Oh, you lovely people, what wonderful reviews... here, have an insanely, insanely long chapter of filthy, filthy Meth.

Chapter Six

Beth could barely taste her food. Not that there was much to taste; it was simple spaghetti with the sauce made from tomato soup, but Carol had watered the solitary can down to provide for the whole group, so it was fairly bland. However, it would have been rude as well as wasteful to leave it, so Beth forced it down, lingering over the meal as her mind dwelled on other things.

Even had she wanted to disobey Merle's instructions, her head couldn't help but spin with thoughts of them together. Just the memory of being with Merle increased the slow burn of desire in Beth's gut, and the flow of arousal into her panties. However, thinking of what Merle might do to her, what she wanted him to do to her… her feelings on that astonished her even more.

Before, the spontaneity of their interactions had reduced Beth's in-the-moment thinking to simple concepts of want… need… now. Yet, abruptly encouraged to think of ways they could be together, she found fragments of long dormant memories stole from where they had lain hidden, waiting for their moment…

Beth remembered listening in the shower room, head ducked and cheeks burning, as the more experienced girls in her class talked amongst themselves of what they'd gotten up to with their boyfriends…

…or when she went to borrow clothes from Maggie's wardrobe and found instead some rather eye-opening women's magazines, that talked with startling frankness about pleasing your man and how to have him please you in return...

…Beth even revived a suppressed memory of the unfortunate time she'd walked into the stable and just as quickly walked out again, before her mind could fully process why Jesse the new farmhand had her sister bent over the saddle rack...

At the time, it had been incomprehensible to her how any woman could want to do more than… well, the basics with a man. Her knowledge had narrowed her idea of intimacy to something… well, face to face and romantic, maybe looking each other in the eyes each time you were together. And then only when you were married. She'd been so shocked by her sister's behaviour, she'd gone to find the contraceptive pills she'd seen hidden with the magazines and thrown them straight into the duck pond. Beth smiled when she remembered how furious Maggie had been, and how Beth had reacted by telling her what she was doing was wrong.

She chuckled to herself at how different she'd become in such a short time; the idea of Merle taking charge of her pleasure and dominating her in such a way made her think she really wouldn't mind having those contraceptive pills herself right about now.

Or the saddle rack.

It was true Merle had said he wasn't going to sleep with her, but Beth was determined his resolution wouldn't last too long. Apart from her own desire to express the trust she felt in him as intimately and as soon as possible, her youthful yearning was tainted by the thought that this might be her only chance to be fully a woman before death claimed her. Even without the more immediate threat of the Governor looming over her, she had to acknowledge that one day, eventually, her guard would slip and the dead would make her one of their own.

She hoped if that happened she'd have the courage to end it herself, rather than asking someone else to take on the terrible task. If not, she knew she could never, never ask Merle; it would be too cruel. If he outlived her, as he no doubt would with his intelligence and innate toughness, she could not bear being added to the roll of lifeless faces that burdened him. It wasn't vanity now to acknowledge that she meant something to him; one of the few people who had believed in him or treated him with care and kindness. In turn he had rewarded her with a closeness that only Daryl could claim to share.

Beth also had to acknowledge that, despite the emptiness of such as promise in this new world, he had vowed to keep her safe, and she could see the earnestness in his eyes as he did so. To ask him to compound what he would see as failure by preventing her coming back…?

"Y'alright?"

Beth looked up startled to see Maggie looking down at her with bemused eyes. "Oh… I'm just tired."

Maggie nodded sympathetically, her beautiful complexion starting to show the pallid signs of poor diet and fatigue as she slid into the seat next to Beth. "Yeah. I think it's living on our nerves like this, you know? Can't live on adrenaline forever an' not crash out eventually."

"I don't suppose it will get any better while we wait for the Governor's attack," said Beth unhappily. "All the preparation in the world won't take our minds off what's coming."

Maggie's eyes narrowed as she read between the lines, and Beth tried to bear up under her sister's scrutiny. "You think we should have left?"

"Don't you?"

"It was Rick's decision," her sister said carefully, still studying Beth intently, "We won't find many places better than this, it's worth fighting for."

"But is it worth dying for?"

Maggie frowned, and her eyes became shaded in concern. "Used to be you were looking to die… I can't say I'm not glad that's changed, but we need to stand together now. Rick needs our support." She looked away, as though debating her next words before continuing in an undertone, "Glenn... he told me you've been hanging out with Merle a lot lately… has he been saying something to you?"

"Like what?"

"Stuff about Rick, or something… I don't know," Maggie averted her eyes from Beth's, "Something to get him your sympathy… get you on his side…."

"Merle hasn't discussed Rick with me," Beth answered honestly, "and he's told this group his opinions openly, even if we didn't want to hear it. But he'll do anything to keep Daryl safe…," she faltered, realising that she was now included alongside Daryl before continuing, "and If Daryl won't leave, Merle won't either."

"He might not want to leave, but I wouldn't put it past him to try and mess with us, undermine Rick's authority…" Maggie stopped in surprise as Beth gave a bitter laugh.

