Hello, all! Yes, this is a new story from me. This is the last thing I need right now with school and the like, but I've been dying to get this up and I figured since I finished Ashes I could post another story to take its place. At this point, I have no idea how long this will be. It may be a few chapters or it might be several. All I know is that this idea has been plaguing me for awhile. So, I hope you all enjoy this and I apologize for the slow beginning, but I needed to set it up a bit!

Chapter One

The linoleum was cracked and stained underneath his boots, some of it even curling up to expose the disgusting black glue underneath. The artificial lighting cast everything in an unattractive yellow light and even made some of the packaged goods on the shelves look unappealing. The convenience store was barely any better than a dump, but it was the closest one to his home and he needed some snacks for his hunting trip in the morning.

The man behind the character eyed him with a look that told him he needed to hurry the fuck up. No one else was in the store and Daryl was sure the cashier wanted to get back to the skin mag he'd quickly hidden under the counter when Daryl walked in.

Grabbing a couple bags of chips and a package of sour gummy worms, which were secretly his favorite, Daryl walked over to the refrigerated section of the store and grabbed a few water bottles. Knowing how brutal the heat could be this time of month, he knew he'd have to keep himself constantly hydrated. The couple of times Merle had gone with him on a hunt, he'd thought it would be fine to bring beer along. Daryl had wound up lugging his older brother home after he had passed out from dehydration. The stupid asshole. Never thought about anyone else, except himself.

The bells above the door jiggled and Daryl straightened to look to see who had entered. Not that he cared, just curious. The goods in his arms nearly crashed to the ground when he saw that it was a woman, a very pretty woman. Even the ugly, yellow lighting couldn't hinder her attractiveness. The auburn curls that fell to her shoulders bounced as she walked and her eyes were a pale, beautiful blue. What was she doing in a place like this?

The cashier, instead of looking even more irritable at possibly being delayed from his magazine even longer, gave the woman a sleazy grin and even greeted her as she walked by, eyes glued to her chest and when she walked past, moved to her ass.

Flashing a wide smile, the woman greeted him back. The smile, however, caused Daryl's gaze to remain glued to her even more. Despite the wideness of the smile and the cheerful way she had spoken to the clerk, there was a sadness behind it. Looking up to see her eyes, he saw that the skin underneath them hadn't crinkled in mirth but remained smooth and miserable.

"Excuse me?" For the second time in the matter of minutes, he nearly dropped everything in his hands. The woman had stopped in front of him and he wondered if she was coming to tell him off for staring like a creep. He would have deserved it.

"Yeah?" he asked, awkwardly and shifted in place. She was so close he could smell her perfume. It smelled citrusy. Like grapefruit. Whatever it was, the smell was now Dary's favorite.

"Can I get past you for a second?" The sad smile flashed again. "I just want to grab a water."

"Oh, uh, yeah. Sorry." Daryl side-stepped and nearly tripped over his feet in the process. Normally, he was sure-footed but in the presence of this woman he felt like a newborn foal learning to walk for the first time.

"Thank you." She opened the glass door, bent to grab a bottle and flashed him another smile before walking up to the counter to pay. Daryl could only watch as she handed over the money for her water and left the store.

"Hey, buddy!" The clerk finally called after him. "You going to check out or what? I ain't got all night." When Daryl unloaded the foodstuffs on the counter, the man went about scanning each one and smirked at him. "That sure was a mighty fine piece of ass, wasn't it?"

For some reason, this angered Daryl. How dare this man degrade the angel that had walked through those doors?

Whoa, angel? Since when did he think like that? Since never, that's when. God, Merle would have his ass if he'd ever found out.

When everything was paid, bagged and handed to him, Daryl took his purchases without a word and sent the man a glare before leaving the store. He hoped that maybe the woman had stuck around after making her purchase, but was disappointed to see that the parking lot was empty, except for his old truck.

Daryl knew that he was never going to see the angel, again.

Carol's hand shook as she read the text message that had just caused her phone to ping. So stupid! She chided herself. She should have changed the damn number. That way she would have never had to read a message from him, ever again. Quickly, Carol shut off her phone and slid the device away from her but the words were burned into the backs her eyelids. Every time she closed her eyes, they were there. Taunting.

You can run. You can hide. But in the end, I will always find you...

God, she wanted to cry. That's how she felt all the time, now. She couldn't even do the things she enjoyed without thinking about him and what he would do to her if she were found. And Ed would find her, too. This was the third place Carol hidden herself away in. The other two places had been living with a friend and with a cousin. Now, she was on her own and totally defenseless if Ed were to show up at her front door.

Actually that wasn't true. She wasn't completely defenseless. In her underwear drawer, she hid a 9mm, but having the weapon and actually using it were two different things. Carol had never shot a gun in her life and hoped that would always be the case.

Looking out the kitchen window of her small house, Carol saw that it was getting dark and that she should lock up. Living in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by a forest of trees had its advantages, but it got awfully spooky at night. Most nights, she wished someone else was in the house with her. Someone to keep her company but the less people she talked to in town the less of a chance Ed had of finding her here.

Carol was willing to live a life of solitude as long as Ed Peletier never showed up in it.

A Month Later

It had been a month and Daryl still no sighting of the woman from the convenience. She had probably just been passing through the rinky dink town on her way to bigger and better things. No woman like that stuck around long here.

The town was so small it could barely be called a town and didn't show up on any maps. There was only one grocery store, the convenience store, a bar and an old stone church who's congregation held only about thirty people. Despite the size, Daryl didn't mind it here. It was small and most everyone kept to themselves, just as he liked it.

Merle had dragged them there six years ago when he had gotten discharged from the army and collected his little brother from their pa's house. It had been three years since Merle had last stepped foot in town and that was because he was locked up at the nearest county jail for drug possession. He still had two years of his sentence left and Daryl had mixed feeling about sharing his space with his older brother again. He liked being on his own. True, it could get lonely once in awhile but for the most part, Daryl liked his seclusion from everyone.

The woman, his angel, which he had gone about calling her in his head plagued his mind constantly even though he had only laid eyes on her for all of two minutes. Daryl wasn't one to entertain romantic notions in his head. Hell, at twenty-four, he'd never had a woman. When Merle was around, he had tried, he really had, but he quickly found out he had no game and sleeping with a bunch of bar whores wasn't worth it, anyways.

Merle would call him a pussy, but Daryl was going to be in it for the long haul if he were to ever get in a relationship. He wouldn't go as far as saying he wanted a picket fence, a dog and a bunch of kids. If it was meant to be, Daryl wanted a woman that would love him despite all of his faults, because he knew that once he fell in love, that was it. No other woman would be it for him.

Thoughts? Do you all want more?

Thank you all for reading and giving this a chance!