Chapter 4: New Arrivals

When you're a of the most frustrating things about a situation like the one I'm in, sleeping in a room full of random waking up with morning wood and not having a private way to 'take care of it' before getting out of bed. It was actually more like morning IRON today, as horny as I was. God, I missed the days of having my own room and a closed door to hide my sins from the rest of the world. I could have splashed the ceiling with the semen I had built up and ready to go when I opened my eyes. I couldn't even get out from under my covers before my erection got soft enough to sufficiently tuck to the side. At this rate, I'm going to be back to having wet dreams again in a day or two, just like I had a few years ago when I first hit puberty. Involuntarily messing up my sheets with no access to washing my own THAT would be embarrassing!

I heard the rumble of thunder outside as a slow, but steady, rain pattered gently at the gymnasium windows. Everybody was already up and milling around as though they actually had somewhere to go. Still checking their cell phones, still trying to call out with no signal, still trying to mentally grasp just how bad things had gotten out there.

Wondering if there would ever be a way to reverse this. Or...if this was really the end for us all.

Ugh! I really needed to jerk off! Seriously, this is killing me. There is NO privacy in this place! None! Even if I hurried off to one of the bathroom stalls, I wouldn't have any peace and quiet. There's always somebody in the bathroom. All of the bathrooms. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. I'd be better off trying to find a quiet place to masturbate at Wrigley Field during the Playoffs.

I'm just going to have to find a sneaky way to do it at night when it gets dark. Like...laying on my side and stroking myself under the covers or something. There are tons of teenage boys in this place! They've all got to be doing it somewhere.

It took some maneuvering, but I was finally able to pull my blanket off and get off of my shabby mattress. It didn't take much for me to maintain my tiny little piece of the gym floor. Besides, it's not like I had anything for people to steal. Keeping what few belongings I had together was easy. I was one of the lucky ones. I got to pack some extra clothes and personal items before being brought here to safety. That was before the madness escalated. Once the zombies started moving in large numbers, everything kind of came crashing down around us all at once. Now, most of the people who are fortunate enough to catch a ride with one of the incoming army rescue teams usually do it while frantically running for their lives. They didn't have time to prepare at all. It was simply a matter of survival for them, arriving with nothing more than the clothes on their backs...and a head full of nightmare fuel.

I fixed myself up as best as I could. The showers were already full for the morning. Full of people that I'd really rather not see naked. Like...ever. Sheriff Rainey being one of them. about friggin' nightmare fuel! The threat of me accidentally seeing a pair of droopy, hairy, swingers peeking out from under the folds of his 50 plus year old display of ample belly fat is actually a frightening enough image to keep me from showering with the other high school boys surrounding him! How awful is THAT? I get physical shivers just thinking about it.

I headed towards the cafeteria for my breakfast, my stomach rumbling aggressively to remind me that I hadn't eaten so much as a candy bar since late last night. But long before I got to the spot where I usually get in line for morning meals, I ran into a bunch of people that I thought were just standing in the hall for no reason. They were all moved over to one side, but I figured that it must be for something else, right? Who knows? The rules seem to change every day in this place, depending on what's going on at the moment. At least when it was just a high school cafeteria the rules were consistently oppressive.

I walked all the way down the long hallway, turned the corner, and kept following the line of people all the way to a familiar location. I wrinkled my brow with confusion as I searched for a break where the line for breakfast normally ended and the line for 'whatever these other people were doing' began. There didn't seem to be one.

I looked at one of the older guys in front of me and asked, "Excuse me? Do you know where end of the breakfast line is?‟

He answered with a raspy voice, ‟You're looking at it.‟

Wait. WHAT??? ‟Are you serious? All these people?‟

‟Do I look like I'm in the mood for amateur comedy this early in the morning, kid?‟ He said, rolling his eyes. ‟Go back the way you came, and just keep walking around the corner and down the hall until you run out of people to walk past.‟

Where the hell did all of these extra people come from? They didn't bring in that many refugees last night, did they?

Without asking anymore questions, I turned around and started back down the hallway again. Geez, that was a lot of people. I hope they made enough food for everyone. My stomach is going to punish me something awful if I don't get to munch on something soon. Maybe I can ask my brother, Cain, for some cash to hit the vending machines or something...considering they're not already empty. Because this looks like it's going to be a looooong wait.