"Merle undermine Rick's authority?" she whispered derisively, "Do you really think Merle could do a better job of it than Rick's doing right now? You know as well as I do that he's only clinging to this prison because so many people died for it, and then there's Lori…"

"Shut up!" snapped Maggie, "You don't know, okay? You weren't there…," she cut herself off and shook her head, as though she could rid herself of a bad memory, "I'm sorry, it's just… that was a tough day." She ran a tired hand through her hair, before looking Beth in the eye. "Look, Dad's thought about this, he thinks this is the best place for us."

"No," said Beth, feeling tired herself that nobody seemed to ever be speaking the plain truth anymore, "What you mean is ever since… ever since the barn, he's lost faith in his judgement. He doesn't feel able to make those decisions anymore, so it's easier to leave them to Rick…"

"That's not fair, Beth…" Maggie began, a stricken look on her face.

"You're right, it's not fair, but that doesn't mean it's not true. He shouldn't blame himself for having held on to hope, to faith…we all did… at least… well, I know I faltered, but… but we can't ignore the fact that he has entrusted our safety to a man who, however good, is hallucinating…"

"This isn't you, Beth," Maggie cut her off abruptly, standing up, "I don't know if you're just tired, or if Merle has said something, or what, but I don't want to hear any more of this." She started to walk away, before turning a darkly angry countenance back to her sister. "You need to stop being so damn sheltered and take a long, hard look at our options. Without this prison, we'd be back on the road again... trying to find shelter every night, not knowing where we'll find food. We've got a good thing here, and I won't let anyone, especially Merle Dixon, fuck it up!" With that she strode away.

Beth looked down at the table, fighting the tears that threatened to well up. She hardly ever fought seriously with Maggie… not that she regretted speaking the truth, but she couldn't help but feel bad that she had hurt her sister. She sighed and looked up, checking no one had heard them. It was nearly dark now, and those who didn't have first watch were probably already asleep or getting ready for bed. She smiled as Carol returned, having finished tidying up after their meal, and bade her a soft goodnight as she carried Judith up to her cell.

Hardly thinking, Beth decided to go for a quick wash in the shower room; perhaps if she felt cleaner she'd feel better, more refreshed. They had running water from the taps, apparently due to an underground aquifer Axel had mentioned, but there wasn't enough pressure to get it into the showers. They simply ran the water into the sinks and wiped themselves down with the thin and scratchy prison towels. As she walked down the gloomy corridor, Beth thought about how much she missed the fluffy white towels they'd had back...

She would have screamed if it wasn't for the hand over her mouth, as she was pulled back into a familiar warm, hard chest. The smell of man and tobacco teased her senses, and as the pressure eased she spun round in his arms and hugged him close.

"Ya disobeyin' me, girlie?" he rasped, clearly amused at how quickly she'd gone from screaming fright to embracing her apparent attacker.

"No... am I?" she asked, a little confused.

"Thought I tol' ya not ta take them panties off, an' here I catch ya sneakin' off ta tha shower room."

Beth grinned a little sheepishly at him, before allowing one of her fingers to glide up and trace the neckline of his vest, teasing a few stray curls of hair that escaped. "I wasn't sneaking, and I just forgot for a moment…"

"Forgot fer a moment," Merle grumbled as he ducked quickly to nibble sharply on her neck, "outta sight, outta mind, am I, angel?"

Beth gasped then giggled guiltily, "No, I… had a bit of an argument with Maggie, and I just wanted to be alone…"

Merle pulled back, eyes narrowed. "Ya okay?"

"Yes, it was silly really…"

"Do ya… do ya wanna talk 'bout it?" If it had been any other man, Beth would have said his voice sounded slightly nervous; she quickly buried her head into his chest so he couldn't see her desire to laugh.

"No, it's okay. And I promise I've been thinking about you right up until two minutes ago. In fact I was…umm," she peaked up coyly through her lashes, "I was thinking about a lot of stuff…"

"Stuff?" he rumbled, ducking his face into her neck, clearly interested. She nodded, enjoying the scrape of his stubble under her jaw.

"Uh-huh, you know… stuff… and things."

"Go on, girlie. I been waitin' half tha fuckin' day ta hear 'bout stuff an' things," he grinned, before he added, "Yer gonna tell me everythin'…"

It was more an order than a question, and he followed his words by sucking hard on her neck.

"Oh God, yes!" she whimpered, and the pressure was reduced to a gentle laving of her pulse point while he waited for her to speak. "I… when you talked earlier, about punishing me? I remembered, one time, accidentally catching Maggie…"

"Don't tell me too much, darlin'," whispered Merle wickedly, "I gotta look her an' Korea-town in tha eye a' breakfast tomorrow…"

Beth swatted playfully at his arm, "His name is Glenn! No, this was a few years ago, and I… I caught her in the stable with one of the hired hands, and he was…" she trailed off, uncertain of how to put it.

"Hmm?" he encouraged, the pressure slightly increasing on her neck again.

"He… oh, Merle, yes…" she said disjointedly as he did highly distracting things with his tongue, "…umm…he was being very… well, dominant. Taking charge and… after what you said…"

Merle's arms seemed to tighten slightly around her, and he pulled his head back to look down at her. His light eyes seemed to glint like an animals in the gloom, and when he spoke his voice was nothing but rasp. "Ya been thinkin' ya'd like ol' Merle ta really take tha wheel wit' ya… that it, girlie?"

