There were enough storage containers for every single one of them to have their own space. But Rick requested that everyone be at least in pairs, for safety reasons. It wasn't like walkers could get in, but they had already had more than enough run-ins with crazy humans since the world went insane. Glenn and Maggie shared, Beth stayed with her father, Rick, Lori and Carl took another container, which left Carol, Daryl and T-Dog to bunk together.

Even though they were safely in pairs or groups Rick still insisted they take turns on watch. T-Dog was taking the first half of the night shift with Rick, then Glenn and Maggie would take over into the morning. It just so happened, this was the first time Daryl and Carol were alone in the storage container for an extended period of time.

"Carol, go take T-Dog's blanket for now," Daryl whispered. "I can hear you shivering from over here." Carol was freezing and her teeth were chattering while she attempted to sleep. They didn't have enough blankets for everyone to have their own, so Rick and Lori were sharing, as well as Maggie and Glenn. Daryl didn't have a blanket either, but he had the poncho she made him and it was likely even warmer.

"I'll j-j-just have t-t-t-o give it back when he c-c-comes in," she got out, as her body shook with cold. "Then I'll just b-b-be freezing again."

Daryl sighed. "C'mere then," he said. "Bring your blanket." Was he really offering to help warm her up? Carol wondered as she sat up. She gathered up the blanket and stood, making her way through the dark to the corner where Daryl had been sleeping for weeks. "Lay your blanket down first. It will be much warmer if we're not sleeping on the cement floor." Daryl stood while she spread out her blanket, then lay back down in the same spot, with the blanket under him. Carol hesitated. "Come on, I'm getting cold now too," Daryl grumbled.

She lay down beside him and Daryl covered them both with the poncho. The shivering stopped almost instantly. Between the heat of his body and the warm material over them Carol finally felt the chill start to fade. "Oh my God, thank you," she sighed, cuddling up against his side, drawn to the warmth. Carol felt him shift and worried she was making him uncomfortable already. Daryl wasn't one for physical contact and she had always tried to respect that and allow him the space he needed. She lifted her head to speak, but as she did Carol realized he'd turned towards her and their faces were only inches apart. "I'm sorry," she apologized, wriggling back a bit.

"Don't," Daryl said quickly. "I, uh… it'll um, be warmer if you just stay close."

Carol knew if she could see his face better he was likely blushing. She moved back to where she was and pressed her body up against his once again. Carol laid her head down against his chest and felt Daryl settle his cheek against her hair. She could honestly say that she had never felt so safe and secure in her entire life. Ed had never just held her in his arms lovingly. If his arms were around her he was either abusing her or getting what he needed then discarding her like trash. Daryl was her security blanket. Even though they rarely touched she could always feel his presence.

But now, they were touching and it felt amazing. It didn't take Carol long to realize she no longer had any desire to sleep. She wondered if Daryl felt the same. Carol had known for a while that Daryl would not be the one to make the first move. Whether it was an uncertainty, lack of experience, the abuse he'd suffered or a combination of all three, she knew for certain that no matter how strongly he desired her, he wasn't starting anything. It was up to her. Was it the right time? Was he ready to take the next step? Was she, for that matter?

Carol answered the last question first. She was ready. Was it the right time? Really, was there ever a right time anymore, when they didn't know if they would survive another week… another day…. Another hour? But Daryl, he was complicated. They hadn't even kissed yet. Maybe we should start there, Carol thought, and see where it goes. She took a deep breath and propped up on an elbow. "You okay?" Daryl asked. Apparently he wasn't sleeping either.

"I'm fine," Carol said, shifting into position to make her move. Daryl was looking at her. It was dark, but there was a little light that came in the windows near the ceiling, from the bright moon outside. The light was just enough to know he was watching her and just enough for Carol to see her target without having to fumble in the darkness. "I just thought maybe you wanted to…" she moved a little closer with each word and after a slight pause as her last word hung in the air, Carol leaned in and kissed him.

She had no idea what to expect, but what actually happened would have been way further down the list than Carol could have ever imagined. There was no retreat, no moment of shock, not even a split second's hesitation… he kissed her back. Daryl kissed her and it screamed, 'what took you so long?' It may have been slightly awkward, a bit shy at times, but it was perfect to Carol. After years of angry, drunk, possessive kisses from Ed, it was incredible to have a man kiss her so sweetly. And it wasn't just any man. It was Daryl. Daryl - her socially awkward, tough exterior, teddy bear at heart best friend.

