Hi guys, back for one more. Ok first thank you to those who have taken the time to read and review. Second-NO do not accuse me of a cliff hanger. I aint no Gimple, and I'm sorry i definitely did not cut off a smutt scene . I will deliver. This is a lounge slow burn. And i suck at smutt, anyone who wants to help. PM me. Ok so this is going on now. Im enjoying these slower chapters. Hope you are too. Give me a review.

SUPPER

By the time they made it back it was full blown supper. There wasn't a person in the block that didn't stop and stare at them as they walked in.

Try as she might to fix her hair, it was still more mussed than usual, her cheeks were flushed, and her lips were red and sore from having kissed someone with such a heavy stubble. Merle stood beside her, his hand hovering just above her lower back, a grin permanently etched on his face. Hell, how could he not be grinnin' he'd spent the whole of the afternoon dry humping beth up against the hood of an old Chevy. Christ, things didn't get much better than that. Well, they did get better…but for now…that was pretty damn good.

His eyes fixed on Herschel's , sitting at a table with Maggie and Glenn, all three of them shooting glares across at him, that damn near had the power to sizzle him on his feet. Well hells bells he thought. He hadn't even done a damn thing, made a point of being outta everyones way for the day…hell, he weren't even the one asked her ta come around…she done that all herself.

"We's out in the garage…" he started clearing his throat, "sent word back with my brother."

"Your brother came back hours ago." Rick said through gritted teeth. "we were staring to get worried."

Christ almighty, now he was gonna have to smooth shit over with the old man. Had the whole damn group just starin' at him.

"Herschel," he started with a nod of his head, "sorry we's late comin' back for supper… aint gonna happen again."

He rested his hand on her back and ushered her to the big pot of glop that was steaming in the corner.

Beth's eyes flew open, and Michonne nearly choked on her soup. Daryl snarked so hard he caught Carol's elbow straight to the gut. "Whad'ya do that for ?" he muttered angrily, and proceeded to get a pinch to the side. "ow shit !" he mumbled, sliding away. "all I did was laugh…Jesus…aint like I was dumb ass enough ta be suckin face all day with…OW!"

Carol scowled and pulled her hand off his thigh. He'd taken three hits for his dumb ass brother and he didn't deserve a one of them. She watched as Beth took her bowl and slid quietly besides her father at the table , and watched as Merle stood stiffly, his bowl in hand. "Merle," she called out brightly, "Why don't you sit besides Daryl tonight…I know he's been wanting to talk with you.."

Daryl looked up from his bowl with a frown, now what was she gettin' on with. "I aint been wantin' to…" the look in her eyes, and her fingers at his side got him with the program quickly enough, so he swallowed a mouthful, and ducked his head. "Yeah…" he mumbled , "Been needing ta talk…."

Carol stood and smiled, resting her hand on Daryl's shoulder and giving it a firm squeeze. "Why don't you finish your water," she said softly, "so I can go on up and refill it, and bring some for Merle too."

"Nah," he started before he felt her fingers digging in and raised the glass chugging the contents down. "Thanks…" he frowned "sure was thirsty."

Merle took a seat across his brother and couldn't help but smirk at him. He may be playing at bein' a man, but that lil' mouse sure had him by the balls.

Daryl leaned forward, "didn't I tell ya to not get distracted ?" he asked in a hushed voice.

Merle shook his head and shrugged. "You try workin' on an engine one handed." he answered with a wink.

He knew better. I mean Lord knows he did, and with Carol sliding in besides him he should have just kept his mouth shut, but the side of his lip quirked up, and his head leaned forward. "Couldn't get ya nuts off ?" he asked in a whisper, before his brother's foot and Carol's elbow caught him simultaneously.

"Goddamn it Daryl," Rick snapped. Michonne laughed this time the soup coming out of her nose, and Glenn glared daggers at him.

"Sorry," he mumbled , keeping his head down. He knew he'd catch shit for that later. But hell it'd been worth it.

The rest of supper passed without incident. Small mindless chatter, the slurping of soup, sounds of Carol taking up bowls and taking them over to the makeshift sink, which was basically little more than bins filled with water.

Daryl waited it out till everyone cleared away. Baby started fussin' first, had Beth scoopin' her up and heading off to her cell, with Rick comin' up behind her, seemin' like he'd finally caught on that he'd better start learning something about his baby girl 'fore it got to her not even knowing who he was. Michonne and Carl headed off to the towers, they'd taken to hanging out together now and again. That left Merle and the old man, and he watched with a smirk, as Merle stood up and squared his shoulders, before looking over at Herschel and nodding his head.

Hell Herschel was a good man, but he'd hate to be on the other end of his wrath. For starters, just one look at Merle's face told ya the man packed a mean right hook. And for seconds, well, there just aint nuthin you can say against an old man's trying ta keep ya out of his daughter's pants. You gonna end up wrong no matter what road ya take.

He stifled a laugh, as Merle glared at him, passing by and reaching out to cuff him on the head as he walked by.

