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Maggie's Nightmare

Maggie's Nightmare: Chapter Twenty-Seven

Hey y'all :-P

As I mentioned before, my muse has been on vacay forever now, so I appreciate your patience as I work to get these chapters up ;)

As always, thank you to everyone who has continued to read and follow this story ... I really do appreciate it.

Of course, I would like to send a Special Thank you to ZackB, Alice_Weekes, Char_, itslea, and Daryl'sDoll for commenting on the last chapter - you all seriously rock! I love you all!

This is another super long chapter btw - I hope you enjoy it!

Now, back to our story and see how the boys have been holdin' up ...


Glenn's POV -

It seemed as if I'd been walking forever; I really didn't know how long I'd been gone. But, it was dark and the fog was thick and I could barely see my way through the woods. Trudging along, searching the lonely woods and forested areas near Fort Benning; the place that had become her prison since being abducted by The Governor. I called out her name; hoping that she might hear me.

"Maggie?! Maggie?!"


Silence … not even the sound of rustling leaves as I walked across the dead foliage on the forest floor.


Maggie?! Maggie?!

What I wouldn't give to see her again, I thought to myself.

As I wandered aimlessly through the never ending sea of trees and shrubs, the fog seemed to thin out. In the distance, I could see a figure. It looked like a woman; she was wearing dark clothing, so she was difficult to make out. As I got closer, I could see that the woman was Maggie!

I can't believe it!

I started to run to her, but the closer I got … the more difficult it became to run. Soon the run was a slowed to a labored jog; then I felt as if my legs turned to lead and I could barely move them, but it didn't matter … I had almost made it to her. She was close and I could see her beautiful face that was only partly illuminated by the crescent moon in the sky.

Maggie held out her hand and called out to me.

"Glenn, wait! Stop!

I don't why I even stopped, but I did as she said. I stopped dead in my tracks.

Was she trying to warn me about something?

The smile on her face faded; her face looked more solemn now. I could tell she was sad, but I didn't know why. But, it really didn't matter because there she was … standing right in front of me; maybe a dozen feet separated Maggie from my arms.

I called out to her again. ""Maggie! Sweetheart … I'm so glad I found you, I was so worried about you …" I paused and gestured for her to come to, but she didn't. "I can't believe you're really here …!" I smiled and laughed nervously ...I'd missed her so much.

I couldn't wait another moment to hold her.

As I tried to move, but I couldn't; I was frozen. Felt like my legs were knee deep in Georgia mud.

I began to panic and called out to her.

All I could hear were muffled cries … and that's when I saw him - The Governor. He'd been standing behind her; his hand was now covering Maggie's mouth. He had a gun to her head.

"So, ya really thought ya could out smart me? Get your girl back here? Ha! That's funny …"

The Governor laughed as he held Maggie from behind; snaking his arm around her neck. She was havin' a hard time breathin'; I could see the panic in her eyes as she desperately struggled against his arm. Her nails dug into his forearms, as he squeezed tighter and tighter.

"Stop! Please, stop it! You're hurting her!"

He laughed; the maniacal smile on his face reminded me of something out of a bad horror flick.

"Course, I'm hurtin' her …" He paused and took the time to slowly run his tongue up the side of her face. Maggie winced. "I can do whatever I want … with what's mine."

"She's no yours! She's my wife … now give her back, ya son-of-a-bitch!"

He just laughed; deep bellows from his gut.

I cursed at him, while I continued to try and free myself from this damn mud.

Where the hell did it come from anyways?

I pulled at my legs, but to no avail. Felt like I'd been cemented into the forest floor.

I began to scream at him, but my voice was barely a whisper. I screamed again and again, but now almost nothing came out. I tried reaching for Maggie.

"Maggie …!"

I could feel the tears start to well up behind my eyes.

"You're never gonna see her again … ya don't deserve her."

The Governor chuckled and yanked Maggie back with his arm; he used the choke hold he had on her and began to drag her back with him … back into the darkness and back behind the layer of fog and mist.

"Nooo ….!" I screamed out. "Please …!"

As loud as I could, I screamed her name and told her that I loved her, but he continued to drag her until the two of them disappeared into the night. And, there I was … standing alone … stuck in the mud.

I was walker-bait for sure …

But, none of that mattered. I'd failed her again. She was so close and I couldn't get to her; couldn't get her back. I couldn't save her. I started to sob. It was hopeless.

