My Guardian: Chapter Twenty-Two
Hey y'all … I'm back! Woo hoo!
Sorry for the unintentional hiatus, sorry if I worried ya. But, I'm back and we gotta talk!
So, that's it people … I'm so sad :'-(
The Walking Dead is on hiatus until October 12th, 2014 … OMFG!
Ahhh! What will we do until then? All I gotta say is THANK GAWD for fanfiction … it is gonna be a long 6 ½ months!
Since the finale was coming up, I suppose that's why I haven't written in the last two weeks. ** SORRY ABOUT THAT, by the way ** I know you all have been waiting patiently for the next chapter; however, I really wanted to see if there were any major revelations that I could or should include in the story. Thankfully, not much happened that I felt affected my current storyline, so that's good. So, I apologize for the delay in the chapter; however, from here on out they should be more free flowing. And, now that the current season is over I will just be doing catch up from here on out. My goal over the next couple of months will be to get My Guardian caught up to the time frame where Maggie's Nightmare starts (9 months after Woodbury).
So, I will be a busy little bee writing over the next couple of months keeping you all supplied with new chapters of BETHYL well into the summer ;) And, after that, I've got another Bethyl fanfic or two that I'm mapping out … more on that as I get them ready to post – I will want some input from y'all before I finish plotting the storylines ;)
Ok, that all being said …
I've gotten quite a few new subscribers over the last couple of 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*
I can see that there are literally thousands of unique visitors every month - It continues to blow me away that so many of you are reading and enjoying this story :-D *here's me smiling proudly * **
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 Paris, GoBethyl, Brandy78, LilxmizxMacManus, miss_mary, Martine, MarryMeDixon, WerkaZ, Bethany55, Char_, MamaDCB, aquadreams10, and Bethyl FTW for commenting on the last chapter - you all seriously rock!
I love you all! :))
Special note: Since it has been awhile since I posted, I wrote a REALLY long chapter for you all … I hope you enjoy it ;-D
Now ... finally … back to our story...!
Beth's POV –
Geez! What'd I do? What'd we do?"
My head was racin' a mile a minute. Daryl looked over at me and must've noticed the fact that I looked like a deer in headlights.
He nodded and we drove in silence for a few more minutes before I chimed in again. "Umm … Daryl?"
"Ya think we can go to the pharmacy first?"
Daryl laughed a little under his breath.
"So, now you're worried, huh?"
"No. I mean, well , yes. I guess I am."
I hated to admit it, but he was right. I was worried now. And, every part of me that had wanted him, wanted to be with him, wanted to feel him inside of me … was now totally freaking out and screaming for me to get to the pharmacy and get those damned mornin' after pills.
"Yeah, we can go there first."
He looked back at the road. "Told ya"
"Whatever. It's not like I have experience with this stuff, okay?"
"I know, but I told ya."
"Yeah, well, you were right, okay? Happy now?"
"No. You worryin' doesn't make me happy. And, I don't like worryin' either. So, we can't let that happen." I nodded in agreement and Daryl continued. "It's not a game and we should be more careful from here on out."
"I totally agree with you. Let's just get to that pharmacy already."
"There's one a couple hours out. We'll stop there today."
He smiled and reached his hand over and set it on my thigh; I placed my hand on his, interlacing my fingers through his. I just kept starin' at the road and tried to calm the hell down ...
We'll be fine! Just fine ...
Daryl's POV –
We'd been driving bout an hour and Beth still had a hold of my hand; her fingers tightly holding onto mine. The tension in her grip was another reminder of last night.
Damn! Can't believe I let myself get carried away like that.
I knew it was stupid and irresponsible, but we'd just waited for what felt like forever to have sex and in the moment I just wasn't thinkin' with my head. Well, at least not the head that I shoulda been thinkin' with. I wouldn't make that mistake again, that's for sure.
I looked over at her as she stared out the window, and I could see that she was lost in her thoughts. She was stressin', which was startin' make me stress. And, to be honest, I was already a little anxious bout the whole thing, so I figured I'd try and get her mind off things until we got to the pharmacy. Actually, to get both our minds off things.
Beth looked over at me and smiled. "Yeah?"
I reached into my shirt pocket and pulled out the lists that I'd gotten from everyone and handed them to Beth; figured we could go over em and get our minds on the supply run.
"Go on and take a look. We gotta make sure we get everythin' on Hershel's list, ya know? At our first stop."
Beth took a look at the lists; she stopped at the second one and set the others down. I didn't need to tell her which one was Hershel's list; she must've identified it from his handwriting. Beth began to analyze it closely.
"What're all these?" I could see outta the corner of my eye that Beth's face was scrunched up as she read the list.
"Ya think you can find em?"
Beth nodded as she rubbed the back of her neck and tugged a piece of her blonde hair back behind her ear.
"Yeah. I mean, I recognize some of em. Anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, sleepin' pills."
Beth exhaled deeply and rested the list in her lap. "Geez! These are for Maggie, aren't they?"
Damn! She looks worried as hell now.
It wasn't the response I was hopin' to get; I was hopin' to get her mind off things, but just ended up gettin' her worryin' bout somethin' else.
I glanced at her briefly; still tryin' to keep my eyes on the road. "Mmm, hmm."
After she finished going over the supply run lists, she folded them up and dropped them in her lap; I watched as she started to nervously pick at her fingernails.
