Chapter 1….just a feeling

Sophia stretched on the bed in the RV; she could hear the noise of the group outside the small window above the bed. Her momma had cried happy tears the night before when Mr. Daryl had brought her back to camp. He had found her hiding in the bushes by the creek bed, she had doubled back hoping to find her doll. He had carried her back to the farm, not saying much, but she could tell he was happy. Now sitting up in bed, she wondered where her mother was. She grabbed her clothes which were laid out for her on the corner of the bed. She smiled; she never wanted to wear that other outfit ever again.

When Sophia opened the door to the old RV she saw her mother leaning over the fire. She tiptoed her way over to her, grabbing around her waist, "I found you." Carol turned around her eyes were still red and puffy, "You did." She kissed her daughter, "What would you like for breakfast?" Sophia eyed the eggs that her mother were making, "Those smell so good." Carol smiled, "Then eggs it is." A few minutes later she noticed Daryl staring at them from his chair close to his tent, "Momma I will be right back." Carol watched as her daughter made her way over to Daryl, "Good morning." Daryl looked up at the little girl, "Hey." Sophia bent down and hugged the man, who tensed under her touch. "What's that for?" Sophia grinned, "For takin' care of my momma while I was gone and bringin' me home." Daryl nodded at the little girl, "No problem." Sophia took his plate from him, "Can I get you some more Mr. Daryl?" Daryl wasn't sure what the kid wanted, she had her mother, "No, I'm good." She smiled at him, "Ok, well see you around." Daryl nodded and watched as the girl slipped back to the picnic table to eat next to her mother. His eyes lingered on Carol's face for a few minutes, he liked how happy she looked, both of them. He got up and headed toward the woods, he hated huntin' this late, but he wanted to make sure the girl had slept good before heading out.

Carol watched him as he disappeared into the treeline, her face full of worry, she felt Sophia's hand on hers, "Momma, he'll be fine." Carol looked down at her daughter, "I know, I worry about everybody, it's what I do." Sophia laughed, she saw the looks they gave each other, she had been gone for a week, but she noticed.

After breakfast her mom let her go visit Carl who was still resting from his gunshot wound. When she came into the room his face lit up, "Sophia, my dad said Daryl found you." She nodded hopping onto the bed, "Yup, I slept awesome last night. This morning I had a ton of food. My mom cried though, she was so happy to see me." Carl laughed, "It's all both our moms do." Sophia shook her head, "I know. You want to hear a secret?" Carl's eyes lit up, "Yes, I am bored to death here." Sophia scooted closer to him on the bed, "I think my mom likes Mr. Daryl." Carl's eyes were huge, "No way! Mr. Daryl is really scary, even my dad thinks so." Sophia smiled and leaned back against the headboard, "He's really not, my dad was scary, Mr. Daryl is nice." Carl rolled his eyes, "Girls, all of ya are crazy." Sophia laughed just as Lori came in, "Ok, you two, Carl needs his rest." Both kids groaned as Lori guided Sophia out of the room. She mouthed; I'll be back, to him which made him laugh.

She spent the rest of the day with her mom hanging laundry and helping carry water from the well. By dinner time Daryl had returned with several rabbits for their dinner. Sophia helped her mom get them ready for a stew, while Carol was working with the rest of the women; Sophia made her way over to Daryl who was cleaning his bow. "How long have you been using a bow?" He looked up from his work eyeing the little girl, "Since I was your age." He was hoping that would be enough to make the kid shut up and move on. But Sophia wasn't afraid she moved closer, "Do you think you could teach me?" Daryl grunted at her, "Don't think your mom would like that." Sophia glanced over at her mother who was watching them intently, "My mom will let me if you ask her." Daryl shifted in his chair, "Don't you have something better to be doing?" Sophia sat down next to him, "Nope, just waiting on dinner, we are having stew, but you would know that because you brought back the rabbits." Daryl eyed the kid sitting at his feet, "Do you ever shut up?" Sophia just laughed, "Nope, I love to talk, my dad hated it when I talked, but I love to talk. Mr. Daryl can I get you some coffee or ice tea?" Daryl grunted, "Ice tea." She wander over by her mother, pouring him a glass, Carol came over to Daryl, "If she's bothering you I can tell her to leave you be." Daryl glanced up at her, "No, she's fine." Carol bit down on her lip and crossed back to the fire, Sophia brought him his tea and sat back down, "My mom is a good cook, don't you think?" Daryl looked at Carol as she started dishing up dinner for the group, "Yup." His thoughts turned, Carol was a lot to look at, he liked how quiet she was. He also couldn't help looking at the way her body moved, graceful like a cat. He sighed looking at the little girl who was smiling at him, "What ya smiling at?" Sophia blushed looking toward her mother, "Nothing, just the way you look at my momma." Daryl sat in shock as he watched the little girl head toward the plates that were being passed out.

