her food and I gave her a glass of water, gently patting her back.

“Eat your food,” she commanded, her voice a little croaky. I suppressed my laugh, being reminded of my own adoptive mother.

“Aye, aye captain,” I saluted her and dived into my breakfast. She shook her head, her body vibrating with silent laughter. We sat in a comfortable silence, occasionally looking up to see each other with a mouth full of food. After a comfortable meal, I stood up, throwing the plastic plates and cutlery into the bin, washing my hands. Out of my peripheral, I noticed Belle do the same. She had a large smile on her face, which warmed my insides, knowing that I was the reason for her happiness. I watched the same group stare at her with malice. It only made me prouder of her.

Men with hideous tattoos walked over to her, their hands trailing across her lower back to her thighs. She froze, turning and pushing them, her body nearly toppling over with the force. They tried to help her up, but she backed away, the wall behind her blocking her way to escape. I started to walk towards them, leaving the conversation I was in. She swatted them away, her limbs paralysed when something silver glinted in the light. A nerve snapped, and I ran towards them, my fists and jaws clenched, rage blinding my vision. I grabbed the one with the knife, whacking it out of his hand and slamming my fist into the pressure point on his jaw, watching his knees buckle, his body convulsing on the floor.

Not wanting to face the same fate, the rest of the men fled, no where to be found. I returned my attention to Isabelle, who stood silently, her body shaking violently. Tears flooded her cheeks, her body lifelessly falling forwards. I caught her, carrying her to a different room.

I sat down, placing her on my lap so that I could cease her crying. However, she only cried louder, her body spasming uncontrollably. I started humming, hoping that the vibrations from my body would calm her down. To my luck, it worked. Seeing her like this felt like an icy dagger to the heart and I did my best to control myself, as it would only worsen her condition. After about six minutes, her crying ceased.

“Zach, I can’t deal with this pain anymore. I lost my beautiful girls and my husband. Why didn’t I just die too? At least I could still be with them.” I froze at her words, not stopping her as she needed to get it out of her system.

“Isabelle, I understand, but you have to keep faith. God clearly has a plan for you, as he does for all of us… and your daughters, what about them? They are watching you from the heavens. How would they feel if they saw their mother like this?” She looked down. I tilted her face up, not able to get enough of her beautiful doe eyes. “I’m here for you, and we will definitely get through all this, ok?” I stuck my hand out, which she tentatively took. I smiled, leaving my hand in hers for a few seconds longer before removing it, snaking an arm behind her thighs, lifting her off of my lap and onto the bed.

I claimed her hand again, walking her to the bathroom. “You should wash your face, and I will wait here for you, ok?” She nodded, moving towards the bathroom.

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