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A Veil of Black and Gold

Ch. 12

Daryl and the others were still tripping out on Nicole and the whole scene that went down at her cousin’s hide out. “I don’t see what the big deal was.” Nicole said as she munched on a piece of pan dulce. “I mean, yea I’m sure you guys were worried in the beginning, but you guys could’ve cheered up a bit when you saw the coast was clear.”

“Nicole, it’s more complicated than that. That man that hurt you said scary, horrible things! He made it seem like you were going to die over there!” T-Dog exclaimed as they all slowly made their way back to where they parked their van. Nicole just laughed and Daryl abruptly stopped walking and grabbed her arm roughly.

“How the hell can you find that funny?” He yelled, causing Rick, Glen and T-Dog to look at him with wary and concerned looks.

“Oww, Daryl, what the fuck?!” She looked down at where he grabbed her, his strong rough hand causing her arm to slowly start to go numb.

“We thought you were going to die, and you laugh about it like it’s a fucking joke?!” She tried to get away from him, to break his grip on her arm but he kept his hold on her like a vice. “We thought we were never going to see you again! Can you imagine how we felt, how scared we were for you?!” He yelled in her face, he was close enough to her that she could count his eyelashes, and she felt that all she could do was stare at him, so she did, not hiding her shock his sudden outburst caused. Tears slowly began forming in her eyes, and she noticed Daryl’s eyes become a little softer, like it wasn’t his intention to hurt her. However, his grip on her arm tightened giving Rick the probable cause he needed to intervene. He came up from behind Daryl and put a hand on his shoulder. He looked at Nicole and Nicole looked right back. Letting go of her roughly, Daryl walked ahead of everyone, fast enough to be alone, but not fast enough to leave the group behind. Nicole just stood their, wondering why Daryl was being so mean to her all of a sudden. One moment he’s hugging her, telling her things she never thought could possibly exist in his vocabulary, the next he’s grabbing her and yelling in her face. What was the real reason behind his behavior, why would he act that way about to her? Why?

“Nicole?” Rick wrecked her train of thought and she looked up at him, not realizing that tears stained her face. “Oh, Nicole.” He gently pulled her into a hug and she hugged him back. “Don’t let him get to you, don’t let him bring you down. He’s just worried about his brother, alright, sweetheart? It’s going to be ok.” She slowly let go of Rick and turned away, wiping her face dry and pulling herself together. She turned back around and saw T-Dog and Glen close by, while Daryl looked away from her a few feet ahead. She took a big breath, pulled up her big girl panties and nodded at Rick. He nodded back and he set off walking to the last five miles it would take to get to their van. After an hour and a half, Nicole thought she was lost. She could’ve sworn Glen had parked the van in that specific spot, she had marked the pole it was next to with a smiley face. The smiling pole was there, the van was not.

“I’m not high am I?” Nicole asked herself, as she checked the area around the pole for any sign of their van.

“I’m not, and I’m not seeing our van anywhere. Are you sure this was where you parked, Glen?” T-Dog asked, as he went to stand next to Nicole, who was looking at the smiling pole.

“I’m positive, I remember Nicole marking the pole. Who could’ve possibly stolen it?” One by one, the entire group looked at Daryl. Once Daryl felt the burn of the group’s stares he turned to them.

“What are you all gawking at?” He asked rudely, as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other.

“Could Merle have taken the van?” Rick asked calmly, not wanting to piss Daryl off anymore than he was. Daryl looked at Rick and sighed.

“It’s possible; he can sure hold a grudge.” Nicole made an irritated noise and punched the pole as hard as she could, causing the guys to jump at her violent and impulsive outburst.

“That’s perfect! That’s just what we fucking need! It’s not like we’re in a big hurry to get back to camp, let’s just go for a merry, leisurely walk into the countryside!” She turned around and from a small pouch on her backpack; she pulled out a pack of Newports. With her bruised, bleeding and shaking hand she lit one and took a deep breath, trying to calm down. She then began to walk in the direction they had entered the city from, eager to get back to someone other than Daryl. She hadn’t realized she was walking fast, when she heard Rick’s voice yelling behind her.

