Starting Over

This one's for you, TheRealSophia, I hope you enjoy your birthday story. I wrote this at the prompt of Sophia so it's a little different for me. This story is AU, there is no apocalypse, no walkers, none of that, just two people… this story is about Daryl and Carol in the real world. BUT… it is still Daryl and Carol and hopefully I will be able to stay true to the characters Melissa and Norman have created. Enjoy.

I own nothing. Sad but true. All the credit goes to the creators and actors of TWD.


Carol jumped at the knock on the front door. She had been drinking coffee and reading the paper. Sunlight poured in through the kitchen windows, illuminating the sunshine yellow curtains onto her as she sat in the breakfast nook. She always jumped at a knock, leftover from her years with Ed. He would stand in the doorway watching her for a while the rap twice loudly on the door frame to announce himself. Carol shook her head and got up to answer the front the door. She unbolted the lock and checked the chain to make sure it was in place as she turned the handle. She cracked open the door as far as the security chain would allow. "Hello?"

Daryl stood on the wide porch in cargo pants, boots and a tattered button up shirt. He was looking down at his boots till he heard her voice, his eyes shifted up to her face. "Hey. I called ya bout the room for rent." He rocked back a bit and started to chew at his finger as he waited for her to respond. She looked him up and down, evaluating him for the moment. He realized he hadn't introduced himself. "Sorry, ma'am, I'm Daryl. Dixon. Call two days ago."

She knew who he was, they had spoken briefly and she had been expecting him this morning. His voice had been shy on the phone. Actually it was the only reason why she had agreed to have him see the space for rent. She had planned to only rent to a women, though she didn't put that in her ad, she thought people might be offended by that. She knew after the first few gruff voiced men that she should have changed the listing. She had simply told them that the room was rented already. But when Daryl called, he had been soft spoken, shy sounding. He was actually the first person to come and see the space. "Yes, hi. One second." She closed the door, adjusted the chain then joined him on the porch. "Hi, I'm Carol." She extended her hand to him. She had practiced this before she had placed the ad, she knew she'd had to meet people and she wasn't good at that. She hadn't been in a long time. Daryl shook her hand and stepped back from her.

They walked around the side of the modified bungalow and down the driveway to the garage. "The space is upstairs." Carol walked in front of him with the keys in her hand. He watched her ass as she walked up the flight of stairs to the landing. She had a great looking backside, perfectly fitted in her grey pants. Darker than the shade of her short cropped grey hair. She was pretty, not classically pretty or even the type Daryl normally noticed, but she was attractive. She unlocked the door. The windows were open, she had done that earlier to air the place out. He wasn't much of a talker it seemed.

Daryl walked in and scanned quickly. One open space with mismatched furniture. Couch, end table, arm chair, an old tube television that worked and a small table to eat at, plus all the appliances. She pointed him to the bedroom and the bathroom off to the right. He checked it all out. A double bed and a dresser but plenty of light streaming in. The bathroom was dated, lots of white porcelain but he liked it. "The bathroom?" It was the first thing he had said.

"I can get a different curtain." She spoke quickly, apologetically but smiled. There was a floral shower curtain. She had planned on renting to a women.

Daryl shook his head, he hadn't even noticed. "How's the water pressure." Daryl didn't care about much when it came to amenities. A bed, a place to lock up his shit and good water pressure was all he really cared about.

"It's okay. Someone said it could be better but I don't know how to do that." She didn't know if that would be a deal breaker or not. Hell, she wasn't even sure if she was ready to rent to him. He nodded and walked around again, looking out the windows. It was more residential than he was used to and it was more space than he needed but the price was good.

"Four fifty a month right?" He knew she could get more for this place. And if she dumped two grand in to it she could get a lot more. He had worked a few construction jobs where the owner flipped houses or made in-law apartments. At this price for a private space, he was sure people were banging down her door.

Carol nodded. She had been watching him as he roamed around the room. He was tall, well built, the shy silent type. She liked his mussed up hair and the swagger to his walk. But she looked away. She was just starting her life over, she didn't need to be checking men out. Especially one she would be renting to. She realized that she was done looking for a tenant, if he was interested. "Yes, four fifty."