She looked down as she had a moment of doubt. It wasn't that Merle hadn't been in charge of what they'd done before, but this… this would be a different kind of surrender.

"I tol' ya before, I ain't rushin' ya," he said in softer voice, "ya never have ta do nothin' ya don' wan' wit'…"

"I want to!" she interrupted in a rush, looking up at him, "I want to. With you. I trust you. I'm sure." He watched her, searching her face for any further hint of doubt, and she gave a barely perceptible nob. Slowly, ever so slowly, she saw the most fiendish of grins begin to spread across his face…

…he suddenly dropped down, lifting her over one shoulder with seemingly no effort at all, and she let out a squeak of surprise. Her punishment was a light slap to the rump, followed by him firmly massaging her barely hurt buttock as he marched down the corridor. "No noise! Not 'til we get ta where we goin'. Ya behave yerself now, or I ain't gonna be respons'ble fer…"

But Beth had decided she wanted to play her part in this game too, and immediately provoked him by quickly slipping her slender hands under the waistband of his pants and boxers and grabbing a warm, hard buttock in each. Merle jumped so much he nearly dropped her.

"Beth! Fuck! Getcha hands outta my pants! Ya can't be playin' those kinda games wit' me tonight…I can't…." he broke off with a groan as she began to massage and squeeze his buttocks.

"Shit!" she heard him exclaim, before she was unceremoniously put down on unsteady feet against a wall. She barely had time to balance herself before she was dragged into a rough embrace as Merle took her mouth. This kiss was different, his desire for dominance clear as he mercilessly plundered her sweetness. Beth almost fancied she could taste irritation in it as well as barely restrained lust. It was everything she could have wanted in such a kiss, but she knew that tonight they both needed more… it wasn't elegant, but wrapping her arms strongly around his neck she jumped just enough to wrap her legs around his waist.

He staggered a little, slightly off-balanced, and his grip instinctively tightened on her before he began to move his arms as though to set her down... determined, Beth ground her hot core into Merle's hardness and was rewarded by him almost slamming her back into the wall as he growled and crushed his body into hers. Running her hands ecstatically over his bunched shoulders, Beth loved his barely leashed strength and thought she might come right then and there, his behaviour was so feral, so primal, so violently animalistic…

…it couldn't last. After dragging his lips from hers and giving her a deliciously sharp nip at the join of her neck and shoulder, Merle finally put her down and held her a little away from him, closing his eyes and taking a deep, cleansing breath before opening them again. She saw they were still darkened by lust, but his expression seemed slightly amused and exasperated.

"Jesus Christ, girl! I could've fuckin' hurt ya…" he started, but broke off when she shook her head silently, smiling trustingly up at him. Beth knew it would never hurt her like that, even if he didn't; the mere fact he worried about it told her as much. At her refusal to heed his warning, Merle shook his head and sighed. "Wha' ya fuckin' do ta me, angel…"

Obviously feeling it was a safer course of action, he took her hand this time and all but dragged her behind him, his long legs eagerly and easily covering the ground. Beth had to rather scamper behind him, and when they arrived at their special cell block she was flushed and panting. Quickly scouting about and checking it was secure he returned to stand close in front of her, his gaze now a little cautious and assessing.

Beth felt sure he was considering giving her one last chance to change her mind, and she was right.

Gradually Merle lifted his arm and wrapped his hand carefully and incredibly lightly round her throat, before increasing the pressure ever so slightly… just enough for Beth to know its strength, so she could feel the power his fingers contained… but he wasn't even close to hurting her, and she knew she could easily pull away. There was no threat to his unspoken gesture, just an opportunity for her to explore how much she trusted him, what her boundaries might be. For her first time, Beth was surprised to find that with him, she had none; her belief that Merle would never hurt her was absolute.

Merle's questioning and concerned gaze was watching every flicker of her eyes, waiting for her to say whether he would meet with acceptance or rejection. Watching him in return, Beth somehow felt a simple gesture such as his would say so much more than words in this moment.

Slowly, so he wouldn't react, she reached up and slid her hand along the back of his. Apart from the fact that it was large and callused and strong, Beth hadn't really studied his remaining hand before. Now, as she ran her fingertips along it, she noticed the back had the same slight smattering of golden hair as was on his arm, and the roughness of long healed scars marred his knuckles. His nails were short and lightly ridged, masculine but strangely neat for a man who did so much work outside. Beth was deeply sorry he had lost his other hand, but she knew she loved the one that remained all the more.

Gently, she pulled his hand away from her throat; Beth thought for a moment she saw the slightest flash of disappointment in his eyes, but she refused to look away as she lifted the hand to her mouth. Pulling it in, never taking her eyes from his, she planted a soft kiss in the centre of Merle's palm, her tongue flicking out a little to taste the salty sweetness. Under his fascinated and now slightly aroused gaze, Beth slid his hand back down to its original resting place around her neck, calmly arranging its grip before dropping her hands to her sides, leaving the next action up to him.

Merle seemed frozen for a moment. Then, with infinite care, he reached his hand up to her face and lightly brushed his toughened knuckles down the softness of her cheek; it was such a tender gesture from a man known for his hard edges that Beth felt an absurd desire to cry.

