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194 Huey and Jollene, A Rather Odd Love Story

 Day 22 - 1:07 AM - Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

ROAR!!!

Despite her muffled cries of fear and her rapid panting as she ran away, Jollene could clearly hear the roar of the beast chasing behind her. She was in fear, in panic, and in despair but as she ran away, fleeting thoughts flashed in her mind every now and then.

'Am I going to die?'

'Why did they leave me behind?'

'Why did I believe his empty promise?'

'What did he mean by playing a game?'

'Why doesn't he just save me?'

'Why is he doing this?'

A ringing sound entered her ear. She did not know where that sound came from. Following that sound however, was her realization. Even though she was a victim, she was also a perpetrator. Before the three men left her, she already left the others in the village. She was no different from them. None of the people left in the village had the responsibility to help her when she was one of those who abandoned them.

Tears flowed from her eyes but it was not because of fear but regret. She deserved what was happening to her. Still, she did not want to die. Despite her wobbly legs shaking in fear, she could only run. Run and run as fast as she could. She remembered what Mark said. If she wanted to live, reach the village as fast as she could.

At this moment, her mind became a bit clearer with mostly her goal left in her mind. She did not know how or why but she felt her head becoming lighter.

Suddenly, she felt a somehow imaginary pain on her nape. She was confused but for some reason as her body started to move on its own. Losing her balance due to her resistance, her body fell forward.

It was then that three flashes of shiny claws passed through where he neck should be before. The tiger had already caught up behind her and pounced. It swiped its right claw towards her neck like how it killed Arnolds but her awkward fall made her evade the attack with only a few strands of her hair cut off. With nothing to block its pounce, the tiger flew forward due to the inertia of its fast pounce.

Jollene saw the large body of the tiger pass over her fallen body in shock. With a muffled cry, she hurriedly propped her body up and crawled on fours away before managing to stand once more. She then ran towards another direction trying to go around the tiger.

She knew that she was lost now as she could not remember the right way anymore. However, she could not stop running. No, rather, her body was running on its own.

Then another imaginary pain was felt. This time, it was on her right waist. Unexpectedly, she kicked her right leg and jumped sideward to her left circling on a quite large tree. The tiger that was attacking and was about to bisect her body into two from her waist was blocked by the tree and the claws got stuck for a few seconds that gave her a little breathing time to run further.

***

While Jollene was fleeing for her life, Mark was also silently running at her pace watching her predicament. Amihan on his shoulder was still masking their smell and shuffling the noise they create as they observed the situation. Both of them were rather surprised when Jollene dodged the attack aiming for her neck. Mark was about to interfere that time when he noticed a strange movement on Jollene's body. The expression of her face and the movements of her body did not match at all.

Even though her expression was still filled with fear, her body was doing otherwise. The movements of her body were not panicked at all and her movements even became efficient in some way. She was not dragging her feet as she ran anymore but was actually kicking the ground before her hind foot lift off for another step.

'It seems this girl gained some unexpected benefits.'

Mark felt that there was no need to interfere anymore. If she kept running on the direction she was taking and keep up with those unusual movements, she would safely reach the village. He suddenly remembered what Huey did when he realized that these people would die.

That rich looking guy suddenly kneeled in front of him. Unexpectedly he was only begging for this woman to be saved.

"Why should I? I won't get anything from it."

That was his reply to that guy but unexpectedly...

"I'm willing to trade my life for hers. If you want me to be your slave for the rest of my life, I'll do it as long as you save Jollene."

"A verbal promise isn't something I can agree for."

At that time, Huey took out his pistol and pointed it at his temple.

"I can exchange my life in this spot."

Huey stared at Mark. Under the faint light of the moon, his eyes were filled with begging and resoluteness.

"Do you like her? But you looked cold to her."

Mark asked as a faint tint of interest finally sprouted on his face. Huey had a bit of hesitation when lost strength on holding his gun and answered.

"I do like her. You can say that it's funny but it's a love at first sight. However, she liked that Jefferson like many other women in the company. You probably heard about it already about what happened when we left he hotel. I heard from Trisha that Hallie talked to you about it. Jollene did not want to leave the hotel originally but she still followed because of Jefferson. As for why I'm cold to her, you can say that it's like a childish tantrum and a step to try and take distance away from her."

"But you can't."

Mark interjected making Huey's expression change with helplessness.

That expression... Mark was reminded of Freed's expression when he was telling about his beloved fiancé, Amecia.

