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I'll Keep You Alive If You Show Me The Way

Chapter 32: Missing

"You stay here until one of us comes out and gets you,"I said to Charlotte, standing up.

Charlotte was a good kid, she had an understanding that there was danger out there and knew that we knew best. I hated leaving her, but I had to. We got out of the bus and surveyed the area.

"Gonna see some 'mount douche bags 'round 'ere,"Daryl grumbled.

He was right. We had arrived in a very well off part of some large town. I used to be a rich kid but these guys? They bathed in cash. One of the tall iron gates into the estate was hanging on it's hinges. I spotted a call box, you had to know some one to get into this estate. Daryl and Glenn shoved it open and we started up the avenue. Tall trees lined the streets, separated from each other by stretches of overgrown yellow grass. No one was around to keep it in good condition. Sidewalks separated the lines of trees from the front gardens. In front of every garden was another iron gate, not as high as the first ones. Bushes that grew behind the walls were overgrown too. And who could forget the dead weaving drunkenly in and out of street lights and telephone poles. Although the clothes they wore were torn, I could still tell they were once overpriced designer crap. Now there's something I was never concerned with; brands.

"Doesn't seem to be many, I bet these guys were the first to get to Atlanta,"Glenn said.

We all agreed and Maggie went back to the bus for Charlotte. She ran up to me and clutched onto my hand. A sudden wave of paranoia hit me yet again. Some one was watching us.

"Char, baby. Have you seen walkers before?"I asked, looking down at her as we began to move down the middle of the road.

"Not really, daddy hid my eyes."

"I want you to do that when I say so... your ears too, gottit?"

She nodded and held on tighter to my hand. We were already attracting the walkers. They swung their bodies on their heels to face us then hobbled towards us, arms outstretched, teeth snapping. These geeks have probably been locked in here the whole time. Not even a chihuahua to nibble on. Daryl's hand moved to his hatchet.

"Now,"I whispered to Charlotte.

We circled around her as she clapped her hands over her ears and squeezed her eyes shut. I readied my bow and we began taking down the oncoming swarm. The others were using melee weapons and started moving away from Charlotte. I kept close to her, close enough to feel her brushing against my jeans. The constant tapping of my arrow knocking against the wood of my bow, the scraping of wood on wood as I anchored and the whiz of the arrow flying through the air was still noticeable. I would only move when I couldn't hear my bow. The estate fell quiet once we finished slaughtering. I turned to check on Charlotte and heard a sickening THUNK behind me. I looked back around to see Daryl yank a hatchet out of walker brains. I went to give him a thankful smile but he didn't look at me as he marched past to join Glenn. Okay, so... he is mad at me.

"Keep your eyes covered, Char,"I mumbled placing my hands lightly on her shoulders.

I steered her after the group, past the carnage and allowed her to open her eyes. We came to the end of the cul-de-sac and decided the house in front of us was best. Times like these I wished Sam was easier to bring places. Daryl, Michonne and Nathan disappeared into the house while Glenn and Maggie went around the side to the back. I kept watch in the front lawn. My eyes darted around for whomever was watching us. If there even was some one watching us. Charlotte sat in grass, humming and playing with a ladybug. Nathan joined my side.

"Clear,"he said, watching the little bug climb from one of Charlotte's hands to another."By the way, you're up shit creak with hill billy boy."

"Shut it."

He and Charlotte followed me into the house. We met Michonne and Daryl in the large, state of the art kitchen. Michonne was sitting up on the counter isle munching on a bag of chips while Daryl was opening every cabinet in the place, throwing more bags to her. There was a foul stench of gone off milk but it didn't bug me too much. Anything was better than the smell of decaying flesh. There was a short tap. I glanced at the glass door and saw Glenn and Maggie peering in. I turned the key and slid the dirt stained glass door open.

"There's kids stuff out there,"Glenn said pointing his thumb behind him.

"Oooh! C'mon Charlotte let's go play!"Nathan grinned, snatching her up in his arms.

Her giggling grew quieter as the ran further away from the house. I leaned against the door frame and watched them on the swings. I hoped Nathan's broke, that would sure cheer me up. I rubbed my tired eyes, I always seemed to be tired. When I opened them I became aware of a strange tension in the room. I frowned to myself wondering what it was. The only sound was Michonne's crunching and the thud of her heels hitting the counter now and then along with the rustling of whatever Daryl was doing.