"Ya got any one else looking?" He was ready to sign if she was. Carol shook her head. She had fended off the last three callers already. "I'll take it." He half smiled at her then went back to chewing on his thumb nail.


Carol was sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair with a glass of sweet tea and the newspaper. Daryl's motorcycle turned down the street, she could hear him before she could see him. He was right on time getting home from work. He had picked up a construction job this past month and the hours were fairly regular. Unlike her job in the medical office. Some days she was out by five, others not till eight if the paperwork was piling up, somehow the new girl got stuck staying late. He turned into the drive way and waved her way as he pulled down to his parking spot. The last two months had worked out well having him as a tenant and a neighbor. The only noise he made was on his bike. He fixed the water pressure in his bathroom at no charge to her, had offered to do a few other small repair things in trade off for part of his rent and though he wasn't social, he was always polite.

One night last week he had even brought her a beer and sat with her on the porch and watched the sun set. Carol was glad she had chosen him to rent her in-law apartment, she didn't think she could have panned out better with anyone else. She even felt a little safer having a man around the house, not something she was used to feeling. Carol heard his boots coming down the driveway, he had a long stride to his walk, hell he had long legs that she often found herself looking at as he took the stairs to his apartment two at a time, She could see him from her kitchen window. She could see him from her bedroom window as well, but she tried not to look too often from there.

"No mail today?" His graveled voice made her realize that she hadn't been reading her paper at all since she had heard his bike coming down the street.

Usually she got the mail when she came in from work, anything for Daryl she would put in his mail box that hung by the bottom step of the garage. "I didn't get it yet." She started to put down her paper but Daryl was already walking to the box at the end of the driveway. She watched his stride, he was a bit dirty from work, but she didn't mind at all. She had no idea how old he was, she figured thirty five or so, but she wasn't positive. Either way, he was too young for her to be interested in. And the reality of it was, she wasn't ready to be looking at anyone. For now Daryl was just pleasant eye candy.

As he walked back toward the porch sorting the mail, Carol offered him a beer, he nodded a yes as he started up the stairs. Carol went to the kitchen to grab two bottles of local brew beer. 'Slammer Wheat', she liked this one a lot. Daryl was sitting on the railing, reading something when she came out. He had divided the mail in two piles. She handed him an ice cold bottle and he nodded a thank you. "Title to my bike finally came." He held up the paper. He had been waiting for it to come.

She looked through the pile of mail, not interested in most of it. She would have offered him a seat but she knew he liked the railing. "How's the job going?" He was working on a house flip on the other side of town, he had skills as a general contractor even though he wasn't licensed.

"Good." Daryl drank down his beer and tapped his two other envelopes on his thigh. He wasn't shy around her, she always made him feel comfortable. "'nother week and it'll be done. Tyreese's got me on for another house after this, so that's good." Daryl didn't mind bouncing from job to job but this boss was particularly good to work for. Had money to pay his people which was a nice change and ran a tight crew. "Still likin' ya new job?"

Carol smiled, "Yeah, its good." She was lying. The job was fine, but she didn't love it. The other women in her office could be a bit catty and they like to pry into each others lives. More than a few times now they had asked about where she had come from and if she were married. She had no interest in sharing that part of her life with them. Its why she stayed late when the girls wanted to go out for drinks, she didn't want to get to know people in that way, not yet. Carol changed the subject. "The Greene's" She nodded across the street, "I was talking with the dad. He was saying he had some projects around the house to do that he was getting to old for. I didn't say anything but thought you might want to stop by if you wanted the extra work."

Daryl nodded, listening to her but looking over across the way. The Greene place was big, he was sure a house like that would need plenty of work. "Yeah, tell'em I can help if ya talk to 'em." Daryl finished off his beer and set the empty on the table. "Let ya finish your paper."

She wanted to ask him to stay, maybe join her for dinner. She hated to eat alone all the time, but she didn't have the courage to do that. She just smiled and watched him walk off the porch shuffling the two envelopes in his hand. He was gone around the corner and she just stared off to his direction. It was another warm beautiful night in Atlanta and she was happy that she had found this place.

