In the past few weeks, her life has changed drastically.

Before the city was infected, she was a normal college girl. Well, not entirely, but still. She had her classes to attend, her moaning teachers, disappointed parents. She spent most of her time watching horror movies. The movies with zombies in.

She turned her gaze to her partners. The only survivors in a city of the damned. Just undead roamed the streets now. No humans other than them left. The undead wanted them. They were going to be nothing but food soon. And it bothered her. She was special. As was her partners. They were part of the few immune survivors. Why were they still in the city? Couldn't they get a break already?

Bill. He was a veteran in many wars. He was old now, and longed for a fight. Yes, he loved this.

Louis. He wanted to quit his job before this all happened. She didn't know why. He never said. But he was good at this undead killing. Yes, he'll survive.

Francis. Her gaze lingered at his well built arms, muscles flexing as he reloaded his shotgun. What was his story? She didn't know. All she knew was that he, like Bill, loved this.

Zoey. Yes, she knew she wouldn't survive through this. She wasn't strong enough. She wasn't fast enough. She was keeping them back, and she knew it. How many times have they had to save her in the last few days? Smokers snatched her out of the sky frequently. Boomers always threw up on her, luring millions of zombies. Hunters… she was a magnet to them. They seemed to love her the most. And tanks. Yes, they loved her as much as the others. Always the first to be knocked down. Always the last to get out of the way. Even the witches loved her.

"Zoey, we need to move" Francis said as he put his hand on her shoulder. Again, she was keeping them behind. This had to end and she knew it.

"Francis." She looked up and him. His eyes seemed to capture her every time she looked at them. She looked at the door through which they had to go now. They were on the roof of some building. They needed to be on the roof of mercy hospital.

"Don't be afraid. The hospital is just down the street. We're going to go through the sewers, it's the fastest route. So all we have to do is get into the pawn shop. The sewers are beneath it. And the hospital is directly linked to it through the sewers." Francis said as he removed his hand from her shoulder.

Yes, that's it. She would sacrifice herself to save them. In the sewers. It was a perfect plan.

She nodded, and moved towards the door. Louis and Bill were already outside, killing the horde as it tried to crush them. She could hear a smoker, and she sighed. Francis put his hand on her shoulder again. It sent a shock through her body. Why did he affect her like this? She looked at him as he nodded. He would protect her. She knew it. She hated it.

How was she supposed to get out of their way if he kept saving her ass?

"Don't worry about me" she said as she cautiously moved out the door. "I can protect myself."

Bill laughed. "Yes Zoey, we have all noticed how good you are at it."

She looked down, knowing he was right.

"Stop it Bill." Louis said, looking at her, apologetically.

"It's alright Louis. He's right."

"That's nonsense." Francis said as he moved behind her, his back against hers. Again, he was protecting her. "She's good at killing the horde. And sneaking up to witches. And you know it Bill. So give her a break."

Bill looked over at her. "You know I was only joking Zoey. You are as good at this as we are."

She wanted to shout at them. All they were doing was making her feel more useless. They were lying to her. She knew it. She wished that they would stop it.

"It's alright Bill. I'm not as good at this as you guys are. I never will be."

She could feel Francis's muscles twitch in agitation. "That's nonsense. Now, stop this babbling, and move. Before you're snatched by that smoker."

She nodded as she moved behind Bill, Francis not letting her back leave his.

"I know what you're thinking." He whispered to her, so that the others couldn't hear. "I won't allow it. And you should know that."

"Why?" She whispered back.

Again, his muscles flexed. "You are as important as anyone else in this group. You will survive this Zoey. I will make sure of that."

"I wish you wouldn't." She mumbled to herself. She felt a soft stab off something, and knew it was Francis's shotgun.

"Stop it, ok. You won't die as long as I'm alive. You hear me? I will protect you."

She sighed, moving faster so her back left his. "No." She ran in front of Bill.

"What are you doing Zoey?" Louis asked as she moved past him.

"There's a witch."

They all stopped, and turned their flashlights off. All except her.

Soft sobs floated down the street. It sounded like a child. Crying. If they didn't know better, they would have been excited. Someone else was alive.

But they knew that wasn't it. It was a witch. Sobbing. And the minute they got close, or startled her. They would die.

