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Principal Desires

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Friday morning, early June; Atlanta suburbs
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It was 6 am when Carol Greene’s cell phone alarm began beeping loudly, alerting her that it was time to rise and shine for work. But there was one little problem… she was off that day.

“How do I keep forgetting to cancel that alarm?” she groaned under her breath as she felt around under her pillow in an attempt to find the phone and stop the annoying sound.

School had been closed for summer break since that past Tuesday afternoon and that Friday morning was the third in a row that she’d been unnecessarily awakened at the crack of dawn. She’d wanted to get up early, but certainly not THAT early and thankfully she didn’t have to race against the clock to get showered and dressed, then fight Atlanta’s bustling morning rush hour traffic to get to her office on time at Woodbury Senior High, the large public school where she’d served as an Assistant Principal for the past 3 years.

Carol had hoped to sleep in and get up around nine or so or ten at the very latest, particularly since she’d been up until well after two the night before, doing laundry and packing in preparation for her road trip to the beach that day. Her good friend Michonne Douglass’ beach house in sunny Savannah, Georgia was her destination and she’d wanted to skip the crazy morning traffic yet leave before lunchtime to beat all of the other weekend beach goers as well, but she wasn’t in a hurry by any means; she was officially on vacation and knew that the beach would still be there no matter what time she arrived.

Carol was able to doze back off but an hour later she was awakened again; that time by her 19 year old daughter Sophia’s alarm clock going off down the hall. Sophia had always been a hard sleeper and had her alarm set at a volume that could wake the dead. Before long Carol heard Australian rock band Tame Impala playing in her daughter’s bedroom and then heard her singing along (loudly and quite off key) to “The Less I Know The Better,” her favorite song from their Currents album, while in the shower. At that point Carol gave up on the dream of sleeping in and figured that she might as well just get up and start her busy day. She opened her curtains and mini blinds to let the morning sunshine in, changed her bed linens then dragged herself into her en-suite bathroom for a hot shower.

After brushing her teeth and smoothing her closely cropped, mixed gray pixie cut back with a dab of hair gel, she applied a coat of black mascara to her naturally long lashes to accentuate her ice blue eyes, a hint of blush to her cheeks and a dab of nude lipstick to her lips. She dressed casually for her road trip, opting for a comfy pair of khaki Capri pants, a sleeveless, black cotton tank and a pair of tan leather driving moccasins with a few silver accessories. She then spritzed on an extra spray of MAC Turquatic® perfume (her absolute favorite scent for the summertime) and tossed the bottle into her vintage Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 handbag, then added a few other last minute selected articles of clothing into the largest suitcase from her 3 piece matching luggage set then dragged it downstairs and put it with the others by the front door of the spacious two story townhouse she shared with Sophia and her Persian mix cat, Mimi. Carol fed the affectionate animal, who nuzzled her legs as she waited patiently beside her bowl for her breakfast, then started a pot of coffee before darting back upstairs to grab her laptop, its charger, and a half dozen or so of her composition books and notepads, as well as a few other small office supplies that she had already packed into a large rubber tote container.

The purpose of going to Savannah was to relax and write; her goal was to add the last few chapters to Insatiable Desires, the first in a three part series of adults only novellas (mini novels) she’d been working on, and she knew that going to the beach as soon as her summer vacation began would give her some much needed inspiration.

Carol was a language arts teacher by education and a school administrator by promotion, but more recently she’d become a fiction writer by trade. Writing had somewhat taken over everything else, and this particular summer vacation was about to mark the end of her school career and the beginning of her professional writing career.

The last day of school had officially been her last day of work for the Atlanta school system since she’d opted for one of their new early retirement plans. Carol had put in exactly 20 years, first as a teacher’s aide, then teaching middle school Language Arts for a few years after she graduated from college, and after that found she’d her niche teaching high school French since she was a fluent speaker, and taught it quite well for well over a decade until a few years ago when the Assistant Principal position became available at Woodbury High. She jumped at the opportunity and the principal, Morgan Jones, practically hired her on the spot during their brief interview.

It had been wonderful working at Woodbury; she loved the kids there and Morgan was an awesome boss but when the chance came to take an early retirement and focus on her writing, Carol jumped at that opportunity as well. She was ready to try something new. She was set to receive a large lump sum up front to do with as she pleased, and the remaining bulk of her pension would still kick in when she turned 62. But that was a long way off so it helped immensely that she’d turned a few short stories that she’d written while going through her divorce from her ex-husband Tobin close to two years prior into a series of racy, online mini romance novels or ‘novellas’, and after gaining a rather sizeable following and shopping a compilation project around it got picked up by a small, yet growing publishing house in Atlanta. The books sold quite well and she’d recently signed a 3 book, six figure deal, so she was set financially for the next few years at least and would become quite well off in time if things continued as they were going with the project. The first e-book, ‘Passionate Diversions,’ had been a big success and there were already talks of developing one of the storylines into a web series if the upcoming installments sold as well as the first and the publishers projected that they would. She still had a few weeks until the first book in the three part series was due to be reviewed before publishing began and was scheduled to be distributed later in the summer, and she planned to finish it up at her favorite place in the world to relax, the beach in Savannah. Once she and Michonne had become friends, she’d offered Carol the privilege of staying at her beach house whenever she liked and Carol couldn’t wait to finally take advantage of the offer to check the place out.

Once she was sure that everything she needed to take with her was by the door, she headed back into the kitchen to make breakfast. Carol was a southern girl, and as such prepared grits and home fries with country bacon and scrambled eggs with cheese, then cut up some honeydew melon and strawberries for herself and Sophia. She would’ve whipped up a quick batch of Bisquick buttermilk biscuits or pancakes, or at the very least a small pan of cornbread from scratch as well but knew that she didn’t have that much time before Sophia left for work so she improvised and tossed a few slices of whole wheat bread into the toaster oven.

Just then Sophia came bounding down the stairs. “Hey Ma! Breakfast smells awesome… especially that coffee!” she exclaimed, tossing her oversized duffle bag onto the floor before helping herself to a tall cup of the steaming brew, adding a splash of Irish cream and a little sugar.

Carol glanced at her beautiful daughter with a proud grin. Sophia had just completed her sophomore year at Alabama State and was home for the summer. She was all grown up but when Carol looked at her she still saw her precious baby girl with chubby, rosy cheeks, fat little legs, long blond pigtails and her father Ed’s striking pale, gray eyes.

Sophia and her best friend Enid had both been rehired to work at Lake Senoia summer camp, where they’d both worked every summer since they were juniors in high school; Enid as a camp counselor and Sophia as a lifeguard. She was dressed in a pair of short cutoff jean shorts, a blue Lake Senoia Camp Staff t-shirt, a thin gold anklet and a pair of white flip flops. Her wavy, near waist-length, ‘dirty blonde’ hair was pulled up into a high, messy bun and the spaghetti straps of her blue halter style swimsuit were also visible, tied in a knotted bow behind her neck. She looked effortlessly cool in her pink lip gloss with glittery fingernail and toenail polish and had completed her look with her pair of diamond stud earrings (a birthday present from her step-father, Tobin,) a thin gold bangle bracelet on one wrist and a waterproof wristwatch on the other (both ‘just because’ gifts from Carol), as well as a gold promise ring, and a thin gold chain necklace with the letter ‘C’ charm, both from her boyfriend, Carl Grimes.

“You want some breakfast, sweetie?” Carol asked warmly. “I made grits, fried potatoes, eggs & bacon and the toast’s just about…done,” she added with a wink a second before retrieving it from the toaster.

“I don’t think I have time to eat all that mom, but thanks anyway. Enid’s gonna be here any minute now to pick me up. We plan on saving a ton on gas by rotating driving each other to work this summer. I’ll just grab something a little later. They’ve got burgers and wraps, soft pretzels, smoothies, funnel cake, ice cream bars, pita chips with hummus, burritos and pizza fries among other things at the camp snack bar.”

“Pizza… fries? What in the world are those?”

“O.M.G. Ma! You’ve never had pizza fries?”

“I don’t believe so… what are they exactly? Pizza with French fries on it?” she asked wrinkling up her nose.

“No!” Sophia giggled. “They’re seasoned steak fries baked in marinara and loaded with layers of melted mozzarella cheese and you can get other toppings like mushrooms, peppers, sausage or pepperoni on them. They’re awesome!”

“That’s not real food!” Carol frowned. “That’s junk! Soph I wish you’d eat something healthy before you leave. I went to all this trouble just to make you a nutritious breakfast.”

“Mother, fried eggs smothered with cheddar, grits dripping with melted butter and thick cut bacon deep fried in its own fat are anything but nutritious and you know it… they all just taste amazing,” she laughed. “And you know I’m trying the whole vegetarian thing again so no bacon for me. I will take some of the fruit and a piece of toast, but I’ll have to get it to go.”

“No problem. I’ll put the fruit into a container and make you a breakfast sandwich with the toast AND some of the eggs. Since you eat pizza fries and pizza too the last time I checked that makes you a lacto-ovo vegetarian which means you can have dairy and eggs. You need all the protein you can get if you aren’t eating meat! And I’m sending one for Enid too… both of you girls are entirely too thin,” Carol groaned in a worried motherly voice.

“We won’t be thin for very long if someone I know continues force feeding us,” she smirked. “And you may think I’m too skinny but I’ve gained almost five pounds since I’ve been back home. Between your country cooking, the pizza fries at work and Carl’s dinner dates, I’ll be up another dress size in no time. But Carl seems to like my new curves well enough…” she then added with a suggestive wink.

“Oh hush,” Carol said with a wave of her hand as she quickly made the breakfast sandwiches and packed up the fruit. “Now Soph you know I’m leaving today. Are you sure you’re gonna be okay here alone while I’m gone?”

“Of course! You’re just going to Savannah for a couple of days, no big deal. It’s not like you’re going to the moon,” she laughed with a sarcastic snort.

“It’s more than a couple of days, Sophia; I’m gonna be out there a little over a week. But just remember Savannah’s less than 4 hours away; I’ll haul tail right back if you need me.”

“Mom please don’t cut your trip short on account of worrying about me! I’ll be fine! I’m a grown up, remember… I’ll be 20 years old in a couple of months and I lived alone away at school for the past two years!”

“You did not live alone! You‘re in one of the biggest dorms on campus!”

“Yes, but I had a room to myself last semester,” she insisted.

“Oh please!”

“Look Mom, I’ll be fine here by myself… The house is stocked with food and if I run out, I’ll simply buy more! My car’s practically good as new since I got it worked on last month and I have money. Things are gonna be totally normal while you’re away. Carl and Ron are taking Enid and I to the movies tonight, and I’m babysitting Lizzie and Mika tomorrow night. I’m off on Sunday so Carl and I are going to play mini golf over in Macon. Otis and Patricia are right next door if I need anything and Ms. Jacqui’s just down the street and they all have spare keys in case by some freak accident I lock myself out of the house. If I get sick I’ll call Cousin Maggie’s doctor husband Glenn and if Mimi gets sick I’ll call Uncle Hershel… and you know I can always depend on Carl to come over anytime I start feeling lonely,” she added with a smirk while wiggling her brows.

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” Carol groaned.

“Mother I’m just kidding! He’ll probably come over to chill with me some evenings but I’m not gonna invite Carl to spend the night every night while you’re gone!”

“I know honey but if you do I trust you two to be careful and responsible and use protection. I know you’re an adult now and in a relationship… it’s just that I know all too well how it is to be young and in love and I just don’t want you getting in too deep before you even finish school.”

“I know! He and I both promised you and Mr. Rick that we’d wait until we graduated to even think about getting engaged, so don’t worry, okay? Even though Ms. Lori says she can’t wait to plan our wedding. She said we should think about going to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico for our honeymoon; that’s where she and Mr. Shane went for theirs, and she even said that Judith can be our flower girl but if we wait too late she’ll be too old and have to be a junior bridesmaid.”

Carol rolled her eyes. She’d met Carl’s mother, Lori Walsh, at Carl’s graduation party. The party was held at his dad, Sherriff’s Deputy Rick Grimes’ home two summers prior and Carol could tell that she was quite the character. She was ultra-snobby, bossy and beyond vain about her ‘high school skinny’ figure, and she flitted around the party in a TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE skintight, low cut, mini dress and sky high stiletto heels like she was the prom queen, and it was very obvious that she had her hunky new husband, Shane Walsh, wrapped tightly around her little finger. There was a high level of tension between Shane and Rick, but they kept it contained for Carl’s sake.

Carol had heard through the grapevine that the reason Carl’s dad divorced Lori was that she’d cheated on him with Shane, who just happened to be his former partner on the King County police force, as well as Carl’s godfather. Lori had gotten pregnant by Shane during the affair and had left Rick for him. She later married the guy and moved away with him to Bayside, just outside Savannah, which explained why Carl’s much younger sister Judith had a different last name and didn’t ever stay with Rick on the weekends like Carl always had since Sophia started dating him and Carol first met the family. She was surprised that Lori even liked Sophia… women that self-centered and attention hungry usually hated their son’s girlfriends; unfortunately she knew that all too well from experience; Sophia’s dad, Ed’s mother couldn’t stand her while they were dating.

“Figures,” Carol muttered. “But don’t you pay her ANY attention. Your only focus for now is completing your college education. You haven’t even declared a major yet; one week it’s Fashion Design, the next it’s Interior Design, then a few months ago you mentioned something about Fashion Merchandising. The last thing you need to be thinking about are wedding dresses and honeymoon locations! Now will you remember to activate the alarm whenever you leave the house and come back in?”

“Yessss Mother,” Sophia groaned.

“And did I let you know that there’s a little over a two thousand in cash in the safe in my walk in closet as well as my other emergency credit cards,” Carol whispered as if someone might over hear them.

“Yeah, yeah…” Sophia mumbled as she chose that moment to check some social media site on her cell phone.

“Sophia Marie Peletier? Are you even listening to me? You need to know that money’s up there in case your car breaks down again or the roof starts leaking or if it rains so hard the pool overflows and floods out the yard and the basement again! The combination to the safe is your birthday. And you know you can always call Tobin or Carl’s dad on the job if you have an emergency you can’t handle. And I stuck all of the other numbers you might need on the fridge with magnets, including Michonne’s cell phone number, her office extension, and the beach house address and its telephone number.”

“Okay, okay!” Just then Enid’s jeep’s horn could be heard beeping from outside. “Mom I’ve gotta go,” she exclaimed, pecking Carol’s cheek. “And don’t worry! I’ll take good care of Mimi and call or text you every day you’re away. Drive safe and text me when you get settled in. I should be home from the movies and dinner before midnight tonight because I’m working a few hours at the community pool early in the morning, in case you want to call me. Have fun and please flirt if you meet a nice guy and take lots of pictures… oh and I know your new book is gonna be totally awesome!”

“Thanks baby,” Carol sighed as she pulled her in for a big hug. She then watched as Sophia grabbed her duffle bag and the food Carol had packed up. “Oh and don’t forget to bring me a dolphin anklet if you find a cute one, a keychain for Enid, t-shirts for Otis and Patricia, fridge magnets for Ms. Jacqui and Aunt Annette, hats for Uncle Hershel and Mr. Grimes and some fudge and salt water taffy for Carl. Love ya!” she then exclaimed, as she flew out of the door.

“Love you too sweetheart,” Carol whispered as she heard the kitchen screen door slam closed behind her and she made a mental note to remember to bring back everything Sophia had requested. She knew deep down that she’d be totally fine while she was gone; her daughter was shrewd and smart as a whip as well as a survivor just like was but she wouldn’t be a good mother if she didn’t at least worry a little. And to be on the safe side, she’d already asked Tobin, her ex-husband who she was still on excellent terms with, to ring Sophia from time to time just to check in on her while she was out of town and he promised that he would. Tobin’s word was as good as gold, and it took a load off Carol’s mind knowing that he was just a phone call away. Even though they’d been divorced for the past two years and he’d recently remarried, his devotion to Sophia was unwavering and Carol would always love and respect him for his continuing kindness toward her baby girl. He never missed getting her gifts for her birthday or for the holidays, and he still took her out to the movies or to concerts when she was home from school and despite her college fund from her real dad’s side of the family, he regularly sent her money every semester to help out with books, her sorority dues and dorm fees or whatever else she wanted or needed. Tobin wasn’t Sophia’s biological dad, but he was ten times the father Ed Peletier, her real father, had ever been.

Chapter Text

Carol was originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Sophia’s father, Etienne Peletier had been her high school sweetheart. Etienne, or “Ed” as he was more casually known, came from an old, French Creole family that had initially been wealthy sugarcane plantation owners on the island of St. Domingue which was later renamed Haiti. During the Haitian revolution when the formerly enslaved Africans fought for their freedom and defeated Napoleon’s army to win it, Ed’s family and many others fled to Louisiana. Once in America, the Peletier family rebuilt their fortune by growing rice, and their industry flourished well into the 19th century, and the modern branch of the clan was still wealthy from money that had been passed down since the antebellum/Civil War period.

By the 1980’s, Ed’s family still had money and clout in Baton Rouge, and were the proud owners of Peletier’s, a multimillion dollar chain of French fine dining restaurants and Ed’s mother Loren was a top society ‘grande dame.’ Ed’s father, Antoine, was nothing more than a functioning alcoholic, degenerate gambler and womanizer who often blew half his share of the family restaurant profits at the local riverboat casino on crap games and on high priced call girls but his affluent wife hid it well.

Carol came from more humble beginnings; her mother was a beautician by trade and her father was a laborer at a factory. Carol was the middle daughter in their large family of 7 children and her good grades earned her a scholarship at Valley Prep, the private, college preparatory high school in downtown Baton Rouge. Carol was very pretty with long, reddish brown hair and bright blue eyes and she had a gorgeous shape, sculpted from years of cheerleading and gymnastics. Several boys at her new school liked her and she dated a couple of them, but she was especially flattered when Ed Peltier, the wealthy and then strikingly handsome star of the football team took an interest in her in the 12th grade. After they went out a few times, they got serious pretty quickly. They dated all through senior year and won the highly coveted King and Queen of the prom title. The summer after graduation they were inseparable and a year or so after they started college, (Ed at an expensive ivy-league type, private university in New Orleans, and she on full scholarship at a small teacher’s college there in Baton Rouge, Carol discovered that she was pregnant. She wasn’t too surprised about the pregnancy; although she preferred that they used condoms whenever they screwed around (which was quite often because when Ed came home on the weekends from school he had a seemingly insatiable appetite for hot sex--even though he was only mediocre at it at best,) and it was sometimes hard getting him to use them once he was all riled up.

Once over the initial shock, she had a long, tear-filled heart to heart talk with her parents, who as expected were upset but told her they’d support her no matter what she decided to do. Carol had always known that she would keep her baby; she just hoped that the pregnancy wouldn’t completely thwart her plans of becoming a teacher. She then had the unnerving task of telling Ed about the pregnancy. She was just beginning to learn about his temper and mood swings and as such she thought he’d be pissed off about it but to her utter shock, he seemed totally unfazed about ‘knocking her up,’ as he put it.

Although he was far from being ready to be a husband, let alone a father, Ed did ‘the right thing’ and proposed and Carol reluctantly accepted because it was expected. Deep down however her heart wasn’t in it because she’d begun seeing a change in him. He’d always been a bit of an asshole but she liked him because he made her laugh, but by that time he’d started drinking heavily and using drugs and it was severely altering his attitude and behavior. Ed was a popular member of the Beta Gamma fraternity at his school, which included many of the other well to do trust fund playboys on campus well known for their pretty boy looks and nice cars and wardrobes, and especially for their heavy drinking, experimental drug use, and excessive promiscuity at their wild, private parties and it was at those parties that Ed developed a very nasty cocaine habit as well as an addiction to alcohol.

Ed’s mother, haughty and snobbish former model Loren Peletier, had never liked Carol; she thought that she was pretty enough but since the Greene’s weren’t in her social circle she felt that Carol was beneath her precious baby boy. She didn’t complain about the relationship too much in the beginning however; she knew that if she protested Ed dating her, he would only pursue her further like any rebellious teenager. Loren didn’t care that Carol was an intelligent and talented young woman, nor that she genuinely loved her son. She was annoyed that Ed was totally smitten with a poor, ‘nobody’ like her while their rich friends’ had several eligible daughters for him to choose from to date who were much better suited for him socially.

When Loren found out that Carol was pregnant and planned to keep the baby she was LIVID and Carol was officially on her ‘shit list.’ She ranted and raved to anyone who’d listen that Carol Greene was nothing more than a ‘back o’ town’ tramp who’d used her body like a common whore to trap her impressionable, vulnerable son with a baby, all to get her hands on his multi-million dollar trust fund.” Ed wasn’t exactly thrilled about the pregnancy news either, it meant he’d have to move back home, transfer to a local college and take a job with the family business in addition to taking on the responsibility of being a father; and the stress involved drove him to drink even more than he already did as an escape.

Ed was easily manipulated by his mother however and she told him that he could remain at his school, and to just leave Carol to her. “Everyone makes mistakes, ma petite,” she consoled him in their household’s second language, French, and stressed to him that Carol was the real problem in the equation, not the child itself. She filled his head with all manner of negative ideas about her; mainly that the baby she was carrying probably wasn’t even his, and he didn’t have to marry such ‘trash.’ Due to Loren poisoning him against Carol, (as well as poisoning himself with alcohol and higher and higher quantities of illicit drugs,) his treatment of her changed drastically over the following months. He’d always been a bit of a jerk and a possessive and somewhat controlling boyfriend but he’d never shouted or cursed at her before; but by that time it had become his regular thing. His behavior slowly went from bad to worse and he became even more controlling and as it got closer to her delivery date he was regularly verbally abusing her. It started gradually with him telling her to ‘shut up’, calling her stupid, making little insults about her changing figure and calling her a ‘bitch.’ The physical abuse started gradually too… from smacking her hand when he didn’t want her to change the radio station in his car, snatching food from her when he didn’t want her to eat something that he deemed ‘too fattening,” roughly shoving her, pulling her hair when the mood struck, and even getting a little rough during sex, then apologizing profusely and trying to butter her up with expensive gifts, promising each time that it would never happen again; only it did, and it just kept getting worse.

Once they were engaged, Ed demanded that she spend every free moment she had with him, and insisted that she move to his parent’s estate so that they could keep an eye on her while he was at school during the week but Carol rightly felt like he was trying to isolate her from all of her friends and family and refused to live there or move in with him until after the wedding. She’d withdrawn from school for the semester but kept her part time job at a local clothing boutique and suggested that he start working too so that they could get their own place. Ed blatantly refused, stating that he didn’t want to start working yet; he was remaining in college full time despite having a baby on the way. He told her that no wife of his was going to school or work with a baby at home; mothering was a full time job in his opinion so she needed to quit working at the boutique as soon as the kid dropped and forget about returning to school until the brat was in high school. Besides, his folks had plenty of money to cover their expenses while they were starting out. He said that his parents’ estate was his home and would be her and their child’s home for as long as he wanted them to stay there because it would be downright stupid to rent an apartment somewhere if they could stay there for free for as long as he wanted. He continued pressuring her, insisting that she frequently visit him at his parent’s home on his weekend’s home from school and whenever she went there she felt more and more depressed; she knew that his family despised her. His mother’s word was LAW at the estate, and she soon learned that although she’d spoiled all of her children terribly, Ed was her precious baby boy and she’d indulged him worst of all. Ed’s father gave her lewd stares and his older siblings, Antoinette and Julian were beyond rude. His younger sister Marie was the only one who treated her with respect when she visited and Carol never forgot her for it.

One day after Ed insisted that she visit the estate for dinner they got into a wicked argument after his mother insulted her, yet again by demanding that she submit to a paternity test. Carol refused and stated that it was an insult to ask such a thing after she’d already told them that Ed was the only man she’d ever been with. The argument ended when Ed slapped her across her face for raising her voice in his parent’s house and for ‘talking back’ to his mother. Although they didn’t normally condone abusive behavior, neither of Ed’s parents reprimanded him whatsoever. Carol was trouble in their book and as a poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks who’d trapped their son with a baby he didn’t want or need to ruin his future, she “got what she deserved,” according to Loren Peletier. Carol walked out and as she drove herself home in tears she swore she’d never step foot inside that house again. As usual Ed tried to apologize and later went out and bought her a new car of all things (his most expensive gift yet,) but that was the final straw. Carol had decided that she couldn’t possibly raise her child with a man who could strike her in anger.

When Ed drove the new car to her house that next day, she refused to accept it and gave him back his diamond ring as well, thus breaking off their engagement. Ed became angry and called her “an ungrateful bitch,” and insisted that she couldn’t keep his baby away from him. Carol told him that he could be a part of their child’s life if he really wanted to but that she couldn’t be with him in a relationship anymore due to his violent temper and he grew more irrational every time he called her to argue the topic. Carol knew that he was drinking a lot but it was around that time that it became painfully evident that he was also using drugs and had been for a while.

Carol was glad she ended things when she did; Ed was a different person because of the drinking and drugs and he scared her. She’d not only called off the engagement, she’d dumped him altogether and it was messing with his ego; how could a poor nobody like her, dump a rich guy like him? He was used to getting his way, and was beyond angry that she’d ended the relationship first. He didn’t even love her anymore; he’d simply wanted to possess her and at that point he only wanted her back so that he could then dump her on his own terms. He repeatedly popped up at her job to ‘talk,’ and one night when she refused to get ‘re-engaged’ to him, he began cursing, slapping and shaking her violently, shouting that nobody else would ever want a “used up, knocked up tramp,“ like her. Her supervisor called the cops on him and he ran out, but not before letting everyone inside the boutique know that Carol’s refusing to marry him as well as refusing to get the paternity test only proved that his mother had been right all along about her being a “slut” and that the baby wasn’t his.

Carol had bruises on her face and arms and was obviously showing by then and felt deeply embarrassed and hurt; she couldn’t believe that he’d said such horrible things and hurt her again and took that as a sign that she’d definitely made the right decision by ending the relationship. She’d already stopped accepting his calls and when he continued stalking her at her job she got a restraining order against him.

Ed claimed to the police that he wanted nothing to do with Carol but would then call her and scream that she’d never get a penny of his money for a brat that wasn’t his. He continued to harass her endlessly and eventually her father, Harlan Greene, finally put the fear of death in him by threatening to kill him; the only reason he hadn’t killed Ed before that point was because Carol had been so good at hiding the abuse; but once it was all out in the open, her father wasn’t having it.

Ed finally got the hint after that; he was nothing more than a bully, an addict and a coward; who could easily threaten and abuse his vulnerable, pregnant girlfriend but wouldn’t dare go up against a real man with a loaded shotgun who loved his daughter and unborn grandchild and would risk going to jail for protecting them.

