I moved the quarry, so sue me

Merle pulled up to next to the bike Buck had given Hershel, 10 am on the dot. For someone usually pretty lax with his timing, Merle was deifying the odds today. He had left for the 20 minute ride nearly 15 minutes early, just to make sure he was on time. And that was after waking up an hour before his alarm for god knows what reason. Though Merle was thankful he had taken the extra time to shave and get ready.

Merle looked up as the front door opened and Beth walked out. Merle smirked when he realized she had taken a page from Carol's book. On their first ride she had worn jeans with sneakers and a jacket. Beth was now walking towards him in a blue halter top, with black cowboy boots over jeans so tight Merle swore they might as well be her skin. Add to it the black leather jacket she was pulling on and Beth left Merle staring as she walked up to him.

"hey Merle! Where are we riding today?" Beth asked as she reached his side.

Merle shrugged, attempting for casual. "thought we'd take a ride up inta the mountains. Got a spot out there I want ta show ya."

Beth smiled as she got on the bike, running her hands up Merle's arms. "sounds good!"

Merle almost groaned as Beth dripped her hands around his waist, and chuckled as she once again damn near snuggled into his back.

"Hold on angel, got a bit of a bumpy ride ahead."

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Beth stretched as she looked around her.

"this place is beautiful Merle! How did you find it?"

Merle rolled his shoulder as he stood up and next to Beth "little bro and I found it when we were kids. Its an old quarry, we used to fish here all the time."

Beth giggled as she walked with Merle to the small beach overlooking the water.

"does Daryl mind you calling him little bro?"

Merle chuckled. "Hates it, but he was a tiny thing for so long its hard ta get out of the habit."

Beth smiled at Merle as she stepped closer. "hard to imagine any Dixon male as tiny."

Merle shrugged. "our mama was tiny, but Buck's huge so I guess I got more of that."

Beth smirked as she turned slightly pink. "you do seem to be a fan of tight shirts."

Merle smirked at Beth "got it, flaunt it."

Beth laughed as she stepped closer, right next to Merle's left side. Merle bit his lip for a minute before mentally flipping himself as he pulled Beth close under his arm. Beth smiled up at him blushing and Merle smirked.

"Come on, wanna show ya the coolest part."

Merle lead Beth up to a small cliff that jutted out above the lake. Merle stepped up to the edge and pointed. Beth's eyes followed and she smiled wide when she saw what he was pointing to.

"Wow! How deep is it?"

Merle chuckled, wrapping his hands around Beth's tiny waist as she leaned over the cliff, watching the fish swim into the depths of the lake, the rings of the quarry levels creating a deep blue.

"best guess is round about 75 feet. Safe enough ta jump into from here."

Beth leaned back in to Merle's chest as she stood back, turning her head to smile at Merle

"Can we come again sometime to swim?"

Merle smirked. "hell yeah angel!"

Beth giggled as she turned her body, facing Merle while he held her waist. She ran her hands up his shoulders to behind his neck, pulling Merle down as he dipped to kiss her. They met half way, leaning into each other. Merle pulled Beth closer as she ran her fingers thru his short hair as they deepened the kiss, exploring and tasting each other. For several minutes they kissed before Beth pulled away blushing.

"That was my first kiss."

Merle chuckled as he kissed her forehead, smelling the honeysuckle scent in her hair.

"Ain't gonna be your last angel."

Beth smiled as she lightly kissed Merle's chest. "I hope so!"

Merle chuckled. "na, I doubt I can resist ya."

Beth smirked as she pulled Merle down to sit on the warm rocks. Sitting beside Merle she leaned her head on his shoulder as he wrapped his arm around her, wincing slightly at the residual pain from where Ed shot him.

Beth frowned. "what's wrong?"

Merle shook his head. "nothin', just my shoulder."

"where Ed shot you? It still hurts?"

Merle shrugged. "its just sore. The muscles got really fucked up, they ain't completely healed yet. They tense up a lot."

Beth scooted so she was sitting behind Merle She ran her hands down his neck to Merle's shoulder, rubbing against the tense muscle. Merle groaned as she worked on his shoulder.

"damn for havin' such tiny hands ya know what ya doin'."

Beth giggled. "anyone would have tiny hands compared to you."

Merle shrugged. "suppose that's true….except Buck, he's got bigger hands then me."

"Buck's a huge, if you were that big then we'd look completely ridiculous together."

Merle chuckled. "sugar most people are gonna think we're ridiculous together no matter what. I'm a Dixon, generally means trouble."

Beth smirked. "maybe I want a little trouble."

Merle chuckled as he rolled backwards, pushing Beth down so he laid beside her. Beth ran her hands up Merle's neck to pull him in for a kiss. Merle groaned as Beth ran her tongue across his before Merle pulled away to look at Beth

"easy now, don't want to much trouble now do ya?"

Beth smirked as she looked up at Merle "I think I can handle you."

Merle dropped his head as he chuckled. "I ain't here ta rush ya angel. We take this slow, I wanna do right by ya."

Beth smiled as she pulled Merle up to look at her. "do right by me?"

Merle nodded. "I ain't dated before now Beth, and I respect ya dad. I ain't here to fuck ya, I'm here cause I want somethin' more."

