DISCLAIMER: I own nothing.
There was no need for chasing, she'd run low on hope. So many circles surrounded her in this place. Beth sniffled as she pilfered through the remaining signs of life here. The attack on the prison had done more than disrupt their lives, it had left wounds so big they'd never heal. Her father was dead, Judith was missing, Maggie was somewhere else..
The only one who she had was Daryl. He'd got them out. Snuck her through the woods and past walkers. Found them shelter and protected her. All the while never expecting much in return. Just for her to listen, keep quiet, watch his back and any other soft commands he'd make of her. The older more brazen man seemed to adjust to her quite smoothly. For that she was grateful.
Beth crept around, making sure no walkers were there to get the one up on her. To their surprise there wasn't many walkers to take down. It had been two months since the attack. Daryl would go out to hunt and manage to find himself circling close to the prison. He'd then return and inform her of what he'd seen. Each time it would strike her silent.
When she found her way to her old room, her chest tightened and she had to take a deep breath. There was a body laying across her floor, decaying and stinking up everything. Quickly she began grabbing little things and miscellaneous items that held value to her. A bracelet from her sister, hand knitted sweater from Carol, Judith's binky…
As the blond's hand enclosed on the plastic and rubber, she felt her eyes burn. Poor Judith. Some part of her prayed that someone had grabbed her up. It had been so chaotic that day…
"Ya about ready?" Daryl's question made her jump and she wiped her eyes dry.
"Mhm. Let's go, nothin' much left here." Beth replied and she gathered up her bag and followed Daryl out. He seemed anxious to leave. She couldn't blame him. The longer they stayed the more she looked forward to getting back to their new home.
A few hours later they walked into the abandoned warehouse that was used to store tires and auto parts. It had a tin roof and the warehouse was massive. The upstairs office was big and spacious. They had worked hard and made it into the best home they could manage. Beth helped him secure the garage door from the loading bay and made her way upstairs.
Daryl lagged behind her, and she didn't bother to ask. They still had a while before sunset so she worked on getting ready for a bath. The creek that ran behind the building was the perfect spot for some alone time. She made sure to inform him where she was going and she would be done shortly.
The young woman found the short path and immediately began stripping. The water felt awesome. They had spent a few days digging it out to make it deeper. The red clay at the bottom felt fantastic against her bare feet. As she submerged herself up to her chin, she began crying. Beth had done so well up until today with her grief.
It had been her idea to go to the prison. She'd hoped to get closure, but it didn't help. It only made it worse. Slowly she wrapped her arms around herself and began sobbing. When she knew she was getting loud, she covered her mouth and wanted to sink down through the mud.
The images of her father being forced to his knees and being killed, it made her whole body shake with sadness and anger. Beth didn't realize she had drawn attention to herself. Before she could make too much noise something plowed into the water and wrapped her up. She gasped and started to fight until strong arms readjusted around her.
"Shhh girl. I know." Daryl's voice washed over her as a balm. Beth pulled her head back and looked at him. His blue eyes were shaded from the shadow cast from the many weeping willows that grew on the banks. His face was almost soft, but his tight grip was painful. But she didn't mind. Daryl didn't say another word as he forced her into a tight hug.
Beth noticed he was still dressed, crossbow forgotten on the bank. She felt herself sinking into him and letting it go.
"I'm so sorry I made us go. Should have stayed here." She choked out and he nodded, carefully placing a hand on her naked back and the other into her hair. She closed her eyes. The sensation of his hand on her skin, like this, made her want to pull away and drown. But, something inside her unwound as she felt close to the man who held her.
These two months had been enlightening for her. At the prison they had spoken a few times, but now she was one on one with him 24/7. Daryl was actually a good support. Once they had gotten over the awkwardness of being stuck together, he'd start up small conversations. Ask her to help him with random tasks. He'd changed. She had changed.
Beth sniffled and wrapped her arms around his torso. Suddenly her nudity didn't bother her so much. It felt liberating. The young woman pulled away slightly, keeping their chests together. Her red swollen eyes met with his and she seen it then. His resolve to stay and not run from her. He had a bad habit of being skiddish with her changing shirts or avoiding possibly awkward situations.
He must have seen her indecision about him because he groaned and rolled his eyes. Beth smiled and pulled him down closer to her, wrapping her arms around his neck. When he bent to let her draw him close, she jumped and surprised him by wrapping her legs around his waist. Suddenly he didn't know what to do with his hands. When he adjusted to balancing her he settled for placing his hands on the underside of her thighs.
Beth felt her face flush and she looked away, feeling the calluses on his hands pleasantly touching the sensitive areas on her legs. Words had escaped her. No, they were avoiding her. Her tongue knew her brain would betray her so it refused to work. Daryl seemed to be the same. When they did dare to look at one another, she almost died. Through pieces of hair that hung in her face she seen the hunter for what he really was. A man. Strong and emotional. Her jaw clenched and his impossible eyes seemed to harden slightly. Daryl's head tilted and she just then realized they were moving. He was breathing heavy.
He set her down into the water and began taking his shirt off. Quietly she watched him. Once his shirt was shed, then came his pants and everything else. She didn't look away, but Beth didn't see anything either. She just watched as he grabbed the bar of soap from on top of her clothes. When he looked back to her, the nerves around her spine tingled to life.
"Turna 'round." His gruff voice requested. She just listened and did as she was told. When his hands reached her shoulders her knees almost gave out. It felt so wonderful to be touched.
Please comment if you enjoyed, thank you for reading. :)