I do not own The Walking Dead or Twilight. Friendly reminder – AU so history and events of certain characters will vary from TWD.
Her eyes fluttered about as she came to. The sun was right in her eyes and it caused them to water, as she was doing her best to make out the silhouette before her. The young woman wondered why she was soaking wet, choking, and coughing up a good amount of water.
“Well lookie there, Sleeping Beauty decided ta wake up after all. I suppose that makes me the prince.”
Her body jarred about as it instantly reacted to the all too chilling and familiar voice. That’s when Bella realized she was bound to a tree. And that it was Merle was standing before her, empty bucket in hand. She went to holler for help only to find her mouth silenced as there was a cloth of some sort tied around it.
The young woman squirmed about with desperation. The vengeful man had a good laugh on this.
“You’re not goin’ anywhere, sweetheart. It’s just you and I. Such a gorgeous evening, isn’t it? I thought we could watch the sunset together.”
She shook her head and started hyperventilating as she was trying everything she could think of to break free. Merle walked on over and ran the tip of his blade along her blouse.
“I got somethin’ reeeaaal special planned for ya, honey bun.”
Bella jerked about as he cut her top open. He tilted his head about.
“Ya ever seen a walker in the buff?” He questioned as he sliced through her bra as well.
That brave front of hers was nowhere to be found as full blown panic set in. Tears formed within her eyes and her heart galloped within her chest.
“Aw now… none of that sug…”
He reached over and wiped her tears with his thumb. She jumped as he looked her in the eyes and unfastened her jeans. He undid the zipper and proceeded in taking them off. Bella crossed her legs but found it difficult as her ankles were tied to the tree as well. Merle gritted his teeth as he used his one hand to rip her panties off. He chuckled as he gazed upon her.
“Ya run out of razors?”
Bella muttered something against the cloth. He drew back a breath and removed the cloth.
“I wouldn’t even bother with the screamin’ for help. I’ll kill anyone that even attempts it. So unless you want blood on your hands, you best keep that in mind. And if ya got somethin’ ta say, ya’d better say it.”
She spit in his face. Merle nodded in response and promptly smacked her. He then grabbed her by the hair and got right in her face.
“So you dig lil pansy ass fuckers like my lil bro? Is that what gets you goin’? You a pussy lover?”
He undid his pants and whipped his stiff self out.
“That there’s the real thing, sug. You’re scared of it, aren’t ya?! What’s wrong, sweetheart. Ya afraid the one-eyed monster’s gonna tear you a new one?”
Bella narrowed her eyes not understanding the lil bro reference. Merle pulled a certain face as he took notice.
“Wait… You hadn’t a clue, did ya?” He held his gut in laughter.
“You’re lying!” She hissed causing him to laugh even harder.
“Now that right there is funny as hell. You was fucking my lil bro and ya didn’t even know it. Tell me, ya still got his jizz running down them legs of yours? Lemme guess, you just thought he was all so sweet and cuddly. So you spread them legs of yours nice and wide for him, didn’t ya? You little bitch…”
He frowned as he went flaccid in thought. She was meant to be HIS! He let out a bitter sigh and tucked himself away. Merle kissed her forehead before taking his blade against it. She recoiled as he started engraving his initial. His teeth ground together and he roughly grabbed ahold of her chin, forcing her in place. “Now darlin’, easy… Just hold still. I’m not quite done. After all, I’m just returnin’ the favor.”
Blood ran down the sides of her face and down her neck. Once he finished with the M on her forehead. He took a couple steps back – his hard on sickeningly returning.
“Damn… It really is a shame our time is limited. Ya see sugar tits, I had plans for ya. Being a sweet little virgin and all… You and I had a business ta run and you was gonna be the housemother. I wasn’t gonna let anyone else have ya. I’d have treated ya like a god damn queen. But you just had to go and ruin everything. And I thought you was the one…”
Bella regarded him with a rather demonic appearance.
“We burned your precious brothel down.”
He raised his brows on this.
“Now how would ya know about that?”
He sighed and she jumped as he pressed the steel cold blade up against her sex. He used it to wipe the blood from his blade.
“I suppose none of it really matters now. I’d give ya a proper goodbye and all… I’m just not so sure how I feel about double dippin and all; seeing as how you had my brother’s dick in ya. You know the sayin’ about multiple sex partners. And I ain’t no fuckin’ faggot or into that incest bullshit neither! So here’s the deal sweetheart… You see that shed over there?” he pointed off to a distance.