Beth blushed before she responded. "I've never dated either."

Merle shrugged. "we'll figure it out. Hell if my pussy ass little bro can handle it I think I can."

Beth giggled as she lightly smacked Merle "be nice to Daryl, he's a good man."

Merle chuckled as he rolled on his side, Beth rolling with him to lay on his chest.

"I know, I know. Truth be told, I'm damn proud of the little fucker, just don't tell him that. I'd never live it down."

Beth snickered. "you two do seem to have an interesting brotherhood."

Merle shrugged. "growin' up as we did, it makes sense."

Beth frowned. "what do you mean?"

Merle sighed. "how much do ya know about me? About my past, with Buck and everythin'?"

Beth shrugged. "not much. I know that the day Buck got out of prison he contacted my dad looking for a sponsor. My dad took him on, and until you and Daryl came back, Buck was pretty much alone. My dad dragged him over for holidays and Buck went to the meetings, but other then that he was alone. I know he was an addict, but that's pretty much it."

Merle nodded. "Buck…my dad lost his mind when my mom died. He was drinkin' some before, but as soon as she died he went off the deep end. Started beatin' on me, later started on Daryl. I took what hits I could, but eventually I had to leave for the military. I didn't do well with school, and military was my only option. I could send money home to Daryl, had him save it up. But before we had enough, Buck reached my limit and I had to run with Daryl."

Beth looked up at Merle "reached your limit?"

"Buck went too far, nearly killed Daryl. Probably would have if I wasn't there. he was doin' drugs, drinkin'. Buck had no clue what he was doin', but I couldn't risk Daryl"

"that doesn't seem at all like the Buck I know."

Merle nodded. "now that he's clean, Buck's a good guy. Drugs though, those fuck Dixon up bad. Fucked me up real bad."

Beth frowned. "why did you start drugs if you had already seen them destroy your family?"

Merle sighed. "it started small, just doin' enough to get me through work. I was workin' shit tons to pay the bills, was exhausted all the time, and eventually that small amount started growin'. Before I knew it Daryl was savin' my ass every other night and I'm in the same damn place Buck was. I didn't mean for it to get outta control, but by the time Daryl met Carol and ran up here with his girls, I was lost. Hell I didn't even want to get clean originally. Buck gave me 2 choices, get clean and get to see Daryl, or stay a junkie and never see him again."

Beth smiled lightly. "you made a good choice."

Merle nodded. "little bro is all I've had most of my life. My mom died, my dad was dead to me, and I sure as shit wasn't lookin' for a permanent woman at that point."

Beth blushed. "and now?"

Merle chuckled as he ran his hand thru Beth's hair. "now I'm thinkin' there may just be a damn good woman pretty damn close."

Beth smiled as she blushed. "you're a pretty damn good man."

Merle snickered. "watch ya mouth angel, ya dad hears ya talkin' like that he's liable to have a problem."

Beth shook her head. "trust me, my sister has dated men my father has despised. And considering what he told me last night, I think he likes you just fine."

Merle raised an eyebrow. "what did he tell ya?"

Beth smirked as she leaned over Merle "daddy told me that you are a fine gentlemen, a little rough around the edges but you have a good heart. Also told me to be careful not to break that heart."

Merle was silent as he looked up at Beth, before he slightly smiled.

"yeah, I recon ya may break me angel, but its worth the risk ta find out."

Beth smiled as she leaned down to kiss Merle "I think so too."

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"come on, give it a shot! I promise you'll enjoy it!"

Merle cringed at the neon lit sign in front of him. "any place but that! I'll even do damn olive garden if ya want."

Beth smirked as she ran her hand down to Merle's pulling him with her.

"I don't want olive garden, I want sushi. Come on!"

Merle groaned as she pulled him into the building. As they found their seats, Merle glared at Beth.

"I get food poisonin' I'm comin' for ya!"

Beth giggled. "I promise you wont. Besides if nothing else it makes for a memorable first date."

Merle chuckled. "guess that means there will be a second date?"

Beth blushed as she looked at the menu. "I'd really like that."

Merle smirked. "your birthday's comin' up right?"

Beth shrugged. "in 3 weeks."

Merle bit his lip before looking up. "got any plans for it?"

Beth shook her head. "no, Maggie was originally going to take me out since its my 21st birthday, but she wont be able to get time off of school for while."

Merle smiled lightly at Beth "think ya dad would mind if I took ya out?"

Beth blushed as she smiled at Merle "my dad figures he can keep a pretty good eye on you thru Buck and the meetings."

Merle nodded. "well I can't go to bars babe."

Beth shook her head. "I'd rather go on another ride."

Merle chuckled. "damn I'm a lucky man, a pretty little thing like ya and she likes to ride!"

Beth smiled. "I like to ride with you, not so sure about on my own. Would you teach me?"

Merle shook his head. "Angel flyin' down the road with you against my back, arms around my waist, it's the best fuckin' feelin' in the world. And I can't stand ta lose that."

Beth blushed as she smiled. "you know, for someone who says he isn't a dating man, you're doing a really good job at it."

Merle chuckled. "so we're official now?"

Beth smirked up at Merle "if you want to be."

Merle smirked at Beth "like I said, I'm a lucky man."