My Guardian: Chapter Sixteen-Part Two
Hello y'all :-D
So, this next chapter is SUPER long. I originally decided to break it up into two parts ... but, it probably could have been broken up into four different chapters. Oh well ... At least you all get some longer chapters to read, right? ;-P
As always, thank you to everyone who is reading and following this story ... I appreciate it.
And, a Special Thank you to EG458561, Alice_Weekes, FictionIsTrue12, miss_mary, and FatMac for commenting on the last chapter - you all seriously rock!
I love you all! :))
Now ... back to our story ...
Beth's POV –
The rest of last night and all mornin' today, Nick's last words "Anythin' for you Beth" kinda got stuck in my head a little. I couldn't help but wonder what I was gonna do about this … about Nick.
Nick "likes" me likes me …
Thankfully, I didn't have to dwell on it for too long. The remainder of the day flew by as I decided to keep my head buried in a book; it was definitely a welcomed distraction. I searched the stack of books, and opted for the first book of the Lord of the Rings trilogy "The Fellowship of the Ring." It had been years since I last read it, and it certainly was an escape. Even though I knew the story, I still loved the characters and I especially loved that this story had a happy ending.
There was struggle, hardships, war and even death … but in the end … a happy ending.
Things went back to normal; people were able to come back from the things they'd seen and done. I thought it was fittin' given the circumstances of the world I know lived in.
I really need to know we can come back from this …
Even with Maggie's and Daddy's constant check ups, I was still able to keep myself engrossed in the pages of the book and stayed blissfully contented with my temporary vacation to Middle Earth.
It was late and I'd been reading by the light from a candle and lantern in my cell for the last couple of hours, when I heard a knock on my cell wall, and a familiar voice.
"Can I come in, Beth?"
I put a tab on the page I was reading and set the book aside.
"Sure, come on in."
Nick walked in and pulled up a chair right next to the edge of the bed.
"So, what did ya decide on?"
"Lord of the Rings. I just loved these books when I first read them, so I figured I'd read em again." I said excitedly.
I could tell by the look in Nick's eyes that he thought I might be half crazy.
"Ya already read em?"
From his response; I figured he'd certainly never read a book twice that's for sure. Hell, I wondered if he'd even read a book all the way through even once. I giggled under my breath at the thought and continued.
"Uh, huh … they're sooo good though." I grabbed the book next to me and held it up briefly for him to see. "See … I'm already on the second book, The Two Towers!"
"Jesus! Ya can read fast can't ya?"
I laughed. "No, not really. I mean, I read for about 5 hours yesterday and all day today, so … that ain't too fast. I just didn't have nothin' else to do, is all."
"Oh, I guess … maybe you're right. It has been a while since I dropped em off." Nick paused, reached over and brushed some wisps of hair back behind my ear. "It's been a while … I missed ya."
I looked away from him and I didn't know what to say to that. So, I just said the first thing that came to my head and blurted it out.
"Oh …? Thank you …?"
I mean, what do you say to that …?
Nick just stared back intently at me. And, even though all we had was the light from a candle and lantern in the cell, it was enough for me to see the expression on his face. And, if I didn't know any better, I'd say he was lookin' at me with what daddy had once called "puppy dog eyes" … the eyes of a boy in love.
I nervously started to laugh. "What? What's that look for?"
Nick smiled. "It's just … well, I thought bout ya all night last night … and I been thinkin' bout ya all day today, Beth."
"Oh …ummm." I tried to quickly change the subject. "So, The Lord of the Rings … do ya want to know why I picked it to read?"
Nick just nodded and gazed back at me.
"Well, have ya read the book?"
Nick nodded no.
So, I continued to explain to him why I chose to read the book; hopin' we could stop talkin' bout how much he missed me; it was just too weird …
"Well … there's all kinds of creatures and monsters, an evil villain, and the characters face challenges and death everyday." I paused. "Kinda like us, I guess." I paused again. "But, even though there's all this bad stuff goin' on and all these awful things happen to the characters … there's still a happy ending to it all. I like that …"
I have to believe that we can come back from this …I hope we can …
"Uh, huh …" Nick reached up and started to gently caress my hand nearest to him. I tried to pull my hand away, but he quickly moved his other hand on top; trapping my innocent little hand in his.
I looked down at my captured hand and fumbled to get the words out. "Umm…Nick …"
Nick interrupted me. "Hey … Hey …"
He looked deep into my eyes; I felt like a deer in headlights. Stunned.
I didn't want him to be holdin' my hand, but I also didn't want to be rude either. So, I just sat there and let him continue to hold my hand.
There was nothin' wrong with a friend holdin' your hand. At least that's what I kept tellin' myself.
Maybe he just wanted to talk? Maybe he just needed a friend?
Ya never know …
"So, ya like a happy endin'? Is that what you're lookin' for … ya know … for yourself?"
"Well, I suppose … I mean … who isn't?" I stated very matter-of-factly.
Nick gave me a sly smile. "That would make ya happy?"
I found that nervous laugh had made its way back to my lips. I stuttered a bit as I continued.
"Sure, I guess so. But, I wonder sometimes …" I paused. "If that might be a little too much to ask for in this world, ya know what I mean? Probably should just be happy to be alive ..."
