Once again, this fic just keeps calling to me! I don't know what it is, but there's just something about Merle that I love so. Oh wait, maybe I do! It's his brash personality, his take-charge attitude, and his absolutely sexy body! LOL! I've had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Michael Rooker before and let me tell you: He is EVEN BETTER in person! I get so much enjoyment out of writing his character and I apologize to those waiting on my other fic. I've got a chapter started, but it's just not coming at the moment. I would like to take this time to thank those of you who have been reviewing because without y'all, I would probably not continue like I have:

Athlete Girl: My dear, you are the head cheerleader for Merle Dixon and I do so love your enthusiasm to this story!

Brazen Hussy: You never fail to leave me a kind review. I only hope that my Meth lives up to all y'alls standards!

Steffy2106: You were my first review my dear, and you've been a great supporter of this fic. I thank you for that!

Fremione Lover16: Thank you for taking the time to review my story! I appreciate your words!

LostOne1775, RoseHarrison, Genroxanne, and A Lonely Lily: You have all left me kind words and your reviews mean SO much to my soul! They constantly feed my muse to keep writing this lovely mess! Thank you so much!

Katie'sWar123, DarylDixonsLover, LostSocks54: I'm flattered by your words! I don't know what else to say! Thanks for reviewing me!

To the rest of you that I haven't named, but are NO less important: Y'all are awesome. Really and truly. Even if you only pop in to review every couple of chapters, please do. I love hearing what y'all think from time to time. It lets me know if I'm still on the right track with this fic or not. I didn't realize there was quite so many of you until I started looking back! LOL!


When Beth woke up from her nap she felt relaxed and well rested. Her cheeks flushed as she remembered what she and Merle had done in the showers. She would never look at that bench in the same way ever again.

She had just slid to the edge of the bed when Carol poked her head inside of the cell, "Hey you, dinner's ready. You coming?" Carol asked with a smile.

Beth fought back a yawn and nodded, "I'll be right there," She said.

As soon as Carol was gone she stood up carefully and walked to the tiny scratched up mirror on the wall of her cell. She was shocked at how her hair looked and she quickly found a brush to make it more presentable. With that done she sat on the edge of the bed and put her boots on slowly so as not to irritate her wound.

Everyone was already crowding into line in the kitchen and Beth looked around for Merle before walking to stand in the back of the line.

"He's on watch," Glenn's voice spoke from behind her.

Beth jumped at his sudden appearance, "You scared the crap outta me!" She laughed lightly.

He squeezed her shoulder gently, "Sorry."

"It's okay," She lowered her voice slightly. "How is Maggie?"

Glenn sighed and she saw his eyes drift to Maggie as she received her plate of food from the head of the line, "She's in a mood for sure. What did you guys argue about? It's been a while since I've seen her this moody."

Beth bit her lip and stared down at her lip before sneaking a glance at her sister. Maggie quickly averted her eyes from the two of them as she realized Beth was staring at her. "It's nothing really. I've just been crabby all day and I took it out on her. I need to apologize and make things right again," She replied.

Glenn nodded, "That would be great. Maybe then I won't have to sleep outside the cell block with Martinez tonight," He chuckled.

Beth frowned as she realized that the Hispanic man was nowhere to be found, "Where is Martinez?" She asked.

Glenn's face grew slightly red and he cleared his throat. Immediately Beth knew something was going on. Glenn was a really horrible liar and she was sure there was more to this story than he was telling her at the moment.

"He's in cell block A," Glenn whispered. "But you did not hear that from me, got it?" He asked.

"What?" Beth hissed and Glenn tried to shush her, but she wasn't having it. "Whose idea was that?" She asked hotly.

She moved forward as the line moved and Glenn flushed deeper, "I'm not sure," He muttered.

Beth gave him a glare and placed her hands on her hips, "Spit it out," She demanded.

Glenn sighed, "It was Merle's, alright? He thinks that Martinez is connected with those two men who broke into the prison. He thinks the Governor planted Martinez here as a spy."

Beth was cut off from replying to that last statement as she took her turn in line. When Carol handed her an extra plate, she glanced at the women in confusion.

"I figured you would want to take one to Merle," Carol said. "We cleaned out the very front tower and he's using that one tonight."

Beth nodded grimly, "Oh yeah. I wanna take one to him alright," She said as she brushed past a flustered Glenn to head to the guard tower.