Since step one went so well Carol decided to push her luck a little more. While they continued to kiss she lifted his shirt and grabbed the waistband of his jeans, slipping her fingers just inside so the backs were bushing low on his belly. Daryl groaned into her mouth and Carol swallowed it up eagerly.

She felt his hand grasping her hip and her heart started to beat even faster. Carol felt dizzy, incredibly woozy and as much as she hated to lose contact she needed air. She pulled back, but rested her forehead against his lips, feeling Daryl's panting breaths warm against her skin as she struggled to fill her lungs with oxygen.

When the faintness subsided Carol lifted her head. There was a feeling coursing through her body that was so intense it actually terrified her a bit. Carol couldn't remember wanting sex with anyone as badly as she wanted Daryl right then. If she let go, relinquished control, it would consume her completely. But before that happened, she had to know. Carol had to know he wanted her just as much. She needed to know that Daryl was okay with taking this step in their relationship. She didn't intend for her words to be as seductive as they came out. She wanted to give him complete choice, not interfere with that in anyway, including any sort of sexual temptation. "Do you want this?" Carol breathed, biting her lip and tugging lightly on his pants. She had never considered herself overly sexy, but the way the words slipped off her tongue made her feel like a siren.

Daryl didn't speak. Like they so often did he spoke to her with his eyes as the moonlight reflected on his blue irises. But this time, to be sure she understood his answer, Daryl's hand slipped from hip to her ass and squeezed. It was bold, especially for him, and for that reason alone it meant so much more. Carol had no doubt that Daryl had been with a woman before. As shy as he was, he was also incredibly handsome. There's no way a man that good looking wouldn't run into an aggressive woman at some point. And now he was with an aggressive woman again. Carol almost laughed out loud at the thought. Who would have ever thought she would consider herself aggressive? But after everything she had been through, everything she had survived in her life… she would never be that weak little mouse ever again.

The last shred of reserve she had left disappeared with his confirmation. Carol pushed her hips into Daryl, grinding against him. She also slipped her hand even further inside his pants, smiling when the tips of her fingers grazed his penis. It wasn't all that surprising that he wasn't wearing underwear. All their clothes were falling apart. Carol thought back to the last time she washed his clothes and she remembered noticing his boxers were ripped and sewed them up. Daryl had been so embarrassed he hadn't let her do his laundry for a long time after that. The next time she did it, there were no underwear. Eventually they would find somewhere to loot and load up on clothes, but for the time being they made do. And right then, no underwear was not a problem in the least.

Carol shivered as she touched him again, surprised at how easily he'd become fully aroused. It shouldn't have been surprising, really. How long had it been since he'd been with a woman? As far as she knew it had been at least several months, maybe longer, though she had no doubt that he'd found enough privacy to relieve the tension himself a time or two. Daryl's hand was still on her ass, which was great, but she was ready for more, so much more. She pulled her hand out of his pants and moved it with the other to her own. Carol twisted, wiggled and tugged under the cover of the poncho, until they were off, along with her very unflattering cotton panties. She opted to leave her socks on. It certainly wasn't sexy but it was way too cold to remove anything more than necessary.

When she guided Daryl's hand back to where it had been previously he squeezed again and she moaned quietly. They couldn't be too loud. Even though they happened to be in their own separate container she knew for a fact that you could hear through the walls. They were beside Glenn and Maggie.

Carol shifted and reached for Daryl's button and fly. Her hands were shaking with anticipation as she undid them and tugged them down. Daryl used his feet to push them off as Carol immediately reached for his dick. As her hand wrapped around him she heard Daryl whimper softly and when she slowly stroked him Daryl groaned and his entire body quivered with desire. Carol knew, at least this time, foreplay was not going to happen, which she was perfectly fine with, seeing as how she'd been wet with desire from the second their lips met.

She pushed Daryl onto his back and straddled him, feeling the poncho slide off her shoulders to pool around her naked ass and thighs. Carol sat above his erection, her hands on his chest to brace herself. She looked at him, making sure they had eye contact before lifting her hips to the right angle and sliding back against the tip of his dick. She felt the penetration and yet another wave of heat coursed through her body. She could feel that fire burning at her core as she slipped back a little further, taking him deeper. He whimpered again and Carol decided it was the sexiest noise she'd ever heard in her life. His face was contorted with pleasure and Daryl started to close his eyes. "No, don't," she whispered. "Look at me, please?" She wanted to see into his soul as they fucked and she wanted Daryl to watch her face and know the kind of bliss she was experiencing because of him. Carol pushed back further and sat up, taking him fully inside her.