"Yeah, I'll be able to find em." She shook her head. "I mean, I knew she'd been real off. Moody and cryin' a lot, ya know? And, she's spent a bunch of days in bed, but ..." Beth paused; her voice cracked a little as she continued. "I guess she's been havin' trouble sleepin' too."
I didn't want to worry her anymore, but the way Glenn had talked about it seemed like Maggie had been a lot worse in private. Figured I'd keep that fact to myself for now.
"Well, I suppose that's what the pills are for."
"Yeah, I know. It's just …"
"She'll be fine, Beth." I reached over and grabbed her left hand and set it in my lap; coverin' her small hand with mine. "Don't ya worry."
A forced tight lipped smile formed on Beth's face; an obvious attempt to hide the deep concern she had for her sister.
"You're right." Beth nodded and her eyes darted over to me and then back down to the list in her lap. "I'm sure Daddy knows what'll help her. Get her back to her old self again."
I didn't want to say nothin', but I don't think any of us would ever be our "old selves" ever again.
Sometimes the things that happened to us these days changed us for the better, and sometimes for the worse. And, from what Merle had told me, I knew Maggie's time in Woodbury had been one of those things that just … changed a person. I just didn't know if it would be for the better or for the worse.
Suppose only time would tell.
As we drove the last mile or so to the pharmacy, we came across a few haggard lookin' walkers. They seemed particularly disheveled, which was sayin' a lot considerin' they'd most likely been dead for over a year. One of em was walkin' in the middle of the road, so I slowed down the truck briefly so I could drive around it.
No need in makin' road kill outta the sorry fucker.
The walker's arms were outstretched and reached for the truck as we passed by; its jaw was barely hanging onto its head. It dangled there, swaying back and forth more violently as the walker struggled to move towards us.
Beth leaned up outta my embrace to get a better look at the walker.
"Geez …" Beth whispered under her breath. "Poor guy." She paused. "Isn't that sad?"
Poor guy? I wonder how many living people that "poor guy" has killed.
That was my first thought. And, then I thought that this fucker could kill us. Actually, he would kill us if given the chance. I didn't have a lot of sympathy for em, that's for sure. So, I just nodded my head a little in response; keepin' my eyes on the road ahead of me as we continued down the road.
Ya know? I never really looked at em as people anymore. They were walkers. They were dead. They weren't people anymore. But, Beth … she had a different way of lookin' at em. She still saw people. She still saw them as someone's mother, someone's father, someone's sister or brother. And, I admired that about her. I didn't get it, but I still admired it. Suppose she just had a respect for the dead; for who they were. Either way, I just hoped it wouldn't get her into trouble one day. If ya only see dangerous killers, ya don't hesitate. And, ya can't hesitate to kill in this world.
Finally, we arrived at the small town where I'd located a pharmacy with Glenn a while back. I slowed down as we drove through the main street; lookin' around for walkers and any indication that we weren't alone. It seemed quiet enough. However, the pharmacy we were headin' towards was the same CVS that I'd almost become walker lunch in search of Beth's beloved Butterfingers. In all reality, I'd damn near risked my life for em!
Guess I had been sweet on Beth for a while now?
It just goes to show ya how quickly life can change these days. At the time, I woulda never guessed I'd be here with her two months later - lookin' for condoms and mornin' after pills.
Things had really changed since the last time I was here with Glenn, and I was hopin' that this visit would be different too. Well, at least less eventful than the last one.
"Should be just a few blocks up on the right."
I looked over at Beth outta the corner of my eye. She sat there quietly with her blonde hair pulled back into a messy ponytail. My eyes roamed quickly down the front of her and I caught myself payin' way too much attention to her perky chest.
Get a hold of yourself! Damn!
I quickly directed my eyes back to the road in front of me, and there it was - CVS. I pulled in slowly, keepin' an eye out for walkers and for other people. The placed looked dead. No one was around, not even any walkers.
I suppose that herd moved along.
I was grateful for that. I didn't want to have too much excitement out on this first run with Beth.
Things were definitely lookin' good.
"We're here …" I pulled into the parking lot and found a space close to the exit.
I turned off the truck and took the keys out and faced Beth. "Ya ready?"
Beth smiled and confidently responded. "Yes. I'm ready."
I handed her a handgun from underneath the seat and gave it to her; unlocking the safety on it first.
"Ya know how to use this? It's loaded. The safety's off, so make sure ya only point it at somethin' ya want to shoot, alright?" I reiterated the danger of the loaded gun. "Careful with it."
Beth laughed. "I will, I will. Geez."
I looked her over and she already had her other gun strapped to the side of her leg and a rather large hunting knife - she looked ready. Beth was quite the hardened warrior now with all of her gear.
"Alright then." I grabbed a hold of her hand. "Ya just follow my lead and do what I say, when I say it. Okay?"
Beth nodded. "Okay."
"And if I tell ya to run. Ya run. No questions asked."
"Okay. " Beth rolled her eyes. "I got it."
I placed my hand on top of her hand that was now tightly gripping her gun. "I'm serious."
"I know ya are." Beth reached up with her free hand and cupped my face gently. "Ya know what?"
"What?" I replied questioningly.
Beth ran her thumb over my bottom lip, leaned over and kissed me; sucking my lip into her mouth.
"You really are sexy when ya get all protective over me."
