Hi All, thanks again for the great reviews! I have to admit that after last night's finale I'm in a funk - it doesn't seem to me that the writers plan on ever letting Caryl happen, and I'm tired of pushing for it. I had planned on weaving Daryl and Carol Connect in with this story, now I'm not sure. I need a few days to think about whether to change it to Carol and Tyreese or just drop it all together...let me know what you think.

That's enough of my bitching - please enjoy this day in the life of Merle and Beth, which I think is my best so far. AND PLEASE REVIEW! I need the love!

Making up

Beth woke up with a smile. Merle was on late night watch last night and he had promised some together time today after she was done babysitting Judith in the morning. She stretched out on the new double size mattress in their cell. Andrea had sent their group home from Woodbury with lots of great things - real mattresses, clothes, food, books. Beth was most excited about the clothes.

Andrea had also sent a bunch of men from Woodbury to work on closing up remaining breaches and doing a final clearing of the tombs. They were housed in the newly cleared cellblock B. Beth hadn't talked to them much but they all seemed nice and the two groups shared meals together congenially.

She had gone through her new clothes from Woodbury last night and found the cutest outfit that STILL HAD TAGS! It was a spotless pink tank top trimmed in lace and a soft pair of white Aeropostale shorts. She had tried them on last night and they fit perfectly, hugging her curves without being too tight. She even had a brand new pair of white panties. She knew that Andrea had been thinking of her when she sent this outfit.

She brushed her hair and put on her new clothes. They were so soft! She couldn't wait to show Maggie. She heard Judith fussing so she stepped into her boots and went downstairs to relieve Rick. Rick did a double take when he saw her. "Wow Beth, you look great!" he said. "Thank you," she said, smiling. Rick felt his eyes being dragged to her retreating ass as she walked to the kitchen. Damn, definitely not a little girl anymore he thought.

Carol was heating water for Judith's bottle at the stove. "Hi Sunshine," Carol sang to the baby as Beth brought her near. Judith started fussing in anticipation of the bottle and Beth laughed. "I guess she's ready for breakfast!" she said. She took the bottle from Carol and sat with the baby at one of the tables.

"Did Andrea send you that outfit?" Carol asked, "It looks amazing on you." Beth beamed, "Yes, and it still had tags, can you believe it?" Carol smiled, taking pleasure in the small thing that made Beth so happy. I remember looking like that in cute clothes, Carol thought wistfully.

Carol busied herself with setting out coffee for the guys coming in off night watch and those getting ready to head out to the tombs. Beth got the bottle into the baby and burped her, laughing when Judith emitted a huge belch. "Do you need help getting breakfast together?" Beth asked Carol. "No honey, I've got it. Do you want to get Judith dressed?" Carol replied.

Beth carried Judith into the cellblock and there were so many blankets hanging off of both of them that Beth's outfit was barely visible. She felt Merle behind her before she saw him. "Hey there sugar," he said, and she tilted her head up for a kiss. "I need a little shuteye", he rasped. "OK, I'll wake you up for lunch," she said. He tickled Judith's stomach and lumbered upstairs.

Beth got Judith changed and took care of her through the morning. She delivered her to Hershel for the afternoon. "So that's the new outfit? Pretty fine." he asked his daughter. He could see that Beth was in love with the ensemble, and couldn't help but notice how it accentuated her long slim legs and soft curves. "It's from Andrea," she said beaming. She bounded upstairs to wake up Merle.

Merle's arms and legs were flung out and he occupied almost every inch of the mattress. She gently lay down on top of him and rested her head on his shoulder. He mumbled something intelligible. "It's lunchtime," she said. "Do you want to sleep more?" He rubbed his eyes. "Naw, I gotta help them get the tombs cleared," he said resignedly.

"I'll eat with you," she said. She kissed his chin and he opened his eyes. She lowered her lips to his and they made out for a few minutes. He groaned, "I aint gonna get outta here doin that sweetness." She smiled and stood up, smoothing her clothes, and waited for him in the doorway.

"Aint ya gonna change?" he asked. She looked at him quizzically, "Change, why? I'm not doing any dirty work today." He looked her up and down and said, "Cuz you aint wearin' that." She gaped at him. "This is a brand new outfit. Andrea gave it to me."