By the time I reached the end of the line it looked like it was already ten to fifteen people longer than it was when I originally walked by for the first time. I grunted to myself and just took my place at the end, hoping that I'd find a way to busy myself enough to keep from passing out from starvation.

‟HI!!!‟ Came a high pitched, boyish, squeak from behind me. It caught me by surprise, to be honest. It was so...cheerful. What the heck was there to be cheerful about? What was a voice like that doing in a place like this? ‟I'm Preston! Preston Miles!‟ He was absolutely beaming, his delightful surge of boundless energy singing out through his engaging smile and shallow dimples on either side.

I looked down as he stretched out his hand for a shake. I thought it a bit strange at first. He was approaching me as if I was getting ready to give him a job interview or something. ‟Uhhh...ok. Hi.‟ I said. I shook his hand out of obligation mostly. Didn't want him to feel weird about it. This 'Preston' boy...he seemed so darned proud of himself for making a connection with me that his excited grin visible shivers nearly caused me to giggle out loud. ‟Wait a minute...I remember you.‟ I said. Something clicked, and visions of little Preston racing around, flashing his smooth, bare naked, little booty to everyone with 'eye-shot' last night, came back to me. ‟Not a fan of needles, huh?‟

Preston blushed. Lowering his eyes, but keeping his smile in full bloom. ‟Oh. Right. Last night. Yeah...they're not my favorite. Needles, I mean.‟

‟I can tell.‟ I chuckled. ‟For what it's worth, you definitely gave those doctors and nurses an entertaining run for their money last night.‟

‟Those janky QUACKS tried to poke holes in me! What do I need a vaccine for? I didn't get bit by none of those things!‟ He squeaked again.

‟The way you move...I can believe it. Hahaha!‟ Again, he seemed so satisfied with himself that I found it kind of amusing to make him smile with such a minimal effort. He really responded to the attention. Not in an arrogant way, mind you. It was just in this really playful manner that made you smile right along with him, and want to maintain that charming grin for as long as humanly possible. "You're pretty fast on your feet, huh?" I asked.

‟If you think that's fast, you should see me trying to avoid a whoopin'! Hehehe!‟ He snickered.

Awww! I think I liked this kid. He was young, but something about him brought out the youngster in everybody he came into contact with.

‟The name's Jake.‟ I said.

He couldn't hide a slight gasp, nor could he hide the way his excited eyes widened with his overly enthusiastic smile. ‟PRESTON! Preston Miles!‟ He said again, extending his hand a second time.

‟Hehehe, we did the handshake thing already.‟

‟Oh yeah...right.‟ There was a brief pause as the breakfast line moved forward a step or two. Then he says, ‟So...kooky stuff going on out there, huh?‟

‟Kooky? I don't know if that's exactly how I'd describe it, but...yeah.‟

‟Yeah. You're right.‟ He replied. Then looked as if he was searching for something else to say. ‟I hope this place holds out longer than that Blue Line subway station. I heard they got creepers coming in from all sides. I don't know if anybody made it out of there. Everything happened so fast.‟ Then, for no reason at all, he said, ‟I've got some warm sodas in my backpack. You want one? It's not like I'm savin' 'em or anything. I'm not gonna use them for anything. Well...not anymore. It's cool, if you wanna share.‟ What the...?

Before I could answer him, we heard some of the loud bells and signals that were alerts to let everyone know that we had even more new arrivals coming in today. The food line has never been this long before, so Preston and I were pushed almost all the way back to a place where we could witness the latest convoy drop off. Immediately, people came rushing out from every room and staircase in the place to get as close to the opening doors as the soldiers would allow them. We even got to move up a few spaces in line from people racing to see if their loved ones were ok.

Medical doctors were rushed in from all over the campus and armed guards stood at the doors, ready to do whatever was needed to keep people in line as the trucks began to unload ten to fifteen people at a time. They were all rain soaked and trying to get inside and under some shelter as quickly as possible. Preston and I stood on our tip toes in an attempt to see over the shoulders of whatever adults were shamelessly pushing their way past us at the time. I was having a much easier time of it, as Preston's thin little legs couldn't stretch up far enough for his light blue orbs to see much of anything, him being so short. Even on his tip toes. He'd be better off getting down on his hands and knees to peek between people's legs.

