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[center Alaric waved off Maddox, not needing to pack anything up at all. He had everything ready as soon as he came trotting back through the door. [#228B22 "I'm good, dude."]
Alaric tapped his finger against his chin, watching Maddox carefully. A small grimace came across his face, as if a memory was building up at the thought of himself using a gun again. He shook his head and sighed, knowing that he would have to do it eventually.
[#228B22 "Yeah, I can shoot. I'm pretty good, too,"] Alaric half-bragged while shrugging. He wasn't proud of some of the things he had done as a child, not by a long shot. Talking about it was a major issue that he didn't like to speak of. [#228B22 "No worries, my man. I am a hard worker and I can keep up with you. I prefer to deal with things with my hands." ]
[#228B22 [i Plus, I'm less deadly that way. Probably need to be my old self if I want to help Mads out. ] ] Al stood up and stretched, his body aching slightly from sleeping on the couch. He massaged his neck before slinging his large backpack over his shoulders. He grabbed the gun that Maddox handed him and slung it into his pockets of his cargo pants. [#228B22 "If you want we can have ourselves a pissing contest on who is a better shooter, although I believe I will lose."] Alaric gave Maddox a coy wink before chuckling. [#228B22 "I'm ready when you are, friend."]
[center [size12 Maddox shrugged on his coat before clicking his tongue for Shiloh to come to him. He hooked the leash onto her collar and grabbed a bag of her things that he always prepacked for situations like this. It had enough dog food for a few weeks, toys, and other things that they would need for her. With the back in one hand and Shiloh excitedly pulling on him towards the door, Maddox left to speak with his neighbors.]]
[center [size12 Knocking on the door, a young man came to the door and greeted Maddox, inviting him into the shack. It appeared to look almost exactly like Maddox's, but a bit more homey, of course. It was a young couple with a child on the way, who lived there. Maddox shyly thanked them before handing off the bag. [i [#FF0000 "You two know the usual. I'll be gone, hopefully, for only a few days, but there is enough to cover Shiloh for a few weeks, just in case. Here is some money up front,"]] Maddox handed them a small stack of cash. He knew he was helping the couple out, by paying them, even though they always tried to refuse payment.]]
[center [size12 Maddox waved a goodbye, after staying for a cup of a coffee and a chit chat about his work and their expecting child, and even Shiloh and how she's been doing. He said his goodbye to Shiloh before leaving. A small, but loud enough for Maddox to hear, whine could be heard behind the closed door, but Maddox had to ignore it as he walked back to his home.]]
[center [size12 When Maddox walked back into the house, he immediately lit a cigarette, puffing quietly on it as he walked around the house to pack some things that he planned on taking before pausing for a moment to tap ashes off his cigarette. He caught a glimpse of Alaric and chuckled softly.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 We're about to leave. I just gotta pack up my gun. You need anything else before leaving?"]] He hadn't noticed that Alaric was awake while he was packing up. He wanted to make sure Alaric was plenty prepared for this trip.]]
[center [size12 Once everything was packed up, Maddox was focused hard on a map in front of him. He was having his last cup of coffee with a cigarette as he sat at the kitchen table with his eyes glued to the map. He was kind of muttering to himself, running his finger over possible routes that would be safer to take, but everything led through heavy raider territory and even mutants.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "How handy are you with a gun?"]] Alaric appeared as this tree hugging hippie that had never been violent with anyone, so of course, Maddox assumed that he hadn't ever used a gun before. Maddox felt strongly that he was assuming incorrectly. Alaric was a spitfire and Maddox felt good bringing him with him. An extra set of eyes would be handy in this situation.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "This is supposed to be a 2 days there and 2 days back kind of trip, but we're heading through really volatile areas that might delay us somewhat. I want to make sure you can handle yourself,"]] Maddox folded the map up, tucking it in the inside of his coat pocket before finishing his cigarette and placing his empty coffee cup in the sink. He had had a backpack that he shrugged on and a rifle case that he was shouldering. He then turned to grab two pistols, handing one off to Alaric.]]
[center Alaric had a wide grin after every bite of food, satisfied with the meal he had made. It was good to enjoy yourself on days after a big night. Their big night? Getting absolute shitfaced. Al thanked Maddox for offering to do the dishes, his eyes peering into Maddox's. His general aura made Alaric feel bubbly, and he had no idea why. Maddox's tired eyes were warm to Alaric, drawing him in every time he stared into them.
[#228B22 "Man, I'm all cleaned up and ready. I think that means it's time for a nap while you go out. Wake me up when it's time!" ] Alaric was happy to have a moment to sleep, not getting the best sleep in the first place. He grabbed his backpack and moved to the longest couch and laid down. He closed his eyes, ignoring everything around him and slipping into a quick slumber.
[b ~~~Dreamies~~~ ]
A darkness swarmed around Alaric, lifting him into the air and crushing him into a gloomy sea of water. His vision blurred, a sudden feeling of dread washing over him the the water. As he sank in the water he heard voices, a callous woman, beckoning him to die.
