I do not own The Walking Dead or Twilight. I do not condone underage drinking. Just putting that out there as this chapter contains it.
Charlie and Bella nodded upon one another as she and Daryl entered the building. To the chief’s surprise she sat beside him and was checking his wound over.
“I see you got it patched up.”
He nodded in response.
“Did you take something for pain and for possible infection?”
“All taken care of, Bells.”
She lowered her hand back down.
“I’m sorry…” she whispered, whilst staring off to a corner of the room.
“You haven’t anything to be sorry about.”
She shook her head in full disagreement.
“Come on, dad. You know that isn’t true. I’ve given you nothing but hell since I first arrived. And that was never my intention. This is isn’t what I envisioned for us.”
He narrowed his eyes and stopped sharpening the knife he’d in his hand.
“You’ve every right to hate me…”
“I don’t hate you. I…”
“Are you sure about that?” He challenged.
“Well you should…”
The chief came to his feet and placed the knife into its sheath.
“I can look back on it, on everything and believe me… I get it. Things will never be the same between us. And I haven’t anyone to blame. I did this. I turned my back to you and now it’s time for you to do the same. It’s no more than I deserve.”
He started to walk away.
Charlie stopped in his tracks and turned back around. She caught the man off-guard as she dashed over and hugged him.
“I’m not going anywhere…” she softly assured.
He nodded in relief and hugged her in return. The chief shut his eyes for a brief moment and kissed the top of her head. He swallowed back as she started to cry. Daryl motioned for the others to follow him outside so they could have their privacy. Charlie nodded upon him respectfully. Daryl nodded in return as he was the last one out the door.
“Shhhh… I got you, Bells. And I’m not letting go this time. I mean it. We stick together and see this through.”
She nodded and he hugged her even closer. This had him starting to tear up a bit himself. He cleared his throat and drew back a breath.
“Wanna help me unload the supplies?”
Charlie dropped his hold and they headed out to the truck.
“So you and Daryl…” He murmured as they were unloading.
“Well I doubt we’re getting hitched and popping out a couple kids anytime soon, but yeah… It’s serious.”
“Don’t sound that serious to me…”
Bella rolled her eyes, “really, dad?”
He nodded as he grabbed a case of water.
“He treatin’ you right?”
She smiled and set down one of the boxes of food.
“Yeah dad… Don’t let the rough exterior fool you. He’s a good man with a big heart. You’ll see that soon enough.”
“And you love him?”
“Didn’t I tell you that already?”
He drew back a hesitant breath.
“Yeah, but feel the need to double check.”
She sort of laughed and grabbed another box.
“Yes, I love him.”
Her father reared back as he observed her more closely. He noticed something he’d never seen before.
“And I thought you were gaga over that Edward kid. Hell. Who’d have thought that a guy like Daryl would get your motor going? And I still say he’s too old for you.”
“DAD!” She hissed with embarrassment and he chuckled.
“And you said that same thing about Edward!”
“Come on, Bells. Think back to that Cullen kid and to this redneck now. You wanna talk about a complete 180?”
“Are we really going to compare the boyfriend I had to kill to the one I have now?!”
“And you think I got problems?!”
“I’m just sayin’ you didn’t blush like that around him.”
“Oh my god. Dad… so not helping.”
He chuckled on this.
She shook her head and carried one of the boxes into the building. When they finished unloading the supplies, they went and helped the others with the fence. Glenn and Carol were keeping watch at the towers and were taking out nearby walkers as they kept guard. Charlie regarded the walkers his daughter had dealt with the day before. He didn’t care for how reckless she was being at the time. But he couldn’t help but to be somewhat impressed by the sheer amount she and the others took out.
When the outbreak first occurred, Bella saw a side of her father she wasn’t aware of. He hated it, but knew he hadn’t much choice. If she stepped out of line or pulled something stupid. He let her know. No matter how much it hurt her feelings at the time. Her ability to take out that many walkers was the chief’s doing. His training is what got her to this point. He wanted her prepared for whatever came their way. The chief taught his daughter to survive. He’d be damned if she ended up like the others. Women and children seemed to bite the dust the quickest. And some of those casualties had nothing to do with the walkers. It was the survivors. He’d rather deal with walkers anytime of the day. And yet here he was… leading a group of survivors.
He observed Michonne in thought. She was walking the perimeter of the fence. She’d kick at it every now and then making certain it was stable. He wondered how Bella was going to respond to his and Michonne’s relationship. They’d kept it hidden – a mutual decision. It provided less drama and they wanted their privacy. Michonne was also far more reserved than most women, at least when it came to public affection. In the bedroom that was a different story in its entirety. The woman was a little minx with a drive that Charlie had a hard time keeping up with. Not that he was complaining. Why would he? He was certainly up for the challenge.
Charlie looked over as his daughter had cut her finger on the fence. He raised his brows as Daryl took her finger into his mouth and licked it clean. He wrinkled his nose and muttered something about, bacteria, infections, and vampires. The man cleared his throat and forced himself to look away as they were being lovey dovey with one another. He knew that was something he’d have to get used to. But he didn’t expect it out of his daughter of all people. She was laughing, smiling, and seemed genuinely happy, whereas with her ex? She was shy, seemed unsure of herself, and even more reserved than that of Michonne. He drew back a breath on this and only prayed he didn’t wind up having to put a bullet in the guy’s head. For two reasons – One for breaking his daughter’s heart or two the day he became a walker.
