~Author's Note: Hi everyone! Here is the latest installment in the Daryl and Beth Saga. I really don't have much to preface this with except sometimes intimacy is complex and confusing, especially with two people in love for the first time. I think that Daryl and Beth would be confused and awkward, and that was how I attempted to write this chapter. I hope that everyone enjoys even if my attempt came up lacking! Thanks as always for reading! I appreciate all of you and your support!~

So it wasn't a dream...it couldn't be...but she wasn't going to ask how. She didn't need to know.

Beth sucked in a quick breath when she felt Daryl's thumbs hook under the waist of her panties. She closed her eyes tight, dealing with the newness, lifting her hips so he could slide them down her legs. Despite Daryl confiding in her that he'd never had any sort of romantic relationship and the nervousness and anxiety his words revealed earlier, he was good at what he was doing...did he know that? He had to...the way he touched her with confidence, kept consistent contact with her skin...the room was warm from the crackling fire...but she felt feverish...

Beth felt Daryl between her legs, his hands firmly on her thighs, asking for more space, and she complied, trying to ignore the nerves making her tummy all twitchy. He'd asked her if she trusted him, and she did. It would never be an issue of trust between them...never had...it was just the newness. And a million things were running through her mind. When Daryl was close to her, touching her, kissing her, beside her...when she could feel him...his proximity, all she could think about was him, but just now there was a disconnect which gave her mind the opportunity to wander...not just wander, but run wild.

She became self-conscious, wondering if she was playing her part right...what should she be doing? She wasn't doing anything for Daryl.

Beth's thoughts were momentarily averted as she felt Daryl's lips make contact with her hipbone, his broad hand firmly pressing her ribcage.

"Ahhh..." the sound escaped Beth's mouth. She hoped she didn't sound stupid.

She wasn't touching him. She wasn't doing anything for him...she was ruining it for Daryl. He was going to hate her.

Daryl's lips found their way to her upper thigh. She caught her lower lip between her teeth, feeling the butterflies fluttering in her stomach.

Did Daryl plan to go all the way tonight? As much as it scared her, she wanted that reality, that connection, ever since she thought she lost him in the woods to the herd. They didn't know if they had a tomorrow, and while they had tonight, they shouldn't take it for granted. Time was precious...a gift...

Beth was startled from her contemplation when Daryl kissed her inner thigh. His hand found her breast, but she took it in hers instead, lacing her fingers through his. She needed to feel connected to him. He squeezed her hand tight, so tight it hurt a little, but it was good. Beth tilted her head back in the down pillow, giving herself permission to enjoy the moment.

Maybe she should offer to help Daryl with his pants...or would he do that on his own when the time was right...? He knew, right? He knew that she really had no idea what she should do? All Beth knew was that she was naked, and maybe...probably Daryl should be naked too. That would make her feel less self-conscious...Sometimes she just thought too much. She'd always had the tendency to over think things. And Daryl didn't seem to have a problem taking the lead...

Beth stiffened and panicked when she felt Daryl's mouth headed somewhere unexpected...So that was where this was headed...and she wasn't ready for that...that was something couples worked up to, wasn't it? Beth was flushed and embarrassed just at the thought.

"Daryl...no, stop..." It came out more sharply than she intended, driven by fear.

Daryl ripped his hand away from hers, and recoiled away from her. Beth propped herself up on one elbow, her other arm crossing her breasts, why she didn't know...he'd already seen...maybe just out of modesty. They were totally disconnected now. Daryl had moved from between her thighs, sitting on his knees at the end of the bed, hands turned out at his sides showing that he hadn't meant to give offense. But it hadn't been that. He'd read her wrong...well, he'd read her actions and words right...that just wasn't how she'd intended them. Beth crossed her legs in the same modesty that had forced her to cover her breasts. She'd hurt Daryl, his pride, driven him away, and now she had no idea how to fix it. She should have just let him...

But is wasn't anger that she read on his face in the firelight. His face was drawn now. Daryl was confused...worried...

"Beth...I'm sorry...I didn't mean to go too far..."

Beth felt a small piece of calm wash over her.

"No...you didn't...I just...I want to feel close to me...I want to feel you over me...your weight on me...I want to feel you..." She was having a problem getting her words together, and maybe that wasn't the right answer, but it was what she had, what she needed.

The concern and confusion melted from Daryl's face. He nodded slowly.

"Will you kiss me?" She sounded so timid, even to herself.

Daryl nodded again and moved slowly toward her without hesitation...

"Daryl...no, stop!"