Abruptly he stepped away and the moment was gone. He folded his arms and Beth felt her mouth go a little dry, thinking of the muscles in his powerful arms and broad chest flexing under his shirt and vest. She must have looked like she intended to go to him, as the mood quickly changed.

"Stand there," he ordered sharply, and Beth instinctively froze at the authority in his voice. Sometimes it was easy to forget he'd been in the military. She waited as he stalked in front of her and looked her up and down, before he began to circle her in an assessing manner. She somehow knew she mustn't turn her head, and eventually he moved out of her eye line behind her. After a few tense moments, she felt a frisson of excitement as she was rewarded with the heat of his body at her back, close but not touching.

"So," rumbled Merle in her ear, "seems ta me lately ya been thinkin' that ya got tha drop on ol' Merle, that ya can lead him aroun' by tha nose… but I ain't no prize bull, girlie." He trailed a finger along the back of her neck, before slipping his fingers into her hair and pulling her head back, "I'm thinkin' ya gots ta be reminded who's in charge aroun' here."

"I… I don't have to take orders from you!" Beth goaded breathlessly. Merle paused, clearly slightly surprised at how easily she had embraced the game, before she heard the delighted wickedness in his voice again.

"Yep, ya still got that sass mouth on yer… ain't nothin' changed since that first night t'gether. Guess ya must need schoolin' real bad, missy," he whispered, his low voice dragging over her nerves, "Ya gonna let me school ya?" His hand released her hair and slid down body to her stomach, where he traced light circles on the sensitive skin beneath her naval.

Beth debated her answer for a few moments before she pulled away and faced him; drawing in a breath when she saw he was now naked to the waist, his broad chest revealed in all its heavily muscled glory. She stopped herself from reaching for him by propping a hand on her hip and dragging her eyes up to his, though her defiant look almost faltered when she looked into Merle's burning gaze.

"If you were really going to take charge, Merle, you wouldn't need to ask permission, now would you?"

Merle eyes flared with a hungry light, and Beth felt a thrill of anticipation sear across her taut nerves as the most wolfish grin she'd ever seen crossed his face. Their eyes held for a moment, before Merle moved like lightening. Suddenly she was turned around and pushed harshly up against the cell bars, Merle's hot, hard body pressed full up against her back, caging her in.

"I warned ya yer was here ta be punished, darlin'," her growled over her shocked gasp, "now yer only addin' ta yer sentence." Surprised at her own daring, Beth pushed her ass back into his groin, earning a quickly controlled but still noticeable jerk from Merle's hips.

"All I hear is talk," she sassed, though her voice was so thin with nervous excitement as to be almost nothing, "If you're going to punish me, get on and do it..."

She felt a shudder pass through his body, as he groaned hotly in her ear, "Oh girlie, girlie… there ain't gonna be no mercy fer ya tonight…"

Beth flicked him a heavy lidded glance over her shoulder. "Do your worst, Merle, I won't beg…."

The challenge hung in the silent air between them, before Merle spoke carefully, deliberately, and with dangerous control.

"Take ya clothes off, 'fore I cut 'em off."

He backed up, but only just enough, his arms resting on the bars over her head; she felt both strangely trapped and protected. Beth barely had room to pull off her jacket, t-shirt and bra and drop them to the floor with only minimal brushing against him; she was caught between the chill coming off the metal bars and the furnace that was Merle behind her. When she kicked off her boots and came to peel off her jeans, she had to shimmy them down since Merle allowed her no extra distance from him to remove them. As Beth finally hooked a thumb into her panties, Merle's hand caught her wrist instantly.

"Leave 'em," he rasped, his voice threatening. Again she felt that odd little thrill run over her skin at his control, so different from the tenderness of earlier that day. She felt the burning heat of Merle's body move closer again, as he pressed his whole muscular length against her fragile frame, pinning her against cool metal. Merle moved her captured hand up above her head and placed it on the bars; instinctively she looped her slender, pale fingers around the dull grey metal, and moved the other hand to join it.

"I will punish ya according ta tha fruit of yer doings," he quoted roughly, "an' I will kindle a fire in tha forest thereof, an' it shall devour all things roun' about it…"

Suddenly, he slid his prosthetic across her chest, the cool metal resting just above her breasts, and leant his upper body back slightly, pulling her with him; meanwhile, he pushed his hips into Beth's, forcing hers into the bars of the cell. The icy cold of the metal burned through her damp panties, and she felt one's curved smoothness press against her mound. As he relaxed the pressure, she instinctively pulled away from the chill, but Merle's hips only rocked her back into it and, this time, a bar slipped between the lips of her pussy and rubbed against her clit, shielded only by thin cotton.

She was so surprised by the brief flash of pleasure it gave her that she allowed Merle complete control as he pushed her forward again, and abruptly the coolness of the metal was offset by the arousal that began to flood through her. He rocked into her again and this time she let out a little whimper as she herself thrust a little against the bars. Close as they were, Beth felt as well as heard Merle's growl reverberate through his furred chest into her back, as he ground his hot, hardened body against her ass.

Her eyes fluttered shut in as she followed the steady rhythm her set for her, then unexpectedly his hand was on her aching breast. The feel of it, skin oddly cooled by holding the cell bars, was electric. Merle began by palming its tender weight, massaging the soft flesh before tweaking the nipple, pinching and rolling it between his fingers before suddenly pulling it out and away from her body, causing her to grunt deep in her throat at the sensation before his hand dropped back to her belly.