After dinner he settled himself in his tent, he couldn't get the damn kid's words out of his head, did he really look at Carol funny? He rolled over and tried to make himself comfortable. His eyes are just beginning to close when he heard screams coming from the RV. He was up and across the camp before anyone else, he threw open the door and found Carol holding Sophia. The little girl was shaking and crying into her mother's chest, "What's the matter?" Carol looked up at him, "She had a bad dream, she'll be ok." Sophia sobbed harder, "I'm sorry, please don't be mad, I will be quiet." Carol kissed her daughter's head rocking the child, "Baby its ok, no one is mad at you." Daryl poked his head outside the RV, Rick and Dale were standing there, "She's fine, just had a nightmare." The two men shook their heads and moved back toward their tents. Daryl closed the door and stood in the kitchen area, Carol looked up at him as she rocked Sophia. He moved back toward the two small figures, "Sophia." She looked up at him, he smiled at her gently, "You got nothin' to worry about, your momma and I won't let anythin' hurt ya." Carol's heart melted when he leaned down and touched her daughter's cheek. Sophia looked at her mother, "Can Daryl sleep in here tonight? I would feel better." Carol looked at her girl, "Honey, Daryl has a tent he doesn't want to sleep in here." Daryl stood up and turned leaving, the door shutting behind him.

He stood outside for a few minutes getting himself together. He walked over to his tent, grabbed his sleeping bag and pillow, slung his bow on his shoulder and headed back to the RV. He nodded to Carol when he entered, laid the sleeping bag on the floor. He was just settling in for the night when Sophia got up and came over, she stared at him for a minute then bent down and kissed his cheek, "Good night Mr. Daryl." She then turned and headed back to her mother. The little girl snuggled up to her mother and closed her eyes; she tried to whisper to her mother, "Wish Mr. Daryl had been my daddy." Carol didn't know what to do, she knew Daryl had heard her, she felt her cheeks turn red, "Come on now, get some sleep."

The next morning Daryl got up before dawn, he was back from his hunt before lunch. As he was making his way to the camp he spotted Carol and Sophia near the pond. He could see Sophia swimming in the pond, while Carol sat on the dock dipping her feet in. He smirked at the scene realizing that if he hadn't found the girl, he wouldn't be seeing that smile on Carol's face. He was starting to turn and head for the camp when he heard the first moan. Carol stood up, "Sophia stay in the water." Carol didn't have a weapon on her as the walker drew closer to her, she stood her ground looking for anything she could to protect herself and her daughter.

Daryl moved fast, dropping the squirrels on the ground, he advanced toward the two of them; he brought the bow up and released the bolt. The arrow hit the geek in the shoulder, it only slowed it down. It crushed into Carol sending her back onto the dock, Sophia was screaming as Daryl dropped the bow, bringing his knife up he hit the deck. The knife went thru the things skull, he pulled it off Carol. "Were you bit?" He kneeled down looking over her arms; he pulled up her shirt a little to check her stomach. Carol was struggling to get to her feet, "I'm fine." Sophia had swum toward the dock and was pulling herself up next to them. She grabbed her mother, "Momma, I was so scared." He stood up looking at Carol's face, she was scared.

He drug the geek off the dock, while Sophia pulled her towel around her, Carol grabbed the things legs helping him move the corpse toward the tree line. Once he knew they were out of Sophia's ear shot he growled at Carol, "I get her back just for you to almost get killed. What the hell where ya thinkin' comin' out here without protection or someone with ya?" Carol looked meekly at the ground, "She wanted to swim it was hot, I just thought…". Daryl moved closer to her, "Ya didn't fuckin' think, that's your problem." He grabbed her wrist and Carol flinched, he froze realizing he was frightening her, he sighed, "Next time wait for me to come back. I will come with ya." She pulled from his grasp and shook her head moving toward Sophia who was waiting for them at the edge of the dock. He followed close behind them as they walked back to the camp. He could tell Carol was upset, Sophia was pulling on her mom's hand trying to get her to talk, but Carol was too upset to talk.

Sophia watched her mother all night, she kept to herself, Sophia remembered how her mom got after her father would hit her and that was how she was acting. She looked over and saw Daryl go into his tent, she balled up her little fist and moved toward his tent. She took a deep breath outside of the tent; she unzipped the door and headed inside. Daryl was sitting up, "What the hell are you doing?" Sophia clenched her fists open and shut, "You shouldn't have talked to her like that." Daryl took in the girl, "What the hell are you talkin' about?" Sophia rolled her eyes, "You yelled at her, she can't take anymore yellin' if you want to yell, yell at me." She stood ready for him to explode at her, instead he relaxed, sighing as he stood up. "I'll talk to her." She smiled as she watched him stalk out toward her mother.

She turned and stared at him, "It's ok, you were right. I got her back and I almost got myself killed." She stared down at her hands, "I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know how I'm gonna make it thru in this world." He knelt down next to her, "I'll make sure ya all make it." Sophia came up behind them, "Momma I'm goin' into bed." Carol wiped her eyes, "I'm coming." Daryl watched as they headed toward the RV, Sophia turned around, "You comin' Daryl." He stood trying to make himself look pissed, but inside he was glad they needed him, it gave him something to do. "Yeah, ya pain in the ass." The little girl just smiled back at him. How in the hell was he gonna deal with this?

Let me know what you think….just a new idea…not sure how long I will make it Thanks for reading