My little contribution for Summer of Bethyl- Birthday Week. I had so much fun writing this one, hope y'all enjoy it!


This is why ya gotta quit datin' models, Daryl thought to himself, waving down the bartender. There was not enough beer in the world to help him get through the rest of this night. Birthday party he didn't want or ask for—that he was paying for—a flighty girlfriend dramatically breaking up with him then storming out, and turning thirty-nine with a bunch of assholes. Well, not all of them were assholes. There were about ten people he liked in the room. And yet he hadn't been able to speak to a single one of them for more than five minutes before some prick wanted to come and talk to him about work.

"Did I mention I hate you?" Beth radioed to Maggie through her earpiece.

"Did I mention how much money we're makin'?" Maggie's voice returned.

Beth rolled her eyes and climbed up into the DJ stand to tell him to turn the volume down a bit. "Birthday cake in ten minutes," she leaned in and yelled in his ear. He nodded to the beat, headphones still pressed to his ear as he mixed a sample of the song.

Magnolia Events already had three weddings, a 50th wedding anniversary, and a corporate launch party booked for that weekend when Maggie informed Beth they were also taking on full-service planning of famous tv exec Daryl Dixon's over-the-top birthday party. For the past three weeks, they'd juggled last minute meetings with all their clients and round-the-clock emails with vendors. Beth imagined laying on top of her big ol' pile of money and promptly dying from exhaustion.

She stopped by one of the bars to point out the melting ice water pooling under one of the luges for the custom vodka bar. If Beth took a shot every time she'd heard some fake breasted gold-digger let out a 'Woooo!' she'd die from alcohol poisoning before the exhaustion took her.

Pulling out her phone, she rapid-fire answered text messages from three of their other planners, Sasha, Rosita, and Tara, not even noticing the man standing beside her.

"Ya look as bored as I am," the deep southern rumble startled Beth, and she nearly dropped her phone on the polished floors illuminated in custom blue lighting.

She narrowed her eyes, not even looking to see who was talking to her, "Well isn't that exactly what I'd wanna hear 'bout an event I'd spent six weeks plannin'?" Beth rounded on the man, ready to chew him out. The words died on her lips though. He was about average height, with very broad shoulders, and shaggy brown hair that fell right over the bluest eyes she'd ever seen. Daryl Dixon. The birthday boy.

The smirk on his face quickly disappeared, replaced instead by dark red creeping up the back of his neck and making his ears burn.

"Oh uh," they stammered, both of them realizing to whom they were speaking.

Beth felt a very distinct urge to turn around, get in her car, and drive home to a large bottle of wine. Or ten. Ten large bottles of wine. After a few seconds, she mustered a smile and a friendlier tone, "Happy Birthday Mr. Dixon."

He cleared his throat and extended a hand out to her, "Daryl, please. Mr. Dixon sounds like I'm 'bout to chaperone a field trip of teenage girls to the beauty parlor."

Her hand slipped into his, small, and soft. So naturally he did the awkward thing, and held onto it far longer than what was required for a regular handshake.

"Daryl," Beth repeated, the heat gone out of her tone, "I'm sorry to hear ya aren't enjoyin' your party."

"Aw hell, I didn't mean nothin' by that," Daryl reached up to rub the back of his neck, "I just—well, this ain't really my kinda party. I woulda been good with pizza, beer, maybe one of them cakes from the grocery store."

Beth surveyed the party scene. The ballroom was packed with about two-hundred fifty people, Daryl's name swirled along the floor and up the walls, as if people needed to be reminded whose party it was. The ice luges and the back-lit bar custom made just for that night. The press and photographers milling around.

"Well, at least I know yer not the douche bag I thought ya were," Beth shrugged, flashing straight white teeth and making her high cheekbones stand out.

"This is literally a party for douchebags. Why is my name flashing in lights? It looks like 'Daryl' is a brand new club opening up. I bet they'd have roofie vending machines at 'Daryl'," the birthday boy grinned and took a swig of his beer.