Daryl jerked his hand from hers, shooting up away from Beth, stopping on his knees at the end of the bed. He'd acted too quickly and almost found himself flying off the foot of the bed with his sorry ass landing on the floor. He held his hands out at his sides to try to calm Beth, show her that he hadn't meant any harm. Beth was leaning up on her arm, the other defensively hiding her chest, and her legs crossed in the same protective manner. She was looking at him with fear...confusion...pain...disgust? Daryl couldn't tell...he couldn't read her.

One thing he knew was that he'd fucked up. He just wasn't sure how.

He'd never offered to go down on a girl, but he hadn't made it that far with Beth, so he couldn't have fucked up there. He didn't have the chance to.

He hadn't been touching her in any way that could've hurt her...caused her pain...

Beth had been pretty adamant with her "no". Maybe he'd just crossed the line. He was confused and worried to say the least. He wouldn't touch her again. "No" always meant "no".

"Beth...I'm sorry...I didn't mean to go too far..." He kept his voice as soft and even as possible.

Beth seemed to calm down almost instantly at his apology. Was he overreacting? Was she? He had no idea what in the hell was going on. He loved her...but emotions and feelings were hard to deal with...even harder to try to understand.

"No...you didn't...I just..." Beth's words were broken, but they were calm, not angry or scared anymore. "I want to feel you close to me...I want to feel you over me...your weight on me...I want to feel you..."

Beth said exactly the right thing, exactly what Daryl needed to hear to repair the damage of the harsh "no". There were a lot of "wants" that came out of Beth's mouth, but he was willing to give her everything she wanted. He realized he'd made the wrong move. Things didn't just need to move slowly, they needed to be more traditional. More connected and together. Beth wasn't looking for pleasure for pleasure's sake. What Daryl had offered would've been just that. She wanted closeness, togetherness...and Daryl couldn't say that he didn't want the same thing, because he did.

"Will you kiss me?" It came out softly...but she didn't even need to ask.

Daryl nodded as he moved slowly back towards Beth. No sudden movements. He didn't wanna spook her, but he did want to give her what she asked for...

Beth went for his belt. That very forward move surprised him. Daryl caught her hands, not wanting to push her away but needing to stop her.

"Whoa Beth. Lets slow down..."

Beth didn't seem upset by his gentle rejection. She was probably just trying to do what she thought was the next expected thing, but that wasn't how this went. Daryl unconsciously shook his head at the thought. It wasn't about what was expected...what came next...it needed to be done for the right reasons. She just needed to stop and feel the moment. They needed to feel it together...

"What?" Beth's question was laced with self-doubt. He hadn't meant to shake his head or for her to notice.

"You're beautiful. Just be still a minute. Let me look at you..." It was a quick save, but it wasn't a lie. Daryl hadn't let himself "just" look before because he didn't want to make her uncomfortable, but if she was ready for him to strip too, Beth could give him this.

And she did. As Daryl's eyes appreciated the sights before him, he couldn't help think about Beth's innocence and the beautiful but naive conclusions it left her with. Beth wouldn't let him go down on her, but she was willing to let him have her, giving a very precious piece of herself to him. Daryl was afraid she still had no idea what she was getting herself into...what she actually wanted. Hell, he had no idea what he was getting himself into either. Truth was, Beth may have plenty of experience in the emotions department, but he was the only one with experience with sex...no matter how shitty his experience was, experience was experience...the mechanics were all pretty much the same. Daryl needed to stop Beth from rushing, stop himself from rushing, set the pace despite what either of them wanted...what he wanted. Rushing, especially now, especially tonight, would just ruin it. They were going to need to learn from each other.

Enough looking and way too much thinking drove Daryl into action. Beth was much more receptive to his touch, less awkward, so he was much more willing to be forward, to move with purpose. Beth didn't stop him when his fingers ran through her soft blonde curls. Her body tensed, but he just kissed her deeper to keep her mind in the moment...not on all the other worries and thoughts that were probably rushing through her head. Before going further, Daryl paused, stilled himself, touching his forehead to hers, not giving Beth the opportunity to look away. When he found her warmth, Beth shyly tried to move away from beneath him...not enough that she was saying "no", but more of a reaction to the unknown. She thought she was ready to dive head first into sex, but she was still so confused.

"Shhh...Beth, stop worryin'..." Daryl didn't move his hand away, but be wanted to calm her...comfort her.

Seriously...he was not qualified to be the teacher. She deserved someone better at this...someone better...but at least he wasn't some fumbling teenage boy in the backseat of a car. He cared, and maybe that was enough of a difference to matter. Beth's body relaxed under him all the same, despite his shortcomings. It didn't take long for Daryl to find the right spot. His past experiences never really left a lot of room for foreplay, but he wasn't totally clueless. Was it wrong that he enjoyed it when Beth involuntarily arched her hips against his hand? He could feel Beth's hand traveling down his back, even passing over his scars, stopping to trace them, but her hand wasn't judging. She knew that part of him and was comfortable enough with him, with what they shared, not to ignore their existence. If it were anyone else, he would've...but it wasn't...it was Beth. Her hand found its way under his back waistband, then her movements suddenly stopped.