"Ya feelin' that fire, girlie? Ya feelin' it fer me?" Beth could only moan as an affirmative, but Merle understood. "Yeah, this remind ya a that night, hmm? Trapped, ol' Merle havin' his wicked way wit' ya? Feelin' my dick getting' hard against ya tight lil' ass, ya like that?"

Beth was halfway through a mumbled affirmative before she remembered the rules of the game she had instigated. "No," she hissed, fighting for control and grinding harder against him, "I think… you'll have to remind me…"

"No?" he questioned, his voice disbelieving, "No? Ya tellin' ol' Merle yer ain't been thinking 'bout him at all? You ain't been getting' yerself all worked up fer me, angel?"

"Mmm… yes… I mean, no…ahh…" she muttered, her brain barely able to maintain conversation while processing all the delightful sensations bringing her closer to the edge, causing Merle to chuckle darkly.

"Well, which is it, girlie?"

"I…," she tried to focus on something simpler… "I… won' t beg…"

She should have known Merle would embrace a challenge like that.

"Ya still won't beg, girlie? Is that wha' ya said?" She could hear the wicked smirk in Merle's voice as his spoke, never stopping the steady roll of his hips. "I think ya will, angel. I think a lil' more a this an' ya'll be beggin' ol' Merle ta take care of ya. In fact," he continued, his voice dark and his drawl more pronounced, "I'm thinkin' soon ya gonna realise that no matter how much we rub that sweet, hungry lil' pussy a yers 'gainst these bars, it ain't gonna make ya come…"

Beth eyes snapped open in mild horror, and somehow Merle knew.

"…oh no, lil' girl, oh no. Them prison bars too cold an' cruel ta take care o' a sweet lil' thing like yersel'. Ya need somethin' warm an' feelin' an' alive 'tween them pretty pink pussy lips, darlin'. Somethin' like me..."

Beth moaned at his words. Dear God, she needed Merle, she needed to come… she wanted Merle there between her legs, fucking her until she screamed…

"Merle…" she whispered…

"Yeah…?" Through the fog of desire she could make out the teasing smugness in his voice, and resolutely she pressed her lips together. She wouldn't beg…

She heard his chuckle at her pride, but it wasn't mocking, a fact confirmed by the low whisper in her ear of, "I'm impressed, girlie…"

…that was some satisfaction, she thought, even if it wasn't really the kind of satisfaction she was after right now…

"…but I still think I'd like ta hear ya beggin' ol Merle…" with that his hand moved back to her breast, teasing the very tip of her nipple by brushing his smooth palm against it, just lightly enough to make her crazy. She tried to arch towards his hand but the prosthetic high on her chest prevented her. Desperate to come, unable to find even the slightest relief, she whimpered in frustration…

Suddenly the arm was moving her, shifting her slightly so she was held against his shoulder; she could look up into his face now, and he was looking down her with a strange mixture of lust and annoyance and amusement and tenderness…

"Jus' beg me, Beth," he said softly, "make it easy on yerself… on us both… lemme be good ta ya…"

Beth's already fragile defences collapsed at that.

"Yes… touch me. Touch me please, Merle…" she begged, all pride gone, her eyes pleading with his. Once again his eyes burned with lust, though it was tempered by a residual tenderness, and though Beth couldn't believe it was possible she felt her own need increase.

"Yeah, ol' Merle'll help ya out," he whispered, "I'll always take care a ya, girlie…. can't resist them dove's eyes a yers, all big an' soft an' beggin'…"

Suddenly she was lifted up in his arms and carried across to a solitary mattress and pillow which had been dragged out of one of the cells and into a pool of moonlight from the windows; as she nuzzled into the warm fuzz of his chest she absently wondered if Merle had arranged it earlier.

He gently set her down on the mattress and gripping her chin he pulled her in for a kiss. It was gentler than the last one, but he still explored her mouth deeply, and her own hands slipped to the back of his head to hold him close as her tongue did some exploring of its own. When they finally broke apart they were both panting.

"Get on yer hands an' knees, girlie," he rasped, his voice deeper than she had ever heard it, "I wan' that sweet lil' ass in the air fer me."

She obeyed without question, and delighted in the feel of his hand running down over her spine from her shoulder to her rear. She wondered what Merle would do to her, expecially as he still hadn't removed her panties, which were now completely soaked. Her question was answered when she felt Merle suddenly press his face into her buttocks, breathing deeply.

"Mmm, girlie, tha's so fuckin' good… I can feel ya heat, smell tha' sweet smell a yers. A man could perfume his bed wit' this an' never wan' ta leave it…" Nimbly he slipped a finger under the edge of panties and pressed it up into the hot, wet tightness, causing her to groan in delight. "Shit!" he hissed. "Ya fuckin' swimmin' fer ol' Merle…"

"Merle, please, I need…"

"I know, darlin', I know." He removed his finger and pressed his face into her crotch again, breathing deeply. Beth could feel the warmth of his breath on her damp flesh.

