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[size9 Title from the song [i [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBicqqc_UWg Poison And Wine]] by The Civil Wars. Daryl is the poison, Beth is the wine, and I am the sappy romantic.]
As Beth sat there looking around the little area, she looked towards the male when he spoke. She shrugged a little. [b "It was more of my mother's place than mine. In a way I still feel like she's still here"] she said lightly. She knew it sounded crazy, but it was true. Even right at this moment, she felt her mother near. She looked towards the way they had come, and she smiled a little. She snapped back to reality, as she turned her eyes to the male beside her. [b "So you wanted to teach me how to shoot?"] she asked.
It kind of made her nervous. She hadn't shot anything in years. The last time she had tried to learn how to shoot a gun, ended up with her breaking down into tears, and her brother telling her it was okay. Right now, she was nervous as hell and she didn't know what she was supposed to do with herself. Her hands were shaking slightly, and she put them into her lap and looked down at them. She shouldn't let something like this bother her, yet it was. She trusted Daryl, and knew he wouldn't let anything happen.
She took a small breath as she looked towards him again. She stood and held out her hand. [b "Shall we get started then?"] she asked as a small smile passed over her lips. Apart of her wanted to get this all done and over with, but another part of her was really excited to try something new, and get out of her comfort zone. A light breeze passed through the little glade, blowing some of her hair into her eyes, which she tucked behind her ear, hoping it would stay in place for the time being.
When it was confirmed that Daryl would be taking Beth out to shoot, he couldn't help but rush the rest of his breakfast. Not so much that it was apparent, but his excitement shone through. When they were through and Daryl helped bring the dishes to the sink, he watched as Beth retreated from the room with her piece of toast and he smiled to himself.
Maggie took over dish duty and shoved Daryl away from the sink when he tried to help. He was glad of that, since all he could think of wanting to do was be alone with Beth again. Her family was great and they made him nostalgic for something he never had, but his craving for the younger woman was too strong for him to fight off long. Plus, he hadn't been hunting in a long, long while, and he missed that as well.
He let her shove him away and he went to retrieve his crossbow from the guest room. After slinging it over his shoulder he went to find Beth on the front porch, licking the last of the butter off her fingers from her toast. She stood from her spot on the front steps and smiled at him, asking if he was ready for a walk. He nodded and gestured for her to lead the way since she obviously knew where she was going.
As she told him not to spread the word about wherever it was she was leading him, he looked over to her. This place seemed to mean a lot to her and, frankly, he was surprised that she was even taking him there. At the mention of her mother and how she would have liked Daryl, he looked down to his boots. He hoped that was the case.
As if to lighten the mood, he quickened her pace and set off through the woods. His lips grew into a smirk as he rushed after her for a moment. He let her stay in the lead, having no idea where they were headed. Not ten minutes later they found themselves under a canopy of leaves that were thin enough to let trails of light illuminate the flowerbed below. There was an ancient, fallen tree that she moved to sit on. He followed suit, leaning his bow against the trunk of the fallen tree and sitting beside her. He took a long look around after she asked him what he thought.
"I think this place suits you," he said, somewhat softly.
The kiss they shared before the male left made her heart race. She didn't quite understand the whole affect the male was having on her. It scared her to no end, but at the same time she was enjoying it. She didn't want that feeling to ever leave. She watched as the male left the room finally, and she let out a small sigh. She grabbed her shoes and slid them on her feet, and made her way to the kitchen. [b "Morning daddy"] she said as she walked over and kissed his cheek. [i "Good morning baby"] he said back.
Beth took a seat, and Maggie walked into the room, and the two sisters shared a knowing look. Beth's cheeks turned pink and she looked down. [u "So how did you sleep little sister?"] she asked as she sat down. [b "I slept alright, and how are you Magg's?"] Beth asked as she pulled one of her legs up under herself. [u "I slept good"] was her only reply. Beth shook her head, as Maggie grinned at her sister. Beth quickly ducked her head and reached for some toast, right when her father turned around, placing a plate of pancakes on the table.
Daryl walked into the room a minute later, and said he wanted to take Beth shooting. Her head snapped up, and she got huge butterflies in her stomach. This wasn't going to be good. She wasn't good with shooting a gun, even through she was raised that way. How in the world was she supposed to shoot a crossbow? She nodded a little when Hershel said she could go. She bit her lip lightly as she looked down at her plate. She all of a sudden wasn't hungry anymore. She was too nervous to eat.
When her brother said he wanted to come, she shook her head lightly. She stood and grabbed a plate and placed it in Daryl's hand. [b "Don't even think about it big brother"] she said as she stuck her tongue out at the male. [u "Why not? I've wanted to shoot one for the longest time"] he muttered. Beth rolled her eyes lightly. [b "grab something for the road, I know the perfect place"] she said lightly as she grabbed another piece of toast. She put butter and jam onto it, and she took a bite. [b "I'll be outside waiting"] she muttered.