"Nice to see you have a sense of humor Daryl." Herschel nodded, resting his hand on Daryl's shoulder and giving it a firm squeeze, as he limped towards his end of the block.

Man hadn't taken more than two steps outta the block, when a wet and nasty dish towel came flying at his face.

"What the hell ?!" he exclaimed reaching out to snatch it. "what the hell's gotten into ya ? You was hittin' and pinchin' on me all through supper ?"

"Well for Christ sake Daryl," Carol, scream whispered as she turned around and rested up against the counter. "What were you thinking ? Hasn't your brother been grilled enough ?"

Daryl laughed, "Nah….he aint but just barely cooked…I'm keep this up till he's about charred."

He crossed the room in a few slow strides and handed her the towel. "Shit's too much fun."

"You're awful," she teased, swatting him across the shoulder with the towel. "He's trying."

"Tryin' ta get in her pants…" He mumbled shyly, his hand coming up to grasp the towel. "Aint never seen Merle act so nice to any girl's ol' man. Usually we was picking buck shot outta his back side."

Carol covered her mouth and stifled a laugh, it wasn't hard to imagine Merle Dixon being chased off by an angered father holding a shot gun. He was definitely not the ideal suitor by any stretch. She looked up Daryl, he was standing so close to her, a smile pulling up on the side of his lip, his hair sticking up on the side where Merle had cuffed him, a twinkle in his eye. She hadn't seen him let down his guard like this in a good long while. Maybe having Merle around would do him some good after all.

"What about you ?" she asked softly. " Were you dodging buckshots too ?"

"Pfft," he shook his head "aint no one tryin' ta take any shots at me."

She smiled, and her face felt warm, her heart felt warm. This was nice, being so close to him. She'd thought he'd shy away after last night, but he was standing his ground. Hopefully he had no regrets. "Ahhh, so you were the one all the fathers let their daughters run too huh ?" she teased lightly.

"Nah," he shook his head, his hand coming up to his mouth, nail finding itself between his teeth. All the fathers….all the daughters ? Hell he'd been white trash his whole life…hadn't been worth wastin' a buck shot on his lazy ass. "Weren't too many of neither." he mumbled.

She saw the change in him instantly. She'd just been teasing…trying to stretch out the evening, stretch out the moment of closeness between them and somehow she'd hit a sore spot, one of his many hidden sore spots. Sometimes trying to get close to Daryl was like crossing a minefield

"I find that hard to believe." she said softly.

He raised his eyes and set them on hers. The cool blue was on fire, and her cheeks were blushing. "I mean after last night." she added.

"Carol…" he warned swallowing hard at the lump that was forming in his throat. Last night had been one thing…he'd been in his perch…and it had been dark, and private, and hell…he'd had to prove his point…but right now, out here, right in the open….anyone of the group could come walkin by….

She reached out and grabbed at the center of his shirt tugging him close. "Please don't tell me you regret it ?" she asked softly, her eyes filling with trepidation.

"No…" Christ, regret it…he'd been thinking about her all day…thinkin about how he'd have to nut up and find a way to get to her again. "Course I don't ….it's just…"

He saw the way the light fell out of her eyes. The way her smile vanished and her lips pressed together into a thin hard line. "It's ok…" she muttered, letting go of his shirt. "you don't have to explain…." a sad crooked smile fell across her face and she plucked the towel from his hands flinging it over her shoulder as she turned to face the dishes.

"Carol…" he started. Fuck…I aint but kissed her once and I've already fucked things up between us.

"It's fine…" she spoke with a forced cheeriness and a bright laugh, "we were bound to…kiss..eventually, and now we can go back to being ….friends."

He stood frozen in his spot. He thought about Michonne telling him Carol'd been so damn happy this morning she'd dumped salt in her damned coffee. Thought about his light mood all through supper…just sittin' besides her an making her laugh….knowin she wanted him…knowing he'd made her happy. He'd been able to do that. He thought about last night, her melting in his didn't want to be the one takin that away from her…from himself.

He cleared his throat and raised his hand letting it hover over her hunched shoulders, "Don't wanna just be friends." he mumbled.

She froze, a dish in one hand, a towel in the other.

Daryl placed his hand on her shoulder and turned her. "Just aint as…rambunctious as my brother…" he said softly, his other hand coming up to take the dish out of her hand and drop it back in the bin, before reaching for the towel and tossing it over his shoulders and onto the floor. "Don't mean I don't want the same thing…." Wait…the same thing ? Didn't that mean he wanted in her pants ?

He swallowed hard and reached his hands forward cupping her face. "Just like ta do things at my own pace is all…" he mumbled.

Carol couldn't breathe…everything stopped right up inside her. She had gone from the lowest low to the highest high in a matter of seconds and her mind could barely adjust the change. Let alone the fact that Daryl was so close, that he had his hands cupping her face, his rough strong thumbs gently stroking her cheekbones as he looked right in her eyes. " Daryl…." She started, not knowing anything else to say.

