tagNovels and NovellasHunted Ch. 06

Hunted Ch. 06


Part 6

I woke up early the next morning, still holding Liv. My arms were stiff and numb from lying like that. I decided to check on Nate. Being careful not to wake up Liv, I slid my arms from around her and stood up. I quietly left the shelter and walked over to his. It had finally stopped raining, but it was still wet and foggy.

Nate had his eyes closed but opened them as I walked in. I smiled and said, "Morning. You look like hell."

"You should see yourself," he smiled and laughed, coughing up more blood.

"How you doing, bud?" I asked sitting next to him.

His expression turned serious. "Pretty bad. I can't feel my leg," he motioned to the tourniquet. "I'm coughing up blood. My ribs are killing me. I've been better." He leaned in and whispered, "I don't think I'm gonna make it, tell-"

"Whoa, back up Nate. You're gonna make it. I promise. Don't you dare fucking die on me."

"Listen to me. I'm serious. Tell my parents I tried to make them proud. I love them."

"No. You're gonna tell them yourself. I'm telling you. We will make it. Two bodies on my conscience are bad enough. I don't need someone I actually care about joining them."

"Don't be stupid, Matt. Look at me. If that lunatic shows up, no, when he shows up, I'm fucked. I can't run. Or even walk. The rest of you get the fuck out. I'll hold him back, keep him occupied, and you get out. Let's be realistic here. I'm next. You and me have done shit like this all the time and come out of it in one piece. It's no big deal. I just didn't make it out this time, that's all."

"NO BIG DEAL?! He'll probably rip your guts out and eat them! I'll say this once. We go together or we don't fucking go!"

He was getting annoyed now. "You don't always have to play the fucking hero, you know. Do you have any sense of self preservation?"

"Excuse me, jackass, I saved your ass back there! Self preservation, my ass! I could've left you there to die! I care about my friends."

Nate started to reply, but Cody walked in to check on him too. Nate groaned and coughed up more blood. Cody sat down and loosened the tourniquet a little. "Feeling better?" he asked.

"Does it look like it?" Nate asked.

Cody shook his head. "It looks like you took on Rambo and lost. Badly."

Nate snorted and started coughing up yet more blood. "That damn log felt like a train. I wish I'd seen it coming."

"It was pouring rain. There was no way you could've seen it." Cody looked at him with pity. "Anyway, I'm going out to try building a fire. Coming?" he asked me.

"I'll be out in a minute," I said. Cody nodded and walked outside. I turned to Nate, "I'm gonna go wake up Liv. She slept like a fucking corpse last night. Ok? Shout if you need anything." I walked back to my shelter. Liv was still sound asleep. I tried to think of a creative way to wake her up, as well as get my mind off Nate's injuries, and finally got one. I knelt down and gently rubbed her clit through her pants. She moaned instantly and started grinding her crotch into my hand. I stopped as she finally opened her eyes with a smile. "Good morning, sexy," I said. "You were tired. I've been up checking on Nate."

Her head shot up, and her face turned serious. "Yeah? How is he?"

"He still doesn't look good. His leg's completely numb. And he's still coughing up blood."

"Shit. I need to go see him." She jumped up and ran over to the shelter. She was gone for about 10 minutes, then came back with Cody. "If he doesn't get to a hospital today, he's in trouble," she whispered. "He's barely breathing and his pulse is through the roof."

"Fuck. There's no hospital for miles, and we don't have any medical supplies. What do we do?" Cody said.

There was silence until I said quietly, "Pray."

Unsurprisingly, Nate succumbed to his injuries sometime later that day. I walked in to check on him sometime around dusk. He wasn't breathing. "Oh fuck," I hissed and dropped to my knees. I tried giving him CPR dozens of times, with no effect (my health class in my sophomore year in high school did a chapter on CPR, so all the kids in my grade had basic knowledge of how to perform it). "Wake up man! Wake up! FUCK!" I yelled and pounded his chest in frustration. Liv heard me and came running in, and gasped in horror. I looked up at her with tears in my eyes, but whether it was from sadness or frustration, I wasn't sure. She turned away, crying silently.