I realised it came from Glenn and Maggie. They looked as if they needed to be excused or something. I knew what was on their minds. Fancy ass houses like these had comfy beds. I was the only facing in their direction. I coughed and crossed the room, turning on the tap. To my delight the system groaned and water spurted out. Well, damn I wasn't expecting that! Maybe we could have warm showers tonight. Not freezing community showers or boiled alive in a wooden tub.

"I'm gonna pull the bus up, maybe we can grab some stuff from here,"Michonne said behind me.

Daryl and I both grunted in response. Which reminded me that we were alone now. An awkward silence fell as Michonne's footsteps disappeared down the hall.

"We might have showers tonight,"I voiced, not turning around. I continued to watch Nathan and Charlotte from the window, clutching the sink. He didn't respond, the guilt started to sicken me.

"Good sleep...and stuff,"I continued.

He replied with a clatter of cans. I heard a thump from upstairs and Maggie's laugh. Could this be anymore awkward? Wait a damn second. Why did I feel guilty? Daryl and I weren't anything and he only had seen Rick look at me. He didn't need to know about us kissing, it was none of his business. I'm not his damn wife. I spun and faced him.

"Hey, asshole? Y'gonna talk to me?"I spat.

He looked really pissed off and I wished I hadn't said anything. He's scary when he's mad...

"Whaddiya wan' me to say?!"He snarled.

Que the shouting match. 3, 2 ...

"A yeah would do! What the hells your problem?!"

"Wha's my problem? Wha's yours?!"

"You! What have I done?!"

"Why the hell was Rick looking atcha like tha'?!"

"Like what?!"


I was stunned into silence.


It wasn't a question. It was like I was watching a TV show and something out there had happened. I mean... had it?

"Yeah, and y'looked back."

Though he was angry I could hear the hurt in his voice. I stared blankly at him, unsure of what to do.

"Somethin' goin' on between yas huh?"He scowled.

"So what if there is, what's the difference to you?"I challenged.

HA-HA! That shut him up. This time, he stared blankly at me. I watched him for a moment, he was frowning now as if he was having his own conversation with himself. I raised my brow at him and waited.

"Sorry,"he finally mumbled.

I frowned.

"About what?"

"Dunno... Gettin' mad I guess... y'know I'd never hurt ya right?"

I nodded slowly.

"How did y'know you scared me?"I muttered.

He smirked, making my heart melt.

"'Cause y'got all defensive."

"Oh,"I whispered, looking down at the hem of shirt and fiddling with it.

I felt suddenly warm and I moved my eyes up at Daryl who had closed the space between us. His hand moved to my chin, lifting it so he could kiss me. A warm feeling crossed my chest as it deepened. A cough came from the door behind Daryl. He sprang away from me as if I had caught on fire. I looked over at the door leading to the hallway. Michonne stood there, arms crossed and a smug look of "I knew it" on her face. Daryl grabbed his crossbow and brushed past her, her brown eyes on him the whole time. Once he left the room she looked at me. I blushed and she grinned, shaking her head. I laughed nervously as she hopped up on the counter to finish her packet of chips.

Later on, we chose rooms to sleep in. The last occupants of this house had gotten out before things got messy. We put Charlotte in the little girls room opposite mine. I sat on my bed with the door open, hers too and watched her play with the dolls. Maybe it was a good idea to bring her, she looked like a normal little girl to me and most of all, happy. After a while I tucked her in and shut her door, crossed over to mine and flopped down on the bed. I grabbed a baseball and glove. Throwing the baseball up to the ceiling and catching it in the glove kept my mind off of things. I was in a trance, unaware of what I was repeatedly doing. For once I didn't feel like I was being watched, maybe I had developed agoraphobia. Seemed logical to me. I sat up at the sound of a knock, breaking me out of my trance. Daryl was leaning against the door frame.