I reached my hand up and loosely grabbing a hold of her ponytail. "Is that so?" I pulled gently on her hair and pulled her back into me; kissin' her again. "Just promise me you'll be careful. Be on alert. Last time I was here I … ran into a little trouble. Okay?"
Beth's eyes sparkled with excitement. "Okay. Promise. I'll do whatever ya say. I'll follow your lead. I got it."
She was so sure of herself – I loved that about her. Always an optimist.
"Good." I smirked and then nodded my head; gesturin' for her to get out. "Let's go then."
I pulled out my crossbow and moved cautiously towards the entrance. The glass doors had been busted out, most likely by looters early on. So, I pointed to the side of the entrance; wanting' to clear it first.
"Stay right here."
Beth nodded and gingerly stepped over the millions of pieces of glass that had been shattered on the ground, tryin' unsuccessfully not to make noise.
I quickly moved into the main lobby of the store and looked down each of the aisles. It looked clear. I went back for Beth who was still guarding the front.
"Come on. Follow me."
We made it to the pharmacy, when a lone walker stumbled out in front of us at the end of the second row of the aisle we were in. I pushed Beth back with my arm; keepin' her behind me.
"I got this."
I walked towards the walker and aimed carefully, sending a bolt into the walker's forehead - it went down with a loud thud on the ground. I went to go pull the bolt from the walker's head and I heard a scuffle behind me. I turned to see Beth wrestlin' with a rather large walker.
I hadn't heard it, but there it was ... tryin' to eat my woman. I immediately sprang into action lunging for the walker, but before I could get over there to help her; Beth used her hunting knife and plunged into the walker's eye.
That's my girl.
Beth took it down like a pro. I have to say, I was impressed.
Beth yanked the knife outta the walkers head and flung the brain and blood off her knife; she smiled triumphantly, "Thanks."
You'd think she just took down a herd all by herself.
She was so damn cute sometimes.
"That was close."
"No, it wasn't. I had him."
I nodded. "Ya sure did."
I walked over to the first walker and pulled the bolt outta its head and motioned for Beth to keep followin' me.
When we got back to the pharmacy, I jumped the counter and checked for any walkers. It was clear, so I helped Beth over the counter, so she could locate all the meds on the list. I grabbed several plastic baskets and started filling then them with anythin' and everythin' I thought could be of use to us. I recognized some antibiotics, antihistamines, inhalers for asthma. I just started emptyin' the shelves as I went along, and then I noticed Beth was starin' intently at one of the shelves towards the back.
Beth's eyes shot over and met mine. "Oh! Nothin' …"
I walked over to her. "Nothin', huh?"
Beth was standin' in front of the family planning section of the pharmacy. And, there on the shelf were several packages of the morning after pill. "Plan B" was written on the front of several small packages that seemed to have been hypnotizing her just moments before.
The way she'd been lookin' at em, made me wonder if she was thinkin' bout not takin' em.
Was she considerin' not takin' these things?
"Is that it? Is that what ya need to take?"
Beth quietly replied. "Mmm, hmm."
She reached up and grabbed one of the packages and opened it up. There were two pills.
Beth exhaled deeply. "Yeah. Yeah, of course. I'm fine."
She popped one of the pills out and laid it in her hand. "One now. " Beth popped the pill in her mouth. I listened as she struggled to get it down her throat without water. "And, then the other in twelve hours from now."
Beth looked up at me. "Ya got a watch or somethin'?"
I nodded. "Yeah. Got one here."
I patted my pocket where I kept the face of a watch that I'd acquired bout a year ago. The only reason I had a watch was because Rick had made a good point early on that we all should have some sort of timepiece, so we could coordinate runs. This particular piece, I'd taken off a walker, an old man that had stumbled dangerously close to us in our camp near the quarry. Happened to be a Rolex, which is somethin' in my past life I never thought I'd ever own. But, at the end of the world, items like these were a dime a dozen. I reached into my pocket and pulled it out and showed Beth.
"It's … 10:30."
Beth looked at me shyly. She almost seemed embarrassed. "So, at 10:30pm I need to take the next pill. Ya know? So, it'll be effective."
I made a point to remember the time – it was burned into my brain. 10:30pm. Or, we might have a little Dixon runnin' around and both me and Beth certainly weren't ready for none of that now.
"10:30. Got it."
Beth smiled and then leaned into me, placin' her head on my chest.
"Sorry bout this."
I reached around her and held her tightly. I squeezed her and placed my chin on top of her head.
"No need to be sorry. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have."
Beth looked up at me; the love in her eyes was somethin' I wasn't sure I'd ever get used to. It was still unnerving at times.
"We both shoulda been more careful." She cleared her throat. "We will be more careful."
I nodded. "Alright. Well, let's get the rest of the things on the list and get the hell outta here. What do ya say?"
I started to walk away towards the medical supplies section and watched as Beth loaded an entire basket full of condoms and the remaining four packages of "Plan B" that were on the shelf. I laughed under my breath a little.
"Stockin' up are we?"
Beth giggled; she knew she'd been caught.
"Suppose so. Ya never know. We might need these again."
I shook my head. I knew we were gonna be careful, but I knew she was right. Ya never know, we might need em again.
"And, all those condoms …?" I smirked.
"We're definitely gonna need these."