There was a RV few feet away.
“There are a couple of walkers in there. And I’m sure they’re just as hungry as I am. Not to worry. I won’t let them eat ya alive… However… That don’t mean ya won’t die…”
He sent her a wink.
“Ya see sugar tits, you’re gonna go out the way you came into this world. The only difference? You’ll already be walking.”
“I’m going to haunt you till the day you die and when that day comes. I’ll be waiting for you in HELL!”
He drew back a breath on this and she hollered out as he pressed his thumb into the area Carl stabbed her in. “And when that day comes; I’ll owe you a good fuckin’. But until then…” He placed the cloth back over her mouth and was grinning ear to ear.
Bella growled out and writhed about as Merle turned his back to her and was heading towards the shed. She shook her head as he opened the shed doors and swiftly ducked out of sight. Her wrists felt as if they’d snap out of place as she struggled to free herself. The walkers stepped out and were making their way over. One looked to have been a teenage boy at one time. The walker was wearing an ACDC shirt and skater pants. The other was female but she had decayed so much you couldn’t make out much about her. Merle got his gun ready and merely waited. He didn’t want her devoured. No, he wanted her turned… To someone like Merle – that was the perfect revenge.
An all too accustomed sound had Merle rearing back. He turned that direction and rolled his eyes. Just as he caught wind of ‘him’, the gun was shot out of his hand. And before he could so much as blink; his little brother flew off the bike and was sailing right for him. The bike eventually tipped over and skidded into some shrubs. Merle was knocked to the ground and Daryl sent several jabs across his face. Merle gritted his teeth and used all his girth to roll his brother off him and onto the ground. He returned a few blows of his own. Daryl however went into panic mode, seeing the two walkers heading right for Bella. “No!” He hollered out hoping to gain the walkers attention. “HEY!” He shouted once again and he grunted out as Merle drove his bladed piece into his shoulder. Once Merle realized what he’d done he quickly pulled it out. He cut his brother a remorseful glance.
Daryl brought his knee up as hard as he could and flung his brother off him. He scurried onto his feet and took off like a bat out of hell. The walkers were just a couple inches away from Bella, when he grabbed them by the collar of their shirts and jerked them back. He groaned out at the agonizing pain in his shoulder. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop him from taking the walkers head’s and bashing them together repeatedly – until there was nothing left.
He locked eyes with Bella afterward. This all-pervading fury coursed through his very soul as he took in the damage done by his brother. Daryl started towards her, only to be snatched back and hurled up against a cactus.
“That bitch is the reason I’m missing a hand! She’s has gotta pay lil bro. And I won’t let anyone get in my way, even you!” Merle shouted.
Daryl ignored the cactus spines he had going all down his back and along the back of his head. The man hopped back up and pointed upon his brother.
“You lost your hand because you’re a simple-minded piece of shit! You deserved everything she unleashed upon you! I can’t believe you’re my brother you son-of-a-bitch-ass-motherfucking-RAPIST!
Hell Merle, if anything you turned out just like our old man. You treated her just as our old man treated MOM! Do you not remember? It’s why she left! And now here you are… Hurtin’ women… That do it for you? That get you nice and hard? You sick fucker! Or is it that no one wants your sorry ass; so you have no other alternative?!”
“You done…?” Merle questioned as if merely annoyed.
This had Daryl rearing back in utter disbelief.
“Jesus Christ! That’s all you gotta say to me?”
“You really wanna do this? Fine! LET’S GO! YA FUCKIN’ PUSSY! You left, remember? Just like that bitch of a mother we had. And that’s what you always do! When things get too heavy for ya. You pussy the fuck out like a little god damned bitch! No wonder this one here let ya fuck her. She’s a god damned pussy lover!”
Daryl shook his head and rolled his eyes.
“Who left first Merle? Right after mom?”
Merle flinched on this.
“That’s right, ASSHOLE! You left my ass with the old man! And ya didn’t come back until the world went to shit! So don’t you even talk to me about pussyin’ out! I took the brunt of the old man’s anger! Hell, I got the motherfuckin’ scars to prove it!”
“I’m sorry… I didn’t know.”