I smiled and flopped back down on the soft bed. I pulled off the glove and flung it across the room. I watched the dust swirl past the window, everything in the room was coated in dust. The door shut lightly, I thought I was alone but the bed sank. I turned my head and looked up at him. I hooked my fingers around his collar and pulled him down on top of me. I swung my legs around his hips, knotting my hands in his filthy hair and brought our lips together. He rested his body on mine, moved one hand to my hair the other to my hip. I pulled away after a while. Taking deep breaths.

"Daryl. What am I to you?"I blurted out of no where.

Literally. That sentence hadn't even gone to my brain first, it just spilled out of my mouth. Daryl frowned and kneeled up. I propped myself up on my elbows. I bit my lip and stared at the ground.

"Whatcha mean?"

"I dunno."

"Tell me."

"I mean, you got all pissy because Rick looked at me. Do you... uh... I dunno? See me as your property or something?"

Daryl stared down at me for a moment before breathing a laugh. I blushed with embarrassment.

"Wha' like a house?"

"I don't know Daryl, forget it,"I groaned, lying back down, placing the palms of my hands on my forehead. Why am I so dumb? I felt Daryl's fingertips brush along the bottom of my t-shirt, distracting me from my self-loathing.

"Whaddiya wanna be?"He mumbled.

I shrugged.

"Y'wanna be my girlfrien'?"

I heard a faint tint of a smile through his accent. I peeped out through the cracks of my fingers at the ceiling.

"Are you asking me or what I want?"

I felt him fidgit between my knees, his torn jeans brushing against mine. I sat up and peered up at him from under my fringe.

"What do you want."

"Whatever y'want, I guess."

I sighed and stared at him.

"Think y'deserve better."

"Shut up. Don't say that. Why would you say that? Who the hell else do you think I should give a damn about like this?"


"He's bat-shit crazy, Daryl."


I sighed.

"Ok, Daryl. I respect Rick. He's almost like a brother. I care about him but it's different. He's confused because he misses Lori and I've sort of filled that gap. Y'know for Carl. You were there when she asked me to look after them."

"Look out for them yeah, what y'doin' ain't jus' tha'. Y'looked back, I saw."

"I was confused too. Jesus, Daryl I'm not used to people having an interest in me or caring about me or even looking to me for advice. I think you can understand that. I don't want to be with Rick... at all. So that rules him out."

"I might hit you..."

"I don't care,"I whispered.

He cupped my face in his hands and gave me a quick kiss.

"We should sleep,"he said moving away.

I caught onto his wrist and pulled him back. I could feel the fear that my nightmares gave me coarse through my body.


"Ok. But I'm sleepin' dunno wha' y'plannin'."

"I'm not it's just the nightmares are really bad"I grumbled.

He nodded and lifted me off the bed. We pulled back the duvet and climbed in. He turned his back towards me. I tried not to complain. I wrapped my arm around his waist, rested my forehead against his back and hoped for a good sleep.


When I woke the next morning I was alone, the door was wide open and dull light pooled in through the dirty window. I felt refreshed and couldn't remember waking up during the night. My fingers reached over to where Daryl had slept, his side of the bed was cold. I heard little thumping noises coming towards me. I rubbed my eyes and sat up, only to be knocked back down again. I reached for my knife on the bedside table.

"HARLEIGH!"A familiar voice giggled.

"Jesus, Char,"I sighed, relaxing.

I sat up again. Charlotte crawled off of me still laughing. Daryl was leaning on the door frame, smirking.

"Y'slept like a log, we even went on a run."

"You left me alone?"

"Nah, Maggie stayed. We're gonna go again, y'comin'?"

I nodded and started brushing my fingers through my hair. I swung my legs out of the bed and stood up quickly. Maybe a little too fast. I felt myself wobble. Daryl was by my side in seconds, arm around my waist. I held my head and blinked a few times.

"Leigh? Y'good?"


"Harleigh? Look a' me."


I steadied myself and realised the world had been spinning too fast there for a few seconds. My eyes focused on Daryl's worried expression.

"Oh. Yeah. I'm okay. I think I got up too fast."

He didn't look to convinced but he didn't say anything about it. I heard a gasp then a giggle . We both snapped our heads to the noise. Charlotte sat in the middle of the bed watching us. Daryl removed his arm from my waist quickly.

"Jus' uh... get ready,"he mumbled.