She all but yelped when suddenly he stuck his tongue into her, taking the damp fabric with him and pushing it between her lips. Her mind exploded at the thought of him tonguing her through panties soaked and fragrant with her own juices. The friction on her clit caused by the slightly coarse fabric was maddening, and once more she found herself mewling as she reached a hand back and tried to rake her fingers through his curly hair. Then, pointing his tongue, he penetrated her a little with the cloth before leaving it there and batting at her clit once more.

"Oh God, Merle…" she moaned, long and low, needing everything he gave her and more. Abruptly he shifted her a little, so her ass was lifted slightly higher. Beth wondered vaguely what he could be thinking, and but she soon found out when his hand pulled apart her buttocks and he began to flicker his mischievous tongue over her cotton covered asshole.

"Ahh!" she yelped, cutting off her own cry with the pillow for fear it would be heard. It seemed so wrong… and yet the forbidden feeling of him fluttering over the sensitised ring of muscle, already coated with her fluids yet shielded by the soft fabric, was glorious. Suddenly he began prodding at it firmly, and she felt herself clench and relax, getting more drenched with every passing moment.

After a little of this exploration, Merle moved away and to her relief he finally lowered her panties, the prison air cool on her heated flesh. Since she was kneeling he could only get them as far as her knees, and she was waiting for something to happen when something soft and warm brushed her inner thigh. Bewildered, she dropped her head and looked between her legs… Merle's head was between her thighs, and he was licking the soaked fabric of the panties as they rested on the mattress.

"Merle…" she whispered, aroused by the thought that he was adhering to his earlier threat and licking her juices up. He looked up at her from between her legs, and smirked.

"Tol' ya I'd have ta check 'fore I helped ya out." She felt the delicate brush of his ear against her thigh as he lifted his head and buried his mouth in her wet curls.

She was so tender there now she almost screamed when Merle lightly brushed his tongue over her clit. When he began to trace around it, and the sharp edge of need cut through her, she lost strength in her arms and her face was permanently buried in the pillow. It was for the best, as with each deft stroke of Merle's tongue her moans and whimpers and gasps got louder and less restrained. Eventually, after a particularly loud cry, Merle pulled back a little, planting a soft kiss on her buttock and giving her a moment to try and regain a little control.

"How mine eyes ha' been enlightened, 'cause I tasted a lil' a this honey," he muttered, before running a rough hand gently over a buttock. "'Member ta be quiet angel, we don't wan' no interruptions…"

Beth muttered something in response, hardly aware of what she was saying in her need.

"Wha' was that, girlie?" he growled, licking teasingly at the crease of her thigh.

"I… what…?"

"Ya said somethin'…""

"Oh… um…" she tried to clear the fog from her brain, "Stolen waters are sweet, and…oh, Merle!" she gasped as he trailed the very tip of his tongue over her puckered hole; "…bread… bread eaten in secret is pleasant."

Merle gave one of those low, humming chuckles that she had come to love. "Can't argue wit' that, darlin', though I s'pect ya'd be sweet anyway." Then he pushed his head between her legs and began lapping rapidly at her clit, his hand gripping and massaging her ass in a way that had her moaning into the pillow again.

Already close to coming, she finally shattered when he slipped his thick finger just inside her again and sucked her clit into his mouth, her spasming pussy grinding into his face as she came one orgasm on top of the other… until finally she collapsed onto the mattress, spent and shaking but sated beyond all comprehension.

Beth lay on her side, drawing in deep breaths of air. She was covered in sweat and the air was cool in the uninhabited cell block, but soon she felt fabric cover her and Merle's warm body curl up behind her. She glanced down and saw he'd covered her with his shirt, which when unbuttoned was large enough to almost cover her completely.

"Thank you," she whispered to the silent man behind her, "for everything."

She could hear the smile in his voice as he answered, "Tol' ya, ain't no need ta be thankin' me. I ain't exactly puttin' myself through no hardship."

A large arm appeared and the prosthetic pressed up against her waist; for moment she thought she had made a mistake and she should have rolled over so she could feel his arm with his hand, then she realised she was thinking about it all wrong. The prosthetic was part of him now, part of the man he now was, the man she loved. Instead she wrapped her arms around it as best she could and snuggled back into his body, only to discover he still had a rock hard erection.

"Oh, Merle!" She felt so guilty, especially when he shifted it away from her, "why didn't you say? I was being so selfish…"

"Ya ain't selfish, an' I'm okay. I'll was jus' gonna handle it, I jus' wanted ta make sure ya was…mmph!"

Beth was kissing him, working her strong young arms around his neck and pressing her naked young body against his, writhing as she rolled on top him. His hand reached up, unable to resist stroking the curve of her waist for a moment before gently pushing her away so she was sat on his thighs. "Beth, I'm tryin'…"

"Stop it. Stop it now," said Beth firmly, and Merle raised his eyebrows in surprise as she moved to straddle his hips and prodded him in the chest. "I shouldn't get to have all the fun, Merle. I hate feeling you aren't allowed to enjoy this as much as me, and it's going to stop, you understand?"

"But, angel…"

"No. Stop worrying about everything, Merle. You're not going to get carried away and hurt me, because you are a better man than you seem to think, and I'm not going to be scared away by your being a man, because I'm not as good a woman as you seem to think. From now on, we're both going to enjoy this stuff together…"

"An' things…"

"What?" she asked, momentarily thrown off her stride.

