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My eyes flew around the dark enclosed space as my breathing became even more erratic the more, I tried to calm it down until I was hyperventilating, and my head became lighter with every panicked breath.
‘I feel like a psychopath prevention squad.’ I tried not to scowl as the overenthusiastic newcomer was pulled away for a breather by the others in the fence-clearing group.
This breach wasn’t too bad because we knew it was gonna happen and we prepared for it. The walkers have been piling up over here more and more while construction for better walls has been happening.
We can only spare so many people to deal with them, but there’s more of these shits every day. If it doesn’t slow down, I’ll have to do something about it.
I glanced over and motioned for the repair team to go ahead.
The few people and their guards rushed over as soon as T-Dog gave a nod, and ever so reliable, they made quick work of the repairs well before the next wave of walkers could hit.
I looked down at my disgusting shoes. At the walker goop all over the tips of my boots, and flecks of flesh and blood that made it onto the higher parts from the blood splatters.
It’s nauseating how similar it looks to troll boogers and isn’t that a fun thought to have while I can feel the undried blood seeping between the cracks of my shoes and into my socks.
An almost comical shiver ran down my spine before I jerked my chin up and signaled Glenn for us to head back. We’re gonna be late for the council meeting again this week.
Last time was my fault, I was trying to put Judith to sleep because the little goob is making it more and more difficult for anyone else to put her to bed, but you see, I’m magic and she knows it. She must find some opportunity to steal my secrets.
“You seem calmer.” Glenn bumped my shoulder with his, bringing me out of my
self-indulgent thoughts, and looked me up & down with friendly, discerning eyes. “Way calmer.”
“It’s weird, I didn’t notice it before, but the last few months you’ve been even more chill than usual.” He smiled, looking down at his hands that were crusted with bits of dirt and blood. “I’m actually kinda jealous.”
I sighed, setting my hand on his shoulder.
“You have nothing to be jealous of, my friend. I may look calm, but on the inside, I’m screaming. Constantly.”
Glenn snorted and rolled his eyes. “Way to turn a beautiful moment into a sitcom, Eve.”
I winked at him, making a clicking noise with the corner of my mouth, shooting him with a double finger gun. “That’s what I’m here for.”
He shoved me and I hooked my arm around his shoulders. “But no, seriously, it’s deafening. It drowns almost every other thought I have.”
Glenn chuckled, shaking his head, and opted to change the topic, “How’s your half of the “secret project” going? Find anything for Daryl yet?”
I huffed the fallen strands of hair out of my face, at least the ones that aren’t sticking to the sweat on my skin. “Don’t remind me.”
Glenn spared me the vicious mockery this time, but only because he’s in the suffering with me. Instead, he looked at me with understanding pity.
“I mean, I kind of expected that he would be one of the hardest to find something for, but I didn’t think it would be this bad.”
An exasperated sigh left me, “You don’t know the half of it.”
Everything I think of for him, I either can’t find, he gets for himself, or he already has.
I raised my eyebrow at him to return the question and he shook his head. “I got ideas for everyone on my half of the list and found maybe a third of them... except for Randall. I have no clue what to get him.”
A new scope for his rifle might be nice, but it’s been a long time since we’ve found any of those lying around, and none that can be used with that model. A new rifle would be nice too, but if you think the scopes are hard to find, you’ve got another thing coming if you want to find a gun like that in this area.
The only useful things left in this area were hidden well enough to be nearly impossible to find and would take a stroke of dangerous & dumb luck to do so.
Glenn groaned in exasperation. “We started looking for this stuff so early. I’m starting to think we didn’t start soon enough.”
I can’t say I disagree. We’ve got months left to search, but there’s still more than two-thirds of this list to get through and we each need to do half, which means our individual progress has been pitiful thus far.
I might have to organize a special run after all. Which means I’m gonna have to work double-time on the rest of these base affairs to set aside the time for it.
My cheeks puffed up as I blew hot air from my mouth, squinting in the bright sunlight as I glanced around.
