Sizzling, burning pain. The smell of tobacco smoke and burning flesh filled his nostrils. Pressure building in his chest and stomach starving for food. The cigarette he held against his hand would most likely blister at that point... Showing no emotion of the burn- feeling more pain inside than on his hand. Pulling the cigarette away, he used his forefinger to brush the ashes away from the wound; flicking the the filter of the cigarette away. Before he could even realize it, his body shook in sobs as his head bowed. He cried for all the people he had lost and almost lost. He couldn't lose anymore people. More importantly, Kyle. He was all he got. He had to stay strong for him... All the lives he had to take to protect the group. All the walkers he took down. What they use to be. What their lives were before all this, Daryl couldn't even fathom the thought of life before the outbreak.

Then he thought about her. He had tried not to, but couldn't get her out of his head. He missed Hershel's farm. It was peaceful while it had lasted. They also had hot meals every night and fresh air. Stars were easy to see from the open fields. It was where he met her... God damn did he miss her...he missed her laugh and her sense of humor... He missed just talking with her...making love with her... She and Kyle brought out the best of him that he never thought he'd show to others. Not even his own brother...

As he stared at the abandoned barn in front of him, he thought back to the bar where he and his brother went to that night Merle got his dumb ass arrested for drug dealing...Before the world went to shit. He did remember seeing her. He never told her he had saw her. She was so cute with her hair pulled into pigtails... He remembered staring at her all night. Times were so different then. He would of never approached someone like her, especially around Merle.

His hand was throbbing like a bitch, but he just kept his gaze on that barn. His sobs had died down and his mind went elsewhere... Back before all this shit.

...

In the town of Fontana, a small town North of Atlanta- just on the corner of the edge of the town, an entire bar broke into brawl. Cheering and whistling as this guy wearing a red Nascar baseball cap and red flannel shirt got knocked out- crashing on top of a table, hitting the floor by some large biker redneck.

"That's right! That's right, pussy! Don't even think about getting back up! Yeeeaaahhh!" The redneck screamed, getting the rest of the crowd cheering for him. The man had a blonde buzzcut and wore a black biker vest. His veins were popping out of his neck and forehead as he got seriously red. A smaller man pulled him away and backed him up as the redneck pushes him off and stumbled towards the bar, with a lopsided grin. "Hey sugar! How 'bout another drink!"

He laughed, sticking his tongue out as he high fived one of the other guys. The man was clearly high and intoxicated. He had been making drug deals with some of the drunks in here for the past few hours. It started to get out of hand when one of those drunks slipped those same drugs they got from the redneck and into some girls drink. She had it. She; The bartender of the night, Grace Walker, pretended to accidentally knock over the drink as she wiped the bar. Excusing her clumsiness as the man yelled at her and stomped off. She called the poor girl a cab and stuck her by one of her regulars to watch over her until her ride came. She finally had enough of this guy and she heads to the back office to get her boss to call the cops. She would have done it herself, but Billy doesn't like cops so much and has to approve the situation before he actually needs to. Totally stupid.

Not bothering to knock, she threw open the door and walked in on him making out with one of the other bartenders that was suppose to be working with her, Tina. "The fuck, Grace?!"

"Get this asshole out of here. NOW."

He grumble in annoyance, leaning his head back against the chair. Tina was giggling as she wiped her smeared lipstick. "They just having some fun, let 'em be."

"Billy. I got a guy in the middle of the floor knocked out cold, drugs being sold left and right and a out of control crowd all because of One. Drunk. Redneck. Either you get him out, or I'm gonna leave and you're little girlfriend's gonna have to work the rest of the night."

Tina glared at me, but she didn't care. She was fed up letting this happen half of the night. He finally got up, swearing under his breath, pushing Tina away and stormed back outside- shifting himself in his pants.

"You're such a bitch, you know that." Tina mumbled, fixing her blonde hair that was knotted from Billy's hair pulling.

Once again, she ignored her and followed right behind Billy in the bar. Billy went straight towards the obnoxious redneck and at first, asked him to leave. Grace rolled her eyes at how cowardice he was being by trying to ask nicely to this guy. Just as Grace predicted, the redneck puffed up and stood over him. The guy was at most 6ft while Billy stood about 5'5.

"The fuck you gonna do about it?"

"Sir, I'm asking you to leave or I'm going to have to call the cops-"

"Go ahead and call the cops, you little sack of shit!"