“BULLSHIT! He did the same thing to you and mom! Only difference is I chose to overcome it! Hell, I might be a lot of things. But I’m no woman beater and no fuckin’ rapist!” Daryl spat in return.
“The only reason you came back at all was to scout the house!”
“Don’t make this about us. This right here is between me and that fuckin’ tease… And I’m sorry to say you fell for the wrong bitch. This one dies… And there ain’t a god damn thing you can do about it. So if you wanna start weeping like a pussy whipped motherfucker, be my guest. But you best step aside and let me deal with the little washed-up cunt.
Daryl glanced back over his shoulder and regarded Bella in thought. He nodded amongst himself and gradually turned back around. He aimed his gun at his brother. Merle started laughing.
“You really gonna shoot me, brother? Hell, that must be some tight ass pussy if you is willin’ ta blow your own brother’s brains out for it.”
He sighed and tossed his gun aside. Merle nodded but was quick to grunt out as Daryl suddenly had him pinned to the ground. He took his brother’s face against the cactus Merle had tossed him into earlier. Daryl gritted his teeth as Merle was reaching for his gun. Daryl kicked it out of reach and forced his brother’s head back. His entire face was covered in prickles.
“You’re right… Shootin’ you would be easy way out…” the man growled as he overlapped his brother’s chest.
Daryl reared back in attempts to dodge Merle’s blade. Only he wasn’t fast enough as it scraped along his cheek, slicing it open. His lip curled as he wrapped his hands along the device his brother had made. He ripped it off and without another thought; he drove the blade into his brother’s throat. He let out a battle like cry as he promptly jerked it back out and plunged it on through his brother’s skull. The man came to his feet afterward. He was covered in blood and he had this devastated mien about him. He nodded upon Bella as he made his way over. He took his knife and cut her free. Once he had her in his arms; he instantaneously came to his knees and pulled her in close. Daryl rocked her in his hold and broke into literal sobs.
“I’m so sorry…”
“I… I didn’t know. You gotta believe me!”
“I’m sorry… I …” he sucked back a breath.
“I’m sorry…” The man repeated over and over. His voice grew softer and softer as he continued to apologize for not only her sake but his brother’s.
A breath of relief escaped him as he felt her holding him in return.
Daryl came to his feet and helped Bella to hers. He took his shirt off, removing whatever cactus spines were on it and placed it on her. It was just long enough to keep her covered. He looked to the sky seeing as how it the sun was just about gone. He knew they hadn’t time to head back before it was dark. It wasn’t worth the risk. Besides, they’d been through enough for one day as it was. He had to bury his brother as well and his girl wasn’t in any shape to be traveling at the moment. Then again, he wasn’t either. He was hurting all over, but his night was far from over. Daryl walked over to his bike. He took the keys out of the ignition and went to prop it up. He grunted out as his shoulder felt as if it were set ablaze. Bella limped on over and went to help him lift the bike.
“I got it sweet thang…” he uttered so quietly she barely heard him.
She grimaced once she took notice of the remaining cactus spines.
“Hold on…” Bella called out as she started plucking them out one by one.
He’d growl out every once in a while, particularly at the more embedded ones.
“Sorry…” she whispered as she continued in removing them.
“Don’t what?” Bella asked out of confusion.
“Don’t ever apologize to me.” He stated sternly as he went back to dealing with his bike.
“Daryl…” Bella put a soothing hand along his back.
He braced himself against the bike and closed his eyes.
“I will spend the rest of my life makin’ up for what he’s done.”
“You can’t do that to yourself. His actions were his own. Not yours…”
“The hell I can’t. He was my brother! My own flesh and blood did this to ya! It’s a wonder you don’t fuckin’ hate me. Hell you just might one day. If not, you’re gonna damn well resent my sorry ass!”
He gritted his teeth and shoved the bike back down and started kicking the shit out of it, repeatedly.
“STOP!” Bella cried as she wrapped her arms around him and was doing her best to pull him back.
“I want you to hate me!” He roared as he threw his hands in the air.
She dropped her hold and staggered back at this.
“Stop it Daryl! You don’t mean that…”
“THE FUCK I DON’T! Look at you!” He said as he whipped around and pointed at her.
“He stripped your ass down, tied you to a god damn tree, and fucking raped you!”
“He didn’t rape me…”
Daryl froze on her words. She nodded but was quick to gasp out as he went pale on her.
