My Guardian: Chapter Twenty
Hello y'all :-D
So, thankfully, I was able to get this next chapter together fairly quickly! Woo hoo!
I've gotten quite a few new subscribers over the last week thanks to all of the serious Bethyl feels happening on TWD show, so I want to thank all of the new peeps … so glad you're enjoying the story. And, of course, you know I love all my loyal readers that have been reading and following along since the beginning! * hugs*
To all of you new readers, please do make sure if you're reading this story to subscribe, so you can keep up-to-date with all future posts ;)
And, as always I want to give a Special Thank you to Alice_Weekes, Char_, camcam11398, livinglikegabi, and Logan1999 for commenting on the last chapter - you all seriously rock! I love you all! :))
So, just a heads up … this is a long chapter … I hope you enjoy it ;-)
Now ... back to our story...!
Daryl's POV –
The sun had been up for bout a half hour, when me, Glenn and Tyrese were relieved from night guard watch. We'd been up all night and were still expected to be at the meeting that The Council was havin' today at 2pm. Didn't really bother me though, the lack of sleep had been somethin' that all of us had grown accustomed to. I knew I had to go in and go right to sleep and Beth was probably still sleepin', but I wanted to stop by her cell real quick just in case. I hadn't been able to stop thinkin' about her … and the fact that we had sex for the first time … just a couple of hours ago.
Damn, it was so hot! She was so hot!
I'd never had sex with someone that I loved, and it was … really somethin'. I couldn't wait to see her; I found I was almost joggin' inside the prison and upstairs to the catwalk. As I approached her cell, I peaked in. I could see both her and Judy were still sleepin'. I didn't want to wake her up; she looked so peaceful. So, I just whispered quietly.
"Love ya girl."
And, then I made my way back to my cell to get some rest. I was tired from my … "activities" earlier in the night, so as soon as my head hit the pillow - I was out.
It seemed no sooner that I fell asleep that someone was knockin' at my doorway.
"Wha … what?!"
I rubbed my tired eyes as I tried to focus on the shape of the person who'd woken me.
"Get your ass up!"
Of course it was. He was like a goddamn alarm clock.
"What the hell, man? Why'd ya wake me up?"
"What do ya mean? It's almost 2pm; we gotta head to the meetin'."
Yeah, right! I ain't slept that long since I'd been shot and was laid up back at Hershel's house.
Glenn was just fuckin' with me, and I certainly didn't appreciate it.
"I ain't been sleepin' for 7 hours … get the fuck outta here!"
"I'm not fucking with you, Daryl. It's almost two. We gotta go. Now get the hell up!" Glenn walked into the cell and ripped the wool blanket I'd covered myself with. "Get up!"
"What the hell, man! Knock it off and let me go back to bed!"
Glenn walked back to exit the cell, but before he did he pulled the blanket down from my cell.
The light poured in a stung my eyes.
I sat up quickly, half thinkin' bout knockin' Glenn out. I walked over to the cell coverings that were now in a pile on the floor and began to tuck them back into the bars of the cell.
"Daryl." He paused and waved his hands in front of my face. "Daryl …!"
Glenn presented his watch; basically, shovin' it in my face.
"Look, see … it's 1:50. Jesus!"
I grabbed his hand and pulled it close to take a better look. Sure as shit, it was almost two … I'd slept so hard. Probably coulda slept another seven hours if they let me.
"Yeah. Anyways, I'm headin' there now. I'll let em know you're on your way."
"Sure." I rubbed the back of my next. "Be right there."
What the hell's gotten into me?
Oh! Yeah …! Nothing's gotten into me … I finally got into Beth.
I couldn't help but chuckle to myself, as I started to get dressed. I reached for my shirt and vest and put them on. As I laced up my boots, I started thinkin' bout Beth, bout last night … how she smelled, how she tasted, how hard I came.
I seriously couldn't wait to see her again and kiss her lips and wrap my arms around her tight little body …
God, she was so fuckin' sexy last night.
As I stood up, I realized I was hard as hell. Apparently, just thinkin' bout her was givin' me a hard-on.
Well, I can't be walkin' around the prison lookin' like this!
I quickly adjusted myself in my jeans.
Baseball … walkers … nope, none of that was workin'. Then, I heard Hershel yell up to my cell from the common area below.