She was still nervous and she was kind of glad she told her brother not to come. She wasn't in the mood to have a tag along, and his non-stop teasing. She knew she was going to make a fool of herself, and as long as her family wasn't around she would be fine with it. She sat down on the porch and put her elbows on her knees. When she heard Daryl come out the door, she looked up and smiled lightly. [b "You ready for a walk?"] she asked as she stood. She finished off her toast, and walked down the stairs.
She headed towards the woods, and her heart began to race. She hadn't taken anyone besides Maggie to this place. Her mother had taken her when she was little, and said it was their place to be alone, and think. Even to this day when Beth was upset, she would sneak away and go into the woods and to the clearing her mother had claimed as theirs. [b "All I ask is that you don't tell anyone about this place. Maggie is the only one who honestly knows about it"] she said as she slid her hands into her pockets.
[b "Momma brought me here when I was little, and really upset. She said it was our place, and ours alone. But I think she would have liked knowing you knew about this place"] she admitted. Her mother would have adored Daryl, and would have talked her father into adoring him as well. Seeing as that wasn't about to happen, she herself had to make her father see he wasn't that bad of a person. She ducked into the trees, and looked over her shoulder. [b "see if you can keep up"] she teased.
She climbed over fallen logs, and trees. Once they were in the heart of the woods, she stopped long enough to try and remember the way. When she spotted the right area, she headed into the shadows. It was a bit more clear going this way. When she came out of the shadows, the clearing was covered in flowers, and trees. She walked over and sat on a log and looked towards the male. [b "What do you think?"] she asked lightly, as she put her hands on her knees, looking around the clearing, memories flooding back into her mind.
Daryl felt Beth climb out of bed, but he didn't move. He was too cozy under her blankets to be bothered. He fell back asleep instantly. Sometime during her absence he had stretched out on his stomach to take up her whole bed. When he heard the door open again, he suddenly remembered he wasn't supposed to be here, and rolled back over to see who had come back into the room.
He breathed a sigh of relief when it was just Beth, back from her shower. She made her way over to him and covered his face in sweet kisses. He rose slowly from the bed, running a hand down his face and finally stood. He pulled Beth in for a long, morning kiss, before pulling back and nodding.
"Guess I gotta sneak back down, huh?" he asked, petting the side of her face with his thumb. He kissed her once more before finally turning away to open her door and slip out. He headed back down to the guest room, hoping he wouldn't run into anybody on the way. When he finally got there, he closed the door and started to take his own shower.
When he was out and changed he could smell bacon and he ventured out to follow the delicious smell. He didn't realize just how hungry he was until that moment.
"Good morning," Hershel said, greeting him. Maggie and Beth were already at the table. Daryl shared a look with Beth before replying.
"Smells good," he told the old man.
He sat down next to Beth, letting a long yawn escape him. While they were eating, Daryl looked up at Hershel.
"Thought about taking Beth out to shoot some with my crossbow, today," he told the man. "If that was alright with you."
"Hey, I wanna come!" Shaun said as he entered the room and starting piling eggs onto his plate.
Maggie gave her brother a stern look before Hershel shrugged. "As long as you're careful. I don't want my baby coming back to me with a missing finger."
As Beth laid there, her mind wandering to the events of the day. She couldn't help but smile lightly. She wrapped her arms around her pillow and took a small breath. Everything seemed to be falling into place finally. As she let her eyes drift closed she heard her door slowly open, and then close. The listened to the footsteps, and then another body was on the bed with her. [i "You win"] came the whisper. She felt Daryl's arms wrap around her, and pull her against him. She smirked lightly, as she ran her fingers along his skin lightly.
[b "Of course I do, you got used to having me in bed with you"] she whispered back. She felt herself start to relax the moment she felt his arms wrap around her. It felt right, but she wasn't going to lie to herself. She was nervous as hell too. She knew her dad liked to get up early, but he let his children sleep in later when they wanted too. As she listened to Daryl's breathing slow down, she knew he was sleeping. She snuggled down against him, and let sleep over come her as well.
[center ~*~ The Next Morning ~*~]
Beth awoke before her alarm was supposed to go off, and she slid her hand out and turned it off. She yawned and streached her body out. That's when she remembered Daryl was in her bed. She smiled a little as she untangled herself from his arms. She turned and looked down at the sleeping male, and smiled a bit more. She grabbed her things, and slowly slipped out of the room. She met Maggie as she was walking out as well. [u "Good morning Beth"] she yawned. Beth nudged her sister, [b "Good morning to you as well"] she said lightly.
The girls walked into the bathroom, and Beth jumped into the shower. [u "So did lover boy end up in bed with you last night?"] she asked as she washed her face, and brushed her teeth. [b "Yes Daryl ended up in bed with me, I guess we both got used to having the other around, it was had to sleep"] she admitted. She knew Maggie wouldn't say anything, so she trusted her with everything honestly. Maggie laughed lightly. [u "He hasn't tried doing anything sexual has he?"] she asked as she turned and looked towards the shower.
