A Secret


A/N: And so, our journey here comes to an end. I hope you enjoy the epilogue, my dears. Heart.

Carol smiled and pulled him close, her lips gently pressing against his. Everyone in the room cheered. In the two years she had been dating Daryl, she never thought this day would come. Now, here she was, walking down the isle with her husband. Daryl Dixon. She couldn't help the small giggle that escaped. She had never thought Daryl Dixon was the marrying type. But sure enough, three months earlier, he had proposed to her in the most romantic way she ever thought possible.

Carol had no idea where they were going. They had been driving for quite a while now. Daryl had called her earlier and told her to be ready, because he was taking her to dinner. Well, she had expected a restaurant, but seeing as they were in the middle of no where, that obviously wasn't the case. She looked at her watch. It was almost nine.

"Daryl where are we going?" She asked. "You said we were going out to dinner and it's been an hour since we started driving."

"Just hold on woman." Daryl said calmly, keeping his eyes on the road. "We'll get there soon enough."

"We'll end up on the other side of the world before we get to where we're going." She murmered.

"Ain't gonna be long now. Just hold on a bit." Daryl glanced at her. God he was so nervous. What if she said no? It would be so embarrassing. He had saved up for an entire year for the ring. Thats why it had taken him so long to do this. He would've proposed sooner, but he wanted to get the perfect ring for her. When he saw it in the store window, he knew he had to get it. A three stone diamond ring, and the band was 10K gold. It was something every girl would look for in a ring. But it was over one thousand dollars. He did not have that kind of money, hell, he barely had enough money to pay the bills every month. But he had to have it. So, he saved up. He took every extra shift he could. He was working overtime almost every week. He missed spending time with Carol and Sophia, but it would all be worth it in the end, if she said yes.

He pulled off to the side of the road. He looked over at Carol, who looked very confused.

"Why are we here?" Carol asked. They had stopped infront of a forest. Why?

"You'll see." Daryl got out of the truck. He quickly texted Merle. His phone then went off. "Just a sec." He said to Carol and got back in the truck. Carol could not here this conversation. "Did ya get it all ready?" Daryl asked.

"Yes baby brother. Ya don't gotta get your panties in a twist. It's all set."

"Thanks Merle. I owe ya one." Daryl said.

"Damn straight ya do." Merle laughed.

"Goodbye Merle." Daryl rolled his eyes and put his phone away. He got out of the truck again and walked around to where Carol was standing. "Come on." He grabbed her hand and started leading her into the forest.

"Daryl, slow down a bit. I'm not used to the woods you know that." Carol said, struggling to keep up with him. He went hunting with Merle every Saturday morning, since Saturday's were his day off.

"Sorry." Daryl slowed his pace. He was just anxious to ask her. They would be walking for a good ten minutes before they actually reached their final destination. God the closer they got the more nervous he became.

"Daryl are you alright?" She asked, stopping. He turned around to look at her.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Come on. We're almost there." He led her through the forest until they reached the clearing. "Just up this hill." His heart was racing as he started up the hill. Hopefully this all went well.

When they finally reached the top, Carol gasped. They had a perfect view of a lake. The sun was setting and it made the scene all the more beautiful. There was a blanket laid out in the grass, and there was a basket, two wine glasses, and a bottle of Chardonnay.

"Daryl..." She was speechless. Did he really go out of his way to do this for her?

"Surprise." Daryl gave her a small smile. "Haven't been spendin' time with ya as much as I should so... Ya know, thought I'd do this for ya. Do ya like it?"

"I love it." Carol smiled, and wrapped her arms around him. He let out a sigh of relief and returned her embrace.

Daryl decided to wait until the moon was in the sky. After they ate, they just talked. It had been a while since he'd just talked with her, and enjoyed her company. Usually, he was working late and when he came home she was already asleep. He hated doing it, but he needed the money. A silence had fell between them, and he decided he would ask her now. But he had no idea how to start.

"Uh, Carol." He said, looking up at her. "I love ya."

"I love you too." Carol smiled.

"Ya mean everythin to me. Hell, ya saved me woman. You're my world, and I don't want this to go away. I want to spend the rest of my life with ya. So..." He pulled out the little box from his pocket. He opened it and revealed the ring. "Will ya marry me, Carol?"