We both laughed and joked with each other while we finished picking up all the supplies from the pharmacy. Beth and I loaded the back of the SUV and went back in to pick up any canned food and baby items that we could find. There wasn't a whole lot on the shelves, but Beth reminded me that we should check the back where they stored everything before stocking them on the shelves. And, sure enough, there were several boxes of diapers, formula, some baby food and other baby items that I had no idea what they were for, but Beth certainly did. She was quite the little mama now; havin' been takin' care of Little Asskicker the last couple of months.
"Hey, Daryl ? Look at this."
Beth waved me over and in the back was a half pallet of boxes containing canned beef stew, beans, carrots and green beans.
"Shit. Look at that!"
We'd definitely scored on this run.
It was 1:00pm before we were able to load the rest of the items in the back of the SUV. There was so much, we had to put the back seats down to fit all of the boxes in.
"There's still some left. Shouldn't we try?"
I kind of cut Beth off. "Don't worry bout it. We'll have another run in a week anyways." I slammed the back of the SUV closed. "We can always come back for it."
"Oh?! Okay." She paused. "So, now what?"
I motioned for her to get in the truck. "Well, let's head out. We had a good first day. We should look for somewhere to stay the night."
Beth nodded and jumped into the passenger side of the truck. I started it up and pulled out of the parking lot; drivin' north outta town.
"I figured we'd swing back round and hit up some farms on our way back. Carol wanted us to bring back fruit and whatever else we could find. There's some farms and estates that I know have some orchards. It's about a three hour drive from here." I pursed my lips at the thought of what tonight might look like. "We'll need to spend the night somewhere. Then head out in the mornin'."
I looked out over the steering wheel and started to rub my chin; runnin' my fingers over my coarse beard that was in desperate need of a shave.
Beth bounced a little in the seat next to me. "Mmm … sounds like fun!"
I looked over at her and could see her excitement, which caused me to start laughin' so hard that she joined in too. We'd had a good run so far and things were lookin' to get even better; it's no wonder we were both a little giddy.
Now I just needed to find somewhere safe, somewhere quiet, that we could spend the night.
We drove north for about an hour and then down a route heading west towards the orchards. It was desolate. Quiet. There was nothin' and no one around. Nothin' can prepare ya for just how quiet the end of the world was gonna be. Not even growin' up in the backwoods like I did. It certainly didn't help that the roads were lined with tall trees, makin' it impossible to see anythin' except for what's in front of you.
Finally, there was a clearing in the brush and trees up on the right. As we got closer, I could see the clearing for what it was – a cemetery.
"Is that …?" Beth pointed to the open field that was littered with small white headstones.
"That's just creepy."
I could see in the distance up the road and past the cemetery that there was a large home. This would work just fine for tonight.
"It ain't creepy. Looks like it's in good shape. Plus, we should get off the road already. We can spend the rest of the daylight we have left settin' up a perimeter and barricadin' the doors."
"Wait." Beth paused "Ya want us to spend the night there? Ya can't be serious?"
I looked over at her and shrugged.
"Course I'm serious. It's gonna get dark soon and we need somewhere to sleep." I paused. "Would ya rather just keep drivin' round aimlessly lookin' for a place?"
"No, I guess not."
She looked a little disheartened by my choice of sleepin' arrangements, but when you're out on the road ya take what you can get. And, this was gonna work just fine and we shouldn't have much trouble securin' it for the night.
We approached the road and I made the turn and drove slowly towards the large house. We passed a sign that said "Bartlett Family Mortuary ca. 1902."
"A mortuary? Really Daryl?"
I glanced at her outta the corner of my eye and tried to hold in my smile. I thought it was freakin' hilarious, but obviously Beth wasn't as amused.
"Oh, come on Beth. Loosen up a little." I nudged her shoulder.
I pulled up along side of the house and turned off the engine. I could hear Beth sigh deeply; she wasn't too pleased about our accommodations for the night. I couldn't help but laugh.
"Are you messin' with me or somethin'?"
I laughed under my breath.
"No. I'm not messin' with ya." I leaned over and unbuckled her seat belt and kissed her on the cheek. "Now get yer cute little ass out. We gotta get settled for the night."
And, I wasn't messin' with her. This just happened to be the first good option for a place to sleep that we'd come across. It just so happened to be a mortuary.
I mean, it was family owned since 1902 … how bad could it be, right?
I smiled at the irony of it all - me and Beth spendin' the night in a mortuary in the middle of a cemetery. I thought it was fuckin' hilarious, but I decided I'd keep my thoughts to myself on this one. I figured Beth was unlikely to find this as funny as I did.
I jumped outta the truck and grabbed my crossbow.
"It'll be fine. Promise." I walked over beside her. "Now, just follow me and stay behind me."
Beth nodded and pulled her gun from its holster.
We walked up the stairs to the home and I carefully opened the front door – it was unlocked. We walked in and I immediately scoured the first floor for any walkers. Thankfully, I didn't find anything of interest except for a chapel that still had been set up for a funeral – chairs for guests, a piano, a casket and even several very real lookin' plastic floral arrangements.
"Oh, a piano!" Beth exclaimed. "Maybe I can play for ya later? That is, if ya want me to."
I nodded "Well, it ain't like I got a jukebox or nothin' so … yeah. Course I want ya to." I paused. "That'd be nice."
Beth smiled and I motioned for her to follow me upstairs. We were lucky; the second floor was the same thing – all clear.