I watched many more new arrivals flooding into the school from the rain, and listened to the cries and sniffling whimpers of everyone who had their hopes up when it came to finding the ones they had to leave behind...but were left disappointed. So many people still missing. Dead? Lost? Crying out for help? Everything was too much of a mess to really sort out and know for sure. At least for now.

But then...a few more soldiers bumped their way past me as they stomped their way inside. It wasn't hard enough to affect me much, but Preston frowned up and hissed as he rubbed a sensitive sore spot on his shoulder.

I heard one of them say, ‟What is this? I thought we weren't expecting another full convoy until after sunset?‟

The other soldier told him, ‟They were forced back early, sir. Space was limited and they filled up with survivors much faster than any of us expected. The whole convoy turned around and decided to come back before sunset.‟

Looking at his clipboard, the commanding officer said, ‟Convoy 31-30. How many passengers?‟

‟Approximately fifty eight passengers, sir. not including our team.‟

‟Fifty eight?‟ He seemed surprised, but was quick to lower his voice. ‟Listen...our men haven't had a break in hours. Someof them, days. Our severely limited medical staff is overworked as it is. These people need rest, food, time to relax...they are the guardians at our gates, gentlemen. We can't afford to have them so exhausted that bite marks and crucial signs of infection end up slipping past them. We need to slow down. This facility is rapidly reaching capacity.‟

‟The next convoy has already gone out, sir...‟

‟Then contact them and tell them to turn BACK! It's not going to do anybody any good to pick up another load of refugees and bring them back to a contaminated facility, now is it?‟ The soldiers stood at attention and were prepared to follow the stern orders they had been given.

Then...I noticed a bit of a disturbance just outside of the open doors on the other side of the gym. I thought it might have been another temporary scuffle, but the soldiers seemed to be keeping their distance this time. Not rushing in to enforce the rules and restore order like I had seen them do so many times before.

Preston's little body was squirming and wiggling and trying to wedge his way between the shoulders of the interested crowd so he could see what was going on. It didn't do him much good. ‟What is it? What's happening?‟ He whined.

‟Shhh!‟ I tried to look closely at the cause of the commotion, and saw four or five soldiers with their hands stretched out, as if trying to calm one of the civilians on the back of the trucks. At first, I thought that maybe one of those monsters had found a way inside our borders, and that they were getting ready to take us all out. But if that was true, that thing would have had its brain splattered all over the concrete by now.

That's when I noticed a smaller body in the center of it all, thrashing and crying and spinning around as if he were trying to fend off a swarm of angry hornets. He didn't look any older than Preston, to be honest. A little taller, maybe, but beating Preston in height wasn't all that much of a bragging right.

On closer inspection...I think I realized what all the fuss was about. That wasn't just a sharp stick he was waving around. I think it was a rifle!

‟I can't see! Lemmee see! Can I get on your shoulders, Jake?‟ Preston asked, already putting a hand on my shoulder and a foot on my knee to try to climb his way up.

‟WHAT? NO! Get down!‟

‟Awwww, c'mon!‟ He said.


I watched as the soldiers began to raise their own weapons in the refugee boy's direction, and the commanding officer had to rush out into the pouring rain to tell them to stand down. I think they were trying to take the gun from him, but he was clinging to it so tightly and crying so hard that I thought he might snap at any moment if they did so much as touched it, much less tried to disarm him..

One of the soldiers from the back of the convoy hopped down and jumped in front of the kid to protect him. ‟Whoah! Whoah! It's alright! He's with me! Hold your fire! Hold it!‟ The soldier had a bandage on his arm. A bright red splotch of blood soaked clean through it...but he stood right in front of the young, sandy blond, boy and did all he could to pacify the anxious soldiers surrounding them.