Beth laughed, momentarily forgetting the buzzing phone in her pocket. Her esteem of the tv exec went up another notch. Daryl's very skinny model girlfriend Gigi Monroe insisted on all these details, regardless of Maggie and Beth's suggestions to not make it so garish. Gigi made it seem like she was merely carrying out the demands of a very high-maintenance, picky man. Beth immediately stopped watching Daryl's tv show because she couldn't support the work of anyone so tacky. Now she felt relieved to know it was his taste in women that was questionable, and she couldn't really fault him for that. When in the history of the world had a man turned down an attractive woman?

The lights dimmed then, and the crowd parted to make way for a huge fondant covered cake with Daryl's face on it. He forced a gracious smile onto his face, and Beth led him out to the center of the floor to blow out all thirty-nine candles on the cake. As everyone he hardly recognized sang happy birthday to him, he looked over at Beth, a golden glow cast onto her porcelain skin. He blew out his candles, surprised that his wish was just to spend a little more time with the petite party planner.


After Daryl blew out the candles, the wait staff promptly wheeled the cake back to the kitchen to be sliced up, plated, and served back out to all the guests. Beth followed her staff back there to ensure they were keeping to the event timeline. Her fingers flew over her cell phone's screen, answereing back more text messages, and skimmed the assurances from Sasha, Rosita, and Tara that everything was running smoothly at their other events.

The kitchen was bustling with caterers and waitstaff. Even without looking up, Beth gave orders like a conductor to an orchestra. She was at the center of it all. Daryl had trailed after that long blond ponytail not two minutes after one of his guests casually mentioned she had a script he just had to read.

For a minute, Daryl just stood inside the doorway, watching dozens of people swirl around her like some well-choreographed dance. Then he spotted his cake. That ridiculously large sheet cake with a five foot long picture of his face. No one should ever see his face that big. That's why he worked behind the camera.

"Mind if I have a slice of my face?" Daryl called out from the doorway. He saw the way Beth's shoulders hitched up, catching her off guard again.

No one ever stepped into the chaos of the party planner zone. That was like pulling back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz. A small thrill shot through Beth unexpectedly when she saw him leaning against the doorway with his hands in his pockets.

"Mr. Dixon!" Maggie appeared at Beth's side, "We're so sorry we didn't get a slice of cake out to you fast enough."

"'S'okay," Daryl shrugged, "Actually, I kinda just need a break. Mind if I hang out in here for a few minutes?"

"Of course!" Maggie smiled genially, "Beth, grab Mr. Dixon a seat."

Beth. She looked like a Beth. It only occurred to him at that moment she hadn't actually given him her name. She came forward with a stool, which she put at the corner of one of the stainless steel prep tables. Maggie placed a slice of cake and a fork in front of him. Removing his phone from his back pocket, Daryl set it down next to his plate and picked up his utensil.

"So Beth," Daryl said her name as if testing it out, "What other horrors are planned for t'night?"

Beth had to will herself not to shiver at the way her name sounded coming out of Daryl's mouth, all gravelly and low. She stared dumbly at him for a few moments until Maggie slapped her on the back to get her moving. "Oh! Uh, well cake, and then The Bots will be doing a short set for you and your friends. More DJ and dancing till the end of the night. We'll begin loading up your presents and any leftover cake for your assistants to take back to your apartment."

Daryl shook his head. The cake flavor was definitely Gigi's favorite, not his. Some sort of tropical fruit filling nestled between layers of a heavily liqueur-laced cake. His favorite part of any cake was replaced with the sugary paste that made a pristine canvas for a picture of him blown up so large he could see the pores in his skin. The Bots were also one of her favorite bands, not his. Every detail Beth babbled on about came straight off of Gigi Monroe's wishlist, not his. Maggie eyed them both with interest until he glanced her way. Then she smiled brightly and muttered something about checking on the lighting before scurrying out of the kitchen.

"She your boss?" Daryl asked.