“Still believe he’s just using her?”
“Only time will tell…”
“The man killed his own brother…” she reminded.
“Eh, the guy was a dick anyhow. So it’s not like it was a big loss.”
Michonne cocked a brow on this and Charlie sighed.
“Just a little…”
Charlie pinched the bridge of his nose and Michonne surprisingly pecked him on the cheek.
“Just watch what you say around those two.”
“You honestly believe I’m going to walk up to the guy and remind him of what a dick his brother was?”
“Sounds pretty legit to me.” She witted with a smirk and went about her way.
“Well that takes care of the fence.” Daryl murmured and Bella nodded in return.
He wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his head about her shoulder.
“We gotta burn the bodies…”
“Yeah well let’s eat somethin’ first…”
“Did you and your father make amends?”
“I think so…”
“Good deal, little bunny.”
She pivoted around and leaned against his chest.
“You never told me how the scouting trip went.”
“Well it was interestin’ that’s for certain.”
She lifted off his chest and gazed upon him in wonder.
“I tell you what…” he looked around the area and flashed her something he had hidden in his vest.
He cut her a wink afterword.
“We can talk about it over this tonight…”
“Sounds like a date.”
“I thought so…”
She laughed as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders. They were heading towards their side of the prison when Carol stopped them.
“Why don’t you join us tonight? We got a few cases of beer, good food, can’t get any better than that.”
They looked one another in thought. Bella shrugged as she considered her father.
“See you then. Everyone… I hope.”
Daryl rolled his eyes and Bella elbowed him.
“Yeah sure, why not…” He replied with a groan.
Carol nodded and walked away.
“I thought we were gonna get wasted and fuck the night away…” Daryl complained once Carol was out of sight.
Bella’s eyes widened however and he narrowed his as he followed her gaze. He swallowed back as Charlie was standing just a couple feet away from him.
“Chief, I…” Daryl started to apologize only to have Charlie wrap an arm around him.
“You’re fucked is what you are.”
“Dad…” Bella groaned with embarrassment.
“Nah, it’s time we had a little talk.” He said as he was leading Daryl away.
“You do remember what I said?”
Daryl cut him a puzzled look.
“You’re gonna make an honest woman out of my daughter, right?”
This had the redneck choking back and he wasn’t even drinking.
“Don’t you think that’s the least of our concerns? I mean the world’s gone to shit and it’s not like there’s a JP around the corner?”
Charlie stopped in his tracks and faced him.
“If there was a way… Would you marry my daughter?”
Daryl felt his entire body heat over and he let out an uncomfortable sigh.
“Well yeah… Maybe not right away but…”
Daryl reared back as the chief nodded and simply walked away.
“What the hell?” he muttered and ran his fingers through his hair.
“Everything okay?” Bella asked as she made her way over.
“Nothin’ I can’t handle, sweet thang…”
“What’d he say?!”
“Don’t worry on it…”
They looked over seeing as that her father’s group had started a burn pile for the walker’s bodies. Everyone was teaming up and tossing them over.
“Guess we better help em out.”
Bella nodded in agreement.
“Nah, skirt’s too short.”
Daryl raised his brows on this.
“I tell you the skirt’s too short for the walker to have been a librarian in their human days and that’s your go to?”
“Are we talking porn or actual teaching?”
“Are you admitting that you watched porn?”
“Never seen the stuff. I just heard about it.” He scoffed with a smirk as they tossed the body into the fire.
“Sure… and I imagine you never had a Playboy and if you did you only read it for the articles.”
“What’s a Playboy?” He taunted.
“You’re so full of shit. I bet you were a perv that couldn’t keep his hands out of his pants.”
He raised his brows on this. Bella giggled as they tossed another body into the flames.
“It’s called CM…” He said with a serious mien about him.
She narrowed her eyes and they stopped what they were doing. He sighed looking embarrassed.
“CM?” the young woman questioned curiously.
He nodded and looked around the area.
“Yeah, you know… It stands for Compulsive Masturbation…” he whispered and rubbed the back of his neck uncomfortably.
“I’ve never heard of that…”
“Yeah well, it took me years of counseling to overcome it.”
“Overcome what exactly?”
“It’s when you do it like… anywhere… And you don’t even realize you are. You can be in front of a group of people and you’re jerking it, right there!”
Her jaw dropped.
“Wait… You really had CM?”
He nodded and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“I couldn’t go anywhere. I had to be homeschooled. Dad never liked leaving me home alone with mom.”
“Daryl… I…” she lowered her head feeling like a royal bitch now.
“I’m so sorry. I hadn’t any idea… How’d you overcome it?”
He smiled and died of laughter.
“You should’ve seen your face! Oh man… That shits too funny! I can’t believe you fell for that ridiculous sob story!”
She gritted her teeth and punched him in the arm.
“Ugh! I can’t believe you!”
He was laughing so hard he had tears streaming down his face.
“Oh you’re something else you know that, little bunny? I thought you were gonna cry over my “CM”. Hell maybe I should’ve kept going with it and pretended to have an episode. So you could take care of me.”