Cody came over, but stopped when he saw us. "Oh shit," he whispered. Liv and I were both crying while he stood there with a blank look on his face, trying to comprehend what had just happened. I finally stood up and asked, "What do we do with his body? It can't stay here. It'll attract animals and maybe him," (I was referring to the guy hunting us).

"It's too dark to do anything now. We'll bury Nate in the morning." Cody was fighting back tears. I'd never seen him cry before. "We should all go to bed. Maybe this is just a dream."

"Not a dream. A fucking nightmare," I corrected him, walking over to hug Liv, who was still crying silently. She continued crying into my shoulder. "Come on Liv, we need to get some sleep. Night, Cody." Cody nodded and took the tourniquet off Nate, retying Steve's hands with it despite it being covered in blood, and returned to his shelter. Liv nodded silently and walked with me, still crying. I took a good look at her. Her tears were running down her face and smudging the black stuff under her eyes. I still had mine too, and it probably looked similar, especially with all the rain we'd had. Like me, she was covered in dried blood and mud. It gave her a sexy, rugged, badass-girlfriend look. Especially with her tight USMC field pants and tank top-turned-belly shirt. We saw Steve, sitting by the fire. He smirked at me. Instantly, anger flared up in me. I balled my hand into a fist and took a step in his direction, but Liv stopped me.

"Don't do it. He's not even worth the punch," Liv said with red, puffy eyes.

"Yeah. You heard the girl. I'm not worth it. So where's your friend? He dead?" Steve sneered. The little shit. I wanted nothing more than to go over and hit him. Maybe I'd let that lunatic chasing us have him. "He's not gonna help you now. He's dead. And who gives a shit?" he continued winding me up.

"Steve. I advise you to shut the fuck up before I make you," I was straining to keep my voice even.

"Ooooh. Is that a threat?" he taunted. He was asking for it now. No. More than that. He was on his knees begging for it (Just like his mom last night lol).

"No," I started walking back to our shelter. I paused and turned around, facing him. "It's a guarantee." I eyed him with loathing and went inside.

Liv sat down in the corner, still crying. "I'm not gonna sleep tonight," she sobbed.

I sat next to her and put an arm around her. "I tried reviving him. You saw. But he was already gone. Couldn't have happened to a nicer kid."

"I know. It's just awful. God. I'm sorry," she looked into my eyes with sadness and apologies.

"Don't be. It wasn't your fault. What happened to Nate was no one's fault. What a fucking way to die. Being hit by a log. Fuck me, it must've been horrible." I tried to smile at her, but I couldn't. "At least I still have you and Cody."

"I didn't know him as well as you. But I'm still torn up over his death. I don't know how you and Cody must feel."

I yawned and closed my eyes. "You don't wanna know. It sucks. Trust me. Now I'm going to sleep. Maybe Cody's right. Maybe it's just a nightmare. Night."

Liv said, "Please don't lie down away from me. I need someone next to me right now. Ok?" Normally, I'd probably be turned on if she said that, but in these circumstances, I simply agreed. She put her head on my shoulder and tried to sleep. Whether she did, I don't know. I must've dozed, because the next thing I remembered was Cody shaking me awake.

"Dude, we've got a problem. Nate's gone," he said.

"Well, yeah. Don't you remember yesterday?"

"No shit. I know he's dead. I meant his body. It's gone."

I jumped up and ran to the shelter where he was. Cody was right. Nate's body was gone. I looked around the inside and froze. Written on the wall, in what looked very much like blood, was, He's mine. You're all mine. I'm watching you. I'm always watching. Beware....

How did Cody miss that? I ran back and brought him over. His jaw dropped. For the first time, he looked scared. "We need to get out of here. I hope that's his blood. If he bleeds, we can kill him. Get Liv up."

She was dozing but was instantly awake when she read the writing. She looked terrified. Even Steve, Mr. Balls-of-steel, was unnerved. There were only four of us left.

"Jesus, he found us again," I said with a grimace. "And what's with the writing? Is that like his calling card or signature or some shit?"