Daryl came back around the corner but didn't notice her looking his way. He rounded the porch and back up the steps. "Sorry." He extended his hand out to her, handing her an envelope. "Thought it was from my brother." He waited for her to take it. She saw the return address and her face went flush. 'Hall Country Correctional Institution' in the corner and stamped 'Inmate Correspondence' cocked at an angle in red. "Wasn't payin' attention. Sorry."

Carol choked, he had seen the return. He knew it was for her. Daryl didn't say anything else, he just handed it to her and turned around. What the hell had she been thinking? Ed had written to her every week, she knew the letter was due today or tomorrow. How could she have not gotten the mail and had let Daryl see this. She held it, still stunned. It barely registered that Daryl had thought the letter was for him.


Carol watched as Daryl stood on a ladder at the Greene house. He was fixing a gutter over the front door. It was Sunday and he had been over there for hours. The Greene's were still off to church, the whole neighborhood seemed to be. Everyone but her and Daryl that was.

Daryl knew she was watching him, she had brought him a travel mug of coffee about a half hour ago. He liked that she did those little things for him. Dropping Tupperware on his step sometimes with a meal inside or how she starting parking in a different spot so his bike had more turn around room.

When he came back across the street she was in the back yard hanging wash out on the line. He wanted to offer to help but he didn't know if she would be comfortable with that, his hands in her laundry. "Thanks for the coffee." He shuffled his feet so as not he sneak up on her. "Think it's done 'cross the street." He had appreciated her getting him the extra work.

"Can I get ya to help me with this?" Her second laundry basket was filled with one huge, wet quilt that she didn't want dragging on the ground as she wrestled to get it on the line. He nodded and helped. They got it situated. "Why don't you stop dragging your stuff to the laundry mat, if you want you can use my washer and dryer." She had a dryer but she hardly used it. Her laundry room was right at the back of the house, in the mud room.

Daryl never had much washing to do but he did hate dragging it across town and sitting with it. "You sure ya don't mind?" She was the best landlord he had ever had but he didn't want to overstep any boundaries. She smiled and shook her head. "I'll pay ya for it." She ignored his offer and finished hanging laundry.

Carol had fallen asleep on the couch watching an old movie. She had all the windows up and the warm breeze had filled the house. The cusp of the changing weather had wormed it way into her sleep and she was back in that kitchen 8 months, 2 weeks, 3 days and 2 hours ago.

Carol had been washing dishes watching Sophia play out in the yard, she was skipping rope and signing to herself though Carol couldn't hear the song. The sun poured in through the windows and a warm breeze filled the room. It was a near perfect day in Flowery Branch, Georgia, nearly, till Carol let the plate drop out of her hand and it smashed on the kitchen floor. Ed came out of nowhere, beer in one hand, fist with the other.

"I told ya to keep the noise down bitch." He didn't yell, he didn't have to any more.

Carol was already on her knees cleaning up the broken glass, "I'm sorry Ed, it slipped." She filled her hand with sharp shards as he walked over and kicked her in the hip. He was barefoot so it didn't hurt too much, but his bare feet had found a piece of broken glass and howled as it embedded itself into him.

It had happened fast in real life, and it in her dreams, her memories, it happened even faster. So fast she could never help to stop things. Sofia raced in when she heard the yelling, the back door banging against the refrigerator as she ran to her mother. Carol saw the blood pouring from Ed's foot even as he awkwardly swung and hit her from his leaning, hopping angle. He caught her in the face, he always did. Carol moved to stay between Ed and her beautiful, perfect daughter, but somehow she didn't move fast enough and Sophia's tiny arm was caught in Ed's big, dirty, calloused hand. He pulled her, yanked and though Carol tried to grab her, shards of glass flying from her hands as she reached out, she was never fast enough.

She heard Ed yell, "Get outta her girl!" then she saw Sophia's rainbow t-shirt streak past her. The thud, the hard, echoing thud then the howl in pain as Sophia dropped to the floor. It was simply that quick, her head hit the corner of the center island and she dropped.