"Ha, she wishes. We own this business together, but she's my big sister, so I think she assumes she's the boss of me for every other aspect of my life," Beth joked.

"Ain'tcha too young to own your own business?" Daryl asked.

"Dunno, ain'tcha too young to be runnin' the most popular show on television?" Beth retorted with a grin.

Daryl liked the way the corners of Beth's mouth curved into a smile and the rosy apples of her cheeks. Her long eyelashes framed big blue eyes, giving her features even more of a doll-like appearance. She looked… sweet. That was the only word that could describe her. He watched as Beth put her fingers up to her earpiece, someone speaking to her from another location. Her expression changed from playful and happy to apologetic.

"Hate to break it to ya, but your publicist and your friends are lookin' for ya," Beth glanced down at her phone, "The Bots will be on stage any minute. I'll have someone bring you another piece of cake out there."

"Daryl! I've got a really beautiful woman you need to meet!" Daryl's publicist, Aaron appeared in the doorway of the kitchen. Beth couldn't tell if she was irritated because for the second time that evening someone had invaded her inner sanctum or if it was because Daryl was being pulled away from her company to meet someone who was probably as beautiful and vapid as his girlfriend.

Oh yeah, didn't Daryl have a girlfriend? Beth busied herself with her phone because she suddenly felt awful. She wasn't sure what made her feel worse—the fact that even though Daryl had a girlfriend, he was going off to meet another woman or the fact that she wished he would stick around and talk to her.

Daryl gave Beth one last look before allowing Aaron to drag him back out to the party. The woman Aaron introduced him to was in fact beautiful, but she also had the personality of a grapefruit. She reminded him of… Gigi. He opened his mouth to excuse himself, but then his best friend Rick was at his side.

"After party brother!" Rick clapped his hands down onto Daryl's shoulders. He could see the woman's face flash with momentary hope that she would be invited to tag along, but he said a quick good-bye and let Rick lead him quickly to a limo parked just outside the building.

Inside waiting for him were everyone he would actually have wanted celebrating any kind of special occasion with him. His publicist Aaron and his partner Eric, his best friend Rick, his business manager Michonne, and his lawyer Carol. As soon as he settled into his seat, Michonne handed him a glass of champagne.

"A toast!" Rick raised his champagne flute, "To Daryl getting rid of the worst girlfriends to date, and for finally escaping the worst birthday party ever!"

Daryl raised his glass, but something twisted in his stomach. It hadn't been the worst birthday party ever. Beth and Maggie bent over backwards to see that Gigi's instructions were followed to a tee. It wasn't their fault Gigi asked for ridiculous things. He should have been sad about Gigi, but instead, he just felt… relieved. He'd started dating her because she was fun. She didn't care that he worked long hours. Now he realized, she just didn't care.

They rode just a couple miles away, stopping at a bar with music thumping so loud, he could hear it as soon as the limo door opened. As much as he loved his friends, he suddenly just wanted to be back at home with his feet up and watching tv. Must be gettin' old, Daryl shook his head.

"C'mon birthday boy, there's a booth in that bar with your name on it!" Carol ducked her head back into the limo.

Daryl patted around his pockets, "Aw shit, I left my phone back at the party. Y'all go on ahead, I'll be back in fifteen minutes."

"What? We can just send the car back and they can bring your phone to you!" Carol tugged on his sleeve, but Daryl was already settling back into the seat.

"Fifteen minutes," Daryl motioned for the chauffeur to close the door.


The caterers had been paid. The band had broken down their equipment and were loading it up out of the service entrance. The wait staff were busy bussing dirty dishes back to the kitchen, which is how Beth ended up with Daryl Dixon's phone in her dress pocket. After he'd been ushered back out to the party to meet beautiful mystery non-girlfriend girl, a waiter cleared away his plate and found he'd left his phone on the table. When Beth went to chase him down, there he was with a leggy red-head draped over his arm. Not wanting to interrupt or gawk at them till she saw an opening, she instructed one of her staff to let her know when he was free. Of course by the time that happened, he hopped into a limo to whereabouts unknown.