And, then I felt it … the cold grip of death; a walker's hand wrapped around my shoulder … this was it …!


"Ahh!" I yelped.

"Wake up, son!" Hershel's hand had a firm grip on my shoulder; shakin' me awake. "Ya alright …?"

I was still in a daze.

"Hershel …?"

"You must've been havin' some dream … you were yellin' in your sleep."

Hershel's eyes were weary from the events of the last six days; he no doubt hadn't slept much himself since both Maggie and Beth had been kidnapped.

"Yeah …" I cleared my throat and sat up. "Nightmare …" I rubbed the back of my neck. "Bout Maggie …"

Hershel sat down beside me; his lips tightened.

"I see …" He paused. "Well … I'm sorry bout the nightmare, but I'm glad ya finally got some sleep. I was gettin' worried bout ya."

I nodded my head. I really hadn't slept since Maggie and Beth had been taken. Maybe an hour or two here and there … whenever my mind and body just completely collapsed from exhaustion. But, I never stayed asleep for long; always waking to this fuckin' nightmare that was my reality.
Maggie was gone … and there was nothin' I could do about it right now.

I just had to wait.

"Yeah, well, it's been hard to sleep with everything goin' on."

I gave Hershel a half-hearted smile.

"I do understand, Glenn. We all do."

Hershel patted me on the shoulder.

"Why don't ya get up and come downstairs … get yourself somethin' to eat."

I nodded. "Sure. I'll be down in a minute."

After I'd dressed myself, I took a look in the mirror.

My face was sunken in from lack of food, my eyes bloodshot and puffy from the lack of sleep. All the color drained from my face.

I looked exactly how I felt … like shit!

When I went downstairs, I found Hershel sitting with Carol, Tyrese, Sasha and Karen. No one said a word as I took a seat at the table. It would have been an uncomfortable silence in any other circumstances; however, in the case the awkward silence was welcomed. I didn't really want to talk to anyone about Maggie, how I was feelin' or if I was doin' okay. They didn't need to ask because they knew … there wasn't really any need for words right now.

The silence only lasted for a minute or so when Carl ran into the common area; his eyes wide and out of breath from exertion.

"My …my dad … wanted me to tell y'all that." He paused to take a breath. Carl was completely winded; his cheeks flushed. "The Governor's 2nd in command is on the CB right now … dad's been talkin' to him."

I snapped.

"Jesus …!"

I jumped up out of my seat and began to run towards the office where Rick had put the CB; there were so many things running though my head ...

Could he be telling us that the meeting is off?

Had The Governor changed his mind?

This was out only chance; everyone knew it.

I reached the office door, which had been propped open and ran inside. Rick was on the radio and he held his hand up in a fist, gesturing for me to not make any noise; his eyes were stern and worried. I couldn't get a read on him.

Rick continued on the CB.

"No, I appreciate ya checkin' in with us. It's important to all of us that we get this resolved peacefully and as quickly as possible."

The voice on the other end was low and raspy. I recognized it from our previous radio correspondence. It was The Governor's 2nd in command, Lt. James. The man who'd arranged this whole "exchange" and was really the reason we had a shot of gettin' either of the girls out.

"Well, you're right about that. Don't want anyone to have to get hurt here."

I rolled my eyes. This son-of-a-bitch had no idea what the hell was goin' on here. He was fuckin' clueless as to what kinda hurt The Governor was really responsible for; it wasn't us that had killed all them people, and it wasn't any of us that had raped Maggie – it was all his doing, The Governor.

Rick looked up at me; his eyes then darted back to the radio sitting in front of him on the desk.

"How are the girls? Are they alright?"

There was a longer period of silence on the other end.

"Lt. James? Are ya still there?"

"Yes, I'm here."

Rick continued.

"The girls … how's Maggie and Beth?"

The sound of static over the radio filled the room; then silence on the CB. The man on the other end was holding down the button to talk, but he wasn't sayin' anything. Then, silence fell over the radio waves again.

Something was wrong … I could feel it in my gut.

I looked to Rick; my eyes widened, gesturing to Rick to press this man for more information.

"Is something wrong, Lt.?"

"Beth's fine. The Governor … gave Beth to me, ya know? To look after while she's here."

Bullshit! I thought to myself.

He gave her to his 2nd in command ... just to watch her? Some black-ops soldier is baby sitting Beth? That didn't make any sense, and Rick knew it didn't either. He pressed the man for answers.