“DARYL!” she shouted as he came to his knees and hard.
“He didn’t…” He murmured and reached to his gut looking as if he were about to upchuck. He’d seen the blood along her vaginal area and assumed that’s what it was from.
“No…” she softly replied and brought his head against her belly.
The young woman swallowed back as she ran her fingers through his hair.
Her redneck buried his face into her stomach and wrapped his arms around her.
“Jesus… I thought…”
“No…” She assured once again.
“You’d have no reason to want me around after… I mean being my brother and all…” he hinted feeling ill in thought.
“Even if that were the case… Daryl that wouldn’t change the way I feel about you. You’re two different men. I would never fault you for the things your brother has done. That’s just fucked up.”
“Well I wouldn’t blame you if you did.”
Bella went to say something in return but she wasn’t feeling so great. Daryl took notice and brought her to the ground. He had her lay down.
“I got this… You just chill.”
“I wanna help. Just give me a few minutes.”
“I know ya do little bunny. But it’s getting dark. Not much we can do now and this is something I need to take care of.”
When he looked back over he saw that her eyes were batting something fierce. He turned towards his brother’s body. The man hadn’t a clue where to even begin. He only hoped there was something of use in the shed or that RV. But at the moment there wasn’t a damn thing he could do. So he figured the least he could do was take his brother’s body and put it in the shed or the RV to keep animals or walkers from eating off it. That wave of nausea hit once again and he did his best to force it back. But he had no such luck once he started dragging his brother’s body towards the shed.
“Fuck…” he sputtered out as he quickly turned and blew chunks.
He shot to his feet after and kicked his brother’s head in.
“WHY DAMMIT?! Why are you makin’ me do this?! I loved you! YOU SON OF A BITCH!” Daryl kicked him once again.
He gritted his teeth and walked around, grabbing his feet. He finished dragging him into the shed. The rotted smell of the walkers that were in here before hit him. Daryl held his breath and rushed on out of there once he got his brother situated. After he got the doors shut, he started walking towards Bella. The area around him started to spin and he shook his head trying to shake it off. Soon the man found himself coming to a crawl as he was desperate in getting to her. The moment Bella was within arm’s reach; he pulled her towards him and wrapped his arm around her. Within a matter of seconds he too passed out.
“BELLA!” Charlie continued to out as he and the group was searching throughout entire prison inside/out.
“I’m sorry. There’s no sign of her.” Carol stated.
“Anyone else take notice of how the brothers are conveniently missing as well? So is the bike.” Michonne added in thought.
“FUCK!” The chief shouted and started towards the doors.
He knew it must’ve been the brothers. They were responsible for releasing the walkers. It was all a distraction in order to kidnap his daughter!
Michonne took him by the arm, stopping him.
“It’s dark out. There’s nothing we can do at the moment.”
“I just got her back, Mich! I’m not losing her again. I’ll search all fucking night if I have to!”
He bolted on out of the prison doors. Michonne and Carol exchange glances. Michonne sighed. “I’m going with him.” Carol nodded, “so am I.”
“It’s a death trap!” Lori called out in disbelief as she held her son back from going.
“You’re not going.”
“I’ll go…” Hershel volunteered as he nodded upon his daughter.
Maggie smiled on her father’s words as she was already heading out. Glenn started to join them but Hershel put up a hand stopping him.
“You need to sit this one out.”
“I got this…” Glenn insisted.
Hershel patted him on the back.
“You kept my daughter safe. Now I need to return the favor. You’re sitting this one out. You need to prop that leg up and rest. I’m not taking no for an answer. So go on now, get!”
Maggie nodded in agreement she gave a hint of a smile and kissed Glenn’s cheek.
“You heard him…”
Glenn sighed and caressed the side of her face.
“You be careful out there.”
“They think Daryl’s somehow behind all this. You also need to get to the others to understand this isn’t his doing. We both know if he’s missing as well it’s because he’s out there looking for her or got caught up in something.”
“I’ll do my best.”
He nodded in response. Carol overheard the conversation but said nothing on it. She looked to Shane and Tyreese.
“You two coming?” Carol questioned. They looked to one another and Shane shook his head no.
Tyreese however drew back a hesitant breath but started on out as well. Carol looked to Shane with disappointment. He rolled his eyes taking notice. She followed Maggie and Hershel out. Shane looked to Lori and Carl.