"Since Dixon and his entourage left, the party's startin' to die down," Maggie voice in Beth's earpiece interrupted her musings.

"Good," Beth mumbled to herself, her own phone out, reading a couple frantic messages from one of their three weddings. Tara was their newest event coordinator, and as the night wore on, Beth considered ditching the birthday party early just to make sure everything was under control at the wedding reception. She hated having to leave day-of coordination to Tara. Even though she knew Tara was highly capable, the Dickerson-Palmer wedding had been Beth's baby for over a year. She'd pitched them the concept of their wedding, and she was instrumental in every single detail of their day, from the custom calligraphy done on the paper products, to the fireworks display that would cap off the couple's exit from the event.

This particular event was not her baby. No, this felt more like a mangy one-eyed dog who showed up on her doorstep. She and Maggie were just nursing it back to life before they could find it a good home.

"Mags, do you think you could close up shop without me?" Beth spoke back into her mouthpiece.

"Sure. You're going to check on the wedding aren't you?"

"Shut up," Beth smiled, already searching for her purse and her car keys.

"Freak."

Beth gave the catering manager a couple more instructions before leaving out the service entrance where her car was parked out back. Just as she stepped out the door, a limousine pulled up to the curb, and Daryl Dixon hopped out.

"You couldn't even last the rest of the night huh?" Daryl ducked his head down to look at her, shaggy brown hair tumbling across his forehead.

"Hmm, and you couldn't stay away," Beth let her purse drop to the crook of her arm.

"Left my phone," Daryl glanced up at the closed service entrance, "Figured if I came in through the back, I wouldn't have to talk to anyone."

"Oh," Beth started, digging into her pocket, "It's a good thing ya showed up when you did, otherwise I woulda driven off with it."

A smile pulled at the corner of Daryl's mouth when she placed the phone in his hand, her fingers softly brushing his palm. She must have felt a spark too, because she took a half-step back. "In a rush?" Daryl asked, mouth suddenly dry.

"Yeah, well there's this big wedding I designed happening tonight. It's only about ten minutes from here. Since your guests started migrating on to the after party, I figured I could go check on things. My coordinator I have over there is having some issues getting the party on track for the midnight fireworks show," Beth explained.

The words were out of Daryl's mouth before his brain could register how awkward a request he was making. "Mind if I tag along?"

Beth raised an eyebrow, "Ya wanna go to a wedding reception with me on your birthday? I'm sure Gigi would be missing you at your after party."

"Gigi actually wasn't too happy with me about an hour into the party, so she broke up with me. As for an after party… well, fireworks sound a'right," Daryl shoved his hands into his pockets and leaned up against the limo. Beth seemed to be thinking it over, and Daryl gnawed the inside of his cheek. He expected her to have a perfectly reasonable excuse why he couldn't come to work with her, but at that point, there really wasn't anything he could do to take it back, short of wiping her memory.

So there he stood, waiting for the rejection to the world's weirdest request for a non-date. Beth jingled her keys in her hand then fixed him with a crooked little smile that made her look like she was cooking up some mischief.

"You can come with me," Beth began, "On two conditions—one, that we take my car, and two, that you let me buy you some pizza after."

Pushing off the side of the limo, Daryl ducked his head again as if considering the conditions. He'd succeeded in being the biggest dork ever in front of this woman, and she wanted to buy him pizza? Not much to consider there, but he felt like he was entering uncharted territory. All the women he hung out with before he picked because they'd be easy to let go. Beth seemed like the kind of woman that you met, that if you were smart, you'd find a way to hold on to her forever.

"A'right," Daryl nodded still worrying his lower lip between his teeth. He bent over, knocking on the front passenger window for the chauffeur to lower it, instructing him to head back to the bar and wait to give his friends a ride home.

Beth tried her damnedest not to let her eyes wander down to Daryl's backside as he dismissed his driver for the night. Just couldn't help it though. She couldn't remember the last time a client wasn't some fat corporate suit or a groom. Neither type was an opportunity for flirting. Or blushing, as it happened when Daryl turned and faced her again. Beth wondered briefly if he could tell she was admiring his ass just by the shade of red she was turning.