"Daryl, come on son. The meeting's bout to start. Get yer ass down here!"
Well, that did it!
I walked out onto the catwalk and saw Hershel. I couldn't help but feel weird. I'd never been with a woman long enough to have to meet her daddy. But, this wasn't just any girl, it was Beth and I loved her. And, this wasn't just any daddy – it was Hershel.
I couldn't figure out how I was gonna sit next to him, when I still our sex all over me. This meeting was gonna be awkward as hell, especially, sittin' across from Hershel the entire time. Don't know why, but it made me anxious as hell.
When I got the staircase, Hershel was waitin'.
I just nodded and did my best to avoid eye contact with him. I know it sounds stupid, but I felt like if I looked him in the eyes he'd know I'd fucked his daughter last night.
I started to walk and Hershel followed closely by my side. I just had this image of him pullin' a gun on me if he knew what I'd done. I mean, Hershel may like me, but Beth was still his little girl no matter how old she was. And, I still had no idea what he was gonna think bout me and Beth … or the fact that we were sleepin' together now.
On the way to the library, Hershel was goin' on bout somethin' and I managed to reply in a series of grunts. I really didn't even know what the hell he was talkin' bout. I just wanted to get outta this situation as fast as I could.
"So, what do ya think?"
I hand my thumb jammed in my mouth, I'd been gnawin' on it like crazy outta anxiety. And, now Hershel wanted an answer to a question I'd certainly not been listenin' to. My nerves were totally on edge.
My eyes darted from the floor to Hershel's and back to the floor again, not wantin' to keep his gaze. I basically just mumbled my reply.
Man, didn't think I'd be this nervous around Hershel.
But, being with Beth last night had really meant somethin' to me, to the both of us. Beth and I were on a totally different level now, and it was real fuckin' weird that we'd had this life alterin' experience and no one even knew bout us … this was gonna take some gettin' used to.
In the meantime, I'd have to get my shit together here. I was still in my head, when I heard Hershel say somethin'.
"What do ya think bout …" Hershel reached up and grabbed a hold of my shoulder. "You feelin' okay? You seem a little outta sorts."
The words just slipped right outta my mouth.
"Nah, I feel … great actually."
I felt guilty for sayin' it, but it was the truth. I did feel great, just nervous as hell to be talkin' to him right now.
"Alright, but … "
"I'm fine. Come on … we're already late."
Hershel just nodded and gestured for me to keep walkin'. We got the library and I opened the door for Hershel and we took our seats at the table. Everyone else was already there, except for Maggie.
"Guess we're not the only late ones, huh?"
I nervously laughed. Hershel was across the table from me and he replied.
"No, Maggie ain't feelin' well. She's sleepin'."
That's strange … wonder what's up with her.
It was an innocent enough question, but Glenn snapped back.
"No, Daryl. She ain't sick." He crossed his arms over his chest. "She's just … sleepin'."
I put my hands up to surrender; I hadn't meant anythin' by the comment.
"Sorry, just figured …"
Glenn abruptly cut me off.
"Yeah. Anyways, let's get this meetin' started, shall we?"
I looked over at Glenn and he just seemed agitated, like I just kicked his hornet's nest.
Maybe somethin's up with the two of them and that's why she didn't come today?
That's really not like her, but I decided to just drop it. Obviously, there was somethin' else goin'
on, but it wasn't any of my business anyways.
Rick stood up at the head of the table and started off the meeting.
"Got some things … some stuff we all gotta talk bout." Rick paused and pinched the bridge of his nose. He looked like he had a headache or somethin'.
"Now that we got the pig pen finished, we got some buildin' projects we need to decide on and then we'll have an open forum for discussion to address any other issues … sound good?"
Everyone nodded and the meeting commenced.
The Council talked about some of the building projects that we'd all voted on in one of our previous meetings. The projects had now been prioritized and we put together a list of supplies that we'd need to complete the projects. Another addition to Cell Block D, water system to bring water into the prison, obtaining a large bus as a contingency plan in case the prison got overrun … these were on top of a very long the list. Of course, we had all the typical day to day things that needed to get addressed like how much food we needed, how much we'd need to save for the winter, clothes … the everyday shit was just as overwhelming as the larger projects.