"Beth okay? Any reason she's bein' looked after by his 2nd in command?"

"It ain't what ya think. She's fine. I've been lookin' after her and I promise nothin' will. She's safe here with me. Trust me."

The way he said it; implied that she wouldn't be safe anywhere else.

"So, Beth is fine … how bout her leg?"

"Leg's healin' just fine. Doc said there was no major blood vessel or muscle damage, so she'll be alright. Just gonna take her a couple of months to completely heal and get back to normal."

"That's good to hear …" Rick paused and looked anxiously up at me. "And, Maggie? How's she doin'?"

The tone of his voice shifted; he was sterner, more forceful.

"She's fine …"

Rick's eyebrows arched; he knew something was up.

"Good … and the baby? She's due any day now …"

There was a long pause. Silence again filled the room.

"Jesus Christ, Rick. Something's happened to her; I can feel it."

"Calm down, Glenn. We don't know that."

"Then, why the hell ain't he sayin' anythin'?"

Rick bit his bottom lip; he looked away. He spoke into CB handle.

"Lt. James? Is everythin' alright with Maggie and the baby? Please confirm."

We could all hear him clear his throat on the other end of the radio.

"Ms. Greene had her baby … yesterday." He paused. "Last night actually."

"Jesus Christ …!"

I started to panic. I was gettin' light headed. My mind went away with me.

She had the baby …

Was she okay?

Was the baby okay?

"And …?" Rick urged the Lt. on. "How're they doin'?"

"Maggie and the little girl are just fine. Both are healthy and … doin' just fine."

I put my hands on the table to steady myself. If I hadn't, I probably woulda passed out.

"A girl …?" Rick smiled; he looked almost as if he was gonna cry. "Damn …well, we're glad to hear they're doin' okay Lt. Real glad."

"They're … they're fine."

Tears started streamin' down my face as I realized the day we'd been dreading; the day we'd been excited and nervous about … happened. And, I wasn't there.

"You can understand how upsetting this is to all of us to hear about Maggie and the baby bein' there now. She needs to be somewhere safe; her and the baby."

"She's safe …"

His words trailed off.

"She's not safe … not with The Governor around her. I don't want to get into that, but … he attacked her last time she was held prisoner by him." Rick paused. "And, none of us feel all too comfortable with her bein' around him; not to mention bein; left alone with him."

"Mmm, hmm …" He paused. "I see …"

Rick continued; his voice changed … he sounded much like he did early on … like a cop.

"Ya see, Lt. I was a Sheriff before all this happened. I'm a law abidin' man and I've arrested my share of criminals. Deviants. Ya know when ya see em. Ya can feel it in your gut." Rick paused; his face contorted … he looked disgusted as he thought about what kinda men he'd encountered. "And, your Governor … he's one of those kinda men."

The Lt. didn't respond, which was surprising. Rick pressed the button again to talk.

"Ya see … The Governor. Well, he …"

The Lt. interrupted.

"I understand your concerns, really I do. I've learned some stuff … some things recently … that greatly disturbed me."

"Did you …?" Rick looked up at me. "And, what's that?"

"Well, let's just say my perspective of things is a lot clearer now. And, I don't disagree with you … we do need to get the girls back to y'all. And … get this whole thing with the Woodbury resident resolved as soon as possible."

Is it possible this guy knew that The Governor was a psychopath? If he knew he was workin' for a maniac, why wouldn't he step in … do something?

"We're still on for the meeting; three days from today. And, all this will be over."

"Will ya be bringin' the girls with you?"

"I don't know exactly. I should be gettin' more details as we get closer as to how The Governor wants to do this exchange." He paused; he seemed flustered. "I've gotta figure some things out here on my end too …"

"If you could make sure he brings the girls with y'all …"

"I can't promise that, like I said … I got some shit I gotta work out here on my end. Just plan on bein' there … I'll make sure it goes according to plan."

"There's no plan here, Lt. We know he's got somethin' else in mind for us all. And, if you can't see that yet, well …"

I couldn't take another fuckin' second of this conversation, and I reached for the CB; snatching it from Rick's hands.

"Hello?! Hello …?!"

"Yes? Who's this?"

"This is … Maggie's husband … Glenn." I paused. "The father of her baby."

I was met with silence.

I whimpered.

"She had a little girl …?"

I didn't care if he heard me cry; I couldn't help it.

"Yes … she had a little girl. Governor told me …"

I steadied my sobs.