Beth's body tensed under him again, but Daryl realized this time for an entirely different reason. He smiled to himself...maybe his smile was a little cocky, but that was okay...there was no one to read it that way or call him out on it. Her hand left his back to desperately grip his upper arm, her other palm planted squarely on his chest. Was she trying to push him away?

"Daryl...please, just...wait..."Beth's voice was ragged and urgent.

What? What the Hell?!

Daryl was so fucking confused, but he stopped.

"Really?" He needed something...anything...this was beyond him. She was saying "no" to this?

He watched her very carefully, waiting for any type of answer. Beth shook her head in the ambiguous little way she did sometimes, and once again, she wouldn't look at him. She was scared...just scared...and there was absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Not now at least. But that was okay. It was just his job now to show her, to take her there. Daryl bent in to kiss her. Nothing aggressive, no tongue, no teeth, just lips, simple, gentle...a side of him no one else would ever know.

Everything was so much more complicated than Beth ever imagined. The way everyone talked, all her friends, everything on TV and in movies, everything was so easy. Maybe she was messed up...too complicated. But TV and movies were fiction, and maybe for her friends it had been easier because there were no extreme emotions. In this world, everything was so much more vital to survival, every connection and relationship more important because there was so little left, and when you found that person...the one you wanted to spend your life with...everything had to be just right. She couldn't lose him. This was her life...her reality, and she was lost in love with him.

Daryl was doing everything right; she was just afraid she was still doing everything wrong.

Then she couldn't think coherently anymore. Something more instinctual...more primal wiped her mind and only allowed her to focus on the physical sensations. Daryl's fingers on her, their slow circular pressure in just the right place, the presence of his body just above her, his scent...Beth ran her hand down his back. His muscles tensed, and some flinched involuntarily at her touch. She traced his scars, not avoiding them. They were a part of Daryl. They were his past, and she loved all of him, past and present...he was her future. It all made him who he was. Beth let her hand slip under his pants. If he was allowed to touch, so could she. Her hand headed lower to caress his cheek...and it didn't seem like he was going to stop her. Since that last night in the R.V. when she saw him washing himself, saw his back, his bare butt...she thought about how beautiful he truly was as a person, and she wanted to touch him, all of him. And since that image was so fresh in her mind, it was as good a place to start as any.

But Beth didn't get the chance. She felt a strange tightness building. The extreme sensation at Daryl's touch. Her pulse was racing even faster...her heart beating so hard she couldn't think...Her breaths were becoming short and sharp...it was all just too much...

"Daryl...please, just...wait..." She was barely able to get those words out and keep her senses about her.

Beth just needed everything to be still...to freeze just for a moment...

Daryl stopped. He was still...didn't move a muscle.

"Really?" He was shocked...Daryl furrowed his brow.

As the intense sensations faded away, Beth suddenly felt unsatisfied...empty...and really stupid for stopping him.

Beth couldn't look at him. She felt stupid and naive. She wouldn't look at him. All she could do was shake her head a little...hell, she didn't even know what that was supposed to mean.

Daryl's lips were on hers as his reply to her non-answer, reassuring her. Soft, sweet, gentle, innocent...and she allowed herself to just feel...his lips...his fingers circling her, bringing her back to life. The pressure built, turning to tiny pulses of pleasure, intensifying as Beth gave in. She couldn't stop the small breaths and soft noises that escaped her lips unbidden. Beth grasped Daryl's upper arm, her fingers digging into his tense muscles, her other hand kneading into his shoulder, trying to pull him closer...she hoped she wasn't hurting him...When it hit her, the pleasure racked her body. Daryl's lips were on her neck...she buried her face against him and let go, her body and breath shuddering at the release...

Beth must have lost some time...or was just overtaken by the moment of pleasure. When she came back to him, Daryl was still with her, closer to her now...so much closer. And everything was so much more sensitive. Daryl rested on top of her, propped up on one arm, his other hand stroking back her hair. He was resting against her, between her thighs...his hardness pressed against the most sensitive spot, every small move sending waves of feeling to her core, so intense that it was almost unpleasant, but she didn't want him to move, ever. And his hips...their pressure, the point where their presence met her body...it was just too much...too good...it was like his body was made especially for her...

Daryl shifted, moving his weight away from her.

"No...don't..." Beth was surprised the words came out...

He moved back into place, where she wanted him...smiling softly...

"Okay pretty girl..." Daryl said tenderly. He had a soft smile, looking down on her...

No more words were needed.