It took the truck about twelve hours of non-stop driving to go from just outside Denver to where Pablo's cabin was located, and they never stopped for anything. Gabriel flew ahead not only to check for more roadblocks but to also clear any herds of undead that might have been blocking their way. Gabriel also flew ahead to gas stations to fill up canisters full of gas so that he could refuel the truck as it was still going. When Gabriel was sure there was nothing left in their way to Pablo's cabin, he manage to fly the rest of the way to make sure Pablo and Alyssa were ready to receive a lot of guests, arriving just as the sun was coming back up. When he came back through the sunroof entrance, he could see the look on both of their faces were one of absolute shock. Gabriel was covered in human and zombie blood, and he was quite a mess from all the clearing he had been doing the last dozen hours.
"Jesus, Gabriel." Pablo said, grabbing some cloths from the kitchen and wetting them in the kitchen sink. "What the hell is going on out there?"
"Denver is gone," Gabriel answered, "They were under full siege when I arrived."
"I knew something was wrong," Gabriel said, as he started to wipe down Gabriel's face like a father would when tending to a filthy child.
"We need to prepare for more people," Gabriel said, sitting there and taking his cleanup without complaint, "Sean, his family and a few other survivors we managed to get out are driving up here. I already cleared the way for them."
"How many are we talking about?" Alyssa asked.
"At least twelve," Gabriel answered, "Get more cots ready."
Alyssa ran up the stairs to get busy setting more places for people to sleep. She was determined to help out as much as he could and didn't question anything.
Gabriel waited until she was gone and then turned to face Pablo. "I drained someone. I didn't mean to, it just happened."
Pablo's face was now one of surprise. "On a scale of one to ten, how badly did you spaz out?"
"Three," Gabriel said, sighing. "I didn't last more than a few seconds, and I was fine before Sean and the others arrived at the roadblock."
"There were roadblocks?" Pablo said, as he continued to wash Gab's face. "Those Californians meant business, didn't they?"
"They certainly do," Gabriel confirmed, "I killed at least seven of them at the road block, and that's when I got caught up. I just eased right in and drank her until she was dry. She was dust before she hit the ground."
"We got lucky," Pablo said, "But try not to do that again."
"I'm sorry," Gabriel said, feeling shamed.
"It was one of the bad guys," Pablo reminded him.
"Is that supposed to make it better?" Gabriel asked.
"No," Pablo conceded, "But it could have been worse; it's not like you accidentally drained someone we know, and you seemed to recover faster this time too. The yoga and the meditation I recommended seems to be helping, isn't it?"
"It appears so," Gabriel said, unwilling to flat out admit it.
"It is," Pablo said, unwilling to let go. "And that's a good thing, cause the last thing you want anyone to see is a Vampire in the middle of a vicious bloodlust. You're too old and strong to control, so if you lose your shit we're all dead. Don't take this lightly or you could lose all your meal tickets. Comprede?"
"Yes, I understand." Gabriel said, watching as Alyssa came back down the stairs. "I think we've got enough room for everyone."
"Don't fret too much," Pablo said, "The trucks have a few cots as well, and we'll probably make the men sleep in them and let the ladies take the nice rooms."
They could hear the horn honk as the truck was arriving to the cabin.
"Head downstairs and get some sleep," Pablo said, patting Gabe on the shoulder. "I can handle it from here."
Gabriel did as he was told and went down to his private room and locked himself away inside to rest. Pablo opened the door and walked it with Alyssa to greet the truck as it came through the gates and onto the property. Sean was the first to depart from the large vehicle.
"Is this area clear?" Sean asked.
"Gabriel cleared it before he got here." Pablo called back, "You're alright."
Alyssa watched as about a dozen men, women and children exited the vehicle and they all looked in rough shape. Most of their clothing was black from the fire that their building had sustained, and they all looked filthy and beat. Pablo walked up and hugged Sean and his wife, happy to see them both.
"I knew something was wrong," Pablo told them, "I sent Gabe over to check because you don't go four days without answering my badgering."