“Nicole!” She stopped and turned around, waiting for the guys to catch up with her. “Nicole, your hand!” She looked at the hand that her cigarette was in and shrugged.

“What about it?” She hit her cigarette again, giving the whole group a chance to look at the damage she did to herself.

“Jesus Christ! Nicole you split the skin to the bone!” Glen yelled, getting a little closer to her. She popped her cigarette in her mouth and looked at her hand again. Sure enough, there was some hard pearly white bone visible on two of her knuckles and the other two were hideously bruised. Her hand was shaking and as her adrenaline began to wear off, the pain began to seep in, faster that a snake’s venom. She closed her eyes and inhaled sharply, the cherry of her cigarette glowing red.

“That was, by far, one of the stupidest things I have ever done.” She said softly, trying not to move her hand. Moving it caused severe pain to dominate her hand and part of her arm.

“You really need to get that temper of yours checked out.” Daryl said, walking up to her.

“Suck walker dick, Daryl Dixon!” She swore through clenched teeth as she used her left hand to throw her cigarette on the ground. Daryl got a cheesy grin on his face as he turned to Rick and the others.

“Listen to that mouth! Girl, you swear worse than Merle.” He walked over to her and scooped her up into his arms and threw her over his shoulder.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” She protested as she punched his back with her right hand, forgetting about the injury she just sustained. As she let out and extensive and creative stream of curses, Daryl began to explain his actions.

“You can’t go very fast with your hand fucked up. You hardly weigh anything at all, so I don’t mind carrying you. It will get us back to camp faster. So don’t complain, and watch where you stick those big ass heels of yours.” Once she admitted defeat, she relaxed on Daryl’s shoulder, flipping off T-Dog, Rick and Glen as they laughed at the awkward position she was in. After about thirty minutes, Nicole got into the rhythm Daryl was running at and she soon found herself rocked to sleep, hanging limp on Daryl Dixon’s shoulder.

~~~***~~~

“Nicole, wake up! Wake up!” Nicole was forced from her dreams but she didn’t have time to dwell on it. Daryl put her on her feet and she suddenly heard why. It was dark and coming deep from the darkness was the sounds of gunshots and screams.

“Oh my God!” She clenched her fists, ignoring the pain shooting up her arm and she ran. She ran faster than she ever has before. She had family in that camp. She had to make sure they were ok. She couldn’t hear what the guys were saying behind her, she didn’t really care. All she cared about was getting to Ray, Rael and Bubba. She ran into a camp full of walkers and she didn’t have a single weapon on her. Once she got into the middle of camp, she saw some people didn’t make it, their bodies were strewn onto the floor and walkers were digging into them. Tears streaming down her face, she began calling for Ray. “Ray! Ray, where are you?!” She was lost, alone and completely afraid. She didn’t even notice the walker coming at her.

“Nicole!” Ray’s voice boomed over everything and she turned around, finding herself face to face with a walker. It lunged for her and she fell but before it could do anything, Ray threw himself on her. The walker bit down on his shoulder and his blood fell all over Nicole. His screams were by far the worst thing Nicole has ever heard. She watched as the walker ripped muscle and sinew from his shoulder and then bites down again on his neck, soaking her once more in his warm blood. She screamed as loud as she could, not believing the sight she was seeing right in front of her. The veins and skin that ripped from Ray’s neck looked like it was far away, Nicole felt like she was in some wet warm blanket and she didn’t notice Rael hit the walker with a bat, and beat its dead brains in once it was off of Ray. Nicole slowly rose up and went to Ray. He was barely alive, gasping for his last breaths of air.

“Ray, baby, let me see, let me help you Ramon! Please!” She screamed at him, tears pouring down her face as she tried to put pressure on both of Ray’s bites.

“Get away, Nicole. Get away from me!” He gargled, as he tried to push you away. By now, all the walkers had been taken care of and an eerie cloud of death, sorrow, decay and hopelessness fell onto the camp. Nicole stayed with Ray, despite his persistence to push her away. He shakily reached into the pocket of his jeans and pulled out a small box. “This, this is what I was waiting for.” He opened the box and inside was a beautiful diamond ring. Nicole cried even harder, as she reached for the ring. She looked back at Ray, whose eyes were closed and his chest no longer rising. She looked at him for a good while before she called his name.

“Ray, hey, Ray? Ray! Ray, wake up! Wake the fuck up! You can’t do that to me! You can’t leave me here! Please Ray! Wake up now, I need you! Ray!” Her screams echoed throughout the whole camp and somewhere a few feet from her, Jim was talking about a dream he had, just the night before.