I looked away from him; feelin' just a little saddened by the reality of my statement.
There may not be any happy endings anymore … maybe not for me … or for anyone for that matter.
Nick lifted my chin back over to him with the tip of his finger and looked me straight in the eyes.
"Ya can still have your happy endin' Beth. Ya can …"
All I could think about was Daryl; my mind kept goin' back to the last week or so he'd stayed by my side while I was sick.
Daryl was my happy ending …no matter what we faced. As long as he came home to me; I'd find a happy ending to my story every time.
"Well … I hope so … I really do."
"Ya can, I promise ya Beth." Nick seemed like he was deep in thought, when finally he looked back at me; a delirious half smile crept up on his face. "Ya can still have it all … and I wanna give it to you."
"He's crazy!" I immediately thought to myself.
I instinctively pulled my hand away from his.
"What d'ya mean by that, Nick?"
I shook my head a little. I felt confused and I was gettin' a bit frustrated.
What the hell was he thinkin'?
"It's just that I think you and I … we could make our own happy endin' here … at the prison."
"Oh …umm … no I don't think so, Nick."
Nick raised his eyebrows; like a light went off in his head. He'd come up with some grand idea.
"I mean, we don't gotta to stay here … we can go wherever ya want to go! But, me and you … we could make it work … together."
My eyes widened and my mouth was agape. I tried to compose myself before continuing.
"Wait … What?!" My head crooked to the side, as I tried to assess this guy sittin' next to me. My
eyes narrowed. "What the hell are ya talkin' bout?"
I stared back intently. I crossed my arms; my lips pursed with displeasure.
I'd always thought Nick was a really nice guy, but I was seriously reconsidering his sanity at this point.
I looked over at Nick and he looked … hopeful. It was totally weird.
I guess I gotta set him straight …
So, I continued.
"Nick … I think we gotta talk …" I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. "I … I don't think we're on the same page here …"
"What d'ya mean? Course we are!" He paused and reached for my arm again, but I leaned away from him so that he missed my arm …and instead his hand landed directly on my thigh.
I rolled my eyes and shook my head. I glared back at him.
I hadn't wanted to a bitch or be rude, but Nick was makin' it nearly impossible for me to be nice. I really never had a reason to be a "bitch" before, so I wasn't very good at it. So, I did my best to muster what I could; I tried to channel my inner mean girl.
"Seriously, Nick. Ya need to stop."
He didn't remove his hand from my thigh.
"Stop what …?"
Nick responded as if he didn't know exactly what I was talkin' about.
My face scrunched up and I just stared back at him angrily. He must've seen it on my face.
"Wait! Just wait a second … and hear what I have to say. Alright?"
I exhaled deeply and rubbed my hands over my face; I was exasperated by this conversation. And, his constant attempts for physical contact with me were seriously gettin' on my nerves … and that's a real hard thing to do. I'm usually very easy goin' and not much can get under my skin, but Nick was really pushin' me to my limits.
Then I thought to myself, "Let him talk … and then maybe he'll leave …"
"Me and you … we'd make a great team, I think." My eyes widened as I listened to him continue to go on and on … talkin' bout how great we'd be together. I couldn't freakin' believe it.
I had just wanted to blurt out, "Nick … I'm with Daryl now! So, just stop it!" But, I couldn't … we were supposed to be keepin' this just between the two of us for now.
What the hell and I supposed to do?
I didn't want to have this conversation with him, and I really didn't know what to say to him, so I figured I'd just ask him to leave.
"Nick! Maybe you should just go. I don't think …"
"Shh …" I replied quietly.
He paused and reached his hand towards my face; I flinched and closed my eyes. With my face held in his hand; he touched my bottom lip with his thumb. I felt the blood rush to my face; flushed with anger.
Up until this point, I'd felt angry, irritated, but now … I was startin' to feel very uneasy about bein' all alone with him in my cell …
I just sat there as still as I could.
"Open you're eyes, Beth. Look at me." He looked at me suggestively. "I mean … you're a great woman." He leered at me a piece of meat as he continued. "And … we want the same things, and …"
I looked away and quietly insisted that he go.
"Nick? Can ya please just go … now!"
Nick leaned back in his chair.
"Nah … not until we finish this conversation. It's long overdue."
I was feelin' more and more uncomfortable with every passin' moment. I half thought about screamin' out for Maggie or daddy; for someone to help - but I didn't.
I really don't want to cause a scene.
He smiled at me, but this time his smile wasn't feelin' all that innocent. His eyes narrowed a bit as he continued.
"Listen, the way I figure it … you want your happy endin' … like that fairytale shit ya been readin' bout in your books. I can give that to you." He paused and rubbed his chin. "Plus, I really like you."
I just had to say somethin' …
"Well, ya have a strange way of showin' it, Nick."
"Well, I do. I really like you … and …" He smiled slyly and shook his finger at me. "I can tell ya like me too ..."
Course he didn't give me enough time to answer him, because if he did I would have told him that I didn't think of him that way. But, he kept on rambling.
"I mean, damn! Can you imagine if we got together; got married? I mean, Jesus! We'd have beautiful babies, wouldn't we?"