Ed didn’t pursue her anymore thankfully but Carol decided to leave town anyway, opting to move to Georgia to stay with her dad’s brother’s family for a few months, at least until she had the baby and got on her feet. Not surprisingly not long after she left town she was contacted by Ed’s sister Marie (the only member of the Peletier family who’d ever been cordial to her,) who informed her that Ed had been killed during a drug deal gone bad at a frat party on his college campus. She apologized to Carol for her family’s ill treatment of her, and promised to help out monetarily with the baby from her share of the insurance policy money her parent’s had on Ed and had distributed among his siblings. When Carol sent the first batch of pictures of the baby home to her parents and other relatives, she also sent one to Marie Peletier. Marie cried as she showed her mother and the rest of the family the picture; Sophia was a strikingly beautiful baby who strongly favored Ed, and as to be expected Ed’s mother immediately had a change of heart and desperately wanted to be a part of her grandchild’s life. She insisted that Marie call Carol and tell her that she planned to set up a trust fund for the baby; Sophia was all that she had left of her beloved dead son.

Carol told Marie to tell her mother that she’d accept the trust fund for Sophia’s college education only and that Sophia would have to make the decision to meet her once she was older and visit on her own if she wanted to because Carol wasn’t EVER taking her there. She’d never been so insulted as she had been by Mrs. Peletier when she’d insinuated that Sophia wasn’t Ed’s, and had turned a blind eye to his striking her while she was pregnant and she’d sworn to never set foot in her house ever again and she’d meant it. Carol remained in contact with Marie however and once Sophia heard the story when she was in her teens, her Aunt Marie was the only member of Ed’s family that she cared to see whenever she and her mother went to Louisiana to visit relatives.

Carol’s father’s brother, Hershel Greene, a horse breeder and farm veterinarian in King County, Georgia (about half an hour outside Atlanta,) had welcomed Carol and her then unborn baby to stay at his home with his family for as long as she liked. While there Carol gave birth to Sophia then returned to college that following year. She went to school part time and worked part time as a teacher’s aide then got her bachelor’s degree, majoring in French Literature, and later got her teaching license. Since she spoke French fluently due to growing up in a mostly French Creole neighborhood in Baton Rouge she ended up teaching her beloved second language at a few different middle and high schools in the area and before she knew it Sophia was in high school.

Carol hadn’t dated much over the years; it took her awhile to get over the Ed fiasco but of course she’d had a few boyfriends here and there and even a fling or two just to ‘scratch the itch.’ Like everyone else, she had needs, but she’d focused on building her career, buying a home and making a good life for her daughter, but after a while she wanted someone to love and to love her and dreamt night after night of a building a romantic, passion filled and loving relationship with a good man. Her dream almost came true in the form of Tobin James, an Art History professor at the college where she’d gone back to school to pursue her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership.

Tobin was a big and tall man; he stood a bit over 6’3 and was a gentle giant when compared to Carol’s comparably petite 5’6 frame. He was quiet, a bit shy, and had a warm, sincere smile, though his eyes held a hint of sadness due to losing his first wife years prior to a terminal illness. She later found that he was mild mannered, soft spoken, witty and had a kind, generous heart. He was also very sweet and Carol fell in love with him before she knew it after only a few dates. It wasn’t the hot, burning out of control, passionate love that she truly desired however, but a calm, comfortable kind of love. Although she could take care of herself, Tobin was exactly what she needed. He was a provider and decidedly settled; an anchor of sorts… the kind of man who’d hold her at night and take care of her for a change.

Carol rarely took any of the few men she’d dated over the years around Sophia but when she did finally introduce her to Tobin she adored him immediately and Carol took that as an excellent sign. He became very fond of her right away as well. They dated a little longer before they got married and lived happily for the next couple of years, but after a while Carol realized that although Tobin seemed totally satisfied with their marriage, she wasn’t. He worked a lot; teaching both day and some night classes during the semesters, then when he was promoted to chair the History department, he had to work during the summers and over the course of the winter sessions as well, so he was often very tired. He was decent in bed at best in the beginning… but over time his meager sex drive gradually decreased due to his high stress levels from his consuming work load. He and Carol were both in their late thirties at that time and as such her sex drive was at an all-time high, but his was pretty leveled out. She wanted it hot and heavy, EVERY night… but Tobin worked so much that he was usually just too stressed or too tired to even try to keep up with her. He tried to please her in other ways; regularly indulging her with oral sex to make up for his often lackluster performance during intercourse, but that only made her want more and once she was ready for a real round in the sack, he’d already be snoring. Their lovemaking had become overwhelmingly routine and severely lacked even the hint of fire it once had. Carol wanted a lot more passion in her life that Tobin just wasn’t giving her and it was making her very unhappy.

Carol knew that marriage wasn’t just about sex but it was a big part of it and without it she sometimes felt like she might as well be by herself. She tried to wait it out to see if things would improve, and when they didn’t she finally told him that she felt unsatisfied and unfulfilled in their marriage. He suggested that she get a hobby for herself. She looked at him like he was crazy; he’d totally missed her entire point. She wasn’t bored with herself, she was bored of being with him! She didn’t want to hurt his feelings however because he was such a nice man, so she didn’t press the issue. She did decide to take his advice however, and started writing as a hobby; penning short, passion filled, sexually charged stories as a diversion and an outlet for her feelings (as well as joining a wine club and investing in a few high powered vibrators.)

Carol let her friend and neighbor Jacqui and a few other close friends read her racy stories, and they were all impressed to the point that they began insisting that she write more. In her free time, Carol poured herself into the stories and made certain that her characters got everything that she was missing in her marriage (and more specifically, in her bedroom…) and then some. Before long however, she felt even worse about the passionless state of her marriage than before and lived vicariously through her characters erotic escapades.

Sophia got an opportunity to study abroad as an exchange student in Paris for two months during her senior year in high school and Carol had a lot of free time on her hands and all she wanted to do was write since nothing had changed with Tobin. She felt torn and finally told him that she wanted to separate. She told him that she just wasn’t in love with him anymore and didn’t want to hold him back from getting the love he deserved. He was a wonderful man but she was unhappy and he just wasn’t fulfilling her needs, emotionally or sexually. He was deeply saddened by the news but told her he’d offer no contest, revealing that he loved her too much to see her unhappy.

Carol and her co-worker and friend, Theodore Douglass, (aka T-Dog, football coach at Woodbury,) often had lunch together, and when he found her crying in her office one day she confided in him that she was planning to separate from her husband. T-Dog was concerned for her safety but Carol assured him that Tobin hadn't abused her in any way, but she wanted to leave him for other reasons and needed a ‘quickie’ divorce to get it over with. T-Dog told her that his sister Michonne was an awesome lawyer who may be able to help and that was the beginning of Carol and Michonne’s working relationship that later turned into a friendship.

Tobin surprisingly remained amicable toward Carol during the divorce proceedings, and shocked her when he insisted on awarding her with a sizable financial settlement as well as the house they'd bought together, even after she insisted that she didn’t want anything from him. He only requested to remain in Sophia’s life if she still wanted to spend time with him (which she most certainly did) and Carol was forever grateful to him for that. Tobin didn't have any children of his own and he cherished Sophia like she was his own daughter. Even though he hadn’t formally adopted her, he was a great step-father and the only dad she knew. Carol sincerely hoped that he’d find someone new to love and it wasn’t too long before he did, and surprisingly he and Carol remained friends after his remarriage to a woman named Jessie (who just so happened to be the mother of Sophia’s best friend Enid’s boyfriend Ron.)

Once single again, and with Sophia away at college by that time, Carol took a few months to get over her divorce before she started dating again, but still had yet to find that special someone to give her the passion she was looking for. She had a lot of free time on her hands with no child or husband at home to care for anymore, so she poured herself into her new found love of writing, eventually starting a blog on her story characters’ universe at Sophia’s urging, and before long she had quite the following, including her divorce lawyer turned close friend, Michonne Douglass. She’d recently gone through a break up herself with her ex-boyfriend Mike, and loved the hot, sexy stories. In fact, Michonne was the one who encouraged Carol to try to get published. She called her good friend from law school, Andrea Harrison, an attorney for a major publishing house down in Savannah, and asked her if she had any leads on any of the smaller publishing companies in the Atlanta area who worked with brand new writers. Andrea gave her the names of a few firms worth contacting and Michonne passed the info on to Carol. She then promised to go over her contract paperwork with her at no charge if she got any publishing offers, and would serve as her professional counsel. Carol agreed but didn’t think her stories were THAT good, but she submitted a few samples to a few local publishing houses on a whim just to get some feedback and got the shock of her life when she got an acceptance letter offering her a deal for a small, $15,000 trial advance check as well as a percentage of all sales of a mini compilation of a couple of her short stories to be distributed in paperback form and as an e-book. It wasn’t much but Carol pounced on the offer since no one else was biting and it was a good thing she did because the books ended up selling like hotcakes and had to be reprinted and distributed four times due to high demand that previous summer, earning her a pretty penny for her trouble, a little over $85,000 extra and counting, and that past Christmas season she got offered a highly lucrative 3 book deal with an advance of $100,000 and more to come totaling close to a half a million dollars in advances for the next two books with an option for a mini web series if the new book series sales surpassed the multi-million dollar mark. Carol made over $90K a year as an assistant principal, but Tobin’s divorce settlement and the book sales windfall had enabled her to consider an early retirement. She paid the house off and most of her other debt and had a lot left over to play with. The good thing was that she was still young and could always go back to teaching or school administration if things didn’t work out in the long run but she had to give it a shot, especially if any of her book ideas got made into a web series which could earn her hundreds of thousands of dollars in the future with commercials, DVD sales and syndication rights, and into the millions if a feature film became of it.

Chapter Text

After enjoying her breakfast and making a few last minute calls, Carol cleaned up the kitchen and loaded her bags into her blue convertible Mustang. It was a little after 10 am when she finally locked up the house and hit the road, first stopping for gas and coffee then heading east on the I-75 toward the coast. Although the traffic was a lot heavier than she thought it would be, it was flowing without any problems. After she’d been driving about an hour and a half or so, singing along with the awesome 70s thru 90’s rock and R&B playlist Sophia had made for her on her I-pod, she called Michonne at her office.

“The Atlanta Group, how my I direct your call?” a receptionist asked.

“Yes, I’d like to speak with Attorney Michonne Douglass, please?” She was placed on hold while the call transferred and a moment later Tara, Michonne’s private secretary answered.

“Good morning, Ms. Douglass’ office, Tara speaking.”

“Hi Tara, its Carol Greene. Is Michonne busy?”

“Hey! Her last client just left a little while ago… I’ll see if she can talk right now. Hang on.” Tara put her on hold, then came back.

“Carol, she just let me know that she’s leaving at noon for the rest of the day… which is awesome because she then said that I can leave early too and since my girlfriend Denise and I are going camping down in Senoia Woods for the weekend we can leave early and beat the traffic. Denise is an OB-GYN and she’s got the next few days off and its so rare that we can get away like this so I am so happy to get out of here early so we can spend even more together before she’s back to delivering babies next week… sorry, that was way too much info,” she giggled. “Michonne told me to transfer you to her cell, hon. Hang on.”

Carol chuckled. “Thanks dear.”

“Hey babe, are you there yet?” Michonne exclaimed the moment she picked up.

“Not yet, I left about an hour and a half ago but traffic isn’t bad at all. Any last minute things I need to know before I get there?” Carol asked.

Michonne thought for a moment as she packed up her briefcase to leave early for the day. “Umm… there isn’t anything else I can think of off the top of my head. You have the address… 529 Palmetto Circle in the Coastal Shores gated community. It’s two blocks over from the main strip on Ocean Drive, and less than a mile from the south end of the boardwalk. If you use your GPS you’ll be fine. I told you the security password to say at the gate is ‘katana’ and that they’ll give you the keys. Just so you know there’s a spare key to the back door taped to a heavy duty magnet behind my mailbox in case of an emergency.”

“Gotcha,” Carol replied. “Anything else?”

“Well I know I told you to make sure you go to Dale Horvath’s Seafood Restaurant on Oceanview because the Maryland style crab cakes there are to die for, and to make sure you hit Saviors Liquors on Easy Street since they’ve got the cheapest booze in town. Jim’s Grocery is on Walker Boulevard, and there’s loads of other little shops and bars nearby as well as the Kingdom Amusement Park, the Sanctuary Mall and the AMC movie theatre. And you MUST go to Rhee’s Family Restaurant for the Korean barbecue, and you also gotta hit Olivia’s Bakery and try her cupcakes! She also sells homemade fudge and the best salt water taffy and caramel corn in town! Oh and there’s a fireworks show every Saturday night at 9 off Pier 7… can’t think of anything else at the moment...”

“Thanks Michonne … and I hope you take me up on my offer of joining me down here next weekend!”

“Carol I told you I’d try… but I can’t promise you that I’ll be able to make it. I’m travelling this week for work. You know I’m board certified here in Georgia as well as in New York and I’ve got a huge case up in Manhattan on Thursday morning and heaven only knows how long it’ll drag out. I’m hoping it won’t extend beyond Friday however and if it doesn’t I’ll try to come down but you never know with these types of high profile cases.”

“I know, I know… but I looked online on the community website where your beach house is. All of those homes are huge! I’ll probably get lonely without anyone there to enjoy it all with.”

“That website only shows the oceanfront mini mansions. My place is on the front end of the community; two blocks over from the beach itself. Trust me the house is far from huge! It’s tiny in comparison with some of the others in the neighborhood; it’s got 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and it’s only a little over 1500 square feet! I wanted quality over quantity so I sacrificed on space to get that supreme location. Having a place in Coastal Shores Estates is like saying you live in Beverly Hills to the locals, even if it isn’t oceanfront. It’s just me for now anyway so I didn’t need a huge space; it’s just enough for me, and a few family members and friends. I wanted more bang for my buck however so I chose one of the smaller houses in the community and got everything I wanted inside. With the money I saved I got my deck, a pool house upgrade, my Jacuzzi and 2 fireplaces, and when I sell it I’ll get back three or four times what I spent because of all of the renovations and upgrades. And about feeling lonely… if you’d simply go out and mingle you just might meet someone to keep you company while you’re down there!”

Carol sucked her teeth. “Yeah right! I highly doubt that.”

“I don’t know why! You could easily meet someone! I’m serious Carol! I don’t care if you have a sexy male guest over for a little fun! Speaking of which, I hope you packed a ‘freak’ bag.”

“What’s a freak bag?”

“A freak bag! You know! A naughty bag stashed at the bottom of your suitcase filled with condoms, massage oil, sex toys, lube, bubble bath and your best perfume, as well as some sexy heels and raunchy lingerie! You can even throw in some masks and handcuffs if you’re into that kind of thing!” she laughed.

Carol laughed out loud. “No masks and handcuffs for me but I did pack a few pairs of sexy heels in case I go out to dinner someplace nice… and I brought along my B.O.B.” she then whispered with a naughty giggle. “I’ve got mostly tanks and shorts to sleep in and some everyday bra and panty sets that wouldn’t pass for raunchy lingerie… but since Sophia says that I still have a hot bod, for my age, she insisted that I pack a few bikinis… I only wanted to wear one piece swimsuits because I’m so self-conscious about the weight I’ve gained since turning the BIG 4-0 and from stress eating during the divorce, but then I said, why not? My boobs sag a little and I’ve got a bit of cellulite now…but so what! I earned it! Construction workers still whistle at me… and the cute young guy that works at Starbucks stares at my tits EVERYTIME he waits on me and I still get compliments on my legs all the time. And my ass still look great in a pair of jeans if I must say so myself, considering the lack of real exercise I’ve had time for lately… so why not! I’ll probably be cooped up with my computer the whole time so nobody’s gonna see my boobs, nor the cellulite, nor my ass anyway!”

“You do have great legs Carol… and bikinis are always a good idea. But wait… Who’s Bob?”

“Bob?”

“You said something about a guy named Bob!”

“Oh! B.O.B. my battery operated boyfriend!”

Michonne laughed. “Oh! I have a few Bob’s of my own! But I haven’t needed them lately! Maybe you should follow my lead… give Bob a break and get out there so you can meet a real live man! And since you didn’t pack any hot lingerie, there’s a Red Corset store location out on Ocean Drive, across from the fireworks place. They’ve got EVERYTHING... lingerie, movies, toys, you name it. And if you don’t meet anyone, at least you can pick up some extra batteries for Bob while you’re there, just in case,” she giggled. “But seriously Carol how are you gonna get inspiration for finishing up your book if you don’t have a fling while you’re down at the beach? You write hot, smut-filled chick lit! You need to start practicing what you preach! Take a chance!”

“Michonne you’re so crazy!” Carol laughed. “But I gotta admit… you’re absolutely right. It’s been so long since I’ve really gotten laid by a man who knows what the hell he’s doing. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve had multiple orgasms that weren’t brought on by B.O.B! I’m over my marriage and have dated a bit here and there… maybe I do need to let loose a little. Now you’ve got me curious. Where are all the sexy, single men hiding in Savannah? Did you get lucky the last time you were down there?”

“As a matter of fact I did... I thought I told you about Ty.”

“Oh yeah you did. Tyreese Williams, the pro boxer. He’s so sexy! Wait… whatever happened with you and him? I thought you two were getting serious, then nothing!”

“Carol that was months ago! If you remember, I met him last September at the Hilltop Lounge in Bayside, just outside Savannah. He doesn’t box professionally anymore; he now manages and trains a few up and coming boxers and manages a couple of pro wrestlers as well and was in town promoting for some big pay per view wrestling match. I saw him at the bar and just walked up and asked for his autograph and a pic and he was such a sweetheart about it… and insisted on buying me a drink. One drink turned into two and we ended up getting a table and having dinner together. We talked and laughed then danced all night. He then invited me back to his suite at the Oceanfront Tower Hotel and honey he was some kind of good in the sack! You’ve seen him… he’s got those broad shoulders, massive thighs and those huge pecs, rock hard arms, those big, strong hands and don’t even get me started on how good his beard & mustache and that long tongue of his felt when he went down on me… and that hurricane tongue wasn’t the only thing long on him,” she chuckled. “Believe it or not, even though he’s a professionally trained boxer, he was so gentle with me in bed and took his time and he was just… awesome. I couldn’t believe he was single. We ended up hooking up every night during the rest of the week he was in town. Unfortunately after the show wrapped up he had to fly back to California. He lives in L.A.”

“But why didn’t you stay in touch with him?”

“I did! I flew out there to surprise him for a dirty weekend between cases back in December and he came down to Atlanta to see me afterward, and of course we played phone tag constantly in between and actually discussed the possibility of maintaining a long distance relationship. But the truth of the matter was that we were both too busy at the time and we just lived too far away from each other to really hold it together so we both gave up on the idea. I hope he meets someone nice though because he’s a great catch. Anyway that was months ago. You know I’ve been so swamped with work that I haven’t been down to the beach house since before the holidays. But fortunately these days I don’t have to go that far just to get laid… there’s someone right here in Atlanta that I’ve been getting my fix from! And if things continue at this rate, I just might have to make him a permanent fixture on my ‘to do’ calendar.”

“Michonne Douglass, you’ve been holding out on me again! You’ve met someone!”

“Well I’ve been meaning to tell you all about him for weeks now Carol but so much has been going on lately with my constant travelling for work and your retirement and Sophia coming home from school and now you going out of town that we just haven’t had time to catch up properly. But I promise I’ll fill you in all about him very soon.”

“Well this sounds serious! What’s his name? Is he someone you’ve talked about before? Some hot shot lawyer… or a judge?”

“Nope.”

“Well what does he look like? Have I seen him before?”

“Maybe…” Michonne said with a giggle.

“Michonne!” Carol exclaimed. “The suspense is killing me. Spill the beans, damn it! Who is he? One of your high profile clients? Somebody rich and famous, maybe? Someone from the mayor’s office or the governor’s office? Phillip Blake himself, perhaps?” she laughed.

Michonne sucked her teeth in pure disgust. “Of course it’s not Blake the snake! You know I can’t stand that pompous, womanizing bastard! Everyone in law and politics knows he’s crazy and that he spends much of his time in and out of expensive, private psychiatric clinics to keep his condition a ‘secret.’ When I worked for the attorney general’s office and he was running for governor he used to make the most lewd passes at me every time we crossed paths. I should’ve jumped on the bandwagon and sued his ass for sexual harassment. I’d be a rich woman now if I had, he had to fork over millions of his own money to all those women who won that class action suit against him for sexual harassment due to his comments and for hiding security cameras in all the ladies rooms in his office building, and I could’ve gotten a cut of the payout. I still can’t believe people actually voted for that clown and I’m surprised that sicko pervert hasn’t been impeached by now. Now back to my stud muffin… no he’s not famous and no he doesn’t work for the governor, he’s not a judge or a lawyer either, but he is in law enforcement! Get this… he’s a cop!”

“A police officer? Get outta town! Now I get it! You’re a little hot under the collar for a little blue collar lovin! But dating a cop has got to be a big change from your ex, isn’t it? I mean Mike’s a doctor…”

“Mike isn’t a doctor, he’s a Physician’s Assistant.”

“Same difference!”

“Yeah, he practically makes doctor money and yes he’s good looking and yes he’s marriage material but deep down he’s a conceited jerk who knows absolutely NOTHING about women! Officer Friendly on the other hand is a real man. He may not be earning six figures but he knows his way around my figure if you catch my drift! And he’s gorgeous and so romantic. He treats me like a queen and the sex is phenomenal. Trust me. My domain may be in the courtroom but his is without a doubt in the bedroom!”

“Damn girl! He sounds perfect!”

“Nobody’s perfect… but he’s close. He’s 40 and divorced with a son in college. His ex-wife is a real piece of work… and according to him she still wants him, but he wants no part of her anymore and her loss is my gain. He’s close to 6 feet tall, he’s got these gorgeous blue eyes, curly, brown hair and a body that’s out of this world and did I mention he’s packing one of the biggest COLT PYTHON’s I’ve seen in years… oh yeah and he carries a big gun too,” Michonne giggled.

“Damn!” Carol exclaimed again. Just thinking about Michonne’s well endowed, mystery hunk was making her horny. “Well please keep me informed on how things are going with him!”

“I will! And I promise you’re gonna meet him real soon. Things are getting serious and so hot and heavy between us that I might need to start jotting my sex life down to give you a little competition for those masterpieces you write! In fact he’s the reason I’m leaving work so early today. I’m meeting him for lunch in twenty minutes at the Alexandria Hotel’s Café. Our lunch date is going to start in the restaurant but I’m pretty certain it’s gonna end up in one of the suites so I don’t want to be late! Now you drive safe and text me when you arrive in Savannah. Oh and I almost forgot! In case you have any problems whatsoever at the house, just call my contractor, Merle Dixon. His number's on the fridge… the business card says Dixon Brothers Contractors in bold red letters. I left a message on his voicemail over a week ago telling him that you were coming so that he would get the yard and the pool ready, and shot him an email last week reminding him that I was expecting a house guest this weekend. Now that I think about it he never called me back but I’ve been so busy prepping for my case that I haven’t gotten a chance to see if he ever responded via email either but I’m sure he took care of everything. Either way, you call him if you need to. I have an emergency maintenance account with him so any services he does are pre-paid, so no tipping.”

“Even if I have to call him in the middle of the night or super early in the morning?” Carol laughed.

“Doesn’t matter. As much as I shell out extra for the emergency maintenance service he better be available all hours of the day and night… besides, he owes me a few favors.”

“Dixon Brothers Contractors… that sounds so familiar.”

“You’ve probably seen one of their signs around town. It’s a small firm but it’s one of the best in the state. They’re family owned and operated by the three Dixon brothers as well as a few of their other relatives and family friends who work with them, and they have an office here in Atlanta, one down in King County and the oldest brother Merle runs the Savannah location. Anything you need done, they can do it. Landscaping, painting, electrical, plumbing, you name it. Wait until you see my new deck. Merle built it with his own two hands… and I’m not even gonna get started on the miracle he made renovating my pool house!”

“Say no more! I’ll see it all soon enough and I want to be surprised. Besides, you’ll be late for your lunch date if you tell it all.”

“Oh I’m not missing out on my afternoon delight,” Michonne giggled. “I just got in my car… freak bag in the trunk ready to go!”

Carol laughed as she ended the call and continued on her journey; stopping before long at a rest stop to use the ladies room and to get another cup of coffee. She got back on the interstate and about an hour later she exited the main highway and turned onto the road that led to the coast. She spotted a produce stand on the side of the road, and pulled over to make a few purchases. She ended up buying a couple pounds each of fresh Georgia peaches and pecans, then continued driving, and before she knew it she'd reached her destination. She took in the sights and sounds of the bustling beach town and immediately remembered why she loved going to Savannah so much. It had been years since she’d been and she made a promise to herself that she’d bring Sophia down before she had to return to school in the fall.

Carol’s GPS system led her straight to Michonne’s community and after getting the keys from the security guard at the gate, she drove toward the house. She was impressed by the community’s well-manicured lawns and well behaved children on vacation with their families, all out enjoying the sunshine, walking their dogs, flying kites, and swimming in their backyard pools. She took in the smell of the ocean just two streets over and the sight of the gorgeous palm trees everywhere and could barely contain her excitement.

Chapter Text

When Carol pulled her convertible into the driveway she was even more impressed. Michonne’s beach house was nowhere near the massive palatial mansion she’d imagined it would be but it was still a beautiful house. She realized that she’d been thinking of the homes on the community website, as well as Michonne's colossal 3,000 square foot colonial estate in the Alpharetta section of Atlanta whenever she pictured the beach house in her mind. She’d tried to warn her that it was small, but Carol immediately saw that its size certainly didn’t take away from its beauty. In fact, Carol thought the place was perfect. The small, split level rancher was painted a soft, buttercream shade of beige, and it had big bay windows with white curtains and shutters. It was surrounded by a lush green lawn, overflowing with colorful tropical flowers framed by a weeping willow and several mature coconut palms, areca palms and pygmy and Majesty palm trees, and there was a lime tree and more palms and palmetto plants out back. The spacious backyard was surrounded by a tall white fence covered in ivy vines and contained the in-ground swimming pool, a small pool house, a mini bar, grilling station, and a comfortable looking lounge area, as well as an outdoor shower and a Jacuzzi, and at the far end of the yard there was a locked doorway built into the fence that offered access to an alley path that led directly to the main beach strip, Ocean Drive.