“Shut it, Locksley.” She murmured as they tossed the last body in.
The group looked to one another afterward. Bella regarded Lori in wonder as she was cutting Michonne one hell of a dirty look. Michonne took no notice as her mind was elsewhere. The young woman knew Lori was going to become an ‘issue’ sooner or later. But that’s when it truly occurred to her. She turned to Daryl in wonder.
He reared back wondering that himself now. Did the old man put a bullet in the idiot’s head after all? Or did he really make him leave? The redneck thought to himself.
“Hell if I know…”
“Watch yourself around him… he’s sketchy.” She warned and started to head on in.
Daryl reached out and gently took her by the arm. He’d remembered the bruise she had on her stomach but said nothing on it at the time, as they were in the heat of the moment. He lifted her shirt just enough to reveal it.
“He do that?”
She drew back a hesitant breath but nodded.
“Jesus… I should’ve taken the son of bitch’s nuts!”
“Daryl… I’m okay.”
He shook his head in disagreement.
“I’ve seen enough of that shit in my day. My old man used to smack my mother around. No one’s gonna smack my girl around! Wherever he is… He’d better steer clear of you. I ain’t fuckin’ around.”
Daryl lowered her shirt back down.
“Mind yer business…” the redneck snapped as he caught the boy staring at them.
“Daryl…” Bella scolded.
“Go on now. Get…” he spat with a curled lip.
Carl rolled his eyes and headed inside.
“He’s just a kid…”
“Kid or not. He’s a little shit…”
“Yeah well, that’s his supposed father figure’s doing. I can promise you that…”
“No matter. He best watch it. Him and that bitch mother of his.”
“I’ll agree with you on that one. But we can’t blame the boy for the way he’s raised.”
“Kid’s got a god damn mind of his own… Ya don’t see me actin’ like my old man.”
“Maybe he needs someone else to look up to…”
“You two are looking awfully serious…”
They turned seeing Carol with a couple of beers in hand. She smiled and handed them over.
“Join us. Food’s almost ready.”
Daryl regarded Bella with a shrug as he popped open his beer. He took a swig and had this heavenly appearance to him. The women laughed.
“Hmmm, now that I missed…” he murmured as he took another swig.
“Help yourself we got plenty. Might as well enjoy it, while you can.”
They followed Carol into the cafeteria. Bella and Daryl looked to one another in disbelief as they had a table set out with nothing but food. They had rolls, green beans, two different kinds of meat, and they even had desert. Carol headed into the kitchen and started to bring out more food.
“Think it’s poisoned?” Daryl whispered as he nudged Bella’s shoulder.
“At this point I really don’t care.”
“Right?” he said with a chuckle.
They tipped their beers together and downed them to the last drop.
“I’ll get us a couple more.”
She nodded as he headed to table where the beers were.
“Let me guess… You don’t want me drinking?” Bella said as her father made his way over.
He shook his head.
“You’re what 21, 22 something like that…”
“Then there’s not a lot I can say on the matter. Now is there?”
“That’s about what I figured.”
“So what’d you say to him…?”
“Come on, dad…”
Charlie sighed and finished the beer he had in his hand.
“Just had a little man to man talk, that’s all.”
She went to say something on this but Daryl had returned with the beer. He handed one over to the chief as well.
“Where’d all this come from?” Bella asked curiously.
Her father and Daryl told her about their little adventure with the survivors. Once they finished she sort of laughed.
“Karma’s a bitch…”
“Right?” Daryl replied with a chuckle.
“Well you two better enjoy. This doesn’t happen often. But we figured now was a good time to get everyone together and let loose.” The chief uttered as he got in line for the food.
“Let loose…” Daryl heard Bella mutter with a touch of sarcasm.
“Yeah… You and me both, sweet thang…” he added in perfect understanding.
They looked to everyone in the room.
“So which one’s gonna flip their switch and put the others at risk?” Daryl whispered in question.
Bella nodded towards Lori first.
“Then that one for obvious reasons…” she hinted as to Carl next.
He nodded as he was thinking the same thing.
“Too soon to tell…”
“And which are the weakest links?”
Bella rather sighed on this but narrowed her eyes in thought.
“Hershel and Lori. The boy has potential but as long as he’s under his mother’s influence he doesn’t stand a chance. She’s setting him up for failure. He won’t last either.”
She motioned towards Carol.
“And that one’s hiding something.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Come on Daryl… You really think Martha Stewart made it this far? You should’ve seen that woman when the walkers attacked. She’s a hell of a marksman… even better with a knife. But she was acting very odd about it and seemed to be keeping guard of everyone else around her. And this whole ‘friendly’ act of hers. There’s just something so fake about it. She’s not near as effervescent as she wants to make herself out to be.”
“And how you know that?”
“My father. That man you know now? That wasn’t the man who raised me. When the virus first took over I started to see bits and pieces of him. But once everything went full on apocalyptic, it was like I was truly meeting him for the first time. I’m getting that same vibe off that one. Don’t let the cardigan sweater fool you. She’s gonna snap one day. And everyone had better back the fuck up.”
Daryl raised his brows on the devilish smile his girl had going.
“You’re a bit of a freak… aren’t you?”
She laughed in response.
