I do not own Twilight or The Walking Dead. Friendly reminder – keep in mind how Daryl was the first couple seasons before he became the one we all love. Also once again AU!
Bella had her teeth gritted as she was tossing and turning. She had literal tears streaming down her face as she looked to be fighting something in her sleep. Daryl reached over and gently shook her.
“C’mon now little bunny…”
Once he got her to come to she shot up and looked around gathering her surroundings.
“Easy…” Daryl murmured softly as he laid her back down.
“You get them night terrors quite a bit, don’t you?”
“Wanna talk about it?”
She shook her head no. He nodded in understanding and brought her up against his chest. He ran a soothing hand along her back as he looked to the sky. Daryl raised his brows however as she crawled over him and lay back down. He said nothing on it as he ran his hands along whatever he could reach. There was something oddly comforting about having her in his arms. Daryl wasn’t used to women showing any sort of interest in him. At least not ones like her. He truly felt as if she were out of his league. Before shit went down all he ever seemed to attract was the crazies or junkies. As to why he truly questioned if it weren’t the end of the world and all if she’d even bat an eye his direction. He tried his best to push those thoughts out of that mind of his. But that didn’t stop them from creeping back in every now and then…
Bella remained still and she laid there wide eyed. She let out a bit of a squeal as a splash of blood hit her right in the face. She stared into the dead serpent’s eyes as his head now lay just an inch away from their faces.
“Not every day breakfast comes to you…”
The young woman wrinkled her nose in disgust as Daryl reached over and grabbed the bottom end of the rattler. He tossed it towards his bag.
“See? Even he thought you was a little bunny.”
“What’s to say he wasn’t after you, Locksley?”
“Nah, had to of been you. If it was me he’d have slithered on by.”
Daryl chuckled and smacked her on the rear. He wiped the blood off her face with his thumb and kissed her.
“I bet that wasn’t quite the ‘snake’ you was thinkin’ of waking up to, huh, sweet thang?” He taunted as he got a firm hold on her ass and bucked off the ground a bit.
“Daryl!” She scolded behind laughter as he had her pressed right up against his morning wood.
“That would’ve been the preferable alternative.” She admitted.
“Well hell girl, it’s right there! I ain’t stoppin’ ya.”
“You honestly think I can focus on that when we got that staring at us?”
He narrowed his eyes towards the snake head.
“It’s dead…” He murmured with a shrug as he kissed along her neck.
The redneck sighed as he reached over and grabbed the rattler’s head. He tossed it into a nearby bush.
“My hero…” she sarcastically threw out there.
“I know…” he wisecracked as he welcomed himself inside.
Daryl chuckled however as she let out a moan and took over from there. Before long she had his wrists pinned down and was giving him the ride of a lifetime.
“Damn girl, seems I pegged you right in naming you little bunny… You sure fuck like one.” He hinted with a breathless moan.
“Want me to stop?” She cruelly taunted.
“Hell no! You milk that cock to the last fucking drop.”
She smiled and rode about him even harder and faster. He broke out of her hold and grabbed a fistful of her hair. He pulled her in for a much heated kiss; one that had her flooding his cock. He gritted his teeth as he too released. Daryl rolled her over afterward and gave a few more strokes before pulling out. He rolled onto his back and they both took a few moments to catch their breath. Daryl reached into his bag and handed Bella a bar of soap. She acted as if he’d handed her a diamond ring.
“You have soap?!”
“Just don’t use it all up that’s my last one.”
She smiled and breathed it in like was a drug. It was one of the soaps usually offered during stays at a hotel. He’d found it back at the bar and forgotten all about it.
“Man…” She murmured in awe causing him to chuckle.
He trolled onto his side and watched as she came to her feet and headed into the river.
“That shit’s unreal…” he muttered under his breath as he watched her bathe.
Daryl couldn’t help but to literally gawk. The longer he watched the more he had trouble taking this all in. It just didn’t make sense… A girl like that. With him? Ain’t no way… He sighed amongst himself as he was growing hard all over again.
“Damn girl’s gonna drive me crazy…” He groaned as he rolled onto his back and closed his eyes doing his best to talk ‘it’ down.
Once Bella was done with the soap she carefully took it back towards land and wrapped it up before going back to rinse off. She dunked her body beneath the water but froze when she surfaced.
“What is she up to now?” Daryl murmured as he looked over once again seeing as how she was swimming to the other side. He reared back and came to his feet as she crawled on out and came to her feet.
“Charlie…” she whispered with a fluttery heart.
She ran her fingers along the familiar markings on the tree. Bella looked around for any other signs but saw nothing out of the ordinary. Her eyes rolled however as she saw a walker making it’s way over.
“Dammit.” She muttered deciding now was a good time to swim back across.
Daryl laughed as he was waiting for her and offered a hand. When he got her out of the water he motioned towards the walker that was sinking in attempts to make its way across.
“As you can see the dead today have a very active lifestyle.”
He gestured towards the land across the way.
“Something catch your eye?”
“My father was here at some point. Hard to be sure when exactly. But those are his markings on that tree.”
“We need to get that taken care of.” He said as he gently tapped his finger along her waist.
She shrugged as he ripped the old bandage off.
“Looks better…” He admitted.
“But after being in that river we best get it cleaned up. I’d let it breathe from here on.”
She nodded as he opened his bag. He cleaned the area with some alcohol and placed some antibiotic cream on the area.
“You take your pills yet?”
