You asked. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
This takes place a few months after "Classic Novels and Prom Dresses".
Oh, and I should probably warn you that it's really fluffy. Like, really really fluffy.
'Beth!' she hears, and her only reaction is a heavy sigh.
She is hiding in the barn, not wanting to face anyone right now. All she wants to do is sit here and read her favourite ghost stories.
It sounds louder this time, and Beth, flinching, realises that Maggie is coming closer to the barn.
'Beth!' she hears for the third time and loses her patience. She shuts the book abruptly – she can't concentrate now anyway.
'What?' she shouts back with a frown.
'Shawn is here,' Maggie says, and that's all it takes.
Leaving the book there, Beth climbs down the ladder as quick as she possibly can, and then, she runs. She hasn't seen her brother since Easter and missed him so much, that when her mother told her he would be coming home from college for the whole summer, it felt like the second Christmas. Her brother might be annoying and overprotective, but she loves him.
Family always comes first.
Shawn's car is parked in front of the porch, and there is a stranger leaning against it. Beth hardly notices the guy though, she is too excited to see her brother.
By the time she and Maggie run up to the porch, their parents are already hugging Shawn, and Daryl is standing close too, watching them with a small smile. Beth can't help but send him a soft smile, knowing that he missed Shawn almost as much as she did. Besides, Merle has just gotten himself locked up again, and even though Daryl never says anything, Beth can tell that it worries him. It is nice – seeing him in a good mood.
When daddy steps away, Beth mashes herself up against Shawn's chest, wrapping her arms around his neck, and as he lifts her and spins around, she can't hold back a delighted giggle.
'Baby sis!' he exclaims, and Beth smiles even wider (if it is possible).
She watches Maggie and Shawn hug, Shawn calling her his favourite big sister, and then Daryl and Shawn pat each other on the back in a manly hug.
Everyone is laughing. Everyone is happy.
Beth only remembers about that guy, standing a little away from them, still leaning against the car, when Shawn waves him to come over. He nods and makes it up the steps, and by the way he is looking down and keeping his hands in the pockets of his jeans Beth realises that he is shy. Which is good.
'This is Zach,' Shawn proclaims. 'He is my roommate.'
He introduces him to everyone, and when he says, 'My baby sister, Beth,' Beth feels his eyes stop on her. Zach instantly smiles and takes an unnecessarily good look at her, actually looking her up and down. Doesn't look shy anymore. Beth doesn't like that but decides not to draw too much attention to it. Daryl, however, seems to catch his gaze, and Beth sees him frown deeply. For some odd reason, that gives Beth butterflies.
Later, when everyone is sitting down at the table and digging into the delicious baked chicken her mama has made, Zach explains that he didn't have anywhere to go for the holidays, and so Shawn – which was very nice of him – invited him to spend time with his family. Beth can't help but feel sorry for Zach. She doesn't know what she would do if she didn't have her family.
It is when Annette brings her peach cobbler for dessert that things start to get uncomfortable.
'Where are you from, Zach?' Maggie asks, and Beth feels it is just her being polite, not actually interested in him. The intense way in which Maggie looks at him, her eyes narrowed, as if trying to look right through him, tells Beth and everyone else that she doesn't like the guy.
'Atlanta,' he answers. 'I grew up there. Never even been on a farm like this before.'
'Really?' daddy asks, and his brows climb up his forehead.
'Yeah, he isn't exactly a suburban kind of guy,' Shawn chuckles, taking a sip of iced tea.
Beth tries to hide a smile because there is nothing more obvious than that. You just have to look at his hands, and then at Daryl's. Daryl's hands are big, strong, and broad, with dirt and car oil practically imprinted into them. They are callous because of how much he works, and Beth honestly thinks there can't be anything sexier than that. Zach's hands are all white and soft-looking, and he definitely seems like the kind of guy who spends his spare time playing video games. No match for Daryl.
Still trying to hide an amused smile, Beth looks at him.
'You should take a look around. The views are beautiful here, nothing like the city,' she says, and it's probably the first time she has spoken directly to him, so it almost surprises anyone.
What Zach says in response surprises everyone even more.
'Yeah, I probably should. Will you show me around?' he asks.
Although Daryl is sitting across the table from her, Beth can somehow feel him tense. Everyone stops eating and drinking and looks at the pair of them. Beth feels her cheeks warm up as she quickly looks at Daryl. He is staring at her and frowning, and Beth feels another rush of butterflies in her stomach. He is jealous. She doesn't want him to worry, but the fact that he cares about it makes her want to giggle like she is a twelve-year-old or something.
'I…' Beth doesn't know what to say, but she is interrupted anyway.
'Sure she will,' Shawn says.
