Author's Note: Wow! You guys are awesome! Thanks for all your reviews and support so far! I felt compelled to spin out another chapter today. I'm going to do this one from Beth's POV. I want to try to give insight into both of their thoughts. There's so much potential for Beth and Daryl is, well himself as usual. I'm not entirely sure where I am going with this. I mean, I have my ideas but mostly I'm just letting the story take me where it wants to go. I know it's starting out kind of slow but I want to try to make it as realistic as possible so I hope you'll hang with me because I promise you some juicy stuff. They're just getting started so enjoy the ride! Happy reading!
Beth didn't know exactly how long they had been riding for. No one really had a sense of time anymore. It really didn't matter what time it was, you just did things. She knew they had been riding a long time though because they hadn't passed a town in a while and her legs were getting sore. But oh, was she enjoying herself. After a while she had relaxed her muscles and leaned back a little to let the wind whip through her blonde hair. She still had a good grip on Daryl however. She liked the bunch and shift of his muscles as they twisted through the roads. He is so muscular. I don't remember Jimmy being like that. In fact, Jimmy had been anything but. Where Daryl was strong and intent, Jimmy had just began to develop tiny muscles and he was a little shy. She remembered how they had been sneaking to the barn to steal a kiss or two before all this happened and the world went to Hell.
She had to pee. I wonder if anyone else has to pee. Am I the only one? Shifting uncomfortably, she tried to ease the pressure a little. She didn't want to be the only reason they stopped.
"You keep on squirmin' like that you gon knock us off balance kid!" Daryl yelled over his shoulder.
"I have to use the bathroom!" She reached up and said into his ear. Was it just her or did he just shiver a little? Nah, must be the wind.
Daryl nodded and holding up a hand, he signaled to the group that he was pulling over. They were on a relatively clean and quiet stretch of highway and there didn't appear to be any walker stragglers in sight. He pulled to the side and cut the bike off. The others followed suit. It was strangely quiet without the purr and rumble of the motors.
Daryl got off the bike and reached out a hand to Beth. She groaned as her muscles protested from the movement. Her hand, small and pale, was such a contrast to his big, tan hand. She felt an undercurrent of electricity run through them at his touch. She gasped and fell forward at the tiny shock and because her legs decided not to support her any longer.
"Shit!" Daryl cursed and made a grab for her. He caught her easily and hauled her up, supporting her weight with his own. "Ya okay kid?" He gazed at her with that intent look that was pure Daryl.
Her insides clenched and she was momentarily speechless. She could almost feel his warm breath on her face like a lover's carress. She was brought back to reality by the slamming of car doors. She hastily tried to compose herself.
"I-I'm fine." She stammered. "Just sore and stiff from the ride."
Daryl smirked. "Guess we gon' have ta' break ya in kid."
Beth blushed at his words. Why was she blushing like a school girl? This was Daryl. It's not like she had never talked to him before. She was acutely aware of every place his hands touched her body. Those nice muscular hands and arms, all toned from years of using the crossbow. She noticed he was still holding her and waiting for some type of reaction. Get it together!
"Guess so. I'm okay now. Really." She said. Slowly he released her. He stared at her for another minute and then turned to his bike to fiddle with something.
"Hey Beth!" Maggie called, walking up to her. She had Sasha, Michonne, Keely and Carol with her. "Bathroom break?" Maggie asked as they got closer.
"Yes! Sorry, I tried to hold out. I couldn't wait any longer." Beth replied.
"Well if you hadn't said anything, I would have. I am about to burst!" Maggie said. "We figured we would all go as a group and maybe a couple could keep watch while the others go and then we'll trade off."
Beth nodded. Whatever they said. She wasn't exactly known for decision making. She usually just went along with everyone else anyway. Besides, who was going to take an 18 year old blonde farmer's daughter seriously? That's where she and Maggie differed. Maggie wasn't afraid to speak her mind. She was getting better at fighting too. When she and Glenn hadn't snuck away to make out, they were practicing their fighting skills on one another. Beth envied her sister for having someone. Beth had no one and it wasn't exactly like her options were plentiful. Maggie paused by Glenn and told him their plan. They talked for a minute and then he nodded and strode to the others to do whatever it was that men do, Beth mused.