Carol was completely frozen. She was still trying to process what just happened. He just asked her to marry him. Something she had dreamed about for so long, but assumed would never happen. Tears started to form in her eyes as she stared at the beautiful ring. It must have cost a fortune. She looked up at him, and he seemed so nervous. Was he scared she would reject him? She couldn't form words right now, so instead of answering with words, she crashed her lips onto his, causing him to fall backwards. She showered his face with kisses before pulling away. She stared into his eyes, and nodded. "Yes." She finally choked out. "Yes I will."

"So uh... Do we gotta dance or somethin'?" Daryl leaned over and whispered in her ear.

"You mean the first dance? Yes, we do have to. Sorry Daryl." Carol chuckled, kissing him on the cheek. She heard him mutter something. "Don't worry, I'll make it all up to you tonight." She whispered.

"Ya damn well better. Cuttin' me off for three months, that was just cruel." It was true. Aside from the night he proposed, she completely cut him off from sex. After a week, he started trying every night. Sure, the temptation was great, but she stayed strong and held her ground. She wanted to wait after that night. Because then she knew on the wedding night it would be amazing.

"You remember how to dance, right?" Carol asked as they made their way onto the dance floor.

"Yeah..." Daryl hated this. They were the only ones on the dance floor, and everyone was staring at them.

"Good." Carol smiled and wrapped her arms around his neck. As they started to dance, she remember the first time she dragged him out onto the floor. "You remember when we first danced together? All those things I whispered to you?" She grinned.

"Don't you even fuckin' start that again." Daryl warned her quietly. "Ya don't say that shit to a man who has been waitin' three months."

Carol just giggled and pecked his lips. "You're so cute when you're needy."

"Ya think so? Then I must be fuckin' adorable." He smirked. Carol just chuckled and pressed her forehead against his.

"So kid, how ya feel 'bout gettin' a new daddy?" Merle asked as he sat down beside Sophia.

"I love it." Sophia smiled. "Because I know Daryl loves mom. And he's nice and he buys me things."

"Wait, ya mean ya con my brother?" Merle tilted his head. Sophia just shrugged. "Kid you are amazin'." Merle laughed. "Now I get to call ya my niece. Ain't that somethin'?"

"That's pretty awesome. We can make fun of them some more!" Sophia grinned. "And you can buy me stuff too."

"Ya might be able to con my brother, but ya can't con me." Merle winked. "Maybe if I'm feelin' good I'll take ya to get some ice cream or whatever shit it is that little girls like."

"I'm fourteen years old, I'm not a little girl. I'm a teenager." Sophia protested.

"Same thing." Merle shrugged. "Age don't make much difference. Ya still a little girl in my eyes. Sorry kid." Merle looked around before asking Sophia a question. "So, ya got a boyfriend yet? Someone Daryl's gonna have to kill?"

"No!" Sophia's face started to turn red. "I don't have a boyfriend. And Daryl made it clear I can't date until I'm eighteen."

Merle laughed at that. "Figures. Well, I say ya can date whenever ya want. I'm older than him, so ya should listen to me. I can boss him around."

"Like hell." Daryl was standing behind him, his arms crossed. He heard every word of that conversation. What an asshole. "Ya ain't datin 'till you're eighteen and out of the house or I'm dead, which ever comes last."

"Come on Daryl, ya bein' too hard on the kid. She wants to date, let her." Merle punched Daryl in the arm.

"I don't trust any boys. Especially that Carl kid." Daryl crossed his arms.

"Ya used to like him before." Merle argued.

"That was before he started lookin' at her." Daryl shot back.

"I'm right here guys!" Sophia pouted.

"Good. Listen to this and learn that ya ain't datin' for a long time." And with that, he walked away.

"Don't listen to him. If ya want to date someone, go ahead. Ol' Merle here will keep it a secret." He whispered. Sophia just rolled her eyes. Adults were so weird.

Lori ran over to Carol and gave her a big hug. "I haven't had a chance to say congratulations! You're married now! To Daryl Dixon! You know, Carol Dixon has a wonderful ring to it." She grinned.