Is this what emperors in ancient China felt like? So much to deal with and so little time. At least the one doing the most work got most of the perks to go with it. What do I get? The Georgia heat?
Whatever. I shouldn’t complain. This is the safest we’ve been since the start of things, and it gets better with every day that I handle those damn base affairs. I’m lucky to even have the space to remember holidays, never mind being able to worry about what to get everyone (who celebrates it) for Christmas.
Alright, whatever. I’ll just stay up a little later and get up a little earlier each day and make the time for Glenn and me to go out. I’ll leave the finding of a place to search for things to him.
We might have to disguise it as a big supply run though, just Glenn and me heading out is a little suspicious and I don’t want the others to get nervous or worried that something serious is going on. If that happens, they’re bound to notice that we’re keeping something from them, and I don’t want to ruin the surprise either. Doing a secret Santa to bring everyone’s spirits up was my idea after all. I just didn’t think it’d be so much work for the two of us that we’re having trouble handling it even after months of working together on it.
Rick glanced from the second floor of Cellblock C, as Glenn and Eve came in from outside; dirty and tired, and absorbed as usual. The two not even noticing that Daryl, Maggie, and Rick were standing above them watching them walk underneath.
A knowing smile crawled across Rick’s lips as he carefully bounced Judith in his arms.
Daryl and Maggie mimicked the smile as the three shared a look.
“They still haven’t figured out that we know what they’re up to, have they?”
Daryl chuckled, straightening up to go on his way for the council meeting, and popped the P as he replied, “Nope.”
Maggie shook her head and she and Rick followed him as they headed to the council meeting that they were already supposed to be at, but the entire council had gotten used to Eve being a few minutes late these days. That brain of hers never stopped moving anymore and she was always busy with something, running this big ship, even though she had so many capable hands to help, it was still barely enough.
Eve heard the heavy steps and glanced behind her just in time to see Daryl and avoid jumping when his hand rested on her back.
“Welcome back,” Daryl kissed her cheek and Eve smiled, returning it quickly as the cloth that could usually be found in Daryl’s back pocket was placed into her grimy hands.
Daryl hummed in response as she wiped her sweaty gross hands to be semi-clean again and the small group stopped at the designated ‘walker contact’ bathrooms to avoid contamination of the normal bathrooms and let Glenn and Eve clean up properly before heading to the meeting; barefoot in Eve’s case, as Karen was kind enough to offer to wash her socks & shoes with the rest of the fence cleaner’s stuff and Eve was not about to turn her down on that.
More reason why Eve intended to find a good gift for her; that woman is a saint.
The “big supply run” that Eve organized surprisingly had a handful of odd volunteers, though when she thought about it, it wasn’t that odd. After all, Daryl, Maggie, T-Dog, Carol, and Rick had all had a lot of responsibilities since the base had come so far along, and it had been quite some time since the og’s of the Atlanta group had gone on a simple supply run together.
Even though Glenn and she had their own agenda for this trip, it was nice getting out with everyone. Unexpectedly relaxing and proved to be good practice. They worked just as well together as they always had, if not even more so because there was a tacit and somewhat verbal agreement that Rick would take the lead, for old times’ sake.
It was nice seeing Rick so relaxed being in charge again. Eve had been wondering whether he would ever want to again, given how much pain and stress it had given him — pushing him until he nearly broke. But she could rest assured now that Rick seemed just as comfortable and calm being in charge as he was when she first met him. Lessening his responsibilities and burdens was one of the best decisions she ever made, and although sometimes she felt a little guilty about it, like her actions had come off as ungrateful for him shouldering the burden pretty much alone before then, she never let it get to her because the result was a stable man who was able to focus on taking care of his family and recovering his mental fortitude, and she would not regret giving him the ability to do that, no matter what came her way.
Luck appeared to be on their side this trip and Glenn had picked a good little shopping mall to scavenge, as they had no trouble finding things for people and there was no shortage of opportunities to snag things and shove them into their — previously empty — backpacks instead of the big plastic crates they had brought in the two trucks to take back supplies with.