As we made our way back downstairs, I could hear a shuffle at the door and a dog barking.
"What the hell?" I ran down the steps towards the door. "Stay here!" I motioned for Beth to stay put as I approached the door. I looked outside and I didn't see anyone or anything so I opened the door.
"It's just a damn dog!"
I crouched down and held my hand out. The mangy critter was white and had one eye missin', a sure sign this dog had been a survivor like the rest of us.
"Come here." I reached out further to try and coerce the dog towards the door. Finally, the dog barked and ran away. "Damn dog!"
And, then I felt Beth's hand on my back, which scared the shit outta me.
"Damn, woman! What the hell! I told ya to stay put!"
"But, Daryl?" She smiled innocently. "Ya said it was a dog."
I laughed. "Yeah, but I told ya to stay put."
"Come on." She gently shoved my shoulder in jest. "Don't be such a stiff; I just wanted to see it." Beth grabbed my hand. "Come on; let's see if they got anythin' to eat."
She led me into the kitchen and I started to notice that this place was real clean … too clean.
"Someone's been keepin' this place up."
Beth walked over to the cupboards and opened them, which revealed several stocked shelves.
"Peanut butter, pigs feet, Diet soda. That's a white trash brunch, right there." I paused after noticin' all the items on the shelves were just like the rest of the house - spotless. "Hang on a second."
"There's not a speck of dust anywhere."
"Means this is someone's stash." Beth looked over at me wonderin' what we should do. I thought for a moment. "We'll, take a few things and leave the rest. In case they're comin' back."
Beth smiled and reached for one of the plastic containers of peanut butter and looked around for the silverware drawer, pulling out a spoon.
Meanwhile, I went ahead and grabbed one of the jars of jelly, opened it and dug my fingers in; eating it straight from the jar.
"Eww, Daryl. That's gross."
I laughed and sat down at the table where we continued to eat for a few minutes.
"And, the pig's feet are mine."
"Fine with me." Beth giggled as she gracefully ate her peanut butter.
I thought about her, her Butterfingers and now the peanut butter. She must have a thing for it. I personally cannot stand peanut butter; it's literally one of my least favorite foods – ever!
"What's it with you and peanut butter anyways?"
Beth shrugged her shoulders. "I dunno. I just like it. Always have."
"I can't stand the stuff."
Beth stopped eating.
"I suppose I like it … because my momma used to make me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when I was little. I think it's all I ate for like a year."
"Really? A year?"
"Mmm, hmm." Beth giggled. "I was a bit of a picky eater when I was young."
"Huh? Wouldn't have guessed that." I said sarcastically.
"Hey! What's that supposed to mean?"
I laughed. "I'm just messin' with ya."
"I wasn't difficult. I just ... knew what I wanted."
I nodded. "Uh, huh."
"And, I knew what I didn't want. I was … selective."
"Okay, okay. Ya don't gotta convince me of nothin'."
"I knew what I wanted." Beth leaned over and kissed me. "Just like I knew that I wanted you. And, I got ya."
A huge mischievous smile spread across her face, like she knew somethin' I didn't know.
Damn, she was cute! And sexyI was really lookin' forward spendin' some time with her later.
I kissed her back. "That ya did." And, then I kissed her again. "Ya got me."
We sat there and just stared at each other for a moment. I finally broke the silence.
"Let's get this place secured for the night."
Beth nodded. "I'll set up a noise perimeter out front."
"Alright. I'll secure the windows and doors."
The sun set and Beth and I finished securing the place, the only entrance was the front door now. We were both back inside the "house," when Beth walked over to me and grabbed my hand.
"Where are we goin'?" I asked innocently, although I have to admit I was hopin' it was to the bedroom or some place we could be alone. However, we ended up stoppin' next to the little chapel. Beth had lit candles and the place had a soft glow.
"Come here, I wanna play for you."
"Wasn't exactly the room I was hopin for, but …"
Beth laughed. "Oh, sit down and just listen, okay?"
"I'm just messin' with ya. I told ya that I'd love to hear ya sing for me."
I walked over and jumped into the coffin at the front of the room.
"What the hell are ya doin'?"
"This is probably one of the most comfortable beds I've been in for over a year. Just go on and play."
I motioned for her to sit down and start playin'.
"Alright." She looked over at me as I laid my head down in the coffin. "You're too much, ya know that?"
"Mmm, hmm." I smirked and nodded her for to continue.
Beth started playin' and I couldn't help but let my mind wander off. It was actually really relaxin' layin' in the coffin; you'd be surprised how comfy your final resting place actually is. Most people never have the opportunity to know somethin' like that. I thought it was interesting, especially bein' that nowadays we were mostly just dropped into a dirt pit and covered over with earth and stones. Nothin' quite as cozy as this.
Beth kept singin' for bout twenty minutes. One song more beautiful than the next. I couldn't help but think how lucky I was to have such a beautiful woman by my side. I was very lucky, and I knew it.
Every time I looked at her, I thought to myself, how much I loved her. It actually made my chest ache.
Who knew fallin' in love would turn me into such a sap? Well, just in front of her; it's not like anyone else ever got to see this side of me anyways. Merle woulda definitely called me pussy-whipped, if he were still around. But, he wasn't and I didn't care anyways; I loved everythin' about her. Her beauty. Her innocence. Her sweet little voice.
"You've got a beautiful voice, darlin'."
