Hey! Sorry for the infrequent updates, exams KILLED me, and then my manager went on vacation so I've been working crazy hours...I swear I wanted to update, but I had NO time!
As always, I own nothing in this story.
Daryl had picked a Cherokee rose on the way back to camp, heading into the trailer to give it to Carol. Taylor stayed outside basking in the sun, reminiscing on the days when she worried about her tan line, not about walkers eating her alive.
"Hey," Glenn pulled her out of her thoughts, taking a seat on the rock beside the one where Taylor was perched. "Find anything?" He questioned, referring to their trip to look for Sophia.
"Yes and no." Taylor told him, shaking her head. "We found a cupboard with a makeshift bed in it, an empty can of tuna, but no Sophia. No Lucky..." Taylor looked at the ground, her stomach in a knot from both not eating and worry.
"I made a run to the pharmacy," Glenn seemed willing to change the subject, to avert Taylor's attention from her missing dog. "Meds and stuff..." Taylor raised an eyebrow at the 'stuff' comment, giving Glenn a look-over.
"By stuff..." Glenn blushed a little bit, taking off his cap and running a hand through his hair before putting it back on, "You don't mean..."
"Well I-she-we..." Glenn stammered, trying desperately to come up with another object that one could possibly need at a pharmacy.
"Care to spare one?" Taylor asked, biting her lower lip. Glenn's jaw dropped, a moment of silence passing before he thought better than to leave it hanging.
"You and Daryl?" His voice was a whisper now, eyebrows raised at the new information.
"Please don't tell anyone, it's not that big a deal..." Taylor immediately regretted asking Glenn for the condom, knowing that if he spilled there could be possible backlash from the group. "I'm sure Rick and Lori get it on, they'd probably appreciate some too. And now you and Hershall's daughter..."
"Maggie," Glenn corrected out of habit. "And it's as though there's anything wrong with it, it's just...Unexpected. Daryl doesn't seem like he cares much for anyone – well, until now I guess."
"So you do, then?" Taylor asked, hopeful. "I really, really don't want to end up pregnant. I mean, in the middle of a zombie apocalypse..." Glenn looked suddenly uncomfortable, looking to the ground and shifting his foot. "Oh, come on. I'm sure you and Maggie used condoms...Right?" Taylor asked, confused by Glenn's behaviour. They had made a run to the store for a reason...
"Yeah, we- well I- Maggie isn't pregnant." Glenn finally stated, leaping to his feet. "I'll give you some later, okay?" Glenn walked away, leaving a confused Taylor in his wake.
"Well, that was...odd." She said aloud, stretching her legs, stepping out from the shade to get some sun.
"What was odd?" Taylor turned, hearing Daryl's voice coming towards her.
"Don't worry about it." Taylor blushed slightly, shaking her head. "How's Carol doing?" She questioned, unsure of whether or not to go ask the woman herself.
"Good as can be expected. Sooner we find tha' little girl, the better." Daryl told her, rubbing some stray dirt from his head away.
"It's never a question of 'if' with you, is it?" Taylor couldn't help but smile at his determination.
"Why'd it be 'if'? Ain't like she fell off the face o'the world or nothin'- just missin' is all. Same as yer dog." Daryl assured her, a little agitation in his voice. "Everybody here jus' want to write her and yer dog off – I ain't, simple as that."
"Thank-you," Taylor smiled up at him, Daryl nodding in return. "I'm going to go see if Hershall is ready to give me directions to my brothers house, even if it's only vague. You want to tag along?"
"Nah, ain't my business. He don't seem to fond of me neither. I'm gonna take a look at the map, see where I'm heading tomorrow." Daryl told her, slinging his crossbow over his arm.
"You mean we." Taylor caught on quickly, seeing the slight change in his posture.
"No, yer stayin' here. Don' need you gettin' lost or shot by accident." He told her firmly, avoiding her eyes which expressed genuine confusion.
"Daryl, I am going to look for my dog. Whether it's with you or not is up to you." Taylor crossed her arms, daring him to disagree. He seemed to consider the challenge for a moment before sighing.
"Look, I'm takin' one of the horses. You ain't comin' with me, so just stay at camp so I ain't gotta worry about ya." Daryl seemed rather agitated now.
"I have taken down walkers before, Daryl-" Taylor began before he interrupted.
"But that ain't the point! Point is, I don't want you out there, gettin' yerself hurt when I promised I'd bring back yer dumb ass mutt. Let me handle it, will ya?" His voice rose slightly when he spoke to her this time, clearly trying to make her see things from his point of view, which Taylor refused to do.