Beth poked her head out and shook her head. [b "No he hasn't"] she said with a small pout. She was glad he hadn't either. She didn't know what she would do if he did. She finished in the shower, and she went back to the bedroom. She made sure the door was closed firmly before she walked over to the bed. She climbed onto the bed, and sat on the male's lap. She leaned over and smirked lightly. [b "Wakey, wakey sleeping beauty, daddy's going to wonder where everyone is"] she cooed lightly, covering the male in kisses.
When everyone had finally left the room, Beth made her way over to him. She sat on his lap and together they leaned back into the huge chair. [i What do I think?] he asked himself. "I think... it's great. Everythin' is great. And you're great."
There was a short silence where the two of them just looked into each other's eyes before her lips met his. And all too soon the taste of her was gone. Daryl smirked at her comment. "You're too temping for your own good," he told her. She was ultimately leaving the decision up to him. She kissed him one more before she headed up the stairs to her room and Daryl was forced to sit alone with his own thoughts.
He didn't want to break the trust her father had already seemed to place in him... So he gathered himself up and headed towards the guest room. He changed into sweatpants and an old shirt before he laid his vest out and laid his hat on top of it. He crawled into the bed, knowing well and good that he was in the same boat as Beth. It didn't feel right sleeping alone.
After what seemed like an eternity, though it was really only a couple of hours, Daryl gave up trying to get any sleep like that. He sat up, debating with himself. And then, finally, he got out of bed and started his trek up the stairs. He tried not to let the stairs creek too loudly as he climbed. He got to Beth's door and slowly turned the knob. He could be making a huge mistake, but right now it felt like the only thing he could do.
He stepped inside and closed the door behind him. He made his way over to her bed blindly before climbing in behind her. "You win," he whispered before settling in beside her. The smell of her was overwhelming in the darkness and he loved it. He pulled her back against his front and he kissed her shoulder before finally letting his eyes close. And within minutes he was out...
As Beth let her guard down a little bit more about her playing and singing, she felt more like herself. Even with Daryl around. When she was done, and had gotten his answer she had nothing to throw are him for his comment. When he said to sing another one, she knew what one to play next. She bit her lip lightly as she leaned over and started playing once again, the lyrics falling from her lips.
[i "It's unclear now, what we intend We're alone in our own world You don't wanna be my boyfriend And I don't wanna be your girl And that, that's a relief We'll drink up our grief And pine for summer And we'll buy beer to shotgun And we'll lay in the lawn And we'll be good"]
[i "Now I'm laughing at my boredom At my string of failed attempts Because you think that it's important And I welcome the sentiment"]
[i And we talk on the phone at night Until it's daylight And I feel clever And I hear the slow in your speech Yeah you're half asleep Say goodnight"]
[i "Now I've got friendships to mend I'm selfishly dispossessed You don't wanna be my boyfriend And that's probably for the best Because that, that gets messy And you will hurt me Or I'll disappear"]
[i "So we will drink beer all day And our guards will give way And we'll be good"]
When she was done, she smiled towards her family. The sun had finally set and everyone was getting ready for bed. She placed the guitar down onto the floor, and shook her head at her father's comment. [i [b 'Oh daddy if you only knew']] she thought. She watched as Shawn went to bed, and Maggie walked over and kissed her on the head.
She hugged her sister quickly and then they were both alone. She ran her fingers through her hair, before she stood and moved over to Daryl. She placed herself into his lap, and wrapped her arms around his neck. [b "Now that everyone's gone, what do you honestly think?"] she asked. She wasn't just asking about the music, she was asking about everything in general. She didn't like not knowing what was running though his head. She tangled her fingers into his hair, as she searched his face a moment.
She leaned down and pressed her lips against his lightly. When she pulled back, her breathing was slightly heavy. She didn't know how to wrap her head around that feeling she got every time he touched her, or their lips touched. [b "You don't have to listen to dad, he's not that scary.. Plus I don't think I'd be able to sleep anyway if I didn't feel you next to me"] she whispered. She blushed lightly as she had said it out loud. She hadn't meant for it to slip out, but it was the truth. The couple times he had been in her bed, made her feel safe.
She didn't know what she would do if she didn't feel him right next to her. She had gotten so used to him being right there, it would be weird if he wasn't. She bit her lip lightly as she leaned down and kissed him again lightly. [b "You decide though"] she breathed as she slid off of the male's lap. She grabbed her guitar as she left the room, and made her way to her own. She looked up when she saw Maggie standing there. [u "You do know he might end up in there with you"] she said lightly.
Beth nodded a little. [b "He might not either, good night Maggie"] she said as she slipped into her room. She undressed and got ready for bed. She clicked off the light, slipped into her bed, and laid there listening the the house settling her heart racing slightly. She rolled onto her side, slid her hands under her pillow and let her eyes drift closed, trying to get some sleep. Knowing full well, she might not.
There was surprisingly little conversation about Daryl at the dinner table. Shawn asked what he did for a living and where he was from, but to his relief, no one wanted to dive into the territory of him and Beth.