"My car's jus' this way," Beth led the way to a compact Mercedes SUV.

"I think yer car's fancier than that limo," Daryl took in the luxurious interior of the car as he climbed into the front passenger seat, "Just how much money am I payin' ya?"

Beth grinned, "Enough that I can buy ya a pizza."


Daryl felt like they'd travelled back in time. The wedding venue was a historic courthouse converted into an events facility. Inside, the chandeliers were dimmed, and the whole space was bathed in candlelight. From the band, to the bartenders hand chipping ice for drinks, it was like something out of the roaring 20s.

"Ya do all this?" he asked gruffly.

"Sure did Mr. Dixon," Beth moved to lead him further into the room, but he caught her wrist.

"I don't even know yer last name," Daryl realized. Her wrist was so small, he felt like if he squeezed too hard he might snap her arm in two. When he pulled his hand back, the warmth of her skin left his fingers tingling.

"Greene," Beth flashed another pretty smile, and then they pressed on into the back.

There she was again, at the center of it all. The coordinator, Tara, beamed at her in relief the minute Beth walked through the door. She didn't take over the whole show, but she helped to shoulder some of the burden so they could get the reception back on schedule. Daryl was given a seat at the corner of one bar with a mason jar filled with some sort of apple pie moonshine.

Not more than fifteen minutes later, Beth appeared at his side, took his hand and wordlessly led him up to the rooftop of the building. Daryl glanced down at his phone. At exactly midnight, the sky filled with bursts of color and light. Beth's face gleamed, but he found himself watching her and not the sky.

When she noticed him looking at her, pink tinged her cheekbones, "What?"

Daryl looked away from her and shook his head, "Ya did all this."

Beth shrugged, "We're lucky. We love the work we do, so it ain't really work."

"Even dealin' with my pain in the ass ex-girlfriend?" Daryl asked.

"Comes with the territory. People always expect their event to be perfect. That's part of my job. She ruined your birthday though, I think you got the raw end of the deal," Beth put a hand on Daryl's arm. All the while 'ex-girlfriend' kept ringing in ears.

"Actually," Daryl pulled out his phone, and lit up the screen to show Beth it was after midnight, "Now it's my birthday."

A look of surprise flashed across Beth's face, "B-but—"

"Birthday fell on a Sunday this year," Daryl said, "Gigi jus' thought the party should be on a Saturday."

Suddenly Beth felt reinvigorated, the wheels of her party planner mind already whirring at full speed. She hated the idea that Daryl had been robbed of his special day and now it was like she got a second chance to give him what he really wanted. She reached into her jacket, pulling out a covered mason jar, "Then a toast!" There was that mischievous smile, almost like a dare.

Daryl tugged her hand towards him to give the jar a sniff. Inside was nearly a full jar of apple moonshine. He held out his glass and clinked it to hers. After a small sip and a shudder, Beth grinned again, "C'mon."

She bargained with him for pizza, so he understood her question about toppings. Everything else was a mystery. She even made him stay in the car to run into the grocery store. When Beth returned she put her purchases in the trunk and slid into the driver's seat with her hand behind her back.

"Close your eyes," Beth instructed.

Daryl eyed her dubiously, but after a glare from Beth he let his eyelids fall shut. He felt something placed around his head, and when he opened his eyes, Beth had a cone-shaped paper party hat on top of her head and a noise maker that she blew heartily.

"I hereby declare this to be Daryl Dixon's best birthday yet!" Beth exclaimed with the noise maker still wedged in the corner of her mouth.

Daryl put a hand up to his head and felt the points to a paper crown. He couldn't help but grin.

"I look like a jackass," Daryl grumbled even though there was no heat behind his words.

"Yup!" Beth giggled.

"So do you."

"Well the birthday boy can't look like a jackass all by himself. That would be rude," Beth smiled brightly.