Babies?! What the …?
"Hold on a second, Nick! Ya gotta stop!"
I sat up in my bed and spoke to him calmly. I needed him to stop; needed him to know I was serious; however, Nick was actin' crazy; like I was already his girl or somethin'. He was actin' like a total caveman. I felt at any moment he was gonna knock me over the head and drag me to his cell by the hair!
"Be calm and be assertive," I thought to myself.
"Listen … I don't know where this is all comin' from … but that is NOT gonna happen."
Nick started to laugh.
"Jesus Beth, why're ya playin' all hard to get with me? Ya don't to got to do that. I mean, really."
"I am NOT playin' anythin' with ya here. I'm actually tryin' to be honest with ya. Me and you … that's never gonna happen."
Nick seemed confused as to why I wouldn't want to be with him.
"Why? I mean, we could have it all, Beth."
He just isn't gettin' it …
Since I couldn't tell Nick about Daryl; I just focused on what I could do … let him know that I just wasn't interested and this conversation was over!
"Ya know, Nick … you're a good guy, ya really are, but … I just don't feel that way about you. Okay?"
Nick looked in better spirits than I would've thought.
He seems to be takin' the news well …
Nick nodded his head and smiled.
"Well, that don't matter much, Beth. I like you and that's all that matters. And, I'm more than willin' to wait for ya to feel the same way I do."
I was stunned … all I could do was stare back blankly. I was at a loss for words at this point.
"It's not like ya gotta lot of choices these days for a mate, Beth. Look around ya … it's the end of the fuckin' world."
Nick's eyes narrowed a bit and his voice became more authoritative.
"Ya need a man that's gonna be able to protect ya and provide for you. And, I can do that. Ya don't have to love me. Hell, ya don't even have to like me … like that. As long as ya respect me … we can still create a real life together."
"I … I do … respect ya, Nick." I paused. "But, I do think there's more to it than that. I'm really sorry …"
"Don't be sorry. Just be open to the idea that you and I could work."
He obviously wasn't gettin' the whole "I'm not interested in you" tactic, so I decided to give him a more practical reason for my disinterest in his "offer." I thought this would help get the point across to him.
I was as stoic and serious as I continued.
"It's just … ya know …? I'm only 18. I'm a little young to be thinkin' bout all that. I'm not thinkin' bout a relationship, or marriage … and I'm certainly not thinkin' bout havin' kids right now! I'm sorry, but we all got jobs here and I ain't interested in any of that right now."
Nick laughed, which I gotta say was eerie at best.
"What're ya talkin' bout? I mean, we don't know how long we got in this life anymore. Why would ya wanna wait? Think about it, Beth … this time next year you we could have a real life … with kids … the whole thing!" He paused for a moment and got serious. "Ya know, bein' that we're some of the last people alive … we got responsibility to … ya know? Repopulate."
He did not just go there!
I rolled my eyes and growled. "Excuse me!"
"Ya heard me." He bit his bottom lip and sat back on the chair. "You got a responsibility as a woman … to repopulate the earth. Ya know that, right?"
"Nick, you are outta line. And, I think ya should leave … now!"
Nick leaned in quickly and grabbed a hold of arms.
"No! I ain't leavin' just yet."
It all happened so fast, he really startled me. My breathing was hurried, so I tried to calm myself.
"Nick … let go of me …"
I could feel the tears of frustration start to well up in my eyes,. He just stared back at me intensely, until he finally let go of my arms.
"Now, don't go cryin' bout it, Beth. This is just a fact of life now. Ya gotta understand that."
I froze; I didn't know what to say.
"I can take care of ya. And, I see ya with the baby … Judy?" He paused and crossed his arms over his chest. "You're real good with her. You'll make a real good mother."
A tear slipped down my cheek. It wasn't from fear … just from complete frustration.
I was exhausted.
"Ahh … come on, Beth. Don't be like that." He reached over and wiped the tear from my cheek.
"I'm sorry … I know I can be a little intense sometimes." He bit his lip and paused for a moment; lookin' me up and down. He then shook his head. "Sorry bout that. It's just when I get excited, sometimes … well … I get a little carried away, is all."
"Nick … I'm not feelin' so well …"
"Ya want me to get somethin' for ya?"
I nodded my head no.
"No … I just need some sleep I think. Do you mind …?" I gestured for the door.
"Okay, no problem. We can finish this conversation another time." He paused and stared intently at me. "Alright?"
I just nodded my head. "Mmm, hmm."
I kept my eyes lookin' away; I couldn't even look at him right now.
Nick stood up and leaned down and kissed the top of my head.
"I'll just get outta here and let ya get some sleep then."
I dared to look up and watched Nick walked through the doorway. He turned around one last time.
"Night, Beth. I'll see ya tomorrow then."
I couldn't even answer him … I just looked away. I was just completely stunned. And, before I could say another word he was gone.
"Thank god," I whispered to myself.
Maybe Daryl was right bout him? Daryl got a bad feelin' bout Nick, and maybe he was right …
I really couldn't even begin to process what had just happened. But, what I did know was that I didn't want him comin' right back, so I quickly turned off the lantern and blew out the candle and laid there in the dark … wishin' with all my might that Daryl was there.