His commander shouted, ‟Cooper! Can you explain to me why you have a child with a live firearm in your convoy, soldier?‟

‟He's...he's just a kid, ok? He's a little boy...‟

‟I can see that, Cooper! But that does NOT, in ANY way, answer my question, soldier!‟

The guy looked like he was really trying to help, the entire squad getting drenched in their unified standoff. The 'Cooper' soldier pleaded, ‟The boy's been through a hell of a lot, sir. We picked him up, he was all by himself...he needs sanctuary. As far as I know, he's been on his own since the beginning of the outbreak. He just needs a little time to work things out. That's all.‟ His commander gave him a careless stare at first. ‟Please, sir. Just...let me stay with him for a while. I'll see to him. It'll be my responsibility.‟

‟That it will be, soldier.‟ He grunted. ‟But if you're staying with'd better grow fish gills, Cooper. Because I don't care how hard it're not bringing a minor into my shelter with a loaded weapon. Is that clear?‟

‟Yes, sir. I understand, sir.‟ The soldier said. ‟May I request a...blanket, or a poncho, sir?‟ A reasonable enough request. With a simple hand gesture, his commanding officer made it so. I was surprised that they let such a thing happen in a place like this. But what else were they going to do? They had two alternatives...tackle the little boy to the ground and TAKE the rifle from him, leaving him screaming and hysterical from the trauma he had been through and completing his journey into utter insanity...or turn him away...and feed him to the zombies waiting just outside the gate.

We hadn't really reached that level of desperation yet...but were we really all that far from it at this point? It's a question that we're going to need to ask ourselves after a while of being cooped up in this place.

The breakfast line moved forward again, and I was forced to move along with it for fear of losing my place. I really wanted to see how things were going to turn out for the silent boy with the loaded gun, but my empty stomach won the day.

I saw Preston pout a little bit as he followed behind me without seeing much of anything himself, but the last glimpse that I caught of the boy outside was him cuddled up in the arms of his new soldier friend, still gripping that riffle as though it was the only thing anchoring him down to this planet...and the both of them pulling a plastic poncho over their heads as they sat out there together...braving the storm as one.

With Preston behind me in line, I almost found myself craving the isolation of my morning bedsheets again. My GOD, could that boy talk! I can't really say that I was annoyed to the point of being rude to the poor guy...but doesn't he ever just run out of breath? Half the time, I don't even think he was talking to me directly. He was just making noises with his mouth and saying it loud enough for me to hear him. My own input wasn't required at all.

Still, I can't help but to be honest and say that his puppy-chirp voice and random comments didn't keep me entertained while I was waiting in line. I didn't really have to be a conversational participant, I just needed to nod and smile every now and then, restoring his confidence so he'd be inspired to talk even more. I think he needed that.

I ended up getting served a much smaller portion of breakfast than I had gotten used to in the days prior to this new flood of strangers. It settled he turbulent growl in my stomach, but it didn't do much else. I don't know if it was because they weren't sure how far to stretch the portions per individual stepping up for a plate...or if they simply didn't have enough to go around. I never really thought about it before this morning but...are we going to run out of food? I mean, eventually our supply is going to run low. And it's not like we can just head out and go to the local grocery store to get a refill for however many people we've got in this place. And for however many we've got coming later on.

Trying to get Preston to detach himself from my hip was an exercise in futility at first. If I stepped forward, he stepped forward. If I sat at a table, he sat right across from me. And even when he didn't have anything to say...he struggled to say something anyway. As if I'd suddenly get bored and leave him behind. aggravating as his overzealous attempts to lock down some sort of instantaneous friendship were, there was something endearing about him. I liked having him around, even though it was obvious that he'd certainly take some getting used to.

I didn't do much to go looking for Alex today. Perhaps it was a dumb ol' rush of male pride, but I kind of wanted to see if he'd come looking for me once I stopped chasing him around like a lovestruck toddler all the damn time. I didn't want to make a pest of myself. Or even a 'Preston' of myself, for that matter. I just wanted...I wanted Alex to think of me, you know? I wanted to test the waters and find out if he saw me as something special.

Kind of selfish, isn't it? All he wants to do is find out if his parents are alive in a horrid situation where I should be doing the same...and I'm having a 'You're In Love, Charlie Brown' moment. Sucks. I need to get my priorities straight.

Still...he's soooooooo CUTE though!!!

They day passes me by in a blink. If I thought the high school was crowded before, it seems to be downright 'polluted' with strangers now. I guess there aren't that many strongholds for the military to use to effectively house this many people. Not like how we've got things fortified here. However, bumping into people every time I walk down a hallway was getting to be a serious pain in the ass. I mean, I'm used to high school being a virtual mosh pit between classes when the bell rings...but this was just getting to be ridiculous.