When everyone had eaten their fill, Hershel told Beth to grab her guitar and for Shawn to start the dishes. Daryl insisted on helping the kid out. After all, he did cook the meal, he might as well help clean it up. They heard the floorboards creak as Beth went up to get her guitar, and then once more when he made her way back downstairs. After a few minutes, Shawn told Daryl that he should go into the living room with the others to hear Beth play.
"I've heard it a million times," the boy bragged. "I'll finish up here."
Daryl opened his mouth, ready to protest, but he could see it would do no good. [i What was with this family and being unable to take no for an answer?] he wondered to himself, amused. He made his way into the living room. Maggie gestured for him to take a seat in the large lazy boy, so he obliged.
Watching Beth play and sing was just as he thought it would be. She was beautiful, leaned over the guitar. Daryl had never learned how to play an instrument. His father had always said it was pointless. Not that Daryl ever had the want or the talent to do such a thing. But watching Beth play, he knew there was no way it was pointless.
There was a short silence after she finished and Daryl looked at Beth and she looked back at him. He shrugged at her question, obviously pretending to be unimpressed when he actually was. "I've heard worse," he joked. He leaned back in his chair, making himself comfortable. "Why don't you play another one?" And she did.
That night, Daryl felt a sense of family like none he'd ever felt before. Everyone was in one room, sharing in the same emotion, listening to someone they all loved sing. No one was distracted by anything else. It was silent except for the strumming of Beth's guitar. Daryl wanted to drown in that feeling forever...
She played as the sun went down and when it was finally time to call it a night, Hershel stood up slowly. "Well, I'm off to bed. Don't be too loud, kids. And Daryl?" Daryl looked up at the man, expectantly. "No sneaking into Beth's room in the middle of the night." Maggie and Shawn laughed and Daryl couldn't help but smile. He nodded his head as a promise and then Hershel continued to head up the stairs.
Shaun went off down the hallway while Maggie kissed the top of her sister's head. "I'll let you say goodnight, lovebirds," she joked before leaving, too.
The moment that the two were alone, Daryl thanked her. She nodded lightly, and kissed him back. She felt better knowing that he wasn't like that. She knew he wasn't, but it was still a good thing that she was told he wasn't. She took the male on a tour, and stopped at her bedroom. It was the same as she had left it. She raised a 'brow slightly when he said he wanted to hear her play sometime. She knew she wouldn't have much of a choice, but she would gladly do it. As she led him out to the stables, her heart lifted.
She had missed the horses more than anything. Watching them move, and riding them in the mountains. [b "I'll have to take you riding while we are here"] she said softly, as she watched one of the horses. When her father came and told them he was ready, the two walked back to the house. Beth sat with her family, and talked about school, and Emma, and how her grades were. She felt at peace, she felt bad that Daryl wasn't part of it though. Then Shawn showed up, and everything became loud. She watched her brother eyeing Daryl a moment.
She knew Shawn would approve, but he still had to make sure his sister was in good hands. When Daryl said that dinner was ready, she went inside and grabbed the plates, and forks and everything else. She carried everything to the table, and Maggie helped her set it. Once everyone was seated around the table, and dinner was being eaten, Beth's eyes went to her father. He chewed and nodded and took another bite. That was a good sign. Even though he wasn't saying anything, she knew it was a good sign. She ate her's and sat in silence.
[i "Beth honey, why don't you go get your guitar, and start playing while Shawn cleans up"] Hershel said. Beth nodded lightly, as she put her napkin on the table and stood. She was kind of nervous. She always played for her family, but this time Daryl was around. She didn't know how she would do. She had a feeling she would end up messing up, but she knew what song her dad wanted. It was one she always sang. She walked into her room, grabbed her guitar, and headed back downstairs and to the living room.
She knew that's where everyone would be, and she was right. She walked into the living room, took a seat on a chair and pulled one of her legs up under her. She checked to make sure the stings were where they needed to be, before she started to play her dad's favorite song. At first she didn't add in the lyrics, but she did a second later. It felt natural sitting here with her family playing. Even with Daryl around, it felt right. When she was done, she set the guitar aside and looked up at everyone.
Her father was smiling, Maggie was curled up on the couch, Shawn was standing in the doorway wiping his hands on a towel, and her eyes finally drifted to Daryl, [b "What did you think? You got to hear me play"] she said as she lowered her hands into her lap. She would spend hours just playing, but right now she wanted to see what the male thought. She didn't care if he didn't like it, because she knew her family did, and that's the important part. She wanted Daryl to like it as well, so she waited before she started playing again.
Daryl leaned against the front of the truck, waiting for Beth and Maggie. When he finally saw them making their way down the sidewalk, he couldn't help but smile. He almost missed Beth, even if it was only just for a couple of hours. His smile widened when she quickened her pace to meet him. He pulled her against his side as a greeting before they all piled back into the truck. Maggie was seemingly going to drive this time, putting Beth in the middle. He felt her lean against him and he wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
Maggie started up the truck to head back home and he glanced over at the two of them. "Can you grill, red neck? Dad might like the company."