And, I thought about what woulda happened if Daryl was there; if he'd walked into my cell and kicked Nick out.
I imagined that entire scenario playin' out …
I figured things with Daryl and Nick could easily escalate. Nick was obviously not in his right mind, and Daryl … well, Daryl was gonna be real upset bout all this. I knew Daryl would do anythin' to protect me … plus, he could be a bit of hot head at times.
This whole thing could really blow up! Might end up in a fight … or worse. One thing I knew for sure, was that it would cause a scene here.
Maybe I shouldn't even tell Daryl…?
I thought about whether or not I would tell Daryl when he got back. Maybe I could just tell Maggie and have her talk to Nick … maybe that would work. The more I thought about it, the more I thought that tellin' Daryl was a bad idea.
I don't want to cause trouble around here …certainly not for Daryl. Not because of me ...
I didn't want to keep things from Daryl, but I also didn't want to lie to him. I was just really startin' to get afraid of how Daryl was gonna react.
I wasn't sure if Daryl was gonna be mad at Nick; mad at me; or maybe even the both us ...
Daryl's POV –
As I drove around the bend, I could finally see the prison.
"Goddamn! I ain't never been so glad to see those prison walls."
I never woulda thought I could come to think of this prison as home … but it was now. The prison was my home and Beth was my home now … and she was in there … and I couldn't fuckin' wait to see her.
I was so excited I reached over and slapped Glenn in the arm. He looked over at me and scowled as he rubbed his arm.
"Jesus, Daryl! What's gotten into you?"
"What d'ya mean?"
"Just ya been … well? A little bit of a dick this run."
"What the hell do ya mean, I was a dick?"
"You know exactly what I'm talkin' bout. You were kinda of an asshole to all of us. It's not really like you, is all."
Glenn crossed his arms over his chest; he looked like he was a kid startin' to pout.
My eyebrows raised. "Sorry if I wasn't all smiles on this run. Got shit on my mind. Plus, we had a close call an everythin' …"
Glenn looked over at me and rolled his eyes.
I drove up to the front gate and they immediately opened. I drove through and Tyrese and Sasha followed in the SUV behind us.
"So, I was in a bad mood. The hell? I gotta be in a good mood every time we go out?"
"Yeah, I guess man … it's just …"
We pulled up to the prison in the main yard. Rick, Karen, Maggie and a few others started to file out the main entrance of the prison.
I stopped the truck.
"It's just nothin'." I looked at Glenn; the look of disappointment was obvious on his face, so I continued. "Hey …? Everyone's got their supplies, their food, everythin' they need. What's the problem?"
I paused and looked over at Glenn whose eyes had turned to Maggie as she was makin' her way towards the truck.
I could see the look on Maggie's face. How happy she was, how relieved she was that Glenn had returned in one piece. And … I started to feel like a real ass.
I wasn't the only one who was missin' someone they loved while we were out on this run. Maggie and Glenn had been doin' this for a long time now. Bein' gone from each other, wonderin' if the other was gonna return from a run … and Glenn was never in a shitty mood about it. He just did what needed to be done. Not like I hadn't done everything that I was supposed, cause I did. It's just … I guess I had let my feelin's for Beth really fuck with my head; put me in a real bad mood to be away from her.
I nudged Glenn in the shoulder.
"Hey … I'm sorry man."
I bit my bottom lip anxiously waitin' for his reply.
"It's fine. I mean, I knew somethin' was up with you … just didn't know what."
"Yeah … jus had some things I was chewin' on. Guess I was a little on edge. And, then we got jammed up with all those walkers … damn!" I paused and shook my head. "Won't happen again though."
"Sure." Glenn waved back at Maggie who was almost at the truck. "Jus make sure to say somethin' to Tyrese and Sasha. I mean, they saved our asses out there … And I know you can be a real pain in the ass sometimes …but I'm used to it."
Glenn started to laugh and I just shook my head.
"I'll talk to em. Don't worry bout it." I tilted my head; gesturin' for Glenn to look out the window of the truck. Maggie was waitin' for him to get out. "You're woman's waitin' for ya … go on now."
Glenn opened the door to the truck and jumped out. Maggie immediately wrapped her arms around his neck and jumped up on him; wrappin' her legs around his waist. She was kissin' him like they hadn't seen each other in weeks or somethin'.
"Jesus, you two! Get a room!"
Maggie snickered and put her head on Glenn's shoulder.
"Thanks for bringin' him back in one piece, Daryl. I appreciate it."
"Uh, huh …"
I went to the back and started to unload the truck. Rick met me at the back and started unpack with me.
"Hey, so how'd the run go?"
Rick looked exhausted. This whole illness; The Governor … it'd taken its toll on him for sure. Looked to me like he'd aged a few years just in the last couple of weeks.
I nodded and quietly replied.
"Good. It went good."
"Yep. I mean, Glenn and I … ran into a little trouble out there, but Tyrese and Sasha were able to help us out. It was a good thing they came with us this time." I scratched the back of my head.
"And, we got pretty much everythin' on the list." I paused as I lifted a heavy box down off the back of the truck. "Course we're gonna need to go back out soon if we want to start gettin' a surplus goin' again. And …"
I jumped up into the back of the truck and opened up the locker in the back and pulled out a large tarp filled with meat from the deer I killed earlier this mornin'. I pulled it to the tailgate and patted it with my hands.