Carol took in the view for a few moments before unlocking the house and going inside. Unfortunately for as pretty as it was, the inside of the house was unbearably hot from being closed up for the past few months and Carol immediately located the thermostat and turned the air conditioner on full blast before bringing her bags inside. She then turned on the indoor track lighting but realized that she didn’t need it once she’d opened the rest of the curtains and blinds and let the sunshine in. The living room was beautifully decorated with white walls, sand colored carpeting and wicker, glass and white leather furnishings. There was a huge flat screen TV monitor on display as well as a remote fireplace and a state of the art stereo system with surround sound speakers. There were beautiful seascape prints and framed family portraits adorning the walls while numerous turquoise, seafoam green and coral accent pieces on display throughout as well as white candles, faux areca palms, and crystal figurines as well as brass lamps with white shades and brass elephant sculptures around the room. There was also a small powder room, a formal dining room set for 6, and a small kitchen with access to the deck and the backyard. She then ventured upstairs and it was just as gorgeous as the first floor. Carol took a quick tour and there was no other word to describe Michonne’s all white lacquer master bedroom and matching en suite bath other than luxurious. There was a small den that Michonne had converted into an office and a guest bedroom with its own bathroom. Carol got unpacked in the guest bedroom and fell in love with the gorgeous peach and white décor and linens, as well as the comfortable queen sized bed, flat screen cable TV with built in DVD player, wicker furnishings and desk (perfect for her writing,) and she was pleasantly surprised to see that the room also had a lovely alcove balcony that overlooked the beautiful backyard.

Speaking of the backyard, Carol couldn’t wait to go for a swim in the pool and not to mention venture down to the beach but she knew that she had a few errands to run before she could start having fun. She texted both Sophia and Michonne letting them know she’d arrived safely, then headed out to the market and the liquor store to pick up food and drinks for the house.

Once back, it took Carol four trips from the car to put all of her purchases away. She’d picked up enough groceries to last through the week, and enough booze and other drinks to last until the end of the summer! She knew she’d be sipping as she wrote, so she bought enough to replenish whatever of Michonne’s bar and liquor cabinet she knew she was going to indulge in. 2 bottles of red wine and 2 “boxes” of white, a case of light beers, margarita mix, daiquiri mix, club soda, ginger ale, a couple 4 packs of assorted wine coolers, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and top shelf bottles each of rum, whiskey, cognac, vodka and tequila.

By the time she got settled after her market and liquor store excursion it was getting late in the afternoon. It was hot as hell outside so she changed out of her Capri pants and driving moccasins and into a pair of shorts and some flip flops then went out into the backyard oasis and admired the lush, tropical surroundings. She then exited via the gated doorway that led down a small alley like path behind the community and out to the main beach strip, and after crossing the busy street, passed between two of the large oceanfront hotels to get to the beach. Once there, she took off her flip flips and walked a bit, enjoying the feeling of the sand between her toes. She took in the view of the busy coastline, dotted with umbrellas, as well as the growing crowds of sunbathers, surfers and swimmers, as well as kids flying kites, people fishing off the pier and cold drink vendors selling their wares then headed back to the house. On the way she stopped and treated herself to a bikini and leg wax treatment and a gel manicure and pedicure as well at a small salon on the strip, opting for a bright pink shade on her fingers and toes that looked awesome with the new suntan she’d gotten just that quickly. Once back in Michonne’s backyard, she peeked inside the pool house and saw that it contained a small kitchen with a mini fridge and microwave, a bedroom with a few furnishings, as well as a fully stocked linen closet, and a restroom with a shower; but when she pulled back the tarp covering the spacious in-ground pool, she was beyond disappointed to find that it was empty!

“What the hell!” she exclaimed. It was gorgeous out and she’d had her heart set on taking a swim, especially after walking to the beach in the hot sun. She could’ve sworn that Michonne had just told her that she’d called that Merle Dixon guy days ago and he was supposed to have taken care of it before her arrival. She was just about to call her friend but refrained when she remembered that Michonne was indisposed for the rest of the afternoon, and probably would still be quite busy, getting busy, well into the night.) She then started to call Mr. Dixon herself to get some answers, but since it wasn’t an emergency maintenance issue she figured she couldl handle it herself. She and Sophia had an above ground pool back at their house in Atlanta, and she knew all too well how to fill the thing and presumed the process couldn’t have been that much different with an in-ground pool.

She began filling the pool with the high powered hose, then located the chlorine tablets inside of the pool house and after reading the directions and doing the calculations she added the required amounts of chemicals. She then decided that was as good a time as any to start writing to kill the time until the pool was full and headed upstairs to fetch her laptop.

She prepared a pitcher of lemonade then spent the next several hours, relaxing on a lounge chair in the yard, typing ideas, scenarios and dialogue options for the final chapters of the book. Before she knew it, the pool was mostly filled but by then it looked like a summer storm was blowing in and since she’d skipped lunch she was too hungry to think about swimming anyway. She turned the water off and figured she’d finish filling the pool in the morning, then covered it with the tarp and headed inside just before it started pouring down rain. She spoke briefly to Sophia then left a text for Michonne before whipping up a big chef salad and enjoyed her dinner with a few glasses of wine while lounging on the big sectional couch in the living room, watching the women’s network movie channel. Sometime during the third tear-jerker melodrama in a row she got up and showered for bed, changing into some pj’s then returned to finish her movie and at some point thereafter, dozed off into a contented sleep right there on the comfy living room couch.

Chapter Text

Saturday
The next morning at six am the alarm on Carol’s cell phone began beeping loudly. She woke up with a start, sweating heavily and feeling out of breath; she’d been having the most wonderful, naughty sex dream when she’d been awakened and groaned when she realized that she was all alone at Michonne’s beach house and that she most certainly did not have to get up for work. She thought she’d cancelled the weekday alarm on her phone that previous morning but in her haste she’d mistakenly set it to start up on the weekends instead of completely turning it off. She felt around on the hot leather couch in the darkened living room to find it and although she still felt groggy and a bit dizzy from all of the wine she’d drunk the night before, she she made CERTAIN to delete ALL pending alarms for once and for all. She was about to climb the stairs to go back to sleep in the guest bedroom when she realized that the silk tank and shorts she’d slept in were sticking to her. She was absolutely soaked through with sweat, not only from the hot dream she’d had but because it was unbearably hot in the house. It didn’t take her long to realize that the air conditioner wasn’t on. She knew that she hadn’t touched it before she fell asleep the night before so she immediately went to check the thermostat. It read that it was well over 80 degrees inside the house at that early hour and although the button was switched to the ON position, there was no cold air blowing out of the central air vents.

She switched the button to the OFF position then switched it back to ON to possibly reset it, but to no avail. It was out of order. Carol groaned then tried the lamp switch closest to where she was standing and it came on but when she glanced over at the cable box she noticed that it as well as the DVD player were both blinking, indicating that at some point overnight during the storm the power had gone out. Everything had come back on except for the air conditioner. She knew she’d have to call emergency maintenance but was too sleepy to keep her eyes open another minute and decided to just call when she got back up.

The intense heat woke her up a couple of hours later. She took a quick shower and slipped into her short, white silk, kimono robe and nothing else. She opened a few windows but at that point the bright sun outside was only making it hotter inside. The first thing she did was to go into the yard to resume filling up the swimming pool, then went to call emergency maintenance about the air conditioner. Michonne had said the Dixon guy’s number was on the refrigerator and she soon spotted his business card amongst the assorted magnets, receipts and coupons hanging all over the fridge door. It read as follows:
Dixon Brothers Contractors
Bonded & Insured: Georgia, USA
Residential & Commercial Construction/Landscaping/Heating & Cooling/Kitchen & Bath Renovations/Decks/Pools/Jacuzzis & More
Atlanta: Call Daryl (office) 555-0000 (cell) 555-0001
King County: Call Axle (office) 555-0001 (cell) 555-1002
Savannah: Call Merle (office) 555-0002 (cell) 555-1003

Carol dialed Merle Dixon’s office number and the phone rang and rang until a voicemail recording eventually came on.

“Hey folks… You’ve reached Dixon Brothers Contractors’ Savannah office,” barked a gruff, raspy voice with a strong, south Georgia accent. “Merle Dixon here but I ain’t available at the moment so state ‘yer business at the beep and make sure ta leave ‘yer name and a number ‘fer me ta get in touch with ya and I’ll ring ya back soon‘s I can. Bye now.”

Chapter Text

Carol chuckled to herself at the guy’s ‘backwoods’ diction and deep accent then left a brief message stating her name, that she was staying at Michonne Douglass’ beach house in Coastal Shores Estates in Savannah Beach, and that the A/C wasn’t working so she needed him to call her back ASAP and gave her cell phone number for him to call her back. She then tried calling his cell but after the first ring the call went straight to voicemail, and a recording came on saying that the voicemail box was full before automatically disconnecting. Carol waited for over an hour with no call back so she tried both of Dixon’s numbers again to no avail. By that time it was sweltering in the house and she knew that she had to call Michonne sooner than later to figure out what to do next. She knew that her friend may still be ‘indisposed’ from the night before so she waited until a little after 10 am to finally call her.

 

“Mornin’ babe,” Michonne answered in a cheerful, yet sleepy tone.

“Good morning. I’m so sorry to wake you Michonne… you sound exhausted!”

“Exhausted yes, but you didn’t wake me, hon. I’ve been up since room service brought breakfast in a little while ago.”

“So you are still at the Alexandria Hotel with your mystery man, huh?” Carol giggled.

“Yeah… my honey bunny was just here a little while ago feeding me bacon and red velvet waffles with whipped butter, maple syrup and maple cream cheese icing in bed, but he had to get into the shower. I need to get out of this bed and follow suit … check-out’s at 11 which is in less than an hour.”

“A night of passion followed by being fed breakfast in bed by a sexy man... that sounds absolutely heavenly,” Carol mused dreamily.

“Oh yeah, it was… Yesterday’s afternoon delight turned into an action packed all-nighter just like I knew it would … and it continued right up until the break of dawn this a.m. with few interruptions… we did have to eat and sleep a little to keep our energy up but otherwise it was non-stop INCREDIBLE!” she added with a laugh. “I’m telling you Carol, I rode that man like I was going for the gold in the Kentucky Derby, and believe me when I say I came so many times I lost count!” she laughed.

“Damn!”

“You can say that again! By the way… I got your text from yesterday letting me know you arrived safely in Savannah. Do you like the house?”

“Michonne… I don’t like it… I LOVE IT!” Carol exclaimed. It’s perfect… le décorations sont tres chic!” she then added in French, enthusiastically complementing the home’s decor. “Im tempted to invest in finding my own little property down here! I did a little shopping and exploring around town yesterday, and even got some writing done while I was waiting for the pool to finish filling up.”

“The pool wasn’t full? That should’ve been taken care of long before you arrived. I left that message for Merle over a week ago! I’m hoping he didn’t scare you to death if he let himself into the yard. He has a habit of doing that and I hope he had a damned good excuse for coming over a week late,” Michonne groaned.

“No… I’ve never seen the guy. The pool was still covered when I went exploring in the backyard yesterday and the tarp had palm fronds, leaves and dust on it from the past few months, and it was totally empty inside when I checked.”

“Are you telling me that Merle Dixon never showed up last week to take care of my pool?”

“Nope.”

“I can’t believe he dropped the ball on this. It’s not like him at all.”

“Michonne don’t worry… you know I have a pool at home so I knew what to do with the chlorine tablets and all that so it was no big deal. But… now there’s another problem.”

“Oh no, what else?”

“Well a summer thunderstorm passed through last night. The house lost power at some point overnight but only for a few minutes I’m guessing because none of the food went bad in the fridge. Everything came back on… except for the air conditioner.”

“Hmmm… Did you try the breaker switch? I hope it’s not a short or something.”

“Yep. I tried everything. Then I tried to reach the maintenance man… the same Mr. Dixon of the swimming pool fame… to no avail. It seems he isn’t answering his cell, and the voicemail box on his business line is full. If he’s as good as you say he is, he’s probably backed up with calls and clients! He probably never even got your message about the pool from last week. It’s the beginning of summer. Everyone’s probably calling him for pool and A/C issues. He may be overwhelmed with trying to fill so many service requests at once. ”

Michonne sucked her teeth. “Not a chance of that. Trust me… I’ve known Merle Dixon for years. That’s not how he operates. He’d never overbook himself like that. He’s built his reputation on individualized customer service. And business is good, but not that good that he can afford to ignore calls and not respond to customer messages for days on end… and I’m one of the few paying extra for 24 hour maintenance service during the summer months so he needs to be available, and if he isn’t for any reason, he should’ve informed me in advance, and made arrangements for one of his business associates to take care of things in his stead. Or, he should’ve let me know so that I coul make other arrangements. Something must be going on. I’m gonna try one more time to get a hold of him, and if I can’t I’ll call another company in the area to come and repair the A/C by this afternoon. I’m so sorry about this Carol, I wanted you to be comfortable while you’re staying at my place. It’s June in Georgia so I know you’re positively melting! Let me make a few calls to see if I can get to the bottom of this.”

“Uh oh,” Carol chuckled.

“What?” Michonne exclaimed.

“You’re using your courtroom voice!”

“My courtroom voice?” Michonne repeated with a laugh.

“Yeah! Your ‘no bullshit, take no prisoners, I graduated from NYU Law and I’m about to nail this case,’ voice! You didn’t have to use when you were handling my divorce since Tobin’s lawyer didn’t offer you any opposition, but you dropped it a few times when you negotiated my second book deal,” she chuckled. “I love it and I love you!”

“Love you too, sis,” she laughed. I’ll call ya back a little later.” Michonne ended the call then immediately tried both Merle Dixon's office and his cell numbers, twice each, to no avail. She hung up the phone, deep in thought. The man had his issues but it wasn't like him AT ALL to not handle his business. It was early on a Saturday morning and he wasn’t in his office to answer the phone? She knew that could mean that he was driving on his way to a job, or already working at someone’s home and couldn’t answer at the moment but something just didn’t feel right. She had a bad feeling that something might be wrong and there was only one other person she could call to get some answers.

Chapter Text

Just then Rick Grimes, Michonne’s mystery' boyfriend of the past month strolled toward her with a flirtatious smirk, fresh out of the shower and dressed only in a fluffy white bath towel wrapped snugly around his trim waist. His thick brown curls were slicked back from his shampoo, and his broad shoulders, hairy chest and sculpted biceps were still glistening wet. Michonne thought he looked like a sexy Greek god as he climbed back into bed with her with a seductive smile on his handsome face and she let out a contented sigh as he pressed a few soft kisses against her exposed shoulder.

Their intense attraction to each other was explosive; they shared a highly passionate relationship and matching sex drives and it was obvious that they couldn’t get enough of each other. She’d recently gotten her long locks cut off and now wore her hair in a stylish, short, natural haircut that showed off her gorgeous eyes, high cheek bones and full, sexy lips and Rick stared at her in awe as he kissed a slow trail from her shoulder to her neck, all the while possessively caressing her breasts and rubbing her nipples with his thumbs. Any other time Michonne would have melted under his touch and another round of hot sex would ensue but she had something on her mind and Rick could immediately tell that she was preoccupied. He looked up and noticed her distracted expression despite the pleasure he was trying to lavish on her.

"You’re miles away, Honey,” Rick murmured. “Everything alright?” They hadn’t been dating all that long but he cared deeply for her already. In addition to his son Carl and little Judith whom he loved as if she were his own despite the circumstances of her birth, Michonne now completed his whole world and all he wanted to do was to keep a smile on her beautiful face.

“Sorry Rick… I’m fine really. Just a little distracted, that’s all. I just got off the phone with Carol.”

“Everything okay down in Savannah?" he asked. Rick knew all about Carol staying at Michonne’s beach house. He’d put two and two together from Carl hinting days prior that he’d be out pretty late with Sophia most nights for the next week or so for some ‘long overdue alone time,’ since her mom would be out of town. Rick had been proud as a peacock at his son’s sexual prowess and encouraged him to thoroughly enjoy himself and to make sure he had plenty of condoms. Once Michonne happened to mention to him that her friend Carol would be staying at her beach house for the next week, he realized that Michonne’s friend Carol was Carl’s girlfriend Sophia’s mother, Carol Greene. They’d met a few times since their kids had started dating; the only reason her identity hadn’t clicked sooner was because he and Michonne had only been dating for a few months and neither of them had yet to introduce the other to their friends or family yet. They were still wrapped in their own little blissful, romantic world but would reveal all soon to everyone they cared for. They both knew that Carol would be pleasantly surprised when she found out that they were together.

"Yeah, Carol is fine... but the A/C isn’t working at the house."

“Ouch! It’s supposed to get up to like 95 degrees again today! Did she call an electrician?"

“Yeah… she called my guy down there a few times but he hasn’t answered. I have an account with Dixon Brothers Contractors for my house here in Atlanta, as well as for the beach house. Unfortunately Merle, the brother who runs the Savannah office, seems to be unavailable for services… which is odd because I have a 24 hour emergency maintenance plan and it’s not like him to not answer business calls, or at the very least to make arrangements for someone else to cover the job. It’s crazy because I tried to contact him over a week ago about the pool with no reply, and now this.”

“Maybe he’s on vacation.”

“I doubt that. Its early summer so this is his busiest season. And even if he were on vacation now, he should’ve replied to my call from a week ago and let me know he wasn’t going to be available.”

 

“Well he must not want to make any money… just hire someone else, ‘Chonne.” Rick couldn’t quite understand why Michonne was so upset. There were probably two dozen other electricians in Savannah that could fix her air conditioner.

“It’s not that simple, Rick. If it were anyone else, I’d do just that and simply get someone more reliable, but the fact of the matter is, I’ve known Merle Dixon for years."

Chapter Text

Michonne sighed. "My older brother Theodore is best friends with Merle Dixon's younger brother Daryl. As a matter of fact, Daryl Dixon is like family to both of us. We all went to high school together. Merle’s about seven or eight years older than we are though… I didn’t meet him until after I graduated from law school.” She let out another sigh and took Rick’s hand. “I probably shouldn’t tell you this but I know I can trust you not to blab the man’s business to anyone. Merle Dixon lives in Savannah now but the family is originally from Senoia. He was kind of rough around the edges back in the day. He struggled with alcohol abuse, and got high on occasion and worst of all he had… well has… a REALLY bad gambling habit. He was always getting into fights over high stakes poker games, billiards, boxing matches and other sporting events, as well as horse races and illegal car races and was repeatedly arrested, and occasionally on the run from bookies and thugs he owed money to. He was also dealing drugs around that time and as a high ranking member of The Wolves, that notorious biker gang down in Senoia Trailer Park, he was constantly in and out of trouble with them with the law for bar brawls, drug raids and other disturbances. Daryl had always said that their father wanted Merle to take over the family business when he retired but doubted Merle could stay straight and do it because he was always in and out of juvenile detention and later, the county jail. One night there was a big fight at some honky tonk bar on the outskirts of town and Merle’s gang was mostly to blame. The place got trashed and a few people were injured. No one died thankfully but it was serious business nonetheless and Merle was arrested along with the guys in the biker gang, but for once he wasn’t involved and in no way personally responsible for any of what happened. Not long after he and his gang arrived at the bar that night, he ran into a woman named Lisa that he’d dated off and on in the past. The woman was a member of one of the female bike clubs that also frequented the bar. They had a few drinks and ended up at the motel across the street screwing each other’s brains out for the next couple of hours, but when they came back across the street to rejoin their friends inside the bar, the police were locking all of Merle’s cronies up for the big fight that had broken out and he got caught up in the fracas. He ended up getting charged with disturbing the peace and resisting arrest, as well as destruction of property and possibly assault and battery of one or more of the injured victims inside of the bar who’d by then been taken to the hospital by ambulance. The woman Merle had been with told the officers that he hadn’t been there, but since the police only cared about taking his gang in, and recognized him from causing trouble in the past, they ignored her and when she persisted, they threatened to lock her and her friends up as well. Since he was on his third strike in the county and on probation he was up against serving a considerable amount of time if he were found guilty for any of the charges against him. The senior Mr. Dixon was so through with his wayward eldest son that he practically disowned him and refused to pay another red cent on lawyers for him and figured that letting him sit in jail might make him finally learn his lesson. Merle was desperate; he swore he was innocent and had an airtight alibi; the woman he’d slept with wanted to make a formal statement and his credit card receipt from the motel listed his check in and check out time, which was before the fight broke out until twenty minutes or so after the police arrived, but he had so little money he doubted he could get a good lawyer. I’d just graduated from NYU and had only recently moved back to Atlanta and had just passed the Georgia bar exam. My specialty has always been family law, but Daryl begged me as a friend to help his brother in any way I could. Of course I couldn’t say no. I defended him in my first case ever; pro bono, right here in Atlanta Civil Court with the woman’s sworn statement, the credit card receipt and testimonies from the motel manager and a few other people as my only arguments on his behalf. Even thought I was fresh out of law school, I fought like hell with every trick in the book I knew and won the case. Before we were dismissed from court the judge warned Merle to stay away from that biker gang and better yet to think about getting the hell out of town altogether because if he EVER saw him in his court room again he was going to throw the book at him, and he might not be so lucky as to have a hot shot New York City lawyer like me to save his ass. Merle took his advice and got the hell out of town. He moved to Savannah with relatives and has been living there ever since, only returning to Atlanta to visit their immediate family for the holidays. Deep down he’s a wonderful person, just woefully off track for most of his life. He got himself straight however and after rehab and taking a few electrician, plumbing and carpentry classes he finally made his folks proud when he opened Dixon Brothers’ Savannah location; as their father says, he ‘extended the family business all the way to the shore.’ Problem is, Merle is still a drinker and never completely cut all ties with his friends in the biker gang, nor ever stopped gambling here and there and we always worry that he may get into trouble because of the gambling in particular because every few years he has some kind of a flare up and has major money problems. I know it sounds horrible and it’s highly unlikely since he’s been straight for so long, but a situation like this is only making me worry and think the worst right off the bat. He has an assistant that helps him out sometime with repair jobs but he mostly works alone and usually calls right away to handle any requests personally. I’m just hoping that he’s okay."

Chapter Text

RIck kissed her softly. “Wow…. You really care for Merle a lot. I’m sorry if I came off sounding a little insensitive; I didn’t know you had that much history. Of course this is bothering you more than just as a business relationship; the man and his brother are like family.” Rick was thoughtful for a moment. “Now that I think about it… Dixon Brothers put in my swimming pool. Guy’s name was… something Dixon. What did you say the brother’s name was again?”

 

“Daryl,” Michonne murmured with a girlish smile, her mood immediately brightening just from mentioning her dear friend’s name. She loved him like a brother.

 

“Maybe… what’s he look like?”

 

“What does Daryl Dixon look like? I don’t know where to start and I doubt I can give him any justice! First of all, he’s gorgeous! I mean model handsome! He’s got a body out of this world and a dark tan complexion covered in tats. He was blonde when we were kids but now he’s got this long, shaggy brown hair, ice blue eyes and a scruffy mustache and beard. Oh and did I mention that his 6 pack and pecs are ripped! And his arms are to DIE for! In fact, they’re uh… almost as sexy as yours,” she teased with a wink while squeezing one of Rick’s sculpted biceps.

 

“That for damn sure wasn’t the guy who put in my pool!” Rick growled feeling a little jealous about her generous description of Daryl Dixon. “The guy wasn’t ugly, but he wasn’t anything like what you just described, and the only thing ripped on him… was his jeans! In fact he was kinda pale and sickly lookin’… well not sickly, just on the skinny side… if you ignored his beer belly that is. And he had this long, old fashioned mustache… and he was balding a little bit and he had a really heavy ‘backwoods’ accent.”

 

“Axel!” Michonne screeched, bursting into laughter.

 

“Yeah! Axel Dixon, that was his name… he runs the location out in King County. Good quality work… gave me a decent price too. I referred him to more than a few people down at the station. Then one day a couple of weeks later I came home early and caught him eyeballing my ex-wife’s ass while rubbing her down with suntan oil. He was supposed to be there doing a follow up check on the pool’s chlorine level and I catch him flirting with my wife with his hands where they didn’t belong. He damn near pissed on himself when I rolled up on him in my uniform and my gun in tow, and he immediately started singing like a canary about her insisting that he oil her thighs and her lower back… and any other spots she couldn’t reach. Can you imagine! I’d caught the prick red handed with a handful of my wife’s bony ass but deep down I couldn’t even get mad. I knew my wife very well by that point and she’d known all day that the pool guy was coming over yet she was laying out on the deck topless in a goddamned thong bikini of all things,” he added, rolling his eyes. “Trust me when I say that he was far from her type… but that woman does anything for male attention.”

 

Michonne turned up her nose and frowned… Rick had already told her all about his loving and devoted ex-wife Lori. “Axel went to school with us too but he was older. Younger than Merle but older than Daryl. Daryl and T are a year older than me so I think Axel was a senior when I was a freshman… and he’s harmless... just a little eccentric. I remember that he dressed like a hippie and always he had the craziest facial hair! Old fashioned mutton chops, a long, wispy beard and a wax curled mustache… it was the late 1980s but he looked like something straight out of the 1860’s Civil War era. I haven’t seen him in years… I wonder if he’s still growing that ridiculous mustache,” she giggled.”

 

“Well I got that pool put in about four years ago, not long before I filed for my divorce. He still had it then,” Rick laughed before kissing her soundly and effectively changing the subject to one much more pressing.

After sharing a long, heated kiss, Michonne reluctantly pulled away from Rick and got up to get a hot shower. Rick felt himself growing rock hard all over again as he stared at her long sexy legs and her perfect ass. Her smooth, chocolate brown curves were beckoning him to follow her and she gave him a seductive wink before disappearing into the bathroom. Rick knew he had to have her again before they parted and as soon as he heard the water running in the shower, he grabbed the bedside telephone and called the hotel’s front desk to request an extended check out until noon.

His request was granted, complimentarily of course, and he quickly entered the bathroom to join Michonne, discarding his towel along the way and surprising her when he stepped inside the luxurious waterfall shower for two, easily coaxing her into yet another round of explosively hot sex right where they stood; taking her from behind and making her cum twice then pampering her by adoringly washing her body from head to toe. Once they finally emerged and hurriedly dressed to avoid Rick being charged for an extra night at the über expensive Alexandria Hotel for missing their already extended noon check out, they just barely made it out in the nick of time to turn in their room key cards.

Rick waited beside Michonne in front of the hotel’s main entrance while a valet went to get her silver Mercedes Benz coupe from the underground garage and noted that the worried look she had from before had returned to her lovely face as she repeatedly glanced down at her cell phone screen. Apparently Merle still hadn’t called her back yet.

Chapter Text

“I’m sure he’s okay, honey,” he cooed. “If you don’t hear from him by tomorrow I’ll be glad to call the station in Savannah to see if there’s any info on him if you’d like.”

“Thanks baby I appreciate that but I hope it won’t be necessary. This just isn’t sitting well with me. I’m going to ring Daryl just in case to see if he’s at least spoken with him in the past few days.”

Just then the valet pulled up with her car. Rick tipped the guy, and he and Michonne parted ways with a lingering kiss and a promise to hook up for dinner later on that night at her place.

As soon as Michonne was on the expressway she put in her phone’s Bluetooth device and called her brother Theodore aka T-Dog’s cell phone.

“Hey baby girl,” he exclaimed cheerfully over the loud laughter of his four children and the barking of the family’s dogs as they ran around their home’s spacious backyard.

“Hey Bro! How’s the family?”