Maybe I'm just cranky because I'm so fucking HORNY right now! Arrgghhhh!!!

Either way, I used some self restraint and didn't go scouring the halls looking for Alex today. Not deliberately, anyway. Let's just say that I kept my eyes open for him and remained eager for the moment when I got to drink in his unnatural beauty again. JUST in case he happened to be looking for me and I hadn't made myself more 'visible', you know?

Military folks wouldn't really let any of us go up to the third floor of the high school, making the first two floors even more crowded. But that's where they stayed, kept weapons and medical supplies, set up specific bases of operation. I'm not exactly sure what they do up there. I just know that it's off limits. However, while I was wandering around, I happened to find ONE classroom in the whole building that didn't have a light on inside. Could it be? Is there actually ONE room in this place that isn't packed with people?

I looked around to make sure nobody saw me heading in that direction. I didn't want any tagalongs. Ohhhh, if I can get just FIVE minutes alone, I'm going to blow the biggest load of my teen life! I swear! I need it too! Sooooo bad!

I hurried into the dark room and lightly closed the door behind me. The classroom wasn't all that big. It was mostly used for the debate team and independent after school programs. I was already hard and starting to unbutton my pants when my eyes scanned the room...and saw a silhouetted figure sitting in the window with one of his feet up on the sill, leaning casually back against the wall. Rats!

Quickly, I turned to the side and buttoned my pants up again.

Calmly, his voice said, "Looking for a place to jack off?"

Holding back a gasp, my first instinct was to snap back with, "No! No, I wasn't!"

I could only see a shadowed version of him against the window, with only a few distant lights from the high school parking lot and a faint glow from the moon. "It's alright, you know? Everybody comes looking for a place to do it."

"But...I wasn't."

The boy turned his head to look at me. "Whatever you say. But you know, there are two kinds of teenaged boys in this world. Those who masturbate, and those who lie about masturbating." Then he leaned his head back against the wall and went back to relaxing. "I've already marked my territory over there behind the teacher's desk, but I'm willing to share. There's a box of tissues in the upper, right hand, drawer."

Despite his mellow approach to the whole idea, he was downright crazy if he thought that I was going to walk over to the teacher's desk and jack off right in FRONT of him. I'm horny, but I'm not THAT horny!

"Why are you sitting here in the dark?" I asked, getting closer to him. Hoping to see him a little better.

With a frustrated sigh, he said, "Believe it or not, I came here to be alone. That's a 'hint', in case you were a little slow."

It wasn't until he said it that I recognized that same fury glowing behind his bright blue eyes. The outside light caught them at an angle, and they almost seemed to shine with a radiance all their own from underneath his canopy of dark brown curls. "Heyyyy...I know you." I said.

"I highly doubt that."

"You were the guy that got pushed yesterday. I saw the whole thing. It totally wasn't your fault, dude."

Mocking my voice, he said, "Well they 'totally' didn't care and roughed me up anyway, dude." Then he looked out the window. "It's a good thing that you saw it all. Thanks for coming to my rescue. My hero."

I don't know what I was doing to piss him off or make him so standoffish, but I felt myself trying to correct it anyway. A brief silence passed between us. Then I asked, "How did you know about this room?"

"I used to go to this school. Back then it was only used for inside suspension." He replied. "Let's just say that I spent a lot of time in inside suspension."

Clearing my throat, I said, "The name's Jake."

"Donovan." He mumbled.

" went to school here?"


"You graduated already?"

"Nope." He replied. Since I had never seen him once in the hallways during the school year, I kind of understood what that meant.

"Ah, I see." Another silence. "So...I take it you live around here somewhere? Like, maybe...?"

"What, are you interrogating me now? You wanna see my driver's license? Wanna urine sample? What is this?"

"I was just making conversation." I said, feeling a bit rejected.

"Well, don't. I don't like making conversation. I don't like making friends. In fact, I don't think I like people in general."

With a smirk, I said, "Well then I guess a zombie apocalypse must be like Heaven for you." I didn't even get a grin out of him. In fact, I got no reaction at all. And yet, there was an alluring beauty within him that his seemingly abrasive exterior couldn't hide.

