ew days had passed, and we gained and lost people. It was a far too similar sight we continue to witness daily. Wandering from one campsite to another, we managed to save a priest from a few walkers. It didn’t take long for us to find out his name, Gabriel. With hesitation he allowed us to take refuge within his church. Although everyone was at ease with the stranger, glad to have a roof over their head and their bellies filled; Rick thought differently. The way Gabriel was acting had Rick on his toes. Watching, listening to everything the guy did. I understood why Rick was on edge. There really was something a little off with the man, but I couldn’t pinpoint it myself.
After we had settled within the warmth of the church. I had agreed to go with Carol to get supplies. However, she decided to drag Daryl with us. Travelling, I was settled between them both, Carol, of course, edging me closer to the man to try and embarrass me. Truth be told, it was working, each time I was edged closer I could feel my cheeks growing stronger with the red hue. I am very hopeful that these actions were going unnoticed by Daryl or well, he wasn’t interested in what was happening. Instead, he wanted to know whatever was running through Carol’s mind about a previous event. Everyone was told by Rick that she left while we were living in the prison. But some of us knew that Rick had kicked her out due to what she had done. I didn’t pay much attention to their conversation, it wasn’t my place to step in.
As we continued to wander the empty roads, holding a few pints of water between us, that we managed to find from a tanker. We came across a car, curiosity did rush over my face. ‘Did it still work?’ before I could speak out my thoughts, Carol beat me to it.
“I’ll check it.” Her voice pulled me from staring at the vehicle, as she made her way quickly towards it, inspecting every part. I continued to remain on watch; listening to the surroundings. I am pretty sure both Daryl and Carol were having a mini conversation, something about starting over? Forgetting what had happened? Myself? I had already forgiven Carol for what she had done. I have to be honest I would have done the same. It didn't take long before my own name pulled me from my own thoughts. “Are you okay?” Carol's soft voice pulled me back to reality. I gave her a little nod and a smile, reassuring her that I was fine. It doesn't take me long to notice that Daryl was right next to me. This had me shifting my body near the big guy. It did not stop my eyes to wander upon his form, it was a surprise to myself that I wasn’t gawking at him already.
“Want me to carry one of those?” I heard Daryl speak up towards Carol, reaching one of his hands with one of the bottles of water. What had happened next, I could not believe. The redneck had dropped the four-pint bottle causing quite a lot of the water to splash over the ground. Unlike Carol who smiled and started a little now towards him; I was bursting out laughing. Only when he turned to look back at me, I tried to cover my amusement with the back of my hand. Daryl looked like a little kid, a rosy glow filling his cheeks as he bent to retrieve the bottle to save what is left. His eyes were back on me again, as if he was staring into my soul. I felt like I was being scolded by the man, biting my bottom lip and turning my head, I now felt like that little kid attempting to muffle my giggles. Unknowing to me, it was the opposite. Daryl was admiring me, I was just too caught up at being a little child to even notice.
The sun had gone as the night began. The three of us remained close to each other, volunteering to take on the night’s watch for the group. Carol had argued for me to stay and get some rest. But I protested hugely only wanting to help out, to be more; useful. It didn't take long for Daryl's own hunting instinct to kick in, hoping to find something in the darkness of the night. I made sure to stay close, following Daryl’s footsteps. Not wanting to alert any walkers. But I had noticed something that did not settle well within the pit of my stomach. With a shaking hand, I had reached for Daryl, grabbing on to his vest.
“Hey… Carol, she’s not behind us,” I made sure to keep my voice quieter than a whisper. Glad he had heard me, hearing him curse to himself. Within a second we had come to a stop, looking around. Panic was settling into my own body. Scared to think Carol was taken or even bitten. Before I could even speak another word his hand curled around mine. I was not sure if it was intentional or just spur of the moment. I wanted to freeze in place, but the adrenaline within me kicked in, following him through the forest.
Coming close to Carol as she poured gas into the car. We both stopped in our tracks. I could feel his anger from his hold upon me. I wanted him to let go as it got tighter, close to crushing my fingers between his. I had let out a little squeak when I couldn't take the pain anymore, forcing Daryl to let me go rather quickly. His focus is now on Carol, demanding answers. I didn't understand what was happening, leaving me to remain silent. Terror had begun to settle within my bones as well as confusion. However, what was happening with Carol had come to a stop as a car sped past us. Daryl’s eyes widened, as his body reacted so quickly, I believe even he didn’t know what he was doing. Breaking the backlights of the car, shouting for both of us to get in. Before explaining that, that car was the one that took Beth. We followed closely behind the random car with the white cross. Daryl's determination was showing in his eyes. He felt like it was his responsibility, he couldn’t protect her, couldn’t chase down the car. This was the one opportunity he had and he wasn’t going to waste it.