"It does, doesn't it." Carol chuckled.

"Okay, so, me and Rick didn't get you a wedding gift. Well, we did, but not like the other people. I know you don't have much money, afterall he saved up for a year to buy that expensive ring to propose to you." Lori started.

"Wait, a year?" Carol was shocked. He never actually told her how long he saved up, just that he saved up for a while. She didn't know it was that long.

"Yeah." Lori nodded.

"Wait again." Carol just figured something out. "You knew about it?"

"Sweetheart, we all knew about it." Lori confessed. Carol was shocked even more. "But, thats beside the point. I now you don't have much money to spend these days, so, Rick and I, we paid for you two to spend the night in the fanciest hotel here. We got the penthouse for you guys. There is a very expensive bottle of champaign in the cooler waiting for you. And it has a wonderful king sized bed. There is also a hot tub in the bathroom. Very beautiful room. And very expensive, but we wanted to give you a real wedding night." Lori smiled.

"Oh my gosh." Carol was amazed. "You didn't have to do that for us Lori."

"But I did." Lori nodded. "You deserve it. He's a keeper, Carol. And don't worry about Sophia. We got Merle to stay at your house to make sure she's alright."

"I hope he doesn't break anything." Carol chuckled.

"Aw, I wouldn't do that sis." Merle threw an arm around her. She didn't know he was standing behind her. "I'd only break Daryl's stuff."

"Better fuckin' not." Daryl smacked Merle on the back of the head. "Can we leave now? I wanna get out of here." Daryl whispered to her.

"Anxious to get her to bed are ya baby brother?" Merle smirked.

"Shut up." Daryl growled, his cheeks turning red.

Lori laughed. "Go on you two. We'll clean up this place. The reservation is under your name Carol, so just tell them and they'll give you the room key." Lori whispered.

"Thanks." Carol smiled back and took hold of Daryl's hand. "Lets go." Together, they made their way out of the building and towards her car. "I'll drive." She said, getting into the drivers side. She could tell Daryl found it a bit strange, but he didn't complain. She pulled out of the parking lot, and headed in the opposite direction of their home.

"Where are ya goin'?" Daryl asked, clearly confused.

"You'll see." She smiled. "You'll see."

"The fuck we doin' here? I can't afford this!" Daryl said as he stared at the hotel.

"I know. This is Lori and Rick's gift to us." Carol walked into the lobby. "Wait here." She said, and walked up to the front desk. Daryl looked around the large hotel lobby. He smirked a little. A hotel was where it all started. "What are you smirking about?" Carol asked him as she returned with the room key.

"Just rememberin' is all." Daryl grinned.

"Remembering what?" Carol tilted her head.

"I wonder if the elevator will get stuck again." Daryl said as he walked towards the elevator. Carol finally understood.

"Well if it does, we can just take a stroll down memory lane." She stepped inside the elevator. She pressed the button for the top floor. The elevator doors opened, and she grabbed hold of Daryl's hand as they walked down the hallway. "Here we are." She grinned.

"The penthouse?" Daryl asked. She nodded. "Holy shit." Carol laughed and opened the door. The room was huge. There were petals sprinkled over the bed. There were two wine glasses sitting on top of the cooler.

"Wow." Carol was amazed. Daryl shut the door behind them.

"I've been waitin' three months woman. Three long months." He wrapped his arms tightly around her waist. He went to kiss her, but she raised a finger to his lips. He groaned impatiently.

"The waiting isn't over yet baby." She smiled, stepping out of his embrace. He sighed in frustration and flopped onto the bed. She heard him mutter 'Why do you hate me'. She just shook her head. "I'm going to check out the bathroom." She wanted to see that hot tub. She opened the bathroom door, and it was beautiful. The hot tub had petals floating in the water as well. There was also a little closet in the bathroom. When she opened it up, she saw a bikini and swim trunks, along with a note.

"I figured you wouldn't have a bathing suite, so I got you a new one and Merle broke into your house to get Daryl's swim trunks. Sorry about that last part. PS, you'll find a surprise waiting for you in the drawer beside the bed. Don't let Daryl see it. Have fun. Lori."

