Reed growled, lifting her from her feet. She wrapped her legs around his waist and he sat her on a lab table. The cold metal top chilled her as he stepped back. His eyes burned a trail down her torso. He leaned in, bracing his hands on each side of her hips, trapping her between. He stared into her eyes.

"This is a serious complication, Max." The words sounded forced.

Max had to clear her throat. "It will definitely get in the way."

"We need to stop right now."

"Yes, we do." She hung suspended, both fearing he'd move in or back off. Neither option seemed satisfactory with the war going on between head, heart, and loins.

"Max, I—"

A huge crash reverberated through the room, shocking a scream from her lungs. Reed whirled toward the noise, bracing his feet wide. Raspy breathing sounded from down the hallway, and Max's heart thundered.

"What the hell is that?" she whispered.

Footfalls slapped down the hall, bare feet hitting the tile flooring. Max held her breath, unsure what to do while Reed dove for his rifle. The undead appeared in the doorway, the sad remains of a woman. Her mouth hung agape, foam dripping from her lips. Reed aimed, but it ducked down, disappearing behind the rows of tables.

"Damn it." Reed jumped on a table and shot Max a glance. "Stay where you are."

Max stood on the table, searching the murky corners. The thing's breathing echoed, making the woman impossible to pinpoint. Reed jumped tabletop to tabletop, keeping his rifle trained on the floor. It seemed the undead was more clever than Max realized, keeping just out of sight. She searched for a weapon, feeling defenseless and useless to provide assistance. Nothing handy presented itself beyond a few microscopes within reach. She focused on Reed who didn't look the least bit panicked. He moved silently without any wasted movement. He paused, and fired, the loud pop making her jump. She heard the scraping of nails on the tile and Reed shot again. All fell silent.

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