“Now Locksley, we’re just getting warmed up.”
“…fuck…” he groaned in misery.
“Ya can’t do that ta me.”
“Do what?” She taunted.
“You know what. I can’t hump ya in front of your old man. Not unless I want a bullet launched up my rectum.”
“Now that’s a pretty picture.”
“Not really… believe me.”
Daryl finished his beer and got in line. Bella drew back a breath as her father was gesturing for her to come get a plate as well. At this point she wasn’t sure how to feel about all this. She hated that feeling… so many eyes at once. And she hadn’t any idea who to trust. She was afraid of getting too comfortable and letting her guard down. Doing that could cost her… big time. She observed Daryl, Maggie, Glenn, and Hershel in thought. They were her responsibility now. And that wasn’t something she’d ever take lightly.
“Eat Bells…” her father remarked as he passed by.
“In time out…”
She raised her brows on this.
The chief nodded as he took a seat and patted the area beside him. She sat down as he sipped at his beer.
“Tyreese told me you saved his life?”
Bella observed the man from afar. He was talking to Carl and Lori.
“He also told me about your little situation with Shane.”
“Nothing I couldn’t handle. But surely you know he can’t be trusted. I’m pretty certain he’s the reason that fence collapsed and I’m not sure how. But he had to of gathered those walkers. How else would there be that many at once and at just the right opportunity?”
“You’re not the only one that feels that way.”
“So what’d you do?”
“I was gonna send him on his way…” Charlie admitted but nodded towards Lori and the boy.
“Ended up locking him up instead.”
She nodded in understanding.
“That boy… He won’t last if someone doesn’t show him how it’s really done.”
“Trust me; I’ve had those same thoughts. His mother’s a real piece of work. She’s so concerned with her own needs; she doesn’t know where the boy is half the time. It’s a wonder he’s made it this far. I think a lot of that had to do with his father before he passed away. But whatever his father taught him is seemingly wearing off. He’s getting rather careless and that there comes from Shane. He’s got the attitude to go with it as well.”
Bella leaned back and shook her head in thought.
“What?” Her father asked taking notice.
“I’ve a feeling there’s more behind this…”
“Well think about it, dad… He lost his father not long ago. His mother is of questionable character and the one male figure he looks up to – is a complete douchebag. Shane’s only concern is taking over. And from the sounds of it that Lori chick moved on pretty damn quick… To be honest… She reminds me of mom.”
Charlie choked back on a piece of meat.
“No… believe me I’ve thought that myself.”
Bella pinched the bridge of her nose and had that guilty mien about her. Charlie patted her on the back.
“Don’t start that… You’re just being honest. I know you loved your mother. We both did…”
“I might’ve loved her. But I didn’t exactly ‘like’ her.”
Charlie sighed knowing that feeling all too well. That’s about the way he felt not long before Renee called it quits. She had one foot out the door the entire relationship. He’d only hoped he could make her happy. They weren’t even divorced yet when Phil came into the picture, which had him wondering at times. But he never mentioned it for the sake of his daughter. The last thing he wanted was to add more stress to the situation. He remembered how broken up his daughter was over the divorce in the first place. Even more so when Renee dragged her out kicking and screaming. Charlie swallowed back in memory and looked to the boy once again.
“So you think the boy needs some time to actually deal with the loss of his father?”
“Kind of hard to do when his mother pretty much forced this new father figure into his life. And the kid seems like he’s too prideful to admit that he’s in pain. But you can see it in his eyes. If he doesn’t have some sort of outlet soon. He’s gonna bust. And it won’t be pretty. It could cost him or everyone here. He’s what 12 or 13?”
“All the more reason. He’s hitting that age. Not quite a man but he isn’t a child either.”
“Those are called teenagers, Bells. In fact you were one just a few years back.”
Her father smiled.
“I’m glad you finally think so.”
“When Phil came into the picture…” she murmured with a sigh and folded her arms about her chest.
Charlie narrowed his eyes as her body became tense and she’d this painful expression in her eyes.
“That’s when I knew it was over… I remember how much I wanted to hate him. But he never gave me any reason to. If anything it was like he was trying too hard to get in my good graces. And at the time… It only seemed to piss me off even more. I hit him once…”
Charlie reared back on this.
She nodded with a shameful mien.
“I mentioned something about wanting to see you. That was back when mom was trying to get full custody because of the move. And the two of you were going at it like cats and dogs over the phone or anytime you saw one another.”
Charlie flinched on this. He remembered those days all too well. One of the few times he hated Renee. It’s like she wanted to punish him and for reasons he never understood. What did he do, to deserve having his daughter ripped right out of his arms and moved a few states away? Then to have Renee demanding full custody? Charlie thought he’d commit battery for the first time ever. He never wanted to hit a woman. But he sure did that day. It was bad enough she hadn’t any real reason for leaving him other than boredom and hating the town they were in. He never raised a hand to her, loved her and Bella unconditionally, and he busted his ass so Renee wouldn’t have to. Yet that wasn’t enough… HE wasn’t enough. What he didn’t understand was that it wasn’t long after Phil and Renee got married she practically first classed their daughter right back to him. After that they hardly saw or heard from her.