"Y'even got a bra on?" he asked. She pulled the top open a bit to show him the extra panel of fabric underneath. "It's got a built in bra," she said. He looked at the points of her nipples that protruded through the fabric. "Hell no", he said with finality.

Beth could not believe her ears. "This is a BRAND NEW outfit," she said. 'I love it. I look good in it. And I'm wearing it," she finished, crossing her arms over her chest.

"Ya listen to me little girl", Merle said, his voice rising. "Y'aint walkin outside in front of them men hangin it out like some kinda goddamned virgin sacrifice. Now go put on some jeans and a T-shirt."

All teenagers, no matter how angelic they are, will at some time in their life buck authority. Merle did not know that before the world fell apart Beth valued cute clothes over all other things. And now that clothes meant stained rags that you wore just to be decent, she was going to fight to the death over this outfit.

She set her jaw. "It's hot out," she said. "And I'm nice and cool in my new outfit. My daddy didn't say a thing about it when he saw it, so in my book it's OK."

Then Merle made the fatal mistake. "You are mine," he seethed, stepping closer to her, his voice echoing through the cellblock, "and you will do what I say when I say it. And I'm sayin' you're not goin outside in that outfit. Period."

Beth's eyes narrowed. She appeared to be thinking. Suddenly she smiled. "Fine," she said. "Eat lunch by yourself, I'm staying here with my outfit."

Merle's face began to color. "Missy yer gonna eat lunch and yer gonna like it," he threatened. "Sorry," she said, plunking down and taking off her boots. "I'm not hungry, I suddenly feel like a nap."

"Fine," he said, turning. "Set yer stubbern ass in here all day."

He swore as he crashed down the stairs and made his way to the kitchen. Daryl was smirking at him. "Trouble in paradise brother?" he asked. "Go fuck yerself," Merle replied as he walked past to get his plate for lunch.

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After lunch was over Beth put on jeans and a button up shirt and helped Carol wash dishes and get dinner prepped. "Everything OK?" Carol asked. Beth smiled. "Just fine," she said smugly. "I can take water out to the guys today." Carol looked relieved, "Good, I've got laundry to catch up on with all these extra people" she said, picking up a sack full of clothes.

Beth filled two buckets with water bottles and picked a bucket up with each hand. The sun in the prison yard was merciless and the men were thirsty. She distributed water to people around the perimeter and tower and picked up the empty water bottles from the morning water break. She was sweating pretty good by the time she circled the motor pool and entered the tombs. Merle was there with five other men including Glen and Daryl, and they were covered in zombie gore.

He watched her come in and smirked when he saw that she had changed clothes. She coolly walked past him, exchanged full water bottles for empty ones and made sure to smile warmly at the Woodbury men. She greeted Daryl and Glen then she turned and left, pointedly ignoring Merle. He heard Glen snort behind him. "You've got a long night ahead of you dude," said Glen.

Merle glared at him. "What the fuck you talkin' about? Glen laughed. "That's first class silent treatment. You're in flowers and candy territory and if you're lucky she might let you sleep in your own bed tonight." Merle took a swig of water. "That hen's awright, she knows who rules the roost." Glen choked on his water and Daryl shook his head and raised his eyebrows. What the fuck do they know? thought Merle

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Merle helped get the bodies into the burn pile after the slaughter and was one of the last to make it in for a shower. He scrubbed the grime off and jumped into a clean set of clothes then headed to the kitchen for dinner. Everyone was seated and eating. Hope it's meat, he thought. Need somethin that'll stick to my ribs.

He made his way to the table he shared with Beth and her family and sat down, nodding to Hershel and looking around the room his woman. His young woman. His young woman who was delivering bowls of food to hungry Woodbury guys. His young woman who was wearing a pink tank top and soft white shorts that clung to her slim lines like a second skin, with cowboy boots that hiked her tight little ass up and made it jiggle under the velvety fabric.

Beth smiled at the Woodbury men and handed them the bowls, then turned to see Merle's blazing eyes boring into her from across the room. She smiled at him triumphantly then got them both plates of food and sat down across from him. "Long day?" she asked innocently.

Merle's eyes shot daggers and he said very slowly, "I told you not to wear that." She smiled at him. "No, you said don't wear it outside. I'm wearing it inside." He tried to breathe in slowly. "I told you not to wear it outside our room" he said in cold restraint. She smiled and looked him in the eye, "I didn't interpret it that way." And she tucked her napkin in her lap and proceeded to eat her dinner.