Billy then started pushing him out the door, but the man pushed back; screaming at Billy. Our chef, Raymond, and ended up calling the cops. After resisting arrest, they found all kinds of drugs in his pockets. Even a crack pipe. The guy that was with him argued with the cops but ended up leaving in his truck. Grace went back to serving drinks, glancing at the clock as it read 1:43am...

2 hours later... They announced last call half an hour ago and were now closing everything up after another crazy night. As Grace went to clock out her timecard, Tina was still at the bar with Billy, making out on barstools. She rolled her eyes as she headed to the front door, not even bothering with a farewell. Grace wished she could go back to the hospital again; dealing with patients and trying to help them was something she was passionate about. Her grandmother inspired her when she was little. She worked as a CNA at a retirement home in Madison before retiring... She passed away to cancer a couple years ago when Grace became a LPN. Right now she only had this job so she had more time to get her masters. Continuing as a Nurse while going to school was too much. So until she was done, this was her life.

School, work, eat, sleep, repeat.

...

The parking lot was almost emptied. Some cars were still parked from the drunks that could drive and had to get a cab- or went home with someone else. By her car; the chef; Raymond was leaning against his car- coughing up a lung... Or two?

"You alright, Ray?" startled, he turns to her and nodded his head with a smile, clearing his throat before he spoke.

"Estoy bein... Just a cold." he replied in his think accent. Raymond came from Mexico with his wife, 7 years ago. Life hadn't been that easy on him, with him and his wife being immigrants. Their son was born here 5 years ago. They didn't know what to do if they were ever deported. Grace couldn't even imagine a life like that. Ray bent over into another coughing fit, wiping his forehead with his sleeve.

"Sounds more than just a cold if you ask me."

"Bah! Nothing my wife cant handle. I got soup at home calling my name."

She smiled, nodding. She tucked her hands into the pockets of her jacket, and looked up at the sky. It was dark, not a lot of stars out as usual. "Alright. I'll see you tomorrow then. Say hi to Marie and little Alejandro for me, kay?"

"Will do, Grace, take care. Oh! And be careful out there. I heard on the radio some crazy putas are acting up all over the place and attacking people." he coughed harshly into his fists, concerning Grace even more as he breathed deeply through his nose. "I'd rethink about getting that gun."

"You know how I feel about firearms. Are you sure you're okay, Ray?" Georgia was hot, yes, but it wasn't soaking wet sweating hot. It was actually kinda chilly tonight for August.

"Just need to get home and take some NyQuil. Be careful getting home, yes?"

She nods, "Will do."

She hesitantly got into her car as she watches Ray leave the parking lot before she follow suit. She got on the road and passed an accident with tons of cops cars, an ambulance and a firetruck. She sees that a sedan had toppled over on the side of the road.

When she arrived at her apartment complex, the light inside was still on. Her roommate must still be up, but when she opened the front door- no one was around.

"Sam?" no answer. Grace locked the door behind her and throws her bag on the wooden coffee table that belonged to her grandmother. "Samantha?" Still nothing... She must of passed out somewhere and left the lights on.

Just as she goes into the hallway, sirens were heard rushing down the street. She heads towards the first door on her left where the bathroom was and the light shining under the crack. There was no water running. Slowly pushes the door open, in case Sam passed out in front of it or something. As she opens the door- it slammed right back in her face!

"What the hell, Grace?!" Grace sighed in relief, grasping her chest to try and calm her startled heart pounding.

"You weren't answering! I thought you passed out or someone broke in!"

"Pff! Nobody ain't gonna come to a private detective daughter's house." she says in her 'southern bell' accent and chuckles, pulling the door back. She was in a towel. Her short red hair pulled up in a hair towel before pushing passed Grace to go change in her room. "Grace, you were a nurse right?"

"You know that I was."

She raised her eyebrow, "Was or is?"

"What am I going to school for?"

"Don't get mean. I forget you were since you don't work as one anymore."

"Yet." She heard Sam groan, annoyed, as Grace went back into the living area and flopped her sore body on the comfy soft couch Sam's dad had bought.

Sam was the daughter of a retired detective, whom happened to be very rich. It's really Sam's place, Grace moved in after leaving her parents house to go back to school. She couldn't afford a place on her own so she moved in with her best friend/old college roomate.

"Can you help me, or not?"

Grace frowned as she pulled her shoes off. Stretching her toes out. "Why, whats the matter?"

Sam rolls her eyes and enters the living room now in her Pj's and sits beside Grace showing her arm.

