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[center [size12 Not only the smell of good food, but a loud knock was what woke Maddox up a little too early for his liking. He groaned quietly, rubbing his face before he was soon greeted by his dog, Shiloh. He chuckled quietly, running his fingers through the soft fur and pulled himself out of the bed. He was still in yesterday's dirty clothes which instantly made him feel disgusting. He quickly made work on fixing that issue before walking down the stairs.]]
[center [size12 Wearing something simple as a pair of jeans and a black v-neck shirt. He heard the knocking again and quickly answered with, [i [#FF0000 "I will be there in a moment."]] Maddox heard the sounds of someone cooking and finally remembered that he had a guest over.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "Oh shit, I actually forgot you were here. Make sure I don't drink like that again, okay?"]] He didn't sound like he was upset that Alaric was there, he was actually grateful he hadn't robbed Maddox blind and left. [i [#FF0000 "It smells great, I will be back in a moment,"]] Maddox gave a quick compliment before finally turning to open the door to reveal the same man, who was there last night with a new contract.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "Can you ever give me a break? I just woke up and finished the last contract,"]] Maddox huffed quietly, but the man shook his head and urged Maddox to take the paper that he was holding.]]
[center [size12 Maddox shut the door before turning to Alaric, who was still in the kitchen. Shiloh brushed past Maddox and right up to Alaric, sitting right by his feet. [i [#FF0000 "Looks like I got another job to take care of,"]] Maddox mumbled, mainly to himself before walking into the kitchen.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "I actually cannot believe you got your hands on this food,"]] he chuckled before making himself a cup of coffee in what looked like an old world coffee machine. He desperately needed the caffeine.]]
[center [size12 With a couple of coffee in hand and a cigarette lit between his lips, Maddox was sitting at the table and running over the newest job that he was offered. It was a big bounty and something that be a bit more difficult to do since it was further away which means, he would be gone for several days and he began thinking that he wouldn't be able to see his new friend. That actually made Maddox a bit sad.]]
[center When Maddox started talking about the female he grinned although he couldn't help but feel disappointed. Was this man straight? He knew it was odd to think such things however he liked being around Maddox, even if it was just for a little bit.
Alaric started to laugh when Maddox's story ended. They both sat there laughing about such dark topics as if the world was made for their sick pleasure. Both had a fair deal of mishaps in their lives and for some reason, these guys could laugh about it. While others cried and complained they laughed and drank. Oh, how it helped to be mentally unstable.
Alaric peered into Maddox's eyes, his cheeks reddening at his comment. [#228B22 [i Okay, maybe he isn't straight. ] ] Al laughed to himself before turning towards the now-falling Maddox. [#228B22 "Woah there, bud," ] Although Alaric was pretty drunk he was beside Maddox quickly, sweeping him up and into his arms. He may not look strong but the guy could lift. [#228B22 "I think you are right. Time for bed for you, dear friend," ] Al grinned before walking to Maddox's room and tossing him lightly on the bed.
[#228B22 "See you in the morning," ] Alaric turned and started to walk but stopped for a quick moment. [#228B22 "You are pretty cute too, Mads."]
He left the room and went to the tattered couch.
The aroma of bacon filled the home of Maddox, something rare to come by in any town. Of course, Alaric had his ways. He had gone out early in the morning and had spoken with some townsfolk. He haggled and traded until he got enough food for a great breakfast meal.
[center [size12 Maddox's head practically bounced when Alaric's fists hit the table. He rubbed his chin for a moment before chuckling at the male's kind gestures of trying to wipe away a mess that wasn't there. It was kind of cute, Maddox's face got even more red, but he stopped the blushing when Alaric told the story of the toe headed dolls.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "How barbaric!"]] Maddox cried out before chuckling. He was trying to picture what the dolls would look like, but could only laugh even more now. [i [#FF0000 "I shouldn't be fuckin' laughing, but the mental imagine is actually kind of funny,"]] Maddox had shown this amount of emotions, especially happy ones in a very long time.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "Killing mayors and toe headed dolls aside, you're a pretty chill dude, Alaric. Like I haven't had a single person in this house since this girl that I thought was my only love. You know THAT WHOLE LINE OF BULLSHIT,"]] he groaned, rolling his head to face the other direction. [i [#FF0000 "But seriously, this chick was gorgeous, super fuckin' smart, and knew how to talk herself out of any kind of situation,"]] Maddox found himself wandering into bad territory, but he didn't stop himself.]]