"We're gonna enjoy stuff an' things together," he explained, smirking.

"Oh… well, yes, okay," she agreed, slightly perplexed before she remembered their earlier discussion. "Now, I'm…," she paused mid lecture, "Why are you laughing?"

Merle was laying there, arms crossed behind his head and an enormous grin of genuine amusement on his face. "I ain't laughin'. I'm jus' findin' it some real funny shit that I kinda like naked women sittin' on my wood an' demandin' that I enjoy foolin' around wit' 'em."

Beth looked down at herself and realised that she was naked on top of Merle and essentially hectoring him to enjoy sex with her, despite the fact that she was sitting on some pretty strong evidence that he enjoyed it already. She looked back at him and they both started laughing. He pulled her down and she kept laughing, even as she enjoyed the steady rumbling of his chest beneath her. Eventually the moment passed and she turned her head back to him, planting a kiss on the corner of his mouth.

"Merle…?"

He sighed. "G'on then," he said, but at her sudden eager movement towards his belt he added warningly, "but jus' ya hands, girlie. An' don't argue 'cause I ain't got tha strength ta fight ya off otherwise…" be broke off at Beth's cocked eyebrow and the smirk that accompanied it, then grunted, "don't mean I won't try."

Beth gave her own mock sigh of disappointment, before she straddled his waist and gradually dragged herself down to his thighs.

"I said jus' hands," Merle growled, and Beth grinned.

"I didn't touch it. You've still got your pants on."

"Sounds like semantics to me," he grumbled, before he gasped as Beth traced his outline through the fabric with a single finger.

"Doesn't feel like semantics to me," she said impishly, before slowly undoing his belt and tugging open his zipper. She heard Merle sigh slightly as the pressure on his dick eased.

"Lift for me," she said softly, and when Merle raised his hips he was clearly surprised when she boldly pulled down both his pants and his boxers together. She watched as his hard member bobbed up to greet her eagerly, like it wanted her touch. It was still worryingly large, but when she reached out and stroked it, like she might a pet, and Merle arched up a little into her hand, it wasn't quite so intimidating. She trailed her hand down, brushing through the faint treasure trail that faded onto his stomach, and whispered, "I want this like before, Merle. I do anything you don't like, or you want me to do something you do like, then you tell me, okay?" Merle nodded, putting his arms back behind his head, clearly eager to feel her hand on him again.

She hadn't really had the time to explore him at leisure before, so she took the opportunity that night offered and studied him, running a delicate finger over the veins that lined his throbbing flesh, gently trailing her nails through the dark blonde hair peppered with grey that lightly surrounded him, encroaching only slightly onto his balls. Noticing something, she leaned in little closer, enjoying the musky fragrance as she studied the fine line that ran up the middle of his tightened sack. She ran the pad of her thumb down it, causing Merle to groan a little.

"Ya gonna make me beg too, darlin'?" he gasped, voice desperate and a little rueful.

Immediately Beth slid off him and moved up alongside him, cupping his coarse cheek in her hand. Slowly she lowered her face to his and ran her tongue wetly over his lips, pulling a little away before he could allow her entry for a kiss,

"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you," she quoted softly against his mouth, "and I'll never make you beg, Merle, never… you only ever have to ask…" Beth kissed him this time, her tongue mating firmly with his, sealing the promise.

She moved back down and straddled his thighs again. Remembering her lessons from earlier, she took his dick in her warm hand and gripped it firmly but not too tightly, earning a moan of pleasure from Merle. She began the same steady twisting motion, noticing the change in his breathing, before she remembered that he also liked her to cup his balls; she reached forward and rolled them in her hand.

"Does that feel good, Merle?" she asked softly.

"Yeah, real good, girlie… don't stop." Merle was panting slightly.

Beth noticed the pre-cum beginning to leak from the swollen head, and gently smeared it with her thumb, spreading it down in a spiral until she was circling the edge of his purpling head. "Still, good, Merle?" she asked, though his closed eyes and the twitching muscles of his stomach suggested it was.

"So good, darlin', so good…" he murmured.

Beth looked at the slicked head and, on a spur of the moment decision, blew gently across the wet opening…

"Holy fuck!" Merle yelped, his hips jerking up so rapidly he nearly caught Beth in the eye.

"Merle?! I'm sorry! Are you okay?" asked a panicked Beth, removing her hands and hoping she hadn't hurt him.

"Fuck… fuck!" he muttered, his hand now down by his side and gripping he fabric of the mattress so tightly his knuckles were white. "I… I'm fine, darlin', ya jus'…" he heaved a deep breath and flung his arm over his eyes, "ya drive me fuckin' crazy, ya know?"

"In a good way?" she asked cautiously, her hands sliding up his warm thighs, watching in fascination as his unruly member twitched in anticipation.

"Too fuckin' good," he growled, almost sounding annoyed, "Shit, Beth, sometimes I think ya ferget ya ain't dealin' wit' no boy, ol' Merle's full grown…" he stopped and hissed as her hands returned to grip and fondle him firmly.

"I never forget it, Merle, I'm grateful to God everyday you're the man you are…" she moved forward with shocking speed so he was now held flat against her warm belly.

"Beth!" he exploded, almost sitting bolt upright.