Daryl let out a small laugh. "[i Can I grill?]" he said, as if he couldn't believe he'd asked the question. "Is the sky blue!?"
[i Finally!] he couldn't help but think. A good way to a man's heart was food, he'd always heard people say. Maybe he cooked something up, Hershel would take him a bit more seriously. For the rest of the ride, Daryl stole sips from Beth's drink. When they finally got home and they climbed out of the truck, he told Maggie to go on without them. He had something he needed to say to Beth.
He turned to her when Maggie disappeared into the house.
"Thanks," he mumbled, looking at a paint chip on the front of Beth's truck. "For lettin' me catch up with Carol. I just hope you don't think... y'know... I ain't like that." He looked at her, finally and felt her fingers mingle with his. "The only one I wanna kiss is you." And as if to prove his point, he leaned down and met her lips with his.
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When they were through talking they went to speak with Hershel about grilling for dinner. He seemed to be alright with the idea and said he'd call them when he was ready to start. In the meantime, Beth took Daryl on a tour around the house since he hadn't gotten to see much of it before they went to town. It was interesting imagining all the years of memories Beth had here. When they got to her room and he stuck his head inside, he smiled, thinking about Beth as a child, curled up under pink covers. He saw her guitar in the corner of the room and pointed. "I wanna hear you play, sometime," he confessed.
The tour took them outside and she led him to the stables. He got to meet the horses. He'd ridden horses before, but he always preferred his motorcycle. Seeing them now though, with Beth, made him realize whey some people loved the creatures. He patted their necks as they sniffed his hair and he couldn't help but smile.
Hershel found them a moment later, ready to start cooking. Daryl was excited to show the man what he knew. Daryl knew he wasn't that smart, but if he knew anything, it was how to barbecue.
Daryl decided that he would do all of the cooking and told Hershel to just sit back and relax. He liked his space when he worked, anyway. Beth's family all sat outside and passed stories around while they waited. Daryl was content to just stand aside and listen. About halfway through the grilling, another truck pulled up and a young man stepped out.
"Something smells good! Am I too late?" he called, jumping up onto the wrap around porch where they sat.
"Just in time," Daryl told him. The boy noticed him and they shook hands.
"I'm Shawn. You must be Daryl." Daryl simply nodded. "You cooking for us? I'm excited! Been a while since we had anything but dad's overcooked steak."
Hershel gave his son a look, but they could all see the amusement in his eyes.
When the food was cooked to perfection, they all filed back into the house and into the kitchen. Daryl waited while Beth gathered the plates and not too long afterward they were all sharing the meal. And everyone seemed to like it. Daryl couldn't have been more glad. He watched Hershel chew, nod slowly to himself, then take another bite. That might be all the praise he got from the man for now, but it would do.
Beth stood there listening to the male. She sighed a little, as she knew she was losing this battle. She didn't like the fact he was alone with Carol, but she might as well let him be. She bit her lip lightly and nodded a little. [b "Alright"] was all she said. She didn't like the idea, but she shoved those thoughts aside. She might as well make the best of this. She turned and went to find her sister. Once she got back to her sister, they linked arms and walked down the sidewalk together. [u "You are jealous"] Maggie teased.
Beth dug her elbow into her sister's side ignoring her comment. As the two walked, Beth couldn't help but feel jealous. Carol had seen a side of Daryl she might not have seen. She knew the male would open up sooner or later, and till then she wouldn't push him. The two went from store to store, Beth not really buying anything. Till they came to her favorite street car. She ordered a banana smoothie, and paid. The first thing she had bought since they got there. Her and Maggie moved over to a table and sat down, sipping on their smoothies.
[u "Are you really letting that woman get under your skin? Beth, I see the way Daryl looks at you. He likes you, and he's not going to let anything ruin that, I can tell"] she said as she watched her sister's face. Beth sighed and nodded a little. [b I suppose you are right, I shouldn't let it get to me, but I don't know.. I feel like she's seen more than I have.."] she admitted as she looked down at the table, running her fingers lightly up and down the straw. Maggie shook her head and leaned forward.
[u "You are still in the stage of getting to know each other, you'll see more of Daryl when he's ready to show you. It'll just take time baby girl"] she said, as she took Beth's hand in hers and squeezed it. Beth looked up at the woman and smiled. [b "Thanks Mags, you honestly know the right things to say when I need to hear it"] she said softly. The girls chatted a little more about school, and dating, and life in general. Before Beth knew it, Daryl was calling and she answered. [b "Hi, you done?"] she asked softly.
When the male had said he was, her and Maggie were done and they decided it was time to head home. [b "Meet us by the truck, I have one more thing to get"] and with that she hung up. The sister's stood, threw their cups away and Beth bought one more smoothie, and the girls headed back to the truck. Beth chewed on the straw as she handed the truck keys to her sister. [b "I don't wanna drive"] she said. Maggie smirked a little, [u "you'd rather be curled up against the male"] she joked.