"Told ya what …?"

"He told me he was the father of the child."

I fuckin' lost it.

"That mother fucker isn't the baby's father! I am Maggie's husband! I am that baby's father!"

"Hey! Hey …! Calm down …" He paused. "It's just … well …Beth told me bout what happened at Woodbury. With you … and with Maggie."

"Beth told you …?"

"Yes. She did." He paused. "I … I didn't believe her … I didn't want to believe her."

"What'd she say …?"

I rubbed the back of my neck; my shoulders and neck were so tensed they were causing my head to hurt; the throbbing got harder and harder. I could hear the blood pulse through my skull; a loud thud erupted in my ear with every heartbeat.

"Beth told me about The Governor … and Maggie."

My stomach just about fell out of me; thought I was gonna get sick right then and there.

He continued.

"She said … that The Governor … is the father of the child."

I erupted at the Lt.

"He …is…not…the father!" I paused; my body trembling from anger; rage and from lack of strength. I could feel my knees buckling beneath me. I had barely eaten or slept this entire time and my body was literally giving out. But, I continued. "Not after what he did … to … her …!"

My words trailed off as I began to sob. It was all just too much for me. After everything that had happened to us, everything we'd tried to overcome … the obstacles, the pain, the hardships … it never ceased.

Rick grabbed the CB back outta my hands and I flopped back into one of the chairs on the other side of the desk; seated across from Rick. I let my head flop back on chair and covered my eyes with both of my arms … I wanted to block out the light; it was hurting my eyes. I wanted to block it all out.

"Lt. …? Ya do understand what we mean by what he did to her, right?"

"Yes, I believe I do."

"Ya can appreciate then why we're all so concerned here?"

"Yes. I do."

Rick sighed. Silence fell over the room, until Hershel motioned for the CB.

"I wanna talk to him."

Rick handed Hershel the CB.

"Lt.? This is Hershel Greene … I'm Maggie and Beth's father." He paused. "Ya seem like a nice enough fellow … we're all very worried about both the girls' conditions."

"Conditions? Somethin' wrong with Beth?"

Hershel eyes darted around the room quickly; he realized that the Lt. obviously didn't know about Beth. At least not yet. Hershel bit his lip as he continued. "There's nothin' wrong with Beth … I just wanted to know if she's okay. Ya did say you were the one lookin' after her, didn't ya?"

"Yes. I am." He paused. "Would ya like to speak with her?"

Everyone's eyes popped open; we all looked at each other.

Hershel excitedly continued.

"Well, yes … of course we'd like to speak with her."

"Hang on … I'll go get her."

A few moments passed and then we heard Beth's voice on the other end.

"Daddy …?"

"Hey sweetheart, how're ya doin'?"

Beth immediately started to cry.

"I'm fine, daddy. I'm just fine."

"And, Maggie …?"

"She had the baby, daddy." Beth whimpered. "Ya shoulda seen her … Maggie was so brave. She was so good." I could hear her sniffling on the other end, obviously overwhelmed by the whole experience. "She had a little girl, daddy. Oh my god, ya shoulda seen her … she's beautiful. She looks just like Maggie did in her baby photos."

Hershel let out a laugh amidst his tears.

"She does …?"

"Uh, huh. Just like her. Remember those pictures of Maggie that ya kept on the dresser in the hallway? The one where Maggie's mama is holdin' her out on the porch?"

"Course I do. That was taken the day after she came home from the hospital"

"She looks just like that. She's so pretty, daddy."

"And, how's Maggie?"

"She's okay, I guess. Ya know? Considering …"

There was silence for a couple of moments and then Beth returned.

"James just left the office, I only have a moment to talk."

Hershel's face became very serious.

"You're alone …?"

"Yes. He'll be back soon. But, I wanted to tell ya that Maggie's fine. I'm fine. The baby's fine … but this meeting? This meeting ya have scheduled with The Governor?"

"Yes dear?"

"It's a trap. He's plannin' somethin' awful. He told Maggie in private; made her so upset she went into labor. He's not plannin' on negotiating anythin'; he wants everyone dead. So, I don't want you, or Rick, or Daryl, or Glenn or anybody else goin' to this, okay? Ya can't!"

Rick grabbed the CB from Hershel.

"What all did Maggie say, Beth?"

"That it's a trap; he's plannin' on killin' everyone who shows up."

"Does Lt. James know about this?"

"I don't know. I don't think so … but, I can't be sure."

