I watched Daryl's face as he hovered over me, sweaty, flushed, his eyes avoiding mine as I laid there, panting, equally sweaty and flushed. I was breathing hard, my chest still heaving as he worked to untwist my hands from the knotted shirt that had helped, in part, to make the last forty minutes torturous bliss. To say that Daryl Dixon knew how to treat a lady was the understatement of the century. Like saying that Einstein was a clever fellow. His usual demeanor was camouflage, pretense. This was no regular country boy, no ordinary redneck. Hard-living, rough around the edges, uncomplicated, uneducated and unworldly. Bullshit. It was a lie, dirty fingernails and all. This man knew his way around a woman. He was a god. And he had broken me. Snapped clean in two. Like a twig between his slender fingers, I splintered. From that moment on, there was nothing I wouldn't do for that man...and he knew it as well as I.

Daryl tosses the wrinkled shirt aside and sits back down between my legs, casually running his open hands down the tops of my thighs, his wrists twisting as his hands circling my knees then back up, slowly. Clearly something else is on his mind. I am painfully aware of the late-afternoon air pooling around us in the tent, cooling the sweat, goose-bumps forming on my stomach, arms. He closes his eyes and inhales a deep breath. I watch his chest move up and down, sinewy muscles rising and falling, a faint sheen of sweat glistening on his skin.

Daryl looks at me hungrily. His eyes are blazing, absolutely on fire now, burning a deep electric blue like a the light on a top of a cop car. He licks his bottom lip and I know what he wants. I know what he needs. I push myself up, my hands behind me and I suck in the corner of my lower lip, blinking slowly, and let it slide back down. My hands move to his chest as I sit up more and push him down, slowly tumbling over with him, crushing to him as he lands on his back, his long legs spread slightly. I am on top now.

I run my hands over his chest, sweeping movements, massaging, kneading. I start kissing where my hands have roamed, open-mouthed, lingering. My bottom lip dragging against his tanned skin, leaving little trails of saliva cooling in the air. I work my way down his chest, down his ribs, tracing the ink on his tattoos, across his tight stomach, following the line of sparse brown-blonde hair from his navel, sliding his gray boxers down with my hands, slowly, inch by inch as my tongue dances through the fine scrub. He lifts his hips slightly as I slide them past his ass, past the bulge that was ridiculous to try to hide or even be embarrassed by at this point.

He suckes in a slow breath as I free him from his boxers, the cool shock of air causing him to stiffen even more. He must have seen the look of sheer delight when I looked at him for the first time, my eyes traveling the length of his impressive manhood. I can hardly contain my glee, a slow wicked smile spreads across my slightly-parted lips as Daryl snorts. He knows now.

Daryl props himself up on his elbows, his eyes fixed on me, as I returned to the area just below his navel, and resume the downward journey of my slow kisses, my eyes on his, watching him watch me. It was turning me on as much as it was him, I think. I work my way around the towering pole and stop, moving my eyes from him to him. I smile at him and open my mouth slightly, licking my bottom lip, my eyes telling him all he needs to know. I cover him, all the way down, closing my eyes, moving slowly, working my way up and then back down. I open my eyes when get to the top a second time and look at Daryl. His lips are pressed together tightly, the muscles in his neck tight like steel cords. His breathing is labored, strained, like he's struggling.

I make another pass, slowly moving my tongue side to side as I go, my fingers playing softly underneath, feeling him begin to tighten more with every minute. I watch his head fall back and then pull forward suddenly as he growls, low, menacing. "No" he barks. "Now." he hisses through clenched teeth as he sits up with a jolt, his hands grabbing my arms and pulling me to him, turning us over, his arms around my waist as he jams a pillow under me. He pulls my hips back, forcing me to my knees, and I hear him hiss again. This time there are no words, just a sound like an animal as he pushes forward into me and now I'm the one making the animal sounds, tiny small whines with every thrust. He goes slow at first, gliding back and forth like he's on rails. Smooth, slipping in and out, making me feel like the whole world is spinning around us.

I close my eyes and moan, soft and low. Daryl starts to move faster, leaning in as he pulls my hips back to him, breathing hard now. "Jesus woman," he says, moving even faster now, punctuating each thrust with a hard squeeze of his hands on my hips. "Aww, Jesus." he moans and pulls out quickly, leaving me gasping. Flipping me over and wrapping my legs around his waist, he drives into me again. His hands move to my back and he pulls me up, closer as I arch my back, my hands buried in his hair. He is reckless now, wild and without control. I open my eyes to look at him. His eyes are closed, his fingers flat on my back, bruising my flesh, his brow furrowed. He is close, breathing loudly, a blast of hot air crashing into me with each exhale. I close my eyes again and let the waves overtake me, washing throughout every inch of me, drowning me in ecstasy as if this were my first and last time at once. I am holding on so tight my ankles ache and my calves are burning. My whole body is burning. So is my brain, or at least what's left of it. Daryl's pretty much fucked it into mush by this time, along with several other parts of me.