Merle was at the boiling point. Not only was she disobeying him, she was doin' it in public. His left hand clutched the edge of his seat and vessels were popping out of his neck. His voice raised above the dinner chatter. "I tell ya what girlie. Yer gonna go upstairs and change. NOW." The room became quiet and people started fidgeting, especially the Woodbury guys. Every single one of them had gotten an eyeful of Beth tonight, every single one of them wanted to defile her in that outfit, and every single one of them had seen what an angry Merle could do.

She calmly ate. "All my other clothes are in the wash," she said sweetly. That was it. Merle felt something snap and he roared, "Girlie, you get up there and change them clothes or I'll bust yer ass!" Hershel's eyebrows raised and he cleared his throat, looking at Merle. Merle bit his words back and grabbed her wrist from across the table.

She looked at him, shocked. "I'm eating," she said. He stood up without breaking his grip, pulling her across the center of the table. "It's about time ya start obeyin yer elders!" he spat. She looked at him defiantly. "You're not my elder, you're my boyfriend!" she said, her voice rising with his.

He jerked her wrist and yelled, "Dontya give me that shit little girl. I'm old enough to be yer daddy." Beth's eyes narrowed and a muscle in her jaw worked. She pulled her wrist out of his grasp and yelled back, "Technically Merle, you're old enough to be my GRAND-daddy." And with that, she turned on her heel and flounced into the cellblock, her ponytail bouncing adamantly between her shoulder blades. They heard the stomp of cowboy boots on the second level and the slamming of a cell door.

In unison, the Woodbury guys dropped their plates and evacuated the kitchen to tend the fire. Rick cleared his throat nervously and took Carl to join them. Glen looked at Maggie. "Um, about that walk?" he squeaked, and she nodded in relief. Only Hershel, Daryl and Carol were left to moderate. They looked at each other with trepidation.

Merle ducked his head and wolfed down his food. He dropped his plate on the table, stood up in one swift motion and strode to the stairs purposefully. The cellblock was silent as he mounted the stairs and strode to their cell.

In the kitchen the sound of a locked cell door repeatedly being shaken on its hinges came through, then voices ringing through the cellblock.

"Unlock this door!"

"I want to be alone."

"You'll be alone when I tell you you can be alone."

"You're not the boss of me! Go sleep somewhere else."

"Missy, yer testin me and it aint funny." Pause. "Open the fucking door."

"No."

Violent rattling of the door. "Ya gonna play it this way?"

There was cold silence as Beth turned her back to the door. Merle pursed his lips, made his way down the stairs and without looking at anyone stalked to the key ring that hung by the cook stove.

Daryl nervously scratched his head and cautioned "Merle". Merle's stride didn't break as he purposefully ignored Daryl, angrily snatched the key ring and made his way back to the stairs. Hershel looked up. "Boy takes more learning than most," he sighed.

The keys jingled as Merle hopped the stairs and approached the cell. In the kitchen there was the sound of tumblers clicking followed by the squeak of the opening cell door. A few seconds later there was a shriek followed by the clatter of cowboy boots on concrete.

"Let me go!"

"Gonna learn you some manners."

"No!"

Merle grunted loudly and Beth screamed.

"You can't do that to me!"

"Watch me."

Another scream, sounds of scuffling. Pause.

"Gonna done what yer pappy shoulda done long ago!"

"Stop!"

"This is fer sassin' me." Then the unmistakable sound of a bare hand slapping bare flesh.

"Eeeeeeeeeergh," Beth screamed through clenched teeth in surprised anger.

Downstairs Hershel pursed his lips together and looked at Daryl and Carol. "I'm going for a walk outside," he stated. "Would you mind...?", he asked, tipping his head towards the cellblock entrance. Daryl nodded, shifting his eyes. Now I've gotta babysit that asshole? he thought. Hershel got up to leave and Daryl and Carol moved to the entrance of the cellblock to hear what was going on.

The exchange continued upstairs.

"Stop it. That hurt!"

"This is for that pink top."