Bella went to answer but screamed out as something wrapped around her ankle. She was jerked back and brought to the ground as she was being dragged back towards the river. Daryl looked to see what it was and reacted on instinct. He kicked at the bastard’s arm as hard as he could – snapping it. He made a disgusted face once the walker started to emerge. It’s face had swelled up do to all the water it had taken in. He kicked at the walker’s head repeatedly as Bella scooted back and was crawling out of it’s reach. The young woman gagged as the walker’s face exploded at the final blow. Parts of the walker and water scattered about the area. She covered her mouth and closed her eyes for a moment.
She nodded but was doing her best to gain some sort of composure and not upchuck. Daryl helped Bella back to her feet.
“Well that was new…” She murmured but was shaking all over.
The redneck ran his hands along her shoulders.
“Between you and I… I damn near pissed myself…”
Bella softly laughed and Daryl cut her a wink.
They looked over to see Glenn and Maggie.
“Good Lord. We’d be dead if it was up to the two of you!”
“Daryl…” Bella scolded.
“Would it kill you to be nice?”
“I don’t wanna take too many chances nowadays.” He countered.
“You scoopin’ my girl out?” Daryl accused.
Glenn looked to Maggie wide-eyed.
“I wasn’t…” He declared looking mortified.
“Who said I was talkin to you, Asian?”
Maggie reared back in disbelief.
“That’s right. I seen ya…” he teased with a grin.
As soon as Bella got fully dressed she made her way over and smacked Daryl in the back of the head.
“Ow! What the hell was that for?”
“You really have to ask?”
“Yeah!” He replied as he rubbed the area she hit.
Daryl looked to Maggie and Glenn after.
“You two gonna watch or what?” He questioned as he was still in the buff.
He grabbed the soap and headed into the river.
“That’s so gross.” Bella murmured as he was skinning the snake.
“What gross about it? Its meat.” He said with a shrug.
“How did you and your old man survive if you’re so picky about what you eat?”
“We weren’t picky. Just weren’t into the whole snake and squirrel thing. We hunted about everything else.”
“Snake and squirrel ain’t bad. Better than starving to death.”
“Yeah well, you’re more than welcome to it.”
“Don’t be such a girl.”
Bella snapped him a look.
“Did you seriously just say that shit?”
“Yep… Cause you was doin’ that squeamish shit they do.” he taunted just to get under her skin.
“You think it’s safe to cook that here?” She questioned as Daryl finished with the skinning and was starting a fire.
“If there was more they’d have shown up by now. It was just the one strangler.” He answered assuredly and handed her the snake meat.
“Chop that up sweet thang. Make us some iced tea while you’re at it.”
“Watch it, Locksley…”
“I’d rather watch you…” he mumbled under his breath as he watched her walk away.
Once she finished preparing the meat she brought it back to Daryl. He cooked first couple pieces and handed it over to the women first. Bella took notice of this and found herself somewhat impressed.
“So what’s this gonna taste like?” She questioned with a curled lip. “Sure looks nasty.”
“Like chicken…” he said with a shrug.
“Not everything tastes like chicken.”
He raised his brows on this and observed as she took a bite.
“So what’s it taste like?” he smarted.
She rolled her eyes.
“Shut up…” she remarked as it did indeed taste like chicken only it had a stringier texture.
“This isn’t bad actually.” Maggie stated as she finished her first bite.
Bella nodded in agreement as she took another bite.
“And you was going on about how gross it was…”
She opened her mouth real wide revealing the chewed up snake in her mouth. Daryl smiled.
“Hell woman, if I had a ring I’d propose.”
Bella choked back on her snake.
“Do ringworms count?” Glenn smarted causing Daryl to cock a brow his direction.
“Watch yourself, sunshine.”
“You okay there?” Maggie questioned with a giggle.
Bella held up a finger and nodded as she hit at her chest.
“Eh… she’ll be fine we haven’t quite got down the whole ‘choking’ part.”
“Oh my god Daryl, SHUT UP!”
Her entire face was flushed over and she tossed a rock at him.
“I mean it Locksley, or you’ll be playing five knuckle shuffle!”
He wrinkled his nose in thought.
“Nah… I could sway you if I wanted.” He declared and handed Glenn his portion of the snake.
“You can be such an asshole!”
He raised his brows as she came to her feet and headed into the wooded area.
“You could learn a thing or two about women.” Glenn stated.
“Oh go play with your Legos.”
“Why do say those things? It’s more than obvious she’s crazy about you. But you can’t seem to help yourself, can you?”
Daryl rolled his eyes and looked towards the woods.
“She knows I’m just messin’ around. Little bunny’s not near as sensitive as you two think.”
“Does she now? And you may be right… But that doesn’t give you the right to disrespect her either. She’s still a woman nevertheless. Let me guess you were her first.”
Daryl reared back on this.
“How would you know that?”
“Just call it women’s intuition. But it’s also all the more reason to stop and think before you spout of personal shit even if you think it’s funny.”
“What is this some sort of intervention?”
Glenn and Maggie looked to one another.
“She’s going to dump you!” They chorused.
“You don’t know shit about us. She’s fine.”
“Go talk to her!” They sang once again.
“I don’t need this shit in stereo!”
He rolled his eyes and came to his feet. He bitterly finished his snake as he made his way through the woods.
“Hey…” he called out once he found her.
She was engraving her mark into one of the trees.
“Look girl, can you just tell me what I did wrong?”
Bella turned towards him and pointed at him with her knife.
“What is this to you exactly?”
“What’s what?” he asked as he finished his snake and threw the stick he had it on to the ground.
“Don’t! I hate when you do that!”
She turned her head looking downright embarrassed as she fought to keep from flat out crying.