[center [size12 Maddox unglued himself from the table and stood up. He stopped midway to keep his balance. He walked over to Alaric and lifted up his shirt. [i [#FF0000 "SHE TOOK MY DAMN KIDNEY,"]] he groaned. [i [#FF0000 "She was planning on making a quick buck off of selling pieces of me, but you know that cliche, wake up in a bath tub full of ice with your kidney gone? YEAH THAT WAS ME,"]] Maddox was acting well over dramatic, but stopped himself as he stared down at Alaric with a confused look for a moment.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "You know, this is probably the moonshine talking, but damn, you are cute,"]] Maddox cleared his throat, swallowing hard with a dumb grin on his face. He felt stupid, but not as stupid as he was about to feel. He lost his balance, tried grabbing the edge of the table, but instead stumbled to the ground. [i [#FF0000 "Maybe... It is time to stop drinking,"]] he laid on his back, looking up at the ceiling with a small, defeated huff.]]
[center [#228B22 "Shitty, my man," ] Alaric nodded, letting the topic drop. He didn't really care about money, always trading furs and things he created for other various goods. He knew, however, that others held money dear to them, even after the war, and never judged. People still used cash while others didn't. Ric still, of course, kept change on him for the few people who wouldn't just trade their things.
Alaric gave Maddox a sweet smile, although his eyes darkened slightly at a stray thought. [#228B22 "Trust me, Mads,"] Alaric already nicknamed him, [#228B22 "I know nasty and nothing can surprise me." ]
Soon enough Alaric and Maddox shared one too many drinks, both opened up and tad bit vulnerable. Alaric watched Maddox, entertained by his every move. His cheeks were flushed red and he couldn't keep his goofy smile off his face, even though the subject was a bit rough.
[#228B22 "Well, then the mayor deserved to die. Most people do," ] Al blurted out the words, much too cheerfully for most peoples likings. He didn't believe the man in front of him was bad, even if he had just confessed to killing innocents. Alaric had killed innocents too, and not for money. At least Maddox was doing something with his bloodlust.
[#228B22 "I tell you, Mads, you may think someone is sweet and loving but then [b BOOM]," ] Alaric slammed his fist onto the table a little too roughly. He started to giggle, [#228B22 "Ooopsy, I am so sorry." ] He wiped where he hit even though there was no mess. A true gentlemen, or well, kind of. [#228B22 "Anyways, I knew this one group. Man, they looked like cheery group of dudes, right? Men were fucked. They collected toes and made them into doll heads. Yeah, fucking doll heads." ]Now it was Alaric who was oversharing.
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "Depends on what you think is a pocket full. This is small time compared to the other heads I gotten money for. Those raiders were small time bullshit,"]] Maddox could not help, but to chuckle at the thought of this envelope being full of the most cash that he had ever gotten at once. Before, he received the house that they were sitting in. Another time, he had gotten around ten times as much as what was in that envelope, but he wasn't going to share that. Maddox hadn't quite gotten around to fully trusting the male in front of him. Maddox was just that type of person though, keeping everyone at arms length and keeping himself on the reserve.]]
[center [size12 Maddox glanced from his, now, third beer which was half empty to the moonshine that Alaric was holding. He was silent for a moment, thinking about the consequences and how he would react. It had been quite a while since Maddox had drank anymore stronger than some beer or even whiskey, but moonshine and a good drunk sounded pretty good right now. He just chuckled to himself, giving in finally to his guilty pleasures.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "A man after my own heart,"]] Maddox then stood up, stumbling just slightly. Again, the poor five foot eight man wasn't the best at keeping himself together when it came to any kind of alcohol. But he did know that Alaric would be there to pick him up if he fell down. Maddox headed into the kitchen to put the rest of his beer in the fridge. Shiloh was dancing around his feet, Maddox grumbled quiet [i go aways] to Shiloh, who padded back into the living area.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "But I don't think you want to know the dirty, dark secrets of a bounty hunter. It can get pretty nasty,"]] Maddox joked before looking at the bottle of moonshine. It was so tempting, but Maddox had to keep himself restraint for the time being. Just a little taste for now.]]