Beth's cheeks turned red in an instant and nodded lightly. She took a sip of the berry treat, and rolled her eyes. Her sister knew her too well. As the girls rounded the corner and spotted the truck and Daryl, Beth quickened her pace slightly. [b "Do you think daddy would want to grill tonight?"] she asked as they walked up to the truck. Maggie shrugged a little, [u "it might help dad's mood a little bit. He hasn't grilled for a while"] she admitted. She unlocked the truck, and let Beth climb in first. Then she climbed in behind her sister.
She shut the door, started the truck and once Daryl was inside, she couldn't help but feel slightly jealous of her sister right then and there. She watched as Beth made herself comfortable against Daryl and she smirked a little bit. [u "Can you grill red neck? Dad might like the company"] she said as she started the truck, and headed back towards the farm. Beth sat there letting her mind wander, as she leaned her head against Daryl's shoulder, chewing on the straw again, letting the two talk.
When they got on the road, Maggie turned to Daryl, obviously hoping for some details about him. [i Why did you decide to have Beth?] Daryl didn't know how to answer that. Did he really decide anything?
Before he had a chance to reply, though, the sisters got into a friendly tiff. Beth brought up a boy which put Maggie on the defensive. She saw through Beth's attempt to get her to stop interrogating Daryl, though and she turned right back to him. All he could manage was a shrug and a small smile as they pulled into a parking space.
Beth and Maggie both exited on her side, instantly linking arms as he climbed out through the passenger door. He felt somewhat like a third wheel when it came to the two of them, but he didn't mind in the least. Beth seemed to love her sister and no doubt missed her when she was away. Daryl could understand that. When Merle was out of town for a while, Daryl didn't feel exactly whole. He just supposed that was something that came from being close to your siblings... Even if Daryl and Merle weren't conventionally close.
He was walking around the truck to catch up with the girls who were already on the path to somewhere. He shoved his hands in his pockets and looked at his surroundings, giving them some time to catch up without him on their heels. But he was so busy taking in the sights that he didn't even realize the woman running directly for him.
"Daryl!" she shouted, allowing him only seconds to make eye contact before she was on him. Her hug was so sudden it almost knocked him over.
"Carol?" he asked, dumbfounded.
The woman took his face between her hands, smushing his cheeks as she gave him a big kiss. "My god, look at you," she said as she looked him over. "You hair is so long," she realized, laughing. "Still afraid of socializing with a hairstylist?" Daryl couldn't help but lower his gaze shyly and scratched his nose, a smile coming to his lips. "What are you doing here?"
Daryl had just opened his mouth to reply, but Beth had interrupted. Suddenly his heart climbed into his throat, finally realizing how this would look to someone else. She demanded to know who Carol was, so Carol introduced herself. When it was Beth's turn, Daryl wanted to calm everyone down, but Beth wasn't having any of this.
Daryl felt hopeless. He opened his mouth once more, but Beth started to drag him away. He motioned for Carol to just hold on a moment. When he saw Beth's fave and the jealousy written all over it, he couldn't help but smile. Of all people, Daryl never thought he'd be in this situation.
"Carol and I go back a ways," he explained to her. "She was pretty much the only other serious relationship I've been in. She ain't a threat, alright?" He glanced back at Carol, then looked to Beth. "I had no idea she'd be here. I didn't ask her to come up and do that," he said, defending himself. He caught his temper rising, so he forced it to calm back down. He moved the hair from Beth's face.
"Beth, was it?" came Carol's voice. She started to step up to them and she held out her left hand, showing them her ring. "I'm married, sweetie. I'm not trying to steal your man," she said with a calm smile. Daryl was shocked to hear the news. He smiled a bit.
"Well, congrats," he told her, genuinely glad for the woman.
"Would have invited you to the wedding, but you rarely have an address these days," he joked with him. She turned to Beth, then. "Do you mind if I borrow him for a bit? I'd like to catch up."
"Go shop with Maggie," he told Beth. "You've got your own catching up to do, right?"
If Daryl were smart, he would have realized it was a bad idea. But somehow he convinced her into it. They parted, Beth with Maggie and Daryl with Carol. He hoped Beth wouldn't be too mad at him for this. But Carol was his first flame and he hadn't spoken to her in years. He looked back at Beth as they walked away, wondering if this might end in one of their passionate fights. And if it did, he wondered if it was safe to assume it would end in kisses like the past few fights. The thought put a sly smile on his face.
Carol caught a glimpse of his happiness.
"You look good," she said suddenly. He looked over at her, raising his eyebrows. "I think she's good for you."
"You don't even know her," he pointed out.
Carol shrugged, linking her arm with his as they walked. "I don't have to. I know those looks. You gave those to me once upon a time. But even with me I could rarely get you to smile. Yet you've smiled three times in the last five minutes." Daryl couldn't help but smile again, which caused Carol to laugh.
"So, who's the man?" he asked. "Do I know him?"
Carol shook her head. "He's... different. But I love him," he confessed. Daryl nodded. She changed the subject quickly. "Still wearing that vest?" she laughed. "The hat's new."