"Got some fresh deer meat jus this mornin' … we're all gonna eat real good tonight."
Rick feigned a smile and nodded his head; there was little to no emotion on his face.
"That's great, Daryl. Really great."
Everyone continued to unpack both vehicles. Carol even came down and made an inventory; tellin' everyone where each of the supplies was supposed to go. She was always real good at managin' our "household" here at the prison.
Carol finally made her way over to me and nudged me in the shoulder.
"Hey Pookie … how'd it go?"
I shook my head and laughed.
"Went fine. We got all the supplies on the list … and even brought back some deer and squirrel meat."
"Yeah, Rick told me. That was awful nice of you." Carol smiled sweetly.
I jumped back into the bed of the truck grabbing the rest of the supplies and unloaded them.
"So … how's … everythin' here?"
I kept my eyes lookin' down into the box of supplies, doin' my best to avoid eye contact with Carol.
Carol laughed. "She's fine, Daryl."
"Damn, woman. Keep it down."
"What …?" Carol giggled quietly. "That is what you were askin' about, wasn't it? Ya wanted to know how Beth was …?"
Carol bit her lip tryin' to keep the huge grin that eventually made its way to her face.
Although Carol was bein' a bit of pain in my ass bout everythin', I still wanted to know how everythin' went while we were out.
"Well …?" I grunted.
Carol placed her hands on her hips.
"Don't get all short with me, Daryl Dixon. I won't have any part of it."
I exhaled and shook my head.
She was right. Here I was doin' it again … bein' a bit of an ass …
"Sorry Carol. Didn't mean nothin' by it."
Carol paused and squatted down beside one of the boxes; looking through and started to make an inventory list.
"Everythin' is fine around here. Everyone's feelin' better. Beth is fine. Judy's fine. We're all just glad y'all made it back safe, Daryl. Ya ain't got nothin' to worry bout. Okay …?"
I nodded; my eyes made their way to the ground.
"Hey … I'm gonna head on in … y'all got this from here?"
Carol looked up at me and smiled.
"Sure do, Pookie. Ya can go on in and see her if ya want. She's still in her room."
I rolled my eyes.
Carol always had a way of knowin' exactly what I was thinkin' … I hated that shit sometimes.
"Alright. See ya in there."
As I walked up to the prison entrance, I saw Tyrese and Sasha sittin' on one of the tables outside. They were talkin' with each other, but I figured now was as good of time as any to apologize. I wasn't much good at sayin' sorry, so I gave it my best shot and walked over to em.
"Hey … I … umm…" I paused and started to chew on the skin around my thumb. "I … umm … wanted to apologize. I know I was kind of an ass this run. Just wanted to say I was sorry, an all."
Tyrese and Sasha both looked up at me; their faces both had the same expression.
Guess they weren't expectin' any apologies from me?
They both looked a little shocked.
Tyrese reached his hand up to shake my hand.
"No hard feelin's … everyone's got their off days, right?"
I nodded. "Sure. It's no excuse but …"
Sasha stood up real quick and took a couple steps closer to me; made me lose my train of thought.
Sasha walked up and hugged me.
"I'm just glad we were there. I don't know what this group would do without ya, Daryl." She paused and smiled. "And, yeah! You were kind of an asshole at times, but … that's alright." She gently pushed me in the shoulder. "Just make sure it doesn't happen again, alright?"
I couldn't tell at first if she was bein' serious, but then she started to laugh really hard.
"Damn, Daryl. Can't ya take a joke? Geez! No seriously, it's fine. Don't even worry bout it."
She continued to laugh and sat back down.
"Alright then … so … we're all good then?"
I looked at both Tyrese and Sasha. They both smiled and almost in unison responded.
"Okay. Well … I'll see you two later."
As I walked into the prison, I couldn't help but feel a little bad that I hadn't been in a better mood out on our run. Glenn knew it was an off couple of days. But, Tyrese and Sasha didn't know me as well yet … and they seemed cool as hell. And, as it turns out … they were both pretty badass; they got me and Glenn outta a serious bind on this run.
"We can always use a little badass around here," I thought to myself.
I made a promise to myself as I walked up the catwalk up to Beth's cell. I'd really have to make a point to keep my head in the game while out on the road. Of course, I'd be missin' Beth, but I was gonna need to keep that shit in check while all the others were dependin' on me … Glenn, Tyrese, Sasha and whoever else was out on the run with me. We all had jobs here and this was mine … so I was gonna need to be able to do my job and not be worryin' bout Beth the entire time I was gone. It wasn't fair to everyone in the group, and it sure as hell wasn't fair to whoever was out on the run with me.
It was my first time away from Beth like this, so I wasn't gonna get to down on myself bout it. I was, however, gonna make a point for it to never happen again.
I got responsibilities … I don't have that luxury anymore. I gotta be okay for this group to survive.
As I approached Beth's cell; I could feel my stomach was in knots.
I had "butterflies" as Beth would often call em.
