Title: Love Don't Run
Author: untapdtreasure
Rating: K+
Summary: She felt her blood run cold as the shiver skated up her spine and was sent throughout her body. She had to close her eyes and force herself to calm down.
A/N: This was written for the NineLives' challenge 'The First Line is the Charm'.

Spider threads caught at her face, a sign that no one had been there yet. She had to resist the urge to shriek at the mere thought of a spider now crawling on her somewhere. She moved her hand over her hair, hoping that if it was in her hair, she had dislodged it. A shiver went down her spine as her hand connected with something. She jumped slightly, failing to keep the slight squeak of noise erupting from her throat.

She felt her blood run cold as the shiver skated up her spine and was sent throughout her body. She had to close her eyes and force herself to calm down. There was a lot more to fear than a damn spider. She sucked in a breath as she kept moving forward. She screamed again as a hand came to rest on her shoulder.

Daryl's pupils were blown wide as he moved to cover her mouth with his other hand. "Hush," he growled as he lowered it almost as quickly as he'd placed it over her mouth. His brow wrinkled as he frowned in her direction. "The hell, Carol?"

"Damn it, Daryl!" Her voice was a whispered hiss. She had her hand to her throat now, trying to get her heart to calm down and return to its position in her chest. She closed her eyes once again. She leaned into him then, letting her head fall onto his chest as she did so. She moved both her hands to his hips and clung tightly to him.

He gently wrapped her in his embrace. His mouth pressed close to her ear. "It's alright. Didn't mean to scare you. Thought you heard me comin' in behind you." He kissed her cheek as he moved his hand up to cup the back of her head so he could pull back and look into her eyes. He frowned. "What caused you to squeak before I touched you?"

She blushed slightly, glancing away from him and giving a slight shrug. "Walked into a spider web. I thought I felt a spider on me." She rolled her eyes at herself then and laughed nervously. "All the crap we have to be afraid of, and I'm afraid of a damn spider. Silly, isn't it?" She pulled away and moved to the window to look out across the field.

He moved in behind her. He wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his chin on her shoulder. "Promise not to laugh if I tell you something?"

She turned her head, glancing at him and nodding slightly. "Promise."

"I'm terrified of those little bastards."

She couldn't stop herself as the laughter bubbled up from her throat. She turned in his arms, wrapping her arms around his neck. She kissed him chastely as a giggle escaped here and there as she thought about what he'd confessed.

"The hell, lady? You promised you wouldn't laugh," he groused a bit as he moved his hand down to cup her ass and give it a squeeze.

Carol's giggles turned into full blown laughter then as she buried her face against his shoulder and neck. "Sorry. I just... I tried to picture you being scared of a little spider, and what my mind conjured up was just hilarious." She hiccupped slightly as she pulled back. She had the good grace to look ashamed of herself, even if it was only for a moment.

"Laugh it up, Carol. Payback's a bitch. Remember that." He narrowed his eyes, trying to keep a straight face, but he eventually broke and gave her a smile. He loved seeing Carol this happy. So if he could be the cause of it, he'd take a few hits to his ego.

"I look forward to it," she smirked.