"Look, if you wanna give the teacher's desk the old 'trash can splash', then go do it and get it over with. I just want some peace and quiet, and if I'm lucky, a chance to get some sleep. Got it?"

Sadly, I said. "Ok. Fine. Sorry to 'bother' you."

"Apology accepted." That was it? Really? What the hell did I do to HIM?

Cranky son of a bitch. Who needs him? I started to just walk away and leave the room, but then I turned around and walked back to the window. "You know what? You don't know a thing about me, but that doesn't mean you have to be RUDE."

"Oh great. Look who's back to make more 'conversation'..."

"I was just trying to be friendly."

"You were looking for a place to jack off. I sure as hell don't need you being 'friendly' to me while you do it."

"I was NOT looking for a place to jack off!"

"No? Well, you should. You seem a little tense there, baby boy." He said.

"This place is way too small for you to start making a jackass out of yourself on the first night. I'll leave you alone, but I don't get why you have to be mean to me." I told him.

"And I don't get why you suddenly assumed that I needed your help, or your friendship. I sure as hell didn't ask for your conversation."

This Donovan jerk and I were so involved at the moment that we didn't even notice the door to the classroom open up behind me. Which is why I was startled when Preston tapped me on the shoulder with a single finger and squeaked, "HI!" I spun around to see the biggest, goofiest, grin on his face. All happy and cheerful as always. He peeked around me to flash his grin in Donovan's direction, causing him to wrinkle his forehead. Expressing the same look of confusion that Preston's playful appearance usually inspires in the people around him. "This must be the corner for the COOL guys!" He said, doing a little dance move with his arms, "Because I feel right at home. Ooh yeah."

Donovan squinted his eyes, almost as in disbelief. "Great. You've got...a pet, too. This night can't get any better."

Preston hopped forward and extended his hand. "HI! I'm Preston! Preston Miles!"

"Good for you." Donovan said, ignoring the handshake. "You know, this place was quiet before you got here, Jake. I was actually enjoying the solitude and I'd like to get back to it. So please...why don't you just take your little 'boy-hamster' here and check out so I can go back to being antisocial, huh?"

Just as Donovan got the words out of his mouth, the door opened again, and my heart suddenly began to flutter as I saw Alex peek inside. "Alex?"

"Jake! Dude, where have you been all night?" He said, now walking over to join the rest of us.

Before he could get close enough for me to be dazzled by his stunning smile, Preston jumped right in front of me, his hand jutting out from his hip again. "Hi, there! I'm Preston! Preston Miles!" It was the kind of phrase that you would hear when you squeezed a little girl's doll, and almost with the same vocal pitch.

"Hehehe, ok." Alex said with a grin. He actually shook Preston's hand, causing the youngster to smile and wiggle as if he had just added some more points to his personal friendship scoreboard. "I'm Alex."

"Pleased to meet ya! This is Donovan!" Preston beamed.

Finally, Donovan rolled his eyes and stood up on his feet. "Grrrr! FUCK! That's it! I'm outta here!" Donovan reached down to grab his jacket off of the floor and walk around us.

Preston asked, "Well...where ya going?"

"Away from you boy scouts, that's for sure."

Preston called out to him before he made it to the door. "The soldier guys said there's a curfew now! They say people can't just go wandering around the building at night."

"Really? Is that what they say?" Donovan replied sarcastically, not even turning around before exiting the classroom.

"He's grumpy." Preston said.

"You have NO idea." I told him. Turning to Alex, I took a moment to admire his eyes. Even they dark they were breathtaking. "You found me." I said, just above a whisper.

"Yeah. I guess I did." He smiled. "Well, I accident. But still, I'm glad. You're pretty much the highlight of my day."

That simple comment gave me the shivers. Delivered with the sweetest of bashful grins, I had to fight to keep the words from sapping the strength in my knees and remain standing. Without any other plan of action...I just giggled.

Alex asked me what I was doing in there, and I said, "I don't know. Just...exploring, I guess. What about you? What made you peek in?"

"The room was dark." He said. "I was looking for a place to jack off."

I don't know if it was the mellow blush in Alex's cheeks that made me laugh out loud, or if it was the exaggerated gasp that Preston tried to cut off by putting both hands over his mouth when he heard him say it...but whatever it was, the laugh felt good. Really good.

In a place like this, laughs can sometimes be difficult to find.

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