"That is true," Sean said, grinning at him. "For once your paranoia saved us. We wouldn't have gotten out without ..."
Sean stopped talking when he noticed that he noticed that Alyssa was standing there looking at them.
"This is Alyssa," Pablo said, "Gabe and I both vouch for her."
"That's good enough for me," Sean said, shaking her hand. "Where's Gabe?"
"He's gone to rest," Alyssa said, "He looked very tired."
"He didn't feed before bed?" Sean asked, indicating to her that he knew all of Gabriel's secrets.
"He had something on the road," Pablo answered, "He's fine."
"We've got beds and cots ready for everyone," Alyssa said, "You guys can rest too if you're tired from the road."
"That sounds great," Sean replied, "But we can't stay here too long."
Pablo's face turned serious. "What's going on?"
"While we were driving, about halfway here," Sean started, "A helicopter flew over our heads. Since Gabriel took out one of their checkpoints, so they're going to put two and two together and follow us here just out of revenge and spit. It's not safe to stay here very long. I'm afraid they'll come after us."
"Son of a bitch," Pablo said, thinking about it. "Where do we go from here?"
"I'm not sure," Sean replied, "But we better figure it out soon."
"We'll decide something before nightfall," Pablo said, "And then we'll let Gabe decide from there. We can spend the whole day packing and we'll take both trucks: yours and mine."
"In the meantime," Pablo said, putting his arm around Alyssa. "How about we get the little lady to make up some chow for everyone?"
"That would be awesome," Sean replied.
"Hun," Pablo said, looking at Alyssa. "Make up some eggs and bacon for everyone. You can use everything that's left in the fridge."
"Are you sure?" Alyssa asked, remembering how much he had in there.
"We can't take it with us," Pablo reminded her, "So use it or lose it."
Alyssa did as she was told, because Pablo's idea made sense. Feeding everyone was the best way to settle everyone down, as food was comforting. She couldn't help but overhear Sean and one of the bigger men there talk about options for their ride away from the cabin. They were talking about setting camps in secure spots ore even using a building like Gabe did in Nashville. It wasn't until she finishing cooking all the eggs and bacon and serving herself that Alyssa stepped into the conversation.
"Excuse me," Alyssa said as she sat down, "But you're a doctor, right?"
Sean looked back at her. "I am."
"What is your specialty?" Alyssa asked, rather curious.
"In Denver I ran a family practice." Sean answered, "But I'm also a skilled surgeon. I can do almost anything with the right tools."
"And what about you?" Alyssa asked the other man, "What was your thing?"
"Security," the man answered, "I used to be in the military. Army Ranger."
"I have a suggestion," Alyssa started, "Why not come back with me to my town?"
Sean turned to face Alyssa as he was intrigued by the idea. "How many people live in your town?"
"About twelve to fifteen thousand," Alyssa said, "and they're always in need of new doctors and people to help with security."
"How far is this place from here?" Sean asked.
"Twice as far as what you just traveled." Alyssa replied. "It won't be easy."
"That's an interesting idea," the man across from Sean stated, "If we ditch the trucks, it would be hard to trace us there from Denver. Too far for the coasters to look, I'd be surprised if they went any further than here."
"I'm comfortable with the idea," Sean admitted, "And I could use a new place to open my practice. This could really work."
"What about your town?" The Ranger asked, "How do we know they'll accept us?"
"I'm confident we can make it work," Alyssa answered, "We'll sweet talk my mayor to accepting you guys as a package deal. I have a feeling he won't take much arm twisting. Surgeons are hard to find and we do have the equipment to help you do whatever you need to do. It should be a piece of cake."
"What do you think, Pablo?" Sean asked.
Pablo had been standing behind them, leaning against the wall the entire time. His arms were folded and his face has a weird look as he was pondering it.
"I like it," Pablo honestly answered, "If her town is half as nice as she is, this is the kind of place I wouldn't mind settling down in. Gabriel might not like having all his eggs in one proverbial basket, but he'll have to get over it. I'll talk Gabriel into it, but in the meantime we need to start packing. We leave at sun down."
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