Rick looked stressed as he continued.

"Don't tell him ya told us."

"Should I ask him about it? See if he knows?"

"No, no … just go along with whatever he says. You've warned us; you've done more than enough. We can take it from here, Beth."

"But, I don't want y'all going. Maggie seemed really upset. I don't know everythin' he's got planned; just that he doesn't think anyone will survive. It's a massacre." Beth sobbed. "Is Daryl there …?"

I looked up and saw Rick starin' at me. I shook my head and shrugged my shoulders. I didn't know what we should tell her. Daryl had been gone for days; we hadn't seen him since the day I left him in the forest around Fort Benning. He didn't want to leave without tryin' to get to Beth. We hadn't heard from him and obviously Beth hadn't heard anythin' about him gettin' caught. So, for all we knew he was still out there wanderin' or he could be dead … walkers coulda got him. We had no idea.

"I'm sorry Beth, he's not here right now."

"Seriously? Again?"

"He's out … on a supply run."

Beth knew more than she was lettin' on.

"He was around here. I know he was. They found some of the soldiers here with their ears cut off; I overheard Lt. James talkin' bout it."

"Mmm, hmm …" Rick mumbled.

"Well? If he was here near Fort Benning a couple of days ago and he's not there now … where the hell is he? Is he okay …?" Her voice cracked as she most definitely was imagining the worst case scenarios in her head.

"I'm sure he's just fine. A supply run is all. He'll be back later today, tomorrow at the latest. Maybe the Lt. will let y'all talk then."

We could hear Beth cryin' on the other end.

"Why isn't he there …? I just needed to hear his voice …"

"Beth, it's gonna be okay. We just need ya to stay strong. We're gonna get ya outta there. Get Maggie outta there. Don't ya worry."

"Okay …" Beth sniffled. "Ya just remember what I said. Y'all be careful. Oh … hey James." Obviously, Lt. James was back in the room now. "When Daryl gets back, will ya tell him I love him?"

"Of course."

"And, tell him that our love is safe."

Rick looked up at me; he looked as about as confused as I was. I shrugged my shoulders.

"I will."

"Promise me you'll tell him … word for word. Our love is safe."

Then, I got it. She was talkin' about their baby. We knew Beth hadn't told the Lt. that she was pregnant, and she wanted to let us and Daryl know that the baby was safe … she was safe.

"Promise, Beth."

"Okay. Here's Lt. James. I love you all. Love ya Daddy."

"He guys, James here."


"Think we got all that settled now. Hope talkin' to Beth helps y'all understand where I'm comin' from over here. I want y'all to know I'm gonna do everythin' in my power to keep everyone involved in this safe. That's my goal here. No matter what you may think of The Governor; hopefully, now ya know a little more bout the kinda man I am."

"I think we're startin' to, Lt." Rick paused and looked up at all of us. "We're real grateful for ya lettin' us talk with Beth. Its good to know she's doin' alright. We appreciate it."

"Alright. Well, suppose I'll be seeing y'all soon." He paused. "If ya need anythin' before then, you know how to reach me."

"Thanks, Lt."

Rick signed off and shut the CB radio down. He looked up at all of us.

"Well, we got some serious plannin' to do." Rick sighed. "He's plannin' on killin' us all … so we gotta figure out a way to kill him first. Got three days to figure it out, so we best put our heads down and get to work."


The prison started buzzing … everyone was up and about; we had a war to prepare for. We'd done it before, but at least this time we knew it was comin' and we could figure out a plan to kill this bastard once and for all.

It had been Rick's mistake to not kill him the first time the met. I was pretty sure Rick didn't have any qualms killin' him now if he got the chance. At least, we could all agree on that.
The day turned to afternoon and finally the sun started to set. The remnants of light and faintly illuminated the prison yard. I watched from the guard tower as the walkers roamed about the grass yard just outside our fences. There weren't many of them; may a dozen pressed up alongside parts of the fence and another half dozen stumbling through the tall brush. My eyes scoured the perimeter.

And, then I saw a figure emerge from behind the trees … there was no awkward walker limp to his stride. This was a man. I reached for my binoculars.

Daryl … he'd made it back!

I mumbled to myself.

I made my way down the tower and got to the part in the fencing where I could let him in.

I opened part of the fence; getting it ready for him. Daryl continued through the brush; killin' a few walkers as he passed close by them. Immediately retrieving his bolts from their heads as he passed. Must've taken down ten walkers before he finally arrived at the fence.