I nodded and he left the room. Charlotte turned away from me as I quickly changed into cleaner clothes.
"Are you and Daryl gettin' married?"She asked. The way Charlotte talks always sounded like she was singing, it's cute but I bet it drove her parents mad.

"No. Lets go downstairs."

"Why not?"

"Uh because."I said as we walked down the hallway.

She stared up at me expectantly.

"Becaaause... we're not like Maggie and Glenn."

Trying to make up a reason is hard.

"Why not?"

"I dunno, Char,"I sighed as we went down the stairs.

We met the others in the kitchen.

"Oh, it's sleeping beauty!"Nathan teased.

I rolled my eyes.

"How are you this morning?"He asked, seriously all of a sudden.

I glanced at Daryl, who looked about as puzzled as I did. Nathan knew everything. I don't know how but he knew I had nearly fainted earlier.

"Fine... you?"

"Great, actually. You better get something to eat before you go out."

I nodded and Daryl threw a can and a spoon over to me. Nathan watched me carefully as I pulled the lid off. Satisfied that I had enough strength to do that he brought Charlotte outside.

"You tell him?"I asked Daryl quietly.

"No,"he whispered, eyeing Nathan through the window."That guy's weird, Leigh."

I nodded in agreement, Nate was weird, but he was on my side. I was sure of it. I inspected the crap in the tin, it was revolting and made my stomach turn.

"The fuck is this?"I grumbled.

"We should go"Michonne said.

I spooned some of the gunk into my mouth, trying not to gag. Nathan stayed behind this time. When we left the house it was late morning.

"Did you guys check these house?"I asked.

"No, we went to a mall down the way,"Glenn said.

We decided to check the houses in the estate. We found out one house had more than ten walkers in it. Glenn had run up to the boarded up windows, the living room had been packed so we didn't dare open the door holding them inside. We checked three other houses without much drama and by the time we finished looting the third it was mid afternoon. Glenn and Maggie were packing the bus with the supplies we had gathered. We were going to go to the prison today and maybe come back again another time. I led the way into the fourth house. It was spotless just like the one we were staying in. Not a walker in sight.

I went down to the garage, that's were we would find most of the household weapons. There was a car in the garage, the trunk was open with a sleeping bag and pillow inside. I strolled over to the shelves were the toolboxes would be kept. Nothing. Some one else got here first. I hoped it had been the owners of the house, maybe they took everything with them to Atlanta. The only sounds in the house seemed to be my boots shuffling along the ground. The house was empty and it probably had been for a long time. God was I wrong. Next thing I know I'm slammed against the garage wall, something cold and sharp against my neck.

"Who the hell are you?!"The blonde woman in front of me spat.

I froze up and stared at her. I glanced down at the knife against my neck.

"Harleigh,"I replied slowly.

I was relieved that no recognition crossed her face.

"You bit?"




Her silver eyes bored into mine.

"So if I kill you-"

"They'll kill you. If you don't then they'll let you go."

"Are there men?"

I frowned. She pressed the knife into my skin.

"Answer me!"She spat.

"Yeah. There are."

"They good to you?"

"Of course."

Her body froze as Michonne's katana rested on the back of her neck. I hadn't even noticed her or Daryl sneak into the room.

"Let her go, or I'll have your head as an ornament."

The woman moved the knife away from me. I nodded to Michonne and she put the katana away.

"Are y'lone?"Daryl asked, crossbow pointing at the woman's curly blonde head.

"Yes,"she muttered sending Daryl a look of hatred.

She looked back at me and held out her hand. I took it hesitantly.

"Sorry about that Harleigh. Can never be too careful. Name's Christine. Call me Krista"

"How d'ya know her name?"Daryl asked.

"I told her,"I muttered.

"Leigh! Y'can't be-"he glanced at Krista for a moment.

"I know Daryl, sorry. I did have a knife to my neck."

Daryl nodded and finally lowered the crossbow.

"Would you guys like some tea?"Krista asked.

"Sure,"I shrugged.

Daryl frowned at me but followed Krista up to the kitchen. We sat down at the little round table and watched her click on the kettle.

"You have electricity?"I asked.

"Mmm hmm. It's like these rich bastards were expecting the world to end."