“Well he said something along the lines of wanting to watch a game with me. And talked about me going to see one of his once he started the league. I remembered thinking that was our thing… Watching the game… I totally lost my shit and snapped, before I even thought about what I was doing, Phil had a nice handprint going across his face. I thought mom was going to kill me. Phil just sat there wide-eyed staring at me.”
Charlie looked to her in disbelief.
“You hit Phil Dwyer?!”
She frowned on this and nodded.
“How old were you?”
“About his age…”
Bella sighed on this.
“Yeah well, I couldn’t so much as look at the man after that. You wanna talk about awkward… It wasn’t long after that mom shipped me back. I don’t think that lasted no more than 2 or 3 years. She got enough of me just as she had you…” Bella clamped a hand over her mouth and looked to her father apologetically.
He shook his head and sort of laughed.
“Nothing I haven’t thought about myself. But I believe we have our answer to the situation that is Carl Grimes.”
“You’re going to reach out to him. You would know more about where he’s coming from. More than anyone else. And that’s what he needs.”
“We nearly killed one another…”
The chief smiled on this.
“All the more reason… Maybe you could train him even.”
“I don’t know the first thing about kids, especially boys.” She hissed.
“Then you do all the talking. Get him to open up. If you’re uncomfortable with it have your redneck train him. I don’t care how you go about it. But you’re right. It needs to be done and ASAP before we lose him and he’s far too gone and not worth saving.”
“Jesus… Maybe you should lay off the booze now.”
“Because you’re sounding more like Chief Swan rather than Charlie…”
“The chief is what’s got us here.”
“Well a friend of mine once said something along the lines of not losing your humanity, you should think about that before you make Charlie walk the plank. Those were different times dad. And he’s just a boy.”
“That boy could get us all in a lot of trouble.”
“I suppose that’s the one thing you and Daryl have in common then. What is it you want? To set up some sort of accident? Just because he’s a red flag? Doing that proves that we’re no better than the other crazies out there.”
“You want to give that boy a shot; yet you go a-wall when it comes to the adults?”
“Because it’s too late for them, if they’re gone. They’re gone. There’s no coming back from that. Carl isn’t gone. He just needs someone to reach out to him.”
“And I just gave him that someone… The rest is up to you.”
“What if I don’t wanna?!” she taunted rather childish.
Charlie cocked a brow at this.
“Then I’ll have to ground you from your redneck lover.”
“You’re on a roll today. Way to go, pops! I almost laughed…”
“You’re not too old to bend over my knee.”
“I don’t believe you ever spanked me a day in my life.”
“It’s not too late to start.”
She smiled and came to her feet.
“I love you too, dad!” she called out as she went to get her food.
Carl cut Bella an odd look as she sat beside him. She said nothing at first as she stuffed her face. But once she was almost done with her plate, she nodded upon the boy.
“How’s it going?”
He shrugged and took a spoonful of chocolate pudding into his mouth.
“I didn’t know there was pudding up there.”
“I got the last of it…”
“Ah well, that explains it.”
He nodded and kept eating.
“You should leave some for everyone else next time…” she teased but gave her a bit of a dirty look.
“Oh I see, that’s a touchy subject with you.”
He stopped eating and shook his head in disbelief.
“Is there something wrong with you?”
“Lots of things.”
“So what’s going on in Carl’s world?”
He said nothing as he finished his plate. He came to a stand and took his plate to the kitchen and left.
“Well that went about as I expected…” she murmured with a groan.
“Guess I should’ve talked about chicks and comic books…”
She tilted her head upon the beer before her. She sighed as she regarded the boy’s mother and her father in thought.
“… fuck it … Guess I’m taking Daryl’s route with this one.”
She inched her way over and slipped a six pack of beer into her backpack. She inched her way on out of the room. Daryl took notice of this and looked on in wonder. Glenn was talking to him about his ‘surprise’ for Maggie.
“Where are you going?” Bella whispered as she kept her distance but followed the boy.
Carl exited a particular area of the fence. She knew it was an area he must’ve cut just for himself. He adjusted it and she stayed within the shadows as he looked around the area. Once he assumed he hadn’t any watchful eyes on him. He went about his way. Bella sighed amongst herself as she exited the area as well and adjusted the wiring to the fence subsequently. She followed him to a tree surrounded by cactuses. It was a good climbing tree too. And she could see where he’d been building onto it in attempts to make a treehouse. That showed her just how long they’d considered this prison ‘home’. And it showed that her father was right. Lori hadn’t a clue where her kid was or what he was up to half the time. She watched as he scaled on up the tree with no issues whatsoever. Trees… That was certainly her area of expertise and her usual go to for hiding out. Only in this area? They were hard to come by – a good climbing tree anyhow.
Bella adjusted the straps to her backpack and headed towards the tree. She climbed up it and froze once she got to the area Carl was in. He had a gun in hand and was aiming it towards her.
“Hi! You wanna put that away now?”
He rolled his eyes and put it up.
“Why are you here?” He asked bitterly.
She sat on one of the boards that he’d nailed down for the treehouse. Bella said nothing as she took her backpack off and placed it down. She took the pack of beer out and set it down between them. He looked to her oddly as she picked one up. She opened it then handed it over.
“What are you doing?”
“It’s called peer pressure. Drink the beer, Carl.”