He looked like all hell.

Covered head to toe in blood.

Walker blood. Human blood. I couldn't tell, but there was a thick layer all over his skin. The whites of his eyes looked bizarre against the darkness of the dead blood and guts that he'd obviously been wearin' as a walker repellant. As he approached, he didn't say a word. His bloodied eyelids blinking over the glare in his eyes.

I opened the gate and let him in; he walked past and slung his bow over his shoulder. As I locked up the gate, Daryl just continued up the hill and towards the prison yard.


He didn't turn around. "The hell?" I mumbled to myself and ran up towards him. "Daryl?!" I grabbed him on the shoulder and spun him around. "Where the hell have you been, man?"

Daryl just stared back blankly. Stone cold.

I assessed from the amount of gore he was covered in that Daryl had definitely killed himself quite a few walkers … and maybe some people too. Some of the blood was red on his boots. Walker blood isn't red; human blood is. Then, I noticed the ear necklace … he'd added dozens of ears to it.

"Jesus, man. What happened to you? Where were you?"

Daryl stared back; his eyes narrowed.

"Was out lookin' for my girl. How bout you … got Maggie back yet?"

He was really pissin' me off; what fuckin; nerve he had.


Daryl huffed and under his breath he mumbled. "Figured as much."

"Ya know what, Daryl? Go fuck yourself!"

"Go fuck myself?"

Daryl puffed up his chest and leaned down into me; his forehead pressed into mine.

"Ya sure ya want to be talkin' to me like that …?"

"Yeah …I'm sure."

Daryl slung his crossbow to the ground and lunged for me and tackled me to the ground. I could start to hear other people gather around us, but I couldn't hear what they were sayin'. I was so mad at Daryl for leavin' in the woods, for not bein' apart of this group and tryin' to get the girls back.

I was so fuckin' mad at him; I thought I could kill him.

Guess he felt the same way …

Daryl and I wrestled on the ground, each takin' a few shots at each other. Daryl landed two to the right side of my face, but I did get in a solid left hook that sent him to his back. By this time, Rick, Tyrese and the rest of the group was outside. Everyone was standin' around us. Rick and Carol held Daryl back, while Tyrese and Karen held me back.

Rick calmly stated, as he had Daryl's neck securely in a headlock.

"The hell is all this?"

I tried to lunge for him, but Tyrese grabbed a hold of the collar of my shirt and yanked me back.

"Son-of-a-bitch finally decides to show up." My breathing was hurried from the Greco-Roman wrestling match we'd just had on the pavement. "I called him out … and he fuckin' tackled me!"

"Let me go Rick, I don't wanna hurt you …" Daryl hissed at Rick.

Rick yanked him tighter. "I ain't lettin' go unless I know you got control of yourself.

Daryl huffed and puffed for a moment, until finally I could see the tension in his face and body start to disappear.

"I'm fine. Now let me fuckin' go!"

Rick let him go. Daryl just stood there starin' at the ground for a while, swayin' from side to side a bit.

Guess Rick had quite the hold on him; must've lost some blood flow to the head and it was makin' him woozy. He stumbled.

Carol yelped and ran over to prop him up. "Jesus, Daryl!"

Daryl shook her off of him. "Get off me bitch!"

Carol looked stunned; she hadn't been talked to like that in a long time … and she didn't like it one bit. Carol slapped him across his face.

"Where do ya get off talkin' to me like that?" She paused and looked him dead in the eyes. "Who the hell do ya think you are …?"

Her eyes narrowed; her lips tight. She was fuckin' pissed. She caught sight of his ear necklace and she pointed to it.

"What's this, huh?"

Daryl looked to the side; refusing to look at her.

"Who are you?" She paused and grabbed a hold of the necklace. "You done forgot who you are, Daryl Dixon." She ripped it off his neck and threw it to the ground. "This ain't you."

Daryl didn't even flinch. Carol just shook her head and started to walk away.

"What the hell d'ya know bout me anyways?"

Daryl defiantly responded. Carol whipped around to look at him.

"I know you're the kinda man we've all come to love … to respect. And, this … whatever ya got goin' right now; this ain't you."

Daryl's face softened.

"Ya know … ya got people here dependin' on you, Daryl. A whole group."

"Don't give me that … ya know I was lookin' for Beth."

Everyone just stood back and let the two of them have at it.