She set down a bowl of sugar in the middle of the table along with tea spoons.

"So... you guys are alive. That's great,"she said after a moments silence.

Glenn and Maggie come into the room and stared at her.

"Who are you?"Maggie asked.

"Krista. Sit down have some tea,"she said.

I noticed how she shot Glenn a look similar to the one she gave Daryl. Glenn and Maggie introduced themselves and sat down with us.

"Sadly I've no milk,"she said setting cups down.

Daryl moved his cup away from him and received yet another glare off Krista. What was her problem?

"So uh... did you live here?"Glenn asked.

Krista sighed grumpily, as if she didn't want to talk to him.

"I was on call."

We stared blankly at her.

"I'm a whore,"she said bluntly.

Glenn's mouth formed an 'o'. Krista then turned to me and smiled.

"What about you Harleigh? What did you do?"

I sighed, slightly embarrassed. I caught Daryl smirking at me from across the table.

"I was a ballet dancer and worked in a cafe,"I muttered.

Michonne looked a little surprised.

"Oh! Well that's handy. I hear ballet makes you fit."

"It does"

"Better than any boxers."

I shrugged and she smiled. She then asked Maggie who told her what she told me. Then she asked Michonne, who didn't reply at all.

"Funny bunch, ain't y'all?"Krista remarked, leaning back on her seat.

"Yeah, we best be goin',"Daryl muttered standing up.

I stood up too. Krista grasped onto my wrist.

"You don't have to do as he says,"she said loudly.

Everyone else was on their feet, watching us. I laughed and shook my head.

"No. We really do have to go."

I followed Daryl and Michonne out to the hall, Glenn and Maggie following me.

"Rednecks are the worst kind Harleigh!"Krista called after me.

I rolled my eyes and continued out of the house. We headed back up the street towards our house.

"Maybe we should have asked her to come with?"Maggie asked as Michonne opened the gate.

"No, we have too many... Besides she has something against men,"I said.

We all stopped in our tracks.

The front door had been busted down. Maybe this was the wrong house? No. I shoved past Daryl and Michonne. Ignoring their calls I hurried into the house.

"CHARLOTTE?!"I bellowed.

I ran to the back yard, empty. I hurried back to the hall were Daryl stood outside the living room door. He raised his finger to his lips. I could hear a muffled thumping coming from the room. I covered my eyes and tried to steady my breathing. Daryl kicked the door open, crossbow raised.

"The hell?"I heard him mutter.

I followed him into the room. Nathan was tied up on the the floor, a bookcase on it's side beside him. Daryl ripped the black tape off his mouth.

"Nate? Nate where's Charlotte?"I asked, panicking.

"Why do you have three heads?"Nathan asked staring at Daryl.

Daryl grabbed Nathan's collar and shook him.

"Quit foolin' 'round and fuckin' tell us what happened!"Daryl snarled.

Nathan frowned and tried to focus on Daryl.

"Governor,"Nathan mumbled.

I felt my knees grow weak and I fell to the floor.

"No, no, no, NO!"

"Everything alright neighbor?"Krista said entering the room."Oh... wow."

"Harleigh. Harleigh listen to me,"Daryl was saying.

He grabbed my shoulders in an attempt to make me look at him.

"I'll find her. Y'hear me? I'll find her. She's gonna be ok. I'll find her."

"You couldn't find Sophia! She's gone Daryl!"I said, hearing my voice crack.

"This is different. I'll find her, I swear I will."

He pulled me into his chest and I broke down in tears.

"I promised her nothing would ever happen to her"I sobbed into his shoulder.

He knotted his fingers through my hair and tightened his other arm around my waist.

"I'll find her,"he whispered.


thanks for reading x


I'm super sad because I've realized this may never get updated. It's legitimately the best story on this site

wolvesyroses wolvesyroses

Oh I really love this story. I hope it gets updated >< please update!

Gilyflower Gilyflower

This is the most amazing story ever on this site ever please update. Harleigh is amazing and you are a great writer.

reddeadwalker reddeadwalker

Amazing writing, as always.

SierraaDixon SierraaDixon

Holy crap please update!!! This is one of the best I've read in a long time!!!

elissa_mirinda elissa_mirinda