The crash of thunder woke Carol from her nightmare and she was thankful that the driving rain was pushing its way through the screened windows. She jumped off the couch and across the room, almost slipping on the hard wood floor as she closed the sash. She rounded the house closing windows as lighting filled the sky and thunder crashed around her.

It took a moment but she realized the extra slam she heard was from Daryl's apartment. She went to the kitchen window and saw him almost at the bottom of the stairs and into her back yard. He was at the clothes line. He was lifting the quilt off the ground, the rain had soaked it to dragging and he was trying to save it. Carol rushed out the back door to help him, grateful for the distraction though her stomach was still in knots from her dream. They manhandled it off the line, her other clothes not weighing enough to hit the ground even wet. Daryl balled up the soaking quilt and headed toward her house. She rushed ahead opening the door to the mud room. She thanked him as he put the quilt on top of the washing machine. He was soaked. From the rain but also from the quilt, muddy and his clothes clung to him. His dark hair matted to his face. If this had been Ed, his face would have been in a scowl. Hell, if this had been Ed, he'd be dry as a bone as he watched from inside as Carol would have struggled to save the heirloom quilt. But this was Daryl, he smiled his half a smile as she apologized and thanked him at the same time. She went into the dryer and pulled out a clean towel, she never put those on the line, she hated hard towels.

"Thanks." He took the towel and dried off his bare arms, he lived in sleeveless shirts, not that Carol complained. Half muddy, half wet she watched as he dirtied the towel she had given him. She was mesmerized. On so many levels. Obviously he was sexy, she had always thought that. But it was so much more. He didn't have to come out in the driving rain to save her laundry. Had hadn't needed to help get it out there in the first place. He was always thoughtful, mindful of her in small ways that she wasn't used to. He dried his hair, that dark, always mussed up hair and he watched her watching him. Daryl looked at the mud marks on her bright yellow towel and muttered an apology.

Sometimes Carol did things she didn't understand. One moment she was watching him towel off the next her lips were pressed to his. He didn't looks shocked as much as he looked confused, but certainly not off put. He kissed her back. It had been a long time since a women had kissed Daryl. Normally, as infrequent as it was, he would have to be the one to initiate the kissing. Carols lips were hot, his flesh burned but he liked it, he liked her. He has since they had met at her front door. Carol caught herself, her forwardness and she pulled back from the kiss, mumbling some sort of apology that even she couldn't hear.

Daryl hated apologies, he never thought he deserved them, especially not from her for a kiss. Daryl stepped into her, soaking wet and dripping from the ends of his wispy hair and he kissed her back. This time placing a hand on her waist, she closed her eyes, he wasn't sure what it meant but he kissed her. They stood in the laundry room kissing till the thunder brought them back to the world. She had been backed up against the washer and he was pressed gently against her and the thunder rolled causing her to tremble a bit. She wasn't a fan of storms. They stopped kissing but Daryl never moved away, he couldn't, she had wrapped an arm around him and she hadn't let go. He didn't mind. "Ya okay?" He didn't know if it was the storm or the kiss that had the scared look on her face.

Carol nodded a shy reply. "How bout you put on some dry clothes and I'll make us some dinner." She had wanted to invite him other nights but didn't think it was right until now. Daryl nodded his head. She still hadn't moved her arm from around him so he kissed her again. This time she kissed him back easily. Slowly she let him go and they finally parted ways. Him slowly through the rain and up his steps, her to rewashing the quilt. She traced her fingers along her lips, how long had it been since she had been kissed… by someone she liked?