“Everybody’s good. Wifey’s working a few hours down at the salon today so I’m on solo daddy day care duty until she gets back. We had a big pancake breakfast earlier; you should’ve stopped by and joined us for Saturday morning cartoons! Then I took the rug rats to Target and the grocery store and we just had lunch. Now I’m just letting them run wild out here in the yard until somebody gets tired enough to go down for a nap.”

“Fat chance of that!” she laughed. Michonne knew her nieces and nephews very well. T-Dog and his wifes children were all very well behaved and polite kids but since all four of them were under the age of eight they were also bursting with energy and the last thing any of them were going to do was volunteer to take a nap!

“So what’s up, sis?” he asked.

“When’s the last time you talked to Dixon?”

“Daryl came over for dinner a couple of nights ago… why?”

“Well, you know Carol’s staying down at my beach house until next week and she called me earlier this morning to let me know that there was a power outage late last night and now the A/C isn’t working. We’ve both been calling Merle for hours now and neither of us have been able to reach him on his cell or on his office phone, and both mailboxes are full. Crazy thing is I left him a message over a week ago about getting the pool ready and left a few emails but he never called nor emailed me back. And, prior to letting me know about the A/C, Carol said that the pool hadn’t been touched when she arrived yesterday and she had to fill it up herself. I was gonna ask Daryl if he’d spoken to him recently. It’s not like him to not handle a job or answer his calls or business emails for days on end and I’m getting a little concerned.”

“Michonne, I hate to say this but I don’t need to remind you that Merle goes through these phases from time to time. His crazy ass is probably out in Vegas or Reno someplace blowing his plane ride home money on a crap game, or drunk out of his skull laid up with some chick at a cheap casino motel somewhere. It’s been a long while since his last bender so I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case. But if you think you need to talk to Daryl about it, try his office first and then his cell.”

Michonne thanked him and told him she would. Of course each of her nieces and nephews wanted to speak to her before she hung up, and after chatting a few minutes each with them and promising to stop by that next day… with snacks and surprises as always, she called Dixon Brothers Contractors’ Atlanta office.
---------------------
“Dixon Brothers, this is Abe, how can I help ya?”

“Well if it isn’t Big Red!” Michonne exclaimed.

“Chonne!” he exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear. Abraham Ford and Michonne had dated briefly in high school, and had remained friends and Michonne had been calling him ‘Big Red’ ever since. He got a kick out of her affectionate nickname for his tall, imposing stature and his signature bright red, flat top haircut. Abe joined the army right after their graduation. His main career was as a drill sergeant and an arms trainer at a local army base, but he worked part time some weekends for Daryl by helping out on a few home repair jobs to make some extra money on the side.

“How are Sasha and the baby?” Michonne asked, referring to Abe’s pregnant wife and soon to be born son. “I know she’s about to pop any day now! And what are you doing at work, anyway? Shouldn’t you be at home rubbing her feet or something?” she laughed.

“Today’s my last day here for the next month or so and I’ve got eight glorious weeks of paid paternity leave from the base as of yesterday! Sasha’s doing just fine but she’s miserable in this heat… I promised to pick her up an egg custard snowball on the way home. Poor thing…. she’s beyond ready for it to be over. She’s actually due on next Wednesday, so my boy should be making his grand entrance in approximately four more days. Dr. Denise, our obstetrician, says he’s already over 10 pounds. He’s so lazy he hardly kicks his mama anymore and so fat he can’t even roll over,” Abe laughed.

“Like father, like son,” Michonne laughed. She knew how ecstatic Abraham was over the pending birth of his first child with his beautiful wife, nurse Sasha Williams-Ford (who just so happened to be the younger sister of Michonne’s own former flame, pro boxer Tyreese Williams.)

“Same thing Sasha says!” he chuckled. “Dr. Denise let us know that if the baby doesn’t wanna come out on his own by Friday or next Saturday at the latest, they’re gonna take him by C-section because she’s so tiny and he’s gotten so huge and he’s still growing by leaps and bounds.”

“Well he got it honest, Abraham! What are you, 6’1, 6’2?”

“6’2 and a quarter and 230 pounds of solid muscle, baby! And you better believe the wife loves every ounce!”

“I bet she does! You’re what I call a whole lotta man!” she teased. “You guys will be in my thoughts and prayers. Make sure to send me plenty of pics when Lil’ Abe Jr... I mean when Big Abe Jr… arrives,” she chuckled.

“Thanks and I sure will. Now what can I do for ya?”

“I need to speak to the head redneck in charge… where’s Dixon?”

“Unfortunately Daryl’s off today and he isn’t scheduled to work again until Tuesday. Is there anything I could help you out with?”

“Oh no Abe but thanks. It isn’t job related. I’ll just try his cell.” They exchanged a few more pleasantries then Michonne ended the call. She then dialed Daryl’s cell phone number as she pulled into the driveway of into her palatial Alpharetta, Georgia home.

Chapter Text

Surprisingly he answered almost immediately.

“Hey ‘Chonne.”

Daryl’s gruff voice greeting her by his old nickname for her in his deep Georgia twang was music to her ears. “Just the man I need. How are ya handsome?”

“I’m as good as it gets, sweetheart. What can I do fer ya?”

“Well, I’ve got a dilemma I was hoping you could help me with.”

“I’m listenin.”

“When’s the last time you talked to Merle?” Daryl cursed then let out a groan and although she wasn’t in front of him she knew he had an angry scowl on his handsome face.

“I ain’t heard from Merle’s ass in weeks. I’m down here at his shop and he ain’t here. He’s been in the clouds these past few months over some new chick he’s bangin’ so he stopped callin much for a while now but these last few weeks he ain’t been callin’ at all, and now his cell is dead and has been for the last three days. I don’t know how many messages me and a few other folks in the family done left him in the last coupl’a days. His clients have been calling me and Axel all week looking for him and now we’re all really gettin’ worried. Axel called me two weeks ago bitchin’ ‘bout Merle owing him money and not taking his calls all of a sudden. Apparently a few weeks back he asked Ax to wire him five grand and he sent it no problem. Then he asked for five more a couple days later and said he’d get it all right back to him with interest in another week or so, so Ax sent him the rest of the money, thinking it was all for work expenses for a big job and that when Merle got paid he’d simply repay him like always so he wired the additional cash no questions asked. Then he took another ten grand from our joint business account without notifying us of the purchase details and now he’s nowhere to be found. He knew better than to call me first though. I would have asked his ass what the hell he needed that much money for.”

“You think he’s using again… or gambling?”

“I know he still drinks and occasionally smokes a little weed but he’s been clean from any hard drugs for years. He better not be usin’ again… he promised Ma he wouldn’t never touch the hard stuff again. I’m pretty sure it’s gamblin’. Why the hell else would he need twenty G’s in a lump out of the blue like that, and now won’t answer his goddamned phone. I hope he’s not locked up somewhere and too ‘shamed to call one of us… or beat up somewhere by some rough guys he owes money to… or worse,” he gulped a nervous breath and didn’t go on.

Michonne immediately tried to reassure him. “Don’t even think like that Daryl. I’m sure there’s a simple explanation for all of this. And you know if he is in any real trouble and needs legal help, I’m here, just like always. I have a big case up in New York next Thursday morning but I should be back in town by Friday or Saturday at the latest. You know you can depend on me if he needs counsel.”

“Chonne, you’ve done more than enough for our family over the years. My brother owes his freedom to you. If you hadn’t defended him that time years ago, he never would’ve gotten out of Atlanta and started over on the right path the way he’s done. I just hope he hasn’t thrown it all away. Look, I just arrived down here a little while ago. I took the day off to drive down here to see if I can find out what the hell’s going on. The police down here didn’t know jack shit when I called… said I need to come in person to file a missing person report after 24 hours of the person being gone. I’m at the shop now, looks like it’s been closed for days. Nothing looks out of place thankfully but its Saturday afternoon, he should be open for business unless he’s out on a job. The van is parked out back and both his truck and his bike are in the garage. From what I can see there ain’t no lights on in his place upstairs. I don’t know what the hell’s going on. I’m heading up to his apartment now. I’m hoping he ain’t in there passed out drunk, beat up, high or worse. Let me ring you right back.”

Daryl abruptly hung up and Michonne was thoughtful for a moment. She truly hoped that Merle hadn’t gone off the deep end and started dabbling in his old lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, and a bad gambling habit. She’d just spoken with him a few months back and he’d seemed fine. His business was successful and he was getting a nice piece of additional income from renovating and renting out apartments and furnished rooms to vacationers and locals upstairs in the storefront office building he’d bought for the business. He’d even mentioned that he had a new lady friend that he was crazy about. Said she was a ‘real classy chick, who was totally out of his league,” and Michonne had wished him well in love. It was very disturbing to say the least if it had all fallen apart in a matter of months. Merle was a good man; sure he’d made some bad decisions in his past, but he’d turned it all around.

Michonne grabbed a peach bellini wine cooler from the fridge and plopped down onto her living room’s eggshell white, L-shaped leather sofa to catch a little TV. Just then, her cell phone rang. It was Daryl calling her back and she answered on the first ring. “Well? Is he there?”

“Hell no! And get this… almost all of his shit is gone!”

“What?”

“Yep! There’s an APARTMENT FOR RENT sign on his door and the place is practically bare… looks like he’s sold off most of his shit! He never mentioned anything to me about moving! All of the closets are empty and the pantry and cupboards are bare. Fridge is empty except for a few bottles of beer and a box o’ baking soda. The pool table, both flat screen TVs, the living and dining room sets, his bedroom furniture, his stereo along with the speakers and all of his tapes and CD’s as well as his massive country album collection, all his old rock and roll and Motown records are all gone too. His guitars, his weights and even all his girly mags and porn he used to have lying around his room is gone. Matter of fact, damn near everything that was here the last time I came down… is gone. Even the towels and sheets and all of his hygiene shit! Only stuff left is a bucket and a mop, some cleaning supplies, the bed and a lamp on a little table in the bedroom… oh yeah, and his dead cell phone. Now tell me… who the hell goes anywhere without their damn cell phone, let alone moves someplace without it? He must’ve been in one hell of a damn hurry to get the hell outta here!”

“Maybe he didn’t want to be traced,” Michonne murmured.

“I know right! But why would he move and not tell us? Why are his truck and bike here but he ain’t? At least all of his tools and equipment are in the shop from what I could see but it’s just not adding up! I can’t wait ‘til I can file a damn missing person report tomorrow.”

“This is too weird. Where the hell is all of his stuff?”

“Hell if I know! Like I said, my guess is that he sold it,’ he snorted as he closed and locked the door behind himself. “Wait a minute, ‘Chonne, someone’s coming upstairs. Some dorky fucker with a mullet…probably one of Merle’s tenants. Hang on a sec, babe.”

Michonne chuckled at the mullet comment and waited. A few minutes later Daryl returned to the phone.

“I don’t have to file the missing person report just yet but I know for certain he’s gamblin’ again,” he groaned.

“Oh no! What did the guy say?”

“Mullet head goes by the name of Eugene… lives down the hall. Thought I was interested in renting Merle’s apartment and told me he’d be here on Monday afternoon for showings. I told him I’m Merle’s brother, and asked him when was the last time he’d seen him. He told me that Merle was here a week ago. He then said that a few weeks back, Merle mentioned to him that he’d be moving out but would still be the landlord of the building until further notice. Not long after that Merle began hauling his stuff away a little at a time in a rented U-Haul truck and then last Monday, he asked him to keep an eye on the shop this week because he had to go to Vegas, but would be back first thing Monday morning to collect rents.”

“Thank goodness! Well at least you now know he’s okay and that he’s expected back soon!”

“Maybe, but you know Merle… he could’ve told that dork anything. He don’t seem too bright to me. Anyway… he said Merle hit him up for a couple hundred right before he skipped town and told him he’d deduct it from his next rent payment. Sounds awful desperate to me. I’m ‘bout certain he won’t miss out on collecting his rents on Monday if he’s as hard up for money as I figure he must be. So… a trip to Vegas is what he needed the twenty large for. He’s probably putting it all on the line at the crap tables, hoping he’ll win big so he can pay off everybody he owes money to. He probably moved out ‘cuz the wrong people know where he lives and works, and his share of the business is probably in danger to be scalped next. I’m gonna kick his ass when I see him!”

“Well Daryl, look at the bright side. He’ll be back on Monday and you can finally get some answers. Now… are you coming back to Atlanta tonight or are you gonna stay down in Savannah?”

“Might as well stay my ass down here. Scheduled myself off ‘til Tuesday anyways and it wouldn’t make no sense to drive all the way back home tonight when I 'd have to turn right back ‘round and come back on Monday to try and catch up with Merle.”

 

“But you're not staying there at his place are you?”

 

“Don't see why not... got a free room right here."

 

“But you said yourself the place is empty, Daryl. And you don't know who might be looking for Merle and find you there instead. It may not be safe. He had to have moved out in a hurry for a reason. I'll feel much better if you stay somewhere else. Just get a hotel room."

 

“You treating?” he asked with a smirk.

 

“If that’s what it’ll take for you to stay someplace else! My firm has a business account at every Corporate Hotel & Suites location across the state, including the one in Savannah. I can call ahead and comp you then pay it back later.”

 

"I’m just kiddin’, you don’t have to do all that, ‘Chonne. I’ll just get a motel room off the interstate somewhere right here in Bayside. If I get a place down at the beach in Savannah proper I'll have to shell out the big bucks. It’s summer and it’s the weekend so the rates are sky high.”

 

"Daryl Dixon two nights at a decent hotel in Savannah will not break the bank and you know it. But I already said l’d treat you myself if need be."

 

"Don’t need ya to do that ‘Chonne. Got plenty o’ money, woman… but the reason I got it is ‘cause I ain’t in the habit of spendin’ it on frivolous shit like fancy hotel suites when a basic motel room will do me just fine. All I need is a bed and a shower anyways and I can get both at any motel I come across.”

 

"Daryl I swear you could pinch a penny ‘til it bleeds! Splurge for once! Stay somewhere nice. You’re the sweetest, kindest person I know. You deserve to treat yourself!”

 

“Stop,” he whispered shyly, his ears turning red from the genuine flattery.

“I mean it! You’re down there out of love and concern for your brother. The least you can do is stay someplace nice while you wait for him to turn back up. There are over 150 nice hotels to choose from on the main strip and all up and down the side streets at the beach. It’s only a 20 minute drive from Merle's place and you might as well enjoy yourself since you’re stuck down there anyway.”

 

“I hate the beach this time ‘o year,” he groaned with a frown. “Too many crowds!”

 

“Liar, liar pants on fire! You love the beach! And since when did you pass up an opportunity to watch half naked beach babes scampering around in bikinis all day?”

 

Daryl hadn’t thought about that. It had been months since he’d last gotten laid and the thought of an array of half naked women on display at the beach made him grow hard as a rock right where he stood. Michonne knew him all too well. “I guess I could find a little old place somewhere down there. Somewhere with a pool and maybe a decent breakfast buffet... or better yet maybe I can crash at your place?" he suggested. “It’s walking distance from the beach and the boardwalk and not to mention all the cool bars and restaurants on the strip are down that way.”

 

“Dixon you know I’d let you stay at my place in a heartbeat but, it’s already occupied.”

 

“You renting it out now? Smart move, girl. The place’ll pay for itself in no time!”

 

“I thought about trying that but I haven’t put much effort into planning for it yet. One of my girlfriends is staying down there for the next week or so. In fact, she’s the main reason I needed to get a hold of Merle in the first place. She called me earlier and let me know that the A/C stopped working last night. I tried to call Merle so he could check on it… which led to me calling you because I’d tried to contact him a week ago about the pool too and no reply....”

 

“I'll go check the A/C unit out fer ya. But I didn't pack anything for staying down here for the next 2 days so I need to a pick up a few things first and then I’ll swing past and take a look at it. Got access to Merle’s tools… might as well use ‘em since he damn sure ain’t.”

 

"Thanks babe. It's probably just a short of some kind. The unit was running fine all last summer and it wasn’t too old when I bought the place a couple years back. My friend said it was running fine until last night's storm zapped the power. Everything else came back on just fine. I can wire you your fee via paypal if you want."

Chapter Text

"Sounds like an easy fix," Daryl replied. "And your money's no good with me so no charge." He was thoughtful for a moment then blurted out, "Hey… have I met this friend before?”

“Thanks and no, I never introduced you two.”

“What’s her name?”

“Carol. Carol Greene… she's a writer."

"Cool. She staying down there at your beach house all by herself?”

“Yeah.”

“No husband?

“No… she got divorced last year.”

“No boyfriend?”

I dont believe so, no…why?”

“Just askin’,” he paused. “What’s she look like?"

Michonne grinned from ear to ear. "And why do you need to know that, sir? You fishing?"

"Maybe I am."

Michonne squealed at that. She immediately felt like playing matchmaker. “Well, we’re friends on Facebook. If you’d log on at least once per decade you could’ve seen her pics on my page ages ago.”

“You know I hate social media,” he groaned. “Just made that page for business contacts even though a good old fashioned phone book can still get the job done. Besides, it ain’t that serious. I was just feelin’ a li’l curious is all… I mean you did say she’s single…”

"Yes, she’s very single, and to my knowledge she’s looking. Damn Daryl if I'd known that you might be interested I could’ve hooked you two up months ago… as soon as you broke up with what's her name… the cocktail waitress?"

"Rosita."

"Yeah... that chick,” she said with a scowl. Daryl's last girlfriend Rosita Espinosa had been extremely jealous of Michonne’s and Daryl's friendship for some reason and made it a point to sabotage the plans for every event when they were supposed to all do anything together. It boiled down to this: Rosita liked being the center of attention and when Daryl introduced her to Michonne she immediately didn’t like her. Michonne was a knock out in her own way and commanded attention whenever she was in a crowded room, and her education, career and level of class eclipsed Rosita’s and when she saw how fond Daryl was of her it pissed her off. She was petty and immature and as such couldn’t handle competition in any form concerning her man so she openly despised Michonne and it was pathetic. Michonne had known Daryl since they were kids and was most certainly NOT trying to steal him away from Rosita but the girl was beyond insecure about her and it showed. Either way, the relationship ended on a sour note when she dumped Daryl for another guy and married him not long after.

 

“Well, I promise you, my friend is nothing like Miss Rosita… so I suppose she may not be your type… but I’m sure you’ll like her just the same once you get to know her.”

 

“What do you mean, not my type? You know I don’t discriminate, Chonne… a woman’s a woman.”

 

“That’s not what I meant. I just meant she’s not your average bleach blonde model type with huge boobs and an empty cranium. She’s older… and she’s a brunette. Well, used to be I guess.”

 

“Merle and Axel are the ones sprung on blondes with big tits. If you can recall Rosita was a brunette! And her boobs were great but they were nowhere near huge... anything more than a mouthful is a waste in my opinion,” he said with a naughty smirk. “But big or small don’t matter too much in the long run anyways… I’m more of a leg and ass man, myself. Now you give me a woman with a nice ass and I’ll...”

 

“Spare me the details!” Michonne groaned. “Good grief, you’re worse than my brother!”

 

“Sorry… I’m just sayin!” he shrugged before going on. “Those porn star blondes with their huge, fake tits all look good and are great in the sack on film but they’re probably a fuckin’ headache and that’s the last thing I need right now. I want a real woman. But now that I think about it my last two relationships were with brunettes with smallish tits and nice asses,” he then added, easily losing focus as he thought about female body parts.

 

“Both of whom also had empty craniums I’m certain,” she said rolling her eyes.

 

“At least Rosita was a college grad!”

 

“With a degree in Nasty Attitude! She was nothing but a climber… a fake ass Playboy Bunny trying to snag the first rich sucker she could sink her claws into Daryl, and you’re not gonna tell me she wasn’t fooling around behind your back all along with that clown she married so I say good riddance to bad rubbish! Now back to my friend. Like I said she isn’t your usual type, but the more I think about it she’d be so perfect for you! She lives right here in Atlanta and though she’s a writer now she used to be a French teacher at T-Dog’s school. He’s the one who introduced us in the first place. I was her divorce lawyer and we stayed in touch after and became fast friends.”

 

“French teacher, huh? Sounds fancy… but seriously Chonne, I didn’t say I’m lookin’ for a girlfriend here… I just asked what the woman looked like!”

 

“And you also asked if she was single! But she’s not a one night stand kinda girl if that’s all you’re looking for!”

 

“Didn’t say that either… though it couldn’t hurt,” he then muttered under his breath. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d gotten laid. It had to have been 8 months or more at least. He went on. “And it wouldn’t be for only one night... I’ll be down here ‘til Monday… so that’s two nights!”

 

Michonne let out an exasperated sigh. “Don’t even think about it Dixon! Carol's a nice lady. We haven’t been friends all that long but she’s really dear to me.”

 

“You said she’s older. Just how old is she?”

 

“Around 40 I think... but she doesn’t look it. She’s got a little gray, but she pulls it off. Looks great with it actually.”

“40 ain’t bad, I guess. I’m knockin’ on that myself in a couple years.”

 

“Yes you are… old man. Now back to Carol. She graduated from UGA, and has a daughter in college at Alabama State. She’s really pretty with big blue eyes and a warm smile. She’s on the petite side figure wise, great legs though.... and she’s smart, a good cook, funny and sweet and I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner!”

 

“Hold your horses, woman! I’m trying to figure how the hell I never met her before. She wasn’t at T’s Christmas party last year?”

 

“No, I think she was in Louisiana visiting her relatives for the holidays. But she was at my birthday party last year and at my big Labor Day cookout but you couldn't make either event if I recall because you were still seeing what’s her name, and she had your nose so wide open you couldn’t see straight."

 

"Rosita," Daryl groaned.

 

"Yeah. Her," Michonne muttered with a roll of her eyes.
"So what time do you think you’ll get over there? I want to call Carol and let her know you’re coming.”

Daryl glanced at the time. “It’s goin’ on 2 now. Tell her to give me about an hour or two to grab a few tools and run a couple of errands and then I’ll be on my way there.”

“Will do and thanks again, babe.”

Chapter Text

The second Daryl hung up, Michonne called Carol.

“Hey, Michonne, any news on the A/C?”

“Well I wasn’t able to get in touch with Merle, but I spoke to his brother Daryl and he’s gonna be there in about an hour or so to check it out.”

“Isn’t his office there in Atlanta?” Carol asked in surprise, vaguely remembering Daryl’s name from the business card.

“He lives here, but luckily for us he happened to be down in Bayside when I called him to see if he’s spoken with Merle lately. He’s been down there since this morning looking for him as a matter of fact. He found out that Merle’s in Vegas and won’t be back until Monday so he agreed to help us out right away, no charge.”

“That’s awfully nice of him. Talk about customer service. Does he work on your house in Atlanta or something?”

“Yes, but we go back further than that, honey! Daryl and I go way back. Good friend of the family. He and T are best friends as a matter of fact.”

“Have I ever met him before?”

“No, I don’t think so. He wasn’t able to make the last few gatherings at my place that I invited you to.”

“Have I met his wife?”

“No… he isn’t married. In fact, I do believe that he’s on the market…. but probably not for long if all goes according to plan,” she chuckled.

“What plan? Is he already engaged?”

“No ma’am.”

“Oh… a girlfriend, then.”

“No, which in itself is very hard to believe, especially after all this time.”

“What do you mean? Is he cute or indescribably hot or something?” she giggled.

“Daryl? Hot?” Michonne asked like it was the most absurd thing she’d heard in her life. “I’ll let you be the judge of that,” she replied, holding in a laugh. She was tickled pink to underemphasize just how gorgeous Daryl really was. “He’ll be there in an hour or so, you can judge for yourself.”

“Well what does he looks like? I don’t want to let the wrong person in.”

“How can I describe dear old Daryl?” she asked with a plaintive sigh. “Well… he’s average height, kinda longish dark hair, blue eyes, scruffy beard… kinda grungy lookin’ ya know? Oh, and he’s all ‘tatted up’ as the young folk say. I guess you could say he’s a ‘biker’ type,” she then added with another chuckle under her breath. “His clothes are usually greasy and his nails are usually dirty from fixing things and working on cars and such.”

“Oh,” Carol sighed dismissively, sounding completely unimpressed. “How’s his bod at least?”

“Never really paid it much attention,” Michonne lied.

“That bad, eh,” Carol deadpanned. “Must not be much to write home about,” she then added.

“Nope,” she lied again, almost choking at the absurdity of her statement but held it inside. Daryl Dixon had one of the nicest physiques she’d ever seen. He wasn’t built like some overgrown body builder or anything; in fact he had a somewhat slender build by nature but he had muscles and had earned them the hard way. Not at some gym, but by doing manual labor. He had the rugged physique of a man who worked hard and played just as hard; his body sculpted from lifting heavy machinery, handling power tools for work and from getting plenty of practice in the woods hunting deer and other game using weapons such as the crossbow and assorted high powered hunting rifles. He rode motorcycles and handled 4 wheelers with ease, drove big trucks and built and repaired things with his bare hands five to six days a week depending on his work schedule. Most days he toiled out in the sun doing home repairs and renovations so he had a gorgeous, dark tan year round. His arms and back were corded with strong muscle, and his pecs, thighs and six pack abs were built out of this world as well and not to mention he had an ass you could bounce a quarter off of. Michonne just knew that Carol was gonna FLIP when she laid eyes on Daryl Dixon for the first time!

“Well how old is he? Does he have any kids? And just why is he single anyway? Does he have a criminal record or something? Are you sure he’s really trying to meet somebody?”

“Omg Carol!” Michonne laughed. “One question at a time! You’re firing off questions faster than a prosecuting attorney cross examining a witness!” she laughed. “Daryl and T-Dog are both a year older than me so that makes him 34 but and he’s got a birthday coming up in a couple weeks so you might as well say he’s 35.”

“What if he doesn’t like older women? Michonne I’m 40!”

“What’s 5 years?”

“A lot! And technically were 6 years apart until his birthday so that’s even worse. Especially to a man!”

“Trust me… Daryl doesn’t give a damn about crap like that. And you don’t look your age anyway so it doesn’t even matter.”

“In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve got a grown child… and I’m going gray!”

“So what… it’s stylish! Now back to your questions. Daryl loves children but he doesn’t have any. He dotes on his brother Axel’s kids and he’s godfather to T-Dog’s oldest daughter, my niece Tia… and she’s crazy about him! He got married once when we were in our early 20’s then he got divorced not long after. Nothing crazy, they were just way too young and it didn’t work out. And he’s no criminal, trust me! He’s a working man. He was seeing a girl a few months back but she dumped him for some rich prick that I believe she was screwing around behind his back with. But I’m pretty sure he’s over her now and knowing Daryl he probably is looking for someone. He needs a good woman. Maybe you’re just what he’s looking for. Maybe you should…”

“Maybe I should what, Michonne?” Carol groaned.