Her stomach sinks at that, and now she doesn't feel so happy anymore. She realises how she would feel if she was in Daryl's place. It would not be fun, and now she suddenly dislikes Zach because can't he see that she is with Daryl? And what is Shawn doing saying that anyway?
Daryl doesn't look up at her after that, and when they are done with the dinner, she helps her mama and Maggie clean up while the men go to the living room.
When they finish cleaning up, Beth enters the living room and immediately notices that Daryl isn't there. That gets her worried.
'Shawn?' she calls. 'Can I have a word with you?'
And she gives everyone that innocent angel-like smile she knows she's capable of. (One of the many ways to pretend like nothing is wrong.)
'Sure,' he says and gets up from the couch, and the moment he reaches her, she grabs his wrist and pulls him out to the corridor. 'Ouch!' he exclaims, a little too loud, but Beth just frowns at him.
'Why on Earth would you say that?' she asks.
'Say what?' he blinks at her dumbfounded.
'Sure she will,' she mimics his unnecessarily happy manner of speaking. 'I don't want to show him around! Especially not when it bothers Daryl.'
'Why would it bother Daryl?' Shawn blinks at her again, and Beth can't help but roll her eyes. 'Ooooh!' he exclaims. 'So you two are…' he raises his eyebrows curiously.
'Well, technically, he is not my boyfriend, but why do we have to label it anyway?' Beth folds her arms defensively. They might not be calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend, but what they have is much more serious than that. Much stronger. 'Daryl doesn't like Zach being all flirty around me, so could you tell your friend to leave me alone?' she hisses, even though she knows it's unfair to blame Shawn for it. But the fact that Daryl has just gone somewhere scares her. What if he doesn't want anything to do with her after this? What if he thinks she's just a kid, who can't even tell a guy to back off?
She decides not to think about it in that way and walks past Shawn, heading to the front door and out of the house.
Beth finds Daryl in the barn, he is sitting in the same spot she was in a few hours ago, smoking, her favourite book a few feet away. She climbs up the ladder and plops right next to him. Beth knows he is nervous, or worried, or just pissed off (maybe even all at once) because he doesn't look at her as she stares at him. He just keeps smoking silently.
Beth sighs heavily and gets up.
'Come with me?' she says and takes his free hand.
'Where?' Daryl asks and looks at her, and there is something in his eyes that makes her heart jerk in her chest.
'Trust me,' she smiles at him, hoping it looks genuine because she is worried too.
'Damn romance novel,' he grunts but follows her as she climbs down the ladder, and she smiles at that again.
He throws away the cigarette, and they stride through the field and to the forest, with Beth leading the way. They walk for a few minutes and soon they hear the river.
'What is this place?' he asks, curious.
'Maggie and I used to come here to swim when we were little. She kind of… forgot. So I come here alone sometimes,' she shrugs and turns around to look at him as she hastens her pace. 'Come one,' she giggles and starts taking off her dress and her cowboy boots, which leaves her just in her white cotton underwear. She runs towards the steep river bank – that is quite high above the water – and jumps off, the water splashing everywhere around, including Daryl. He just stands at the edge, watching her surface, as his lips twitch in a smile. Her head shows above the water, and she gives him a bright, radiant grin. 'Come on!' she repeats. 'Are you afraid, Daryl Dixon?' she hopes he can see her raise her eyebrows skeptically.
It's getting dark, but the water is very warm – thanks to Georgia's burning sun.
'Ain't afraid of nothing,' Daryl says and starts taking his clothes off.
When he jumps in, it produces a giant splash, and Beth lets out a squeal of delight. When he surfaces, she swims up to him and wraps her arms around his neck.
This definitely feels like a romance novel, she thinks.
He pulls her in, closer to himself, his arms around her waist. She tilts her head a little bit and kisses him, and it's so sweet and innocent it makes her heart throb. They kiss for a few moments, and Beth pulls away.
'No reason to be jealous Daryl,' she whispers against his lips. 'I'm yours.'
'Ain't jealous,' he frowns, but Beth smiles in response because the fact that his heart is hammering so hard inside him that she can feel it, tells her different.
She decides not to argue and simply presses her lips to his, and Daryl responds instantly, kissing her with such passion everything around her starts spinning. She has no idea what happens next. He just suddenly pulls away and looks her in the eyes, panting.
'We should probably get out of the water,' he says, and Beth frowns. 'Before it's too late.'
When Beth understands what he's implying, her cheeks turn crimson.
'Okay,' she giggles a little, and he gives her a smile. The one that is just meant for her.
Thanks for reading!
Oh and let me know if you think I should write any more parts to this series?
Because I'm really enjoying it.
Love, Kate xxx