Beth looked away. It was sweet when she got all shy like that.
I sat up and hopped out of the coffin.
"Come on." I kissed her and scooped her up in my arms and started to carry her out of the chapel.
"Let's have dinner and then." I sat her in one of the chairs. "Then, we can go to bed for the night."
Beth and I shared a long and lustful look; she finally looked away and giggled a bit.
"I can't believe we actually get to spend the night together. Alone. It's nice to not have to worry bout anyone poppin' in on us. I kinda wish it could be like this all the time."
I sat down across from her. "Yeah. Me too."
I could hear a thump in my ear from how hard my heart was beatin' in my chest. She certainly had a way for gettin' my blood pumpin'.
As we sat down for another "white trash" meal, I heard rustlin' at the door again. The noise perimeter Beth had set up, was makin' all kinds of noise. I quickly shot up from my chair, and then I could hear that mangy mutt bark. I looked down at Beth and she smiled and nodded for me to go try and bring it in. The dog yipped about on the front porch; makin' all kinds of a raucous.
"Damn dog!" I reached for the jar of pigs feet on the table. "I'm gonna give it one more chance."
I got up and walked towards the doorway. However, as I approached the door I could see shadows moving across the windows; much too high for the dog.
Walkers were at the front door and that damned dog had led them right to us! I looked around and saw a heavy table along side the entry, which I grabbed and slid up against the door. Beth yelled from the other room.
"Did ya get him to come in?"
With her voice, the walkers started to moan and bang at the front door. Our cover had been blown.
"Beth! Beth!" I ran into the kitchen. "Get up! We gotta go!"
Beth looked terrified. "What's … what's goin' on, Daryl?"
"We got walkers at the front door." I grabbed her hand and drug her alongside of me. Then, I could hear that they'd made it through the front door, the moans were gettin' louder. I stopped and looked at Beth and motioned for her to go on ahead of me.
"Run! Beth, run!" I ran with her towards where we had stored out things. "Grab yer shit! Go out the window!"
I started to head towards the walkers to help fend them off and give her time to get out.
"No! I'm not leavin' you!"
I yelled back to her. "I told ya run!" Beth looked back at me desperately; I could tell she didn't want to leave, but we were runnin' outta time. "Get to the truck. I'll meet ya there. Now go!"
She paused; her face contorted. Beth didn't want to leave me, but she did as she was told.
I was able to dispatch of a few of the walkers and lead them towards another part of the house, while Beth escaped outta one of the windows. I made my way into one of the other rooms and blocked the door; quickly makin' my own escape outta one of the side windows. I jumped down out of the first floor and landed solidly on my feet. I looked around and I couldn't see Beth anywhere. What I could see was that there were walkers all over the place; a herd was passin' through and that stupid dog had led them to our front door. What are the chances?
I stayed close to the side of the house and looked out front and there were walkers everywhere …and they had swarmed our vehicle. The amount of walkers and the fact that I'd sent her to our truck made my stomach drop. I felt sick. I looked all over and I couldn't' see her.
Jesus! Where is she?!
Finally, I started yellin' for her. "Beth! Beth?!"
I caught the attention of some of the walkers and they started to make their way over to me. I continued to yell out for her.
As I made my way away from the house with the herd hot on my tail, I heard a voice in the distance.
Thank god, she's okay!
"Daryl! I'm over here."
Her tiny voice was comin' from down the road, she'd made it out. She was okay. I hadn't been this relieved since she'd gotten sick and I had gotten back just in time with those meds for her. It had only been a moment, but those feelin's of losin' her were unbearable.
I don't know what I'd do if I ever lost her.
I ran up to her and hugged her so tight she could barely breathe. I could feel her struggle a bit in my embrace.
"Jesus, I thought …"
She popped her head up and looked at me.
"I'm fine, Daryl." Her eyes filled with terror as she looked behind me. "But, we gotta run!"
I looked back and saw that they entire herd had obviously heard us yellin' back and forth and were now following us.
I grabbed Beth's hand and we ran! We ran as fast as we could lookin' for a way out, a place where we could lose the herd or hide out, but there was nothin' down this road. We made it passed the cemetery and all the way to the main highway. I looked over at Beth and I squeezed her hand.
"Ya trust me?" She nodded yes. "We gotta go into the woods. We can lose em in there."
Beth looked over at the darkness of the trees that stood high across the road. They looked menacing; I understood why Beth looked so frightened.
We both ran across the highway and into the dark unknown in front of us. I kept a hold of her hand, not wanting to lose her in here. We kept our footsteps quick and quiet, but it wasn't long before I could hear those familiar rustling and moans in the distance. The walkers had followed us into the woods. We ran for almost an hour before finally coming out of the tree line and onto another highway. Beth struggled to catch her breathe. In front of us was another long stretch of tall trees and God only knew where that would lead. Most likely not to any sort of decent cover for the night. I looked to the left and right of us and there was nothin' but desolate highway and a broke down car. I grabbed Beth's hand and ran towards the car.
I jumped in the front seat and tried to hotwire the car. I worked as quickly as I could and when I finally was able to get the thing to turn over, I realized the fucker didn't have any gas.
I jumped out of the car and could hear the walkers closin' in on us; their moans and shufflin' of their feet gettin' louder and louder.
"Come on." I walked over to the trunk of the car. "Get in."
"What?" Beth looked confused.
"Just get in!"