“I can’t do this with you anymore Daryl…”
He froze on her words and thickly swallowed.
“Do what, sweet thang?”
“Don’t! Don’t you sweet thang and little bunny me! NOT ANYMORE!”
She shook her head and staggered back against a tree.
“I had to kill my first boyfriend! My first sexual experience wasn’t very pleasant considering the guy almost raped me! Then you come along and find a way to sweep me off my feet, but it’s like it was all some sort of con!”
“Con? What the fuck?”
“Who is this guy?! The one that showed up once the two of them came into the picture? What is it you’re trying to prove exactly?”
He shrugged looking lost.
“Let me guess, I’m your last alternative right?”
“Last alternative? What in the hell are you talkin’ bout?!”
“Well, what is it Daryl? Does your inexperienced girlfriend suck in the sack? Or are you just using me period? Why the fuck would you even bother with that whole I love you bullshit?!”
“It wasn’t bullshit! And I don’t understand all this. I’m sorry this shit’s going right over my head. I ain’t never had a real girl around okay. Most of my experience consisted of one night stands and lousy make out sessions. I told you I didn’t know what I was doin’. But hell I’m tryin’. I ain’t meanin’ to hurt you or nothin’!”
A full on blush came over her…
“Daryl, I got what you meant back there. So I’ve never sucked a guy off before okay.”
He narrowed his eyes on this.
“You just made it sound as if I was prudish or something or that I couldn’t deep throat.”
He chuckled on this and she cut him a look of hell. Daryl cleared his throat and drew back the deepest of breaths.
“Hell darlin’, I meant nothing by it. I was just playin’ around. There won’t be any oral for us until we find a better place to shower or bathe – what have you.” As he said this he motioned towards the river as it smelled of fish and had that murky vibe to it. “You truly think I give a damn about that? Having your dick blown is great and all but that’s the least of my fucking concerns. So that’s what this was? You thought I was complainin’? That I don’t realize a good thing when I got it?”
Daryl sighed and made his way over he cupped her cheek and looked her in the eyes.
“I ain’t got shit to complain about. I’d be an idiot if I did! Now if you dump my sorry ass then yeah I do. So don’t. Okay? Just work with me girl. We gotta talk about this shit. I’m just as inexperienced as you are. Not so much in the sexual department, but I don’t know what I’m doing. So I need you to guide me a bit if you wouldn’t mind. If I screw up let me know. If you don’t, then how will I know when I’m fucking everything up. It’s not like I can take you to dinner and a movie and find some sort of make out spot afterward. Times are different now. So I’m going with what I got.”
She sighed as if truly disappointed.
“You should’ve kept the Harley.”
He reared back on this.
“Oh?” he said but rather curiously.
“Chicks dig the bike…”
“So now you tell me? Hell we can go back and get it. If that’s what it takes. And you was bitchin’ ’bout how noisy it was.”
Bella managed to laugh.
“So you gonna give me another chance or am I indeed stuck with the five knuckle shuffle as you put it. Which was pretty damn clever I have to admit.”
“Do you deserve another chance?”
“Probably not, but I’m gonna take it anyhow.”
“Daryl…” she murmured hesitantly.
“Let me ask you somethin’… And I want you to be honest. If I was to have met you before the world went to shit. Would you have given me the time of day?”
“What kind of question is that?”
“C’mon now… I think we both know…”
“Actually no. I don’t…”
“You was going on about you being my last alternative. When I’m pretty certain it’s the other way around. Ain’t never been a girl like you that looks at me the way you do. So I don’t get it… Doesn’t make damn bit of sense of you ask me!”
“You really feel that way?”
“Daryl… the man I met with the Harley and lost my virginity to is the one I fell for. And there’s not a doubt in my mind that I’d still feel the same if we had met under different circumstances. I’ve never felt this way for anyone. As to why what you said earlier rather sucked. No pun intended… so don’t even try it you ass.”
He had a good laugh at this and pressed her up against a tree. He leaned into her ear.
“Tell you what little bunny… We ever get the chance and I’ll eat that sweet little pussy of yours for an hour straight no breaks. Not so sure that’s punishment however…” he murmured growing hard in thought.
Bella laughed as he had it pressed against her.
“You really are a perv.”
He drew back a breath on this.
“It’s your fault… Hell thanks to all this crazy my dick rather died. Then you come along and now all I can think about is 69ing.”
He caressed her cheek in thought.
“So you still love me?” Daryl questioned realizing how incredibly sappy he sounded.
But he couldn’t keep those feelings at bay. This was all new and he hadn’t any idea how to go about it. So far all he was doing was pissing her the fuck off.
“Easy now Locksley, I never flat out said I loved you…”
“Do you know how cruel it is to drive a man to drinkin’ when he ain’t got nothin’ to drink?!”
She smiled and stepped out from under his arm. Just as she went to walk away he grabbed her hand and pulled her back towards him.
“Woman, tell me you love me dammit.”
Bella wrapped her arms around his neck and looked him in the eyes.
“I love you Daryl. Just keep in mind…If you rip my heart out, I’m going to have a bullet with your name on it.”
“You sure you don’t have one of those already?”
“I just might.”
“I believe that…” he wrapped his arms around her waist as he kissed her. “Just make certain you aim better this time round.”
“We have to find another way…” Bella muttered under her breath as she calculated just how many days it would take in order to get to Phoenix.
“What do you suggest, a jet?”
“You have one?” Bella smarted in return.
“Sorry sweet thang, I traded it out for the bike.”
She sighed as she refigured everything once again.
“So how long we talkin’?”
“Depending on whether or not we run into any issues?”