I walked right up into the doorway and knocked on the doorway. Beth's eyes immediately popped up and looked at me; however, I coulda sworn she looked upset, or angry or somethin'. But, then she realized it was me; her eyes softened and she smiled.
"Daryl … you're home …" Beth reached her arms up towards me. She quietly replied. "I missed you. Come here."
I walked over to her and sat on the edge of the bed and fell into her arms. I looked deeply into her eyes and touched her face softly. She smiled sweetly and couldn't help but kiss her right then and there.
"Hey Bethy …"
I took just a few moments to place a couple of soft kisses on her lips before pullin' away to look at her again. I felt like I hadn't seen her in ages. I held her tightly in my arms and she scooted closer to me on the bed.
"I missed you, Daryl." She looked to be tearin' up a bit. "I really missed you …"
I smiled. "Yeah ..? I missed ya too …"
With that she pulled herself tighter to me and wrapped her arms so tightly around my neck I could barely breathe. My eyes popped open from the amount of pressure she was puttin' on my neck.
I laughed and pretending like she was really chokin' me. "Damn, Beth!" I reached for her arms to loosen her grip. "Hey, hey … it's alright. I'm back now." I paused and touched the soft skin on her cheek. "Everythin' went real good out on the run. Real good …"
Beth looked relieved. "I'm so glad."
"Yeah. Went great. Well …" I knew it really hadn't been "great" exactly. We had run into some trouble, and I'm sure the others probably didn't have the best time ever out there on the road with me. But, all in all, it was a successful run. "Well, we got everythin' on the list. So, that's good."
"Somethin' happen …?"
Beth looked a little concerned, and I really didn't want to worry her. I found my eyes look away from her and they darted around her cell while I figured what I was gonna say for now.
"Nahh … everythin' is fine. Nothin' for ya to worry bout …"
I hadn't finished my sentence, when I noticed a rather large bouquet of flowers on the crate near here bed. I bit my bottom lip and looked over at Beth.
"You're daddy bring ya those …?"
Beth's eyebrows arched way up; she looked like I caught a kid stealin' a cookie from the cookie jar.
"Oh, those …?"
"Yeah … those … your daddy or Maggie bring em?"
Beth just stared back for a moment; I could tell she was thinkin' bout what she was gonna say to me … which was unlike her …
Finally, she abruptly answered.
"No. Daddy didn't bring em." She paused and tried to change the subject. "So, ya mentioned you were able to get everythin' on this run … that's great, Daryl. We really needed that, huh?"
She gave me a sweet smile, but I knew she was hidin' somethin' … she was a terrible liar.
"The hell, Beth?!" I looked at her intently. "Who brought ya the flowers? It's a simple enough question."
She looked a little uneasy but then she gave me a half smile and answered.
"Oh, those … uh … Nick brought those to me." I could feel my blood start to boil, just at the sound of his name. "He brought me those … and some books to read."
"Nick was in here? In your room?"
"Yeah … he just dropped em off. Wanted to see how I was doin', I guess." Beth shrugged her shoulders and looked down and then back up at me. "No big deal. Really …"
"How come you're actin' all weird then …?" I paused while she meekly looked into my eyes. I could feel my lips tighten. I gazed back at her more intensely and continued. "Hmm …?"
"I ain't actin' weird, Daryl. You're … actin' weird!"
I stood up.
"What the hell is goin' on here? You're actin' stranger than a raccoon wanderin' round in the daylight. Somethin' ain't right!" I crossed my arms. "Now … ya got somethin' ya wanna to tell me …?"
Beth exhaled deeply and did her best attempt at a smile.
You're startin' to piss me off, girl! Better start talkin' …
"It's nothin' really …" She paused. "Nick just came up to visit me for a bit, is all."
"And …? Go on …" I paused. "And, did somethin' happen?"
"We were just talkin' is all."
"Okay … so why the hell are ya actin' like ya got somethin' you're hidin'?"
Beth looked away. "I ain't hidin' nothin'."
"What …? Did somethin' happen between you two?"
Beth looked up at me.
"Ahh, shit … here it comes," I thought to myself.
I knew somethin' like this might happen. Me and Beth … it was all too good to be true. I could feel the water buildin' behind my eyes. My breathing became hurried as I waited for her answer.
Beth would never cheat on me, right? Especially, not with that asshole!
"No, no, no … it's not that. Nothin' like that, Daryl. I would never!"
And, I didn't think she would ever do anythin' like that, but I couldn't figure out what it could be that had her so beside herself.
"So, what's with all this then? The flowers, the books … was he up here hittin' on you? Is that it?"
I could hear Beth gulp as she tried to swallow. "He was up here. We talked, is all. And …"
"And, what …?!"
Beth looked up at me; she seemed real worried, so I sat back down next to her on the mattress.
"Go on …"
"I'm afraid to tell ya … I don't want ya to get mad."
"Stay calm," I reminded myself.
"I won't get mad." I tried to reassure her. "Promise …"
I braced myself for what she was about to say. From the look on her face, it wasn't good.
She reached over and put her little hands in mine. With the touch of her skin on mine, I immediately felt connected to her.
"Well … it's just … he was definitely hittin' on me … you could say."
"I knew that fucker wasn't gonna keep the hell away from you. Damn!" I paused. "And, what else?"