There had been talk about cleaning out the very front tower for some time and they must have decided to get it done because of the other burning. She headed down the hill towards the tower, trying to figure out what she was going to say to him. She didn't believe that Martinez was guilty. He just didn't act like a guilty man and he had even spent time talking to her. She was positive that this was more of Merle's jealousy at her talking to him coming out than anything else. The fact that they had placed him in cell block A, death row, just made her more angry. That cell block hadn't even been properly cleaned yet. She sighed as she headed up the stairs.

Merle spotted her coming across the yard and a small smile played at his lips as he watched her carrying something in her hands. He figured it was about time for dinner since his stomach was growling and she must be bringing him a plate.

The small smile that teased the corners of his mouth disappeared though, as she opened the door and he saw the way her forehead was creased in anger as she entered the small room. She walked over and handed the plate of food out to him which he accepted with a nod and a curious stare.

"Somethin' wrong suga'?" He asked.

She paced the tiny room and then sat her plate down on the only table they had in the room. She looked over at him accusingly, "Why did you send Martinez to cell block A? Why did you lock him up?" She suddenly demanded.

He sucked his teeth as he stared at her quivering form. He hadn't really given the man much thought today. He had been focused entirely on her and their time spent in the showers played over and over in his mind like a scene from an adult movie.

It had been his idea to lock Martinez back up. Of course Merle had had to discuss it with Daryl and Rick beforehand but the two of them had agreed that it was the best course of action at the time. No one knew who those two men really were and how they had known which ways to go in the prison. Merle wasn't entirely sure it was Martinez, but he wasn't taking any chances. He hadn't been able to keep tabs on the man twenty-four seven since they had let him out of that other cell. For all he knew the man could have fed information through the fences to some of the Governor's people. It was awfully suspicious that as soon as they had let Martinez from his cell good that those two men had shown up.

Beth took a few steps towards him and pressed her finger into his hard chest, "Answer me Merle Dixon!" She spat.

Merle raised a brow and ever so gently reached down to remove her finger from his chest. If she had been anyone other than who she was, she would have had a broken finger. As it was though, he didn't think he could ever hurt her. Well, intentionally anyway.

"Why tha sudden interest darlin'? Ya got somethin' goin' on with tha wetback?" He asked crudely.

Her eyes widened, "How dare you! Do you honestly think I'm spreading my legs for him after what we've been doing together?" She asked hotly.

The image of her spread out beneath the Hispanic, flushed and moaning made his blood boil. He clenched his jaw, "What tha hell am I s'posed ta think when ya come in here so hell bent on protectin' a man ya hardly know?"

She crossed her arms and turned her head away from him. He growled as he saw a lone tear slide down her cheek. Doing the only thing he knew to do to try and ease the tension between them, he set his plate down and grabbed her roughly, pulling her into his arms. He lowered his lips to hers and poured every ounce of possessiveness he had into the kiss. She melted into him for a few seconds and then she pulled away, slapping at his arms. He let her go and she stared at him with her chest heaving.

"Is that your answer to everything? Sex?" She asked.

He could feel his anger building. Here he was, trying to tell her with actions how he felt about her and she thought he was trying to simply fuck her.

So when he opened his mouth next, it was his anger that did all the talking and not himself, "Yeah," He said gruffly. "I'm only in this fer tha pussy. Didn'tcha know?" He asked sarcastically.

She gasped and before he even knew it was coming, she had slapped him hard across the face. He had to admit that it smarted a little, but he figured he deserved it after saying that. He made no move to retaliate in any way and she whirled around and left the tower. He listened as her steps descended the stairs and then he spotted her plate still sitting on the table untouched. Angrily he took his hand and knocked the table, sending it flying across the room, the plate and its contents coating the wall. He stalked outside to the railing and glared out towards the trees, counting down the minutes until his shift was over.

Beth slipped inside unnoticed, or so she thought, and quickly found herself headed over to A block. She entered the quiet block slowly, her breathing a little shallow as she tried to listen for any dangers lurking nearby. The only light was a small lantern by the doorway and a sliver of light spilling from one of the cells about midway down. She took a deep breath and tried to open the door to the cell block but it was locked. She yanked several times and then kicked at the bottom of it with her boot.

She heard noises and looked up to see Martinez peering out of his cell, trying to see what was making all of the noise.

She sighed, "It's Beth," She said.

His features relaxed a bit and he smiled softly, "What are you doing out this way chica?" He asked. "Lost?" He teased.

