Sorry this took a minute to get out. This went a little differently than I had first intended but I'm going to go with it anyway. I hope y'all like it and if you do, don't forget to leave me something and let me know! Or even if you don't! Just let me know you're there ;) Thanks to all of those who have reviewed so far and for your kind words. They encourage me to continue. Anyways, hope ya like!

Merle knew what the problem was as soon as he tried to crank the vehicle but he popped the hood anyway, hoping that he was somehow wrong. He knew he wouldn't be though. There weren't a lot of things on a vehicle that he didn't know how to fix or at least pinpoint. He sighed as he stared at the battery of the truck. How convenient that he brought the girl out here to practice shooting and the battery should die. That put them in quite the predicament. Not only would it be dark soon but he knew that they would never make it back to the prison having to walk. Add on to that the fact that the Governor was lurking out there somewhere and they were up shit creek without a paddle. He should have known that something like this would happen though. That's just the way his luck ran. Dixon's were notorious for their bad luck.

He sighed and shut the hood before climbing back inside the truck. He looked over at Beth, "We're fucked," He stated.

"What's wrong with it?" She asked.

"Dead battery," He rested his elbow on the arm rest of the door, trying to figure out why he kept getting the short end of the stick. "Looks like we spendin' tha night out here in tha truck darlin'."

She rubbed her arms and looked around cautiously, "Out here?" She asked.

He snorted, "'Less ya got a better idea?"

She was silent a few moments before shaking her head. He turned in his seat and reached into his bag for the two bottles of water he had stuck in there earlier. They might get a little hungry but at least they wouldn't be thirsty. He passed one of the bottles to her, "S'all I got so make it last," He commented.

She accepted the bottle and placed it in the cupholder. He watched as she opened the glovebox and rummaged through the contents coming up empty-handed. She lifted the console between the seats and then a grin split her face. She held up a single pack of crackers that probably had the appealing taste of eating cardboard. She halved the pack and tried to hand him his share but he shook his head.

"Ya need it more 'an I do," He said.

She frowned at him, "If you don't eat then I don't either."

She started to place the crackers down but he snatched up the ones she had attempted to get him to eat. "Damn women," He grumbled.

He thought he saw her smile out of the corner of his eye but he wasn't sure. He rolled his eyes and bit into the cardboard crackers.

It was quiet out there in the field with no one around and nothing to look at or do. They had long since finished their crackers and now they were sitting silently in the truck watching dusk set in around them. If this had been another time and under different circumstances she might think that it was romantic, but seeing as how it was the apocalypse and there would be no rescue, it lost some of its appeal. She shifted in the seat, trying to get comfortable.

"Got ants in ya pants girlie?" Merle asked with a smirk.

She shot him a look, "No. I'm trying to get comfortable," She replied.

She would have climbed in the back to give themselves more room but the seats in the back were the fold down seats that didn't stretch all the way across the truck so that wasn't an option. It appeared they were going to be sharing the front seat for the night. She wondered how that was going to work. Merle was a pretty big guy so unless they lay almost on top of each other, they were going to be sleeping sitting up. She didn't relish the thought.

She watched as Merle took off his blade and cuff and massaged his stump. It was the first time she had seen it completely off. She found herself staring at it intently although she didn't mean to. It didn't look quite as bad as she had imagined it would.

"Somethin' on yer mind there?" Merle cocked a brow.

She blushed, embarrassed at having been caught staring, "Sorry. I wasn't trying to be rude. I've just never seen you without that cuff on your arm. Is it uncomfortable?" She asked.

He snorted, "'Bout as comfortable as a damn splinter I reckon'. Ya get used to it."

"Does the stump hurt?"

He slid his gaze over to hers, "We playin' twenty questions now? Sometimes it aches like my hand is still there, but I know it ain't." She grew quiet and he chuckled, "Anymore questions?"

She was going to say something sarcastic but then she realized that she did have more questions. She wanted to know more about this mysterious man.

"How old are you?" She asked.

"Old 'nough," He replied shortly.

She shifted so that she could take off her boots and draw her legs underneath her in the seat, "Afraid I'll tease you about your age?" She asked.

"Hmph. Ain't 'fraid o' nothin'. Ain't but a damn number, but I don't need ya ass gettin' no ideas," He replied.

"Ideas about what?"

"'Bout me an' that kiss. Ya openin' yaself up ta a whole lotta trouble darlin'. I bet ya ain't even been past first base yet. Can't tell ya how many times I done crossed home plate."

Beth frowned. She really didn't want to think about Merle being with other women. For some reason, that thought didn't sit well with her. She was a little irritated that he just assumed that she was a virgin though. If her Daddy hadn't been so strict on her, they might look at her as they did Maggie, a valuable member of the group. Instead she was just Beth, the babysitter.

Suddenly an idea came to her, "Maybe you could teach me some things," She suggested.

He arched a brow, "What kinna things?"

"Like second and third base," She replied.