"He … umm … was pretty persistent. He kinda … made me feel pretty uncomfortable with everythin'."
"What d'ya mean … uncomfortable?"
"He was talkin' to me bout how much he liked me." She paused and bit her lip; looking at me nervously. "Bout how he thought me and him had a future together. Ya know … stuff like that."
"Really …?" I grumbled.
I could feel the anger buildin' inside me and … something else. Something I had never really felt before …
I didn't even want him near Beth. Now come to find out he was tryin' to make moves on her. Talkin' to her like that … I felt like beatin' his fuckin' ass.
"Yeah … he was … well, he was just real adamant bout the whole thing. I knew I couldn't tell him bout us … I tried to reason with him. Finally, I just tried to get him to leave, but …"
My ears perked up; when she said she "tried" to get him to leave. That means he didn't.
"Somethin' happen?" I looked over at Beth; she seemed worried. "Well …? Did somethin' happen?" With every word that came out of my mouth, I grew angrier and angrier. I hissed.
"Beth …did he do somethin' to ya?"
Beth shook her head.
"No, he … he didn't do nothin'. He … umm … just didn't take no for an answer. I kept tellin' him I wasn't interested … but he just kept on …"
"He wouldn't leave ya alone then, is that it?"
Beth moved closer, so that we were now face to face.
She bit her bottom lip. "I didn't know what to do … and … well; he kinda scared me a little, is all." Beth batted her lashes and looked away.
I clenched my jaw … and I saw red …
I lost it …
I stood up and reached for the vase of flowers and marched for the doorway.
"I'm gonna crack this fuckin' glass upside his fuckin' head."
I didn't get to far, when I felt her thin arms wrap around me as she struggled to keep me in the cell with her.
"Daryl! Please … stop!" Beth held on tightly; her arms wrapped around my waist. "Stop it!
Please come back in here … it's not worth it."
"I'm gonna kick his fuckin' ass. Let go …!"
"Daryl … please don't cause a scene. It's fine, really."
Beth grabbed a hold of me tighter; using all of her body weight to keep me in the cell. "He's harmless. I promise …" Her head pressed against my back; the rest of her body pressed against me. I'd wanted to rip Nick's head off, but with her embrace … her voice … I couldn't help but do as she asked.
I stopped and just closed my eyes.
I took a few deep breaths.
It felt so good to be so close to her again …
I grabbed a hold of hand that was clutched around my chest.
"What should I do then? I can't let him get away with that. I told ya there was somethin' wrong with that guy. And, I don't like the fact that he thinks he can come up here talkin' to ya like that." I opened my eyes and turned around; the vase of flowers still in my hands. "And, I certainly can't let him go around scarin' ya. That's somethin' I will never allow. Not to my girl."
Beth smiled and touched my face.
"I know. But, maybe we should talk bout it a little before ya go off and start rippin' his head off … okay?"
I stared down at Beth; my eyes soften with every moment. However, it didn't stop the feelin' in my gut, which was tellin' me to go put my fist through Nick's face.
"Somethin's off in him … I can feel it, Beth."
"I know, I know …" Beth grabbed the vase and threw the flowers in the trash. "There … they're gone."
"Well, that makes it all better now, doesn't it?" I paused and we stood there in silence for a minute before I continued. "What'd he do … what'd he do that made ya feel like ya did?"
Beth looked up at me and smiled.
"Nothin' really … Just the way he was talkin' bout "our" future. It was creepy, I guess."
"Why didn't ya call for someone? " I paused. "Hmm?" I grunted. My eyes continued to search hers for answers.
"It was late … I didn't want to cause a scene …"
"Well, that's dumb as all hell. Ya felt scared, but ya didn't want to cause a scene?"
I shook my head. Beth was real sweet, but she could be real naïve sometimes. I don't think she really understands that not all men are nice guys.
This guy Nick at best has ulterior motives, and at worst … well, hell, I don't even wanna think bout it.
"Thought ya said Nick was a nice guy …"
Beth laughed a little, but I could tell that whatever he did … he'd shaken her up a bit. Even if she didn't want to admit it to me … or to herself.
"He is … I guess. Maybe it was just in my imagination …"
She smiled and looked up at me; I could tell she was lookin' at me to see if I was buyin' this load of horseshit she was sellin'.
"Mmm, hmm … now ya imagined it?"
"Yeah, maybe …"
Even she wasn't buyin' it …
"Listen, I don't know why ya feel like ya gotta hide this … or sugar coat this for me. But, I am gonna talk to him bout all this."
"Daryl, please … I don't want ya gettin' into a fight or nothin'. People don't even know we're together yet. He doesn't know that. I'm sure if he did, he wouldn't have said the things he said."
She caressed my face. "I don't want this to cause any trouble, Daryl … we're gonna have to find another way to work this out."
"Maybe you're right. Either way, me and Nick Foster are gonna need to have us a little talk." I pulled Beth close to me. "But, in the meantime … I want ya stayin' away from him. Got it! I mean it this time … I don't wanna hear bout anymore conversations, late night visits to your cell, walks around the yard. He's bad news … he's trouble, Beth."
"Alright, alright. I promise I'll stay away."