"Bullshit!" Carol walked up to Daryl. "I know you're worried about Beth. And, Maggie. We all are. But …"

Daryl was obviously gettin' agitated.

"Ya don't know bout worryin' …" Then Daryl stopped himself. He bit down hard on his bottom lip and looked away.

Sophia …

Carol knew exactly what it was like to be looking for someone you loved more than life itself; not knowing if you'd ever see them again. Carol knew better than any of us. And, for her … things hadn't worked out. It was the worst case scenario. Sophia had been killed. She'd turned. And, she had to be put down.

"Sophia …" Daryl mumbled. "I'm … I'm sorry …"

Daryl put his hands to his face and rubbed his hands back threw his greasy bloodied hair.

"Yeah. Sophia. Ya remember her? So, don't tell me I don't know what its like. I died the day she ran off into the woods."

Daryl looked back at her with sadness replacing the rage that had been residing behind his eyes. Like an exorcism; Daryl's demons; his hate seemed to be lifted from him. He took a deep breath and looked around; he seemed stunned, looking as if he'd seen us all for the first time right then and there. We all just stared back.

Rick finally chimed in.

"Ya alright, Daryl?"

"Yeah ... I'm fine."

Hershel walked over to him.

"Ya get bit?"


"Ya hurt anywhere, son?" Hershel seemed to be inspecting him for injuries. "There's an awful lot of blood here."

"Nah … like I said. I'm fine. And, the blood ain't mine."

Hershel looked up at him; he looked worried.

"Oh …? Guess ya had a rough couple of days then."

Daryl didn't respond and I couldn't help but fire off comments like goddamn machine gun; I was so fuckin' pissed at him.

"Yeah, must've had a real tough time out there." I walked closer. "While you were off killin' people, and takin' down random walkers … we were all here. Takin' care of business. Takin' care of this group …"

I paused and walked up closer to Daryl; Hershel stepped out in front of me; standing as a barrier between us.

"Ya know … we got that message to The Governor." Daryl's eyes lit up. "Yeah, while you were off tryin' to be Rambo, we were actually getting' shit done around here. And, that includes arrangin' a meetin' with The Governor in three days."

"Three days?"

"Yeah. And, we need supplies, weapons, ammo and … it's a fuckin' set up. He's gonna try to kill us all."

"That's a surprise." Daryl mumbled.

"Well, we know for sure." I paused. "Wanna know how I know?"

"An how's that … Glenn?"

"Because Beth told us …" I smugly responded.

Daryl's eyes darted up from the ground and met mine; his eyelids flickering as he tried to process this new information.

"Yeah … that's right. Beth told us."

"What do ya mean, Beth … told ya?"

I crossed my arms over my chest and tightened my lips.

"We've been communicating through a CB with the Governor's 2nd in command." I paused.

"And, he let Beth get on the CB … we just talked to her a couple of hours ago. Actually, we talked to her a couple of days ago too, but ya wouldn't know anythin' about that … cause ya weren't here then either!"

Daryl looked confused; disoriented almost.

"She … you … talked to her?"

Rick walked up to us and began to fill Daryl in on the events of the day and this last week.

"Yes, Daryl. And, she warned us about The Governor's plans. Maggie told her that The Governor admitted to her that we got our meeting … but he was gonna try to use to kill us. Probably an ambush of some kind, I'm guessin'."

"Yes. We were able to talk to her … and she warned us."

I couldn't help but rub it in.

"Know what else she told us? She wanted to talk to you. She wanted to know where you were at." I shook my head. "But, you weren't here."

I could see it physically happen … Daryl's heart broke right then and there. His knees buckled underneath him and he fell to the ground.

I wanted to feel sorry for him, but I didn't. I was still pissed. Maybe I was just hurt and angry at the whole situation. Maybe I was takin' it out on Daryl a bit; I don't know. But, there was only a little part of me that had any sympathy for him in this moment. I'd been left here to deal with this shit, while he was off goin' nuts in the woods.

I felt like he needed to man the fuck up and get it together … for all our sakes. We needed him; we all knew it. I knew it. And, I think that's why his little Rambo killin' spree really rubbed me the wrong way … I knew that without Daryl, we had little to no chance of gettin' Maggie or Beth back. And, I wanted Maggie back, and his mental breakdown was gettin' in the way of that. It's not like I didn't understand – because I obviously did. I was just angry …at The Governor; the situation and at Daryl for not makin' it any better.

