New Beginnings

"Here we all thought Milton had something going with Andrea, when he had a thing for the governor the whole time. Did you know about that?"

"I talk to my woman. You oughta try it sometime," Merle said.

Showed how much he knew. Daryl had heard it from Beth, who had heard it from Carol. He waited for Merle to say something derogatory about Milton's sexual orientation, but his brother's next words left him speechless.

"Andrea would've been dead if Milton hadn't helped her. No way was that bastard gonna let her leave Woodbury alive. So yeah, I got nothing bad to say about him. Besides, you can't help who you got a thing for. Can you, little brother?"

No you couldn't, Daryl silently agreed. It was funny that Merle should say that thing about talking, because that was all he and Beth had done since they rescued her from Woodbury. After her ordeal, he thought she would probably need some time before she wanted to have sex again. Thankfully, those evil bastards hadn't touched her in that way, but she had told him how one of them had asked the governor to let them have her. It had been only a time constraint that had saved her from having to endure that horror. Phillip had also promised to give her to them after he got Michone. The thought of what might have happened to her filled him with rage, and it surely must have left an imprint of terror on her mind.

He felt doubly in debt to James for helping to save Beth's life, and for keeping her out of the clutches of those rapists by killing them. What he had done at great personal risk to himself had ensured that they won the battle. Even though he had done it for his daughter, Daryl felt eternally grateful to him. That was why he had decided to toughen up Jenny and make sure that she could take care of herself. It was his way of repaying her father. James was unsure of this plan, but Carol had helped to convince him.

"Believe me when I tell you that raising her to be strong and self-reliant is the best thing you can do for her."

A sympathetic look of understanding was on his face after Carol said that. She had obviously told him about her abusive husband. They seemed to have become friends already.

So it was that James began teaching his daughter to shoot, and Daryl started taking her along with the rest of the kids to learn to hunt. Having been sheltered so long by her dad, she was thrilled to get out and do something different. It soon became clear to Daryl that Jenny had a crush on Carl. The boy, of course, was completely oblivious to this.

He told Beth this as they walked toward the warden's office. "Give him a couple years. Then he'll be the one chasing after her." She laughed.

It was good to hear her laugh. He was trying to keep his desire for her in check even as he wondered how much longer it would be before he could have her in his bed again. Every time she went to take a shower, he wanted to follow her. He felt like a selfish bastard for even thinking such thoughts. Yet he knew exactly how many days it had been since the last time they had sex—sixteen. Sixteen days of talking, more talking than they had ever done before, and hugs. Daryl wasn't even sure how she would react to a kiss, so he hadn't dared to try it. Emotionally, they had opened up to each other, but there was now a physical wall between them.

It was ironic that Hershel would choose now to have a talk with Daryl about birth control. "I know that you and Beth are fond of each other, and I wanted to make sure that you were being careful." He held up a hand, even though Daryl was silent. "I don't want to know the details. I just—Maggie's pregnant," he blurted.

"Oh," Daryl said. "Beth ain't." That was as far as he would go in confirming that he was "fond" of Beth. He wasn't about to tell her father that he had grabbed every box of condoms he could find.

Daryl didn't say anything about this to Beth as they sat down on the couch for their daily chat, because he didn't want her to think that he was pressuring her. Instead, he asked how the self defense training was going. He had thanked Joshua, because if Beth hadn't taken the gun away from the governor, he might have shot her just for spite. Joshua had also offered to teach Jenny self defense.

"She's picking it up much faster than I am. Pretty soon, she'll be able to beat me up."

His laugh caught in his throat as Beth put her hand on his knee. "You've been very patient about, you know, waiting for me."

He cleared his throat. "I know you been through a lot."

"And you were just as scared as I was," Beth said.

"Ain't been that scared since I was a kid," he admitted.

"I hope you'll tell me about your past sometime." She took a breath. "Right now, though, I don't really want to talk." Beth gazed at him for a moment. "I've missed you."

"I been right here with you."

"You know what I mean." His pulse jumped at her words. Her voice took on a different tone as she slid her hand up his thigh. "You said you were going to find out everything I like. I've found out some things you like, too."

"Yeah?" He was intensely aware that her hand had stopped at the top of his thigh.

"I know that you really like to play games. So, I was wondering if you want to play one with me now."

"Hell yeah," Daryl said as he tried to kiss her.

She pulled away. "I want to see exactly how patient you can be. Here are the rules. I'm allowed to touch you, but you can't touch me. You also have to do what I say."

"Whatever you want, baby." All he could think about was that the wait was over, and they were going to have sex again.

"Okay, take off your clothes."

He stood up and removed his clothes as she sat on the couch and watched him. It was a reverse of what had happened the last time they had sex in this room.

"Hmm, looks like you like this game already," she said with her eyes on his erection. She stood up. "Lay down here on your back." After he was situated on the couch, she stood looking down at him. "You're not going to move out of this position no matter what I do, and remember you're not allowed to touch me. Got it?"

"Yes, ma'am," Daryl said. He was glad she had taken the initiative, because he wouldn't have been sure when it was okay to make a move on her.

She took off her shirt and shorts but left her bra and panties on. "No touching means not with any part of your body, not even your tongue. It means you just hold still and let me touch you."