“It’s roughly 16 to 17 days on foot. That’s calculating about 6 – 8 hours downtime in order to sleep, eat, etc…”
“Exactly. We need another source of transportation. If we could find one decent enough it’s only a 4 to 5 hour drive.”
Daryl nodded looking to be in thought. Maggie and Bella finished filling the water bottles and Glenn divided them up and loaded them into everyone’s backpacks.
“How you holding up?” Bella questioned Maggie with concern.
“I’m good to go.”
Maggie nodded in return.
“Okay then. Here we go…”
“They’re going with us?”
“Of course they are!”
Daryl rolled his eyes.
“Because I fucking said so that’s why!”
Maggie covered her mouth in laughter. Glenn smiled on this and Bella cut them a wink as she started walking. Once Daryl caught up to her he nodded upon her.
“Somethin’ on your mind?”
“You mean other than the fact I could be very well be leading everyone to their death?”
“Who said you was leadin’?”
“Oh, so you’re okay with taking the blame if things go to shit?”
“Seriously Daryl, what if we get there and my father’s nowhere to be found? Those marks might not have been his after all. Just wishful thinking on my part – considering I haven’t seen anything other than that.”
“Just how many people you think go around craving birds into trees?”
“You never know.”
“You wanna try to being a little optimistic here?”
“Didn’t think that was your thing.” She mocked in return.
“No, but it’s yours. So why stop now?”
“I’m not sure what to feel or even think at the moment. Part of me feels somewhat resentful.”
“Like he gave up on me too quickly. That is until I saw that tree. But now it’s like I’m confused. Why didn’t I see it anywhere else? And why the fuck was he so quick to assume I was dead? He just left me! Part of me wants to hug the hell out of him if I ever see him again. The other wants to deck the shit out of him.”
“It’s just not like him to give up so easily, which has me somewhat concerned as to his wellbeing. I haven’t a clue what he’s gone through or where he is for certain.”
“Try not to think so much on it. Let’s just worry on it when we get there and go from there. It’ll drive you mad otherwise. Trust me… I’ve gone through this same shit with my brother. Only I could care less if I ever find the bastard again.”
“So there isn’t a part of you that would totally freak if you found out he was one of them?” she hinted.
Daryl pulled a certain face on this.
“Exactly… You think you don’t give a shit. But you do. You wanted to know what my night terrors consist of? It’s always been taking out my father the way I did my mother and boyfriend. Every fucking time it’s me having to end it. Only now…”
She drew back a hesitant breath.
“That last one I had was you…”
“Jesus Christ, think you could have some sort of penthouse dream next time I’m involved?”
She snorted on this.
“You haven’t any idea how I wish I could. I don’t even know the meaning of good dreams anymore. It’s always the same. Everyone I care about… They turn out like my mother and Edward and it plays out from there…”
“It’s just your subconscious playin’ on your biggest fears.”
“I don’t think anyone wants to face this shit alone. I don’t care how strong you claim to be. This is it… There is nothing else. And even if there was the off chance of finding a cure? Just who are we saving exactly? Everyone outside of you three and my father is batshit crazy. It’s like the world turned into a giant fucking insane asylum.”
“Pretty spot on.”
“So I say we find a nuke and put it all to an end.”
“I doubt we’ll find one in Phoenix, little bunny. But we’ll keep looking.”
“And I want beer, steak, and potatoes when that day comes.”
“You got it! Or I could just marry you, punch out a couple of kids and kill everyone else in existence.”
Bella looks to him in a mockery of awe.
“Is that the Dixon family way of doing things? Punching kids?” she teased.
He sort of laughed but shook his head.
“Not quite what I meant, but yes, unfortunately.”
“Hmmm, you don’t strike me as the settling down type Locksley.”
“I’m not and wasn’t. How do you settle down during somethin’ like this? Things like marriage and kids? That’s pretty much nonexistent. Bringin’ a kid into this world as is. That’s just fucking cruel as hell. But having the option totally ripped away from you either way rather sucks. But that’s just how things are.”
Bella nodded in full agreement.
Glenn cleared his throat and Daryl looked to him with slight annoyance.
“What? You got something to say, Asian?”
“Not so sure I agree with you on that.”
“And what would that be?”
“I was referring to your thoughts on marriage.”
Daryl laughed in a scoffing like manner.
“I tell you what if you wanna try Vegas now, be my guest. I wish you both the best of luck. Maybe you’ll find a nice suburban ghost town to raise a couple kids in.”
Glenn shook his head on this.
“Nothing wrong with having dreams and desiring those things. It just so happens that Maggie and I are engaged.”
Daryl looked to Maggie’s ring finger.
“Where’s the ring?”
Glenn sighed on this.
“You gotta have a ring or it don’t mean shit.”
“That’s not necessarily true.” Maggie defended as she wrapped a hand around Glenn’s arm with a look of pride.”
“Hell, you two are givin’ me a god damn tooth ache. You wanna find a way to get hitched then so be it. But you had better not be gettin’ pregnant. I don’t wanna see the outcome to that shit. That’s not a dream that’s a nightmare, bringin’ a child into this…”
“Purgatory…” Bella randomly stated as if in a whole other world at the moment.
This had not only Daryl, but Maggie, and Glenn rearing back. Bella rather laughed once she took notice of their reaction.
“Think about it guys… Everyone’s gone. The population went from billions to somewhere around what a few thousand or so- if that even. We have no real way of knowing that I’m just guessing. And I’m talking worldwide. The reason I say purgatory is because what are we doing here exactly? Killing off the undead that occasionally consists of our loved ones and having to fend against other survivors… And ones that have clearly lost it – if that don’t scream Living Fucking Hell. Then I don’t know what does.”