Most of these projects and burdens seemed to fall heavy on my shoulders. No one questioned or not whether or not I wanted to do them; they didn't need to. I was 100% in now … this group was my family and this prison was our home. Plus, I wanted to make things safer and more comfortable for Beth if I could.
And, I really didn't mind all the extra responsibilities. The only thing that bothered me a bit was knowin' all these supply runs and hunting trips would be takin' me away from Beth and with Nick still around, I wasn't comfortable leavin' here like that. Since Rick and Hershel had finished up their discussion about the animal pens, Rick opened up the floor for any other issues. I immediately thought of one thing, one man – Nick Foster!
"Hey …! I got somethin' I wanna talk bout…!"
Everyone turned to look at me.
"Go ahead Daryl, what is it?"
Rick sat down and motioned for me to continue.
"Nick Foster. I want him gone …"
Rick cocked his head to the side; he looked confused. Don't know why though; I was sure he'd seen the damage I'd done to his face.
"Why's that, Daryl?" Rick calmly replied.
"He's a piece of shit. He's trouble and I want him gone."
Glenn leaned in towards the table and interjected.
"Daryl and Nick got into it a couple nights ago."
Rick nodded. "Yes, I heard bout that." He paused and his eyebrows arched. "Saw his face too …"
My lips tightened just thinkin' bout Nick … and the shit he'd been pullin' with Beth.
"Yeah, well, that fucker's been messin' with Beth, so I laid his ass out. Shoulda done it a long time ago."
Carol's eyes widened, Tyrese's jaw dropped and the rest of the Council seemed a little taken back by my choice of words.
"What …? It's the truth. Tell em Glenn!"
Glenn had his hands in his lap; his shoulders sunkin' in and he wasn't lookin' up at anyone.
I hope he feels bad for bein' such a suck-ass big brother.
I goaded him to tell them bout what he saw – what he'd heard.
"Well, go on!"
Glenn looked up.
"It's true. Guess he's got a thing for Beth and … he's been … overly persistent …"
"Ppfft!" I interrupted Glenn and continued. "Come on, man … he's been more than overly persistent … he's made her feel real uncomfortable. She don't feel safe round him." I looked over at Hershel. "Somethin's off with this guy. I don't like him around Beth …" I looked over at Carol; her face filled with uncertainty. "Or, any of the women here for that matter."
Carol smiled softly at me as I leaned back in my seat and crossed my arms over my chest. I felt satisfied that the Council would take care of this and Nick would soon be outta my hair and outta Beth's life for good.
"Ok … what's he done? What's the 'problem' exactly?"
Apparently, Rick needs more proof than just my word?
"Alright …" I huffed. "Let's see …! For one, he's been pushin' himself on her. He wants to, I dunno, date her or somethin'. He's cornered her a few times in her room and around the prison; not lettin' her leave. Pullin' all kinds of shit with her and she's not into it." I paused and bit the inside of my cheek. "And, she's told him as much and I have … a couple of times, but …"
Rick nodded as he took in the details of the "case" I was makin'.
"Listen, he won't leave her alone and he's freakin' her out. Okay?" I stood up. "Jesus! So, when did my word not count for nothin' round here?!"
I began to walk out. As I walked passed Carol, she reached up and grabbed my arm. I shook off her hand and shot her an angry glance; she knew I was pissed off. Hershel then stood up and called out to me.
"Now, son. Ya know that ain't true. We believe you. I believe you. Ya know I don't want nothin' to happen to Beth." He paused and motioned for me to my seat across from him. "Please sit back down so we can talk about this."
"Don't think there's nothin' to talk about. He needs to go!"
"What about his brother? Mike? I've talk to him a bunch; he's a real good guy. Quiet, but he's real sweet. Ya want him gone too?"
I thought about it for a moment. I'd actually kinda liked Mike too; he kinda reminded me of myself. He'd just been driftin' around with his brother, like I'd done for years with Merle. Wasn't his fault his brother was a world class asshole. It didn't matter though, not when Beth is concerned.
"It don't matter to me. He can stay if he wants. That's his decision."
Rick rubbed the back of his head; he looked deep in thought.
"Alright, we'll go around the table and vote. Should we expel Nick from the prison? Make sure to speak your piece."
I looked around as everyone nodded.
Oh, great … we're gonna vote on it. Let's all talk bout our feelin's on the subject.
"This is bullshit …!" I mumbled under my breath.