They walked a few beats until they found a little clearing of sorts that had some bushes where the girls could duck down. Michonne and Carol decided to keep watch first and positioned themselves with backs turned on either sides of the girls. They did their business fairly quick and changed places.
"Straggler."Michonne spoke in a low voice. She was just finishing up. Before anyone else could react she whipped her pants up and unsheathed her katana from her back. One swipe and the walker was minus a head.
"You put us all to shame with that thing Michonne." Carol observed. She and Maggie shared a grin.
Michonne's lips turned up slightly. It was about as far to a smile as she ever got. She was a very serious person. They all took one last minute to stretch and then together started back to the group of men. Judith was making baby noises as they grew closer.
"Must be time to eat." Carol observed.
"I'll get the formula." Beth said.
"No, it's ok. I got it. Besides I see how you're walking after being on that bike. Stretch your legs some more. I can handle it." Carol said. Giving Beth a quick smile, she started back to the car, making faces at Judith as she grew closer.
Beth could see how close Carol had become to Judith. Where once, Judith would reach for Beth, she was now reaching for Carol. That made her a little sad but relieved all the same. Taking care of a baby was a big responsibility and she just wasn't ready for that. She wasn't ready to be a "mom". Carol had birthed Sophia so she was accustomed to babies and how to take care of them. In a way, Beth figured Carol saw Sophia when she looked at Judith and maybe it helped lessen the pain sometimes of not having her.
Beth really wanted to find her place in this group. She wasn't quite sure what that place was yet but she knew it wasn't "babysitter". She wanted to do something more meaningful. Looking around her eyes locked with Daryl. Why was he staring at her? He quickly looked away but not until after making eye contact. One glance from those searing blue eyes and she felt scorched.
The group was gathered in a small circle in between the cars with a few keeping an eye out for trouble. Daryl, Rick, and Glenn were going over a map trying to figure out their next move.
"I say we keep going to the next cluster of towns here." Glenn pointed. "More towns closer together means more chance for supplies nearby."
"Yea, that's a good idea but we ain't gon' make it before dark. We need to drive a little further and see if we can find some type of building for shelter. I ain't crazy bout' campin' out here in the woods like sittin' ducks." Daryl said. Glenn grinned.
"Sounds like a plan to me." Rick said.
Daryl glanced at everyone else. "What ya'll think?" He always tried to make a point to include the whole group in decisions.
Everyone nodded and shuffled their feet. He could tell they were anxious to get somewhere for the night to rest and get settled in before dark.
"Let's head out then!" Daryl said. Everyone made their back to their respected cars. Maggie stopped at Beth.
"You riding with us this time Beth?" Maggie asked. Beth looked at Maggie and then looked around for Daryl. He was cranking his bike and adjusting his bow.
Her legs were killing her. If only she knew whether or not Daryl wanted her to ride with him. He hadn't seemed to mind so much once they got going earlier.
"I guess I'm just gonna keep riding with Daryl since it's not going to be much farther. Daddy might not let me ride too many more times." Beth said. Maggie glanced at Daryl who was pretending not to listen to the conversation and kept fiddling with something. He glanced at them.
"If you're comin' with me kid, better climb on. We got things to do. No time for girl talk." Daryl said.
Maggie stuck her tongue out behind his back and Beth giggled. Maggie ran back to where Glenn and Hershel were waiting. Beth walked over to Daryl's bike.
"You sure I'm not getting on your nerves riding back here?" She asked.
He smirked. "You ain't a bother. Ya think I would have offered if you was? Hell, I'm used to riders. Carol's ridden back here plenty of times."
Beth felt a slight twinge inside of her at the mention of Carol. She knew that out of the whole group, Carol had been the one to ride with Daryl most. Everyone secretly thought she had a thing for him. So why am I jealous then? She shook herself off and swung her leg over the bike. She slid up and wrapped her arms tightly around his chest. She could smell the scent of walkers and a touch of a woodsy scent. She breathed in.
"Ya tryin' to choke me? We ain't goin' yet kid, I doubt ya goin' to fall off." Daryl said. She could almost feel his grin even though she couldn't see his face. I'll show him. I'm not a kid. She slid up a little more and pressed her full body against him.
She heard his sharp intake of breath. "Sweet Jesus." He muttered. He put the bike in gear and pulled off. Behind him, Beth smiled.
Two can play at this game she thought.