Daryl stood in the shower, the scalding water washing over him, the mud drained off. He was hard. His cock stood hard and long needing attention. He stroked himself while he thought of kissing Carol. She had taken him by surprise and he loved it. Maybe she wasn't the mousy women he watched from his loft apartment, maybe she was more bold and adventurous then he ever imagined. Washed up now all he had to do was focus on making himself cum. It wouldn't take long and he couldn't go back over there hard. She had fueled his brain in ways he never thought would happen with her. He stroked fast, he eyes closed as he pictured her, the same way he had the last few times he jerked off thinking of her. Sitting on the front porch in the middle of the night with hardly any clothes on as he knelt in front of her burring his face between her legs as she pulled his hair. Daryl reached up with his free hand and knotted his fingers in his hair, pulling a little as he hoped she would someday. But it was all a better fantasy today. Now he knew what her lips felt like, what she tasted like, he liked kissing her. And he imagined what her lips would be like wrapped around his dick. That's all it took for him to get off, he stroked as his cum splashed against the tiled wall. He panted and let go of his hair and he rested his forehead on the white wall.


Daryl walked across the driveway, he was nervous, like this was a date or something. He thought about flowers, hell did men do that anymore, bring a women flowers? The rain had stopped as quickly as it had come and he was up the back stairs. He knocked twice and listened. The house was quiet, he wasn't sure if he should just walk in. He strained to hear and realized there was noise in the house. Crying he thought. Carol was crying, he could hear it now and it left him frozen in place. His fight or flight feeling came over him and he battled not to run. He had no idea why she was crying and never knew how to handle a women in tears. Daryl knocked again and when he didn't hear a response he tried the door.

He walked through the mud room and into the kitchen, there was Carol on the kitchen floor surrounded by broken glass, a dish he thought. He scanned for blood but he didn't see any. Carol looked up at him, her face red from crying and streaked with tears. "Oh god Daryl," She sniffed and wiped her hand across her face. She tried to get up, tried to stop crying but it was too much. She went from crying mess to almost hyperventilating in a matter of seconds. He stepped to her and knelt next to her, not caring if he landed on broken glass.

"Carol, look at me." He held her by the shoulder as the tears flowed and her breathing went ragged. "Breath Carol." He spoke clearly. Not his usual graveled, low tone. "Look at me." She finally looked up at him. She could hardly see him through the tears but she looked up. "Good, now slow down. You're okay." She nodded. Breath in and out, slow." He shifted closer to her. He started to whisper in her ear. "Slow down. Everything is ok. I'm here, just breath slow." His drawl was predominant but his voice was crisp. Her brain registered his words and her body responded, she slowed down, stopped gasping for breath. She could feel his breath on her cheek and she matched her breathing to his. It didn't take long for her to calm down.

"I…" She started and stopped then started again. "I broke a dish." She wanted to apologize, but there was no reason to, not to Daryl or herself or even to Ed. "I broke a lousy fucking dish." Daryl nodded, this quiet mouse of a women had some serious baggage.

"Yup, it happens." He started to stand and he put out his hand for her to take. She hesitated but finally she took it and stood with him. "How bout you go get cleaned up and I'll get this cleaned." Daryl wasn't about to ask what was wrong, how breaking a dish could break this women in such a way, he didn't want to go there. His low tone was back, she liked it. "We'll go out to eat." It wasn't a question, even though he could smell something in the oven. Carol just nodded.

"The broom…" She started but he stopped her with a nod.

"I got this, you go." He knew it was in the mud room, he would take care of it all. She turned to go but then turned back and hugged him. He hugged her back then let her go. Daryl cleaned the plate up and brought the trash out to the can. Then he went back in the kitchen, cut off the oven and opened the oven door. He pulled out chicken and let it cool while he found a plate and some foil. By the time Carol came back he had put dinner in the fridge and was reading the newspaper.

Carol looked better, washed up and though her eyes were still a little red, she looked put together. "I'm sorry about that Daryl." He shook his head. Everyone was damaged, hell he was. Sometimes people just tip and break, like her plate.

"Take ya out on my bike ma'am?" He headed toward the back door. Carol grinned from ear to ear.


They pulled the bike back into the driveway and Carol was clutching Daryl less tightly. He was kinda bummed as she had held him pretty close on the way to the pizza place. He parked the bike and waited for her to get off first.

"Wanna come in for beer?" Carol had really enjoyed their dinner, he was funny, sarcastic, but funny and she liked that. She felt so comfortable with Daryl and that made her a little nervous, but she asked anyways. He nodded. They walked quietly into the back door and stopped in the kitchen to grab beer.