[center [size12 A couple of drinks in, Maddox was half way across the table plastered. His head was lying on the table with a heavy huff in annoyance. Not at Alaric, or Shiloh. Just at himself. He was thinking about things that he hadn't thought about in a very long time. Annoyance was just the first word that could come to Maddox's blurred mind.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "You know, I kill people for a living. Like not just bad people, but good people too. All for money that I DO NOT EVEN SPEND LIKE HOLY HELL, ALARIC,"]] Maddox's voice went from tired and calm to loud and annoyed. His arms sprawled out on the table, moving around in rapid movements as he spoke. [i [#FF0000 "Like hell, I killed this town's mayor because he was talking crazy shit, like he thought that this whole town needed cleansing and I HAD TO KILL HIM or he would have killed all these innocent people,"]] Maddox's inner mind knew that he was sharing WAY too much, but at this point, why would he stop himself.]]
Shiloh's head appeared in-between Alaric's legs and his face lit up, so excited to pet the dog. He put down the beer on the table and moved his hands, allowing Shiloh to sniff his hands. Soon enough he was on the ground with the dog, wrestling, and petting him so much the dog started to kick her leg whilst laying. [#228B22 "Such a good girl, aren't you? Aren't you?"] Alaric was excited to spend time with his new furry friend, so much so that he didn't even notice the knock on the door. Alaric looked up when Maddox crossed to the door, seeing the exchange of money and slight howdy-do.
[#228B22 "Better be getting a good pocket full for how flawlessly you took those dudes out," ] Alaric let out his signature chuckle, his hands still slightly pre-occupied with the dog. The only reason Maddox had any trouble was because of him, and he still destroyed the raiders' assholes.
Alaric got up and back to the table, Shiloh fresh on his feet from more attention. He sat down and quickly gulped down the beer Maddox so-kindly handed to him. Soon he was on to his backpack for something more strong. It took him a while to find what he was looking for, rifling around for at least a minute. A breath left out his lips when he found it, a small plastic jug with a clear liquid bouncing around inside. A sly smirk spread across his face as he looked up at Maddox once again. [#228B22 "Ready to share your deepest darkest secrets?"] He had no idea if Maddox could even handle his alcohol but this would get him truly drunk with just a shot. [#228B22 "This nice concoction is called moonshine," ] He winked.
Calling Alaric an alcoholic was a bit much, however, the man did love a good drink. He knew how to party and was often the life of it, sharing stories and joy to everyone who welcomed him. It was really hard to dislike the man and if you did, well, you probably disliked life as well.
[#228B22 "So, you down?" ]
[center [size12 Placing a bowl full of what looked like dog food, but was a combination of several mystery ingredients that Shiloh seemed to enjoy eating, on the ground, he turned to Alaric with a slight smile on his lips. He never had people over to his home, so naturally, he was a tab bit awkward, as well as quiet. He knew that his home wasn’t the greatest thing to look at. It had very minimal things in it, a few foot lockers for storage, a living room, bed room, wash room, and a kitchen. It wasn’t fancy by any means. Maddox enjoyed his home, but most people preferred something homier than what Maddox liked.]]
[center [size12 Maddox was taking off the next layer of clothes, his shirt. It was soaked through from when he was lying on the ground and taking care of some assholes that needed to die. He wasn’t exactly skinny. He was toned, muscular. He had some tattoos actually. Nothing big or fancy. He had a back piece though. It was kind of ironic when you first looked at it. It looked like angel wings, but upon closer inspection of the wings, they belonged to the Angel of Death. They were black and tattered. It fit the type of person that Maddox was. He also had a few other minor pieces, but the main piece were those wings.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 “Oh. Yeah,”]] Maddox cleared his throat before finding another shirt, which had been thrown across the back of the couch. He slipped it over his broad frame, feeling already ten times better. [i [#FF0000 “The wings are a bit cheesy, I know,”]] he couldn’t help, but to chuckle at the idea before finishing off his beer.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 “I rarely let people stay over. Actually, come to think about it, you’re the first person since her that has stayed here,”]] he kind of murmured the end of that sentence with a roll of his eyes.]]
[center [size12 Now, the more he thought about that woman, the more he wanted to get drunk. He pulled himself across the kitchen once more to grab not one, but a full six pack of beer that he intended to finish off himself. He took a seat next to Alaric and looked at his dog who managed to sneak from one side of the kitchen to Maddox’s thigh with her head resting right there, huffing for attention.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 “You see me all the time, Shiloh. Alaric is a friend, go play with him,”]] Maddox ran his fingers through the soft, long hair of the dog before Shiloh made her way underneath the table to in between Alaric’s legs.]]