Daryl comes like an earthquake. A low, quiet rumbling, building strength as it gets closer, destroying everything in it's path, me included. His breath hitches in his lungs, short gasps that match his grunts and spasms. We both open our eyes at the same time. Nothing is really registering but physical sensations that pass between us. Our minds are in a sort of suspended animation, numb as the earthquake slams home, wave after wave, leaving nothing standing in it's path. Total devastation.

He pulls me in close, his chest heaving, and he wraps his arms around my back, resting his forehead against mine. We stay this way until the aftershocks subside to the point that we become aware of our surroundings, able to speak if we needed to, but neither of us can find words sufficient enough. In reality, there is no reason to. Simply nothing that needs to be said. The heat between us, the electric hum of passion, the feel of slick skin against skin is a language all it's own. Nothing lost in translation. We both know what's happening.

My hands run up and down his lower back lightly, gliding on damp skin, smooth and cool. Daryl loosens his grip and pulls away slightly, a hand now moving to my face. He grasps my chin with his fingers across my cheek, dragging his thumb across my lower lip as he looks into my eyes, his still burning embers, hot, glowing. My lips part slightly and his thumb slides inside, my mouth closing softly around it. I run my tongue across the tip and his eyes light up alike I'm blowing on a coal. Fanning the flame. He removes his thumb and grasps my face firmly.

"Look at me." he says, his voice cracking. My chest raises and falls and I look at him again, my mind soaking in a steamy bath of endorphins, clouding my brain. Licking his lips slowly, he starts to say something and then hesitates. He closes his eyes and twists his neck sideways, slightly as if he is also trying to find the words. I feel the reason for the stutter-step. Aftershock. I smile knowingly, feeling him twitch violently, sliding against my thigh in the slippery mix of sweat and other body fluids. He tries again. "You. Are. Mine." he says slowly, a harsh whisper, his hand wrapping around my jaw. "Mine."

My eyes don't move from his. They don't dare. He is in hunt-mode again, staking his claim, I think to myself, my ass cheek still burning where he sank in his teeth, where he left his mark. I am his and his alone. We both know it.

I nod my head, blinking in slow motion, biting my lower lip. A deep, heaving inhale causes me to shudder, the cold air catching in my lungs. In reality it's the sheer intensity of emotion at this moment that causes me to tremble, that frightens me.

"Say it." he presses against me, his hands moving lower on my back.

"I..." my breath catches. "I'm yours."

"Again."

"I belong to you." I shift my weight slightly. "No one else." I blink again, still not moving my eyes. A slow smile spreads across his lips as his eyes soften.

"My property."

"Yes. Yours." I whisper as he makes a low, satisfied growl in his throat. He lays us down, side by side, still locked together, my head against his chest, listening to his heart beat. He reaches down and pulls up the sleeping bag from the tangle at the foot of the mattress, covering us.

"Sleep." he says, more of a command than a suggestion. His arms are tight around me, his leg thrown over mine, ensuring that even if I wanted to move from him, I couldn't. His breathing downshifts and I can feel every muscle in him start to relax. I can feel him surrendering now. I surrender too, to the idea that I am his now. Totally and completely. Master and servant. Protector and protected.

I am warm from inside out, the slick nylon fabric of the sleeping bag laying over me reflects body heat from both of us. A thick blanket of contentment, security, satisfaction. I close my eyes and take an inventory of sorts. Soft. Warm. Moist. Bristly. Heavy. Slippery. Too many adjectives to describe too many wonderful sensations. My mind is awash in both kinds of afterglow - emotional as well as physical. In the short space of less than ninety minutes, Daryl has shaken my Etch-a-Sketch brain clean of any resolve and removed any doubt as to my place in this world.

Another jolt from an aftershock causes him to flinch and draw me in tighter. I smile, resigning myself to the knowledge that my will has been crushed in the earthquake of him like an aging brick building. Once solid, seemingly impenetrable. Ages to create, brick by brick, held together by mortar that has seen me through the years, still standing even at the end of the world. I resign myself to the knowledge that I was so easily brought down, razed in a matter of moment by waves of energy, a simple repetition of movements creating a force I could not withstand. One man alone has done this.

I try to make myself go to the place where Daryl has gone, but my mind won't rest. I am a-whirl with thoughts, what-if's, maybe's, careening into one another in my brain like out-of-control bumper cars at a second-rate county fair. I am both giddy and exhausted at the same time, remembering bits and pieces of what just happened, cataloging feelings and memories for future recall. The way his brilliant blue eyes danced as he peered over my knees. The smell of his hair as he buried his head in my neck. The pressure of his hips as they rocked into my ass over and over. The sound of his breath as it caught in his chest when he started to come. Jesus Christ. I realize that I have died and gone to heaven. A smile breaks out on my face as I remember what started it all.

"What're ya' grinnin' 'bout?" the dreamy voice says.

I close my eyes and shake my head, knowing if I remind him, he'll try to find that damn sucker again.