"Look, I'm going, with or without you. Now I'm going to talk to Hershall, you go do whatever you have to." Taylor turned, walking a few feet away before Daryl spoke again stopping her in her tracks.
"What're you gonna do if ya find your brothers place and he's there, fuckin' alive and well? Jus' leave the group, live with him?" Daryl sounded angry now, voice rising slightly while gesturing to the treeline.
"I'd hoped that we'd be willing to take them in, you know, same as you did me!" Taylor voice rose in retaliation. "And if not...I don't fucking know, Daryl! If he's alive I'm sure he'll want to come with us!"
"And his baby, too? His wife? You know how fuckin' risky it'll be ta have a baby travellin' with us, it cries once at a bad moment and the whole groups done!" Daryl took a few steps towards her, not entirely closing the distance but enough for Taylor to see the anger in his eyes. "Yer either gonna get us all killed, or walk into that house and find yer whole fuckin' family dead. Don't go." His voice was controlled, almost pleading, but Taylor only surveyed his face.
"You're joking, right?" Taylor asked, crossing her arms. "You've got to be joking. I've been wandering for God only knows how long to find them, alone, along an endless stretch of highway and now you've decided you don't want me to go?" Her voice mimicked his; calm and collected, with venom seeping through in small doses. "I want to know either way, whether they're alive or dead. I don't know what I'll do, Daryl-" She was once again interrupted by another of Daryl's questions.
"And if they're dead, ya goin' ta have the heart to kill 'em, or ya goin' ta leave that fer someone else?" Daryl pressed, his fist clenched into a tight ball. Taylor's eyes narrowed into a cold glare, her brown eyes going far colder than his blue ones.
"Fuck you." Taylor felt tears form in his eyes but blinked them away, turning and walking towards Hershall's house.
"Ya already did that today, ya know." Daryl called after her, at which Taylor turned to face him, mouth agape, tears in her eyes. The two looked at each other for a second before Taylor continued on her path towards Hershall's. Daryl ran a hand through his hair before kicking at the stump of a tree before heading towards the treeline. 'Atleast some huntin'll get my mind off this shit,' he thought to himself.
Taylor considered the door to the farm for a moment, unsure of whether to knock or walk in. She concluded that knocking was probably a good idea and raised her knuckle to the white pained door, knocking three times. She heard the sound of footsteps a moment before the door opened, revealing Hershall himself.
"Hello Hershall." Taylor greeted, plastering a fake smile on her face. "I was wondering if you had the directions ready yet?" She asked, trying to sound pleasant despite her want to break down and cry. She'd had plenty of practice while working, so it wasn't a foreign feeling to fain happiness.
"Luckily for you, I do actually. But didn't you want to wait around until you found this girl and your dog?" Hershall stepped aside to allow Taylor in, closing the doot behind her.
"If nothing shows up in the next few days, I'll head over and see Ryan's farm, maybe if he's still there..." Taylor let her voice trail off, unsure of how to end her sentence. Hershall seemed to understand her conundrum and instead pulled out a piece of paper which he'd already written down.
"Best way to get there would probably be by car or horse. Take this street all the way to Meadows Drive, make a right onto it and keep going straight. Your brothers farm should be on the right hand side; can't miss the red barn." Hershall explained.
"Why do I need a horse or car for that? Doesn't seem so far..." Taylor inquired, trying to understand the man's reasoning.
"This ain't like the city. People own quite a lot of property; going up the street ain't as simple as passing a few houses, you gotta go for a while before you even pass one. You could walk it if you really wanted to, might take you half a day though." Taylor nodded in understanding.
"I'll stick around for a few days, see if we can find Sophia or Lucky." Taylor shoved the paper in her back pocket, looking the older man in the eyes. "Thank-you, Hershall. This means a lot." Taylor said, genuinely grateful.
"Ain't a problem." Hershall replied, busying himself with papers while Taylor made her way out the front door, gently closing it behind her, looking around to see who was holding onto the map, interested in seeing whether or not there was a shortcut to her brothers farm by cutting through the forest.
She headed towards the RV, hoping Dale was holding it for the day, hoping that Daryl hadn't taken it with him.
So sorry to cut off there guys, but I'm wiped from working crazy hours this week. I will update again in the next few days and it will be a longer chapter – I just wanted to let you all know that I am alive and continuing the story.
As always, review to tell me what you loved/hated.