[center [size12 Popping the top off the next beer, Maddox leaned back into his seat. He was just now getting really comfortable until he heard a knock on his door. His eyes narrowed like daggers and his body tensed up. He looked beyond annoyed, but still picked himself up and walked over to the door. He glanced through the small peep hole and say that it was the town’s sheriff, who dealt with handing out the money for bounties. Maddox wasn’t as annoyed now since he was getting money instead of just being bothered, like normal.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "Good evening, Sheriff,"]] Maddox greeted as he opened the door. The Sheriff merely tipped his hat at Maddox before handing off a thick looking envelope that contained the payment that was promised for killing that group of bastards.]]
[center [size12 Shutting the door, Maddox finished off the second beer. Now, surprisingly enough, Maddox was a light weight when it came to drinking. He was already starting to be a little tipsy. He made his way back to the table, plopping back down in the seat.]]
[center Alaric followed behind Maddox, a shirt now covering his muddy torso. He was quiet, a large grin planted on his face the entire way. He studied Maddox the entire time, curiosity filling his mind so much that it was hard to contain. He knew the look in Maddox's eyes, the way they flickered, tired, passionless almost. Alaric was the same way until he learned how to fake it. Now instead of tired eyes, he wore a wide smile.
Al's eyes were no longer planted on the back of Maddox's back, but instead looking forward at the small town that folded out in front of him. It was impressive looking. It suited Maddox. [#228B22 "Home sweet home, eh?" ] A small chuckle escaped his lips as he waved at the man called Nate. The man watched him carefully for a bit before coming to the realization that Alaric was no threat to anyone. He was just a big baffoon, right?
Maddox's home looked a little ragged on the outside, however, the inside was just as he imagined it would be. Homey, but a bachelor pad. Something lived in that made you feel comfy, but nothing fancy.
Not like the Stevensons'. Alaric could remember their home as if it was yesterday. It was practically untouched from the war, as if the Gods' decided that it was too beautiful to destroy. Oh, how the Gods' were wrong.
[#228B22 "Nice pla-" ] Alaric cut himself off as soon as he saw the dog. Animals were drawn to him and it was the same for the man. His oddities and tenderness made animal's, especially dogs, feel safe around him. [#228B22 "What a beaut, nice to meet you Shiloh." ] He could tell the dog was alert and wary, so he stood back and let the canine come to him when it was ready.
He sat at a round wooden table, peeling his bag off and planting it beside his chair. Before he could go into his bag to retrieve his wine, however, Maddox passed him a cold beer. [#228B22 "Mm, haven't had a good beer in a while." ] Another grin, another chuckle. [#228B22 "Thanks again for having me."] His eyes were now examining Maddox's torso and he couldn't help but bit his lip. The man had a great physique. [#228B22 "Are those tattoos I see?" ]
[center [size12 Maddox sat there, suddenly surprised when he felt a damp rag touch his skin from out of nowhere. He stared at it for a brief moment before looking at Alaric then finally smiling slightly at him. It was an odd smile, something that obviously looked like he hadn’t really done before. It was kind of slanted with a bit of force behind it even though he was actually appreciative of it. He took it in his gritty hands and began carefully wiping the blood from his face and hands before placing it back down in his lap, staring at it once more. He honestly did not realize how odd he looked doing this and quickly stopped it, looking at the male in front of him.]]
[center [size12 Maddox was then caught off guard once more. This time it was the sudden gasp and words that left Alaric’s mouth. At first, Maddox believed that he had done something wrong by asking Alaric to come by, but then quickly realized that it was a joke. The thing about Maddox was, he never understood humor and had very dry humor himself. Jokes were so foreign to Maddox that, honestly, he really did not know how to even make a dry joke, let alone catch a joke like what Alaric just said. He felt bad about it, but things did not seem to bother Alaric much, so Maddox had no reason to feel bad about anything. He then felt himself chuckling quietly before nodding.]]