Merle chuckled and her face flamed. "Mmm...Temptin' but ain't happenin'. I don't mess with lil' girls," He said.

Her expression darkened. He was making her angry and she figured he knew it too. She pushed the center console up out of the way and crawled over so that she was sitting on her knees right next to him. He regarded her carefully out of the corner of his eye but he didn't make any movements. Summoning up her courage she leaned over and pressed her lips to his. For such a hard man, she thought he had the softest lips. She kissed him slowly and he didn't respond at first but after a minute, he began moving his lips under hers. Before she even knew what was happening, he had taken control of the kiss. He still hadn't moved but he was leading the way, carefully sneaking his tongue into her mouth. She pressed against him a little and moaned. He tasted of mint and the crackers they had just consumed.

She started to pull away but he stopped her with his hand and pulled her towards him until she was straddling him in front of the steering wheel. The tight space forced her to press herself even closer to him and she gasped as she felt his obvious erection pressing between her legs. She looked down at his pants and then back up at him. His eyes danced with amusement and something else she couldn't quite place. He rested his hand on her ass and slowly trailed it upwards to cup the back of her neck. Just that quickly she had lost control of the situation.

"What's tha matter darlin'? Too much for ya ta handle?" He teased.

She frowned, knowing that he was goading her. She started to speak but he used his hand to guide her lips back down to his. This time he didn't go slowly; he increased the pressure and intensity so much that it made her head spin. She was vaguely aware of the fact that he had removed his hand and then she felt his finger trace between her legs. She jerked but she had no where to go and he didn't let her pull away from the kiss. He increased the pressure of his finger and she whimpered into his mouth as little sparks of pleasure ran through her. He finally released her from the kiss and she lay back against the steering wheel, her eyes closing as the sensations rocked her. He rolled his hips upward as his finger continued to tease her through the material of her jeans. She moaned and arched her hips. He responded by growling low in his throat.

"Fuck me. Yer soaked darlin'," He mumbled.

She bit her lip to keep from moaning loudly. She didn't want to draw any unwanted attention to them. He leaned forward and placed his mouth over her nipple through the cloth of her t-shirt. She had never felt anything this intense ever. She had explored some with herself back at the farm but she hadn't ever been able to make herself feel this good.

"Merle," She whimpered.

He chuckled, "Mmm...Ya need somethin'?" He asked.

She groaned, "Yes."

"What do ya need?"

Why was he asking her so many questions? She didn't know what she needed. She just knew that she needed something and it seemed like it was almost there, but she couldn't quite reach it. She was starting to feel frustrated.

"Merle please," She begged.

He paused and she started to protest but he cut her off, "Unbutton yer pants," He ordered, his expression void of all amusement from before.

She scrambled underneath the hem of her shirt and unbuttoned her pants with shaking hands. She was breathing heavily, but she couldn't seem to control it. Her body was on fire with a need she had never experienced. His hand slid down her pants, flat against her belly. He inched underneath her panties and when his fingers tangled in her hair down there she sucked in a breath. She started to close her eyes.

"No," He commanded. "Keep them open. I wanna see ya."

She felt his finger trace her opening and then he slowly slipped it inside and she cried out, biting down hard on her lip. She tasted blood but she didn't care. She ground her hips against his finger and then she felt her body tense. It seemed to happen in slow motion. Her insides began to quake and pulse and she was flooded with warmth. She moaned as she rode out the wave of intense pleasure, her body shuddering against him. The whole time she retained eye contact with him and he stared at her, unblinking as she finally leaned back slightly, her body exhausted. He slipped his hand out of her pants and as she watched, he stuck his finger in his mouth and sucked off her juices. Her insides clenched as she watched him, unable to tear herself away from those eyes of his.

He hummed low in his throat, "Ya taste real good girlie," He said.

She blushed. She wasn't quite sure how to respond to that statement so she didn't say anything. Reaching between them, she buttoned her jeans back up and slowly slid back over into her seat.

"Why did you do that?" She asked finally.

He shrugged, "Why not?"

She frowned at him, not being able to read his expression in the darkened truck now, "But you said I was just a girl."

"Figured ya needed ta burn off some tension. Ain't nothin' wrong with helpin' ya out in that department. That's as far as it goes though. Now maybe ya can quit givin' me them damn looks like ya wanna jump my bones," He said.

She was a little hurt. She hadn't expected him to be so blunt about things, "So...that's the only reason you did that? Just to help me out?" She asked. She was hoping he might say he did it because he wanted to or because he thought she was pretty or something.

"What did ya expect from me girl? Thought I was gonna write ya a damn poem or somethin'? Ya wanna be a grown ass woman then that's whatcha get. I tried ta tell ya I ain't what ya need but ya didn't listen," He said.

She swallowed and turned away from him, scooting closer to the window. The whole thing had been so sexual but that's all it boiled down to. They hadn't shared anything more than that. She wanted to know how it felt to be wrapped up in his arms, not just brushed off. She adjusted her seat, laying it back some and turned her back to him, trying to gather her thoughts.