"Jailhouse Brewing Company, I think my brother bottles this stuff." They both laughed, they hadn't yet talked about the letter from the prison that Carol had received, the one Daryl thought had come from his brother Merle. Secrets and baggage, everyone had some. They sat in the living and talked some more, sipping beer and getting to know each other. She told him that she had been married, but she didn't tell him that Ed was now in jail. She didn't tell him about Sophia but she was sure he had noticed the photograph of her on the wall.

Daryl didn't ask too many questions, not personal ones anyways. They talked about places they wanted to travel to and their work and he was fine with that. Those types of conversations didn't lead to tears. Carol got up and opened a window, the night air was perfect, and as she went to cross in front of him to sit back down he reached for her hand. She let him. They sat together on the couch and he pulled her close. He had to kiss her again and they did. They kissed in her living room like teenagers on a first date. Soft and tentative then exploring and fevered. It had been a long time since Carol had been with a man besides Ed. It had been a long time since she had been with a man she actually wanted to be with. It was a nice change and she wasn't going to miss this opportunity. She started at his shirt, sleeveless with buttons that she opened one at a time.

He grasped at her hips, he had a thing for her hips and ass, had since the first time he had followed her up to view his apartment. He buried his mouth in the crook of her neck as she undressed him, sucking and biting hoping not to mark her too much. She slid off his shirt and slid her hands along his chest, he was beautiful in an unconventional sort of way. Daryl lifted her easily into his lap, she straddled him, neither of them caring that she could feel his erection. She loved it actually. His hands instantly found her ass and his fondling made her moan.

Things escalated quickly, from kissing and touching to undressing and sucking. "I want you." She said it in his ear and he nodded. He was too hard to think none the less form words. He fumbled with her bra clasp but finally unhooked it, she helped him slide it off. If you had asked either one of them how their day would end, neither of them would have included Carol's breast warm in Daryl's mouth as he sucked her gently and she ran her fingers through his hair. He rotated his hips grinding his clothing covered cock against her. "Here. Right here." She thought about taking him up to her bed, but that was the last place she wanted to take him. Even though it wasn't the same house or the same bed, that was the only place she and Ed ever had sex and she didn't want to be with Daryl there. He nodded again.

Daryl had thought he was being presumptuous when he tucked a condom in his billfold all those hours ago but now he was grateful. She felt good in his arms as he pulled her close. They were going to have to move to finish getting undressed but for now he loved her flesh against his.

Carol's brain was spinning, she felt safe and warm and wanted in his arms but she was scared. There was too much baggage, too much pain. And even though she wanted to push through it, there were barriers she didn't know if she could handle. "I can't…" she didn't know what to say, she shouldn't have even tried. Daryl stopped, shit she was stopping. He lifted his mouth off her skin and whispered, "I can't… there's things I can't… do." There was things Carol just couldn't bring herself to do anymore, things she used to enjoy but Ed had fucked it up for her.

He took a breath, "We can stop." He didn't want to but he would.

She shook her head, she didn't want to stop, she just knew there were things a man wanted that she wouldn't be able to deliver on. She sighed, the anxiety welled in her and she fought to suppress it.

Daryl brushed his hand on her cheek and kissed her. Soft and gentle till she kissed him back. "Jus' stop when you want." Damn it was hard to be a gentleman sometimes, his body ached for her. Carol nodded and kissed him again. "Get ya outta those pants?" He said it with a shy smirk trying to see how far she would let him go. "Keep mine on, promise." He could do that. He could pleasure her, he'd like that. Her face got hard to read again. "What?"

She closed her eyes and bit her lip, "Haven't done this in a while." She looked at him. "Haven't…. groomed in a while." All she could think was how much shaving she should have done instead of worrying about how to prep some chicken they never got around to eating.