[center [size12 Maddox then stood up, stretching upwards towards the sky which made him appear a bit taller than he actually was. It began raining a bit harder now. He preferred to not get wet, but that was the life of a hitman. Getting used to the nasty elements, like rain and sometimes, when winter came around, lying on a frozen ground and getting covered in snow. Something that Maddox hated though was rain. Something about the water and mud made him less agile when it came to hand to hand combat and it gave him a bit of unnecessary anxiety.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 “Let’s get going. I hate the rain,”]] he murmured softly as he pulled his hood over his head, pulling the gun case from the ground and putting it over his shoulder. He began walking, no trudging through the rain and mud with such a face of distaste, like he hated every bit of this.]]
[center [size12 Finally clearing the forest, a small town was nearing. It had large gates around the community, for better protection of course. When Maddox got closer, he heard a gun cock and Maddox glanced upwards. [i [#FF0000 “Hi, Nate. Just your friendly neighborhood sniper here with a friend. Let us in please,”]] his voice was pretty bland when he spoke and the gates began opening, just enough for Maddox and Alaric to get in before immediately closing behind them.]]
[center [size12 Once inside, there was a fully functioning community of shops, markets, and even a restaurant. There was a church, as well. There were small shacks around the place, as well. Maddox, thankfully, owned one of them, while the bulk of people shared a large common house where everyone had their own beds, but no privacy. Maddox motioned for Alaric to follow him quickly. [i [#FF0000 “Come on, I don’t want to deal with anyone right now,”]] he murmured softly as he took a swift right which led them up a walk way and straight to Maddox’s home. A two story shack that once you got inside, it was a bit more homey than you would expect, with a dog greeting Maddox when he walked in. [i [#FF0000 “Shiloh, this is Alaric. He’s good,”]] Shiloh was originally in a defensive position, but quickly relaxed when Maddox spoke.]]
[center [size12 Maddox placed his gun case on a table and began pulling off his jacket, which revealed a thin layer of a black muscle shirt. He groaned quietly before walking straight to the fridge, opening it up to get not only himself a beer, but Alaric as well and even a snack for Shiloh. [i [#FF0000 “Make yourself comfortable. Here,”]] Maddox handed off the beer to Alaric as he prepared the small snack for Shiloh, taking small sips from his own beer.]]
[center Alaric was used to what others would call random interactions. Because he traveled so much he came across so many different kinds of people and situations that others would be shocked by, even in this corrupt world. He met gangs who looked so devastatingly cruel but ended up being the sweetest people he had ever met. The only time he was ever surprised was when he met the Stevenson's.
Alaric was just 17, not a boy, but not a man either. He had been traveling for a few years now- it's what you did when you had no ties to anything- and he usually knew how to handle most situations. He had been mugged, he had been tortured, but never anything so odd as the situation he was in now.
Alaric's lanky body sat tied in front of a family of five. The parents were in their mid-30's, both blonde with their hair slicked back neatly, not a hair out of place. Their blue eyes that were once so inviting were now beady and dark. Their children all giggled together, their eyes mocking their parents.
One of the youngest boys grinned and stepped forward, his hand grabbing onto Alaric's thigh. [#000080 "Momma, he is too thin, how we gonna eat him-" ]
[b "Shut up, boy. He thin now but he won't be when we are through with him." ]The father cut off the child, not letting the mother of the boys speak. [b "Now get upstairs, we need to feed the fucker." ]
It really sucked for them, as Alaric never gained much weight, even when trying. He was a skinny bitch, forever and always.
The memory was like a flash of images that Alaric had to shake off. Every time he thought of the Stevenson's he got confused. They fed him so much food that they could have eaten themselves, but instead were fixed on eating him. They were twisted, obsessed with the idea of consuming human flesh.
[#228B22 [i Fucking cannibals. ] ]
Alaric reached into his bag once again and retrieved a small cloth. He dosed a little water on it and threw it to his new acquaintance, Maddox. [#228B22 "Probably don't want that blood drying in any unwanted areas."] Al gave out a small chuckle, [#228B22 "However, I think getting blood anywhere is unwanted."] He shrugged.
[#228B22 "I guess you could say I am a trusting fellow,"] Alaric answered, giving another small, subtle wink. In truth, he was just bored, and what better way to cure boredom but by inserting yourself into a dangerous situation?
A small smile spread across his face when Maddox mentioned his home. [#228B22 "Are you inviting another man to your home? How immoral." ]His face then turned serious, his eyebrow cocked slightly. [#228B22 "Kidding, kidding!"] Alaric laughed yet again, before nodding to the man. [#228B22 "Thank you, that would be lovely. I didn't even notice there was a town in this area."]