While inside the grocery store, Beth texted Daryl's assistant and got his address. She ordered a pizza and after a few minutes staring at the cake display, she picked out a small carrot cake. It was either her party planner intuition or complete delirium, but there was a tiny voice inside her that said Daryl Dixon was a cream-cheese frosting kinda guy.

Beth was prepared to explain how she knew how to get to Daryl's apartment, but instead he just tried to sneak a peek into her grocery bags. His apartment was actually not very far from her own little two bedroom house. If she wasn't such a workaholic, she'd have been surprised that she hadn't run into him around town.

The apartment was spacious, but decorated minimally. The open-concept loft was all exposed brick and ductwork, hardwood floors, and industrial lighting accents. The living area was divided into two spaces. On one side, a large leather sectional sofa sat atop a neutral colored area rug and faced a sleek entertainment center fitted with a big screen tv, video game console, and stereo system. On the other side a long wooden table set up against a floor-to-ceiling window with what Beth could only assume was all of his work. Stacks of papers, a desktop computer with oversized monitors covered the expanse of polished reclaimed wood. A few stools were tucked under an expansive kitchen island with concrete countertops. No formal dining area, but a fully-stocked bar and wine fridge. Basically, a bachelor pad.

If Beth had to wager a guess there was nothing in the fridge but take out containers and some beer. Maybe ingredients for protein shakes if Daryl's broad shoulders and solidly defined chest were any indication of his exercise habits.

"'Kay Greene, what's in the bag?" Daryl asked, arms crossed over his chest. If he was trying to intimidate her, it would've helped if he didn't have a bright gold paper crown on his head. He looked like he was the bouncer at Burger King.

Beth cleared her throat and made a dramatic display of pushing her jacket sleeves up her arms. From the first grocery bag, she produced a little string banner that read "Happy Birthday!" on it. She taped it along one side of the island, then reached back in and came out with Star Wars themed paper plates and napkins. A couple cans of silly string followed, 'just in case.' From the second bag she pulled out a six-pack of Sweetwater beer, and the carrot cake.

"Aaand, pizza should be here in about ten minutes," Beth began digging through her purse again. When she pulled out her keys again, Daryl put a hand to her elbow.

"Yer leavin'?" Daryl asked. He realized he probably looked like a little bitch, but a jolt of panic struck him that this would be the last of Beth Greene.

"Well… ya said all ya wanted was a pizza and some beer. Somethin' simple. I didn't wanna assume you'd wanna hang out with some lady ya jus' met," Beth brushed the loose strands of hair that framed her face away. She looked up into his eyes. The deepest of blue stared down at her with such intensity. She had just met this man a few hours before, and yet the way he looked at her, it was like she knew him. Just the slight pressure of his large warm hand on her elbow, and Beth felt this overwhelming closeness to him. "Besides, if I'm gonna eat pizza and drink beer, I can't wear this dress. It's been cutting off circulation and that's on an empty stomach."

A slow smile twitched at Daryl's lips, but it was enough to know Beth had given him hope. "Ya know… I think I've got somethin' you could slip into that'd be more comfortable." Ugh. He inwardly groaned at how creepy that sounded, "I mean, really—just, wait here."

Beth watched Daryl disappear down the hallway. She shivered just remembering his touch, and heat flushed her whole body at the mental image of his hands sliding over her bare skin. Beth exhaled explosively willing her body to stop responding to the idea. She shrugged out of her jacket and placed it on one of the kitchen stools, busied herself opening up two of the beers, and putting the rest away in fridge.

When Daryl emerged, Beth nearly choked on her sip of beer. Instead of his dress pants and button-down shirt, he was wearing a black and white skeleton onesie with a hoodie. The sight of him as a skeleton with a paper crown on his head was at once adorable and highly amusing. Beth couldn't stop the giggles from bubbling up until Daryl returned her grin and held out a green onesie for her.

The look on Beth's face changed from shock, to skepticism, to enthusiastically happy. Daryl pointed her in the direction of the bathroom, and she traded him a bottle of beer for the plush green fabric.