She shook her head and then realized he couldn't see her all that well, "No. I just found out that you had been put over here. Thought I would come and see how you were," She said.

He shrugged, "I'm stuck in a cold, dark, prison. How do you think I am?" He snorted and then sighed. "Heard you got shot by Dixon. You feeling better?"

She smiled and her hand unconsciously drifted to her wound, "I am. He did it by accident though. Merle would never hurt me," She said quietly.

Her head jerked to the hallway as she thought she heard a noise and she gripped her knife in her hand as she squinted into the dark hallway trying to see. She relaxed after a few minutes and turned back to the cell block.

"Yeah. Even a blind man can see the love that big ape has for you," Martinez remarked. "God only knows what you see in him."

Beth laughed softly, "He's...Merle's different when he's not around all of the others. He's not as bad as everyone thinks he is. He's just misunderstood."

Now it was Martinez's turn to laugh, "Aren't we all?" He gestured to the cell that he was in to prove his point. "I didn't do it," He added softly.

Beth swallowed, "Didn't do what?" She asked.

"I didn't have anything to do with those men being sent here. I swear to you chica. I've done things...lots of things in my life that I'm ashamed of, but I'm not owning up to something I didn't do."

Beth nodded as she leaned her head against the bars on the door, "Well I better get back before they start looking for me," She said.

"Be careful," He called out softly.

She didn't reply as she backed away from the cell and made her way back down the hallway. It was darker now than when she had first come through and she foolishly cursed herself for not bringing a flashlight. She held her knife steady as she walked, shakily putting one foot in front of the other in case she ran into something.

"Have a nice chat?" Merle's voice drawled from behind her.

She gasped and turned around so fast that she brushed against his chest. His hand closed over her arm and his fingers brushed over her skin in a light caress. He moved his hand up to cup the back of her neck and pressed his lips softly to hers in a chaste kiss. He took her knife from her hand and slipped it back into her pocket. Then he shocked her by grabbing her hand with his and pulling her along beside him. He moved them effortlessly through the dark hallways until they stepped out into the faint light of the kitchen area. Carol was the only one left in the kitchen beside Carl who was playing with Judith on a blanket on the floor.

Merle tugged her over to Carol, "Ya got any o' that stuff left over from dinner?" He asked.

Carol glanced at him and then nodded, moving to a bowl that she had covered with a lid. She scooped a couple of spoonfuls onto a plate and handed it to him. He let go of Beth's hand and accepted it, "Thanks." He nodded and Carol gave him a shocked look before smiling at him in return.

Merle gestured for her to move in front of him and she proceeded around him and headed for her cell. He followed her inside and set the plate down before covering the doorway with the sheet. She sat down on the edge of the bed, unsure of what to do at the moment. She hadn't ever seen him like this. He was almost...gentle.

He didn't speak as he dragged her only chair over and placed it in front of her. He grabbed the plate and balanced it on his lap. Then he picked up the spoon and scooped up some of the food before holding it in front of her mouth. Her eyes locked with his as she opened her mouth and he placed the spoonful inside. She chewed quietly, her eyes still locked with his. They repeated these motions several times until the plate was cleared and she hadn't realized how hungry she had been.

"Did you eat?" She asked softly.

He shook his head, "No."

She started to stand, "You need to eat too."

He stopped her with his hand, "Sit. Ain't worried 'bout me," He replied shortly.

His tone of voice suggested he wasn't in the mood for arguments and she slowly sank back down onto the mattress. He set the plate aside and moved the chair back. He kept his eyes on her as he removed his prosthetic and placed it on the chair. He toed off his boots and then slipped the shirt over his head and tossed it to the floor. Her eyes drank in his hard chest. She would never grow tired of looking at him, she thought.

He didn't remove anymore clothing, but instead bent in front of her and removed her boots and then she helped him to get her pants off. He motioned for her to scoot and so she slid over against the wall in the bed and he turned down the light on the lantern before sliding in after her. She expected him to make a move on her and she would be lying if she said she wasn't disappointed when all he did was wrap his arm around her and pull her snugly against him. She could feel the slight hardness in between his legs but he made no more moves nor mention of anything else. She finally sighed and her eyes began to grow heavy with sleep. Moments before she drifted off, she felt his lips place a whisper of a kiss against her forehead.

See? That wasn't so bad, right? Progress is being made here.

Alright! Review me! :-)