Beth Greene drove the old Chevy Daryl had repaired up the drive toward her parents’ house. She saw Maggie sitting on the steps but her father was nowhere in sight. She dreaded stepping foot into the old house and having to deal with his anger.
“Sis!” Maggie said, standing and hugging Beth when she got to the porch. “You were supposed to be here yesterday.”
“My leg was hurting too bad,” said Beth.
Maggie gave her a knowing look. “Or you were being mercilessly humped by the hick hottie you’re shacking up with.”
Beth felt her face warm with embarrassment. “That too. He was an animal when he got home from work yesterday. God, I love it!”
Beth limped up the steps with Maggie holding her arm for support, laughing with her. She appreciated her sister’s support, even though she didn’t need it. She could walk fine on her own.
Once at the door, Beth stopped and took in a deep breath.
“They’re not here,” Maggie said, reading Beth’s face. “Annette took Daddy shopping in Atlanta.”
“Atlanta. For what?”
“She wants to redecorate the living room and dining room. It’s going to be a big project and she wants you to help.”
“Let me guess, with Daddy?”
Maggie nodded and went into the house with Beth. They went upstairs to her room and Beth felt a strange sense of loss, especially at the sight of the stack of flattened cardboard boxes Maggie had put in the middle of the floor.
“This isn’t my room anymore,” Beth said.
“Oh, it’ll always be your room. You’ll visit,” Maggie replied.
They sat down and began folding the boxes together, and then filling them up.
“You know,” Maggie said, looking at Beth while they folded clothes to go into the boxes. “It occurs to me that I’m twnty-five years old and I’ve never lived with a man. I mean, instead of finding a guy to settle down with I’ve gone back to school to earn a teaching degree because I got sick of IT work, while you’re moving in with the man you love. You beat me to it.”
“Jealous, are we, Big Sister?” Beth asked, with playfully raised eyebrows.
“Just a little,” Maggie answered honestly. Then she lifted a finger and pointed it threateningly in Beth’s face. “If you and Daryl get married and have babies before I do I’m going to kill you both in your sleep.”
Beth exaggerated a look of horror. “But, what about our babies?”
“I’ll raise them as my own and tell them that you and their daddy robbed a bank and then drove off a cliff to escape justice, Thelma and Louise style.”
Beth rolled her eyes and they set to work clearing the closet. It took two hours for them to clean out everything she needed to take home and then box up the rest. She left her stuffed animals, her knickknacks and her winter clothes but took her photo albums and all of her toiletries. She also took her favored quilt, the one her mother had knitted for her. Once that was done, they carted the boxes downstairs.
The last box, the one containing the quilt, sat on the bed. Beth grabbed it but stopped at the door to look back into her old room. It was completely empty now. There was no trace of her left. Even the bed was left bare except for a fitted sheet she’d put on it to make it look a little less desolate and depressing. Tears came to her eyes but she felt comforted by Maggie’s supportive hand on her shoulder. They looked into the room together.
“I can imagine what Daddy’s gonna think when he sees it,” Beth said.
“He’ll kick something. Or swear,” said Maggie. “He rarely swears but he’ll swear and then he’ll feel better. Now why don’t you and I take these boxes home and then go grab some lunch at Cramer’s Diner?”
Beth nodded and pulled the door closed to her room. That part of her life was now over. She was living away from home with the man she loved and she knew she’d never return here again, not for more than a visit.
“Baby? I brought you a combo,” Beth said, coming into the trailer.
Daryl didn’t answer but she heard the lawn mower start up in the back yard. She placed the bag in the microwave and then started to unpack. It didn’t take long to put her clothes into the closet and into the dresser Daryl had put beside his, making their small bedroom feel even more cramped. She put the folded quilt at the foot of the bed. It would be too big for the bed but in the winter it would keep them warm. She wanted to look at it since she was already feeling homesick.
The homesickness wasn’t so much for the house as it was for her family, her father especially. Life would be perfect right then if her father accepted her relationship with Daryl but she knew that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon.
Her mood lifted when she heard Daryl come inside through the back door. At one o’clock in the afternoon it was swelteringly hot. She found him in the kitchen downing a bottle of water, covered in sweat and grass, and his skin red as a beet.