"Oh God," Daryl said, rather loudly.

"Shhh," Carol replied, leaning in to capture his lips in a kiss and keep him quiet as she started to rock gently. Slow, fast, it didn't matter, they were both too aroused for it to last long. But Carol knew she would enjoy every second of it anyway. She grabbed his hands and linked their fingers, then pressed them up above his head for leverage as she slid up and down his cock. The delightful feeling of fullness when she took him deep was almost more than she could bear. Carol moved slowly, savoring every inch as she glided on him. Her heart was hammering, her world was spinning and she was happy, so incredibly happy. It was the first time since Sophia had died that Carol allowed herself to enjoy anything.

"Jesus, Carol, I'm sorry," Daryl grunted as he ripped his hands from her grasp, moved them to brace her hips and started to thrust into her from below. She had no idea what he was apologizing for and completely forgot he'd even spoke as the orgasm rocked her only the 4th time he drove into her. Carol was flying, soaring higher than she'd been her entire life. It felt like she'd taken some crazy drug and was riding the euphoria.

It wasn't until moments later that she felt the pain from Daryl's grip on her hips. He was squeezing, hard, obviously right on the edge of release. Carol covered his hands with hers and spoke softly to him, "Easy baby, just let go… come for me…"

Daryl grunted and his body shook. He threw his head back and squeezed his eyes tight, similar to what she had just done herself. His face was so beautiful. Carol wished there was a little more light so she could see it better and commit the look to memory. But even in the dim light it was a sight she would never forget.

Carol slipped off him and curled up against his side. Neither of them said a word. Their actions spoke loud enough. Daryl held her tight against his chest and pulled the poncho up snugly around them. She listened to the sound of his heart beat as is went from wild thumping to slow and steady. Once it evened out it lulled her to sleep. Carol was safe, warm and content. Daryl. Her. And the Poncho.

"You're thinking about that night again, aren't you?" Daryl asked, likely noticing the bright red cheeks she displayed.

"That obvious?" Carol replied and he nodded. "I still wonder if T-Dog noticed our pants lying there when he came in to sleep after his shift?" Carol felt a pang of sadness for the man who had saved her life, back at the prison.

"He had to have noticed us curled up under this thing, but he never led on that he suspected anything…" Daryl said, blushing slightly himself. "It was Glenn, by the way," Daryl added.

"Huh?" Carol said, unsure of what he was referring to.

"Glenn. When the prison was attacked he was still there after the rest of us fled. Before he left he went back in the cell block and grabbed a few things. The poncho was one of the things he grabbed," Daryl explained.

Carol stood up. "I need to go find him," she said.

"I know you do, but first…" Daryl grabbed her hand and pulled her against him, kissing her deeply. "I don't know when we'll get the chance to be alone again. I want to make the best of it."

Sometime later the two of them wandered back to where the rest of the group was. There were several discussions, well, more like debates, going on as to what they were going to do next. The reunion bliss was clearly over. Rick and the handsome red headed man she had yet to be introduced to were butting heads. Better you than me, she thought with a smile. Maggie was talking with another two pretty brunettes Carol didn't know and Glenn was sitting alone, watching them. Carol left Daryl to mediate Rick and the ginger and wandered over to Glenn.

She kissed his cheek and sat down beside him. "You are probably the sweetest man I have ever met in my entire life," Carol said, reaching for his hand. She had always had a special relationship with Glenn. There was a mutual admiration that was left unsaid, but they both knew it was there.

"What did I do to deserve that?" Glenn asked, grinning at her.

"You know," Carol said, her eyes wandering to Daryl wearing the poncho.

"Oh that," he laughed. "I watched you spend two weeks sewing that thing. And I see the look on your face when he wears it." Carol eyes shot back to meet Glenn's. "It's okay, your secret is safe with me," he whispered, squeezing her hand.

Carol leaned against Glenn and looked at Daryl. He caught her eye and smiled. She knew she was blushing again and she didn't care. It wasn't going to be a secret for much longer and finally… finally… that was okay.