“So you believe in all that Heaven and Hell bullshit?”
“I’ve called to JC a few times in my day. Ain’t done me a bit of good.”
“We haven’t been on the greatest terms either as of late… Starting to wonder if he went on a permanent vacation.” Bella admitted.
Daryl couldn’t believe the similarities in the way they viewed marriage, children, and religion. Most people thought he was an asshole for feeling the way he had on these matters. It was a nice change of pace to have someone that understood where he was coming from. And it wasn’t that he never wanted a wife and children. That couldn’t be further from the truth. But he didn’t see the point in having such dreams now. He thought Glenn was somewhat foolish for even having such notions. There were more important things to consider. Such as fucking surviving and keeping your loved ones alive. Don’t need to be married in order to prove yourself.
They trudged on for nearly four hours before taking a break. Daryl propped himself up against a tree as the others sat on a nearby log. Bella popped her pills and they all picked something to eat from the rations they’d gathered back at the clothing store. Before they left the area Bella left her mark once again. An hour later Bella caught a glimpse of something else and a true beam came about her.
“Look…” Bella pointed to another tree.
It had the two birds only this time it had Phoenix engraved below. She started laughing to the point of tears.
She walked up to the tree and ran her fingers along the birds.
“It’s really him…” Bella whispered.
Daryl regarded Bella in thought as she put her forehead to the tree. She cleared her throat after taking a few moments to herself. She wiped her eyes before turning towards the others.
“We should keep going.”
“Sorry little bunny, but we need to focus on findin’ a place to turn in for the night. It’ll be dark in a couple hours or so.”
Bella sighed but knew he was right. They looked to the area around them. It was nothing but desert very few trees.
“We can’t keep chancing the open…” Bella remarked.
Daryl nodded in agreement.
“Let’s head on and see if we happen to run into any other ideas.”
However the further out they went the trees seemingly disappeared and it was straight out desert.
“I don’t like this…”Bella murmured.
If walkers just happened to appear they hadn’t anywhere to hide. She pointed towards the rock formations about half a mile away.
“I hate to get off track of the road, but I don’t think we have much choice.”
“So we hope we get there before dark and start climbing?” Daryl questioned.
“Pretty much, no way the walkers could climb something that steep. But it’s going to be hot as hell.”
“Until nightfall, then it’ll get a bit chilly.” Maggie added in thought.
Bella smiled on this.
“Well good thing we got cuddle partners.”
Daryl reared back on this.
“I don’t ‘cuddle’.”
“Yes you do.”
“Nah girl, I don’t…”
“What do you want to call it then? Spooning?”
Glenn had a good laugh at this.
“He totally cuddles. Locksley eats that shit up.”
Daryl looked to Bella once they made their way to the area.
“And if we wake up with those motherfuckers surrounding us?”
She shook her head on this.
“I was hoping you had an answer for that one.”
He sort of laughed.
“We haven’t a lot of options.”
“We could end up as fucking walker bait…” he murmured as he looked around.
“You have any other suggestions? If so, I’m certainly open to them.”
“I wish I did…”
“I guess we get to climbing. See if JC is taking any requests tonight.”
She nodded and Daryl helped her get situated as she started to climb. He helped Maggie and Glenn before making his way up as well. Bella and Glenn aided in pulling him up once he got to the top.
“So now what? We build a fire, hold hands, and sing kumbaya?” Daryl witted.
“Sounds fun.” Bella taunted in return.
“At least we got here when it cooled down some.”
“Yeah well, once that sun goes down it’s gonna get cold as fuck; colder than last night since we’re right in the open.”
Glenn got the fire ready this time.
“Good to know you’re not completely useless.” Daryl smarted causing Bella to elbow the hell out of him.
“What? I’m just sayin’… If these two would help pull their weight from time to time; it’d sure help.”
“You’re fine, just ignore him. He’s Mr. Grumpypants again. I blame the nicotine fit. He’s down to a couple packs and trying to make them last.”
“Nicotine fit my ass. I’m just tellin’ it like it is.”
“Maybe it’s time for your nap.”
Glenn and Maggie laughed. Daryl rolled his eyes and ankle swiped her but quickly broke her fall as he brought her against him.
He shrugged and he wrapped his arms around her as he was in attempts to keep her warm.
“Shut it…” Daryl muttered towards Glenn as he was looking their way with a smirk.
Glenn chuckled and motioned Maggie over.
“So where are the two of you from?” Bella asked curiously.
“Atlanta…” Glenn answered.
“Georgia…” Maggie added.
“Her family had a farm there… before…” he hinted.
Bella elbowed Daryl again.
“Any of y’all ever been to Mobile, Alabama?”
The three of them shook their heads no.
“Huh, neither have I…”
Bella sighed with slight frustration.
“So did you two know one another before all this?”
“Actually I came across her family’s farm not long after… That’s how we met. If it hadn’t been for Maggie, I’d be dead.”
“I believe that…”Daryl witted and Bella elbowed him yet again.
“Would you stop that already?”
“Will you…?” she challenged.
“We’ve been together for a little over a year and a half.” Glenn stated.
“What happened the others? If you don’t mind me asking.”
Glenn and Maggie exchanged glances.
“When the walkers gradually spread and took over. We decided it was time pack it up. Only it was one thing after another. The three of us got separated from the others. We haven’t a clue where they are.”
Maggie said with this heartbroken mien to her. Glenn kissed her cheek and drew her in even closer.
