AN: Okay, so this is it. No revisiting Merle or Andrea, just a quiet moment of completion for out Caryl-lovers out there. I find I completely suck at real smut these days, so again, hope it's sweet enough to make ya'll happy without making you cringe! I find I'm a terrible judge of these things lately.

LL- Whoot! Thank you. Im sure it isn't perfect but I appreciate the compliment.

Patriciaz: I have no idea what you said but I'm going to pretend it was something nice

Epilogue

"You're a romantic, Daryl Dixon."

Carol bumps shoulders with him as she looks around at the field, scattered with delicate yellow and white wildflowers, and then lies back on the red and navy check blanket they'd brought with them from the prison. Daryl's bike stands not too far away should they need to leave in a hurry, but the peace that surrounds them makes it easy to forget about walkers and running for their lives.

"Shut up," he orders her while popping another wild berry into her open mouth, following it with a kiss that is really just his attempt to steal the sweet juice from her lips. Kisses are easy between them now, so much so that Daryl isn't even hesitant to brush his lips briefly against hers if the others happen to be around when he's about to leave her for a run. The rest has taken time to develop, the reality of Merle standing right in the middle of them taking some time to find its rightful place so they can dismiss it and concentrate on each other.

"Hey, don't take it out on me that you like to sweeten up a girl. Not like I'm complainin' about it. I think it's cute."

He mock glares at her and Carol giggles, wriggling closer to him and sighing happily when his hand settles against her slightly protruding belly.

"Ain't cute," he growls and Carol swoons the harder, finding that tone in his voice to be just the right level of rough to make her weak in the knees. She thinks she's very fortunate to already be lying down.

"Is too," she disagrees, catching his hand as he's about to feed her some more berries, bringing his fingers and the fruit to her lips. She sucks them and his fingers into her mouth and almost crows with success when she feels him tighten against her thigh.

"Boy's are cute. I'm not a boy." He looks thoroughly insulted, even though he can't tear his heated gaze from her mouth.

"Hmmm, you keep saying that but I mustn't be gettin' the memo."

His hips jerk against her thigh, proving to her how hard he is with almost bruising ability.

"What, you're expectin' me to write you love letters an' shit, too?"

"Daryl!" She slaps at his chest, all pretend outrage before her fingers trace the line of his shirt buttons until she hits the top clasp of his jeans. "I'm totally fine with pictures."

"Woman, you tryin' to seduce me with that sassy mouth of yours?" He's panting against her neck as soon as she snaps open the button and slides the zipper down, her fingers immediately finding the silkiness of his length, her own breaths quickening as she feels his tongue and teeth teasing the skin beneath her ear.

"Maybe. Is it working?"

Her forwardness sparks something within him and finally his hands have forgotten the berries in favour of tentatively exploring under her clothes. The pads of his fingers are rough, and combined with the gentleness of his touch, the path they trace leaves a blazing heat that accumulates low in her belly. His mouth nibbles at the flesh of her neck, across her jaw until he catches her in a hesitant glance before descending to capture her lips. His tongue and teeth tease her lower lip, sucking on it until she's writhing on the blanket to get closer, her mouth falling open to entice him further in, to swirl his tongue against hers and expertly driving her to flashing arousal. They've practised kissing to perfection and she's glad that he knows it. That he believes her body when she melts the second his lips find hers.

It feels like she's been waiting for him to touch her for a lifetime. It's only been a year and a half since they first met but the intensity of that time makes it seem so much longer. He pulls away and she tries to hide her flush of disappointment, reaching a point where she's afraid they'll never get to the place she wants so bad to be. He ducks his eyes and she feels guilt settle in her gut, her arms encircling him immediately as she pulls him face first to encounter her swelling breasts.

"You know I do want this, don'tcha?" He sounds so small, so vulnerable that Carol wants to cry for the suffering in his past that makes him so afraid of becoming involved in an intimacy that will entirely hand over his heart. Afraid to let the last wall drop and allow her to clamber over it straight into his arms.

"Yes." She does know it, and she knows he's insecure because no matter how he goes about it, Merle's baby is between them, an obstacle that proves to him that while he's having difficulty shutting out the protection he's upheld around himself for a lifetime, she hasn't. She's shared her body first with an abusive husband, and then with his brother, and she knows that in some dark corner of his head, to Daryl that means she's never going to really be happy with him. Never really choose him. That sex is something she considers easily given away while for him it's a struggle.

"Daryl?" She waits until he pulls himself away from her body, propped up on his elbow, and as if he can hear the underlying sincerity in her voice, he's staring straight into her, though she can tell it's a huge effort on his part as his body seems ready to spring into retreat and his eyes are twitching, ready to dart away and look at anything but her. "If anything were to happen to you…if this didn't work and…" She takes a deep breath, feeling so much pain reverberate through her at the possibility of either of those options but knowing that without him, she'd be alone forever. Tears seem to have formed out of nowhere in response to this torturous moment and Carol struggles to blink them back, not wanting to be dissuaded from what she needs to say. From what she needs Daryl to hear and understand. "There won't be anyone else. Do you understand that? Even if we don't do this—if you can't ever bring yourself to let go fully, I'm not going to turn my back on you or go to someone else. It's not something I have to get from anyone just to satisfy a need. Sex can be beautiful between two people that love each other, and that's why I want it with you. I want to share every emotion with you. I want to be inside you as much as I want you inside me, physically and emotionally, and whatever it is you fear, that could never, would never happen with anyone else. Not now that I know you love me."