“Your father’s a cop.”
“Correction… he was a cop. Those don’t really exist now. And from what I hear… so was yours. It’s a shitty ordeal.”
“Being the kid of a cop…”
She opened another beer and took it to the label.
“Relax, I’m not about to rat you out. Like you said… my father’s a cop. And I’m contributing to a minor. I’m sure he’d love that.”
Carl managed to laugh and Bella smiled.
“There you go. Ease up and drink up.”
The young woman couldn’t believe she was doing this. But she wasn’t sure how else to go about it. Boys were all about breaking the rules and wanting to feel ‘grown up’. Well she figured if she treated him like a grown man; she’d come closer to getting him to open up. That and well the truth usually comes out when you’re drunk. She cringed knowing her father was going to have her ass for this. And she could only imagine what Daryl would say. She giggled in thought but cleared her throat as the boy cut her another peculiar glance. Carl took a sip of the beer and made a funny face.
“It grows on you… Take a healthier swig next time. It seems to help.”
He nodded and took it to the label like she had.
He shrugged and looked to the bottle as if in thought. Bella only prayed she wasn’t about to turn this kid into an alcoholic or something.
“Feel free to grab another once you’re done.”
She tossed over a bag of deer jerky and kicked back.
“I still don’t get what you’re trying to achieve…”
She raised her brows on this.
“I’m getting you drunk, Carl. What does it look like I’m doing?”
“It’ll make it easier when I go to harvest your kidneys and other vital organs.”
Carl looked to her wide-eyed.
“Think Carl… You truly think there’s a black market around here?”
He shook his head and grabbed another beer. He also took a piece of the jerky.
“It’s nice out here…” She said looking to the stars.
“Better than in there…” she heard him mutter.
“Can certainly agree with that one. I could help you know.”
“Help with what?”
“The treehouse, if you want that is. I get that this is your turf and all. And your secret’s safe with me.”
“What would you know about building a treehouse?”
She gasped back in mockery.
“You’re right! I’m just some simple minded girl. I really should go back to chewing gum and painting my nails.”
“Good luck finding the supplies.”
“And there you go… crushing my dreams.”
Carl snorted on this.
“You have dreams?”
“Ouch… stick that knife in a little deeper, will ya?”
“Sorry…” he said behind a chuckle.
Bella said nothing as he grabbed his third beer. She finished the one she had on her and tossed the bottle over.
“Cool hat. What’s the story behind it?”
“It was my father’s.”
“Ah, and what was he like?”
Carl sort of shrugged and looked to the sky in thought.
“Like the chief. So it must be a cop thing.”
She nodded in agreement.
“Must be. Were you two close?”
He nodded in response.
“Sorry to hear that.” She replied genuinely.
“May I ask what happened exactly?”
He took a hit off his beer.
“He was shot in the line of duty, slipped into a coma. He died a few weeks later ; after the outbreak hit.”
She nodded and looked to be in thought.
“So you were there when he died?”
“Shane was… My mom and I were at the house.”
“So Shane went to visit your dad and came by the house with the news?”
“We were waiting for him to wake up so we could all leave town together. I wanted to see him… but Shane wouldn’t let me. He made us pack up and leave at once. Said that’s what my dad would’ve wanted.”
And the plot thickens… Bella found herself thinking. She didn’t comment as she witnessed the boy wiping a few tears away.
“So you never got to say goodbye or have so much as a funeral?”
The boy nodded.
Bella grabbed another beer and took a decent plunge before asking her next question.
“So what’s your relationship with that Shane guy like?”
He shrugged and cleared his throat.
“Awkward at times, considering that was dad’s best friend. And now my mom…” he pulled a certain face on this and finished his beer.
“I’m not sure what I feel. He was always more of an uncle. So it’s strange… Him and mom…”
“I can certainly understand that.”
“How long was it…? You know after your father passed away… That your mother and Shane…”
Carl sort of laughed and threw the empty bottle at a cactus below.
“That happened before my dad even passed away. They thought I didn’t know but he was staying at the house more often. I thought nothing of it at first. Until I saw Shane exiting my mom and dad’s room at five in the morning and he had on nothing but a pair of boxers.”
Jesus… she thought amongst herself.
“I wanted to be mad, you know? But my mom… She’d spent that entire time of the coma crying and wouldn’t so much as leave the house. But that morning she was all happy… So was Shane. And they were acting as if all was right in the world. When it wasn’t! And I remember thinking. What if dad wakes up? I mean what’s going to happen then? Will they get divorced or …”
Carl pinched the bridge of his nose.
“I didn’t defend my dad! Not once! I let it happen and I smiled right along with them. I packed up and left it all behind, because I couldn’t stand the reality of it all. I focused on pushing it out of my head and simply moved on. Like it never happened. Like he died the night he was shot… Even now I pretend that there’s nothing between my mom and Shane. But they start that kissing shit and it pisses me off. I don’t want to hate Shane but he makes it too easy at times. Like that shit he pulled with you… Dad was never like that. In fact if he knew half the things Shane did…” he trailed off and shook his head once again.
Bella didn’t comment on his cussing, or the slurring, of his words, or to the fact that he was pacing the branch he was on. If anything, she just kept a better eye on him. Last thing she wanted was for him to fall out of the tree and break his arm or leg.