“I’m sorry to hear that. My father and I managed two years before experiencing that as well.”
“Hey…” Daryl softly said as she started to shiver.
He had her laying down and facing him.
“Maybe you should save the chitchat for later and focus on keeping warm.”
She nodded as he pulled her right up against him.
“I thought you didn’t ‘cuddle’.”
He smiled rather mischievously.
“And to think you was going to dump my ass. You’d have frozen your little tail off.”
“Do you ever quit?”
Before she had the chance to argue in return he kissed her lips and had his hand running along her ass.
“So what’s your old man gonna think of me?”
Bella snorted on this.
“Well that depends which Daryl Dixon are you going to introduce him to?”
“Is your old man a dick?”
“Of course not!”
“Then we shouldn’t have any issues.”
“It’s not him I’m worried about.”
“Holy fucking shit!”
Glenn and Maggie shot awake and Daryl chuckled on Bella’s reaction as she was reaching to her heart.
“What? I brought you breakfast?” he motioned towards the two jack rabbits that were just a foot away from her. Both had arrows sticking out of them.
“Such the romantic, thanks Locksley.”
“You’re welcome, little bunny.”
“Ugh, there’s something majorly wrong with you.”
“Sorry was all out of red roses and chocolates.”
“So you thought killing a couple of rabbits and displaying them like a dog would for his master was romantic enough gesture?”
“What? You think you own me now? I’m not about to start callin’ you master.”
Bella rose and rubbed the sleep from her eyes.
“That’s a shame. You haven’t a clue what you’re missing out on.”
“Well now, Miss. Daisy…” Glenn tossed out there in attempts to get under Daryl’s skin.
But Daryl was still stuck on Bella’s words.
“That certainly explains the black pants and leather jacket…” Daryl murmured.
“Sorry, couldn’t find my cat-o-nine-tails.”
“…fuck…” he muttered under his breath nearly cutting himself as he was skinning one of the rabbits.
Maggie walked over and high fived Bella.
“Easy Locksley… all that blood’s going straight to your head.” Bella said as she started to skin the other rabbit.
“Guess we lucked out…” Daryl hinted as to the walkers.
“Maybe cause it’s the desert? Not a lot of ‘food’ wandering around.”
He nodded and Bella handed the meat over when she was done. Bella looked down however as something else caught her attention. She put her hand to the shiny silver object around her neck. She looked to the blue galaxy with the crescent moon and looked to Daryl in shock.
He shrugged as he started cooking the meat.
“Where’d you get this?”
“I’ve had it for a while…”
She looked to the necklace once again believing it to be the most beautiful thing she’d ever saw.
“It was my mother’s.”
“Daryl…” she went to take it off and he stopped her.
“It’s beautiful, but I can’t keep this…”
“What am I going to do with it? I haven’t any use for it. So it might as well be yours.”
He raised his brows as she pecked him on the cheek.
“Thank you, Daryl.”
“Can’t say I never gave ya nothin’…”
They’d been on foot for a total of seven hours. Each of them was covered with sweat, their bodies were flushed over from the heat, and they were running dangerously low on water. Maggie went to offer Bella her wicker hat as her face was beet red. Bella held up a hand turning it down.
“I’ll be fine.”
Daryl had a black bandana covering most of his face and Glenn was using his baseball cap. Bella had a baseball cap at one time (back when she was traveling with her father) but survivors took it, she hadn’t been able to find one since. It’s amazing the simplest things become the hardest to find.
“We should take turns. You’re blistering…” Maggie insisted.
“Please tell me that’s not a mirage…” Bella uttered as she spotted something several feet away.
Daryl narrowed his brows trying to make out what it was.
“Is that a bus?” Glenn questioned.
Bella picked up the pace and brought out her gun once the bus was fully in view. Daryl got his crossbow ready and he motioned for Glenn and Maggie to take the other side. They quietly approached it and examined it thoroughly. Bella entered the bus and cautiously made her way down the aisle. She drew back a breath and lowered her gun once she saw that it was clear. She took her jacket and placed it one of the seats. The heat had her feeling slightly nauseas so she closed her eyes for a minute.
“You okay there?”
She nodded and Daryl handed her one of his bottles of water.
“I still have a couple…” she said trying to hand it back.
“Yeah well I have three. You need to cool down. Put some on your face…” Daryl cracked open the windows and sat across from her.
“We need to see if we can get this bus up and going – if it even has enough gas.”
“I’ll worry about that you need to relax.”
They peered over as they heard the hood pop open.
“Great… I better get out there before he fucks everything up. Splash some water on your face and drink the rest. You’re gonna wind up having a heat stroke if you don’t find a way to cool off.”
He opened the emergency door as he stepped on out.
Bella gasped out as she came to.
“Sorry…” Maggie murmured as she was holding an empty bottle of water.
The contents were now along Bella’s face and hair.
“You must’ve passed out. I couldn’t get you to come to.”
“Dammit!” Bella sprang to her feet.
“They’re working on the bus. Glenn thinks he can get it going. If there’s any gas that is.”
“They’re working together?”
Maggie sort of laughed.
“Those were my thoughts exactly. I figured it best if I joined in you in here. Let the two of them sort out their differences.”
Bella nodded as she stepped out the emergency door. There was a nice breeze as the sun was starting to set. She and Maggie looked towards the guys as they heard the bus kick to life.
“Now we’re talkin'” Daryl called out and Bella nearly fainted at the sight of him high fiving Glenn.
“I gotta say Asian, seems you know a thing or two after all.”
“Hell this truly is the apocalypse…” Bella muttered under her breath causing Maggie to die in laughter.