[center [size12 It was kind of weird for Maddox to be sitting down, in the burnt grass with some stranger, having a normal conversation. Anything that Maddox did wither people was odd to see, so of course, Maddox was on edge during the whole interaction. He had always kept people at arms length, for purposes that most people understood. You could only trust people so much. People were always up to something, rather it was to kill you or rob you or even both. Maddox had been a victim of every one of those, but thankfully made it alive, every time.]]
[center [size12 Maddox chuckled quietly at the man's laughter. He had never had someone laugh at the way he killed people. Maddox always had people fear him, but instead, this guy was laughing and even seemed completely okay with sitting with a blood soaked stranger, who could easily kill him at anytime, but Maddox had no reason to kill this man. He was kind, even offered him food and what appeared to be wine. Maddox hadn't drank in a long time, so this was well deserved.]]
[center [size12 Maddox began eating quietly before glancing up at the male once more. Alaric was his name, right? Maddox had a terrible memory. [i [#FF0000 "It's strange, you know? Most people wouldn't have bothered me if they saw me sniping at people, but you are definitely a strange one for even talking to me, let alone sitting here and having a meal with me,"]] Maddox commented before taking another bite of the bread. He then took a large gulp from the cup that he had been offered. It was decent wine, Maddox was not complaining. It had been awhile since the last time Maddox had gotten drunk.]]
[center [size12 Maddox continued eating in silence before raining began falling once more. He glanced up and grumbled about how much he hated rain and began gathering all of his things up. [i [#FF0000 "If you want, you can come stay at my place? The town I live in is just right over there, through the tree line,"]] Maddox pointed in a random direction before standing up.]]
[center Alaric had a wide grin on his face that never really left. This man was so... Cold? Yes, cold. The man had obviously seen some shit, just like Al. But then again, in this world, everyone has seen something dark or twisted. It was just the way the cookies crumbled. Alaric didn't hate this, in fact, he thought it made things interesting. The world before the said apocalypse didn't interest him like it did others. Then again, not must interest him. But this man in front of him? Now he peeked his interest.
Alaric took the water from Maddox and downed it, the feeling of the liquid pouring down his throat leaving him feeling relaxed. He listened to Maddox before letting out a small chuckle. [#228B22 "Please, you probably have women and men lining up to get a lick of that dick,"] He winked at Maddox, the crudeness of his words masked by his pleasant aura.
A small rustle could be heard and before Alaric could even respond, Maddox was up and ready for it. A man with wild eyes appeared before them, and in almost an instant he was on the ground, being pummeled by Maddox's fist. Now, if it was anyone else, they would be frightened by this sight, but not Ric. He had seen so much bullshit in his life that this was, well, normal. The lifelessness in Maddox's eyes reminded him of his own, once upon a time.
Once Maddox was finished with the man, Alaric started to laugh. Not just a small chuckle though, but a large bellowing laugh. [#228B22 "Man," ] Alaric heaved a bit, trying to catch his breath from all this laughter. [#228B22 "That was fuckin' pro, no wonder you do what you." ] He turned himself towards his large backpack and slung it in front of him, before opening it up and retrieving some food.
Alaric handed Maddox a large piece of elk jerky and some bread, before moving back to his backpack to grab a few more things. He retrieved two cups and a flask, and started to pour a dark purple liquid into each cup. He then passed one of the cups to Maddox. [#228B22 "A nice wine I made myself,"] he winked.
[center [size12 Rarely, if ever, did Maddox just sit down next to someone and have a perfectly, civil conversation with them. He was doing just that with this shirtless man named Alaric. He was definitely a character that Maddox was not used to. Most people wouldn't, one, walk around shirtless, and two, being as care free as this guy was. He was a walking target with the bull's eye painted all over his body. Maddox was unsure how safe it would be to hang around him, or even just sit here and have a conversation with him, but yet, Maddox hadn't moved or politely excused himself just yet.]]
[center [size12 Maddox blamed that on his curious nature. That has gotten him hurt way too many times that Maddox couldn't even count anymore. If Alaric hadn't shown up, Maddox would have gone down to that building that would most likely have traps and whatnot within it and get himself blown to bits because he was just curious like that.]]