"Shush," she said softly but decisively, "Arms behind your head. Only tell me stop if you don't like it…" her hands forming a loose cage pressing Merle against her skin, she started to move her body up and down; it was now his turn to play captive. Her soft flesh began to glide against his full length, and after a while Merle all but babbled as he tried not to thrust up with her.

"God… girlie… shit, yes…"

She continued to rock up against him, her soft and still damp mound slick against his balls, causing him to moan; he could no longer control himself, and she watched as his hips moved up with hers.

"Oh fuck… Jesus… Beth…"

"That's it, Merle," she whispered, feeling that strange sense of power and confidence flood through her again, "you're going to let it go for me, aren't you? You're going to come on me, just like before…"

Merle groaned, and she thought she heard a note of resistance in his tone.

"Look at me, Merle."

She stopped moving until his eyes cracked open a little, the bright blue gleam hazed by lust. Beth held his gaze and began to move again, not letting him look away.

"Did you think I was so innocent I'd be frightened, Merle? Disgusted perhaps? I wasn't, Merle. I loved it…"

She ran her thumb back and forth across the leaking slit at the tip, watching as his eyes widened a little and his breathing hitched…

"…I loved seeing the look on your face, hearing you moan as you came. I loved seeing what I did to you. Most of all… most of all I loved walking around with the scent of you on me... the essence of you branded into my skin… like I was marked as yours..."

…he moaned, his eyes starting to close, and she felt the tell-tale jerk of his hips…

"…mark me again, Merle… please, make me yours…"

It was enough to have him erupting over her, moaning her name in a way that was barely coherent. His hand moving to grip her hip, his fingers digging almost painfully into the satiny flesh as he emptied himself over her breasts. When he was finally spent, he pulled her down to his side, where she rested her head on his shoulder and smiled at his flushed, panting face. After a moment, Merle grinned crookedly at her before his free arm reached for his discarded shirt and brought it up to clean her.

"Damn, girlie, ya gettin' me through a lot a shirts…" he joked, but she caught his wrist and returned the shirt to the floor.

"We can save Carol some laundry duty," she smiled shyly, her eyes dropping from his before returning, "I… remembered something else I read…" With that, she began to massage the pearly liquid into her smooth skin.

Merle's mouth dropped open and his eyes were fixed of the slow, circular drag of her fingers across one peaked breast. "Shit, girlie, tha stuff ya do… ya really are gonna be tha death a me one a these days…"

"No," she said, with the smile of a well-satisfied woman, "we'll only ever be good for each other." She watched lazily as he moved his hand to help her with her work, tracing his callused fingertips over the dips and valleys of her body, working in the musky fluid.

"Tha's wha' ya think, huh?"

"You think it too, or you wouldn't be here."

"Don't think I ever been good fer anyone…"

"Merle…" she began, ready to counter any self-criticism.

"Lemme finish," he said calmly, though his eyes remained on his work, "like I said, I ain't never been good for anybody, even Daryl… and I oughta, I wanted ta try fer him. But I," he frowned, his fingers slowing, "I don't think no-one's ever cared…never even thought 'bout whether they're good fer me… and… tha's gotta mean somethin'" He looked up at her now, eyes burning into hers, "I gotta make it mean somethin'. I wanna try fer ya, Beth. I ain't promisin' ya nothin', wouldn't mean anythin' if I did wit' my record, but I wanna chance ta try…"

Beth hooked an arm around his neck and pulled him in for a deep kiss, as though her lips could press her faith into him. "You're going to get that chance, Merle," she promised breathlessly when they pulled apart, "and you're going to succeed, I know it."

They kissed again, his body moving over hers slightly so that by the end they were starting to become aroused again. Catching each other's eye, they knew with regret they had to stop. Merle rolled off her with a sigh, and Beth gave him an affection peck on the check before padding off to pick up her clothes. She had just put on her bra when she spotted it… chancing a glance over her shoulder, she saw Merle was buttoning up his shirt with his back to her. She quickly scooped it up and put it under her jacket before she pulled on her t-shirt.

"Ya good ta go, girlie?" she heard Merle ask before his heavy arm descended on her shoulder, and a kiss was pressed to her temple.

"Just my jacket," she replied, picking it up carefully so her prize wasn't visible.

Merle walked her back to the cell block, and before she could reach for the door he pulled her back against him, his mouth at her ear.

"Dream a me, girlie," he whispered wickedly, nipping the lobe of her ear before letting her go. Beth turned quickly but he was already walking away, apparently to check the fence one last time. Stroking her burning ear and smiling at his behaviour, Beth made her way inside.

From the darkness, cold blue eyes watched this exchange in shock and horror.

So, very long chapter for which I'm sorry. I could have broken it into two but I thought that would break up the flow of the smut, which I didn't want to do to my lovely readers. Do please review if you enjoyed. Also, let me know if you have any objection to a chapter being from Merle's perspective. I think it would add to it, but I don't want to throw anyone out given it's all been from Beth's perspective so far.

Those of you waiting for Weeds, it is coming I promise, it's just a difficult birth. Shame is pretty much done and should be up next weekend. In the meantime, feel free to try the first chapter of my new short story, Hurt, which is Merle/Maggie, or Merlie. I've tried to write it very slightly as a counterpoint to this chapter, but you'll have to judge if that's worked.