“I don’t know… flirt with him and see what happens! He’s a great catch! A nice guy and a dear friend. Likes to read, loves rock and country music and he loves old movies and spends his free time riding his motorcycle and going hunting and fishing… I don’t know why I didn’t think to introduce you two sooner.”

“I don’t know about this Michonne... What if I’m not his type? What if he isn’t my type? The way you described him at first made him sound like some kind of a greasy biker troll!” she chuckled.

“You haven’t even met the man! And what did we just talk about earlier? Getting out there and taking chances. Be nice to him. See what happens! You’re a girl, he’s a guy… let nature take its course,” she chuckled.

 

“The last time I let nature take its course I ended up with a 5 pound 9 ounce bundle of joy by the name of Sophia! Now, I am positively melting in this house. And I can’t leave now since Mr. Dixon will be on his way shortly, so I think I’m gonna make a little lunch then take a dip in the pool to try to cool off.”

“You’re gonna need it!” Michonne mumbled under her breath holding back a laugh.

“What?”

“Nothing dear… Hey, walk on the wild side and wear one of your bikinis,” Michonne suggested. “I dare you! Give him an eyeful! My man’s coming over tonight for dinner and… dessert. I might meet him at the door in a pair of stilettoes and a bikini myself… or nothing at all!”

“Michonne you are gonna give that poor man a heart attack!” Carol laughed. “I’ll call you later.” She hung up and went into the kitchen to make lunch. It was roasting inside and out so she made something quick and easy. Homemade chicken salad on a bed of greens and a big pitcher of sweet tea. She didn’t want to eat yet however, it was just too damned hot and all she could think about was getting into the pool. She ran upstairs, and after taking Michonne’s advice, changed into one of her bikinis. It was somewhat modest with a navy blue halter top and a skirted bottom, but it was still a bikini that showed off her midriff and her thighs. She grabbed a big beach towel and a bottle of sunscreen then made a beeline for the yard. At over 90 degrees it was bright, sunny and gorgeous out and the refreshing cool water felt great as she did lap after lap, soon losing track of time.

Chapter Text

Meanwhile, Daryl Dixon ended up spending an hour at the Sanctuary Mall then another 45 minutes at the Savannah Beach Wal-Mart. He hated shopping but he’d taken Michonne’s advice and after splurging on new jeans, shorts, swimming trunks and a couple designer t-shirts at the mall (as well as an expensive bottle of ‘kinda girly’ cologne he couldn’t say no to after the little old lady at the counter made him feel guilty for not wanting to buy it after he let her spray him with it), he’d hit Walmart for tank tops and a 4 pack of cotton boxer briefs, a pair of flip flops, deodorant, a bottle each of sunscreen and mouthwash, condoms (in case he got lucky before the weekend was through after all,) and his final purchase was a Men’s travel grooming kit with a razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, a bar of deodorant soap, a comb and small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion and shower gel that thankfully didn’t smell as ‘girly’ as the cologne he’d been guilt tripped into buying at the mall. He then hit the liquor store for a couple of six packs of beer, a pack of chewing gum and some smokes then headed toward Michonne’s beach house.

He was starving since he hadn’t eaten anything other than the sausage biscuits and coffee he’d had for breakfast on the way to Savannah early that morning so he popped in a piece of gum and figured he could just grab something a little later. He still had yet to rent a hotel room as well, so he figured that he could just pick one after he was done repairing the air conditioner then get some dinner someplace nearby. As hot as it was out that day he knew that Michonne’s friend would appreciate him getting there as soon as possible to remedy the problem if he could.

He arrived at the beach house before long and parked his black Ford Bronco truck behind the cute blue Mustang convertible in the driveway and was suddenly VERY curious to meet its owner. Michonne had said her friend would be perfect for him and although he acted like he wasn't pressed, he was VERY interested in meeting her.

Rosita, the gorgeous Latina bombshell who'd stolen his heart that past year, was by that time a distant memory and although he hadn’t said as much, he was beyond ready to move on. He’d met Rosita that previous summer at a high class gentleman’s club in Atlanta where she worked as a cocktail waitress. Rosita and the other women who worked at the club were required to wear skimpy bodysuits and hot lingerie with fishnet stockings and sky high stiletto heels in full hair and makeup while serving drinks and were encouraged to flirt with the patrons to get them to gamble and buy more liquor. Daryl thought that she was the prettiest girl he’d seen in ages with a body to die for.

Several men in the club had their eyes on her that night but she flirted with Daryl all night and before he and his buddies left for the evening he got up the nerve to ask her for her number. They went out a few times after that and it soon became obvious to him that wherever they went, Rosita liked to be the center of attention, and she usually was, and it made him feel proud to have a gorgeous girl like her on his arm. Their mutual attraction to each other was intense and before long they were engaged in a torrid, highly sexual affair. Daryl became totally infatuated with her and occasionally splurged on expensive gifts for her but it was never enough. Rosita was used to dating rich guys she met at the club and although Daryl made good money from owning his own business he was a frugal spender most of the time, which meant he wasn’t rich and in her opinion, anything less than rich was a waste of her time. Despite holding a college degree, her goal in working at the club was to use her looks to snag a rich husband. Before long Rosita was only using Daryl until she got what she really wanted. She enjoyed sleeping with him however, and whenever she couldn’t have her way, she withheld sex and let him know in no uncertain terms that she knew a dozen other men who were dying for a little of her time and affection. Daryl always gave in to her, knowing that she wasn’t bluffing about the other men she knew who would happily give her whatever she wanted just to have her on their arm.

Despite her jealousy and explosive temper that he discovered over time, she easily had him wrapped around her little finger due to her beautiful smile and skills in the bedroom. Daryl tried his best to make it work to hang on to her, but she ended up dumping him for Spencer Monroe, junior CEO of Monroe Construction, one of Dixon Brothers’ biggest rivals in the business and they married not long after, leading him to believe that she’d been dealing with him behind his back all along (which she had off and on for well over a year.) Daryl felt jilted and the break-up had taken a toll on his heart and it took him several months to really get over her, not to mention it had somewhat shot his confidence with women all to hell. He stayed busy however, sometimes working 60 hours or more some weeks to avoid thinking about her and after a while his heart began to slowly heal. He promised himself that the next girl he went for had to have some real substance, not just a pretty face and a good lay. By that point, it had been around 8 months or so since the last time he'd gotten laid and he was beyond ready to get out there and start dating again. Problem was, he still had some lingering self-confidence issues and he'd been working so much lately that he rarely got out to even meet anyone. Michonne had said that her friend was single… and looking, and although he'd never seen her before he had a hunch that she was probably just as pretty as his friend said she was. Even though he looked at Michonne like a sister, he'd always thought that she was gorgeous and he knew from experience that pretty girls always ran in packs, so he was getting a little impatient to see the mysterious Carol for himself.

Chapter Text

Daryl grabbed his tool box and the small sack of supplies he’d borrowed from Merle’s shop then went up to the front door and rang the bell. After a few moments of waiting he rang it again, to no avail. He waited a few minutes longer then peeked inside the living room through the mini blinds. The house had an open concept floor plan and he could see through to the kitchen area and noticed that the back door was sitting wide open.

'Must be out in the yard,' he thought to himself, whistling a tune as he headed around to the back of the house. As he got closer he heard the radio playing and water splashing and when he reached the gate he peeked through it and saw a petite, curvy woman with a short, spiky gray haircut emerging from the pool in a navy blue bikini. He thought that she was beautiful and his jaw dropped when she turned away from him. Daryl had always been an ass man and he couldn't help intently staring at her curves as she then climbed the ladder to the diving board and skipped to the edge. After jumping high into the air she grabbed her knees like a kid and let out a loud, girlish giggle as she splashed in the cannonball position into the pool’s deep end. When she came up a few seconds later she was laughing like it was the most fun she’d had in years. She then swam to the edge and climbed back out and Daryl couldn't take his eyes off of her as she then walked over to the outdoor shower and rinsed the chlorine from her body before grabbing a towel to dry her face, arms and legs. Daryl thought that she was gorgeous, but he knew he couldn’t just stand there and watch her all day like some kind of a peeping Tom pervert, he had a job to do.

He knocked hard on the fence then called out, "Anybody home?"

Carol turned the radio down a bit. “Hello, who’s there?” she called out in a friendly tone.

“It’s Daryl Dixon, from Dixon’s Contracting. Michonne sent me over to have a look at the air conditioner, ma’am.”

“Finally!” Carol exclaimed happily. “I’ll be right there.” She quickly pulled on a short white terry cloth robe to cover up and slipped her feet into a pair of white flip flops then jogged over to unlock the gate. “Come on in,” she said with a big grin as she opened the door for him.

“Hi,” Daryl mumbled shyly as he ducked his head under the low awning, then stepped into the yard and stood up to his full height. “I’m Daryl Dixon.” He gazed down at her with a curious smile, and after he set his heavy tool box down he offered her his hand.

Carol looked up at him and their eyes locked immediately and she almost gasped aloud as her jaw dropped in surprise. He was EASILY the most handsome man she’d ever laid eyes on and she couldn’t help doing a double take. She recovered quickly however and returned his smile but the tall, gorgeous hunk of masculinity that had entered her space was by that time gazing down at her with such an intensely sensual stare in his smoky blue eyes that it was making her feel hot all over. The fine specimen of manhood before her had totally ECLIPSED everything that Michonne had described and Carol knew that the next time she saw her friend she was going to KILL her for not warning her that Daryl Dixon was a walking, talking, living, breathing SEX GOD! He was staring at her so intently it was making her feel self-conscious about her wet hair and more likely than not disheveled appearance. She then suddenly remembered that he’d just spoken to her and offered to shake her hand. “Oh hi, sorry… um Mr. Dixon…I’m Carol, uh… C-Carol Greene,” she stuttered, forgetting her own last name for a second as she extended her hand toward his outstretched one.

“Don’t gotta call me Mr. Dixon… just Daryl’s ok, ma’am,” he murmured, still staring into her eyes as he took her small hand in his big, strong one and shook it gently. He then did a slow sweep down her body, and licked his lips hungrily as he openly gazed at her shapely tanned legs and the bright pink polish adorning her toes.

Carol suddenly felt weak in the knees at the sight of his long tongue and near faint from the way he was staring at her legs with that hungry gaze. “O-ok, Daryl… and you don’t have to call me ma’am… Just Carol is fine.”

“Sure thang… ‘Just Carol,” he chuckled in his deep Georgian drawl, gazing at her through the hair that hung into his eyes while slowly licking his lips again.

Carol could feel herself growing wet simply by how he’d said her name. ‘Get it together, girl,’ she thought to herself.

A long moment passed where neither of them spoke and they both just gazed at each other curiously. Daryl examined her closely. Michonne hadn’t been lying. She WAS pretty. Her eyes closed up when she smiled and she had the kind of lips he wanted to kiss, nice and slow. He finally broke the spell however. “So Carol… where’s the thermostat?”

“The what?” she asked with a smile, snapping out of the daze she’d been in. Her eyes had long since drifted from his and had by that point traveled down to his sexy lips then to his neck and got stuck on his broad, muscular shoulders in his cut off t-shirt and his impressive biceps bulging out of the sleeveless black leather biker vest he wore.

“The thermostat?” he repeated.

“Oh… yeah! The thermostat… for the heating and cooling system… because that’s why you’re here, to check the air conditioner. Umm… it’s inside... I’ll show you.”

“Lead the way, sweetheart,” he murmured.

She smiled at him warmly again and as she turned away from him to grab her cell phone from the patio table she felt like a bumbling, stuttering idiot but she couldn’t help herself. He was so sexy he was making her nervous. ‘At least he didn’t laugh in my face,’ she thought to herself gratefully as she led him past the pool area and through the tropical garden like yard toward the house. As they ascended the low staircase that led to the deck off the kitchen, she could feel his eyes on her ass as he followed closely behind her and she hoped and prayed that he liked what he saw.

Daryl liked what he saw, alright. Michonne had told him that her friend had nice legs but in his opinion that description hadn’t done them justice! She didn’t just have nice legs, she had AWESOME legs, as well as a small waist, a great ass, curvy hips and smooth, shapely thighs peeking out from under her short robe that looked so soft that he just wanted to reach out and touch them. He then wondered if he’d possibly get the opportunity to do just that and more before the night was through and he suddenly had a fantasy about kissing them all over... ‘Damnit! Get a hold of yourself, Dixon,’ he then thought to himself, shaking his head. He thought the woman in front of him was gorgeous in a mature way and he couldn’t help licking his lips yet again as well as letting out a low wolf whistle that he hoped she hadn’t heard.

Carol HAD heard it but she pretended she hadn’t even though it made her smile big as anything. Once in the kitchen she explained what had happened during the storm then pointed him in the direction of the thermostat down the hallway off the living room, and the moment he was out of sight she grabbed her cell phone to call Michonne.

Chapter Text

“Hel-lo,” Michonne sang when she answered and Carol could only imagine the smug grin on her friend’s face.

“Michonne, Dear… remind me to kill you!”

“Kill? Me? Huh?”

“He’s here!”

“Who’s there? Dear old Daryl, perhaps?” she then asked before cracking up laughing.

“Yes ‘dear old’ Daryl… and yes I’m gonna kill you!” she threatened in a low whisper after peeping around the corner to make sure he was still out of earshot.

“Now why in the world would you wanna do that?” Michonne asked in mock innocence. “I simply sent you a knight in shining armor in your time of need! To help you cool off!”

“Well guess what? Dear Old Daryl as you call him isn’t cooling anything off! That man is hotter than a firecracker on the Fourth of July… and you knew it all along!” she whispered. “Aside from the long, shaggy hair, the dark hair color and the bulging muscles and the sexy, scruffy beard… he looks just like Norman Reedus, my favorite actor from the Boondock Saints movie, and here I am looking like a drowned rat!”

“What?”

“Yes! He just got here a few minutes ago when I’d just gotten out of the pool without a drop of makeup on and my wet hair plastered all over my head, and this ridiculous bikini showing all the cellulite on my thighs! If you’d told me that he was this freakin’ gorgeous I would’ve done myself up a little more and I definitely would’ve worn a one piece swimsuit! How in the HELL is that SEXY man still single?”

Michonne was about to say something but Carol quickly cut her off. “Oh shit! He’s coming,” she whispered hurriedly just as he re-entered the kitchen. “Yes, hi Michonne! Yes Mr. Dixon is here… I mean Daryl is here. Yeah, uh huh… What? You wanna speak to him?” she looked at Daryl expectantly.

Daryl shook his head. “Tell her I’m too busy workin’ to talk right now,” he then muttered with a smirk, “but tell her I said she was right and I’ll call her back later on.”

Carol immediately turned beet red. She was suddenly very curious to know what he was talking about. She hoped Michonne hadn’t downplayed her looks to him in the same way that she’d told her about his appearance. Since he said she was right about whatever she’d told him prior to his coming over that meant that he was possibly in agreement with a less than flattering description about her and she cringed at the thought. The way he was smiling at her and had just winked suggestively however made her feel a little better, causing her to have hope that he and Michonne may have spoken about something else altogether that had nothing to do with her and since she knew better than to jump to conclusions she abandoned the thought before it upset her any further. “Umm… he said he’s too busy working to come to the phone right now.”

“I bet he is,” Michonne laughed.

“He said he’s gonna call ya later to tell you were right about something.”

“I’m always right,” she chuckled. “At least most of the time.”

“Not all the time,” Carol snorted in a sarcastic tone. “I’ll be calling you later on myself… to tell you that you were totally WRONG about something!”

“Well guess what? You AND Daryl can both call me ALL YOU WANT TO later… but by then my man will be here and I’ll be MUCH too busy to answer the phone for either one of you! Hopefully you two can think of a way to entertain yourselves while you wait! So bye bye for now… and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” Michonne laughed as she hung up.

Carol set the phone down and leaned against the fridge as Daryl checked the electrical breaker switches in the fuse box in the kitchen. She watched him intently as he flipped a few switches and fiddled with the knobs and they made small talk about their mutual friends Michonne and T-Dog, as well as became a little better acquainted with each other before Daryl wandered back down the hall to check the thermostat again. Unfortunately, nothing he’d tried seemed to be working. He reset all of the switches back to their original positions in the fuse box and asked Carol if she knew where the unit itself was. She told him the beach house didn’t have a basement so it was probably outside somewhere.
“I’ll go take a look,” Daryl volunteered.

“Take your time…I’m gonna run up and change out of this wet swimsuit. Be right back.”

“Sure thing,” he mumbled with a nod as he excused himself, and hurried out onto the deck. The thought of her going upstairs to get naked made his nature rise and he would’ve died if she’d seen the tent it was making in the front of his pants.

Unbeknownst to Daryl, Carol watched him from the 2nd floor balcony window and couldn’t help staring at his long, confident strides across the yard, the way his big, strong arms hefted his heavy tool box around like it weighed nothing at all, and most importantly she couldn’t pretend that she hadn’t seen the impressive bulge that had suddenly become noticeable in the front of his khaki cargo work pants. She could only imagine what was hiding inside and it made her grow moist all over again. Carol had to fan herself and let out a little squeal of excitement as she dove into the shower to quickly freshen up and throw on an outfit.

Chapter Text

Meanwhile Daryl walked around the whole house with no luck, then let himself back into the yard and finally located the central air unit’s generator behind the pool house. He used a screwdriver to open the unit box and after a few minutes of rooting around with all of the switches, cords and knobs, he finally discovered the problem. Two of the spark plugs had somehow gotten loose and one of the main wires that connected the unit to the house’s electrical source was completely frayed. He tightened the loose plugs with a pair of needle nosed pliers then disconnected the frayed wire. He then pulled out his cell phone and did an online search to find a replacement and saw that the hardware store in Bayside had plenty of that particular wire in stock and would be open until 6 pm. He shoved the frayed wire into his back pocket before heading back toward the house.

As soon as he reached the top step of the deck Carol met him there with a tall glass of homemade sweet iced tea and a smile. He’d only been out in the hot sun for a little while but was already sweating bullets and was more than appreciative of the sweet, refreshing drink. He nodded his thanks and never took his eyes off her as he slowly gulped it down, noticing that she’d changed into a pair of shorts, a spaghetti strap tank top and a pair of strappy wedge sandals. She’d slicked her hair back a bit and now had on a touch of makeup. He did a double take and wondered if she knew just how good she looked as he finished his drink and handed her the glass back.

“Did you find it?” she asked, smiling at him.

“What?”

“The A/C unit,” she said with a girlish giggle.

“Oh… yeah, it was behind the pool house,” he murmured, shifting his gaze to her legs. They looked AWESOME in those sandals and he couldn’t help staring at them and thinking about touching them all over.

“Were you able to fix it?” she then asked in a near whisper. The way he was staring at her had suddenly made her feel hot all over again.

“Unit itself ain’t broke. Just a couple of loose spark plugs and one of the wires is frayed,’ he replied. “The short would’ve happened whether the storm hit or not. Just so happened that it finally conked out last night. Easy fix though.”

“Great!” she replied, but deep down she wasn’t as happy as she’d thought she’d be about it. Suffering in the heat was worth getting to meet Mr. Dixon. In fact deep down she’d hoped the repair would’ve taken longer just so that he’d have to hang around a while. “So it’s done? I can turn it back on now?” she asked.

“Not quite,” he said patting his pocket. “Gotta replace that damaged wire. Gonna run over to the hardware back in Bayside and pick up a new one. Won’t take me long.”

“I hate to put you out like this Daryl! You just came from there, right?”

“Yes ma’am, but it’s not that far. Only ‘bout a twenty minute drive.”

“Twenty minutes there and then another twenty back! Michonne told me you were there since morning looking for your brother. Have you even had any lunch?”

He then looked at her sheepishly. “Matter o’ fact, I ain’t. Had a little breakfast earlier but I’ve been runnin’ non-stop all day since then.”

“Then you must be starved. It’s almost 4:30! The least I can do is feed you before you go!” At that comment she noticed that he smirked a little and she could feel his eyes zooming in on her breasts, causing her nipples to stiffen involuntarily under his gaze. Her first instinct was to cross her arms over her chest but she knew that if she did it would only draw more attention so she just stood there under his smoldering gaze.

Daryl licked his lips as he stared hard at her stiff nipples, the outline of which now clearly visible through the lacy bra under her white tank. ‘Feed me... please,’ he thought to himself, as he imagined hungrily sucking on one then the other. He then cleared his throat. “Uh… you don’t have to go to any trouble. I don’t wanna be a bother to ya.”

“You’re no bother at all! I appreciate you helping out like this on such short notice. I insist! You like homemade chicken salad?”

“Matter of fact I do.”

“Sandwich okay? I got wheat bread, I can toast it if you like?”

“Sounds like a meal fit for a king,” he replied as he washed his hands. “Need any help?”

“No, you just sit down and let me serve you,” she said with a wink as she ushered him over to the table and proceeded to prepare him a big serving of the chicken salad she’d made earlier on toast with chips and a pickle along with another tall glass of sweet tea.

Daryl thanked her profusely and immediately began chowing down. “Damn woman, this is delicious! What's in it?"

"Nothing much... Just cut up chicken breast, boiled eggs, mayonnaise, sweet relish, chopped celery, a little mustard, chopped onion, a little garlic, black pepper and a pinch of season salt."

"It's so good! Ain’t you gonna have some?” he then asked between mouthfuls.”

“I think I will.” She’d worked up quite an appetite in the pool and fixed herself a plate, opting to have hers with a green salad instead of on bread. She turned the TV in the kitchen on to a local news broadcast but instead of focusing on the program, they both stole glances at each other the entire time they ate, and Carol was glad to see how much Daryl seemed to be enjoying his meal. She couldn’t help noticing how voraciously he tore into his food; it was almost feral. Her lips parted with desire at the way he grunted, smacked and licked his lips as well as sucked on his fingers while he ate and soon just watching him was making her own mouth water… among other parts... ‘Hot damn! If that’s how the man eats a sandwich, I can only imagine how he eats...”

“That was really delicious, Carol,” Daryl grunted, interrupting her heated thoughts. He then wiped his mouth with a napkin and let out a small belch. “Excuse me. I must’ve been hungrier than I thought!” he chuckled.

“I see.” Carol’s face was burning with lust from her sexual fantasy of him devouring her like he had his food but she only offered him an innocent smile as she gathered up their plates and glasses before loading the dishwasher. “Well, it was the least I could do. You probably would’ve been halfway back to Atlanta by now if it weren’t for me needing your help.”

“Naw… ain’t headed back to Atlanta tonight. I need to see my brother once he gets back from Vegas on Monday so I figured I’d stay. Make a weekend of it, mini vacation as they say.”

“Oh! You’re staying out at his place?”

“Naw… once I’m done here I gotta go find a motel for the next couple nights I’ll be in town. Probably on the beach somewhere.”

“Oh! So you’ll be in this area?” she said, the relief evident in her voice.

“Yeah, I will,” he murmured as he gazed at her longingly.

“That’s good to know. Maybe I’ll see you around!”

He nodded then looked away shyly as he bit at his thumb. “Well, better get a move on. Its almost 5 now and the store closes at 6.” He then looked at her sheepishly. “You rollin?”

“Pardon?”

“Wanna ride to the store with me?" he asked shyly.

‘Of course I wanna ride you,’ she thought to herself with a smirk but didn’t dare utter it aloud. She then stared at him in disbelief. He actually looked like he wasn’t sure if she’d want to go. She was amazed that a man as gorgeous as he was seemed so shy and unsure of himself. ‘Doesn’t he know that my panties are soaked just from watching him eat that damned sandwich? Hell yes I wanna go to the store with him… he could’ve invited me to the moon and I would’ve gone!’ Before she could tell him “HELL YES,” however, he got discouraged.

“Um, er, never mind, Carol. Last place a pretty lady like you would probably want to go is to some dusty old hardware store. Sorry I put ya on the spot like that. I’m sure ya got other plans anyways…”

“Actually, I don’t,” she began but he cut her off.

“It’s cool sweetheart… don’t let me hold ya up. I’ll just shoot on over there, pick up the wire and be back in a jiffy then I’ll be outta yer hair.”

It was her turn to cut him off. “No, Daryl you got it all wrong. I don’t have any other plans. I’d love to go to the store with you.”

‘Ya would?”

“Sure! Just let me grab my purse.”

He nodded and a small smile tugged at his cheek. “Cool… I’ll be outside waitin.” He went outside and started up the truck and as he sat there waiting for her he realized he’d been sweating bullets since he first laid eyes on her. He’d dated beautiful women before but something about Carol made his heart beat a mile a minute. Her expressive blue eyes made him feel nervous and she was so pretty he could hardly think straight.

Chapter Text

Carol locked up the house and Daryl jumped out to open his truck’s passenger door for her. She said thanks and gave him another warm smile and he couldn’t resist stealing another look at her curvy thighs as she climbed up into the truck. “Damn,” he murmured. He wasn’t usually such a horny toad but it had been so long since he’d gotten laid that he just couldn’t help himself. His dick was getting hard all over again... he felt like a teenager around this woman. The sight of her soft looking thighs practically had him drooling and the thought of them wrapped around him made his cock throb. ‘Down boy,’ he thought to himself as he got back inside the truck.

Carol knew he was looking at her legs and it made her chuckle to herself. Apparently he couldn’t care less about the cellulite she was so self-conscious about and she was glad she’d worn one of the shortest pairs of shorts she owned.

As Daryl exited the gated community and steered his truck through the heavy traffic on the main beach strip an old song by Nirvana came on the radio and they both sang along. The music broke the ice and led into a discussion of their favorite 90’s rock bands.

“This is crazy. We love all the same bands! Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Blink 182, Smashing Pumpkins, the Goo Goo Dolls and even Green Day!” Carol exclaimed with a laugh.

Daryl glanced over at her. “I know right! I love a few of the older bands too though. My oldest brother, Merle, is mostly into country, and he also loves Motown and a lot of the Soul music from the 70’s but he also introduced me to Aerosmith, Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and Queen and taught me to play guitar when I was a kid. My other brother Axel, got me into Nine Inch Nails, Kiss, Pink Floyd and AC/DC records.”

“Good stuff! I love all of them too. I’m a little older than you so I even remember sneaking out with my older sisters to Bon Jovi and Van Halen concerts in the early 80s when I was in junior high school! I’m originally from Louisiana and when they toured in New Orleans I was there with my sisters, screaming my head off with my big teased hair, and all dressed up in their borrowed spandex dresses, leg warmers and high heels,” she laughed. “I should’ve been into Madonna, Boy George, New Kids On The Block, and New Edition at that age, but I was a head banger who lived for hard rock! Prince, Blondie, Pat Benatar, you name it! I even dated a drummer from a local band briefly. He was a friend of my oldest sister and didn’t have a clue how young I really was because I dressed like Cyndi Lauper and wore a ton of makeup and high heels every day,” she laughed. “Those were some crazy times.”

Daryl laughed. “I’m sure they were. I’ve never been to New Orleans. Heard the food is awesome down there. Maybe you could give me a tour around someday,” he teased.