[center [size12 As if on queue, Maddox's stomach growled at the mere mention of food. Come to thing about it, Maddox hadn't eaten in a few days. He had a strong stomach and could normally make himself last for a few days, but that also gave him the whole grumpy as fuck attitude towards everyone. He just nodded towards Alaric, muttered a quiet thank you as he packed away his rifle back into its case.]]
[center [size12 Maddox eyed Alaric, who was eyeing him and chuckled. He motioned to his face, [i [#FF0000 "it's a tired, ol' mug. I know, it's not too pretty on the eyes."]] Maddox commented quietly as he pulled out a couple of bottles of water. As he was handing one off to Alaric, his ears picked up on a noise. As if on command, Maddox stood straight up. He was like an alerted dog. He glanced around, narrowed eyes as he scanned the area before finding the source of the noise. A raider, who was charging them. Maddox moved slightly out of the way, dodging the armed with a knife man and grabbed the back of what was left of the man's shirt and threw him to the ground with a wet sploosh noise.]]
[center [size12 Without a word, Maddox proceeded to beat the man's face in without a single bit of emotion on his face. His face was blank as he eyes relaxed and eventually, the man was dead and Maddox just tossed him off the edge of the cliff with a soft sigh. He took his seat back in his original spot and looked at Alaric. Maddox didn't realize it, but he was covered in quite a bit of blood. He just cracked opened his bottle of water and began drinking from it.]]
[center [#FF0000 "You know I could have killed you, right?" ]
Alaric was flat on the wet ground, his entire torso now soaked in mud. A small grin was planted on the man's face, entertained by this whole experience. [#228B22 "A lot of things could have killed me, man, and I'm still kickin'."] This was true, a lot of things COULD have killed him, and in all honesty, Al wouldn't give a flying fuck if it happened. He'd be just another person scattered along the path called life, body full of bullet holes and stinking of decomposing flesh.
[#228B22 "Maddox, eh?" ] Alric wasn't surprised to hear that the man was a hitman, not in the slightest. There was so much fucked up shit in the world, so of course there were people out there getting paid to kick the shit to the curb. [#228B22 "I'm Alaric, I don't do shit." ] He gave out a quiet laugh, unsure if the man had finished his mission. Alaric, of course, did do shit. He did a lot of shit. He was a scavenger, a repair man, and an adventurer. He moved from place-to-place, gathering supplies and creating tools. He would sell these tools for food, along with other items as well.
Alaric pointed towards his large backpack, now thinking of the food he had just traded with a few people for some leathers he had. [#228B22 "You hungry, pal? Killing people must work up an appetite."] Alaric would know, not that he would tell Maddox this.
He stared at Maddox, his eyes looking up and down. This man was handsome, but he looked so god damn tired. Maddox needed to relax.
[center [size12 Maddox was focused in, firing off shoot after shoot until something startled him. A loud voice, loud enough to possibly give away his position. [b Get anything good?] Maddox turned his head, instantly and glared at the man before him. He had his knife ready, but realized that this man was harmless or at least as harmless as one could get when being in this kind of world.]]
[center [size12 Maddox snatched the man by his arm and pulled him down the wet ground. It had been raining earlier in the day. Polluted rain, it smelled foul, but Maddox didn't really have his senses any longer. [i [#FF0000 "Please be quiet,"]] Maddox's voice was low, he peered through his scoop once more. His finger laid on the trigger as he focused back in on the raider out front.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "I am doing the local town west of here, a favor. Killing these inbred pieces of shit,"]] Obviously, Maddox did not like raiders, but who did anyway? Most everyone hated them, but the raiders themselves. He picked off the last remaining raiders and placed his rifle on the ground, sitting up. He was sitting like a school child. Indian style and sighed. [i [#FF0000 "You know, I could have killed you, right?"]] Maddox rarely liked to admit to that, but he could have easily done it without feeling much remorse for it since he did what he had to do to protect himself.]]
[center [size12 Now, Maddox could get a better look at the fellow that decided to startle him. A strange man, no shirt, and bright blue eyes. He had a tattoo too. A very big one on his arm. Maddox was highly interested in it, since he had a could himself, on his back and arms, but those were rarely seen since he generally wore a large coat and hood.]]
[center [size12 Once Maddox confirmed that this guy was no threat, he held a hand and extended it into the shirtless man's direction. [i [#FF0000 "My name is Maddox. I am a hit man. I get paid to kill things,"]] what a way to introduce yourself. Maddox was an awkward one, so he said and did weird things all the time.]]
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