The first to speak was Tyrese and he was with me; he didn't want Nick here either. He figured if he was a threat to Beth; he was a threat to his sister.
"I say we … kick him out. I trust Daryl on this and I certainly don't want him around Sasha."
Sasha sighed and gave her vote.
"Tyrese …!" She shot him a glare. "Come on! We can't just go kickin' people out … not without givin' him a chance to make it right. I vote no … I think we …" She gestured to the group. "The Council can handle this. We can talk to him. Talk to his brother, Mike, and really explain the situation. I mean, y'all kicked me and Tyrese out without givin' us a chance to prove ourselves." She looked over at Tyrese. "So, my vote is no … I think we should give him a second chance."
I shook my head … I shoulda figured she'd be against kickin' anyone out bein' that we did that to her and her brother and it almost got them killed.
And, here he goes …
I could see it in his whole demeanor that Tyrese had been swayed by his sister's comments. Tyrese's head swayed from side to side as he contemplated his sister's comments. He finally spoke and responded to his sister.
"I change my vote." His hands clasped together in his lap. "If Sasha feels comfortable enough to give him a second chance, I trust her instincts. I change my vote to no." Tyrese didn't even look at me, but still felt the need to apologize. "Sorry, Daryl."
"Hmpft!" I grunted.
Carol's next; she'll back me up.
"Well …" She stopped and looked over at me; tossing her hands onto the top of the table.
"Listen, Daryl. I agree with you … somethin' needs to be done. But …"
I shot her a punitive glance. "But, what?"
"I think … maybe … we should give him a second chance. Everyone deserves a second chance. I mean, we've all done things … we're maybe not proud of. We've acted in ways that … might not make sense to everyone around. But, it's not because we're bad people. We're just goin' through somethin'. So, I guess I … I vote no."
"Nice, Carol! Real nice! You're a damn fool if ya think he just needs some talkin' to." I threw my arms up in the air; I was so fuckin' pissed. "I tried that already!"
Rick chimed in.
"Yeah, Daryl … we all saw his face. We know what kinda 'talk' ya had with him."
What the hell? I mean, he's a cop … he should know exactly what I'm talkin' bout!
"Jesus Christ, people! Ya don't know the half of it. Ya ain't seen it with your own eyes. I have … there's somethin' wrong with this guy and y'all are just too blind to see it!"
Rick could be real dense sometimes … just like he was with Shane, with The Governor. I saw immediately, but Rick? Nah … he didn't see it until it was too late, till someone got hurt or killed.
"Daryl, we're not sayin' he hasn't behaved poorly … we're just sayin … maybe a second chance is in order."
I was seriously considering packin' up Beth and getting' her outta this place. I knew she'd never leave her daddy and sister … but this shit was dangerous. I could feel it.
"Whatever! Y'all wanna talk to him – go ahead! Talk to him! But, he pulls anythin' else with anyone – I ain't waitin' for no fuckin' vote. He's gone!"
Rick stood up and placed his one hand on his hip, the other out in front of him. He motioned for me to calm down.
"Take it easy, Daryl."
"Nah, this is bullshit!"
Rick continued; using his "cop" voice, sounded like he was tryin' to negotiate with some criminal. I hated it when he did that shit, especially, when it was directed towards me.
"We'll talk to him, make him understand." His head hung low. "We need people, Daryl. Ya know that. And … people can come back from this; they can change. I believe that."
"Ya can talk to him all ya want. But, I'm keepin' an eye on him and I suggest y'all do the same. Watch yer backs round him; he's a snake and you're too blind to see it." I waved my hands in the air. "All of y'all."
Carol got up and walked over to me; gently pulling her arm through mine. She led me back over to my seat.
"Just sit down, Daryl." I could see by the look in Carol's eyes she was bein' genuine. "We'll talk to him. Keep an eye on him … and if he does anythin' you, Beth or anyone else doesn't like - we'll kick him out."
Carol looked around the room.
"Can we vote on that? Can everyone agree - one more chance and that's it?"
Everyone gave their "yes" votes to give Nick a second chance. He'd stay on at the prison under the warning that if he tried anything else; he'd be gone.
"That's settled then."
Rick looked over at Hershel and they seemed to have some sort of unspoken communication between the two of them. Hershel calmly responded.
"Yes, it's settled. We'll talk to him right away."