"Where did ya get this?" Beth called through the door.

"Amazon. I ordered both a'these for myself, but I didn't realize that one only sold in children's sizes," Daryl sat back on the edge of the sofa waiting for Beth to come out.

"Are ya tellin' me I'm wearing a children's onesie?" Beth asked stepping out of the bathroom, hood up and party hat over top of it, "Because I'm thinkin' this dinosaur is ready to party."

Daryl could feel the heat creep up the back of his neck and flush the tips of his ears pink. He hadn't expected Beth to make even a dinosaur onesie look so irresistible. While he hadn't even been able to pull the top up over him, it fit Beth perfectly. She was so slim and petite, with tiny bare feet and toenails painted hot pink. Daryl turned away at the sudden tightness in his pants. For all the comforts of a onesie, it would do nothing to hide an erection. She'd taken the whole evening in stride, but even Beth had to have her limits—public indecency being one of them. He moved around the opposite side of the island from Beth, reaching into a drawer for a couple forks and then pushed the cake in Beth's direction.

She accepted the fork from him and picked up her beer again, "Pizza better get here soon or all this moonshine and beer'll have me on my ass."

"Start on the cake first," Daryl pried the plastic lid off the cake and hacked a slice off onto Yoda's cardboard face, "Did one of my assistants tell ya my favorite cake is carrot cake? Love cream cheese frosting."

"Oh… yeah," Beth played along, but on the inside she was high-fiving herself. Hadn't she just met this guy? Now he had her in a dinosaur onesie eating cake and drinking beer. She couldn't remember the last time she'd just hung out with a guy like this. Maybe she'd never hung out with a guy like this. "So, in this birthday fantasy of yours, what did you do once you'd acquired beer, pizza, and cake?"

When Daryl imagined his thirty-ninth birthday, he certainly hadn't expected this blonde vision dressed up like a dinosaur standing in front of him. The whole situation seemed too ridiculous to be real. People just didn't connect that quickly did they? Definitely not in his life.

"Ya have anythin' 'gainst watchin' tv?" Daryl asked.

Beth's mouth quirked into a crooked smile, "Ooh Dixon, dunno if I can keep up with your wild plans."

"Watch yer mouth sunshine, I'm holdin' a plate of cake," Daryl lifted it up, but Beth scurried away and over to the sofa.

Daryl carried the cake over to the coffee table, but before he could sit down, the door buzzer went off. He handed Beth the cake and went to the door to let the pizza delivery boy in, and then retrieved his wallet from his bedroom so he could give the kid a tip. When he came back, Beth was accepting the extra large box and bringing it over to the coffee table to set next to the cake.

"Oh my God, I'm tempted not to share any a'this with you," Beth went back over to the kitchen to get their plates and napkins.

"Hell naw, I shared my dinosaur onesie with you," Daryl protested plopping down onto the leather cushions in front of the pizza box.

"Psh, I bet ya do this with all the girls," Beth reached in and placed a slice of pizza onto each of their plates.

Daryl paused with his hand hovering just over his food. He couldn't think of a single time where Gigi had just come over to this apartment and they'd done nothing but watch tv. It was rare for him to have any time off, and if he was hanging out with Gigi, she preferred dressing up and going out. And then there sat Beth, legs folded up underneath her, munching away on her pizza, dinosaur hood pulled up over her head. He had to fight the urge to thumb away a smudge of sauce off her upper lip, and then when he saw the tip of a perfectly pink tongue dart out to lick it away, he had to get up from the couch and walk it off.

"Wanna 'nother beer?" he grumbled.

"Uh," Beth reached for her beer to see how much was left, "Sure."

The blast of cold air from the freezer helped things a bit. The door buzzer went off again though, and thinking it was probably the pizza boy having forgotten something, he let him in without a second thought. If he'd known who was on the other side of that door, he wouldn't have had to press his unopened beer to his dick to get himself under control.

"Gigi?"