~~~***~~~

Nicole wouldn’t let anyone come near Ray, not even Rael. She stayed with him, looking like a feral dog every time anybody got to close. “He’s going to wake up. He’s going to be just fine.” She whispered to herself, just as dawn was beginning to break. She kept looking at the ring she had put on her finger. He had wanted to marry her. That’s what he had up his sleeve this whole time, and she had never figured it out. Soon, activity began to buzz in the camp, but Nicole stayed rooted to her spot next to Ray. She held his hand and stroked his hair, barely realizing the little hints of blond in his bangs, the way his nose curved a little at the end and soft feel of his lips.

“Nicole.” She turned around sharply at the sound of her name. Rick was standing a foot away from her. “Nicole, you know what happens to them once they get bitten.” She shook her head.

“It’s not going to happen to Ray. He’s going to wake up and he’s going to be just fine.” She turned back around as she noticed the hand she was holding twitch. She looked down and Ray and smiled. “Watch Rick. He’s going to be ok. He’s going to be just fine.” His body twitched some more and slowly, his eyes opened, not looking at anything but staring at everything. “Ray?” She whispered. He turned toward her, and she gently ran her thumb against his cheek. He placed a hand over hers and brought his fingers slowly to her face. He stood up tall over her, and she stood up with him, believing that there was nothing wrong with him, that he really was going to be ok. He looked at her and she looked at him. All of a sudden, he grabbed her hair and her arm. “Ray, what’s the matter? Please let go of me, Ray.” He growled as he realized he had his breakfast there in his arms. She tried to fight him off, but with her being up all night and her injured hand, it was going to be a fight she was going to lose. Right when she felt her arms about to give out from keeping Ray from biting her, she felt strong arms wrap around her and pull her out of Ray’s grip. She was pushed back toward Rick and the last thing she was Daryl shoving a pick axe into Ray’s head. “NOOOOO!!!!” That outburst took the last of her strength and Nicole blacked out, landing roughly in the hard dirt.

~~~***~~~

Daryl couldn’t get what was going through Nicole’s head. Ray was obviously a walker and she tried to hug him. He had to do something, especially when walker Ray grabbed her. She looked up at him like there was no reason he should be doing that to her. Once she saw her arms shake with exhaustion, he stepped in and pulled her away from him. Once she was out of harm’s way, he stuck his pick axe into Ray’s brain. Nicole screamed from behind, but once he turned to confront her; she had already passed out and was lying in the dirt. He walked over to her, not caring who was watching, not giving two fucks if Rick, Rael or anybody else was looking as he scooped her up gently like she was precious silk and walked toward his truck. He opened it and laid her down in the cab. She looked so broken, so torn, like this world was doing all it could to break the beauty she brought into it. She looked down at her hand, down at the ring Ray was going to propose to her with. ‘How could I be so stupid?’ He thought as he stood up. ‘She was going to marry him, for fuck’s sakes.’ He walked away to find some water, to cool Nicole down with. Once he got the water, he lit a small fire and boiled some rags he got from the Winnebago. He only boiled the water for a few minutes and then stomped the fire out. Leaving the water to cool, he went to find Glen who had taken Nicole’s backpack when he threw her over his shoulder. He found him with T-Dog, throwing geeks into a fire. “Glen!” He looked up at Daryl and wiped his face, walking toward him.

“What’s up?” He asked.

“I need Nicole’s backpack. Where did you put it last night?” He looked down as if remembering Nicole’s loss.

“I put it in hers and Ray’s tent.” Daryl nodded and walked away. “How is she?” He called out. Daryl stopped and slowly turned around.

