Carol sat at the table, watching and waiting. Instead of opting to just go into one of the bedrooms in the house Daryl was putting together a makeshift bed on the kitchen floor. They already had candles set up and the room had a very romantic glow. Neither of them were overly picky anyway - they had slept on the hard ground, cement floors, car seats and more.
It was really charming watching him though. They were both extremely turned on after the makeout session they had just had with her in his lap. He was scrambling trying to work quickly, but at the same time he was being very perfectionistic about the whole thing.
The last thing he brought out were two pillows. "There," he said, stepping back. "Done." Carol smiled. He must have gathered every blanket, duvet and comforter left in the house. There were at least 5 or 6 of them laid out one on top of each other to create a fluffy pile.
She stood up and walked over to him, stepping comfortably into his arms as if it were something they'd been doing for years. "It's perfect," she said, leaning in to kiss him. When their lips met it was as if they hadn't even parted a few moments ago. The fire burned red hot in a matter of seconds and Carol kissed him hungrily. They started to tug and kick off clothes as they kissed and groped one another. Even when their lips parted for a brief second to remove a shirt or pull off a shoe it was disappointing.
When the clothes were gone Carol pressed her body against his. It felt so good to have so much bare skin touching. It was intimate and comforting but also very erotic. Daryl showed a patience and maturity that she wasn't expecting but appreciated. He could have just laid her down and got right to it - they were both more than ready, but instead he continued to kiss her and rub his hands all over her naked flesh, exploring her, as if they had all the time in the world and so much lost time to make up for.
His hands were rough, but strong and she loved the way they felt on her body. The intimacy of just enjoying one another so slowly was incredible. There was no rush. No urgency - other than the sexual desire she was having trouble controlling of course. Nothing to interrupt them. No reason to stop. Everything was perfect.
Even when he did move them to the makeshift bed Daryl pulled her down with him and they continued to kiss and touch one another from their knees. The touching was a little different by that point though and the kisses a little more desperate and passionate. He sucked on her neck and her nipples, and gently probed between her legs with his fingers, teasing her, making her even wetter.
Carol reached for him and stroked his dick slowly. Daryl groaned into her mouth and the sound made her shiver. His breath was ragged, almost a pant, when he finally laid her back on the bed. The bliss she felt when he entered her was so incredible she closed her eyes and let her whole body relax as heat spread through her.
The one thing she felt from Daryl was true and deep love and affection. Everything he did was for her and because he loved her. He wasn't a selfish lover - he had a genuine want and need to please her and to show her how much she meant to him. It was such a contrast to the man that most others would see him as - gruff with a chip on his shoulder. But Carol knew the real Daryl. He was sensitive, loving and he felt everything so deeply. When he felt love, loss, terror, happiness, anger - all his emotions were strong, and very powerful. He might have thought he'd changed after the war, but Carol knew the essence of him, his soul and his beautiful heart was the still exactly the same.
They laid tangled up together afterwards and they talked, for close to an hour. They talked about normal stuff - gossip, things they missed, things they didn't. She told him how close her and Lori had become and how special it was for her to have a true female friend in her life. He told her that even though Rick could be overbearing he looked up to him and admired the way he looked after people. They both knew how deeply Rick was affected by what happened with Sophia. Part of Carol would never forgive him, but she knew she could move past that for everyone's benefit.
"We should probably get some sleep," Carol said with a yawn.
Daryl agreed. "Yeah, you're probably right. Just gonna go outside and take a piss first." She smiled as she watched him walk nude to the door and step outside. "Fuck, get dressed," he yelled, poking his head back inside with a panicked look.
Carol's heart started to pound and she climbed out of bed and started to dress. Daryl came running back in a few seconds later and immediately began putting on his clothes. "What's going on?" Carol asked, dreading the answer. Why couldn't things ever just go right for more than a few weeks?
"There's a fire," Daryl said. "I can smell the smoke and see the glow of the flames." Carol felt her chest tighten and it became hard to breathe. "I think it's the farm."
"Oh my God." There was a lump of terror in her throat but there was no time to cry. She finished getting dressed and started throwing supplies in her backpack. When she was done they went around and blew out the candles. Neither one of them spoke as they ran outside, got on the bike and took off.