“I’d love to. I’m from Baton Rouge but we went to New Orleans all the time. I know my way around to the main touristy spots. And the food IS awesome. Maybe Ill make you some gumbo and shrimp etouffee sometime. ”

“Sounds great. So, Michonne tells me you have a daughter.”

“Yes, my Sophia is 19 and will be 20 in August. She’s about to start her junior year at Alabama State,” Carol said proudly with a big grin as she pulled up one of the dozens of pictures of Sophia that she’d saved on her cell phone.

Daryl glanced at the screen and whistled. “Wow! She’s really pretty… just like her Mama,” he then added shyly.

“That was a sweet thing to say,” Carol murmured. She then stole a glance at him. “And you’re not so bad, yourself,” she then boldly added.

“Stop,” Daryl whispered with a smirk, blushing red. He was always genuinely surprised by even the most basic compliments, despite often being told that he was quite handsome since his early teens.

“So… Michonne also told me you used to be a school principal.”

“Make that Assistant Principal."

“At my main man T’s school of all places!”

“Yeah! I’ve worked with T-Dogg at Woodbury for the past 3 years. I love him to pieces.”

“He’s good people. We’ve been tight since 9th grade. Chonne told me you used to teach French too.”

She shook her head. “Well you know I’m from Louisiana. My mom’s side of the family is French Creole so she grew up speaking Creole but she spoke standard French quite well also. She taught us kids early and we spoke it at home all the time… Im one of 7 so we all used to drive our dad nuts switching from French to English to Creole,” she laughed. “He’s as Irish as they come and refused to even try to catch on,” she chuckled. “He tried to teach us a bit of the Gaelic but French culture dominates everything in Louisiana. It came second nature to me because my mom taught us like it was a fun game so I always got A’s in school in French language and literature and it got me a bunch of scholarships. Then it kind of just took off from there.”

“Could ya… umm… say something for me… in French?” he asked her shyly. “If ya don’t mind,” he then added.

“Qu’est-ce que tu voudrais dire en Francais, mon cher?” she asked in a teasing, coquettish tone all while leaning toward him and boldly caressing his cheek.

The sound of her voice and strong Louisiana accent which had seemingly come out if nowhere, combined with her fingertips gently caressing his face as she spoke the seductive sounding words caused Daryl’s cock to stiffen and throb in his pants yet again. “I don’t know what the hell you just said… but I know I liked it,” he growled.

“I only asked, 'What would you have me to say in French, my dear,” she giggled.

“Damn… Sounded like something else!” he said with a smirk. “But you stopped teaching French and… principalin,” he blurted out and they both laughed at his use of the non-existant word that surprisingly fit the point he was trying to make. ”’Chonne said ya switched to writing, so what kinds of books do you write? French textbooks?” he asked with a smirk.

“Oh no… Mainly short stories all in English, for now anyway.”

“What kinda stories?”

She paused and glanced out the window. “Well they’re chick-lit really. Romances, you know… in the decidedly erotic category,” she then added stealing a glance at him.

“Oh… erotica! So in other words, you write all the good parts everybody skips through the books to find,” he murmured.

“Mm hmm,” she replied with a smirk. "And they're pretty hot if you ask my readers. From vanilla to a bit kinky... I write it all," she giggled."

Daryl grunted and his leg began shaking involuntarily. ‘This just keeps getting better and better,’ he thought to himself. ‘I'm falling hard already. This is my dream woman. She's single. She’s sexy as hell, smart and funny. She loves rock, can cook her ass off, speaks French and she writes stories about hot, kinky sex all day. And last but not least... her legs. Those gorgeous legs of hers are gonna be the death of me,’ he thought to himself as he pulled into the hardware store parking lot. He parked the car then looked her in the eye. “Well, I ain't in the habit of reading chick lit… but something tells me I’d thoroughly enjoy your stories.”

"You would," she replied with a wink. "Ive been told that theyre quite naughty..."

Chapter Text

They were in and out of the hardware store in a matter of minutes and on the ride back, they resumed their conversation.

"So now its your turn," Carol said with a smirk.

Daryl groaned. "Knew this was coming. What do you wanna know, Sweetheart?"

"Ummm… tell me about your family… where you’re from, tell me a little more about you.”

“Not much to tell. I’m the youngest of three boys. Merle's the oldest, then there's Axel, then me. Im originally from Senoia, had a pretty decent childhood. Folks are still livin' an' healthy thankfully.” He then told her a little bit about Merle and some other details about their family background and how he ended up looking for his brother in the first place.

Carol told him she knew all about not having the best of family circumstances but making the best of it and revealed a bit more about her background with Ed and some details about how she ended up in Georgia as well as about her divorce from Tobin, how she started writing in the first place and that she was in Savannah to finish up her latest book. But before long she wanted him to get back to telling her more about himself. She was fascinated by him; she’d never met a guy quite like him. He was so gorgeous and he really seemed so honest and simple, like a breath of fresh air; NOTHING at all like the men she’d met since her divorce.

“Well it ain’t that much more to tell,” Daryl said with a shrug, before proving quite the opposite. “I attended the Atlanta Vo-Tech Center and got certificates in Construction, Plumbing, Electrical Engineering and Carpentry. I love workin with my hands. Fixin' and buildin' things and just helpin' good folk. I own a piece of the family business… its doing good too. My grandparents left me their old farmhouse just outside Atlanta. It aint fancy or nothing but I fixed it up real nice. Big old place, 5 bedrooms plus a fully furnished attic space with just me and a big old barn and stable out back. Lotta mature fruit trees in the land too; got peach, pecan, cherry, pear and apple. Got 5 nieces and nephews... Axel's kids, they come over sometime... I let em run wild on that land out back near the little creek just like we did when we were kids. Good catfish and trout in that creek year round. Got a dog named Cherokee, mix breed coonhound & Irish Setter I think… one hell of a huntin’ dog. And I got a pair of horses named Lila & Jake, She’s a blonde Palomino and he’s a chocolate brown American quarter horse/paint mix. Cherokee’s over at Axel's place while I’m outta town; the horses are stabled down in Woodbury but I get over there to ride ‘em and spend time with ‘em from time to time. Once I slow down with work a little I’ll bring ‘em on back home. Got married one time. Her name was Cicily. We were in love but we were WAY too young ya know, it just didn’t work out. Been datin’ here and there but nothing serious in a while. I admit I been lookin' though. No kids… I love ‘em, just aint never been blessed with none… yet. I like to cook a little, grilling mostly. And ummm… well I don’t know? Guess I sound kinda boring, huh?" he shrugged.

“You don’t sound boring at all, Daryl… You’ve got a great life. Doing what you enjoy for a living at least. Michonne also told me you like to watch old movies. What else do you like to do for fun? And I love both horses and dogs by the way!”

"Well, I like to swim a little, get in some wild game hunting during deer season and hit the gym from time to time to try and stay in shape, ya know?"

"I can definitely see that," she flirted.

"Stop," he murmured shyly at being complimented. “But I work so much I barely have time for it. Umm... I guess my favorite pastime is riding my motorcycles. I got a Harley and a Hayabusa, one of those Japanese racing sport bikes. T-Dogg & I used to go up to Myrtle Beach for Harley Week and then stay on for Black Bike Week the following weekend with some friends in his bike club every year but I been working so damn much I haven’t had time to get away these past couple of summers."

“Gotta make time for what you love. All work and no play makes Daryl a dull boy. If riding is what you truly enjoy, you need to do it more often!”

“You like to ride?” he asked her, then turned red as a beet when he realized how it sounded (even though at that moment he had an unbridled fantasy of letting her ride him... bareback at that!)

“Thought you’d never ask,’ Carol thought to herself and swallowed hard because she’d ALMOST blurted it out. ‘This sexy man is gonna be the death of me,’ she thought to herself. “Honey, I love to ride,” she replied with a smirk.

“You do?” he gulped.

“Oh yeah... Riding's one of my favorite past times,” she said with a wink. “I just climb on… and let these babies roll!” she said winding her hips in her seat.

His icy blue eyes flashed in surprise and he seemed hypnotized by the motion of her hips. “Bikes… I meant riding bikes…” he said sheepishly.

“I know... I was talkin' about bikes too!" she lied with a smirk.

“No ya weren’t, liar!” he laughed. “I mean… well, you know what I mean,” he couldn’t help chuckling and she burst into laughter as well.

“I know, I know…” Carol laughed. “You just look so adorable when you’re embarrassed.”

“Stop," he laughed and blushed again.

“I mean it. And I love to ride motorcycles too… well I did once. My dad and my oldest brother, Mickey ride bikes; in fact Mick used to take me out for rides all the time but I never learned to drive one myself. Then Sophia’s dad, Ed… well I told you a little bit about him… he rode too. He got some fancy racing sport bike from his dad for doing well his first semester of college. I was a little scared to ride on the back of the thing with him because I’d recently found out he’d started drinking a lot around that time but he insisted that I go out with him to test ride his newest toy. He promised he’d go slow but then once we were out a little ways in the Baton Rouge countryside he took a detour down a back road and before I knew it he was flying damn near a hundred miles an hour on the mostly dirt and gravel terrain. The road had a bunch of winding curves and Ed started revving the engine, popping wheelies and swerving the damn thing on purpose with me on the back without a helmet and it scared me half to death. He was driving recklessly and he thought it was so funny when I started crying and begging him to slow down and my whimpers and tears only made him go even faster. He was laughing so hard he wasn’t paying attention and before I knew it he’d hit a rock slide and ended up ramming into a deep ditch, damn near flipping the bike and we both fell off. He'd nearly killed us both but thankfully the bike didnt land on top of us. I weighed next to nothing back then... if I hadn’t been holding on to him so tightly I probably would gone airborne. The bike started smoking and he began cursing like a sailor when he realized that he’d burned out the engine and caught a flat tire on the sharp rocks in the process. Those were the days just before everyone had cell phones and we ended up having to hitch hike back to town, covered with bruises and scrapes. Ed's father got the bike repaired of course but I was so traumatized I swore I’d never ride anywhere with him on that thing ever again. I should’ve dumped him after that because that was just the tip of the iceberg of his increasingly crazy behavior, but I found out I was pregnant with Sophia not long after that incident happened and I stayed with him out of obligation until I came to my senses and left him a few months later. I haven’t been on the back of a bike since. I miss it sometimes though. It was so much fun when my brother took me but Ed totally ruined it for me. He ruined a lot of things… may he rest in peace.”

Daryl could see the hint of a long forgotten sadness appear in her eyes for a brief moment as he stared intently at her and he suddenly felt an overwhelming feeling of rage toward Ed. He’d never felt that strongly over a woman he barely knew in his entire life as he felt for her in that moment. Carol wasn’t his but he felt compelled to protect her for some reason.

“I hate to say this ‘cuz I didn’t know your’ daughter’s daddy from Adam," he growled, "and I never speak ill of the dead, but I don’t hold my tongue when something don’t sit right with me and that Ed sounds like he was a bonafide asshole when he was above ground. A man that’d scare his woman like that, do her any harm or even RISK doing her harm for a laugh ain’t no man. In fact, he ain’t worth the spit it would’ve taken 'fer me to cuss him but his ass is still lucky I weren’t there all the same. Carol, I would’a beat the white off of him with my bare hands then I would'a kicked his ass from there to Timbuktu and back. And a bike ain’t no toy! It’s a machine that's due the utmost respect. Jus' like a woman. Ya gotta respect it before ya even think about puttin' yer hands on it! The both of ya could’a been killed… just like that,” he said, snapping his fingers. “But I don’t care 'bout him, none… and he’s gone on anyways, but I’m startin’ to care ‘bout you... A LOT... as a friend.” He then added quickly even though he already knew he wanted more. “You’re a real nice lady Carol, ‘bout as nice as they come. I just met ya but I can tell ya got a good heart and any man that can’t see that or would ever try to hurt ya… well, he just don’t deserve ya.”

"Daryl... I think thats the sweetest thing anyone's ever said to me!" Carol’s heart absolutely melted after his little speech and as she leaned over to peck his cheek in thanks she squeezed his thigh affectionately. “Sorry!” she then said removing her hand like it’d been burned. His strong thigh muscle felt heavenly but it gave her an electric shock.

“Its ok,” Daryl said quietly... He'd felt it too!

They then both immediately changed the subject, opting to focus on much lighter topics but it was obvious that some strong feelings were developing between them rather quickly; quicker than either of them had ever felt before and they weren’t showing any signs of stopping.

Before Carol knew it they were back at the beach house. Daryl replaced the wire and the A/C suddenly came on full blast, FINALLY cooling down the property.

“This feels so good,” Carol moaned as she stood in front of the living room vent. “Daryl I can't thank you enough. You’re a life saver!"

“Stop... There was nothing to it,’” he replied shyly. “Now I guess I’ll get outta yer hair and leave ya be,” he then added sadly. “It was really nice meetin’ ya Carol.”

“You too! Like I said earlier I hope to see you around before you head back to the ATL. I wish I had a way to thank you for everything.”

Daryl stared at the cleavage exposed in the front of her tank. ‘I can think of a few ways,’ he thought to himself. ‘One of which includes letting me bury my face between those perfect tits of yours, and another involves you wrapping those sexy thighs of yours around my head…’ He shook his head to clear his heated thoughts and when his eyes met hers they stared at each other expectantly and Daryl knew he had to man up. Michonne wouldn’t steer him wrong and she’d told him that Carol was indeed looking for someone. He dug deep to get the courage to simply ask her out. He knew he HAD TO at least give it a shot. He didn’t want the night to end because he could feel the strong vibe growing between them. A shred of hope deep inside gave him the feeling that she wouldn’t turn him down so he just went for it. He nervously bit at his thumb. “Ya know Carol, I was really enjoyin’ talkin’ to ya… so much I don’t wanna let ya go just yet. It’s so much more I wanna know ‘bout ya. So, umm… if you weren’t gonna be too busy later on, well after I go get a room somewhere, would you maybe wanna hang out with me tonight? I mean if you don’t have no plans, maybe we could get a late dinner someplace?” ‘Please don’t have any other plans, please, please don’t,’ he thought to himself.

“You mean like dinner… as in a date?”

“Yeah,” he replied holding his breath.

“Then in that case… the answer is YES! I don’t have any other plans… and I’d really like that Daryl. In fact I’d love to hang out with you,” she said with a smile.

“Ya would?” he asked almost in disbelief.

“Sure I would,” she replied with a reassuring smile. Then in that moment, their eyes met again and Carol suddenly decided to just be bold and adventurous for once, and like Michonne said, it was all about taking chances. “Umm… Daryl, this may sound a little forward… I mean we just met and all but… well… hell! We're both such good friends with Michonne. I know she won't mind. Why don’t you just stay here?”

“HUH?” he looked at her incredulously.

“Well, Michonne said you’re family to her and staying here would save you a couple hundred bucks at least. And we could finish talking...”

Daryl looked at her in disbelief. Michonne had said she was sweet but this took the cake. “Carol… you don’t even know me!”

“I know! But I trust Michonne and she said youre family. There's plenty of space here and I know you won't do me any harm.”

“Of course not. I didn’t even mean like that though. I just meant I can't believe you're this nice. Just surprised that’s all! This is awful sweet of you but I can’t possibly impose. I won’t put you out like that! You’re on vacation! Finishin’ yer book! I just know I’d get in ‘yer way. Love talkin’ to ya. Don’t wanna distract ya though…”

“You won’t distract me, and you won’t be in my way… this house has another guest bedroom and a suite in the pool house... I’m gonna be out by the pool writing most of the time, and you can come and go as you please. You said yourself you’ll only be here for two days so you’d be no trouble at all. I'll be here until next Monday! I know we just met so it may be a bit awkward so you can stay in the pool house if it makes you feel more comfortable. It’s fully furnished with cable TV and now that the A/C is working again, it’ll be just as comfortable out there as it is in here but it’s totally up to you. And I don’t mind making meals for two for the next couple of days. I always end up cooking way too much anyway.”

Daryl thought about it. It was crazy. It was INSANE but he had to admit he really wanted to get to know her for some reason so he figured he better agree to it quick before she changed her mind.

“Alright… Ill stay. In the pool house... but only if you’re 100% sure.”

“I’m sure! Now go get your stuff!” Carol didn’t know where in the hell this new boldness had come from but she knew Michonne’s recent advice had something to do with it!

Chapter Text

Daryl went outside to grab the bags from his earlier shopping spree from the truck, then rooted around in the trunk and found another pair of his signature Red Wing work boots that weren’t all scuffed up like the pair he was currently wearing. His first plan of action was to take a hot shower and change before taking Carol anywhere. It was hot as hell and he knew he was sweaty. Before going back inside however he knew he had to call Michonne. He figured that she was curious about what was happening between him and her friend and was probably gonna give him the third degree about it and even though he didn't wanna deal with it yet, he was beyond grateful to her for making it possible for him to even meet Carol in the first place so he figured he should just call her and get it over with. He'd just met Carol a few hours prior but he was already CRAZY about her. He dialed Michonne's cell reluctantly and he wasn't surprised when she answered right away.

“Okay, Dixon spill the beans... but make it quick! I’m in the middle of making lasagna and I'm expecting a dinner guest in an hour or so and I still gotta get dressed! What’s up?”

“Hey. Just wanted to tell ya you were right. Carol’s a great lady. Ok I'll let ya go!" he then addede to rush her off the phone.

"Wait! Hold your horses, partner! Im not in that much of a hurry! So you like her?"

"Yeah... as a matter of fact, I do."

Michonne squealed. “I told you you’d like her! But do you like her or do you REALLY like her?"

"Michonne," he groaned. He KNEW this was gonna happen!

"You KNOW what I mean! I'm serious Daryl! Are you gonna ask her out?"

“Well I...”

She cut him off. "Do you mean to tell me there's no chemistry between the two of you?”

"I didn't say that..." he hesitated.

Michonne smelled a rat! "Daryl. I've known you since I was 11 years old. I know when you're you're withholding information... so SPILL IT!"

"I don't know what you're talking about," he lied with a smirk.

"You know, I could call her right now and EASILY get the dirt, you know that, right? All the dirty details! So you might as well tell me now before I get the scoop from Carol directly and tease you about it forever..."

"Damnit," he groaned. "Fine! We've been talking non-stop for the past few hours, and... I'm crazy about her alright?"

Michonne squealed. "I KNEW IT! So are you gonna ask her out, or what? Don't be chicken!"

"I already did! Were hangin' out later. I think she likes me too," he then added shyly.

"Of course she does, Daryl! Why wouldn't she? Now are you two just hangin' out or are you taking her on a date?" she teased.

"It's a date... she wanted me to clarify that it was a 'date' before she agreed to go."

"My girl!" Michonne chuckled.

"Yeah, but I'm not sure where I'm taking her. Thought we could get some drinks and maybe grab a late dinner somewhere. This is your town Sweetheart... any suggestions?"

"Oooh! Take her to the pier to see the fireworks! And then take her to Dale Horvath's! They're open late on the weekends. But wait a minute... there's something else you aren't telling me... I can feel it!"

"Michonne!"

"Dixon!"

"Fine!" He knew she'd find out eventually so he just went on and told her. "She invited me to stay here instead of getting a hotel, alright?"

"What! Go Dixon! Better yet... go Carol!"

"Its not what you're thinking, ya perv... I'm not even gonna be in the house with her. I'm gonna sleep in the pool house."

"Ummm... the pool house is LESS than a 1 minute walk from the house, you do know that right?" she laughed.

"I know and I know what you're thinking, but this is just to save me some money according to her, and so we can get to know each other a little better. I have to say, we are really hitting it off."

Michonne squealed again at that. "I KNEW IT! I knew you two would click. But you remember what I said, Daryl. She's no one night stand chick. She's a dear friend of mine and you're gonna be seeing her a lot in the future whether you end up together or not so tread carefully if you decide to pursue her. I put in a good word for you so if you screw this up she'll never trust me to set her up with someone else," she laughed.

"Goodbye Michonne," Daryl groaned.

"Bye babe... and have FUN!"

Chapter Text

Daryl went back inside and saw Carol bent over at the waist, digging around in one of the ‘crisper’ drawers inside of the refrigerator. She’d kicked off her tall sandals at the door and was barefoot in those hot shorts and Daryl damn near had another heart attack at the sight of her freshly waxed legs.

‘Honey, I’m home,’ he thought to himself with a naughty smirk as he boldly eyeballed her curvy ass and shapely thighs for the hundredth time that afternoon and his cock stiffened up yet again. “Hey, I’m back. Just had to make a quick call,” he then called out so he wouldn’t startle her, and held one of his shopping bags from the mall in front of his groin so that she wouldn’t see his burgeoning erection.

Carol turned to face him with a big smile and when he approached he saw that she’d retrieved several items from the fridge.

“What’cha got there?” he asked while returning her smile.

She placed the items into a large laundry basket on the table. “Just a little care package for you to take with you to the pool house. There’s a mini fridge out there so I grabbed you some grapes, cups of yogurt, a few peaches, as well as a couple bottles of water, juice and beer and a few canned sodas. They’ll come in handy in case you get hungry or thirsty out there in the middle of the night and you don’t feel like coming all the way into the house just to grab something.” She then tossed a few small bags of chips, a can of honey roasted peanuts, peanut butter crackers and a couple of granola bars into the basket.

“That’s real nice of ya, Carol. Much appreciated,” he then added with a nod. Deep down however, he was thinking of how much he’d rather eat HER if his sweet tooth started hankering for something in the middle of the night and he couldn’t help stealing yet another glance down at the prominent ‘camel toe’ bulge in the crotch of her tightly fitting cotton shorts.

“Fresh towels, washcloths and sheets are in here too, and anything else you need we can pick up while were out. Ya ready?” she asked, interrupting his kinky thoughts as she nodded toward the back door.

“Yes ma’am. Need to get settled in I guess… and I need a shower before we go anyplace. Did you um, have an idea of what you’d like to do later on?”

Carol smirked at him. “Not at all. I didn’t have any plans other than curling up with a glass of wine by the pool to do a little writing before you asked me out. This was your idea so I thought you had a plan!” she chuckled.

“Oh ‘m sorry Carol, I didn’t mean to take you from your work.”

She grabbed his hand and looked into his eyes. “I’m glad you did, Daryl. I can write all next week, remember? But you’re here now, and like I said, I want to spend this time with you.”

Daryl smiled at her. “Well, I do have an idea... I was thinkin’ since we had such a late lunch maybe we could do something else before we get dinner. Maybe walk over to the pier and see the fireworks display then hit the boardwalk for awhile then get drinks and eat over at Dale Horvath’s Surf & Turf… its a bit of a ways down the strip but still in walking distance and our appetites will definitely be back by then.”

“Sounds like a plan. Michonne told me to make sure I went there before I left town. She said their crab cakes are really good.”

“Yeah, I ate there a few times while in town visiting Merle. It’s supposedly one of the best seafood restaurants around and I wouldn’t disagree. Everything I’ve ever gotten there was really good. But if you wanna try someplace else or do something else it’s cool. I’m just glad to spend a little more time with ya, no matter where we go or what we do.”

Carol shook her head no. “Your plan sounds like a great idea!” She then glanced at her watch. “I know Michonne said the fireworks displays start at 9. The piers are about half a mile south of here. Maybe we could head over about quarter of?”

“Cool. Its almost 7 now. That’ll give me plenty of time to get settled in out back, then showered and changed. I’ll come get ya when were both dressed.”

“Okay. I can freshen up a bit also. I just showered and dressed before we went to the store but its hotter than the devil’s front porch outside and I feel all sweaty,” she laughed. “Let’s exchange numbers and I'll text you when I’m ready!”

Daryl nodded and they swapped cell phones to dial each other’s phone numbers then exchanged them back to save the numbers in their lists of contacts. Carol then grabbed the basket and followed him out the back door to the deck.

As they headed toward the pool house at the far end of the yard, Carol couldn’t help admiring Daryl's strong shoulders, bulging biceps, narrow waist and that tight ass of his. She could tell by the way he walked that he was hung like a horse and she damn sure wanted to ride him like one. “What I wouldn’t give to take a ride on that pony! I’d bet my last dollar that he is a demon between the sheets!”’ she thought to herself while imagining all of the ways she'd let him take her. It had been well over a year since she’d last had sex and years since it was really any good and her juices were flowing overtime in anticipation of possibly getting some long overdue lovin’. Daryl definitely seemed interested; she was interested too, probably TOO interested considering the fact that she’d only known him for a few hours; yet there she was, about to go on a date with the man. She knew that she had to be careful however; knew she needed to play her cards right. The last thing she wanted or needed was another broken heart and at the same time she wondered if she could handle a little fling. The problem was, the more she got to know him she realized that Daryl wasn't fling material... he was drop dead gorgeous, fall in love material and if he didn’t feel the same as she did if she truly got hooked on him, she knew she’d be devastated, especially since their closest friends were all mutual, and she’d probably have to see him at group gatherings for years to come. It still amazed her that they hadn't crossed paths before now. She'd been to T-Dog's home as well as Michonne's repeatedly and apparently Daryl frequented their houses as well.

She gazed at his easy stride and could just imagine him deeply stroking her core with that same easy rhythm of his narrow hips. 'The fling just might be worth it,' she thought to herself with a smirk, even if all he wanted from her was a little hot sex to pass the time while he was in town. She knew she’d have to see him eventually afterwards because of their friendship with Michonne however so she planned to use her head but it was gonna be tough to say no if he tried to get her into his bed, and Carol had a bad feeling that he just might. But she couldn’t even blame him. She’d set herself up for this by INVITING him to stay at the beach house with her, with only the swimming pool and a few feet of manicured grass in the yard dividing her guest bedroom from where he'd be in the poolhouse. Carol was no baby; she knew what it meant when a man looked at her the way Daryl did. He'd been eye fucking her all afternoon. He tried to hide it but there was pure, unbridled lust in his stares. Even if there was more behind it, which she hoped there may be, for now LUST was prevalent in his shy yet sultry gaze. She’d caught him staring at her feet, her tits, and most often her thighs and ass more than a few times over the past few hours and just the thought of how he’d devoured his lunch made her core flood and contract with need. Her body was like a ticking time bomb because she hadn’t been touched intimately in so long and she knew Daryl Dixon would probably give her multiple orgasms that would have her addicted to his body in no time flat. ‘Heaven help me,’ she thought to herself (and if she hadn’t been carrying the basket, she would’ve fanned herself too.)

She let Daryl inside the small two room pool house and gave him the set of spare keys to the front door of the main house in case he wanted to leave the premises at any time without her, then left him to get settled in.

