Bitter Sugar

In the past few days, Clint took his new partner Layla to the nearest town he could locate on his map, even though they got lost time to time. The two stopped somewhere in the vast wasteland. The temperature still boiling hot as they glanced at the dead view of the dry land that is filled with dead weeds and sands. Layla wiped the sweat from her face as she groaned in frustration. “Oh great, you took us to the middle of nowhere, again,” Layla growled quietly, her last words harsh. “Wait a minute sugar, we’re here.” Clint winked at her, trying to calm her down, but it wouldn’t work out. Always trying to be the charmer, Layla thought bitterly as she rolled her eyes at him.

Clint kneeled down on one leg to touch the ground with both of his hands. Layla looked at him, the expression on her face telling her that she is confused by his actions. “Uh. What are you doing?” “Opening the secret entrance.” The cowboy replied, continuing to touch the ground until a lever magically appeared beside one of his hands. Clint grabbed it and pulled it to the left to move the ground that is beneath them.

The ground shook, making some of the small rocks jump up and down. It was an elevator. Layla didn’t expect this, so she easily lost her balance. Clint instantly lets go of the lever and stood up too quickly catch his falling partner. One of his hand grabbed Layla’s hand while his free arm wrapped around her waistline. The ground luckily stopped shaking and moved down.

Layla’s cheeks slowly turned red; to the point of being a tomato. She can hear her heart thumping in her ears, it was racing quite fast. “You okay sugar?” Clint asked, his voice soft and charming as his beautiful shade of blue eyes locked into her lovely colored brown eyes. “Yeah, thanks for.. catching me.” Layla answeres, trying her best to not stammer her words as she feels her stomach turns into knots.

Clint formed a smirk that looked teasing on his face. He pulled Layla right back up, making her fall against his chest. “You’re welcome sugar.” He said sweetly. Layla quickly pushed him away, her face no longer red. “Some space please?” She said, her eyes glancing at him as she crossed her arms. “I know you like me.” Clint grinned playfully. The blond haired girl raised one of her eyebrows, her expression showing that she is not amused. “We recently just met, you idiot,” Layla said harshly, growling at him a bit.

The ground suddenly gave a shook before it stopped moving. This time Layla didn’t fall for she was prepared. Clint frowned a bit, wanted her to fall so that he could catch and tease her again.

The metal door in front of them opens up, revealing a city on the other side of the door. “Woah, an underground city?” Layla questioned Clint, her eyes widening, her jaw slightly dropping. The city is crowded, different and interesting shops are everywhere, and is heavily guarded by soldiers. “Yep. This is my home, where I live,” Clint answered as he looked around. “Ain’t it beautiful? It’s one of the safest places in the wasteland.” He said proudly. “I can tell. This place is packed and full of surveillance and protection. I don’t see why they didn’t build it up on the surface.” Layla looked around as she walked outside of the elevator with Clint.

A grey-haired woman ran over to the two. She looked like she is around in her forties. Layla could not easily tell the woman is Clint’s mother with the similar facial features. “My boy!” She cried happily, hugging Clint tightly as possible. “H-Hey..! Ma!” Clint struggled to reply.

Clint’s mother slowly lets him go, turning her gaze to Layla. The female gunner looked back, lifting one of her hands to wave as a greeting. “Who’s this pretty girl? Is she perhaps your girlfriend?” Clint’s mother smirked, using her elbow to budge her son on his arm. “No! She’s my new partner, her name is Layla.” Clint said an obvious strong disapproval in his voice. His mother chuckled softly. “Well then Hello, Layla! My name is Wendy, it’s nice to meet you.” Wendy smiled widely, lifting one of her hands for a handshake. Layla grabbed her hand to gladly accept the handshake. “How and when did you meet my lil boy?” Wendy asked, curiosity in her voice. “Well, if I can recall clearly, I met Clint last week ago. He found me in the middle of nowhere and saved me from a rotten head, I forgot what they’re called.” Layla answered, lifting one of her hand to tip her shin slightly upward. “Thank you for answering me, sweetie. The rotten bodies that walk around the wasteland are called by many names! Such as the bitters, undead, or zombies.”

Layla’s eyes widened, her jaw dropping a bit. “How can a dead being move?”We believe that this is the wicked queen’s doing. Her power can change dead bodies into her mindless walking slaves, and can puppet multiple people at once.” Wendy answered. A serious expression on her face.

Layla shivered at the thought of the Queen’s terrifying appearance. “Sounds like a powerful mage.” She said softly. “Don’t worry. I’ll keep you safe.” Clint patted Layla’s back. The female gunner turned her head to glance at Clint only to get winked by him. “Yeah.. I’ll just stick with get away from powerful people tactic.” Layla grumbled.

Wendy let out a soft chuckle. “You two must be hungry! Why not stay over for a while? Take a rest from the small adventure.” She offered, smiling kindly. “Thank you, we’ll take the offer.” Layla accepted. “What? I thought we were staying in mu pla-” Clint’s stomach suddenly got punched in the stomach by Layla. He let out a groan of pain. “S-Staying in my ma’s p-place sounds good!” The cowboy stuttered. A painful and forced smile on his face as he held his stomach.

As they walked pass by the rushing crowd that looked like a swarm of sardines. Layla didn’t notice that she has lost track of Clint or Wendy. She bit her lips as her grip on the gun’s handle tightened. I’m lost! Clint will surely tease me for this! Layla thought, letting a tired-frustration sigh out her mouth.

The female gunner decided to walk towards to a quieter street, where she isn’t pushed and bumped into the crowd. Layla leaned against the hard cement walls as she dropped her hard, heavy gun that she carried. She let her knees drop and then hung her head. Layla could feel her body sore and exhausted from all the walking, that it slowly made her fall asleep.

After a while, Layla felt a rough metal wrap around her waist, she gasped as her eyes opened instantly. A hook has captured her. Layla struggled aggressively, trying to pull and push the hook off her as she cursed rather loudly. “Help me! Somebody!” She screamed loudly, kicking her legs as she continued to attempt an escape. Then without a warning, she quickly got pulled in a specific direction.

 

Credits to the author: DexiaDex of Wattpad

MLguide Author

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