"Beth got it for me," he told her.
"She has good taste. It suits you."
Their meeting went on as they filled in the gaps between their times of being in contact. Before he had known it two hours had gone by. Carol could tell he was getting antsy, so she told him to call Beth. She gave him her number so they could stay in touch, and then as fast as she'd come, Carol was gone...
Daryl put the phone to his ear and waited for Beth to pick up so they could meet up again.
Beth honestly didn't know where she was going. All she knew was, her father needed his space, and it was better when no one was around. She looked towards the two and smirked a little bit. [b "Town I suppose, just need to let dad gather his thoughts without us being around"] she admitted. It was another good reason to get out of the house though. Take Daryl around her home town, show off her favorite spots. Maggie leaned against Beth, as she looked towards Daryl. [u "What's your story? Why did you decide to have Beth?"] she asked bluntly.
The woman hissed as Beth dug her elbow into her ribs. [b "Be nice Mag's"] she said her eyes on the road as she headed into town. She honestly didn't like when Maggie got like this. It was like, she was testing the male, but at the same time trying to dig her nose into his business. She rolled her eyes lightly as she looked away from the road a moment. [b "Have you talked to that Glenn kid lately?"] she asked, making her sister shut up in and instant about grilling Daryl. The silence and daggers made her smile. She hit a sore spot.
[u "No I haven't, end of story. He's not even interested anyway. Why would he be?"] she rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest, sulking. Beth shifted and wrapped her arm around her older sister. [b "He's stupid if he's ignoring you"] she said, and Maggie looked at her, rolling her own eyes. [u "You are just trying to get me to stop grilling your boyfriend, and it's not working"] she grinned, and pinched Beth's side. Beth squeeked at the pinch and removed her arm from around Maggie, placing her hand back on the wheel.
[b "Just be nice.."] she said softly. She wasn't in the mood to have Maggie scaring off someone else she cared about. She knew Maggie was doing it, because she loved her, but sometimes the woman could be a lot to handle. As they entered town Beth pulled into a small parking lot, and shut off the truck. [b "I hope you are ready to do some walking, cause that's what we are doing"] she said as she jumped down, Maggie right behind her. The sisters linked arms, and started walking away from the truck slowly.
As the two were walking, a woman rushed past them nearly knocking Beth off her feet. [b "Watch it"] she muttered, as she turned to see where the woman was going. When she saw the woman throwing herself into Daryl's arms, her anger sparked. Who the bloody hell was that? She thought as she watched the woman take Daryl's face in her's, and kissed him on the mouth. That made Beth drop Maggie's arm and walked back towards Daryl. Maggie just stood there, with a grin on her face, her arms crossed watching the whole thing unfold before her eyes.
Beth walked up behind the woman, and she stood there a moment watching the two. Her arms crossed, her hip out, her eyes blazing with jealously. [b "Excuse me, who are you? And why are you kissing him?"] she snapped. When the woman pulled back, her cheeks flushed, she looked at the blonde and raised a 'brow lightly. [i "I'm Carol, and I know Daryl, him and I used to be together, who are you?"] the woman questioned. The words leaving the other woman's mouth sparked her jealously even more. [b "I'm Beth, Daryl's girlfriend. Now kindly back off, before I make you back off"] she hissed.
She took Daryl's hand and gently tugged him away from the woman. She wasn't about to stick around any longer than she had to. When they were far enough away, she dropped the male's hand, turned around to face him, arms crossed. [b "Care to explain?"] she asked, her jealously apparent on her face.
Daryl nodded when Maggie had warned him not to close the door while alone with Beth, even though it had been her doing. He had figured there would be such a rule. It was a strange thought, considering her father had no control over where she was back at campus. He figured he would lose his head if he found out Daryl had slept at Beth's place the last couple of nights. But no one in this house needed to know that.
While he waited for Beth to speak with her father- no doubt about the bruises and what had taken place that night- he set to unpacking his crossbow. It was more out of boredom than necessity, but he hadn't exactly looked it over since he got it back from its kidnapper.
He remembered how Jim had handled the bow that night. Even if he had managed to fire a bolt, it wouldn't have hit its mark. It was stupid for the man to believe he could simply learn the tricks and the trade of shooting a crossbow overnight.
He knelt, opening the large case and pulled out the heavy weapon. He ran his hands over the smooth surface, feeling the occasional dent or two. He knew where every one of them was and he remembered what had caused them, so he knew when he had found new ones from the fight to free Beth. He ran his thumb over the new dinks, glad they weren't too deep. Daryl had had this bow for over ten years. His half-uncle Jess had given it to him. He was more of a father figure to him than his own father ever was. Granted, he still wasn't much of a role model, but he was all Daryl had sometimes. The though made him realize that he really should give that man a call...