The smell of smoke got stronger as they got closer to the farm. There was another odor too which Carol realized was the smell of burning flesh. She fought off the nausea and the urge to vomit. All of a sudden the bike swerved left then right and she realized they were dodging walkers. She tightened her grip on Daryl's body. If she fell off she was dead.
Walkers were everywhere. She'd never seen so many. They were swarming the farm - or what was left of it. Everything was on fire. Carol's heart sunk. They were too late, there was nothing they could do. Something caught her eye in the distance. "Look," she nudged Daryl. It was tail lights. Someone had escaped.
Daryl hit the gas and sped up. It was a rough ride but somehow they kept the bike upright and caught up to the tail lights. It was the RV. Without any idea who was still alive they followed. When they turned a corner Carol realized there was also two more vehicles ahead of the RV. Oh my God, maybe they all got away, she thought hopefully. Could there possibly be a silver lining?
Carol felt a tremendous sense of guilt. They should have been there with the others to help, but instead they were alone having one of the best nights of their lives. They had lost the farm - their home. She tightened her arms around Daryl again trying to refocus her mind on things that were positive. Maybe everyone was fine and they could just find a new place to settle.
They drove for several miles and finally the vehicles ahead started to slow and eventually come to a stop. Daryl shut of the bike and Carol climbed off, nervously walking forward to find out who all had survived. When she saw Lori and Carl slip out of the truck she started to run. "Lori," she cried, hugging her friend tightly. The tears were flowing, she couldn't help it, but she certainly wasn't the only one. As more and more people appeared they started to take stock of who was there - and who wasn't. There were tears of joy and relief, but also tears of devastation.
"Beth," she heard Maggie sob against Hershel's chest. Carol looked at Lori, with shock and horror. She was so young.
Lori shook her head sadly. "Patricia, Jimmy and Beth - I saw them - " her voice trailed off and Carol knew Lori had saw the three of them die.
"What about Shane? Andrea?" Carol asked as Rick and the others moved closer.
"Shane is dead," Rick said. His voice was cold, not at all traumatized by the loss of a close friend. Carol shivered - something had happened. "I didn't see Andrea. Anyone?" No one answered which meant she was likely dead.
Carol looked around. Most of them were there - Maggie, Hershel, Glenn, T-Dog, Dale, Rick, Lori, Carl, Daryl and her. Despite losing several people they had got pretty damn lucky given the fire and the herd. But how do you say that to Hershel and Maggie who lost half their family or Dale who was clearly distraught over Andrea? Carol could feel Daryl hovering close behind her. It gave her comfort to know that he needed to be near her just as much as she wanted him there.
Rick cut the silence. "We're all tired, I know, but I think we should head a bit farther down the road, get away from the herd and set up camp for the night." People nodded in agreement and they all slowly headed back to their vehicles.
After driving another 20 minutes they pulled over and made camp in a big open area. Several slept in the RV, but Daryl started a campfire in a makeshift pit he created to contain it and the two of them offered to take first watch for the night.
They sunk to the ground beside the fire. "You okay?" Carol asked, concerned by the look on his face.
"Yeah," he said with a sigh. "It's just - " Daryl hesitated. "Losing people like that - it takes me back." Carol felt a bit nauseous. She hadn't even considered that losing people might remind him of the war. "The survivor's guilt - it's the same." Although she couldn't relate to the guilt he'd felt during the war, she knew was survivor guilt felt like - they all did.
It felt good that he was opening up to her, even if it was just a little bit. But she didn't want to push and have him clam up, so instead she just leaned against him. The two of them were both very intuitive to non-verbal cues between each other. She wanted to offer him comfort, but at the same time she was seeking it too and Daryl knew that. "We're the lucky ones," Carol whispered, as he wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close.
In a world full of terror, death and sadness they had found each other again. After the war Carol thought her life was over. She thought she'd lost the only man she would ever truly love. But years later, in the middle of madness, she was in his arms once again. She had a true friend for the first time in her life in Lori and a group of people who she thought of as family. Things were bad, but things were good. She reached for Daryl's hand and held it. They were together and this time they would stay that way for as long as this insane world would allow it.