PROLOGUE | Get Off Your Ass

Zach left me alone for ten minutes, just ten fucking minutes. He must have been standing in the hall. There was no doubt he had heard my sobs, my pathetic, gut-wrenching reaction to Blake’s abandonment. He gave me those ten minutes alone, but no more. The sharp knock on the door was his way of letting me prepare myself. He usually didn’t knock. I guess I should have been grateful. I wasn’t.

I wiped at my eyes hurriedly and stood up from the bed, the bed that would be empty tonight.

“Alexis,” he said. He ran his hand over his mouth like he wanted to say something but couldn’t.

“I don’t need your pity, Zach.”

“I don’t pity you, Alexis.”

“Fine, so, what do you need?”

“Marquez radioed in, said there was a group of dead coming up Chef Menteur Road from the East. They could possibly hit Venetian Isles by tomorrow if they keep up their pace.”

“There is nothing in that direction but marshland. Where did they come from?”

“Who knows. We have to clear them out though. So, get your shit and round up Baby and Duke and whoever else can pitch in and let’s bail out Marquez.”

“You trying to distract me, Zach?”

“No, you’re good at clean-up and I need someone to clean up a big fucking mess. This ain’t the time or the place to act like some dumped teenager. This world doesn’t have time for your tears, you’ve had your moment, get over it. Grab your gear and get moving. We’re one man short with Blake gone. We have to stay on top of things.”

“Fuck you, Zach.”

“There won’t be any of that if we’re all dead.”

I only cursed him twice as I pulled on my boots and only because he was right. This wasn’t a world for tears.