“Looks like we’re heading to Arizona, sweet thang!” Daryl called out.
“We got half a tank of gas too!”
“Half a tank…” Bella murmured in thought.
“We got a good four hour drive ahead of us…”
Maggie nodded in thought.
“Then we keep an eye out and …” her train of thought was interrupted as a set of headlights was seen from a far.
“Heads up looks like we got company…” Bella called out.
“Shit…” Daryl uttered as he killed the engine after he and Glenn saw the car lights as well.
“Everyone on the bus…” Daryl called out.
The girls nodded and hurriedly got inside. Bella quickly shut the emergency doors and the four of them found a seat and lay low. Daryl locked eyes with Bella as they waited for the vehicle to pass. Once it passed Daryl motioned for everyone to stay down. He rolled on out of the seat and kept his head down as he made certain the coast was clear.
Bella let out a sigh of relief.
“Let’s just hope we can get it started again.” Glenn tossed out there as he made his way to the driver’s seat.
“Nah, I’m drivin’… We know how you Asians drive.”
“And he’s back…”Bella declared causing Daryl to rear back her direction.
She shook her head on this and Maggie patted Bella on the back. Glenn ignored Daryl’s little pun and started the bus. The girls took a seat but Daryl insisted on arguing with Glenn about who was going to drive. As Glenn was turning the bus around Daryl fell on his ass.
“Have a seat, Locksley!”
Daryl bitched under his breath as he came to his feet and sat across from her. She smiled with a nod his way. She kicked back and crossed her legs with her arms folded about her chest.
“Might as well get comfy.”
He rolled his eyes. Bella glimpsed Maggie’s direction seeing as how she was tearing up. She quietly came to her feet and made her way over. Bella understood and there was no need for words. Daryl nodded amongst himself as Bella merely wrapped an arm around Maggie and let her cry it out.
Bella’s eyes fluttered about as she came to.
“I see how it is now…”
Daryl chuckled on her reaction as Maggie was curled up in her lap.
“Shut up…” Bella murmured behind a giggle.
“Hell, I ain’t judging.”
She looked outside the window.
“Where are we?”
“Almost to Holbrook.”
He smiled at the way she seemed to perk up.
“That’s right, little bunny… I’m amazed we made it this far.” He admitted. “But we gotta try and syphon some gas. So I need you to keep watch.”
She nodded and carefully eased out from under Maggie’s head. He took her hand and led her off the bus. Daryl walked Bella to her post at the front of the bus.
“You see anything holler.”
Bella stretched her arms about as he headed off. She yawned and was doing her best to fully snap out of it and wake up. About five minutes in she narrowed her eyes. Bella picked up on the all too accustomed sound. Her skin crawled however as she wasn’t just picking it up from one but two directions.
“Wrap it up. We got go!”
She hollered out once she spotted three walkers making their way around a nearby building.
“God damn it!” Daryl said as he was in the middle of pouring the gas into the tank.
“Go on. I’ll finish this up.” Daryl said to Glenn.
Glenn nodded and grabbed one of the other tanks. When he got on the bus however Maggie was nowhere to be found. Bella rushed over doing her best to cover Daryl’s back as he finished up.
“A little faster Locksley.”
Bella turned hearing a gunshot followed by Maggie running out from behind one of the other cars. She had just come back from going to the bathroom. Bella was now shooting at walkers at both ends in order to keep Daryl and Maggie safe.
“Shit…” she muttered.
“There’s too many!” She called out as she reloaded one of her guns.
Daryl finished up and Glenn started the bus. Maggie managed to leap into the back as Bella and Daryl jumped in through the side door.
“HOLD ON!” Glenn called out as he hit the gas.
Daryl braced himself over the women.
“It’s about to get bumpy.” Glenn warned.
“Fuck…” Daryl groaned as he was doing his best to keep the girls from getting hurt.
Glenn was running down whatever walkers got in his way. He hadn’t a choice it was that or let them pile up and take over. A breath of relief escaped him once they cleared the area and had a decent speed going.
“Everyone okay?” Glenn called back.
Daryl checked the women over and nodded.
Once he rose he helped the women to their feet. Bella and Maggie looked out the back of the bus wide-eyed. The walkers were so thick behind them now it looked like a massive black cloud.
“Jesus…” Bella muttered.
“Where’d they come from?” Maggie wondered out loud.
“I’ve no idea…” Bella replied as they watched in horror.
About an hour in, Glenn pulled over and Daryl finished with the gas. When he finished they hit the road once again. There were a few walkers here and there. If they couldn’t avoid them Glenn simply ran them down. Glenn shook his head about forty minutes later and looked to the others.
“We might have to bail soon.”
“Getting hot?” Daryl questioned.
“Yeah and we don’t have enough water to keep the radiator cool.”
“I’ll keep going for as long as we can.”
Daryl nodded and looked to Bella apologetically.
“We’re closer than I thought we’d get.” She admitted.
“Wait! Stop the bus!”
Glenn stopped the bus and looked to her in wonder. She went out the back doors and checked the sign they’d just past. She tilted her head seeing as how it had her father’s marking but it was a miles to state prison sign. She looked the direction it was pointing and saw the exit for it up ahead.
“No way…” Bella murmured looking to be in thought.
Daryl nodded upon her as he made his way over. She sort of laughed.
“Think the bus can make it another few miles to the prison?”
This had the redneck rearing back.
“You’re kidding, right?”
Bella shook her head and pointed to the sign.
“Shit… Is your old man insane?”
“I’m beginning to wonder that myself.”