Daryl started to sob uncontrollably on the ground; he fell back seated on the pavement with his head in his hands. Hershel went over to him and Carol knelt down beside him to comfort him.

Hershel patted him on the shoulder.

"Its alright son … let it out."

Daryl finally looked up and tried to steady his breath, which had become erratic and hurried.

"Is she okay?"

Hershel nodded.

"Yes. She's fine."

"And … the baby …?"

Rick walked over and knelt down beside Daryl, I could see the sympathy in his face. He felt bad for the guy.

"Beth told me to tell ya somethin', Daryl. She made me promise."

Daryl looked up; his steely eyes anxious to hear what Beth could've possibly wanted him to know.

"She told me to tell ya in these exact words … 'Our love is safe.'"

Daryl started to tear up.

"She said that?"

"Yes she did."

Daryl nodded his head as he understood quite clearly what her message was to him … their baby was safe. Beth was safe.

Daryl wiped the tears from his face with the inside of his sleeve and stood up, and then looked around at everyone.

"Sorry bout all that." Daryl looked over at me and I just gave him a quick nod. "I … I kinda lost myself out there the last couple of days."

Daryl walked over and picked up his crossbow off the ground and started up towards the prison yard.

Carol yelled over to him.

"Where ya think you're goin'?"

"I'm gonna get cleaned up; then I'm gonna head back out. We gotta get supplies. If it's an ambush, we're gonna need more weapons, ammo."

We all looked at each other and started walkin' back up to the prison behind him. As we were walkin' I could hear him mumblin' to himself.

"We're gonna need a lot more guns and ammo … and I know just where to find some."



So, it was good to check back in with the prison group and I was glad to finally bring Daryl home after his little adventure out in the woods ;)

Now that Daryl's back and he seems to have made it to the other side of his mental breakdown,
I've got some questions for y'all :)

QUESTIONS for my readers:

1. Do you think Daryl is completely back? He went off the reservation for a while and even killed people ... do you think he's mentally stable yet?

2. Lt. James is obviously more informed now, he's let Beth talk to the prison group, he seems to be open to the possibility that The Governor's a douchebag, but do you think he's going to do anything? Will he help now?

3. Lt. James completely disobeyed The Governor's orders not to tell the prison group about Maggie having her baby, and again when he let the group talk to Beth ... will this come back to bite him in the ass??

4. Do you think Glenn has the right to be pissed off at Daryl? Or, should he be more understanding? Will Glenn let him off the hook for abandoning the group?

So, let me know what you think; like it, love it, hate it ... let me know your thoughts. If you've got a moment, please leave me a note or comment on your way out ... I'd love to hear from you all :-D

** Also, I have Chapter 28 outlined and ready to get started on ... So, as soon as this chapter gets 6 reviews - I'll get started on on finishing the chapter and get it up as soon as I can!

To all of you that consistently review
I just want to thank you for your continued support and thoughtful comments.

Author's Note:
This review challenge is really more of inspiration for me; every time I see a new one comment - it really does make me smile every time I see a new review and let's me know that you guys are all enjoying the story as much as I enjoy writing it :-D

Here's a Teaser Chapter TWENTY-EIGHT:
Back at Fort Benning Lt James questions The Governor's motives about the "meeting" and "exchange" of prisoners, now that he knows the truth about Maggie and the baby. Lt. James talks to Beth about it; he assures her The Governor will not kill any of them - he'll make sure of it. He promises her. Beth and Lt James get a visitor.



oh my goodness. This is good. You have done an amazing job writing this. I am a little sad, I have reached the end and I like it so much. I need to finish it.... Im worried about what will happen. But I am excited

RedneckDaryl16 RedneckDaryl16

oh my goodness. This is good. You have done an amazing job writing this. I am a little sad, I have reached the end and I like it so much. I need to finish it.... Im worried about what will happen. But I am excited

RedneckDaryl16 RedneckDaryl16

This story is really good!!! I read My Guardian and I could not stop. I love Bethyl and Maggie and Glenn. I really hope you add to both stories...... I really cannot stop reading them.

Bethyl333 Bethyl333

This story is amazing! I love the way you're having The Governor be more like he was in the comics... poor Maggie! I also like that while this is mainly about Maggie and The Governor, you've put some Bethyl in there. Can't wait for the next chapter!

Anonymous101 Anonymous101

@The Viking

haha thanks:')

PizzaGlenn PizzaGlenn