Slap. "Eeeeeeeeeergh," Beth screamed, rage in her voice. Sounds of a brief struggle, and of cowboy boots hitting the metal bed frame then hitting the wall as they flew off of kicking feet.

"Kick all ya want girlie, aint gonna hurt me! Stay still!"

A high scream followed by uncontrollable belly laughter. Then her angry voice, "Stop it, stop it. Merle! Don't tickle me."

"Then stay still."

Slap, followed by a feminine grunt.

"That's fer them goddamned shorts."

Silence.

"Think yer tough huh? This is fer you not obeyin' me."

"I'm not married to you! " she said defiantly.

Slap.

"That so? Ya need more learnin?'

Silence.

More silence, then a surprised grunt of pain from Merle. "Ya gonna try a cheap shot? I've kicked the shit out of men for less than that."

Slap.

"Whacha gotta say to that girlie?"

Silence.

"So ya not talkin' to me now?"

Pause.

"Fine, I can be quiet too. Mebbe I'll just think of somethin else you need learnt."

Minutes of silence.

"Whatcha got to say now?"

Silence.

"Well?"

Silence.

"Sugar?"

Then in surprise, "What the hell ya cryin for?"

Silence.

"You think cryin's gonna get you outta this?

Silence.

"I caint help ya if I dont know why ya cryin."

Soft mumbling.

"Heh?"

Pause.

Sternly, "Girlie."

Pause with muffled mumbling.

Exasperated. "Well yeah I love ya. Why do ya think I'm hittin' ya?,"

Pause.

Muffled mumbling

"Cause I cain't stand other guys looking' at ya."

Muffled mumbling.

"Fuck yeah, yer pretty. Aint I told ya that a hundred times?"

Pause with soft mumbling.

"Yeah I want ya to be pretty for me. You always pretty angel."

Soft mumbling.

"Stop that now. Ya know I aint goin' nowheres."

Soft mumbling.

"I dont wanna see you cry no more."

Soft mumbling.

"Stop cryin now."

Silence.

"I was wrong, I shouldn't a spanked ya. I aint never doin it again."

Silence.

"Angel"

Silence.

"I shoulda talked to ya instead of blowin my gasket."

Soft mumbling.

"Cmere then. I'm sorry for bein an asshole."

Downstairs Carol looked at Daryl and sighed. The situation seemed to be in control.

Carol relaxed and took a moment to sit at a nearby table. She patted the seat next to her, smiling. Daryl smiled and sat next to her and she rested her head on his shoulder. He held her hand and kissed the top of her head. Carol closed her eyes and savored the silence.

Then Merle's voice drifted into the kitchen.

"Heh heh hehhhhh. That make ya feel naughty? Old Merle give ya what ya want."

Soft slap

"You been bad missy?"

Soft slap followed by Beth's moan "Ohhhhhhhhhhh yes."

"You been pretty bad. You get them shorts down more."

Carol's head snapped up. Daryl's face was red and he was staring at the floor.

Soft slap. "Unhhmmmmmmmmmm"

Up in their cell, Merle viewed the rosy cheeks of her tight ass that were face up on his lap, and dipped his finger between her legs, rubbing up and down against her slit. She writhed like a snake on his lap. She needed it so bad. She was like a volcano ready to blow. "Merle," she pleaded breathlessly.

He saw her heat and understood. "OK angel", he said. His thick fingers parted her lips, Jesus fucking Christ she was hot as a furnace. Her pussy pulled his fingers in and soon there were two fingers fucking her in a regular motion. "Please," she said urgently.

He started rubbing her clit with his thumb. Beth barely stifled a scream. Merle stood up abruptly and pulled her shorts to her ankles, bending her over the bed. He pushed his pants down and threw a condom on as fast as he could then drove into her from behind.

He grasped her hips and pulled her into him as he thrust and she moaned loudly as she reached her climax. "I got what ya need right here little girl," he rasped as she spread her legs farther and took him to the hilt. He pumped and groaned through gritted teeth as he came. She came right after him, shaking and moaning.

Downstairs Carol put both hands to her mouth, her face was scarlet. Daryl had his head in his hands. But nothing could have prepared them for Beth's final satisfied moan.

"Ohhhhhhhhh daddy..."

The next day several people volunteered to help move Merle and Beth to an uninhabited office outside of the cellblock.

This was by far the most fun chapter to write. What do you think?