I just shook my head.
What the hell? Why was I alone in this?
Her own father wasn't backin' me up on this? Made me feel like I was bein' some sort of jealous boyfriend type. I hated that; it made me feel anxious, so I started to chew on my thumb angrily.
Carol had to get in her final piece.
"Daryl. It's just one more chance. One more chance to change, to assimilate."
"Uh, huh …" I grunted.
Carol continued, goin' right for my Achilles heel.
"We'll give him a second chance … just like we did with your brother, Merle."
My head snapped up. Was she really bringing up my dead brother?
"Don't talk bout Merle, Carol. This is different and ya know it."
"Ya know what I mean, Daryl. It's just that … he did some real bad things. To Maggie, to Glenn … to all of us."
I looked over at Glenn and he looked away. My lips tightened as I tried to hold in my tongue. I wanted to explode. I seriously couldn't believe she was usin' Merle to try to soften me up, or somethin'. I tried not to get to overly irritated as I turned to face Carol as she continued.
"But, we still gave him another chance because it was important to the group as a whole. And, while you may not like Nick very much. He's military and so is his brother. They're skilled fighters and are an asset to this group, if we can work this out. Don't ya think we can give them a chance …" She paused for dramatic effect; I was sure. "Just like we did with Merle?"
Carol had made her point. And, it's not like I didn't understand where she was comin' from, but I still had Beth as one of my main concerns now. Just like keepin' Merle at the prison was a priority before. And, that's when I realized the conversation was over. I was bein' a hypocrite in all their eyes. I'd asked them to be flexible with Merle since he was blood, but I couldn't extend a second chance to Nick. And, all of that was true, but I couldn't stand for Nick to be there. In my eyes though Merle had been different, I felt I could control his behavior. With Nick, I just feel like he's a tickin' bomb, ready to explode.
They were adamant - so I was done.
"Whatever." I mumbled.
Fuck it! They'd made up their minds. I figured it would just be on me then to keep an eye on Beth till Nick got kicked out. In the meantime, I would do whatever I had to in order to keep her safe. In fact, I didn't even want her around when they had their little talk with him.
"Ya know what? I don't want her here when y'all talk to him. Bout time she got some trainin' anyways, don't y'all think?"
A silence fell over the room.
"Training?" Rick inquired further; he looked confused.
Hershel followed him up. "What kind of training, Daryl."
"Well, I figure she's an adult now. She needs to get some sort of weapons trainin' … I dunno, maybe I'll take her out on a few supply runs – show her the ropes."
"Well, that might not be a bad idea." Carol definitely agreed. "You know how I feel about this topic. I think everyone here could use more survival and defensive training. So … I'm all for it."
"Me too. She needs it. I mean, Tyrese and I were out on the road. I learned. But, Beth's had all of you around. She should use some time to sharpen her skills."
Tyrese agreed. "I agree, but I guess the only person we gotta ask here … is Hershel, right?"
Hershel smiled and looked down at his hands that were folded on top of the table; he nervously rubbed his thumbs together.
"I appreciate y'all wantin' to ask me, but … she ain't a little girl no more. I want her safe and I'd love to keep her here protected and sheltered, forever." He laughed. "But, that's not the world we live in anymore, is it?" Hershel nodded towards me. "You gonna teach her?"
I nodded in agreement. "Yeah. I'll teach her. Figured I'd take her out on a run, a short one for the first time. While we're gone, y'all can talk to Nick. Get this shit sorted out before we get back."
Hershel turned to Rick.
"I'm fine with it. I don't like the idea of her outside these walls, but if she's gotta be; I'd prefer it to be with Daryl. He'll keep her safe." Hershel paused. "But, what about Judy? Who'll take care of Judy while she's gone?"
Carol of course jumped at the chance. She sure as hell loved that little girl, we all could see it.
"I will! I mean … I can if that's alright with you Rick?"
Rick smiled politely and I thought that was gonna be the end of the discussion, but Rick apparently had some other things on this mind.
"Huh …?" Rick sighed and stood up straight in front of the group; he kept lookin' down at the table until he was ready to speak. "Actually, that's not okay with me, Carol."
Carol's voice was merely a whisper. "Oh!"
Carol was shocked by his response and to be honest I think we all were.
"It's not that I mind ya watchin' her … it's that I'm not watchin' her. That brings me to the next and final thing on the agenda today."