Beth hopped in and I followed quickly behind her and closed the trunk door down. And, just my luck, the damn thing wouldn't close all the way. Beth and I both struggled to get it closed and when we couldn't I just grabbed my handkerchief and wrapped it around a latch in the trunk and the car; securin' it as best as I could.
And just in time … the walkers had made their way to the highway!
I kept my crossbow aimed at the small opening of the trunk. Then we heard them – the herd. The moaning and their labored movements; some of them stumbled onto the car which made Beth almost cry out. I held my hand up, gesturin' for her to not make a noise. I looked over at her and she had her knife drawn and her handgun out. She was terrified, but she was ready.
Over the next couple of hours, I kept my crossbow aimed at that opening. I was ready to react at a moments notice. Eventually, the moans became fewer and more sporadic and a walker would bump into the car every few minutes.
The herd is thinning out. This must be the tail end of it.
I was feelin' a bit tired and I knew Beth must be tired; it had been a stressful couple of hours trapped in this trunk. Since we were both worn out and it was still dark, I figured we should get some rest. We weren't goin' anywhere just yet.
"Ya should get some sleep." I whispered to her.
"In here? After all that? I don't think so."
"Come here." I motioned for her to come lay in next to me. She carefully crawled across the tight space in the trunk and holstered her gun before lyin' down next to me. "Go on and get some rest. We'll circle back tomorrow for the SUV."
Beth sighed and leaned her head against my chest. "What if they're still there?"
"There will be some, but I think most em followed us here."
"Hey. We're okay. The herd passed by us." I brushed some of her hair back off her face. "And, it's just one night in the trunk, tomorrow will be better. Promise."
Beth snuggled in closer to me, as close as she could. I could feel her breathing get deeper and slower; she was relaxing and would probably be asleep soon. Beth looked peaceful for the most part; everythin' except for the 10 inch hunting knife that she clasped tightly in her hand and rested on her thigh. But, besides that, she looked real peaceful.
And, then I remembered - the pill! She needed to take the second pill at 10:30pm.
What time was it?
I struggled to reach into my other pocket and get my watch. I moved it towards the small opening in the trunk where just a little light from the moon slipped in illuminating the timepiece. It was already 12:30am; two hours passed the time she was supposed to take the second pill. I looked down at Beth and I could tell her eyes were closed and I thought she was probably asleep, but I had to do it. I had to wake her up.
I shrugged the shoulder she was restin' on to jostle her a bit. "Beth?"
"Beth!" I moved again, this time rousing her. "Hey?"
"Huh? Wha … what? What is it?" Beth's eyes were groggy and then popped open fearing that perhaps somethin' was wrong. "What is it? Everythin' okay?"
"Yeah. Everythin's fine. It's just."
"Its 12:30. AM. You shoulda taken that other pill two hours ago."
"Oh?!" Beth pushed herself up off of me and rubbed her eyes. "Lemme see." She quickly reached for her backpack and started digging through the bottomless pit. "Let's see." She continued to dig. "Hmm? Nothin'."
"What d'ya mean nothin'?"
"I mean, it's not in here."
"What d'ya mean it ain't in there? Ya keep all yer shit in there."
"I must've tossed the package in with the rest of em."
"And, those would be …"
Please don't say at the SUV.
"Everythin's still inside the SUV. Back at the house."
"Shit!" I exhaled my deeply; my frustration was evident by the crease between my brows. "Well, doesn't do us any good there, now does it?"
"Don't get upset with me." Beth quietly replied. "I wasn't plannin' on us stayin' the night away from our vehicle. Or, away from the house."
But, I was upset. Not really at her, just upset at the situation we found ourselves in. One night of fun, and now we'd have how ever many nights of worryin' ahead of us. And, her missin' this pill wasn't helpin' any.
"Damn! I can't believe this!" I blurted out causing Beth's eyes to widen. I looked down at her and I could tell she was upset ; she looked scared almost. I wondered if maybe I came off too harshly with her. "Hey Beth? I'm sorry. It's just …"
I stopped. I didn't need to say anythin' else. I was worried. Beth was worried. And, this was just another dumb move on our part.
Sometimes situations like these couldn't be anticipated or avoided. However, there were other situations (for example having unprotected sex and needing to take the morning after pill) that could be avoided. And, in the future, providing we get through this little scare – we would need to be careful. Very careful.
Beth looked down at her fingers, which now nervously picked at each other. She was really startin' to get worked up over it, I could tell. I could hear her take a deep breath before she continued to rattle off a bunch of self reassurances.
"I mean, it should be fine. They say as long as it's in the first 72 hours. It should be fine. It will be fine, I'm sure. I'll just need to take it first thing."
She wasn't so much talkin' to me, but to herself. And, I wasn't so sure about her philosophy about these pills.
I gotta know.
"Ya sure that's gonna work? Ya sure it's okay to spread em out like that?"
Beth didn't answer me directly, she just simply nodded. "It's gotta work."
I chuckled under my breath, amused by her matter-of-fact answer.
"It's gotta work, huh?" I paused. I scratched the back of my head. "But will it?"
Beth paused and shook her head. "I dunno. It's just … got to."
"Alright. Come here." I motioned for her to come lay back down next to me. "Get some sleep, Beth."