“You’re aware of the situation with Shane then?”
“How do you feel about that?”
“I suppose it’s no more than he deserves. It sucks but it’s what it is…”
But there was something else… Bella could see it in his eyes. He was hiding something.
“What is it, Carl?”
He cut her an apologetic glance and the boy had tears streaming down his face.
“I should’ve told you. I’m sorry.”
“Told me what?”
He sighed and sat back down. He grabbed the last beer and Bella had to resist the urge to stop him. If she did, she’d lose him. And she had him right where she wanted. He was spilling the beans. There wasn’t chance she’d leave him alone now. She’d sleep here, all night if she had to. She cringed on the inside as he downed that entire beer. He tossed the bottle over.
“I saw him…”
“Shane… I saw him rigged the fence. He freaked out when I caught him. Made me promise I wouldn’t tell a living soul. Then he asked for my help on gathering the walkers. When I refused…”
He raised his shirt in the back and showed her where Shane had beaten him with a belt. She covered her mouth as Daryl came to mind. They looked just like the scars he had on his back.
“Carl…” she whispered and came to her feet.
“Please don’t tell my mom… I don’t want her to know. Besides, he’s never hit me before. At first I blamed you. But then I saw what he did to you and…”
Bella swiftly grabbed ahold of him as he nearly fell out of the tree.
He broke into literal sobs. She wrapped her arm around him and let him cry it out. She could tell the marks spread all along the backside of his body – meaning his legs and probably ass as well. She gritted her teeth in thought.
“Did your father ever hit you like that?”
“No my mom and dad never hit me. Dad never believed in that sort of stuff. The most he did was yell at me or would ground me.”
She nodded and wiped a few tears of her own.
“So he did that because you wouldn’t help with the walkers?”
“No. He did it because I told him I was going to tell the others… He wants you out of the picture. You and the chief…”
She said nothing else as the boys eyes batted about. She kept a firm hold on him and the moment he was out; she laid him down and grabbed some rope from her bag. She wrapped it around the boy so he wouldn’t fall out of the tree. Bella drew back a breath and took his hat off. She sat it down beside him and ran her fingers through his hair.
“He won’t touch you again. I give you my word…”
Bella turned to the all too familiar voice. She put a finger to her lips but nodded towards him. Daryl nodded in return and started on up the tree. He reared back at the beer bottles and casing.
“Do I even want to know?”
He sighed and regarded the boy in thought.
“I can’t believe you got that boy shitfaced. I didn’t think you had it in you.”
He regarded Bella with concern as she looked like she’d tear up at any given moment.
“Hey, you alright?”
She cleared her throat and came to a stand.
“I’m fine. Look, you mind helping me get him back before they send out a search team or something? I don’t want my father or his mother getting wind of this.”
Daryl nodded. Bella undid the rope.
“Careful with his back…”
She sighed and showed him.
“What the hell?”
“Shhhh…” she shushed afraid he’d wake the boy.
He shook his head and got a better look.
Daryl’s lip curled on this.
They worked as a team in getting him down. Once they got to the ground, Daryl took over in carrying him back.
“I got this, sweet thang. You might wanna check in with the others. Your old man’s been askin’ aboutcha. I’ll be there shortly.”
She pecked him on the cheek.
He nodded in return.
Once he was inside, Daryl laid the boy on one of the cots. He grabbed a blanket and draped it over him. He placed his hat beside him and regarded the boy in thought. The man felt like a dick and a half now that he knew… He knew that Shane was in lockdown as that was revealed over dinner. He just hadn’t a clue as to where. But he was determined in finding out now. When he was certain the boy was going be okay, he came to his feet and decided to find this cell of Shane’s.
“Where’d you run off to?” Charlie questioned as his daughter entered the cafeteria.
“Just needed some fresh air…” she replied as Lori was within hearing range.
She regarded Maggie and Glenn with surprise as they were exchanging stories with the ‘others’. Stories pertaining to the outbreak itself and how they first met Bella and Daryl. She wasn’t sure how she felt about them making her out to be this big hero. That and she wasn’t exactly comfortable with everyone here. It didn’t help that everyone was wasted. So all sorts of things were slipping out. Bella kept to herself and merely listened as the others shared their stories. There was laughter a few tears here and there.
The man rolled over and glimpsed towards Daryl from his cot.
“What do you want?”
“The chief thought you might be hungry…”
Daryl said as he had a plate of food in hand. Shane came to his feet and made his way over. Daryl patted himself down as if searching for something.
“I forgot the key…” he sighed and shook his head.
Within a beat, he had plate flying across the room. The redneck reached through the bars and grabbed Shane by the collar of his shirt. He knocked him up against the bars. Daryl unclasped his belt and yanked it out from the loops of his pants. Shane chocked back and looked to Daryl in shock. Daryl had the belt wrapped around the man’s throat. He gritted his teeth and used the belt to beat Shane’s face in. He banged it up against the bars over and over.
“You like beatin’ on women and children, you sorry son of a bitch?! Is that how ya get your kicks? Or does that make you feel tough? That make you feel like a real man?! I tell you what…” Shane groaned out as he smashed his head up against the bars once again.