"And, if he comes to you …?"
"I'll walk the other direction. Deal?'
"Mmm, hmm." I grumbled, finally droppin' the subject … for now.
Then, Beth got a mischievous smile on her face and reached over and pulled the sheets down over the bars of her cell; blockin' the view of anyone who might pass by. The light dimmed in her cell. She walked up to me and pressed herself wrapping her arms around my neck and bringin' me in for a kiss. She reached her hand up and ran her fingers through my hair and then back down my neck.
"Take this off …" She whispered as she slid my leather vest off my shoulders one by one.
We didn't even come up for air; she just kept kissin' me, while she started to unbutton my shirt and led me over to the bed.
She was tryin' to get my mind off of everythin'; tryin' to distract me … and it was workin' ….
Beth tugged my shirt off and threw it on the ground. I reached over and pulled her shirt up over her head and tossed it onto mine on the floor.
"I missed you …" She mewed.
Beth sat back down on her mattress and pulled me down with her. She laid back on the mattress and reached her hands up and gently massaged my arms and ran her hands over my chest and stomach.
I used my knees to move her thighs to the side, givin' me access to lay right in between her legs. I leaned down onto my elbows and laid down on her gently. She smiled and ran her fingers through my hair before pulling down into a kiss. Her hands ran down my back and she grabbed my ass and pulled me into her harder; she let out a soft moan.
I pulled away from her and looked into her eyes.
"Sorry if I upset ya." I paused. "I just don't want nothin' to ever happen to ya. Ya know that, right?"
Beth pursed her lips.
"Ya don't have to apologize for wantin' to protect me, Daryl. I know you … I know what kind of man you are. Okay …?"
I nodded my head. "Yeah …? And, what kinda man is that …?" I smiled.
"The kinda man that I love … the kinda man that I admire … that always does the right thing."
Beth leaned up and kissed me softly.
"I like that …" I kissed her again and then slid off to the side of her and laid down so my back was flat on the mattress. "Come here, woman …"
I just want to be close to her right now. Get my head straight …
She looked up and smiled. I motioned for her to come lay down next to me and put her head on my chest, which she did. I pulled her into me and she pressed her body against me; intertwining her legs through mine. I brushed her hair back with my fingers and as we laid there I could feel myself startin' to get sleepy. I hadn't really slept in the past 48 hours.
"Hey …? We gonna get caught if I rest here for a bit?"
Beth shook her head no.
"No. Maggie was just in here before y'all got back. She won't be back in here to check on me for awhile. Go on an get some rest."
"Ya sure …?"
"Mmm, hmm." Beth cheerfully replied. "We definitely got a couple of hours."
I knew we were tryin' not to let everyone in on our business jus yet and I wasn't really sure sleepin' in her bed was the best way to keep everyhin' under wraps … but I didn't really care right now.
I let myself relax and Beth nuzzled back into me; our bodies entangled in each others. I let my eyes close. We both laid there in the quiet and then I felt Beth's cool fingers as she rubbed her hand over my heart and whispered, "I love you, Daryl."
I smiled; my eyes still closed. I held onto her and squeezed a hold of her tightly.
"I love ya too, Beth."
END CHAPTER SIXTEEN-PART TWO
I really wrote this chapter in detail because I wanted to shed some light on Nick Foster. He was originally a character from Maggie's Nightmare, and for all of you reading both stories, you know that Nick has a history with Daryl and Beth ... and now you are starting to really understand what their relationship was. As the next couple of chapters continue, you will find out a lot more about Nick and their back story.
For those of you who have not read Maggie's Nightmare, you might want to think about it. At some point in time here, the stories are going to start syncing up. Things that were mentioned as memories in Maggie's Nightmare, will start to be described in real time in My Guardian. You don't have to start now, but at some point ya might want to ;)
QUESTIONS FOR MY READERS:
1. What's your opinion of Nick now ...?
2. Just how "creepy" do you think Nick is? How far do you think he'll go to pursue Beth?
3. Now that Daryl knows that Nick "kinda scared" Beth ... how will Daryl react? He promised her he wouldn't make a scene, but what do you think he's gonna do?
4. I've been writing REALLY long chapters but posting less frequently ... what do you prefer? Longer chapters or posting "shorter" chapter more frequently ... let me know ;)
So, let me know what you think about the questions above and what you think about Nick character and if you think him and Daryl are gonna throw down ... I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Also, of course ... definitely 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
** I've got Chapter Seventeen started ... So, as soon as this chapter gets 6 reviews - I'll get started on the next chapter up asap!
I'm a sucker for comments and reviews. But, every time I see a new comment ... it literally puts a smile on my face (swear). Plus, they keep me motivated and inspired to keep working on the story.
Also, my muse has been on vacation as of late, so the comments really do push me to keep writing even when I'm not inspired at all. So, I'm hoping to hear from all of you out there reading this story ... l love you all ;-)
Here's a Teaser Chapter Seventeen: Daryl comes face to face with Nick for the first time after learning about Nick's "conversation" with Beth ... And, Daryl's got more than just a few words for Nick! Plus, after a fateful conversation, Beth decides it's time to take things to the next level with Daryl ...
Looking forward to hearing from you all ;-D