Daryl thanked her and told her he’d see her shortly then unpacked all of his new purchases. He brushed his teeth and took a long, hot shower then shampooed his hair. He gazed in the mirror once he got out of the shower. He knew that the overgrown mop on his head needed a professional cut; his ‘bangs’ were damn near past his eyes at that point but the last thing he’d been worried about lately had been his appearance, and he hoped since it was at least clean now that it looked presentable enough to take Carol out. She was a classy lady. ‘Assistant principals didn’t look like her when I was in high school,’ he thought to himself with a smirk. ‘If she’d been at my school I would’ve gotten in trouble on purpose every day just so I could serve detention in her office… UNDER her desk!’ he then thought to himself with a smirk.
He raked his hand through his wet, disheveled hair then combed the tangles out. Carol hadn’t seemed to care that it looked wrecked earlier so he wasn’t too worried as he let it air dry. He then pulled out the grooming kit he’d purchased and clipped his nails then shaped up his scruffy beard and mustache a bit. He then sprayed on a little of the ‘girly’ cologne he’d bought at the mall because he figured it couldn’t hurt and a healthy dose of the Axe men’s deodorant he liked, then dressed in one of his new pairs of black jeans, one of the designer t-shirts from the mall with the Rolling Stones logo on it and its matching trucker cap. He then laced up the clean pair of work boots he’d found in his trunk then stretched out across the little pull out couch in the other room to watch TV to kill time until Carol was ready to go. He knew that she was inside getting ready, or ‘freshening up’ as she’d put it and deep down he hoped she hadn’t changed out of those sexy shorts she'd had on. ‘Damn she’s got some pretty legs,’ he thought to himself.

A little while later his phone started buzzing, indicating that he'd received a text message. He grabbed his phone and sure enough it was a text from Carol that read, “Im ready! Are you ready yet Pookie?”
He immediately responded. “LMAO! Who the heck is Pookie?”
Text from Carol: “You! LOL!”
Text to Carol: ROFLMAO! If you say so Sweetheart. Be right there.”

He grabbed his keys and his wallet and made a beeline toward the house then took the deck steps two at a time to get to her quicker.

“Hey!” she said greeting him at the door.

“Hey,” Daryl murmured. Just as he was about to feel disappointed that Carol had changed out of her tank and shorts, he realized that she’d worn something even sexier, a short, black, halter style, one piece romper and another pair of tall, open-toed wedge sandals that laced up to her muscular calves. His mouth watered at the sight. She looked good enough to eat.

“Hope you didn’t mind the Pookie thing, Daryl. I was just playing around.”

“It’s cool. In fact I kinda like it,” he admitted with a shy smile. “You look really beautiful by the way.”

Carol shyly ran her fingers through her hair. She’d taken extra special care with her makeup and appreciated his compliment. “Thank you! You look some kind of good yourself. You looked hot before but I gotta say, you clean up real nice, Dixon,” she murmured with a sexy smirk. She then caught a whiff of his cologne and leaned in close toward him and boldly sniffed his neck. Her eyes rolled back in ecstasy. “Oh my God, Daryl! And you smell good too… mmm!” she moaned low in her throat. “What kind of cologne are you wearing?” she asked, sniffing him again and again.

Daryl’s cock throbbed… she was so close he could feel her body heat and he could smell her perfume too... and she smelled absolutely delicious. “Um… I don’t know, some girly stuff the old lady at the mall sprayed on me and guilt tripped me into buying,” he said shyly, blushing up to his ears.

"Its not girly... Trust me that's all man!" Carol moaned.

Daryl couldn’t resist sniffing her again as well, inhaling against her neck deeply and he hoped she didn’t feel his erection pressing against her. Her sultry moans kept him rock hard. “You smell nice too, sweetheart… real nice,” he murmured and their eyes met for a long, intense moment and he finally pulled himself away from her before lust got the best of him and he bent her over the kitchen island and took her right where she stood. “Uhh... let’s go!”

"Ok." Carol’s heart raced and she felt a feverish flush of desire at the feel of his stiff cock pressing against her thigh. She played it off however as she locked the back door behind them as they headed out.

Daryl trailed just behind her and noticed that her romper had a ‘backless’ design. He could see that she wasn’t wearing a bra and that her softly tanned back had a few freckles and he wanted to kiss each one. He had to take a deep breath and try to clear his mind of the heated thoughts he was having about Carol if he was going to make it through this date without stealing a kiss or 2… (or 50!)

They took the shortcut path to the main strip and found it jam packed with all of the other beach goers in town enjoying their Saturday night out. They talked and flirted the entire time they walked to the pier and it wasn’t long before they’d joined the two hundred plus other people gathered around to watch the magnificent fireworks display. The exhibition lasted close to an hour and they then walked along the boardwalk for a while. Carol found a few of the souvenirs Sophia wanted her to bring back and Dayl insisted on paying for them. Before long, Carol felt her stomach growling.

“Well Daryl, I’m finally getting a little hungry. Are you?”

“Yes, ma’am… I’m starved! Let’s head over to Dale’s. You sure you’re okay walking all that way in those high heels though? The place is about a mile or so further down the strip and I can get us a taxi if ya want.”

“Oh no! I’m fine! These are pretty tall but espadrilles are surprisingly comfortable and easy to walk in.”

“Alright, well at least let me carry yer’ shoppin’ bags ‘fer ya.”

“You’re awful sweet, Dixon.”

“Stop,” he murmured, blushing slightly. “Umm... let’s head on down before it gets any more crowded with the late crowd than it probably already is in there. It’s going on 10 already.”

When they arrived at the restaurant, it was indeed crowded but they didn’t have too long of a wait before they were seated in a cozy booth that had a moonlit view of the ocean. Their waiter, a polite young man who introduced himself as Noah, soon brought them a basket of hot, freshly made hush puppies and a pitcher of sweet tea, then took their drink orders.

The smells wafting up from the kitchen were mouth-watering and Carol perused the menu not sure of what she wanted to try first. “What are you having Daryl?”

“For an appetizer I’m gonna have the raw oysters and an order of the mini Surf & Turf burger sliders.”

“Surf and Turf burger sliders?” Carol asked.

Noah spoke up. “Ma’am, they’re like regular burger sliders but with a crab ball on top and served with lettuce, onions and cheese on a pretzel bun with mayo and a dollop of Dale’s homemade tartar sauce and they come with a small scoop of Ms. Irma Horvath’s homemade coleslaw.”

“Trust me… they’re delicious,” Daryl assured her.

“In that case I’ll take a small order of those also,” Carol agreed.

“Very good ma’am. And for your entrée, sir?”

“For my entrée I’ll have a couple of Dale’s famous Maryland style crab cakes and for my sides, I’ll get the baked macaroni and cheese and the candied yams… even though I know I won’t be able to finish all of it.”

“Very good, sir,” Noah replied, entering the order into a portable electronic tablet. “And for you ma’am?”

“I keep eying this King Sized Surf and Turf platter. I think I’ll have that, and add a crab cake too please.”

Noah looked at her incredulously then glanced at Daryl with a raised eyebrow and Daryl smirked at him with a nod and a chuckle. “Will do. And would you like the chicken or steak option ma’am?”

“I’ll have the chicken, please.”

“Choice of two sides?”

“Um, the mac and cheese… and the garlic mashed potatoes I guess.”

“Okay, and the salad bar is on your left near the balcony seating area. I’ll be back shortly,” he said with a little smile that Daryl seemed to understand but had Carol a little lost.

“What was that all about?” she asked with a shrug. "What's so funny about the salad bar?"

“It’s obvious that you’re a newbie!” he laughed. “It's not the salad bar, it's everything else that goes with it! That platter’s a beast! Trust me, I made the mistake of ordering it before. It’s enough food for three people not to mention the freakin' salad bar. The pic on the menu doesn’t really do it justice. It comes with king crab legs, jumbo shrimp, lobster tail, fried clams, scallops, fried whiting fish, and a serving of seafood pasta, along with the choice of steak or chicken and two sides plus the soup and salad bar!”

“Oh dear! Well why didn’t he say anything?”

“That’s what you said you wanted!” Daryl laughed. “He couldn’t say, ‘are you sure?’ now could he?” Daryl laughed. “But don’t worry… you can always take the rest home… if you can’t handle it all that is.”

“That has the ring of a challenge to it,” she said with a smirk.

“Could be…” he chuckled, purposely baiting her. It always amazed him to watch women eat large quantities of food, especially small built chicks like Carol. They could usually go to town on a big meal, and he had no clue where they put it all.

“You think I couldn’t finish it all?”

“If I were a betting man, I’d bet my last dollar that ya couldn’t! I couldn’t even finish it, and Im a red blooded man who does hard manual labor all day long!”

Carol playfully kicked his boot with her toe. “Now you listen up Dixon… I’m no featherweight… I bet I could finish that whole damn platter in one sitting if I really wanted to! I’m not one of those ‘eat like a bird while I’m out on a date,’ kinda girls… I like to eat!”

“I like to eat too,” he murmured with a smirk, taking a big swallow of his sweet tea while staring at her intently.

“I bet you do, Pookie,” she countered with a chuckle and a wink of her own as she headed over to the soup and salad bar. She got a small cup of the cream of crab soup and returned to the table, and a little while later, Noah brought out their appetizers and drink orders including Carol’s white sangria with peaches and blueberries, Daryl’s double whisky shot, and a pitcher of ice cold lite beer for them to share.

Before long the main course entrees arrived. Everything was delicious and they drank and pigged out until they were stuffed to the gills and not to mention quite tipsy and they flirted and gigged at each other until it was going on midnight. As Daryl predicted Carol could NOT finish even half of the massive platter she’d ordered and had to get most of it packed up to go in doggie bags. Daryl had his sides packed to go as well, and neither of them had any room for any of the great desserts on the menu such as the key lime pie, homemade banana pudding, nor the house special chocolate truffle layer cake.

As Daryl paid the bill and gave Noah a handsome tip, he asked him if he could speak with his manager. A few moments later, a tall, cheerful looking elderly man with a mixed gray and white beard wearing a khaki fisherman’s bucket hat came over to the table. “Hello folks, I’m Dale Horvath. My manager on duty this evening is busy at the moment so I came to see what you needed personally. First let me say thank you kindly for dining with us this evening. My wife Irma and I appreciate it more than you know. Now how can I help you?” he asked with a sincere smile. “I hope everything was satisfactory.”

“Our meals were delicious and the service was excellent.” Daryl replied with a smile. “Our waiter was great. This is my third or fourth time here, but my date this evening, well this was her first time.”

“And did you enjoy your meal, ma’am.”

Carol smiled. “Yes sir I did... everything was so delicious and the portions were huge! Please give my compliments to the chef.”

“You’re looking at one of ‘em,” Dale said with a grin. He then shook Daryl’s hand as they stood to leave. “Sir you’ve gotta bring this pretty lady back and see us again.”

“You hear that, Pookie?” Carol said with a giggle. “Mr. Horvath says we gotta have another date!”

“I wouldn’t miss it,” he said with a smile.

“G’night, folks,” Dale then said as they headed out the door. “See ya’ll next time!”

Once they got outside, Daryl called for an über taxi. It was late and they had several bags and not to mention, Carol was so tipsy that she’d already tripped twice, and he didn’t want her to fall in the tall shoes she’d worn.

Once back at the house, neither of them wanted the night to end.

Daryl took her hand and kissed it softly. “I REALLY, really had a great time tonight, Carol. I’m so glad we could spend this time together.”

“Me too Daryl. Thank you for a wonderful date. It was the most fun I’ve had in ages. In fact, I don’t want this night to end.”
They stared at each other for a long time and it was obvious that they both wanted to screw around. Carol was so tempted to ask him in for a cup of coffee, but she was so long overdue for some good dick that if he so much as touched her she'd end up riding him like a cowgirl in her bed all night long.

Meanwhile, Daryl was so tempted to ask her to get into the Jacuzzi with him, or to take a midnight swim but he knew that if he had his way, they’d end up skinny dipping which would lead to him begging to go down on her which would then lead to him screwing her brains out until morning!

So they parted on mutually neutral terms with a sweet hug and plans for a morning swim followed by a brunch date. The hug lingered on however and before long Daryl shyly asked to kiss her… and of course she said yes, and that single romantic kiss held the promise of much more, hopefully to come sooner than later! (Daryl was only gonna be in town for one more night after all!) ;)

Chapter Text

Ch. 22 Sunday Fun Day

Around ten that next morning the bright morning sunshine invading the pool house windows woke Daryl out of his deep slumber. He’d slept great, considering the fact that he’d fallen asleep with a damn near severe case of ‘blue balls’ that he’d had to resolve in the shower from fantasizing about having sex with Carol all day and half the night yet not being able to, and after dreaming about making love to her in a variety of positions all night long as well, he’d awakened to a case of ‘morning wood’ of epic proportion. He wondered if Carol had been thinking of him as well throughout the night as well and if their goodnight kiss was any indication, she most definitely had. He then began fantasizing all over again, wondering what she’d worn to bed… if anything… and pondering if she’d had to touch herself the way he had to get any sleep and those erotic thoughts led to him having to take care of his throbbing erection in the shower all over again. Once he got out he happened to look outside and spotted the object of his desire leisurely swimming laps in the pool. Daryl stepped out of the pool house and watched her intently. She was doing the backstroke and he could see that she was wearing a black bikini and his cock immediately grew hard all over again. He cursed and tried to suppress the overwhelming feeling of desire to possess her that was coursing through him. He was soon to be 35 years old, and no other woman from his past had EVER had an effect on him like this. Not his first real girlfriend Dawn, the older, gorgeous older college girl he’d lost his virginity to while he was still a senior in high school; nor Cicily, the beautiful young woman he’d married at age 21 at the height of his sex drive, and not even Rosita, the sexy cocktail waitress, who’d completely stolen and broken his heart that previous summer, nor any of the other women he’d loved and lost in between.

Daryl had had his fair share of hot sex and romantic relationships in his time; he was handsome and easily attracted women and not to mention an amazing, patient and considerate lover who gave his woman his all in the bedroom. But he wasn’t the average ‘dog’ who chased every skirt that came his way; he’d gotten around a bit when he was younger but was a one woman man when he was in a relationship, and rather shy in some ways and he’d never fallen for anyone this quickly in his life. He knew that it was insane how badly he wanted Carol after only knowing her for a day, but he couldn’t help himself. There was just something about her that had drawn him in and even though they’d only met the day before, he felt like he had to try to spend every moment with her that he could. As crazy as it sounded, it just felt right, and he was glad Michonne's A/C conked out and was even grateful to Merle's crazy ass for causing him to some to Savannah in the first place. He and Carol had crossed paths a few times in the past but hadn’t ever met somehow and heaven only knew when they would’ve met in future or if they wouldve clicked so quickly under different circumstances so he was glad things had happened the way they did or he wouldn’t be there with her at that moment. Carol's every look, every smile, every word and every little touch during their date the night before had been so special to him and the goodnight kiss he shared with her had blown him away. He could’ve taken her right then and there; that’s just how turned on he’d felt when they parted for the night. He could easily tell that she wanted him too and he could only hope that she wanted more than just sex.

He knew that a woman like Carol could easily have her pick of men to love her forever. She was beautiful, talented and although she wasn’t stuck up in the least he could tell that she had money, class and was used to the finer things in life. He figured that she couldn’t possibly feel the same way he was feeling that quickly and hoped she wasn’t just using him to get her ‘groove back,’ as some older women sometimes did by using younger guys as sexual studs to pass the time. He knew he had to give it a shot however; something told him that Carol was NOT the type of person to purposely use anyone or try to hurt them or waste their time. If she felt anything for him at all, and gave him a real chance, he was willing to go as fast or as slow as she wanted to go, just to get to know her better and be in her presence. And if he EVER got the chance to make her his own, he knew he’d never let her go.

He headed out to the pool where Carol was by then swimming underwater toward him from the shallow end. He quickly climbed down the ladder into the deep end and treaded water for a few moments and when Carol came up for a breath at the wall he was smiling right beside her. “Top o’ the morning to ya ma’am!”

Carol was startled but she grinned big as anything and her eyes lit up happily at the sight of him. “Good morning to you too Dixon! You startled me half to death, you know that?” she giggled, splashing him playfully.

“Didn’t mean to scare ya, Carol… just wanted to join ya if ya don’t mind. Thought it’d be a surprise,” he said with a little smile.

“It was a surprise alright but not an unwelcome one, I assure you. How are you this morning, handsome?”

“I’m alright, beautiful. How about you; did ya sleep ok?”

“I slept great. I had a full belly and a bit too much to drink last night so once I finally dozed off I slept like a log,” she chuckled. “I had to come out here and get a workout in this morning after that big dinner!”

“You didn’t even finish half of your food!” he chuckled.

“I know! And did you sleep okay?”

“Alright I guess. That pull out bed in the pool house ain’t half bad. I got a little confession to make though… Got kinda lonely out there all by myself,” he admitted, stealing a nervous glance at her.

Carol’s eyes sparkled with interest. “Oh really?”

“Yep… kept thinking ‘bout ya.”

“Oh really,” she murmured, inching closer to him.

“Yeah. Thinking ‘bout you… and about that kiss.”

“The kiss! Well that’s funny… I couldn’t stop thinking about you … or that kiss either,” she replied inching even closer to him. “In fact, thinking about that kiss kept me up for quite a while,” she murmured before boldly slipping her arms around his shoulders. “You gotta admit, it was pretty awesome.”

“Damn right it was,” he murmured, pulling her in closer and gently tracing her back with his fingertips. “I might be outta line here but I was thinkin', maybe we oughtta try it again sometime,” he murmured, staring into her eyes.

“Definitely… the sooner the better in fact,” she murmured, and before she knew it he’d grabbed her by the waist and wedged her up against the corner wall of the deep end of the pool. Within seconds they were locked in another smolderingly hot kiss; his lips closing over hers greedily as his long tongue glided against hers hungrily and passionately. Carol absolutely melted all over again as she returned his kiss, moaning low in her throat from the feeling of his soft lips and his hot, wet tongue, his scruffy mustache and that freshly trimmed beard devouring her fully as she ran her fingers through his hair. Daryl in turn growled hungrily into her mouth as he held her above water while kissing her then possessively ran his hands up and down her spine.

Carol boldly wrapped her legs around his waist and her core flooded from feeling his thick cock jutting out against her through his swimming trunks. That combined with the sounds of his passion filled grunts and moans as he kissed her passionately was almost too much as the intense feeling his huge, strong hands on her body made a powerful sensation flow all through her. She needed to feel him inside her!

Daryl was an AWESOME kisser and it had taken every shred of restraint Carol could muster in her tipsy state the night before to refrain from dragging him to her bed in the guest room so that they could ravish each other’s bodies. It had been so long since she’d been kissed like that… it damn near took her breath away. She could’ve kissed him for hours, and could only imagine what more he had to offer. He then boldly rubbed at her stiff nipples with his thumbs through her wet bikini top and she moaned from the pleasure as he kissed her again and again.

They finally separated and watched each other intently. Daryl then took her hand in his. “Carol, I’m sorry if that was a little too much but I can’t help it. I want you,” he admitted, tracing the sides of her breasts with is fingertips, then pulling her tightly against him under the water to let her FEEL his desire for her. He was staring her dead in the eye, and his rigid cock against her belly left no doubt to what he meant.

“Oh wow... me too! But it’s so soon. We’re just getting to know each other and I don’t want to ruin it. I feel like,” her voice trailed off.

“Yes?”

“It’s gonna sound crazy,” she sighed, averting her eyes.

“I’m listenin’ sweetheart,” he said sincerely, then tilted her face until their eyes met again. “And in case you’re wondering, I’m not seeing anyone, Carol.”

“Me either,” she sighed with relief. Michonne had told her that he was single but hearing him say it was a huge load off her mind, and now that he’d put it out there the possibility of something more between them suddenly seemed like a real prospect.

Daryl kissed her again and they finally parted and he caressed her cheek. “I’m sorry, Carol, just couldn’t resist. Please finish what you were about to say before.”

She took a deep breath. “Well we just met but I like you so much already. And I want you too. I mean I REALLY want you,” she reiterated, with a bold, lust filled stare leaving nothing to his imagination about her meaning. “I’ve never felt this way… never wanted anyone so quickly before. But not just physically either.”

His icy blue eyes bore into hers. “I feel the same, but I didn’t want to say anything for fear of scarin' ya off. I mean… we just met YESTERDAY!” He chuckled before pecking her lips again. “And we know a bunch of the same people. If it doesn’t work out it’d be awkward. But I wanna get to know a hell of a lot more of you. I know it’s insane but I’m definitely feelin' somethin' for you deeper than just friendship too, and it’s not just what you’re thinkin'.”

They shared another heated kiss. Neither of them could get enough of the other. Finally Carol broke the kiss. “Look Daryl… we’re both adults, and we obviously like each other...”

“And we’re DEFINITELY attracted 'ta each other,” he whispered, nibbling at her neck sending hot flames of desire down her spine.

“Oh yeah,” she moaned. “So…”

“So…”

“Maybe we can try…”

“To see where this goes," he finished her sentence again. "Why fight it any longer? Neither of us is promised tomorrow. I’m not saying rush headlong into anything yet, but why not explore this?”

“Yeah… I agree. I’ve never felt this way before. Let’s… well like you said, see where it goes. We both live in Atlanta thankfully. I’ll be home next week. If you'd like, maybe we can see each other once I come back."

“I’d like that too… A LOT. But for now…”

“For now we’re both here and I want to get to know more about you too. It can only go as far as we both let it, and if anything changes, we’ll let each other know before either of us gets hurt. Deal?”

“Deal. Now can I have another kiss?”

“You have to ask?” she murmured before sliding her arms around his neck and boldly kissing him again.

They then swam and splashed around in the pool for another hour or so before finally getting out.

“So… are we still on for brunch?” he asked.

“Oh no."

He looked a little disappointed. He’d really wanted to take her out.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to go out with you but not to eat just yet. I can fix you breakfast if you want but after that meal last night I probably won’t be hungry for hours. How about you let me make you dinner later on though?”

His smile returned. “Sounds good to me.”

They went into the house and Carol fixed coffee, then prepared him a vegetable omelet, opting only for a little fruit for herself. Again she watched him eat and it turned her on something fierce.

Daryl suddenly had an idea. “Maybe you’ll let me catch our dinner and put that grill to good use. This is the second meal you’ve made me. Now it’s my turn to show off my culinary skills.”

“You wanna go fishing, then fix me dinner?” she laughed.

“Yeah, why not?”

“That would be awesome. But I must admit going fishing never was my cup of tea,” she chuckled.

“I figured that. Maybe I could go by myself a little later and let you write for a bit, then meet ya back here. Gotta stop back past my brother’s place anyway so maybe I’ll find a fishing spot out his way. Lots of lakes over in Bayside. Most of his stuff was gone but I saw that some of his fishing equipment was still in the garage. I’m sure I’ll find a good spot.”

“That would be great. But what do we do in the meantime? Just because we aren’t still going out for brunch doesn’t mean I’m not letting you go just yet,” she flirted.

“I don’t know. What do you wanna do?”

“Don’t ask me that,” she said with a wink. Then she got an idea of her own. “This may sound silly, but I spoke to my daughter early this morning and she reminded me that Carl, that’s her boyfriend, is taking her to play mini golf this afternoon. Maybe we could follow suit… or maybe go bowling perhaps if you’re game.”

“Let’s do both. We've got time, its still early!” he suggested. “But prepare to meet your doom, my dear,” he teased. “I’m the bowling and mini golf champion!”

“Sure!” she teased. "Put your money where your mouth is!" she challenged.

They got dressed and ended up spending a couple of hours at Savannah Lanes, followed by completing a two round match at the Family Fun Mini Golf Course on Ocean Boulevard. Finally Daryl dropped Carol off back at the beach house with the promise of returning in a few hours, and after a long chat with Michonne, she got a good amount of writing done in the interim, (particularly inspired by her recent inspiration!)

Around seven o’ clock Daryl returned with a few strings of the fish he’d caught at a lake not far from his brother’s home. He grilled them up out back and Carol made a salad. Dinner was delicious and after talking some more and letting their food digest awhile, Daryl asked Carol if she wanted to take a ride up the shoreline for his last night in Savannah. She agreed and wasn’t quite sure why he’d told her to bring a sweater until they went out to the driveway and she saw the huge black Harley Davidson motorcycle sitting in place of his truck.

Carol’s jaw dropped. “Oh my goodness Daryl! Where’s your truck? Whose bike is this? Is it a rental?” she immediately bombarded him with surprised questions.

“Bike b‘longs to Merle,” he said shyly. “My truck’s at his place. He wouldn’t mind me borrowin’ it, none. Just had this idea earlier… was hoping you’d let me take ya out on it... was hopin’ I could help ya remember why ya loved riding back in the day, forget 'yer fear. Will ya come with me, sweetheart? I’ll go as slow as ya want and keep ya safe. I promise, Carol.”

Carol knew he wouldn’t try to hurt her or scare her like Ed had all those years ago. She’d only known him for a day but somehow knew she could trust him. Her eyes shone with happy tears. “I’d love to.”

Chapter Text

Daryl easily lifted Carol onto the bike and then climbed on ahead of her and she held onto him as he then drove about 20 miles out, slow and easy, just like he’d promised, up the main beach strip, past the boardwalk area and all of the hotels and motels, past the bright lights of the nearby casinos, amusement parks and strip malls, then past the town of Savannah itself until they were on one of the ocean side roads that ran parallel to the undeveloped Georgia coast and after a while, only the occasional passing cars, the bikes sole headlight and the clear moonlight overhead was lighting their path.

It was beyond romantic and Carol wasn’t afraid in the least because he’d kept his word and drove at a relatively slow, yet steady speed. She still held tightly onto his broad, muscular chest however, but that was just because she REALLY liked touching his body. His delicious smelling cologne was intoxicating to her and she couldn’t help occasionally burying her face against the side of his muscled neck and planting kisses there.

Daryl liked the way she felt up against him, it was like her arms holding onto him was how it was meant to be. And when she surprised him by nuzzling and kissing his neck, it made him want her even more all over again. Once they arrived back in Savannah he didn’t take her straight back to the beach house, he pulled over and parked near the boardwalk area so that they could walk on the beach for a while. They stopped for ice cream cones on the boardwalk then walked hand in hand along the shoreline line near the hotels for well over an hour, and while out there, Carol ended up telling him the entire story about Ed's abuse, and later about her passionless marriage and later divorce from Tobin. He then told her about his own brief marriage and divorce when he was much younger and the pain he’d dealt with concerning his break up from Rosita that past year. They then discussed a few other not so pretty aspects of their past relationships and it soon became evident that they’d both been looking a long time for someone to make them feel precisely what they were feeling for each other. Carol felt it was a little soon to lay all their past relationship issues out there but she then reasoned that time wasnt promised them. They weren't getting any younger. There was no time like the present and she wanted them to be honest with each other about the past before possibly starting a future together. What they had was new and pure and honesty was the best policy. All they had left was their future together and she couldn’t wait for it to begin.

Hand in hand turned into arm in arm and soon Daryl’s strong arm was wrapped protectively around Carol’s shoulder, holding her tight as they walked along the shore. They hugged and kissed a lot too but after a while it started getting really late and a bit cool out as well so they finally decided to head back to the beach house.