Watching as the car came to a stop, we followed suit. There was a dark figure rushing from the car into the darkness, but we remained sitting. There was no way that, that place was where they held Beth. So we continued to watch in silence, waiting, watching. Nothing really happened, only until our car began to attract walkers. Rocking, crawling, attempting to get into the vehicle. The three of us continue to hold out as time continued to pass until the stranger rushed back to their parked car and drove off. Our car, on the other hand, decided to backfire and refuse to start. This caused more walkers to be attracted to the vehicle. Carol had mentioned she knew a place nearby that we could rest for the night. Hoping that it wasn't filled with raids or even walkers. On a count of three, we rushed the doors of the car, fighting through the walkers and bolting down the street until we rushed the building. We checked each room, hallway until we found a suitable place to occupy us. Far away from any walkers or anyone else that could make an appearance. The room was quite small, bunk beds, a few shelves and some draws. Suitable for us three, it was only for a night. I stood staring out the little window, at the dark of the night. Carol had claimed the top bunk only to leave me and the big man to argue over the bottom bed.
“I'll take the first half of the night watch,” I spoke up. I turned on my heels only to see Daryl looking back at me. He had sat himself down on the bed, holding his hands in front of him. I could tell the way he looked me in the eyes. The big man wanted to protest, even if he had tried, I wasn’t gonna back down.
“Alright!” he had replied, his rough voice echoing through my ears as I saw him nod. I continued to watch him as he turned only to lay down on the bed. Only to have my eyes flutter up towards the top bunk, catching movement.
“You’re staring again,” Carol mouthed at me before giggling. I couldn’t stop the red hue that grew over my cheeks, feeling the heat rising. I quickly turned my back, staring out the window again. Little did I know, once again Daryl’s eyes were upon me, peering from the darkness of the bed. A small smirk sitting over his lips.
The night began to last a long time, Carol was fast asleep and I believed Daryl was too. Sleep was slowly taking me over, as I sat on the floor; my back resting what I thought was the bed. Before I could even clock on to what it was, sleep had taken over pulling me deeper and deeper into dreamland. As the morning began, I noticed there was no ache in my neck or pain under my ass. It was like I was sitting on my sofa back home, before the world ended. Confusion settled in my mind as I shifted in my spot. Only to freeze as I had heard a groan coming from behind me. That was when my eyes shoot open, looking to my left shoulder; Daryl Dixon. His hair flowed over his head and upon my shoulder. I could feel myself relax, as happiness settled in. I turned my attention away from him, I had noticed Carol wasn't in the room, was she on watch? Didn't want to wake us?. Before another thought escaped my mind, another groan echoed into my ears. I felt something tighten around my waist, my stomach. Daryl wasn't just resting his head on my shoulder, I was resting on him. The more I broke back to reality, sensing my surroundings. We were sat on the floor, between his legs as he suited himself as my pillow. I wanted to question as to why this was happening, But something had poked my back causing my cheeks to flare up knowing what it was. I wanted to pinch myself, tell myself this wasn't a dream. Was the loner hunter actually showing affection to someone other than Carol? My heart beat continued to pick up the pace as I felt his arms tighten more. His muscles making sure I did not move. “Please… Just a little longer,” His voice was deep, groggy from sleep. Also muffled into my neck. My own arms were buried under his, but I managed to free a hand to gently touch the back of one of his hands. Giving him an answer, not wanting to speak. Knowing full well that my own voice will be nothing but a squeak.
“I’ll give you guys ten minutes!” Both our heads shoot up looking towards the door. Carol’s voice echoing along with laughter. Before I could even move, Daryl’s lips were upon mine. A surprise was written all over my face, causing the big guy to stop. I couldn't understand what was happening? Did they both plan this from the morning? Was this all his own doing? Once again my thoughts were cut short as I heard Daryl speak.
“Sorry, I didn-” Before he could finish whatever he was apologizing for. My own lips connected to his, moving in sync and passion. I was not going to let this slip through my hands.