“I’m not leaving you with a strange man we know nothing about.” He whispered with a nod towards Glenn.
Lori glanced his direction as well. Glenn sort of laughed and laid down on one of the cots. He draped one of the blankets that were brought out for Bella over his lap.
“I won’t be causing any problems…”
“That’s what you say now…” Shane murmured cutting him a dirty look.
“You leave me be and I’ll leave you be. Easy enough?”
Shane gestured for Lori and Carl to head into another area of the room. He kept his gun aimed towards Glenn the entire time. What he didn’t know was that Glenn already had his ready to go under that blanket; his sole reason for using it in the first place.
Daryl rolled over as he felt someone gently kicking at his feet. He jumped as the first thing he saw was a gun pointed at him. The man standing before them was in a khaki colored fishing hat. He motioned towards the RV.
“You two are welcome to stay with me. Get yourselves cleaned up. Whatever you need…”
Daryl rose and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He looked over to Bella and the man respectfully turned his head as Daryl adjusted her shirt. He came to his feet and scooped her up. The man nodded and looked around the area before they headed inside. Once they were inside, the strange man locked everything up. Daryl figured the man to be in his late 50s early 60s. The man cleared his throat.
“The bathroom’s over there. There’s running water… So if you wish to shower. You’re more than welcome.”
“I’ll gather the young lady some clothes. They belonged to my wife… So they might be slightly bigger and not quite the style she’s used to.”
“Thank you…” Daryl said with sincerity.
The man nodded, but had this rather guilty appearance about him. He sighed as Daryl started towards the bathroom with Bella in his hold.
“I saw what he did…”
Daryl froze on the man’s words.
“In fact, I saw and heard the whole thing. I was going help the young lady, but that’s when you came into the picture. Don’t care to be getting involved unless I have to. However, in this case, I apologize for not coming to her aid sooner. But I wanted to know who it was I was helping exactly, before getting myself into whatever mess this is. My name is Dale.”
The man gave a hint of a smile.
“I know. And she is…?
“Bella…” Daryl replied.
“She’s a fighter, that one.”
“That she is…” Daryl agreed.
“You two go on now. Get your wife patched up.”
Daryl heard the wife part but didn’t comment. Normally, he’d bitch a fit about something like that. He didn’t care at this point. He headed into the bathroom, locking the door after. He sat Bella on the toilet and kept her braced against him as he cupped her chin.
“Come on little bunny… I need you to wake up.”
She whimpered out and her head swayed about as she came to. Daryl reached over and grabbed a wash cloth. The bathroom was small enough that everything was within reach. So he kept her propped up against him but wet the cloth down in the sink. He wiped her face but took extra precaution around her forehead. He carefully dabbed the area and grimaced knowing that ‘M’ would end up as a permanent scar.
“Where are we?” She asked seeming a tad out of it still.
“In the RV…”
She cut him a baffled look as he took his shirt off her. Daryl stepped back and stripped down. He started the shower and helped Bella to her feet. She went to step inside only came to a halt as she caught wind of herself in the mirror; that was above the sink. Daryl shook his head with a grimace as she lifted her bangs revealing Merle’s mark. She rushed over and turned on the sink and was desperately trying to scrub it off.
Daryl quickly grabbed ahold of her and held her arms down.
“You’re gonna make it worse.”
He dragged her into the shower and forced her into a sitting position, then wrapped himself around her. Daryl hated every second but feared she’d end up hurting herself if he let go for even a brief moment. He could see it in her eyes; she was about to lose it. Not that he blamed her one bit. She had every reason to feel the way she did. But he’d protect her at all cost, even if that meant from herself. She buried her face into her knees and sure enough he was right. She screamed out and was pulling at her hair.
“Shhhh…” he murmured as soothingly as possible.
He brought her arms back down and rested his head along her shoulder. Once he got her somewhat calmed; he twirled her about so that she was facing him. He cupped his hands along her face. Tears fled from her eyes as he kissed her. He said nothing as he spent a few minutes simply holding her. Once he dropped his hold had that pitfall feeling enter his heart as she just sat there, staring off into space. He got her scrubbed down and he cleaned up as soon as he was done with her. He cut the water off when he finished; then looked to her with concern as she hadn’t moved at all. She wasn’t so much as blinking. He opened the shower door and reached out he grabbed a towel and dried himself off. He wrapped the towel around his waist and went to help her Bella to her feet. Only to find she was already standing. He went to help her towel off, but she promptly jerked the towel out of his hand.