“Next time you feel like beatin’ on someone ya come find me… You sorry ass piece of SHIT! Ya so much as breathe my girl’s direction and I’ll rip your god damn nuts off. And you stay away from the boy. I don’t give a shit about what you and his mother have goin’. That’s her choice. But don’t you go beatin’ on that boy. That doesn’t make you a man. That makes you a god damned COWARD!”
Daryl released his hold and Shane staggered back and fell to the ground as he reached to his throat. The redneck made a thwacking sound with the belt and pointed upon him.
“If I had it my way… You’d starve to death. I’d let you suffer and you’d become one of them walkers. Then I’d stab your god damn brains out myself. Its sons of bitches like you that give us men a bad rep. And every one of ya needs to die! I ever hear of ya hittin’ a woman or child again, there will be no mercy. The chief might be leadin’ ya. But I don’t take orders from no one. I do things my own way. If I feel the need to do so, I’ll fuckin’ kill ya. I don’t care what anyone else has to say about it. Not the chief, your old lady, the boy, or my girl! Watch yourself! Because you’re on my radar now… Ain’t a good place ta be!”
“And what about you? Any stories you’d like to share with us?”
All eyes were on her now as Carol waited for Bella to answer. Bella drew back a breath and regarded the woman in return.
“Not that I know of… What about you?” she said as if challenging the woman.
Carol raised her brows on this and Bella smiled.
“You’re so eager to find out about me. Yet I haven’t heard you so much as talk about yourself…”
“That’s because there isn’t a whole lot to me. Nothing of any interest…”
“So that wedding band on your finger is what? For mere decoration? And which are you better at, baking or killing? And furthermore… Who is Sophia?”
The woman’s smile faded and she swallowed back as the two eyed one another down.
“How do you know that name?”
“Isn’t that the name on the back of the picture? The one you carry with you?”
“I see you pay attention… A little too much. That could get you into trouble one day.”
“Or it could very well save my ass. Perhaps the rest of the group even…”
“That maybe… but the carelessness of others could do this group in.”
Charlie sighed as the two kept up this awkward standoff. He placed a hand along his daughter’s shoulder.
“That’s enough, Bells.”
“It’s okay chief. We’re just getting to know one another. Aren’t we?” Carol stated with a smile.
Bella nodded in response, “that we are… Martha…” she muttered.
The group exchanged uncomfortable glances as Bella decidedly exited the room.
“Where are you off ta?”
Bella stopped in her tracks and pivoted around.
“Anywhere at this point… It’s starting to sound like an AA meeting in there rather than a gathering.”
He chuckled on this.
“That bad, huh?”
“It’s just been a long night… I figured it best if I turn in for the night rather than letting my bitch side out, again.”
“You sure about that?”
He brought out the bottle of whiskey he’d stashed away. She laughed as he opened it and took a swig. He handed it over. She shrugged and took a good plunge. Daryl wrapped his arm around her shoulder and decided to take their little rendezvous to the tower. Bella nearly tripped going up the stairs and Daryl quickly broke her fall. She laughed and he shook his head.
“I think you’ve hit your limit already…” He uttered as she was kissing him.
He sat her down as she locked her arms around him and her kissing became more eager. He moaned against her tongue as she unfastened his pants and was rubbing her hand against his cock.
“Ya need a good fuckin’ is that what you’re tellin me?” He whispered in her ear.
“All fours, little bunny…”
She smiled and trolled on over. Daryl got her positioned just the way he wanted. He undid her jeans and pulled them down – along with her panties. She gasped out as he drove his entire length in. “Good Lord, you’re wet as hell…” He murmured as he grabbed ahold of her hair and began to thrust. His name fled from her lips and that had him fucking her even harder.
“Call to me again, sweet thang…” he said and gave her hair a tug of dominance.
He raised his brows as she cried out his name and flooded his cock.
“Keep cummin’… don’t stop.” He practically growled as she had him over the edge.
He gritted his teeth and thrust with everything he had.
“Fuck…” He groaned as he had her cumming yet again.
The man threw his head back as he came to a finish.
“What’s this?” Bella asked as he handed her something.
“Take a look…” he uttered as he ran his fingers along her thigh.
She sat up as they were lying on the tower floor. She unfolded the item and saw it to be a leather vest. A woman’s one at that and it was Harley Davidson.
“You found me a vest?” She said with a smile.
“Check out the back…”
She turned the vest around and her jaw nearly hit the ground. There were wings… Not just any old wings… But his… Only these were a slightly smaller version.
“Where’d you get this?!”
“I found the vest in the supplies those guys had. The wings were something I’d been holding on to. Not sure why… Just did. I guess they came in handy…”
“I love it. Thank you, Daryl.”
“Try it on…” He said with a shrug.
After she got the vest on, Daryl adjusted her hair and looked it over.
“Perfect fit…” she happily declared.
“It looks good on ya, little bunny. You’re the only one I’d give this to…” he did his best to hint.
Her eyes locked with his as she gathered the meaning. It was just his way of doing things.
“So do me a favor and stick around.”
“Glenn’s got a bit of a surprise for Mag’s.”
“Oh, does he now?”
Daryl sort of chuckled.
“Yeah apparently he likes having his balls connected to a chain…”
(Be a good sport. Leave your comment/review. Thanks!)