Carol looked at the new swim suite. It was red, her favorite color. The top part of the bikini was strapless. Figures Lori would buy her something like that. But she was very curious about what was in that drawer. She grabbed her bikini and walked out of the bathroom. "Daryl, go change into your swim trunks in the bathroom. They're in the closet. I'll change out here."

"I've seen ya naked before ya know. Not like ya have anythin' to hide." Daryl sat up.

"If you see me naked you'll pounce on me, I don't need that yet." Carol smirked. "Now go." She pulled him up off the bed and pushed him towards the bathroom. Daryl rolled his eyes and shut the door behind him. Excellent. She rushed over to the drawer and opened it. Another note.

"Found this little number while shopping for your bikini. It is sure to turn that redneck on. Lori." Carol pulled out a small see through night dress. She held it up to herself, and realized it was very, very short. It would barely cover below the waist. She looked back in the drawer and saw some black lace underwear. It matched the night dress. She was supposed to wear this? Well, it would certainly do the trick to seduce him, not that she really had to. But what the hell. It was her wedding night. She put it back in the drawer, and changed into her bikini.

"Are ya done yet?" Daryl called through the door. "Been fuckin' waitin' for like five minutes."

"Sorry." Carol chuckled. "Can I come in?"

"What do ya think?" Daryl asked, opening the door. She looked really good in that bikini. "Do ya enjoy torturin' me?" He looked her up and down.

"Yes." She pushed past him and climbed into the hot tub. "Oh, this is nice." She sighed contently. "I wish I could sit in one of these every day." She moved over to where Daryl had settled. "Don't you wish you could just take a break and relax in one of these?"

"Been wishin' I could take a break for a while." Daryl sighed.

Carol wrapped her arms around him and leaned her head on his shoulder. "Lori told me about how long you saved up for the ring... You didn't have to do that. I know working so long stressed you out. I would've been fine with any old ring."

"Ya deserved the best." Daryl kissed the side of her head.

"I have the best thing in the world already. A man who loves me for me." Carol smiled, and moved so she was sitting on his lap. "I couldn't ask for better man to call my husband." She leaned forward and kissed him softly. "I love you, Daryl Dixon."

"I love ya too, Carol Dixon." He winked.

Carol giggled and kissed his cheek. Now it was time to have some fun. She trailed her lips down to his neck, and back up to just below his ear. It had always been a sweet spot for him.

"This ain't fair woman..." Daryl said in a low voice. "Ya can't tease a man like that..."

"Oh yes I can." Carol smiled, continuing her actions.

"Please not tonight..." Daryl begged.

"Why not? You can't stand to have a little fun beforehand?" Carol teased, kissing the corner of his mouth.

"No I can't. Now stop it or I'm carryin' ya over to that bed right now."

Carol smirked and pressed her lips against his. "Go ahead." She whispered, tugging on his lower lip.

Not even caring about the fact that they were soaking wet, Daryl picked her up bride style and headed out of the bathroom and towards the bed.

"Wait, Daryl." Carol stopped him. "I think I forgot something in the car. Could you go get it?"

"What did ya forget?" Daryl asked, sounding a little annoyed.

"My phone. I don't want anyone to steal it. It should be on the seat." She made up that lie just to get him out of the room. He groaned and set her down before grabbing both the cars key and the room key. He threw on his jacket. Without a word, he disappeared down the hallway. "Thank god." She sighed in relief, and ran over to the drawer. She grabbed the little outfit, and hurried back into the washroom.

"There was no fuckin' phone on the seat." Daryl called as he entered the room. He didn't see her at all. "Carol?" He asked. Where was she. The bathroom door was closed. Was she in there? "Carol, ya in here?" He asked, knocking on the door.

"Yeah." Carol was nervous. She had spent the entire time looking at herself in the mirror. She didn't have the best figure. She felt rediculous wearing this outfit, but it was all for him. She knew he'd appreciate it. She took a deep breath, and stepped away from the mirror. Gathering all her courage, she opened the door.