He wasn't sure where she was going with this, but he again agreed. Daryl suspected that this game was also her way of easing back into sex and testing herself to see if she was ready. Giving up control to her meant that he wouldn't do anything to upset her, and he was glad to let her take the lead this time. She tied her hair up in a rubber band before she leaned over him and ran her tongue over his lip. Instinctively, he began to kiss her, and she pulled back.

"What did I just say?"

Now he understood what she wanted. "Sorry. Won't happen again."

"It better not," she warned. Then she tried again, and he kept his mouth still as she sucked on his lower lip the way she had learned from him. Her mouth moved down to his neck and his chest as she kissed and licked down to his stomach. He ached to touch her, but he forced himself to hold still. She then took off her bra and leaned over him with a wicked glint in her eyes. Her hand grasped her breast as she directed her nipple toward his mouth and ran it over his lip. Daryl moaned at this new torture.

"C'mon, you know you like when I suck on em."

"Rules are rules," she said. Then she licked her fingers and massaged her nipple with them.

"Oh fuck," Daryl said.

"You said you wanted to see me play with myself."

"You been doing that?" he asked.

"I am now. Just for you," she said as she took off her panties.

He was sure she was trying to kill him when she rolled over the chair from behind the desk and sat down in it right next to the couch. Beth then spread her legs over the armrests and began to touch herself, hesitantly at first but then finding the right way to rub herself. She kept her eyes on his face while she pleasured herself.

He groaned, wanting to stroke himself while he watched her, but he kept his hands at his sides the way she had told him to.

"I love the way you look at me," she said. Then she began to moan, and the sound drove him wild. At the last moment, she closed her eyes as she came. Beth opened her eyes to find him still watching her. "Now, where was I?" She stood next to his chest and bent over him to kiss and lick his thighs.

Daryl moaned. "Can't take no more. I gotta touch you."

She looked back over her shoulder at him. "Just giving you what you want. I remembered that you like looking at me from behind."

She liked teasing him, did she? He was already planning how he was going to drive her wild next time. Then he stopped thinking altogether as he felt her tongue licking up and down the length of his shaft. He moaned as she teased him this way for awhile before she took him in her warm mouth and just held him there.

"Beth, please! Can't take no more."

He moaned again as she slid her mouth up and off him. "Well okay, since you asked so nice." She picked up her shorts off the floor and took a condom out of the pocket.

"Where'd you get that from?"

"In your cell. I found your stash," Beth told him.

"The torture's finally over," he said as he sat up.

"You're breaking the rules again!" She handed him the condom. "Put this on and get back in position."

What was she doing now? Daryl did as she asked, and she climbed on top of him.

"Help me," she said as she tried to position herself over him.

Mindful of the rules, he didn't touch her as he guided himself into her while she slid down on him, gasping at the feel. Then he had to hold himself back from grabbing her hips and thrusting into her as she slowly found her rhythm. Her moans joined his as he watched her ride him in another fantasy come true. He gritted his teeth with the effort to keep from coming as he saw her getting closer to another orgasm. Watching her bounce on top of him wasn't making it any easier for him to hold back, but he couldn't take his eyes off her. It was one of the sexiest things he had ever seen.

Daryl didn't make it, but she followed him immediately after his long-delayed release. She leaned over him then and whispered. "Kiss me."

Set free from the rules, he half sat up as he kissed her deeply. "I missed you too, Beth. So much."

"Sorry I made you wait again."

He looked straight into her eyes. "You're always worth the wait."

"So are you." She smiled at him before she began to move off of him.

He helped her off the couch and stood up to walk over to the window. He again disposed of the condom by dropping it outside.

"I hope nobody finds those," Beth said.

"Your dad would be happy. He wants us to be careful."

"What?" she squeaked.

"Oh yeah, Maggie's pregnant," Daryl said.

"What! Who told you that?"

"Your dad, right before you brought me here to have your way with me." Daryl gloated at having all the gossip before her for once.

"How could you keep that from me?" Beth demanded as she began to throw her clothes on.

"Forgot. Had other things on my mind." He was also putting on his clothes, but he stopped to give her a suggestive look.

"I can't wait to talk to Maggie!" Beth was as excited as a little kid. "I wonder if it's going to be a boy or a girl."

"Ain't no way to tell until she has the baby, and that's a long ways off."

She waited impatiently for him at the door. "Are you coming?"

"Already did," he couldn't resist teasing her.

She rolled her eyes and stepped out into the hallway. They walked in companionable silence most of the way back. Beth was probably already imagining being an aunt to the new baby. Daryl's thoughts were not so innocent.

He waited until they were almost back at the cell block. "Hey, Beth."

"Hmm?" She roused herself from her daydreams to focus on him.

"I figure it's my turn to come up with a new game for tomorrow. Gonna be thinking about it all night. You gonna be ready to play?"

Her skin became slightly flushed as she met his unyielding stare. "Bring it on."

"Count on it," he said and stole one last kiss from her before she went running off to find Maggie.

Daryl watched her go with a smile on his face. He didn't know what the future would bring, but right now he felt like the luckiest guy on earth. Considering the state of the world, he mused that it might actually be true. Whatever else happened, he was going to do everything in his power to keep the good thing he had found in this life.