[b "Swim to the bottom boy!" ]The woman started to laugh before another voice popped up.
[#000080 "If he swims down do I get to eat him? He's still pretty skinny!" ] A small boy, a sweet voice.
[b "Mama gets first bite!" ]
Alaric didn't want to swim down. Every inch of him begged for him to swim up, to get to the surface. Instead he swam down, unable to control where he went.
[b "What a stupid boy, he's coming this way! Get the tools ready, hon." ]
Suddenly, with a great force, Alaric was ripped from the water, able to breath. His eyes scanned for the person who saved him, confused that he was now standing in a light room.
[#FF0000 "Damn, you're cute." ] It was Maddox's voice this time, soothing and calm.
[b ~~~~~ ]
Alaric's eyes slowly fluttered open, an hour or so having passed by. He was confused but happy, as his dreams usually didn't end very well. This time he awoke with a good feeling in the pit of his stomach.
Looking around the room, Alaric came to the conclusion that Maddox wasn't back yet, and laid back down to wait.
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "Yeah, this little settlement has some great benefits to it and people have made some real progress here since it was actually safe to live on the surface again,"]] Maddox responded about Alaric finding the pigs. He did chuckle though, looking at the plate. He hadn't actually had decent food like this in a really long time. It normally was canned meat and stale bread for him. He was definitely a cheaper person. He wanted to keep his money more than actually spending it.]]
[center [size12 His reasoning behind saving his money was actually kind of surprising for him though. There was a large settlement that was further West from where they are now that was actually functioning like before the bombs fell. He wanted to move there and actually live out his whole [i old days] and it was an expensive trip, as well as expensive place to live. Just getting in was a pretty penny, but it all went into making that place what it was. He envied the people living there and wanted to leave this hell hole.]]
[center [size12 After taking a couple of bites, Maddox hummed in a happy manner. His tired, blank expression did not hide the fact that he was enjoying this meal. He then tilted his head and believed, for just a moment, that he might have heard Alaric wrong. Did he just ask if Maddox needed help on a job? He was confused for a moment before confirming it to be correct in his mind. He swallowed what food was in his mouth before chuckling softly. It wasn't a condescending chuckle though, he was amused though.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "I was actually going to ask if you wanted to come with me. I can't let you go now that you've seen how vulnerable I was last night,"]] Maddox raised an eyebrow at Alaric and smirked at him. He was worried that he might actually never seen Alaric again if he went on this bounty, but now that Alaric will be joining him, Maddox was definitely happy about this. It had been a really long time since he had someone in his life and he was craving the attention something fierce.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "We are going to leave in a few hours. I would like to get rid of this headache and talk to my neighbors about taking care of Shiloh while I'm gone. Maybe relax a bit, you know?"]] Maddox explained before finishing up his food. He had thoroughly cleaned his plate and you could almost swear that he might have eaten the plate as well with how fast he had eaten the food.]]
[center [size12 He did wait until Alaric was done before snatching up his empty plate and smiled softly at him. [i [#FF0000 "I got the dishes, don't worry,"]] Maddox had to stop himself from doing the weirdest shit that he has even thought of doing. He almost kissed the side of Alaric's head in a chaste manner, but he had stopped himself. It was almost a natural instinct because it was something that he did with that woman that was in his life. He felt his heart sink a bit, but quickly, stopped himself from getting upset about it and continued into the kitchen to wash the dishes.]]
[center Alaric heard Maddox say something from upstairs but paid no mind, assuming he was speaking to his dog. He continued to flip the bacon, breathing in the amazing aroma. He listened to the patter of footsteps coming down the stairs, one large set and another daintily following along. Just then he heard the knocking, realizing all this time he had been ignoring it. He cursed under his breath, thinking of his tom-foolery. He was really into the sizzling of the bacon, plus he was excited to see if Maddox was hungover.
When Maddox entered and spoke Alaric started to laugh, however, he felt his cheeks reddening.[#228B22 [i Again, eh? Maybe I will stick around. If he's so inclined. ] ]
When Maddox re-entered the room Alaric turned and laid out the meal he had just made. Steaming bacon and fresh eggs laid out in front of them, a pile of potatoes on the side.[#228B22 "Hope you enjoy it. I got so excited finding out that your neighbors three doors down had their own lot of piggies running around."]
Finding pigs around was a rare thing, same with chickens. They all had their deformities and only a few survived the war. Luckily, the only deformities were superficial, making their meat alright to eat. Elders even said the radiation must have made them tastier but a lot of people say that is just a myth.
Alaric sat down across from Maddox and dug into his own plate, listening carefully to Maddox. He started talking after swallowing a few bites. [#228B22 "So, this job? Would you be needing any help on it? I've got nothing better to do. You can keep the cash, I just want to scavenge." ] He flashed a grin, excited suddenly. If he could come along, chances are they were taking out a large group. That meant plenty of loot for Alaric. That meant plenty of rubbish he could make into innovative and elaborate tools.[#228B22 "I understand if not."]
[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."]
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