The laugh came from somewhere deep inside him. "From the back woods of Georgia ma'am, I like a woman who's wild." They both laughed and she let him help her stand. He kissed his way down her body stopping at her breasts as he sucked and kissed then manhandled her ass. Down her stomach to the button of her pants, his eyes shifted up, not looking for approval as much as doubt. Her face was content and he continued, unbuttoning, unzipping then working them down her hips. Her panties were pink, nothing fancy but not boring either. "Sit." He turned her to the over sized arm chair and she was slow to move, self conscience of her nakedness. She sat and he knelt in front of her leaning against her legs and kissing her as he worked down her body once again. He spread her legs and planted gentle kisses and licks along her thighs, her flesh warm in his hands. He looked at her panties, the curls of graying hair peeking around the edges of the material. He would take his time, make sure she was ready. He had nowhere to be tonight but between her legs.

Carol closed her eyes, how long had it been since a man had wanted to go down on her. She let her mind go, just enjoyed the feeling as he burned up her skin. He kissed at the fabric of her panties and she didn't let herself care that she was unkept and wet. Daryl didn't seem to mind. He licked at her lower lips through the material and sucked at the wetness. She had that scent he craved, musky and womanly. It stiffened his cock and he tried to refrain from groaning. When her hand slid down by his face he figured they had gone far enough, and he wouldn't be mad, she had warned him. You could have blown him over with a feather when she didn't stop him but rather pulled the material of her panties aside in an invitation for him to get more serious. Daryl smiled up at her then dove into her pussy tongue first.

There was no denying that he was skilled at cunnilingus. Not that she had a huge reference point to compare it to, but he made her feel so good, amazing even and she went from rolling her hips to grinding into his mouth then finally as she was close to orgasm she knotted her fingers in his wispy dark hair and moaned out his name as he fingered her and sucked at her clit. She was so close to cumming it scared her a bit. Anxiety mixed with ecstasy, she tried to shut off her brain.

Daryl never knew if he was doing this right, he had never really learned how to please a woman, even at his age he was unsure of himself. But he went back to his source of education, the teacher he always relied on. First it was magazines and VHS tapes, now it was internet porn. He licked at her clit then slowly turned his fingers inside of her and made a come-hither motion. The grip on his hair tightened and he figured he was either doing it right or doing it wrong. He kept going, fingering and licking till finally her body convulsed and he was sure she was having an orgasm. Her breathing was erratic and she wrapped a leg around his body holding him close. Daryl had to admit, he loved it, and he was going to want to do more of this. She finally began to come down off her high and released her leg grip around him, he leaned back wiping the wet from his shaggy beard and catching his breath.

He watched her face, Carol never looked at him, she was a broken women. Some guy had fucked up her life, he could tell and that shit pissed him off. Daryl took the blanket off the back of the couch and spread it over her as he sat next to her on the floor with his head on her knee. He wasn't exactly sure where the night was going but he didn't want to leave her like this, she seemed lost, on the verge of tears.

"Ya' all righ'?" He finally broke the quiet and made sure not to look her way. He didn't want to make her any more uncomfortable than she seemed to be.

Carol smiled, damn, Daryl Dixon was a good man. "Yeah," Her tone was light. She really was okay and she wanted him to know it. The orgasm she had had been long overdue and it had been more emotional than physical. She ran her fingers through his hair, "That was amazing, thanks." She chuckled now feeling silly for thanking him.

"My pleasure ma'am." He figured this was the end of the road for him tonight. He understood damaged people, he didn't want to push her and fuck with her head any more than was already done. "How about I tuck ya in and say g'night?" He felt bad leaving her mostly naked in her living room.

"G'night?" She was shocked and sad that he wanted to go. She had just needed a minute to get her head back straight, she wasn't done for the night. She wasn't done with Daryl. "I mean, if ya wanna go. But, I…" She was still playing in his soft, long hair.

Daryl cock jerked in his pants. "Ya want me ta stay?" 'Please say yes' he thought over and over.

Carol shifted in the chair till she could kiss his bare shoulder, just above his demon tattoos and his scars she kissed him. "I want you to stay." She kissed his neck and felt him melt against the chair. "I promise not to keep being a head case."