What's this …?
Rick continued; he seemed extremely preoccupied. He seemed unnerved.
"Now that we've got all of that covered … I've got somethin' I'd really like to discuss with y'all"
"Go on then, what's on your mind, Rick?"
I'm sure she was curious as hell as to why Rick didn't want her watchin' Judy. I know we all were.
"I want to spend more time with Judy." He paused. "She's my daughter and I want to start raising her. I'd like to take a step down from The Council for a while."
The silence in the room was deafening. No one ever expected him to say this, not ever.
Finally, Hershel's voiced his opinion, which echoed everyone's thoughts.
"Rick? What do ya mean …step down?"
"I'd still be here to help out around with all of the projects, so I'd still need some help with Judy. But, from here on out I'd like to start takin' care of her – full time."
Sasha seemed really concerned by his statement.
"But, we need ya around here, Rick."
"And, I'll still be here." Rick replied. "It's just I won't be on The Council."
I couldn't understand why Rick was doin' this. I mean, I understood he wanted to see his kid more, but … step down? I didn't get it.
Rick could see everyone was still confused.
"Listen guys … I'm tired. Real tired. I've been leadin' this group for a long time now. I've … made some good decisions and some bad decisions, but it's time for me to take a step back for a little bit." He paused again; givin' us all some time to think about what he said. "At least for a while. And, of course, I'll still be here if y'all need help with anythin'. I'll be here workin' like everyone else … just won't be leadin'. Not anymore."
If he was gonna be takin' care of Judy, what about Beth? I had to ask him bout it …
"What about Beth?"
Rick motioned to me. "Well, ya said ya wanted to train her, so train her. Now you'll have the time." He paused. "And, that's all I want right now … time to just … be. Time to be a father. Ya know, we've gotten through some real tough times and made it out on the other side. We've got safety here … we can build a home here. I just want to be able to do that with my family. I don't want Judy to think she doesn't have a daddy anymore." Rick started to tear up. "She probably thinks Beth's her mom …" His voice cracked. "She don't even know me."
"We understand, Rick. We all do." Hershel calmly tried to reassure Rick. "Ya gotta tend to your children. And, we're in a place now where you can do that."
Rick quickly rubbed his eyes; tryin' to erase the evidence of his tears.
"Thanks." He exhaled deeply; he seemed relieved to have gotten that off his chest. "Of course, I'll still need help with Judy but … I just want to be able to watch her grow up a little. Be there for her. Make sure she knows who I am."
He had a point. The kid probably didn't know who the hell he was. When Little Asskicker was fussy, ain't no one can get her to calm down but Beth. She was more comfortable in Beth's arms than in anyone's … well, except for me, of course. She'd taken a likin' to me right away.
Never could understand it, but it sure was cute as hell. Was never one for babies, but Judy was different … she'd always hold a special place in my heart.
If Rick was goin' to be steppin' down that meant he'd be takin' care of Little Asskicker, which meant I'd have more time to … train with Beth. I'd have a lot more time to do a lot of things with Beth. I couldn't help the crooked smile that crept up on my face and Hershel seemed to catch it.
"Daryl? Ya got somethin' ya wanna add?"
I cleared my throat.
"No ..." I nodded to Rick. "I think ya should be spendin' more time with your kids. You done enough for us …you deserve a break."
"Thank you, Daryl. I appreciate that."
Rick seemed genuinely grateful for my comment; like he didn't expect it. He was a good guy, but I think he doubted some of the choices he'd made. I suppose being the leader of a group, you carry the weight of those decisions. If somethin' goes wrong; it's on you. That was one that did concern me a bit with all these new responsibilities, all these lives to look after. Everyone was countin' on me … and I knew it.
Then, Rick added something that I didn't expect.
"I'm sure the Council will do just fine here with you here, Daryl. You keep this place runnin'. I mean, think we can all agree that you're the foundation here Daryl. As long as they don't lose you too, this place will be just fine."
I'm the foundation here? Ha …!
Well, I wasn't expectin' a compliment like that. No one's ever said somethin' like that about me.
"It's true Daryl. This group relies a lot on you and you should know we appreciate it."
I could feel my face flush as the blood rushed to my cheeks in embarrassment. I knew I contributed a lot to this group, but I had no idea Rick and the others felt like that about it. Felt real good to hear them say it. It was embarrassing but nice.