'Damn Freed.'

Mark was affected. He and Freed was basically one person now and even though not all, most of Freed's important memories was inside him. Due to that, he could not help but get affected at this kind of story.

"You two..." Mark said making Huey look up at him with confusion. "I'll help her my way but both your lives belong to me from now on."

At that moment, Huey's eyes lit up. He started to kowtow as he faced Mark.

"Thank you! Thank you!"

Mark never though that he would be able to see a man able to lower himself to that extent for another person.

Well, if he could obtain the loyalty of these two people, then it would be good for his future plans.

He was not up this late because he was expecting them to escape but because he was playing with the red blob while planning his future steps. Now that he knew where he was, he had two options to choose. One, to return to Bay City and take Mei, Odelina, the children along with Laelaps, Fein and Janette out of there and establish their own base somewhere. Or two, create a base first so everything, food source, water source, dwelling and protection, was all set before he pick them up from Bay City.

Since the mutation of the infected was rather too uncertain, the second option sounded better. However, he needed people in order to do that. And not only just people but loyal people. Also, people who were not dead weight and could at least be of help to the base.

As for the place to build the base, this mountain was a good location. Not at the village though but somewhere closer to water source and not prone to natural disasters. In that case, the place around the water spring was a good place. There were evolved animals and insects here but they were not as dangerous as the infected in Mark's view. Beasts, no matter how big or fast they were, they were still beasts. The infected on the other hand, no one knew what they would end up in the future.

The mountains was also a natural barrier against the infected and since there were two communities nearby, the town behind the mountain to the east and the barrio upstream of Ungos River, finding things they needed would not be too tedious to do so.

Mark continued to stalk Jollene and the tiger as their chase got nearer and nearer to the village. Considering how Jollene was now, Mark was sure that she would improve from being a dead weight to one of the best fighters in the future. Even though she was still afraid of the tiger, ever since her movements changed, she only received a few scratches on her arms and feet as she dodged the tiger's attacks.

Watching her awkward movements but still managing to dodge the tiger's attacks, Mark was sure that what she had awakened had nothing to do with her reflexes. She was not even looking at the attacks when she dodged them.

'Danger perception and instinctual movements?'

Those were his initial assumptions but Mark could not be sure unless enough tests were done.

***

Finally, Jollene saw the forest started to thin. When she saw the clearing, she knew that she was already close to the village. She managed to step out into the clearing but the village was till about dozens of meters away. She was tired and about to collapse. Her breathing was ragged and even under the faint moonlight, her flushed face was noticeable. Even though her body was already shivering, she still needed to continue.

Jollene dragged her body towards the village as her sight started to blur. She did not even realize that the tiger was not chasing her anymore. The moment she stepped inside the vicinity of the broken fences of the village, her body finally lost its strength. She started to fall down and expected the pain she would feel when her head hit the ground.

Unexpectedly, her falling body was gently caught by someone. She tried to open her eyes and saw Huey's face staring at her with worry. She did not expect that the person who treated her coldly would be the first person to catch her and even hold her like this. Feeling his strange but warm embrace, she could not help but feel relaxed. Finally, she fainted.

***

When Mark went out of the forest into the clearing, he saw several silhouettes waiting at the outskirts of the village. Upon closer look, aside from Huey who initially waiting and was now holding the unconscious Jollene, the others were also here with the sick Nicole as exception.

When he arrived, the other two men stepped back. It seemed that they were still afraid of him. Trisha was also the same though she could not step back since she was helping Hallie move around.

They were probably awakened by the loud roars in the middle of the night.

As for the tiger? None of them would ask where it was. They only needed to look at the dead animal Mark was now dragging on the ground.

"All of you should sleep already. I'm going to make you all work early tomorrow."

Mark said and was about to drag the dead tiger past the group when Huey stopped him.

"Jollene... she have fever..."

"She's evolving so just let her rest. When she wakes up tomorrow, expect it that she's stronger than all of you."

Ignoring the confused and shocked expressions of the group of survivors, Mark left dragging the body of the tiger that almost annihilated this group a day ago.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.

As for the three men, Mark did not bother chasing them. He already scouted the area those three ran towards when they encountered the tiger. Even if that Jefferson did not reek of animal guts, running to that area was suicide.

At that area, there was a gigantic nest of huge hornets. Even he had no confidence in blindly storming that place. It was one of the reasons why he wanted to build the base somewhere else further from here.