She is encouraged by the slow turn up of his lips, the building confidence that turns it into a smirk she's well familiar with.

"You want me inside you, huh?" His hand has grown bold and his fingers have spread over her crotch, rubbing against the seam of her pants and hitting the nub beneath that is now thanking her for having 'the talk'.

"Oh yeah," she moans in reply, curling her hand around his neck as she sits up. "As deep as you can go."

His fears seem completely forgotten as he attacks her mouth and Carol is so grateful she drags him completely on top of her body, her mouth fusing to his in a caress as passionate as she's ever known. It seems ludicrous that she could have knocked down this barrier with so few words, even if they'd been coloured with every shade of her heart.

He's grinding down into the V of her legs, his hands fisting into the bottom of her top as he drags it up, breaking their kiss only long enough to yank it over her head.

"Am I hurtin' the baby?" His voice is husky as his mouth moves from her lips to kiss a line above the cup of her bra.

"What baby?" She sounds whiny, petulant and impatient and he chuckles before yanking the bra cup down and drawing her nipple into his mouth, sucking on it so hard it causes a sharp pain to spear through her and set up off a line of sparks straight to her core.

The months of built up need and desperation seem to take over and as Carol succumbs to a sensory overload, she finds herself half-stripped naked and poised over Daryl, who is kneeling at the junction of her thighs. In the end it takes hardly any effort, his fingers lost in the curls at the back of her head, his lips sucking the breath from her mouth, and then he's almost thoughtless when he pushes past the final boundary and she feels him, hard and long and filling her to the very depths.

His groan into her mouth elicits pleasured sighs, and when he draws back to observe her there is something different in his eyes; an expression of awe at the newness of his exploration and it takes over his entire face. He moves, to solidify his position and they shudder against each other, hands gently exploring flesh, eyes never straying from each other. Carol's fingertips slowly draw a line from his hairline to the scruff on his chin and her body tingles with more awareness than she's felt in her entire life. He seems ready for more and so she moves her hips, slowly drawing them up his length, feeling him slick against her moisture as she slides him out and then dramatically falls back down, the plunge of his cock the sweetest agony and is, she decides, well worth the wait.

She squeezes her muscles around him and his mouth drops open in shock, a strangled, "Huh," falling from his lips. "Hell, woman. If ya told me you could do shit like that, I'da given in long ago."

She was losing focus, the sensation of him rolling and withdrawing and surging within her causing ragged breath to tear at her lungs. "Baby, if I'd ever had great sex before and tried that, I'd have been sure to let you know. Now, shut up."

He laughs, and it's the lightest most magical sound that Carol thinks she's ever heard and happy tears flow to her eyes. His confidence appears as if it's been released from behind a locked door and suddenly his hips are bucking up into her, the tip of his dick rubbing a spot she's never known existed before. It feels like madness, like her head is light but her body is heavy, like the sun is shining so brightly her skin will burn but that rain is pouring down on her flesh. Like her flesh is melting off her bones but his touch is holding it all together and then suddenly, when her brain stops functioning altogether, when words and time and space cease to exist within a vacuum of erotic euphoria, she's wailing and flopping around in his arms like a spineless fish. He's laughing and kissing her and pumping with enough frenetic energy to spark off another inferno, the base of his cock rubbing against her clit until she's raw, pushing mindlessly to another release, and biting hard into the flesh of his shoulder. He's following her instantly, growling as she breaks through skin.

"Now, that scar's gonna be hard to explain," he teases, his voice coming out in gasps and pants.

"You never take your shirt off for anyone, anyway," she reminds him, wanting to kick herself as the words form in the air.

"Hmmm, only for you," he confirms, happy, kissing the tip of her nose and rubbing his hands down the length of her spine. "Woman, you were so damned loud we'll prob'ly have walkers stumbling out of the woods any minute now.

"Would you prefer walkers or Rick, Hershel or any of the others?"

His cheeks flame and Carol snorts at the image that tumbles through her head of being caught by any one of their group. Neither one of them could probably live through the embarrassment.

"We're gonna have to find somewhere we can't be overheard. Soon you won't be able to waddle your way up into the watchtower, so that place will be out."

"Hey!" Carol slaps at his chest, indignant. "I'll have you know that a bit of waddling never hurt anyone, especially if the payoff is half as good as that was."

"Never hurt a hippo, maybe."

Carol tackles him to the ground, a mixture of tickles, nipping bites and sloppy kisses reducing him to a jerking, frantic, huffing redneck that can't hold back any of his gasping snorts of laughter whenever she finds a particularly sensitive spot.

"Uncle," he calls out desperately, and Carol pounces, sucking his bottom lip into her mouth and crushing her breasts against his chest.

"Are you running from a little teasing, Dixon?"

"Hell, no." And he's hard inside her again, twisting suddenly so she's beneath him and he's taking them on another wild ride into oblivion.

AN… And there you have it. Finally. Phew. Not many comments on the last chapter, though more from the hardcore Marolers than I expected, so don't have a clue where all the Caryl fans went! Before I start on my new Marol fic, I need to catch up on Edge and try to kick that one up a notch, plus, my mother is visiting this weekend so there won't be any writing until next week. I want to thank you everyone that stuck by this fic. As traumatic as it ended up being throughout for me, I am really pleased with it and some chapters feel like some of my best work. I look forward to touching base with you all again soon! ~~ Megan