"Thanks." I quietly replied.
"We covered everythin' I think." Rick paused. "Anyone else has somethin' to say or add?" He looked around the room. "Alright then, Carol? Hershel? I know ya both got lists for Daryl for the supply run. Wanna go ahead and give those to him now and I'll call this meeting adjourned."
Rick got up and walked towards the door and got stopped by Tyrese and Sasha. I stood up to stretch my legs and called over to Carol.
"So, how bout that list?" Then, I looked over at Hershel who was still seated across from me.
"Ya got a list for me too?"
Hershel nodded and pulled a piece of paper that had been folded into a little square; he'd had it tucked away in the front pocket of his shirt. He set it on the table and slid it across to me. I unfolded the paper, which revealed a fairly short list of items on it.
"Alright, let's see here …"
As I studied the list, I immediately realized there were meds on the list because the names were long as hell and I wasn't even bout to try and pronounce em. Probably would sound like an ass. I figured I'd just ask Hershel bout what the hell this stuff was. If I knew what it was, it might help me find it.
"These are prescription drugs?"
Hershel nodded yes and then I heard Carol as she made her way over to me and leaned up against the table.
"So, when's the next run?"
"Well …" I sighed and looked at Hershel and then back at Carol. "If y'all are gonna be doin' this whole intervention and shit with Nick … I'm gonna hit the road with Beth tomorrow."
"Good. Because we're gonna need to stock up on some things."
Carol reached around to her back pocket and pulled out a piece of paper.
"Here's you're list, Pookie." She handed me the list and rested her hand on my shoulder. "Most of its baby stuff and things for the kids, but … we're runnin' low on a lot of our supplies … and even our reserves."
I looked over the list and stopped when I got to "FRUITS & VEGETABLES" all in capital letters and underlined. I showed the list to Carol and pointed out the items in question.
"So …? I'm guessin' we need a lot of it?"
"Mmm, hmm …" Carol smiled. "Fresh, canned … whatever you can find."
This is gonna be a bitch …!
Fruits and vegetables aren't as easy to find as you would think. Sure this is Georgia and it's a rural area, we got farms and such. But, finding groves and gardens … well, that's a serious supply run. And, findin' canned food … well, findin' a grocery store that hasn't been looting of its canned goods is also bout as hard to find.
"Listen, just get what ya can. We've been runnin' real low for a while now. I've been rationing things, but …"
"Alright … but I'm tellin' ya this is gonna be a real bitch. We're gonna have to go farmhouse to farmhouse, residential areas lookin' through people's backyards, raidin' houses … ain't no joke."
"I know, I know … but that's what we need." Carol sighed and looked away. "Along with everythin' else, right?" She rubbed her forehead.
I smirked and nudged Carol. "Don't worry; I'll take care of it."
Carol leaned into me and put her head on my shoulder.
"I know ya will. You're a good man, Pookie."
I rolled my eyes at the little nickname she insisted on using. Carol was the only person I'd ever let get away with usin' a nickname like "pookie," that's for sure.
Carol looked up at me and batted her lashes. "I don't know what we'd do without ya."
"Alright … enough."
She shifted her hips into mine, knockin' me off balance before walkin' off.
I could hear her snicker to herself as she sauntered out of the room.
I shook my head; she found it hilarious to mess with me. And, I didn't mind at all. I had Beth now, but Carol was still one the people that I was closest to in the group …a best friend of sorts.
I looked over at Hershel. He looked very serious and like he'd been waitin' to talk to me, so I started to ask him bout those meds on the list.
"So …? These prescriptions are for …?"
Hershel put his hand up and got up. "Hang on a second there, Daryl. Let me come over there."
When Hershel reached me, I asked him more about the meds.
"So, what're these for?"
"Some of those are prescriptions are for allergies, asthma … some of the kids here got some regular seasonal allergies. We want to take care of em before they turn into fevers and infections.
"Okay, sounds simple enough."
Hershel then reached over and grabbed my arm.
"I've another list here too." He handed me a separate piece of paper. "The meds are for Maggie." He kept his voice real low. Obviously, he didn't want anyone else to hear. "Now, I want ya to get any of these that ya find, okay?"
I was a little shocked. What did Maggie need medicine for?