"Where is she Zoey?" Francis asked as he stood next to her, his arm touching hers.

She wished she could scream at him.

"In that building." She said, moving towards an open door.

"The smoker is getting closer." Louis noted as she stopped. She looked over at Francis as he moved closer to her. He switched his flashlight on, and started scanning the sky.

"Find it, before it finds Zoey. She's our best defence against that witch, and she needs to be undamaged when she takes her on."

A target. She sighed as Francis's back touched hers again.

She had to admit, his touch did calm her down. Especially when a smoker was so close. Like he was her shield. She shook her head as she looked through the open door from a distance.

"How far in is she?" Bill asked.

"Third room. She won't notice us outside. You can use your flashlights."

Bill sighed in relief as he switched on his flashlight, Louis already having done so.

"That smoker is torturing us." Bill laughed as they tried to find him. "He knows there's a witch, and he's waiting for us to get close to her.

She strained her ears. And sighed. "The smoker isn't in the house. The witch is completely alone."

Francis's muscles relaxed slightly. When did he tense up?

She pressed against his back with hers.

"Are you alright?" He whispered in her ear. She was paralysed by his breath. He turned to look at her after a while that she didn't respond. She stood there, staring at the far side of the street. She wasn't looking at anything. She was seeing him. And it was scaring her. "Zoey?" He asked louder, this time catching the other's attention.

"What's wrong?" Bill asked as he tried to see what she was staring at.

"She's paralysed?" Louis asked.

Francis touched her arm, as she turned her gaze towards him. She stared at him for a moment, then raised her pistols past his ears and started shooting.

"What the hell?" Francis shouted as he stared at her eyes, to scared to turn around, afraid doing so would put him in front of one of her bullets. The sound of bag exploding told him what was going on. She just saved him from a smoker.

She lowered her pistols, and looked away.

"What was that?" Bill asked as he looked at her.

"She just saved Francis from a Smoker?" Louis asked in wonder. "I thought that was his job."

"What were you staring at?" Francis asked her as her arm brushed against his.

"I'm not sure. Can we go take out that witch?" She moved towards the door. Francis placed his hand on her shoulder stopping her.

"Bill, Louis, go check further up the street. Just make sure that there's no horde there. Zoey and I will look behind us."

They nodded as the moved forward. Francis put his hand on her shoulder as she started moving towards the back.

She looked at him, lowering her pistols.

"What's up with you?" He asked her. He seemed genuinely concerned. It puzzled her.

"What do you mean?"

"Come on Zoey. I wasn't born yesterday. You're acting funny. What's the matter with you today?"

"Nothing" She lied, as she started moving towards the back of the alley. He grabbed her arm stopping her again. "Francis stop it."

"Tell me what's bothering you."

She sighed as she turned her gaze towards the house. The witch's sobs were getting annoying. She wished she could sob like that. "I'm just confused. And completely useless"

"That's nonsense, and you know it"

"It isn't."

"Look at what you did before. You took out that smoker on your own"

"One smoker. Wow. I should get a trophy for bravery" She sighed as she moved his hand off her shoulder. "I'm horrible at this. And I know it. I wish you all would just leave me behind already. I'm just slowing you down"

"Zoey"

"Save it Francis. That witch is annoying me as it is. I don't need you doing it as well. I won't make it out of here. And I will make sure of that"

He turned her face so she was looking into his eyes. "I accept your Challenge. I will save you. From whatever you have planned. You will not die without taking me with you"

She sighed as she stared into his clear eyes. If only she had known him before all of this happened. What great friends they would have been.

"Why are you so obsessed with saving me?" She asked softly. She could hear Bill and Louis returning.

"You are my friend. I will protect you"

He let his hand drop as he switched off his flashlight.

"Let's go witch hunting." Bill said, turning his flashlight off as well. She turned her flashlight off, moving towards the house. The Sobs got louder as she got closer to the witch.

She paused briefly in front of the window. She could have sworn she heard Francis say something. But it was probably her imagination. She duck her head low as she moved through the window. The witch was in the third room, as she said. She sat on the floor, right in the doorway, weeping.

She moved closer slowly, watching the witch's movements carefully, listening to her sobs, waiting for any change.