"Some asshole bit me!"

"The hell? Where at?!"

"The club! The girls and I were just dancing, minding our own buisness. This guy, he was obviously drunk out of his mind. Stumbling around and groaning. He just, like, leaned over and bit me!" she uses her arms to show how she danced, using her hand like a claw to explain the drunk man biting her. "It hurts so bad, Gracieeeee~!"

"Please don't whine. Let me see it." She grabs her arm, gently, examining the bite. It was deep, some of her skin was even coming off! Some blood was gushin out, but not too bad. "Shit Sam..."

"I know, right? It hurts like a bitch..."

"He got you good." Grace went to put her shoes back on before Sam grabbed her arm.

"Can you clean it?"

"Sam, you need stitches."

"I don't want to goto the hospital though!" She cries, "Can you just please clean it up a bit and wrap it or something? Cant you stitch it?"

Grace sighed, taking her shoes back off and heading into the bathroom's closet to grab her emergency aid kit. She came back and told Sam to sit at the dinning table as she put gloves on and gave Sam some pain relievers then began cleaning the wound the best she could.

Once she was done stitching the bite wound, she looks up at Sam to make sure she didn't pass out of anything. She moaned, closing her eyes as she pinched the bridge of her nose.

"You doing okay, Sam?"

"I'm just tired..." she leans her chin on her fist as Grace begins wrapping her arm in gauze. "Thanks sweetie..." she smiles, pulling her into a hug.

As Grace puts everything away and throwing the gloves in the trash, along with all the bloody gauze she used to clean the wounds. "So, how was work?"

"Same old. Some asshole came in selling drugs then started a fight. Ended up knocking the guy unconscious and getting the customers all wild up about it.. . Then we tried throwing him out. I had to threaten to quit my job just so Billy could get this guy out and stop messing around with Tina."

"He's such a pig. I have a hard time visiting you while he's there trying to flirt with me." she says, brushing her red hair back with her hand.

"Anyway... We ended up calling the cops and he was arrested..."

"Really?"

"Yep... Found a crack pipe in his pocket."

"Damn... Who was this guy?"

"Some redneck I've never seen before."

"Was he at least cute?" Grace looked at her with her eyebrow raised as Sam smirked, shrugging her shoulders. "Well? Was he?!"

She shook her head and rolled her eyes, "No. Looked like he was in a biker gang or something."

"OoOoOO, think he could rive up my engine?" she licks her lips, wiggling her eyebrows.

She chuckled, raising her hands in the air as she got up, "Okay. I'm going to bed. now"

"Aww, come on I'm just teasing!"

"Its 4 in the morning. I'm tired and I need to get up for school. I'm going to bed. Goodnight!" she finalized, spinning on her heal; heading down the hallway to her room.

Sam giggled and yelled after her, "Goodnight Doctor Walker!"

"That's Nurse Walker, to you!" she spun around again and pointed at Sam.

Grace was awoken up by a loud boom from a distance, along with a car alarm. She sat up quickly then looked to her side at her bedside table to see it was only 6am. She barely got any sleep as is. She figured it was raining outside and it was just thunder. She laid back down, pulling her sheets up over her head to try and go back to sleep. She had a test today and couldn't be falling asleep through it.

Her thoughts were cut off once more when another loud boom echoed the apartment. That was no thunder... She rushed out of bed and ran towards the window to look out. What she saw she couldn't believe. Shocked, she cupped her mouth; from the 3rd floor apartment, she could see the city from her window the city of Atlanta, in FLAMES. What the fuck was happening?!

From a distance could hear Samantha crying out from her bedroom. Grace took off out of her room, slipping as she made a short turn and ran across the hallway to get to Sam and threw open the door. Sam was drenched in sweat and looked pale as she sat up on her bed. She looked like she was dying. She was now worried that her arm had an infection.

"What's happening, Gracie?" she asks as tears were falling freely down her drained face.

"I don't know." She raises her hand to feel Sam's forehead. "You're burning up, Sam. Come on, we're going to the hospital."

She didn't argue as Grace pulled her out of bed and got her dressed and rushed to dress herself, before packing clothes and some food and water in two back packs.

"What was that explosion?!" Sam asked again as Grace joins arms with her and helps her out the door. She could not answer. She had no idea what was happening.

She ran into the kitchen, grabbing the nearest rag and stuck it under the faucet to get it wet. She drained it then whipped it around her head, in the air before placing it on the back of Sam's neck. "Keep that there." she ordered her. That should help the fever a bit.