Daryl leaned his crossbow on the chair before stepping back just as there came a knock at the door again. He turned to find Beth and by the look on her face she had told her father about that night. All she said to him was that they were going out and Daryl wasn't going to complain. He grabbed his hat off the bed post and followed the girls outside. He couldn't tell if he was excited or nervous that Maggie was coming along. Beth had said that she liked him, sure. But now he had to prove himself. He shrugged the thought off.
Beth got into the driver's seat, and since her truck had no back seat, Maggie had to be sandwiched in the middle between her sister and Daryl.
"Cozy?" Maggie asked him as he managed to squeeze himself inside and shut the door.
"Dandy," he replied with a smirk. "So, where to?"
Beth watched him a moment a small smile playing on her lips. [b "That's just how he is, he's not always like that, but when it comes to his children he has to be"] she said with a small shrug. When he walked over and wrapped his arms around, and kissed her head he moved a little too soon. She sighed lightly as she ran her fingers through her hair. She walked into the room and shut the door slightly. She didn't close it all the way though. She sat on one of the chairs in the room and she looked down.
[b "Maggie thinks it's better if I tell daddy what happened, I just know he'll end up going and using his shot gun. I hate it when he loses his temper anyway"] she admitted. This was one of the times she was honestly scared to tell her father anything. She looked up and locked her eyes on his. [b "But she does think you are good for me. She didn't really say it, but I could tell she wanted to"] she said with a small smile. There was a knock on the door and Maggie poked her head in.
[u "Dad wants to see you Beth"] she said as she glanced towards the male on the bed. [u "If I were you, I'd keep this door open if Beth is in here with you. You don't want my dad to have reason to murder you"] she said, part kidding but serious at the same time. Beth stood and she moved over to the bed, leaned down and kissed the male's forehead. [b "Make yourself at home, I'll be back in a little bit"] she said softly. Maggie stood there watching, but then turned when Beth followed her out the door.
[u "Did you close the door?"] she questioned. Beth nodded at her sister, [b "Yes I did. I know the rules Maggie, no need to get on Daryl's case about it"] she snapped. She knew what her father wanted to talk about, and it was making her nervous as hell. She didn't like being nervous, but knew it was bound to happen one way or another. She bit her lip as she came to her father's bedroom door. It was closed, and she knew what that meant. She looked at her sister who only shrugged and went down the hallway leaving Beth alone.
She lifted her hand and knocked on the door. [i "Come in Beth"] he called. Beth took a breath and turned the knob and walked into the room. [b "You wanted to see me?"] she asked softly. The man looked up and he nodded at his child. [i "Yes I did, I wanted to talk to you about Daryl, and that bruise on you face"] he said sitting up in his chair. He pointed to the bed, and Beth went and sat down. She put her hands in her lap, and looked down at her hands.
She couldn't look at her father. This was going to be a lot harder to tell him. [b "Would you rather we talk about Daryl first? Or the blowing up section?"] she asked softly. Hershel looked at his daughter and he stood and moved beside her. He took her hand in his and kissed it. [i "I just want you to know, I'm not happy about you being with someone older than you, but I can tell he cares about you, I saw the way he looked at you, and you looked at him. I will give you my blessing"]
Beth's head snapped up and she looked at her father, pure shock on her face. [b "You will?"] she breathed. The older male nodded and wrapped his arms around his daughter and hugged her tightly. [i "Now tell me about the bruise. If he didn't do it, who did?"] he asked pulling back and looked her straight in the eyes. Beth bit her lip and didn't dare look away. She couldn't tell him, she was scared of how he was going to react, and she knew all hell would break loose once the words left her mouth. She bit her lip and looked down.
She took a breath and started the same story again, [b "I know I shouldn't have been in the bar in the first place, but Emma wanted to go, so I agreed to it. We get there, I see Daryl, and his friend sees me. I was going to ask Daryl why he'd been avoiding me, when his friend comes up, tries to cop a feel and everything. Daryl didn't like it, so they both got into a fight about it. Then I started seeing him wherever I went. If I was work, or out with Emma, or doing whatever he was always there. It scared me..."]
[b "I went to go get dinner when he grabbed me, and knocked me out cold. When I awoke I didn't know where I was, but I was tied to a chair and everything started happening at once. He sent some pictures to Daryl, and then he started beating me. He was going towards a hammer when Daryl and Rick showed up. He's in jail now, but I don't know for how long. So there you go, you have the whole story pretty much"]
When she was done she couldn't look at her father. She could feel him getting angry, but he kept his cool. [i "I understand that, and I'm glad he protects you. You are free to go now"] he said, the anger in his voice making Beth jump to her feet. She hurried out of the room, and went back to Daryl's room. She knew her father needed time alone. She knocked on the door before walking in. [b "You and I are going out for the night, let's go"] was all she said as she turned and walked back out. Maggie came out of her room and raised a 'brow.
[u "He's pissed isn't he?"] she asked. Beth only nodded and Maggie knew. [u "I'm coming with you"] she said, and the two walked out and went to stand by the truck waiting for Daryl. They would spend most of the evening in town, so Hershel would calm down enough to have them back in the house. The girls climbed into the truck, and waited.
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