He wormed his hand up under the blanket and caressed her leg. "Yeah, I'd like that." He kissed her forehead. "The stayin' part. Don't care if you're a head case." They kissed. "Though ya said ya couldn't…" She said couldn't go that far.

"I can't, um, suck yer…" She didn't know how to say it. Ed had ruined her from giving blow jobs, she didn't think she could ever do it again.

Daryl kissed her. "S'all right." He loved a blow job as much as the next guy did, but not if it made her crazy.

Somehow they had gotten comfortable on the couch after she had gotten him naked. He fumbled with the condom but finally got it on while she watched him do it. He laid back and she straddled him, rubbing herself along his shaft while he dug his fingers into her hips. They didn't talk, there was nothing to say. They simply wanted each other for different reasons, but in the same needful way. Finally she stopped teasing him and she lined herself up to him and slowly worked herself down his shaft, feeling full and wanted and a world of pleasure she had forgotten she could feel. He rocked into her and pulled her close, wrapped around her as he buried himself deep inside her. She moaned in his ear and he was sure it was something he wanted to hear often and for a very long time.

She wasn't going to cum again, not tonight anyways. The one earlier had racked her emotionally, but she wanted to please him, to make sure that he was content. She sat up and rode him, sliding up on him till he was almost out of her then pushing down, over and over as he held his breath and tried to hold back his orgasm. He didn't need to, she just wanted him to be satisfied, "Don't hold back Daryl." Her words broke him and he fucked into her till he came. Thrusting into her and groaning out swears she had never heard him say. He was always polite in front of her but now, tonight he sounded like a sailor and she told him it was sexy.

He pulled her down on him as she drained the last drops from his dick. He held her as he panted and huffed out a 'thanks'. He ran his fingers through her short hair and started to doze off beneath her.


She had woken him and they cleaned up before things got awkward. She wanted him to stay but she couldn't invite him into her bed. It was too much for her.

Daryl was smarter than people gave him credit for. "Both got early mornin's. How bout I get out of your way?" He didn't want to stay, he wasn't ready for that yet. "Eat that chicken tomorrow if we are both around?" He knew it sounded like some bullshit line, but he didn't want to smother her either. Carol nodded and walked him to the back door. He kissed her, more then he should have for saying good night.

Carol shut down the house replaying the night over and over in her head. From the rain storm to the broken plate, the bike ride and dinner, and the closest thing she had ever thought she had come to to making love. She changed into tank top and fresh panties then went back down stairs. She wasn't ready to sleep in her bed, the sofa where she and Daryl had been together would be fine for the night.


Prologue

"Collect call from Hall County Corrections will you accept the charges." The southern women on the end of the line waited for Daryl to except.

"Well hello baby brother?" Merle's voice always sounded too chipper for a man in prison. Today was no exception.

Daryl walked away from the job site. Tyreese had them on another house flip. "Hey Merle, how are ya." They had been talking more frequently and Daryl liked it. He missed having his brother around, even if the guy was a bastard prick most of the time.

"Good. Aye, only got a minute here. Officer Friendly keeps wanderin' by." Merle watched as two guard's eye fucked the prisoners around the hall. "You still with that bird you was tellin' me about las' month. The one you asked about the guy and shit?"

Daryl knew what he was talking about. He had asked Merle if he knew who the Ed was that was sending Carol mail. Carol hadn't told Daryl anything, but Merle found out quick and gave Daryl Ed's entire story. It was killing Daryl to not let on to Carol that he knew, but she wasn't ready to talk about it and he would wait.

"Yeah." Daryl wondered where the conversation was going.

Merle scanned the room then looked down and got quiet. "Well, let's just say that now we owe a guy a favor." Merle waited for Daryl to react.

"Yeah?" Damn, Daryl knew exactly what that meant. He knew what kinda shit Merle would do that would get or give him favors to be collected. He would never know the full story, but Daryl could be sure that Ed was dead, Merle knew who had done it and that they both owed someone money, drugs or a long line of hookers.

"Yup." Merle cleared his throat. "Hope ya really like her there Darylina."

Daryl hated the nickname but couldn't give him shit about it right now. "Yeah, I do." How do you repay a person for something like this?