It didn't matter, he stepped forward before he lost his cool and pressed his lips to hers. One gentle kiss followed by another, and another until his mouth opened and his lips devoured hers, his tongue pushing into her mouth tangling with hers, his hands weaving up into her short hair, and his chest pressing hard against her.

All of a sudden he didn't care that they were in the middle of the damn block. Didn't matter who could walk by and who would see what. All that mattered was his mouth on hers and his body pressed up against her. He took another step forward and pushed her up against the small counter that held the bins of soapy water. His hands fell down to her waist and he gripped her hard against him.

He could understand now how a man could have his blood heat up to the point where it would boil over. The way Merle could hardly keep his hands off a woman when he wanted one, hell the way most men acted when they was overcome. He'd never felt those feelings before, never felt those urges. The way her body moved against his, the feel of her tongue in his mouth, the smell of her hair and her skin…and her desire.

He felt like he was out huntin' prey. First time in his life he felt like he was doin' what he knew best. Every single one of his senses was heightened. The blood was rushing through him in pulses, and he could hear his heart thrummin' and his breaths gasping and the sound of their tongues as they slid together. He could hear her gasping softly and whimpering.

His hands tightened on her hips and he picked her up, lifting her easily from the ground without ever breaking contact with her mouth and walked her back setting her on the small counter. He pushed up against her knees until she parted her legs and he stepped forward, pressing himself against her core so hard the water sloshed up out of the bins and spilled over the edge.

He groaned deep in his throat and pushed himself forward again. He was stone hard and nuthin felt better than being rubbed up against her center. She gasped and pulled off his mouth leaning her head on his shoulder, her eyes were shut and she was gasping for air.

She'd never been kissed like this in her life. She'd never been with someone as incredibly hot as Daryl in her entire life. Hadn't even ever even known the possibility that passion like that existed. Here she'd thought he'd be all shy and awkward, thought she'd have to make the first move and lead him along the way.

"Y'allright ?" he asked. His voice coming out gruff and deep, as all his senses centered back down around him.

She nodded and swallowed, leaning forward and kissing the side of his neck.

"Here, come' ere ," he whispered wrapping his arms around her and lifting her from the counter to deposit her back on her feet.

"Thought you said you weren't….rambunctious…." She whispered softly in his ear, before pressing her lips to it in a gentle kiss.

"Ain't." he whispered back, "Got carried away." Ain't never happened ta me before.

He ran his hands down her back briefly before pulling away, feeling the wet spot on her pants from where the dish water had sloshed up. "Got ya soaked," he muttered before realizing what he said "…I mean the dish water…" Christ, he was so worked up he didn't know what he was sayin'. His face heated up and he could feel a blush going clear up his neck to the tips of his ears.

"Fuck Carol," he muttered, running a hand down his face. "Ya got me so fuckin'…." He shrugged unable to finish, what was he supposed to say, so fuckin horny I can't even think straight.

"I know…" she laughed softly, stepping away from him slightly. "I feel the same way." She bit her lip and looked up at him. Her short hair was sticking up all over and her cheeks were bright red. And he didn't think he'd ever seen her quite so happy in his life.

"Come on," he bumped her with his shoulder. Last thing he needed was to get to staring at her. Lookin' at those eyes and those lips could get damn dangerous. And he didn't need to be gettin' overheated again, just when he was barely able to cool down.

Carol felt giddy , she was shy and nervous and happy and bubbly…and…giddy. She hadn't felt that way since she'd been a girl. Ed had sunken his hooks into her when she'd been barely out of her teens…and well…there hadn't been much call for feeling giddy after that.

She'd had her eye on Daryl for so long. Lord knows she did. He was her best friend, her closest ally. And there was no denying he was great looking. Sexy. A bad kind of man she would have never dreamt of getting close to in her old life, all heat and tattoos and raw male energy. Just standing close to him was enough to set her off. But underneath all the raw hard grit was the most incredible ,giving man she had ever met. Daryl was pure heart, it had been next to impossible for her not to fall for him. But she never thought that he would have any interest in her, or anyone for that matter. He was so painfully shy, and awkward. Especially around women.

Walking besides him now, his head hanging low, his neck and ears still holding a faint red blush, she could hardly believe that this was the same man who had her pinned up against the counter grinding into her just a few short moments ago .

She raised a hand to her mouth and stifled a giggle.

"What ?" He asked, looking over. What in the hell did I do now ?

"Nothing," she smiled slyly, looking over at him, and bumping against him coyly as they approached her cell. "Its just….I never thought you'd be so ….good …"

Good ? He hadn't even done nothing. And besides once he did do something she'd sure be singin' a different tune.

"Yeah ?" He asked leaning up against her cell door, watching as she walked inside, the light flirty smile still glued to her features.

He looked so hopeful, so surprised…how could this man not know what he did to her. "Well," she smiled, turning her back "It wasn't just the sink water that got me soaked…."