"Ya know she hasn't been feelin' well lately. She's been havin' a hard time sleepin', so I got some sleepin' pills on there."
"Beth know what this stuff is?"
"Yes. I'll make sure to explain it to her in more detail before ya leave tomorrow. She can help ya find em."
Looks like Beth was gonna be helpful havin' as a supply run partner on this one.
"Also, some anti-anxiety and anti-depression pills too."
Damn! Guess she has been real moody according to Beth and has been missin' a lot of work and tasks around the prison.
"But, she's been gettin' sick though? What's that gotta do with depression?"
"Well, that's why I got a few other items on there as well."
I looked down at the list and it read: Mylanta, Pepto-Bismol, Antacid and … pregnancy tests!
My eyes shot up to him and then back to the page.
Shit, I hadn't really thought bout that. Suppose she is pregnant?
I wonder if Glenn or Beth knows already.
I cleared my throat.
"So, umm … the last part of the list. Ya want me to get one or …"
Hershel crooked his head to the side.
"Just get as many as ya can find. Probably better to just have em here just in case, don't ya think?"
"Guess so." I paused. "Glenn know bout this?"
"He knows about the rest of it. I didn't want to bring up the, ya know … cause I don't know if him and Maggie have discussed it yet. It's really just in case they need one. No need to bring it up with Glenn."
"Well, Beth is going to be out on the run with me. She's likely to see if I'm stoppin' by this aisle."
"I know, I know … just be discreet if ya can. If Beth sees, so be it."
"I'm sure I'll manage."
Hershel patted me on the back and followed beside me as I walked towards the door. Glenn was there waiting by the door. Hershel continued without us and we were the last ones in the room now.
I walked over to Glenn.
"Somethin' ya wanted to say? Feelin' like chattin' now?"
"Yeah, well …"
"How come ya didn't back me up in there?"
"I don't got nothin' to say to you."
"Come on, man …"
I started to walk out the door and Glenn grabbed my shoulder and I quickly turned around and ripped it off.
"Don't Glenn …"
"Daryl. The only reason I'm even considerin' givin' this guy a second chance is because of you."
"The hell does that mean?"
"Ya know ...? When you brought Merle back to the prison, after everythin' he did. I was so fuckin' pissed off at you. I mean, you weren't there. You don't know what he did. What he let that animal do to Maggie …" Glenn started to get choked up. "When forced to choose between us and him, you choose him. You left."
"Then, you came back … and I gotta say, we were all so happy that you were back. Even with Merle." Glenn paused. "We all talked and … we decided that we'd let you keep an eye on him … and we'd give him another chance."
"I know …"
"And, what did he do? He kidnapped Michonne!"
"Hey, he ..."
"Wait, I'm not done. He took Michonne, but then he let her go. He became a better man. He tried to save us. He gave his life for us."
I started to get real upset thinkin' bout Merle. I did my best to keep the tears from my eyes.
"Stop! That's enough!"
"He changed. Now … I don't know bout this Nick guy. Maybe he won't but … maybe he will. Maybe he just needs time. One more chance to get it right. You never know what part people have to play …"
I looked down at the floor and nodded.
"Maybe … But, I doubt it …"
I walked off and left Glenn behind; makin' my way towards C Block. I was gonna find Beth and tell her bout the run. I was sure she'd be happy to get outta this place for a little while.
END OF CHAPTER TWENTY
So … like it, love it, hate it ... let me know your thoughts on the chapter by taking a moment on your way out … I'd love to hear from you all :-D
Also, I've got questions for you … I'd like your input!
QUESTION FOR MY READERS:
1. So, what did you think about The Council's move to basically put Nick on probation? Do you think it's fair?
2. Also, Rick made a big announcement at the meeting; stepping down as a leader in the group (much like he did on the TV show). This will of course free up some of Beth's days and most importantly her nights. Thoughts?
3. Daryl and Beth have a supply run coming up. Are you hoping for my action or … more "action" while they are out on the road? ;) lolz
** I've got Chapter Twenty-One started ... So, as soon as this chapter gets 6 reviews - I'll get started on finishing up the next chapter!
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. 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 ;-)
Chapter Twenty-One Teaser: Daryl talks to Beth about the supply run and about Judy. Nick finds out about the run and has some words for Beth before she goes.
Looking forward to hearing from you all :-D