Daryl's mouth dropped. He had absolutely no words to describe how sexy she looked right now. When did she find the time to get that without him knowing about it? His erection grew the more he stared at her. God, he needed her right now. Without warning, he picking her up and started carrying her to the bed. She giggled at how anxious he was. He gently laid her down on the bed before crawling ontop of her. He hovered over her, taking in her beauty. "Ya made me wait three whole months Carol..."

"I'm not making you wait anymore." She smiled up at him. Her eyes were full of lust.

Daryl leaned down and kissed her passionately. He wasted no time slipping his tongue into her mouth. She moaned as their tongues fought for dominance. He moved his hand up her dress, cupping her bare skin. He waited too long for this. He quickly took off her dress and threw it away. His lips moved down to her breast. His tongue gently caressed her skin. She moaned louder at his actions.

Not long after their clothes littered the floor. Now it was his time for teasing. He continued to hover over her, gently kissing her neck.

"Daryl this is just cruel..." She said in a hushed tone.

"Ya made me wait for three months. This is payback." He smirked.

"Well hurry up, because my body is aching for you." She pleaded.

Daryl grinned. The moment he had been waiting for was finally here. He thrust into her, earning a gasp from her. God, how he had missed the feel of her body.

Daryl rolled over onto the empty space beside her. They were both out of breath. Three times. Three times they had sex. On the bed, in the hot tub, and then on the bed again. Talk about a wedding night.

"Please tell me ya ain't gonna cut me off that long again." Daryl looked over at her.

"I can't stand to be away from you that long." She rolled onto her side so she was facing him. "This was the best night I've ever had." It was the best wedding night she had ever had as well. With Ed it was nothing special. He spent most of the night in the bar and then came home. It was just a quick drunk fuck and he was fast asleep. Some wedding night. But now, that fucker was rotting in jail. He was sentenced to life. She had never been so happy in her life. There was no chance he'd ever come back to haunt her. Her life had turned from crap to heaven, all thanks to a man named Daryl Dixon.

"Was the best night I ever had too." Daryl pulled her closer to him. "I love ya so much."

"I love you too." Carol smiled, leaning forward so her lips touched his. "And now I get to love you for the rest of my life. You're stuck with me, Daryl." She chuckled.

"Wouldn't have it any other way." Daryl smiled lovingly at her. Never did he think he would find a woman like Carol. Hell, he hadn't even given romance a second thought before he ran into Carol. But he was so glad he found her. She was the perfect woman. She shared a past much like his. The day he confessed everything to her, it was like a giant weight had been lifted off him. She was what he lived for now. Her and that little girl who he now called his daughter.

"Well, now that we're married, we're bound to get into fights. But I want you to remember something. Even if I say things to out of anger, hurtful things, I will never stop loving you. I will love you till the day I die. Remember that." Carol had tears in her eyes. Daryl smiled and wiped away the tear that fell.

"Ya best remember that too." He said. She nodded. "Good. Now maybe we should get some shut eye, considerin' check out is eleven and it's three in the morning."

"But I'm not finished with you yet Dixon." Carol grinned mischeviously.

"Ya mean ya wanna go again?" Daryl asked in shock.

"Oh yeah." Carol whispered, straddling his lap. "After all, three months is a long time."

"Ya got that right." Daryl smirked. "Shouldn't this be reversed?" He asked, referring to their current position.

"Oh no, it's my turn to be on top." Carol responded.

"God, you're fuckin' hot when you say that." Daryl growled.

"It's what I was aiming for." She leaned forward, kissing his neck softly.

Their wedding night quickly disappeared, but it certainly wasn't wasted. It was filled with romance and passion. Everything they had hoped it would be and more. It was a beautiful start to the second half of their lives. Though they sometimes fought, it was quickly forgotten by the night. Every day they spent together was a blessing. They were the perfect family. They had their share of troubles, like every family did, but in the end, neither Carol or Daryl could've asked for anything better.

As Merle always said, "It ain't a secret. Ya have it pretty damn good."

A/N: And with that, we end our journey. This, this chapter here, was the longest chapter I have ever written in the history of ever. 4000+ words! :D! I want to say thank you to EVERYONE who read/favorited/followed this story, and that you all stuck with me. It was amazing to write this fic. I'm so happy. Thank you all again! R&R lovelies, and I hope you enjoyed A Secret.