“Don’t… I’m fine.” She muttered with a touch of anger behind her words.
He wasn’t sure what to say or what to feel even. She dried off and stepped out. Bella wrapped the towel around her and stepped out before he had a chance even say anything. She was quick to gasp out and Daryl quickly reacted as she had the man pinned to the wall. Daryl pried her off him.
“Easy! He’s just tryin’ to help…”
“Sure he is! They always are! So what is it you want?! What’s in it for you?!”
“JESUS CHRIST, BELLA!” Daryl scolded.
“You’re just going to trust him?!”
“Not a lot of options at the moment…”
She broke out of Daryl’s hold and started towards the RV door. She gritted her teeth at the sheer amount of locks the man had going. She started unlocking them one by one. Daryl growled out and made his way over.
“What the hell are ya doing?”
“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m tired of dealing with people, Daryl. You think this bastard is any different? He wants something! They all do! I’M OUT!”
“You ain’t goin’ nowhere and neither am I. We’re stayin’ right here!” Daryl spat putting his foot down.
They turned hearing the cocking of a gun.
“If you two wouldn’t mind keeping it down… I don’t care to have a mass of walkers at my door.”
He nodded upon Bella.
“As for you… I haven’t any hidden agenda. So get dressed, then take a seat, and have yourselves a proper meal. He’s right, you’re not going anywhere. You’ll only get yourself killed.”
The man motioned towards some clothes on the kitchen counter. Daryl grabbed them and practically dragged her into the bathroom where they got dressed. He raised his brows upon the dress Bella had on. It was certainly not her. It looked as though a church dress for senior women. Bella’s lip curled once she saw her reflection. “It’s temporary…” He softly reminded. But he had the same reaction as he put on the clothes Dale had set out for him.
“What’s the deal with this guy and khaki colored shit?” Daryl murmured as he had to roll the pants a few times in order to make them fit.
A small giggle escaped Bella as Daryl put the button shirt on.
“Yeah, yeah, laugh it up little bunny. But you look just as ridiculous as I do.”
She nodded and that bottom lip of hers quivered. The young woman was doing everything she could think of to keep brave and push all this shit aside, but the battle was great and it was eating her alive. She felt as if she needed to stay strong for him. The man just killed his brother in order to save her. And every time she caved into those stupid emotions of hers. She felt like a failure. She wished she was more like Daryl. Bella wanted to be strong and courageous like him. But she wasn’t, not even close. Or so that’s the way she felt.
“Can we go back now?” She damn near pleaded.
Daryl caressed her cheek and looked her in the eyes.
“Not yet, little bunny… We need to stick around just a bit longer.”
“But we don’t know him…” she hissed harshly.
Daryl swallowed back. He could see the fear in her eyes. And he didn’t blame her. Not for a second. She had every reason to be leery of other survivors, men in general. There was something about this guy though. Daryl felt no sense of danger. He couldn’t explain it to her or himself even. But he just knew they were in good hands.
“We’re gonna be okay…” Daryl guaranteed.
She shook her head in disagreement. He sighed knowing this was a battle he wasn’t going to win. So he simply took her by the hand and led her back out. The man gestured towards a small booth in the kitchen. There were two plates of food set on the table and three bottles of water set out beside each one.
“I hope you like javelina sausage and green beans…”
Daryl led her to the table and had her sit down. She eyed the stranger down as he made his way over to the kitchen. He leaned against the counter.
“Eat… Both of you. And drink all that water. When you’re done, we’ll see about those wounds of yours.” The man spoke as if dealing with two disobedient children. It wasn’t how he meant for it to come across, but it did. That only added to Bella’s frustration and insecurity about being here. As for Dale, he was genuinely concerned and still shaken up by everything he’d witnessed. He meant no disrespect whatsoever. He just wanted to help and wished he had sooner. Bella just sat there as Daryl tested a piece of the meat. He nodded in approval.
“All good little bunny, try it.”