“You do realize…”
“Oh yeah… trust me I do. But I have to see if this right.”
“Damn… I can’t believe we’re doing this crazy ass shit!”
Bella pinched the bridge of her nose.
“Look, just get me as close as you can. I’ll check it out myself. There’s no sense in putting everyone else in danger.”
“You think I’m gonna let you go into a potential walker nest?! THINK ABOUT IT! Jesus Christ!”
“Daryl… Besides you… He’s all I got. I have to do this. I’m sorry…”
He gritted his teeth and glanced towards the bus.
“Hell…” He muttered under his breath as she got back on the bus.
She walked up to Glenn and pointed out the exit he needed to take. He nodded but cut her the same look Daryl had. She sort of laughed on this but didn’t comment. As he headed that way Bella checked over her knifes, guns, etc… Once the prison came into view, she looked towards Glenn.
He nodded and ironically the bus began to smoke. They exited the bus and Glenn made his way to the hood. He winced as he burned his hand.
“Just let it go…”Daryl said as the bus started to catch fire.
Glenn nodded in agreement and the four of them looked around.
“How do you suppose we get in there?” Daryl asked.
“I’m going. You’re all staying put.” Bella insisted.
“Nah, you ain’t pulling that shit. We had agreement. You think I’m gonna serve you up on a silver platter? Girl, you’re out of your fucking mind. Somethin’ that seems to run in the family.”
“We’re going as well.” Maggie stated and Glenn nodded in agreement.
Bella pinched her eyes shut for a moment and went to argue on this but had her gun shot right out of her hand.
“FUCK!” Daryl shouted and quickly brought her to the ground.
He looked around trying to see where it came from as he used his body to shield her.
“GLENN!” Maggie shouted another one sounded it and went right through Glenn’s leg.
Daryl regarded the towers and nodded amongst himself. Bella’s attention was directed at something else. There was a small boy laying a few feet away. He looked to be hurt and was crying.
Bella squirmed out from under Daryl. He growled out as he reached for her but she took off running.
“Dammit.” He murmured as he took cover and fired towards the towers, whilst doing his best to keep an eye on Bella. She would take cover every once in a while, but kept running, with purpose.
“What in the hell…?” Daryl mumbled until he caught wind of the boy.
“C’mon now sweet thang… Don’t fall for it…”
Bella inched her way towards the boy.
“Hey…” She called out as she was just a foot away.
She ducked behind a nearby dumpster. The boy lifted his head and Bella swallowed back.
“It’s okay… Are you hurt?”
He nodded and reached to his leg. Bella sighed and regarded the towers and looked towards the others in thought.
“DARYL!” Bella shouted as a man managed to sneak right up behind him.
Daryl spun around but the guy used the blunt of his gun to knock him out.
“NO!” Bella reached for her other gun and froze as she heard that cocking sound with the metal pressed up against her head.
“Don’t even think about it lady.”
She nodded grasping that Daryl was dead on about her. She’d never felt like a bigger failure. Bella slowly rose with her hands in the air. The boy kept his aim. She cringed seeing as how Maggie and Glenn had been captured as well. They were brought to their knees beside Daryl and the three of them were being handcuffed and searched.
Bella uttered but swiftly spun around and knocked the gun out of his hand. He looked to her wide-eyed as she had her gun aimed at him now.
“Sorry…” She alleged wholeheartedly as she grabbed the boy and held the gun to his head.
Her hand shook as she did this but she was determined. She stepped out.
“Not another move!” She shouted.
She forced the boy up against her. Hating every moment of this but she hadn’t a choice.
“I don’t want to hurt the boy. But I will if you don’t let them go.”
Bella was quick to grunt out however as a knife was driven into her thigh.
“You little bastard!” She barked as she spun around and roughly forced the boy up against the wall and put her gun to his chin.
The boy smiled.
“You’re not going to shoot me.”
He nodded assuredly as he took notice of the way her hand shook. This made a first for Bella though. She never put her gun to a kid before.
“It’s not in you…”
Bella gritted her teeth on this and swiftly knocked the boy out.
“You’re right, it isn’t…” she muttered under her breath as she checked for a pulse and scooped the boy up.
“CARL!” She heard someone shout as they were exiting through the fence.
“What have you done?!”
“He’s fine…” Bella assured as she aimed her gun at the tall dark haired woman.
“But you won’t be if you don’t back the fuck up.”
“Try again, bitch…” Bella rolled her eyes as she felt a gun pressed against her head.
“Hand the boy over to his mother.”
Bella nodded and handed him over.
“Now get to steppin…”
The African American woman shoved her towards Daryl and the others. Daryl had come too and was shaking his head. Bella was forced to her knees as well.
“Well Locksley, you were right all along.” Bella murmured behind a laugh one – of downright misery.
“I pulled a Bella and fucked us over.”
“HEY!” Daryl shouted as the woman jerked Bella up by the hair.
“What’d you say your name was?”
“Why the fuck do you care bitch?” she spit in the woman’s face.
“SHIT!” Daryl yelled in a panic as Bella jerked the knife out from her leg, within a beat she had it against the woman’s throat.
The woman got this certain beam to her however.
“Well I’ll be damned it really is you.”
Bella narrowed her eyes on this.
“Carol… Get the chief. Tell him his little girl’s finally come home.”
“Don’t have to…” The short haired woman replied as she nodded towards someone.
Bella kept her knife in place but tilted her head that direction. The moment he came into view, Bella’s heart skipped a beat. She steadily lowered that knife of hers.
(Be a good sport and leave your comment/review! Thank you! SOA chapter coming up sometime Monday or Tuesday)