Steve said with a sneer as if it were obvious, "He's not fucking Zorro, is he?" I ignored him.

"We need to move. Now," Cody said, looking around. "But where?" He looked around and stopped suddenly. His gaze was on a tree.

We had to climb a tree and stay up there. Cody went first. Then me, helping Liv. Steve came last, his hands still tied, with no one making an effort to help him. We all had to find our own branches. The last thing we needed was to fall out of a tree!

It was almost nice up there, apart from a slight rain. I definitely felt much safer, as long as he didn't have a gun. We were talking and almost having fun until Steve started shaking his branch. Liv was freaking out, begging him to stop. Both Cody and me tried telling him. But what a surprise, the dickhead wouldn't. Until a gunshot rang out. We all yelled and ducked. Except Steve. He'd been hit in the shoulder. He yelled in pain and almost fell out of the tree. He finally regained his balance and tried to clutch his shoulder, with blood gushing from it. Then he was hit again, also in the same shoulder. One bullet is bad enough, but two must be unbearable. He screamed again and slumped against the tree trunk, but still very much alive. I didn't like him but I couldn't let him die like that.

"Steve! You ok?" I asked.

He answered, "Oh yeah, just great! Fucking amazing. No, of course I'm not fucking ok! Do I look like it?!" he yelled.

"Stay there. I'm coming down." I slowly climbed down to his branch and looked at his injuries. They were really bad. There were exit holes. I whistled and said, "Shit. It looks bad. Don't move. You're losing a lot of blood." I quickly untied his hands and made a tourniquet around his shoulder.

But then, a third shot rang out. It skinned my arm and hit Steve in the upper chest. I slumped over against the tree trunk, in agony and grabbing my arm, and Steve yelled, "FUCK!" Blood was flowing down my arm, soaking part of my shirt. It wasn't that bad though. The bullet just grazed me and took off layers of skin, but it still hurt like hell. Steve was going downhill. He had blood trickling from his mouth and was growing pale. I grabbed the tree trunk with my uninjured arm and looked up at Liv and Cody. They were both staring in horror. Steve groaned and lurched forward. Then I heard a creaking. The branch was starting to break! I grabbed the one above me and held out a hand for Steve, ignoring the searing pain in my arm. He reached for it, but the branch snapped. With a scream, he plummeted to the ground. I was left hanging there, a good 30 feet up. Liv screamed and started crying. Cody was gently lowering himself to come pull me up. He looked down and gasped, turning away. I almost couldn't look, but I had to. It was nasty!

Steve was impaled through the tree branch. But he was still very much alive and screaming in agony. Until we heard barking. Oh shit! The shooter had dogs too! Now Steve was fucked. And he knew it. The barking grew louder until the dogs emerged out of the tree line. One was a Doberman and the other was a Siberian husky. They slowly got closer to Steve, snarling. Then they lay down around him, staring at him. Waiting for him to die. Or the signal to attack. Steve looked at them, resigning himself to death. But when the signal came, a whistle, he still screamed and tried to fight. But he never had a chance. Those dogs tore him apart, probably eating him alive. None of us could watch. I hated Steve, but I couldn't wish anyone to die like him.

Then with another whistle, the dogs were called off, vanishing into the woods. Cody was on my branch now, slowly edging closer. I tried to warn him, "Don't come any closer. The branch'll break." It was bent dangerously far. Cody ignored me and tried to help me up. The branch continued bending.

He had just grabbed my hand when the branch finally gave in. He was left hanging like me. Liv was the only one still safely on a branch. She screamed and said, "Shit! Hold on! I'll try and lower another branch for you to grab." She reached out an arm and grabbed a thick branch and tried to bend it down to us. But it was too heavy. Liv was slowly being pulled off the branch she was on. But still, she tried. Until her legs were spread to the point of almost a full split. We had a nice view, but were too scared to care. And rightfully so. With a scream, Liv lost her balance and fell off the branch, slamming into Cody and me, making us all fall out of the tree! There was the sight of the ground rushing up to meet us, then everything went black.

To be continued in part 7....

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