“Have a seat. I brought you a combo from Cramer’s. I’ll pour you up a glass of ice tea.”
He put the bottle of water down and kissed her forehead, an innocent gesture, but one that set her entire body aflame. Any little touch from Daryl could turn her on. She hoped that never changed.
“How’d things go with your dad?”
“He wasn’t there. Mama’s got him in Atlanta shopping for something,” she said, realizing he was unaware of the effect he had on her. “You smell good.”
“Really? I think I stink. I’m all sweaty and covered in grass.”
“You smell great,” she said, and she meant it. She loved fresh sweat and the grass added something earthy and natural to it. She boldly put her hand on his dick and rubbed. A smile played at Daryl’s lips.
“You trying to kill me, Beth? I just got in from mowing the grass and in this heat…aw, fuck it.”
“Fuck it is right,” she said, and pulled him into a kiss. She dug her hands through the sweaty mop of his hair and began an intense war of tongues neither one of them could hope to win. She moistened even more when she felt his fingers play along the skin just above the waistband of her jeans. Then he slid his hand into hers and pulled her toward the bedroom.
Once in the bedroom he shoved her onto the bed. She bit her lip and smirked in approval while he began undoing his jeans. He was hard and his erection sprang free of his pants, making her moan with anticipation at the sight of his flushed, hardened length.
“Daryl…” she breathed. “I want it hard and fast.”
He flipped her over, yanked her jeans and panties down, and entered her without preamble. He began to thrust, hard, feeling her moist tightness get wetter with each punishing thrust.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” she moaned, and bucked beneath him. Her small hands gripped the comforter.
“Turn over,” he said, his voice gruff with lust.
He flipped her over, seeing that her pupils had dilated to the point her eyes were nearly black. Her lips were flushed a deep red from their kisses in the kitchen. He kissed her again, tongue fucking her until she begged for him to come back into her.
He placed himself at her entrance. “How do you want it?”
He slammed into her, making her cry out with a mixture of pleasure and pain. He didn’t stop to give her time to adjust. He continued thrusting, and she kept her feet flat on the mattress as she lifted her hips to meet his. She dug her nails into his broad, strong shoulders and stared into his eyes. She knew he was close to coming.
That’s when she realized they hadn’t grabbed a condom.
He came a second later on a hard moan, his seed hot and thick inside her. Feeling it pushed her over the edge and she felt her body clench deep inside. She rode the waves of her orgasm, the most intense she’d had with Daryl yet, while he gently laid kisses along her jaw and her throat, then her lips until she came back down to earth.
“We didn’t use protection,” he said.
“I’m on the pill. I’m sure we’ll be okay.”
He nodded and slid to the side, laying down next to her, but keeping one hand cupped to her face.
“I love you,” he said.
“I love you too.”
“You’re sure about the pill?”
She nodded. “Scared of knocking me up?”
“I want a kid with you someday. Just not yet. I want to get on our feet, get into a real house, have a new car, all that. I want you to finish school.”
She nodded. “I know. We’ll get settled before we have kids. You wanna be my baby daddy, huh?”
They laughed, but then he became serious. “You want me to?”
“I wouldn’t have kids with anyone else,” she told him, and she meant it.
She looked up at the ceiling, then around the room. “I was sad about leaving home. Then I got my things packed away and I knew.”
“We’ve got someplace that’s ours but it’s not home. Home is you, Daryl. I’m home when I’m with you.”
“Let’s go take a shower,” he said. “Then a nap. Your old man is exhausted.”
“Your old lady is pretty tired herself.”
He got up and went to start the shower. Beth looked around their bedroom and smiled. Everything about the room still said Daryl Dixon, from the plain, unadorned walls to the banged up dresser that her new one sat beside, and even the noisy old air conditioner. All of them were worn but strong, sturdy, well-made things that would last for years to come. Any vestiges of homesickness faded away as she listened to the water start and he called her name.
“Coming, baby,” she said, a smile pulling at her lips, and headed to the bathroom to take a shower with her old man.