The others seemed to be focused on their own tasks and didn’t spend much time watching or waiting for each other since they had Daryl, Carol, and Maggie on watch; all three of which were the most likely to notice that Glenn and Eve were snagging things that weren’t on the list, or particularly useful.
Rick & T-Dog were content moving bins and other things back to the trucks while she and Glenn filled up said bins in the shops. So, it was ridiculously easy to have one of them filling a bin with real supplies they needed, and the other looking around and discreetly shoving things into their backpack. And neither one of them was aware of the amused smiles that Rick & T-Dog sported, sharing the looks with the other three outside every time they left the building and gave the two inside plenty of time to sneak things before going back to get another bin of stuff.
Eve may have been able to sneak things unnoticed, and Glenn’s abilities had improved, but he was not nearly sneaky enough to pull the wool over their eyes. If they didn’t already know what the two of them were up to, it would have been easy to figure out that Glenn was up to something and that would have meant Eve was involved as well even if she left little to no trace.
Several weeks later, everyone in the prison base either woke up to find a gift sitting in their room or came back from breakfast to find one sitting on their bed and nobody had any idea how they got there or who it was.
Every single gift said ‘Happy Holidays’ on it. Some of them were wrapped in paper (mainly the kids’ presents), others were in gift bags, some were just in boxes and others packaging was… creative.
Eve and Glenn sat at the breakfast tables outside and watched the joyful chaos as people came out with confused faces and presents in their hands asking around if anybody knew what was going on or who was responsible, with smiles on their faces.
The two shared a low-key fist bump under the table, each with their own cup of something warm in hand, and watched their hard secret Santa work pay off as people started opening their presents.
Of course, they got gifts for each other as well, so it wouldn’t be too obvious who was behind this, but as both of them went back to their rooms for some much-deserved sleeping in, they were both startled by a present on their bed and came back out of their cells to give each other inquisitive looks, and ultimately wound up confused.
If it wasn’t either of them, then who…? Nobody knew they were doing this…???
Daryl, Rick, T-Dog, Maggie, and Carol all saw the exact moment when Eve & Glenn — sharing one brain cell — began to question if Santa was real, and the five of them enjoyed it immensely.
Sorry this took so long. A lot has been happening, and I’ve been busier than ever, getting more stories ready to post. So, I’ve been pretty beat.
Also, I’m gonna be honest, I’ve had lots of emotional and executive dysfunction problems and it’s been a trial to get myself to cooperate. My brain is just too eager to move on and I’ve lost my patience for sticking to a single story. So, to solve this, a few months ago I had a f*** it moment and decided that I’m just gonna post a bunch of stories that I will update sporadically on the side of whichever story is my main focus.
So, I’ll pick one story to update regularly until it’s finished, and the rest will be sporadically updated, and I’ll go in order of when I posted them for them to become the next regularly updated. This way I can bounce from project to project to subvert the “don’t wanna, you can’t make me” tantrum-child that lives inside my head (lol) and still update regularly until they’re finished.
I’m going to try to finish more Sneaky extras this month, but seeing as it’s pride month, I’ve got a lot going on.
In honor of pride month, I’m going to publish my first LGBTQ+ story!
It’s called, Show Me Your Teeth, and it started out as fanfiction for a vastly different fandom than I usually write for before I decided that I want to make it an original.
It’s a criminal, action story with an LGBTQ+ romantic subplot, and its rating will be Mature (18+).
It’s a dark-themed, adult story, and will be the opposite of family-friendly, so read at your own risk, and later I’m going to post a version that’s pure action and has no subplot; for people who don’t enjoy romance.
(That does not mean that any of the character’s sexualities or gender identities will change; it just means there will be no couple pairing by the end.
TLDR; only the romantic subplot will be removed.)
Much like I did with Sneaky, I’ve been working on this story for about two years now and have finally decided it’s ready for posting. I made a cover for it that I’m super proud of.
As usual, there will be early access for patrons. It will be posted on my website and Wattpad to start with, and at some point, it might also be posted on some other websites that I haven’t used yet.
So, if you’re into that, watch for the update!