She picked up the fork and stabbed it through the meat. Her eyes never left the man’s. She placed the sausage into her mouth. Her entire face flushed over as the tears came down once again. She was mad for not refusing the food. Mad because she didn’t understand why Daryl would put them in this situation. Mad because she actually enjoyed the sausage as her stomach ached in response, begging for more. The bitter woman just knew this was going to backfire. She was done trusting anyone. This surge of anger continued to course through her as she kept seeing Merle’s face. His voice sounded in her ears like a broken record. And now she would have a constant reminder… she reached to her forehead as it burned and she started to laugh. As if seeing it wasn’t enough. She would feel it! The men looked on with concern as she kept eating and drinking the water. But she continued this hysterical laugh off and on and the tears never stopped. Dale dug into a cabinet of his and handed Daryl a bottle of prescription meds.
“Those might help. I’d have her take a couple at least.”
Daryl narrowed his eyes upon the label. He nodded realizing it to be valium. But the man had an inner struggle going. Was he really about to drug his own girlfriend? Hadn’t she been through enough?
“SHIT!” He hollered out as Bella finished her food but had broken the plate with her bare hands.
She had a good chunk of it in her hand. It was sharp and deadly. The young woman jumped up heading right for Dale. Daryl hopped up and swiftly knocked the plate from her hand. He grabbed ahold of her and held her up against the wall. He kept his body pressed against hers as he opened the bottle. He looked the pills over. Daryl knew his drugs. He nodded seeing as how they were indeed what the man claimed they were. He retrieved a couple of them and went to place them in her mouth. She shook her head no and Daryl sighed.
“Come on sweet thang… you know I’d never do anything to hurt ya. Just take the pills.”
Bella closed her eyes and Dale went to intervene; only to have Daryl put up a hand, stopping him. “There you go…” Daryl spoke softly as she took the pills from his hand and placed them into her mouth.
Dale handed him a bottle of water. Daryl opened it and poured some into her mouth. He tossed the bottle back over afterward. He didn’t move as he merely waited for them to take effect. Her bottom lip trembled once again.
“I’m sorry…” she cried rather childlike tugging at both men’s heartstrings.
She wrapped her arms around Daryl’s neck. The redneck closed his eyes and held her in return. Once he was certain the pills were taking effect, he scooped her up and Dale pointed towards a bed. Daryl nodded and headed that way. He laid Bella down.
“She’ll be okay…” Dale did his best to assure.
Daryl cleared his throat and quickly wiped his face. He was having a hell of a time keeping his shit together.
“Seems like you have a way with her…”
The redneck nodded in return.
“You should finish eating. She’ll be out for a few hours now.”
Daryl waited a few moments making certain she was going to be alright. Once he assured himself of this, he kissed her cheek and came to his feet. He headed back to the kitchen.
“Feel free to take some yourself…” Dale offered as Daryl handed the bottle back.
He regarded Bella in thought; then shook his head in refusal.
“I need to keep my head clear.”
“Understandable… However, you should get that shoulder taken care of. Both of you have some wounds that need tending to.”
“Her first…” Daryl affirmed as he went back to eating.
After finishing his plate and downing a couple bottles of water. Daryl regarded the man in wonder.
“You say you saw and heard everything?”
The man nodded.
“I want to know…”
Dale drew back a breath on this.
“Are you sure about that?”
“I need to know what all was said and what he did.”
The older man took a seat across from Daryl.
“You got your revenge… What else is there? You knowing everything, isn’t going to change the events of today. It will only make you thirsty for more revenge. And you haven’t anyone else to take it out on.”
“This isn’t about revenge. This is about taking care of my girl. I know I can’t take back what happened. But it would give me a better understanding on how to help her! I need to know! What did my brother do?!”
Dale took off his hat and rubbed his face. He told Daryl everything that was said between the two and what all he’d witnessed in Merle’s torturing. When he was finished…
“That’s some brother you had there…”
Daryl laughed but of sheer misery. The man thought back and tilted his head upon Daryl.
“She isn’t your wife, is she?”
“You should marry her.”
Daryl rolled his eyes.
“That’s the least of my concerns. And who the hell gets married nowadays? Not like there’s a JP around the corner.”
The older man nodded.
“But if you could… Would you?”
“Hell, I don’t know. Why are you even askin’? I don’t know you!”
The man shrugged.
“I feel like I know you, both of you. Never seen anyone as passionate about one another, as the two of you. I felt like I was watching a movie or reading some sort of romance novel – watching you two.”