If she was going to let the witch kill her, she had to do this right. She didn't want to hurt anyone else. Just herself. The witch gave her a perfect opportunity, as she heard her growling softly. She heard Francis call her name softly, but ignored it as she moved forward slowly. She went around the witch, not getting to close. She had to time it right.

She heard Bill ask Francis what she was doing, as he started swearing. He knew what she was trying to do, and he knew it was too late to try and stop her without getting her killed himself.

She watched as the witch growled at her, slowly looking up, her eyes glowing red with hatred. She got up, as the witch got up. She moved a step back.

"Zoey no!" Francis shouted as she switched her light on. The witch charged at her, knocking her to the ground. She tore at her limbs, trying to pull them off, as Francis and Bill were trying to knock her off of her. She dropped her guns, refusing to fight back against the witch. She wanted to die. The witch would kill her. This is where it would end. She closed her eyes, and blacked out.

"What is up with her?" Bill asked Francis as they sat around her. Her wounds were patched up, even though she was still out. She could hear them though.

"She feels like she's in our way" She heard Francis say. "She hates that she can't protect us like we protect her. It tears her up"

"You seem close to her" Louis said. She could feel herself blushing, waiting for Francis's reply.

"She's my friend" Her heart sank. Friend. That's all.

"That all?"

"No. I feel..."

"You like her?" Bill asked, not at all surprised.

"She's a sweet girl. I mean, didn't you notice what she did back there?"

"What? Tried to commit Suicide" Louis said. She could feel a hand on her arm. It was gentle. It was Louis. She knew he wasn't mad at her.

"She moved in such a way that we could get clear shots at the witch, with no danger to ourselves. She made sure to take all the damage off of that Witch. She was a target"

She felt Francis's hand stroke her cheek. She could feel herself blushing again.

"I think we should rest here for tonight. It seems secure. Louis, help me barricade the doors and windows. I saw some steel crates in that room the witch was guarding" Bill got up, as he turned to Francis. "You take care of her. She should wake up soon"

She listened as they left her alone with him. When they were out of earshot, she sighed.

"How are you feeling?" He asked her, his hand stroking her cheek.

"I'm ok. Why?"

"What? Why am I asking, or why are you ok?"

"Both."

"I told you. You're not dying without me. That little stunt you pulled in there today just made me not trust you anymore. Now I won't let you out of my sight at all. You will survive"

"Why are you so obsessed with me?"

"You heard our conversation"

"I don't believe that you could feel anything for me. That anyone could feel anything for me"

"Look at me"

She opened her eyes, and stared directly into his. His hand was still on her cheek, burning her skin with his touch. Her heart was beating fast, like she was just on a rollercoaster ride.

"I like you Zoey. I will protect you. And once we're out of this city safely, I intend to spend my time with you. To get to know you properly. Because I believe we could live together quite happily"

"Francis…"

He touched her lips, silencing her. "Don't say anything. You can't refuse my offer. If you do, I will tell the military about your little stunt today, and explain that you cannot be left alone. They would appoint me your babysitter. And I will accept. So make this easier on yourself"

"Why are you doing this?"

"I like you."

"Then let me die"

He sighed, as his fingers traced her lips. She stared at his eyes, as they stared back, full of sadness. "You want to hurt me"

"No!" She sat up, and winched.

He gently helped her lay down, this time resting her head on his lap. "Yes. Because if you died, so would I. Don't you see Zoey? We're tied to each other"

"Why?"

He smiled, as he lifted her hand, looking at a bracelet he gave her the day they met. "Remember what I said when I gave you this?"

"Yes. You said it was a good luck charm"

"It is. And it binds two people's souls together. I always thought it was just a rumour. But when the four of us got together, and I realised that you was one of the only survivors, I knew that it was true. I mean, what's the chances of us getting together again in the middle of a crisis like this?"

She stared at him intently.

"Do you hate me?" He asked her, as he lay her wrist down and stroke her hair.

"No"

He smiled. "Then don't try to kill me like you did today. Try to understand that our souls are bound together. You die, I die. Ok?"

"Ok" She said as she smiled up at him.

Somehow, she knew she would survive now. She had every reason to.