While she got reacquainted herself with my shoulder and chest, I felt my tensed body start to relax. Beth snuggled right in and sleep found her within minutes. Although listenin' to her breathe was soothin', I couldn't help but remain awake the rest of the night keepin' guard. Not after that close call and a herd roamin' around out here. And, not with the loomin' thought bout her missin' that last pill.
This run had gotten complicated real fast. A lot more than I had wanted for her first supply run with me, but that's how things go out here. Ya never know what's gonna happen and ya gotta be ready for anythin'. A few more hours passed and, finally, I noticed that the sky was startin' to lighten up a bit.
It must be gettin' close to sunrise. Time to get on the road.
I figured I wake up my sleepin beauty. "Beth." I whispered. "Bethy, time to wake up."
Beth moaned a little as she stirred awake. "Mmm … mornin' Daryl."
She attempted to stretch, but bein' that we were in a trunk made things a bit difficult. Beth tried to sit up and reached for her neck.
"Oww, oh! I'm pretty stiff."
Beth looked over at me and I must've looked tired as hell. "Ya sleep?"
I shook my head no. "Uh, uh."
"Daryl." Beth reached over and touched my face; she leaned in and craned her neck to reach my lips so she could give me a kiss. "Ya should've gotten some sleep."
"Had to keep watch. I'll sleep tonight. Don't ya worry."
Beth stared lovingly back at me. "Love you."
I smiled and started to untie the handkerchief that latched the trunk down. "You too."
I slowly opened the trunk and Beth popped her head up and sighed in relief. I got up on my knees and looked around, my crossbow readied – no walkers in sight.
"Go on. Time to move." I motioned for her to get out.
Beth crawled out and slung her small backpack over her shoulders, and then began to dust the dirt and filth off her pants.
"Is it always like this, Daryl?"
"Pretty much." I paused and stretched; raising my arms above my head. My back was achin' and I had a kink in my neck from the awkward position I was in all night. "For whatever reason, ya always end up runnin'. Always runnin'."
"I had no idea, Daryl." Beth looked like she just realized how dangerous the whole supply run missions had been. She must've been thinkin' bout all the times I'd been gone. All the mishaps, all the times where I was good as dead. Beth was processin' it all; her eyes starin' off and her brow furrowed with worry. "I didn't know."
I reached over and grabbed a hold of Beth bringin' her close to me and gave her a bear hug; my arms wrapped around her.
"Don't worry bout all that right now. Let's just get our vehicle back and get the hell outta here. What d'ya say?"
Beth looked up at me and smiled. She stood on her tiptoes and kissed me. "Okay."
"Alright, let's go." I tossed my crossbow over my shoulder and started to walk quickly back into the wooded area and back towards the mortuary.
We had to get that vehicle and those supplies and I was really hopin' that the herd was gone and we could get back on the road. But, it would be another two hours before we'd reach the edge of the woods and the highway. We stayed behind the tree line as I looked out.
"Looks clear. Might be a few of em still wanderin' around. So stay close."
"I'll be right behind you."
Hopefully, tonight will be less eventful.
END CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO
So, what'd ya think? I wanted to include some angst right away. At first I wanted this whole supply run to be one sexcapade, but I figured I'd spice it up with some action and integrate some of the real scenes with Daryl & Beth.
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
And, now that the season is over *** FINALE SPOILERS BELOW *** (IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED THE FINALE YET, DON'T READ THE READER'S QUESTIONS).
I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE FINALE WITH Y'ALL …
QUESTION FOR MY READERS:
1. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FINALE – OH MY GAWD!
2. WHERE IS BETH? This was my only issue with the finale. Where the hell is Beth? If you've read the comics, there is some indication as to who might have taken her (the car had a cross on it). However, they didn't give us anything else – which totally sucks!
3. And, what did you think about how Daryl told Rick about Beth? "She's just gone."
Umm, yeah! State the obvious! I think he should've told him that she was taken, no?
For example …
Rick: Is she dead?
Daryl: No. But, she's gone.
Daryl: Someone took her. Don't know who (he pauses) Some asshole grabbed her. (Daryl shakes his head in distress) Just drove off with her. (Daryl starts to tear up)
Rick: (nods knowingly)
Daryl: I ran all night, but … the trail went cold. (Daryl gets upset – his head falls into his hands) She could be a million miles from here.
Rick: (puts his hand on Daryl's shoulder) It's alright. (pauses a beat) It's alright.
(Daryl looks up at Rick unsure)
Rick: You found us though. You saved us. Me, Carl, Michonne. That's all that matters now. You're here with us.
Daryl: And, those guys I was with. I didn't know what they could do … (dialogue about Joe's gang and Rick calling Daryl his brother)
BOOM! That's how I would have written it! At least a little mention of the fact that someone STOLE Beth and that Daryl looked for her and that she MIGHT be out there somewhere still alive. A mention of the car and perhaps some other clue about her whereabouts would have been awesome … I'm just sayin' …
"She's just gone" can mean a lot of things, it's so general. That's one of my minor complaints.
Ok, so enough of that. On to what I've got planned for next chapter.
** I've got Chapter Twenty-Three outlined ... So, as soon as this chapter gets 7 reviews - I'll get working on this 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-Three Teaser: Daryl and Beth – Day Two of the supply run. Daryl and Beth make their way back to their vehicle and their second night out is a lot more comfortable … and a lot sexier than the first! Lemons are on their way ;-P
Looking forward to hearing from you all!