Daryl damn near snorted on the man’s words.
“I’m sure she’d argue that one. I’m not the romantic type.”
“Now that right there is big ole lie.”
Daryl cocked a brow on this.
“I’ve seen you with her. You might not realize it. But there’s a lot of passion there. If you didn’t feel that way, then you wouldn’t show it. You’re willing to die for her so you might as well be married.”
“Are you jacked in the head or somethin’?”
“Just a firm believer in not letting our humanity fade away. Sure the world isn’t what we once knew. But that doesn’t mean we give up and lose who we are in the process.”
Daryl nodded not sure what to say on that one. He came to his feet and placed the dishes in the sink. He cleaned up Bella’s mess afterward.
“Thank you…” Daryl said once again.
“You’re quite welcome.”
Daryl grabbed one of the bottled waters and head back towards the bed. Before long, Dale placed a couple first aid kits on the bed. The man said nothing as he exited the RV giving them their privacy.
A few hour hours later…
“Hey…” Tyreese called out.
Charlie and the others turned as he was pointing out Merle’s bike up ahead. This had the chief running towards the bike. He looked around the area and regarded the shed and RV in thought. They froze as they heard the cocking of a gun. They turned seeing the man on the roof of his RV.
“Don’t know who you are or where you came from. But you need to go about your way now.”
Michonne rolled her eyes. Charlie nodded upon the man.
“We don’t mean to intrude. I’m looking for my daughter.”
Daryl heard Charlie’s voice from within the RV. He hopped to his feet and rushed on out. The moment he stepped out, Charlie and company had their guns aimed at him.
“WHERE IS SHE?!” Charlie barked.
Maggie made her way over to Daryl.
“Maggie!” Hershel hissed out with concern.
“He’s not the enemy here!” she defended.
“The hell he isn’t! My daughter turns up missing and so does he. I knew something was fishy when you were just standing there!”
“You really wanna do this?” Daryl muttered with a sigh.
Maggie aimed her gun at Charlie. “Trust me you don’t…” she made clear.
Charlie sort of laughed, “there’s two of you and five of us. You do the math.”
Hershel shook his head and joined his daughter’s side.
“Make that three.” He declared with a shrug.
“Four…” Dale called out and fired at Charlie’s feet.
“Now get off my property!”
Bella shot up in the bed as she heard the gunshot coming from outside the RV. She could pick up murmuring of voices outside. She narrowed her eyes in thought. She made her way to the window and peeked out. Her heart dropped seeing as how her father and Daryl were having some sort of standoff.
“Dammit dad…” She uttered as she rushed towards the RV doors.
She grew even madder once she had a better view and saw that Daryl was unarmed. Yet, everyone on her father’s side had their guns aimed at him.
“Bells?” Charlie called out when he saw her.
Her father staggered back seeing how beat up she was. But she said nothing as she strut right up to him and knocked the gun out of his hand.
“What the hell is wrong with you? I’d be dead or worse if it wasn’t for that man!” She regarded the others as well with gritted teeth.
“Lower your weapons, you fucking idiots!”
Charlie grabbed her by the shoulders as he checked her over.
“Jesus kid… What happened?!”
“Long story, one I don’t care to be discussing amongst you and your stupid friends!” Those tears of hers returned as she looked upon her father with hatred.
“You leave him alone dad! I MEAN IT! I better not ever see you or your friends aiming another gun at Daryl or my friends. If I do… You’ll never see my ass again! I’m not fucking around! You haven’t any idea what we’ve been through. And quit pretending like you know him because you don’t! NONE OF YOU DO! HELL, I’M STARTING TO WONDER IF YOU EVEN KNOW ME AT ALL!”
“Bells…” he called out with desperation as the others lowered their guns.
“Don’t just… don’t!”
Charlie shook his head and put his gun away. Just as she went to walk away he grabbed ahold of her. She struggled to break free but he wouldn’t allow it. He hugged it out even as she told him how she hated him over and over. Charlie swallowed back on this. He knew it for what it was, but it hurt, nevertheless. He gave a simple nod, knowing he fucking deserved it.
“Hate me all you want, kid. All that matters is I got you back. And I give you my word. No one touches your friends. Just give me a chance… I’ll do my best to understand. But you gotta talk to me first. How will I ever know if you don’t let me in? What’s going on Bells?”
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