Not Far

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Jean is subjected to a rude awakening when she parts ways with her best friend. She makes her way to Washington D.C. before finally running into a group of survivors, but is she in for more than she bargained for? Will she slowly lose her mind in this lonely world of devastation and no hope?

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23. Chapter 23: He Loved Her

  Sunlight peeked through the small gaps in the trees and decorated the forest floor in interesting and intricate patterns. With each step Chase took, the fallen leaves crunched. It was getting closer to fall now, but it was still rather warm. He let Jean go ahead of him earlier, promising to watch her back, but he lost track of her about an hour ago. He was searching for her, and despite how much she had done to hurt him and his friends, he loved her.

  It was a strange, twisted love. One that left him questioning every damn action he made. All the people he hurt, all for a little pat on the head from her. She’d smile widely, showing a bit of teeth every now and then, thank him, and touch his cheek. She’d only kissed him once, and that was after she had carved into his forehead. He knew that she didn’t love him, and he’d always know that, but it didn’t stop him from doing what she wanted. It didn’t stop that fluttering feeling he got when she called him a good boy… even if it was in a mocking tone.

  Jean often spoke to Chase as if he were a dog. She talked in that annoying baby voice that would normally make him want to kill someone, but when she did it? He was in the palm of her hand and it made him sick. He hated it, but he always came back to her. He did what she asked.

  He hurt people for her. Groups of people.

  She would normally go to them and lead a small group away from the others. Then he’d come in and take the rest. He’d have an unloaded machine gun – as suggested by Jean, who claimed her boyfriend used to do something similar – and he’d lead them back to the hotel. She would take them back as well, but some of them would go missing. He knew what happened to those select few, and it pained him to think of what had happened to them. Then the torture would happen.

  She would take them into rooms on the second floor and do things to them, things Chase didn’t want to know of. He didn’t help her with the torture, only the capture of the new members. They would always come back a few days to a few weeks later, their eyes blank and wide, the W would be on their forehead and their blood would drip from the wound, much like how his did. Although, there was always one thing that kept him going.

  She never kissed them like she did to him.

  He was walking down a small incline, trying to find where she went, when he heard a scream. It was fairly close and extremely feminine. He rushed down the incline, slipping a little on the fallen leaves. There were growls coming from the same direction as the scream, and Chase found himself fearing the worst. Although, he knew Jean was a strong woman.

  Then he saw her, standing above the corpse of a walker, her hammer on her shoulder dripping with the black-ish blood of the dead. She was breathing heavily and had a crazed look in her eye. Part of his vision was obscured by a tree, but he thought that the twice-dead corpse and his leader was all he had to see. She looked over at him, her eyes fierce. Her face quickly softened at the sight of him, but it was still unsettling. She let her hammer down and leaned on the handle.

  “Come see what mama found.” She giggled. He furrowed his eyebrows before moving from behind the tree and closer to her. His eyes widened as he saw what she found.

  On the ground before the two was the body of a wolf, or what he presumed was a wolf. Its torso was torn open, most of its guts were spilling out of the wound. The smell was absolutely awful. He turned around and closed his eyes, tears had begun to fill them from the sight of the creature and the horrid smell.

  “God, Jean, why the hell did you want me to see this?” He whined. Jean tilted her head in confusion before gasping.

  “Oh! Not that!” She said simply while kneeling down. She reached behind the carcass and pulled two small creatures out. Chase slowly looked over his shoulder. The two balls of fur whined slightly as she pulled them closer to her, cradling them in her arms. It was a tender moment, which was a word he never thought he’d use to describe Jean.

  “Wolf pups?”

  “I think they’re hybrids. My ma had one when I was still in New York, it was a wild thing.” Jean stated simply, the look of love and adoration present on her face (the look she had never given Chase).

  “The mama was definitely a hybrid. Looks like she died tryin’ to protect her babies.” She continued, her voice wavering into a sad tone. Chase stepped forward and knelt down beside her, reaching his hand out to pet the squirming pups. They whimpered and growled at each other as they moved on top of one another, shifting around in Jean’s arms.

  “What’re we gonna do?” He asked, his hand already placed on his knife. If he knew Jean – the heartless bitch she was – she’d probably ask him to kill them. Her eyes shifted toward his hand and she glared.

  “Well first thing you’re gonna do is take your hand offa that knife. They’re mine.” She said in a dangerously low tone while standing up. Chase moved his hand away from the knife quickly. She never really took that tone with him before, but he didn’t want to risk anything. After he did this, she handed one of the pups to him. She raised the one she had in the air and studied it closely.

  “This one’s a girl.” She stated. She looked at him, her expression was almost innocent, but he knew her.

  “How about Harley?” She asked.

  “Sounds good.” He lifted his pup in the air, just as she did.

  “Boy.” He told her. She smiled widely and took the other pup back.

  “Jack. Harley and Jack!” She decided. Chase smiled at her, finding himself completely enamored with Jean despite every awful thing she had done to him.

  “I love them so much already.” She mused. She shifted them both into the crook of one of her arms and placed her hammer over her shoulder again.

  “Let’s head back.” Chase nodded.

  “You want me to hold one of them for you?” He asked her, causing her to glare at him.

  “Fuck off. Take my hammer.” She commanded. He rolled his eyes subtly and took her hammer from her. She squeaked to herself and held the pups close.

  “If anything were to happen to you guys I’d kill everyone around me and then myself.” She told them, speaking in the same voice she used to speak to Chase when she was pleased with something he had done.  

 

2

 

  A woman with red hair and blue-green eyes stood beside Chase. She looked at him with nothing but love and trust. Growling echoed through the halls and she squeezed his hand in an attempt to reassure him.

  “Bev, please don’t.” He begged. She gave him another small smile and lifted her pistol.

  “It’ll be okay. I just gotta grab something from in there, I’ll be in and out, alright?” She said to him, her voice soft and light. He looked down and nodded.

  “Promise me?” He asked. She nodded.

  She looked like an angel, she always did. Her face was slightly round, with a square jawline. She was as beautiful as her personality.

  And she loved him.

  He loved her. He always would.

  She disappeared into the second floor of the hotel. He could hear gunshots echo throughout the halls, and with each one he felt his heart drop.

  She was his wife. She was his and she would never hurt him. She wouldn’t lead him on. She disappeared into the second floor. Chase never saw her again.

  That was, until Jean showed up. She resembled Beverly, and it was almost shocking to him. She had an interesting sense of humor, and she was very charming. Her hair was long and blonde, not like Beverly’s short red hair, but her eyes were the same color. They could change with what she wore, going from blue-green to a grey-ish green. She had the same square jawline, with a button nose, just like Beverly.

  At first, Audra was extremely annoyed with Chase. She knew that he was letting Jean get away with things because of how much she looked like his wife, but it didn’t stop him. Then she attacked them, killed Eddie, and tortured the other adults. Audra had every reason to be pissed off with him, but ever since the torture incident she had been rather quiet. She didn’t get mad at him; she didn’t question what he was doing. Audra was always there to keep him in check. Now?

  Now he was someone’s bitch.

  Jean was on the ground with her puppies, playing with them. She had pieces of a dead walker cut up on the floor next to her. She wore gloves and would taunt the pups with the pieces of meat. They jumped up on her, nipping at her arms and hands in an attempt to get ahold of the flesh pinched between her fingers.

  They were her children, two of three, one on the way.

  Chase loved her. He loved her for everything she was. She was fucked up and he loved her despite that. And he’d love her child as if they were his own if she’d let him. However, he knew she wouldn’t.

  They were both hung up on people from their past, but Jean was never going to move on from it. That much Chase was sure of.

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