She grabbed her father's Vietnam army jacket and Sam's brown jacket on the way out. Grace dragged them down the flights of stairs, unlocking her car as she got Sam in the passenger seat and helped her buckle up before getting in the drivers seat and taking off out of the gated apartments.

"Dammit Grace! Tell me what's going on?! What was the explosion?!"

Grace sighed as she drove towards the nearest hospital. "I don't know! There were these explosions that happened in Atlanta-."

"What?! Is it Terrorists?!"

Grace said nothing as she turned the radio on to see if they would say anything;

"Here downtown Atlanta people are rioting the streets that have somehow become connected to the recent incidents of a virus that has affect people nationwide. There have been reports of victims affected by the virus have become aggressive and will attack when close. Some reports say that victims who are infected have attacked others by biting and become cannibalistic. Through this, the person bitten by these attacks have shown signs of massive fevers before becoming one of them." Grace and Sam looked at each other with large eyes as Sam begins to sob, "Some witnesses have said that these victims...Appear to be dead. And reanimated into a walking-" Grace turned off the radio as they came on the street of the hospital.

The car was silent except for Sam's sobs, "W-what is happening...? People are dead and they're coming back and eating people?!"

"I...I never heard of this. I don't know."

"You're in school for this shit! What the hell is going on?! Am I gonna become one of them?!"

"No! You're going to be fine!"

"Bullshit, Grace! You heard that woman! She said they have signs of massive fevers from just a bite! What if they guy that bit me was one of them!?"

"Sam, you just have an infection which is causing your fever! You need antibiotics, that's all!"

Sam gave up and curled her self on the door and cried harder as Grace got to the hospital. The place was filled with people running out as fire was spilling out through the windows. "Oh my god..."

"Holy shit, Grace..."

Grace got out of the car and tried grabbing someone, anyone to tell her what was happening. They all shoved her away and kept running. Then she saw one man, stumbling in a fast pace was coming towards her. He was wearing a hospital gown, his shoulder bandaged and eyes were clouded over as if he were blind.

"Sir can you hel-" the man hissed and grabs her, trying to bite her face as Grace struggles with him.

He pushes her against the car, snapping her jaws at her- growling trying to rip through her jacket. Before she knew it, the man stopped moving completely and fell over. Grace looked down to see a machete sticking out of his head and Samantha panting before falling. Grace caught her before she hit the ground and helped her walk back to the passenger seat. She kicked the corpse away and grabbed the machete before getting back in the car and speeding off.

"Oh my god, that was one of them...W-w-what do we do Grace?!"

Panting with tears in her eyes as she was still trying to get her breathing in check; "Give me a minute..." she says, she was shaking and clutched the wheel til her knuckles were white. "Do you have your phone?"

"Yes?"

"Check to see if there are any..." she inhaled, "any quarantine zones anywhere."

Sam slowly pulls out her phone and began typing on her touch screen. "There's one in Atlanta..."

"Dammit..." Grace had a bad feeling about Atlanta, but took the road to the interstate to get to the city.

Just there luck, it was bumper to bumper traffic. Everyone was getting out of their cars and started yelling at the top of their lungs. The patrol officer nearby was trying to calm him down when someone from the right screamed as one of those things grabs her and bites her right on the neck breaking the flesh! Blood was squirting everywhere as the thing pulls and rips the flesh off her then dives in for more. Horrified, Grace felt vomit coming up into her throat as people rushed back to their cars, crashing into each other. Grace puts the car into reverse and turns the car around. She didn't care if she was now on the wrong side of the road- it was not safe going to the city. She turned to the closest exit and it was all open roads. She hits the gas and sped down the roads.

"Grace! What do we do now?! You're going to fast!"

"We...We gotta find a pharmacy, just somewhere safe!"

"LOOK OUT!" Sam cried out. Before Grace could even turn her head, another car crashes right into the drivers side, squealing, flipping the car upside down and knocking the both of them unconscious...


Authors Note:

Hey guys! Welcome to my new fanfic!

I have been working on this story through notes and such and got inspired to start putting it together and publishing it after I met Norman Reedus recently. xD

I am extremely rusty in writing, so, bare with me?

Also, I had put this up on Mibba under BeyondTheSky (just in case anyone thought I stole it or something). I'm both accounts, so yeah. Check out the one on Stories/Read/612015/Walking-With-Grace/ to see what the characters look like and the pretty banner I made for it.