“She’s still out of it but I think she’ll be ok.” Glen nodded and walked back to T-Dog to give him the report on their friend Nicole. Daryl turned back around and walked toward the red and black tent. He opened it and saw her backpack on the bed. He grabbed it and he saw a box that was marked ‘Nicole’ with clothes pouring out of it. He looked into the box and pulled out some jeans and a small t-shirt. He also, without looking, felt around the box for her undergarments. Daryl placed the clothes on her bed and took out the food that her grandma had given her. He then placed her clothes in her bag and zipped it up, leaving the tent. He went back to Nicole with his water in hand and her bag on his back. She was still out of it when he got to his truck. He sighed and began wiping her face and arms with the cool rags. She stirred slightly but she didn’t wake up. Once he cooled her down, he got up one more time and went to look for Lori. He wanted to get her out of those clothes but he didn’t want her to wake up and see it was him. She probably would be more at ease if a woman was undressing her. He found her with Rick and Carl. He walked toward them and Rick sent Carl away with Sophia.

“What happened? Is Nicole alright?” Rick asked as he and Lori met him the rest of the way.

“She’s still out of it, but I think she’s going to be ok. I actually wanted to ask you something Lori. I don’t want Nicole to stay in those bloody clothes anymore and I was just wondering if you could help her. I have clothes for her in her bag but I don’t want her to wake up in an uncomfortable position, if you get what I mean.” He felt heat rising in her cheeks and Lori understood completely.

“Of course, Daryl.” She smiled at him and he nodded, handing over the bag. “She is really pretty, isn’t she?” She said. Daryl turned to look at her but she was already walking away, going to recruit the help of Carol and Jacqui. He turned to Rick who just gave him a small smile as he turned to go look for Carl, leaving Daryl with his thoughts that only consisted of Nicole. All of a sudden, he saw Bubba walk up to him. He looked down at this small little boy and he looked up at him.

“What’s up little man?” He asked, kneeling down to his level. The little boy just giggled and pointed to the sky.

“Clouds.” He said, as he looked up. Daryl looked up as well and sure enough there were a collection of white fluffy clouds suspended in the blue of the sky.

“You’re right, little man. The clouds are up.” He looked at the little boy and found him staring at Daryl.

“What happened to Uncle Ray?” He asked. “Why did he try to hurt my Nicole?” Daryl didn’t know what to tell him. He didn’t even know Little Rael was even around when it happened.

“Your Uncle Ray got sick, and he tried to hurt Nicole because he was sick. He didn’t know what he was doing.” Daryl tried to explain. He had never been around children before and he wasn’t sure on how to act around them.

“Is that why you killed him?” Daryl was appalled this little kid knew a hell of a lot more than he should for being only five years old. He knew lying to the small boy wasn’t going to do any good, so he didn’t even try.

“Yes. He was going to hurt Nicole so I saved her.” Little Rael looked at Daryl with the sincerity and innocence only a small child could have.

“Do you love my Nicole?” Daryl thought long and hard about that next question. He felt that he did, he felt that same pang he felt when the vatos took her, he felt the same pang when he yelled at her once they left from her cousin’s place and he felt the same pang when he saw her almost get killed by Ray.

“Yes. I do love her, little man.” He smiled and suddenly crawled into Daryl’s arms, hugging his neck. Daryl didn’t know what to do, so he just knelt there with his arms outstretched, utterly confused.

“I love her too.” The small child said as he hugged Daryl tighter. Daryl finally was able to hug the child back. He chuckled a bit and he stood up, carrying him in his arms, the world suddenly made a better place all thanks to the small hug of Little Rael Montez.

Notes

Here's #12 lwt me know what you think:)

Comments

I love this story please update soon

racheljewell racheljewell
4/29/14

lol please update love this story

Blakeray Blakeray
4/24/14

Please update soon. I love this story

racheljewell racheljewell
4/24/14

please update love this story

Blakeray Blakeray
4/22/14
I like it keep it up
DarkAngel DarkAngel
4/24/13