Once there, Daryl walked Carol inside and before heading to the pool house, they shared another hot goodnight kiss that lasted so long they were breathless afterward. They stared at each other intensely before he spoke. “I’d better go now. I want you bad, Carol,” he panted.

“I want you too,” she admitted, then kissed him again and again. “I want you so much, but…”

“No buts, honey. I need ya tonight. Do you want me to stay?” Daryl moaned, running his big hands up her back while softly sucking her earlobe.

“Mmm... I do… but I just don’t want to ruin it too soon. Please... Can you just...”

“Anything you want, Carol. No pressure... please just tell me what you want me to do,” he panted against her neck as he kneaded her ass in his strong grip.

“Mmm.... Daryl?”

“Yeah, sweetheart?” he murmured between licking and nibbling at her neck, making her moan.

“Mmmm… the way youre touching me and kissing me... I can hardly think straight! Its your last night here. Would you... sleep with me Daryl? Please?” she asked shyly. "I want to feel your body against mine... Your strong arms around me."

“Hell yeah I will, woman! Thought you'd never ask,,” he growled, breathlessly, attacking her lips again with more hot kisses while sliding his calloused hands up her tank to get to her breasts, then thumbing at her stiff nipples through her lacy bra.

“Oh that feels so good… mmm.. how did you know my breasts are so sensitive?” she moaned.

"Had a hunch," he murmured, pinching and squeezing at them gently.

She moaned again but then reluctantly squirmed away. “But I really just meant sleep with me, Daryl. As in SLEEP…” she then added in a louder, clearer tone, staring him dead in the eye and letting him know in no uncertain terms that she DID NOT mean sex. As badly as she wanted him she still wanted a bit more time. It was risky territory she knew; Daryl was a highly virile and due to her getting him all riled up he was currently extremely HORNY, but he’d said no pressure and wanted her to be honest about what she wanted so she put it out there. Somehow she knew he wouldnt cross the line or pressure her in any way she didnt want.

Daryl's jaw dropped however as he stared at her in utter and complete disbelief. Talk about a drop kick of disappointment... to the jaw at that! He felt like she’d suddenly dumped a bucket of ice cold water over his head… ( well, both of his heads!) He immediately stopped kissing her and stepped back quickly. His dick was so hard it could plow packed earth, but even for as much as he wanted to fuck her senseless at that moment he’d respect her wishes if it killed him. He took a deep breath and let out a disappointed sigh. It was the HARDEST thing he’d EVER had to say in all his life, but he replied, “Uh.. yeah…. umm… sure Sweetheart, whatever you want. I’ll..." he gulped, "sleep with you. I mean we can SLEEP together. But ummm… I um,” he gestured and stared down at the tent his cock was making in the crotch in his jeans. “I uhhh… really need to take care of this first. Let me go take a cold shower real quick.”

Carol felt a little bad about the current state of his cock (and deep down she wanted to DEVOUR it in more ways than one) but she squealed inside from happiness because he was being so understanding and patient with her. It only made her want him more and she knew that when they did finally do it he was gonna TEAR her ass UP... in the BEST possible way! “Great. I don’t wanna move too fast. I just need you to hold me tonight. Go get your shower in the pool house. I need one too after that bike ride and walking on the beach for so long, so I’ll head up and leave the back door open for you. My room is the first on the left when you come up the stairs.”

He gulped. “Ok… see you shortly.” He pecked her lips again and as she turned to go upstairs, he smacked her hard on the butt and she giggled as she darted up the steps. He couldn’t help gazing at her sexy legs and her perfect ass and once she was out of sight he let out a groan of disappointment.

Daryl shook his head in disbelief as he headed out to the pool house. He was in PAIN; he just knew that his poor, neglected balls were most likely a bright shade of royal blue at that point from wanting her. His rock hard dick was unbearably stiff and it was almost hard to even walk straight but he finally made it to his destination. He ripped his clothes off with lightning speed and as soon as he got into the shower he immediately grabbed his long, swollen cock and abruptly began jerking off hard and fast, moaning Carol’s name out loud from the intense pleasure. He knew it couldnt compare to her warm flesh taking him deep inside but it wasn’t long before he came hard, squirting stream after stream of his hot, backed up seed against the shower floor in record time as he fantasized about ravishing Carol in every position he could think of. Once sated, he laid his head against the shower wall and took a deep breath, nearly exhausted from his explosive climax, yet curiously wanting, needing more. Now that he’d had his release, he knew he could’ve gone for hours if Carol gave him the slightest chance to get inside what he just knew would be her tight, soaked core. She’d revealed that she hadn’t been intimate with anyone in well over a year so he knew she’d feel like heaven inside as he took her again and again. He tried to shake those lustful thoughts and many others from his head but found it nearly impossible as he then scrubbed up and quickly changed into a pair of pajama shorts and a t-shirt before heading over to the house. He knew it was going to take all the restraint he had in him to refrain from making love to her with such intensity that she’d be calling his name loud enough for the neighbors to hear, and at the last moment, grabbed his wallet (which contained several condoms,) just in case…

He darted up the deck stairs in the dark, then let himself inside the kitchen door then locked it behind himself. The low hum of the now working A/C was purring quietly as he crept up the stairs and as he turned left he saw that her guest bedroom was slightly ajar and a single scented candle was burning on the dresser.

“Carol,” he called out just above a whisper. “Come in,” she replied softly and within seconds he was snuggled under the sheets with her and he thought it felt like coming home. She smelled like marshmallows and vanilla from the shower gel and body cream shed used and he inhaled deeply before devouring her neck with hot kisses. As he kissed her again and again, he couldn’t wait to get his hands on her body and he immediately went back for her soft breasts through the thin, short nightgown she’d chosen to wear for bed. He cradled them gently in his hands then proceeded to pull the straps of her gown from her shoulders before covering them with soft kisses then suckling gently at her nipples. Carol cried out from the intense pleasure and he then caressed and rubbed her curvy thighs and that ass he’d been fantasizing about and it didn’t disappoint him in the least. Sh was wearing a pair of lacy panties and her cheeks felt just as firm and soft as he hoped they would and his manhood throbbed from the feeling, but he held it at bay.

They kissed slowly and gently and caressed each other all over while they kissed for well over the next hour or so, gently exploring one another’s bodies with soft touches and kisses that brought tears to her eyes from the passionate pleasure but it was much more romantic than anything, and after a long while she finally fell asleep wrapped in his strong arms and she knew there was no other place she’d rather be.

Daryl on the other hand loved the way she felt in his arms, and just before he finally dozed off, he pressed a soft kiss to her forehead, knowing then and there that he never wanted to let her go.

Chapter Text

When Carol awakened early Monday morning, the soft, faint streams of sunlight gave the guest bedroom a hazy glow. She hadn’t slept that well in ages but she felt so hot that she almost thought that the air conditioner was broken again. It wasn’t long however before she realized that it was Daryl Dixon’s hot body wrapped around her own that was making her sweat! It was far from an unpleasant surprise however.

"I could get used to waking up like this,’ Carol thought to herself as she gazed down at the gorgeous man still asleep in her bed. Days ago she'd been feeling lonely and unwanted and now she had this sexy Adonis practically smothering her, who'd throughout the night had repeatedly tried to snuggle up even closer and she was happy to let him. At the moment he was damn near on top oh her; his face was nestled just beneath her neck and his scruffy mustache and beard was tickling her bare breasts because somehow her short cotton nightgown had ended up on the floor the night before and only her lacy bikini panties remained. His strong, muscular arms were wrapped around her waist holding her close to him, his big hands were cupping her ass, one of his heavy, powerful thighs was draped across her own and the other was wedged comfortably between her legs since late the night before. The coarse hair on his muscular legs tickled her freshly waxed ones deliciously and she could feel herself growing wet once from arousal just by being so close to him all over again. She’d already repeatedly soaked her panties throughout the night from him slowly kissing and passionately touching her all over, but the most sensitive part of her, he’d neglected to touch. She knew it was taking everything in him to hold his desire for her at bay and if he’d touched her core he would’ve immediately discovered her molten liquid desire for him and he wouldn't have been able to resist consumating their passion and she would've allowed it without a second thought. But Carol had wanted to wait a little longer and Daryl respected that so he was careful to stay away from the hot spot between her legs, focusing instead on her breasts for the most part and she was careful not to touch his rock hard cock, even though she could feel its hot, massive length and girth throbbing against her thigh more than once throughout the night and LONGED to get her hands (and other parts) on it.

Carol let out a lazy yawn and stretched a little, and even though he was still asleep, Daryl grasped onto her waist a little tighter. He rubbed his face into her neck and moaned her name.
Her jaw dropped. ‘He’s dreaming about me,’ she realized and suddenly the sound of his husky, sleep heavy voice turned her on more than ever. At that moment she wanted him inside her; her nipples tingled and her core flooded once more with her pent up desire. Carol felt like kicking herself! Why in the HELL had she been denying this amazing, sexy man who’d already made it more than clear that he wanted more than friendship with her? He’d wanted her so badly the night before that she’d actually felt sorry for him and enough was enough! It was risky, but suddenly she felt like if they were meant to be together, (which despite the short time they’d known each other she truly felt that they actually might,) sleeping with him either sooner or later wouldn’t change that. And she was horny… REALLY HORNY at that point so why not! She knew it was a hasty decision but she decided to take the bull by the balls (literally) and just get exactly what she wanted for once.

She slid her arms around his neck then leaned down and began covering his face with soft, sensual kisses. “Daryl,” she murmured his name softly, repeating it a couple times until he began waking up.

“Mornin, sweetheart,” he murmured with a yawn and a grin.

“Good morning. I know I shouldn't have awakened you but I couldn’t resist. I need a kiss,” she admitted.

"I'll be happy to oblige as soon as I take care of this mornin' breath situation,” he said with a smirk, causing them both to giggle.

"Me too!"

They both jumped up and made a beeline to the en suite bathroom to brush their teeth and the minute they got back into bed, Daryl climbed on top of her and possessively claimed her lips with his own, and her low moan filled him with desire for her all over again. He boldly caressed her bare breasts while tongue kissing her then kissed and licked her neck before slowly crawling down her body toward the foot of the bed. “Did ya need these kissed too?” he asked, stopping once st eye level with her chest before smothering her globes with soft kisses then taking one nipple between his lips, sucking on it gently then going to the other to give it the same treatment.

“Oh God... yeah!” she panted, already wanting more.

Daryl feasted on her breasts. Kissing and sucking until they were both breathless then he trailed more kisses down her belly and dipped the tip of his tongue into her navel before planting kisses all around it, making her squeal from the ticklish sensation. He then let out a low gutteral moan. He could smell her arousal just below and her scent was making his cock throb. “Need me ta kiss ya down here too?” he then groaned, trailing his lips just above her panty line then pressing them softly against her core right through the thin silky lace separating them. “Mmmm... I wanna kiss ya right here, Carol," he whispered and she squirmed under him because every word he uttered tickled her overheated flesh. "C'mon sweetheart... let me taste ya,” he murmured with a playful smirk, licking his lips hungrily before placing a series of the soft pecks along her panty line to her inner thigh.

"Daryl..." Carol gasped. She could feel his heated breath wafting over her clit right through her panties and his scruffy beard was tickling her inner thighs in such a way that made her want to spread them open WIDE for him. She desperately wanted to feel his hot tongue between her legs... teasing her, tasting her arousal and feasting on her clit with abandon. She closed her eyes tightly and let out a long low moan. She couldn’t remember the last time she'd had good oral sex but she KNEW that Daryl was gonna have her hooked on his skillful tongue if his slow, deep French kisses were any indication.

"Let me eat yer pussy," he then murmured in a seductive, pleading tone. "Please..." He wanted to taste her so very badly and he wasn't above begging for it. "Wanna taste ya so bad."

She looked a bit apprehensive but for only a moment, then their eyes met again and she shyly shook her head yes. His intense stare was making her feel weak. "Okay," she murmured.

Daryl let out a groan of thanks as he immediately began tugging her soaked panties down her legs and off. As he crawled back up beside her he trailed soft, sucking kisses across her toes, over her instep, up her calves then across her curvy thighs. "Been meanin' to tell ya... you've got the prettiest legs I've ever seen, Carol," he whispered between soft kisses and gentle caresses and she thanked him shyly.

"Pleasure's all mine, darlin', believe me," he replied with a wink. He then looked up at her with a serious expression. "Just lettin' ya know Carol... I don't do this fer everybody. If I go down on ya woman, it means I'm serious 'bout ya and I'm gonna want ya all the time," he murmured, nodding toward her center. "Nothin' I love more than pleasin' my woman like this. Can't just be some one time deal, sweetheart... Once I get a taste o' ya I ain't gonna want nobody else. Don't plan on goin' no place neither... unless ya tell me to back off." He stared up at her intently through the long dark bangs in his eyes and she nodded her head, feeling reassured that he really was planning on sticking around and at that moment she was impatient to feel his lips where she needed them the most.

"I trust you, Daryl... Please... I need it... Kiss me there, please," she moaned pulling him closer.

"Yes maam," Daryl murmured as he settled back between her thighs and his eyes zoomed in on the buried treasure now exposed between them. His mouth watered as he gazed at the tiny butterfly shaped thatch of curls at the top of her mound that she'd gotten waxed at the salon a couple of days prior. “Damn Carol... yer beautiful all over,” he murmured reverently before raising one of her shapely legs and draping it over his shoulder and she gasped as he then immediately began nibbling at her inner thigh then pressed a hot kiss directly against her core. "Mmmm..." he murmured after flicking his tongue through her soft, dampened curls. He used his broad shoulder to nudge her thighs open a little wider to get at her better and she gasped loudly as he then licked a long greedy swipe up the seam of her like he couldn't wait another second to taste her.

Daryl growled as he slid his long tongue between her slick folds and worked it against the tip of her clit. He realized just how soaked she was for him when she spread her legs open wide and draped her other thigh over his shoulder and his greedy tongue sunk inside her drenched slit. "Damn," he moaned in surprise as her juices drenched his lips and mustache and just as he suspected, he was hooked after the first taste of her sweet nectar.

"Oooh," Carol gasped from the shocking sensation as the tip of his long tongue then attacked her sensitive clit and she threw her head back in ecstasy as he began to flick at it again and again in a steady rhythm, up and down, then from side to side, and then he began greedily lapping up every drop of her juices with ravenous intensity, devouring the hot nectar as it dripped from her core.

Carol was in ecstasy... she just couldn't stop moaning. She'd had oral sex before... damn good oral sex at that but she immediately understood that Daryl Dixon was the BEST she'd EVER had. "Daryl... oh gawwddd!!! Yes! Right there baby....aahhh yeah. Eat it just like that... Mmmm don't stop!" she gasped as she wound her hips in a driving rhythm, pumping her wet snatch against his lips and practically riding his thick, burrowing tongue as it plunged inside her core and all around her clit. His hot panting breaths, rough, scruffy beard, soft lips and that devilishly long, snake-like tongue of his were driving her crazy as he tried his best to devour her alive.

“Mmmm,” he moaned as he slid his tongue up and down her folds to taste her juices again and again. He'd been rock hard from fantasizing non-stop about eating her pussy for the past two days and he now knew it was well worth the wait as he licked circles around her clit and up and down her entrance. Carol squealed and buried her fingers in his long hair and pulled gently as he explored her pussy with his hot, greedy tongue and they both moaned from the illicit pleasure.

“Mmm..,” Daryl groaned again between deep, probing licks with the flat of his long, broad tongue. He couldn't stop tasting her and the feeling from her lightly pulling on his hair was driving him nuts! He suckled her clit between his lips and gently shook his head from side to side, making her squeal from the pleasure and causing another deluge of her hot nectar to pour forth onto his waiting tongue. "Hell yeah," he grunted as he lapped at her core; eagerly pushing her thighs even further apart with his strong hands then holding them up and back, keeping them spread open wide for easy access to lick, suck and munch on her juicy, swollen clit as much as he wanted and for as long as he wanted, despite her trying to squirm away every few moments because the electrifying pleasure was so intense. Her juices continually dripped like hot honey onto his waiting tongue and he greedily lapped up every drop. “Mmm... ya taste so sweet... like honeysuckle,” he growled between long licks from the front to the back, glancing up at her with an intense stare and their blue eyes locked. "Im claimin' it... this pussy's all mine, woman," he then grunted in a possessive tone before sinking his long tongue deep inside her core, then began plunging it in and out. "Mmmm... Mine," he grunted again, a little louder, between hot, sucking kisses while staring her down. "Say it," he murmured against her clit before sucking on it greedily, making her shiver and moan, and refusing to break eye contact while demanding a response as he devoured her.

"It's yours," she gasped weakly, bucking against him for more friction from his long tongue. His intense stare and the pleasure of what he was doing to her was making her feel dizzy and faint with need.

"Can't hear ya," Daryl grunted, smacking her thigh hard, making her squeal as he slowly slid his long, thick tongue up and down her slit before rapidly thrusting it back inside her slick folds. He lapped up the nectar leaking there and was impatient for more. "Whose pussy is it?"

"Oh God," she gasped as he sucked on her clit then slid the tip of his tongue further down...

That wasn't the response he wanted, and he smacked her ass hard with his open palm, making her gasp in surprise and causing even more of her nectar to squirt onto his waiting tongue. "Wanna hear ya say it's mine... come on... say it," he insisted, then pushed his long tongue back inside her soaked core.

"Aaahhh... fuckkk," Carol whimpered from the pleasure. "It's yours Daryl... its all yours! Mmmm... please..." she moaned a little louder as she shook her head yes in agreement, feeling faint from his tongue's greedy exploration of her hottest spots. His wicked tongue was licking her into submission.

"Damn right it's mine... and don't you forget it, woman," he groaned, possessively gripping her ass tight in his big, calloused hands, before resuming greedily licking her pussy faster and faster. His long, slightly rough tongue slithered between the lips of her sex then lapped against her clit again and again until she was whimpering and begging for more. He then closed his mouth over her entire core and sucked HARD before hungrily lapping up the juices spilling from her all over again.

All Carol could do was lay there whining and moaning as she took his intense, exquisite, and seemingly endless tongue lashing. "Feels sooo good... Daryl please... don't stop! Its so good... Yesss!" she moaned again and again as she tugged at his long hair. She needed his long tongue relentlessly licking her core like she needed her next breath. She felt like kicking herself for denying herself this intense pleasure for the past two nights. He could have BEEN pleasuring her like this! Daryl was absolutely insatiable as he ate her out. "Fuckkk... Daryl.... You're gonna... gonna make me cum so hard," she gasped breathlessly as she ran her fingers through his hair, caressing his scalp and ears. "Please. Don't. Stop. Please! Oohhh.... yesss... I'm gonna cum! Im so close," she gasped.

"I know... I can feel it... give it to me," Daryl grunted between his primal, almost savage licks to her soaked core. He could tell that she was really close and he wanted it to to be good for her so he was being quite relentless about it making it happen. His long, greedy tongue lapped at her pussy hungrily and soon he had Carol crying, gasping, sobbing and shaking from his passionate onslaught as her core contracted in surprise from the pleasure when he then gently pushed first one then two fingers deep inside her wetness. Her walls squeezed around them in a vice like grip and she squealed loudly from the pleasure as he slowly curled them upward, gently flexing his fingertips against her g-spot and her walls clenched around them again and he chuckled as she cried out in ecstasy as he began working them in and out in a driving rhythm, all while sucking and nibbling on her clit hungrily until she came HARD, squealing Daryl's name loud enough to wake the neighbors as her body began convulsing from her wet, squirting orgasm, drenching his mustache and lips with her long overdue release.

It was more pleasure than Carol had felt in YEARS and she felt totally weak and spent. It took her a long while to recuperate, and it didn’t help that he kept kissing and lapping at her still tingling clit in an attempt to make her cum again. He couldn’t get enough and she soon did just that, and she moaned loudly as the pleasure of her second climax exploded deep within her core and finally her clit was so sensitive that she had to push him away and beg him to stop, just so that she could breathe.

Daryl laughed at her when he finally slid back up her body and Carol held his face in her hands as she kissed him again and again with happy tears in her eyes.

“You okay?” he then gasped in surprise as she suddenly and abruptly pushed him down and boldly climbed on top of him, roughly straddling his hips before licking and kissing his neck and chest.

“I’m great!” she purred into his ear before licking a slow trail from his ear lobe to his throat. She then sat on his lap, pulled his T-shirt off and threw it on the floor then rocked her core against his hard cock right through his shorts.

“Mmm...” he moaned. “I’m feeling great myself right about now too. Fuckkk,” he then groaned as she then boldly palmed his rock hard length.

“Daryl… I have a confession to make,” she murmured, releasing his cock to trail her nails against his neck then caressing his strong, muscled chest, paying close attention to his nipples.

“Ya do?” he gasped in surprise as he stared at her in disbelief. His long, thick cock was already straining against his pajama shorts in all its usual morning glory and going down on her had only made it worse... much worse in fact. Now Carol’s sensual kisses and soft caresses were only making him harder than ever. It was going to be a huge struggle to refrain from taking her for once and for all if she didn’t stop.

‘Yes, I do. I’ve been very selfish, Daryl,” she whispered between kisses down his chest. “I’ve been denying you of something that you want… and something that I desperately need. I wanted you so much but had a genuine reason for not sleeping with you last night. I didn’t wanna ruin what we’ve got going by cheapening it by sleeping together too soon… but life’s too short. There’s nothing bad about giving and receiving pleasure with the one you care for and you just proved that in more ways than one! You said you want to be more than friends and so do I. And maybe we should take it slow… but for right now… this moment in time… I want you,” she said, locking her blue eyes with his. “I NEED to feel you inside me and there’s no time like the present. We’re adults… if we’re meant to be together, we will be whether we make love now or later.” She then claimed his lips in a hot tongue kiss while she trailed her hand down his chest, then traced his navel with her fingernails, making him wince from the pleasurable sensation, before sliding her hand inside his shorts to finally caress his massive cock flesh to flesh. "Oh shit...,” she giggled happily as she finally felt its weight and length as she wrapped her fingers around him firmly and squeezed. She close her fingers around his girth but just barely. He was long and thick and she knew he was going to be the biggest man she’d ever been with. “Mmm…” she moaned from the anticipation of feeling his massive tool deep inside her soaked, neglected core, filling her up and stroking her sweet spot.

“Damn, Carol!” he moaned into her mouth as she began jerking him, tugging and pulling on his stiff cock harder and tighter with a slow, steady rhythm. He then raised his hips so that she could pull his shorts down his legs and off. “You’re ‘fer real ain’t ya?” he groaned.

“Oh yeah,” she murmured with a wink. "I want it!" She then knelt beside him and grabbed a hold of his manhood. She was mesmerized by his long, thick, heavily veined cock as it pulsed and expanded in her hands as she massaged and squeezed it. “Daryl... Your cock... its SO big… she gasped in awe, "mmmm… I just wanna return the favor!” Just the thought of taking him in her mouth was making her salivate.
For once Carol was taking control and gonna have exactly what she wanted. All she’d ever wanted was passion… and now she’d gotten it in the form of a certain Mr. Dixon. She winked up at him again then leaned down to gently kiss the swollen, sensitive, mushroom shaped tip of his thick cock then started lapping up the hot, slippery pre cum leaking from its slit. “Mmmm,” she murmured out loud as she then licked up and down his length like it was melting ice cream cone and Daryl let out a hoarse, strangled cry as she then finally took him inside her hot mouth, closing her lips around the swollen head of his cock and sucking on it greedily, then slowly bobbing her head up and down on it as she swirled her tongue around the tip again and again.

"Fuckkk," Daryl groaned loudly as he leaned up on his elbow to watch her devour his cock, staring in disbelief as the innocent looking former school principal sucked him off like a pro. "Mmmm... that feels so good, Carol!" he moaned.

It had been YEARS since Carol had allowed herself the pleasure of pleasuring her man and she was in another world. She winked at him before suckling and lapping at the sensitive vein on the underside of his cock, teasing him before suddenly taking as much of his length inside her mouth as she could. Inch by inch she swallowed him as deep as she could down her throat, making him cry out as he tried to control his bucking hips. Carol moaned as she began swallowing around him again and again as she sucked, greedily milking him and making him whimper and moan in ecstasy before she abruptly pulled off, releasing his cock with a loud pop. She was hungry for more however. His going down on her had unleashed the beast inside and when she came up for air she gave him a naughty wink.

“Damnit Carol, don’t stop now… please!” he panted in a begging tone. She'd already released him however and he groaned as his stiff shaft bobbed back against his belly. "Fuck... Please... I'm so close," he whimpered. "Don't stop now, honey, pleaseee!" The pleasure was incredible and he desperately needed to sink his shaft back between her hot, moist lips so that he could cum.

“Only if you forgive me for making you wait so long,” she begged playfully, lightly massaging his swollen, sensitive balls between kiss after kiss directly on the head of his shaft. “Please?” she teased before taking the head of his cock back between her lips and swallowing around it again and again before teasingly lapping at the slit with the top of her tongue.

"Fuckkk," he moaned loudly as she then engulfed his sensitive shaft back in her hot mouth. Daryl's eyes rolled back and he was speechless as he enjoyed her attention to his cock for a few more moments.

"You forgive me?" Carol moaned around him as she sucked, the vibrations from her words almost driving him over the edge. Daryl knew he had to move or he'd blow his load much too soon. It was tough but he mustered up the resolve to pull away from her warm, wet, intimate kiss. “Well, I don’t know if I can forgive you just yet Ms. Carol,” he said with a smirk, sliding his cock out of her hot mouth with a loud pop, and disengaging himself from underneath her. He was the man and enough was enough. As much as he wanted her to resume sucking him off (she was really giving him the best head he'd. EVER had,) it was time for a little payback. It had been months so he figured he could wait just a little longer.

She gazed up at him in surprise. ‘What do you mean?” she asked.

“You know EXACTLY what I mean, woman. I damn near DIED last night from wantin’ to taste ya and make love to ya so bad. I think you need to be taught a lesson,” he murmured with a playful wink.

“Well I said I was sorry Pookie,” she pouted, gazing at him with sad, puppy eyes. She reached out and boldly caressed his rigid, swollen cock. “And I tried to make it up to you, didn’t I?”

Daryl moaned from her touch. “Yeah ya did… got off to a damned good start too... but it's just not enough. I still need some real retribution!” He then stood at the foot of the bed. “You need to suffer... like I suffered. Now assume the position!" he grunted with a naughty smirk.

Carol had an idea of where he was going with this. “And just what position would that be Mr. Dixon?” she asked with a flirty grin.

“Down on ‘yer hands and knees," he murmured, eagerly rubbing his hands together.

“What are ya gonna do... Spank me?” she asked with baited breath in a flirty tone.

“Damn right,” he growled. "Get on all fours. Now. Ya deserve to be punished fer what ya put me through," he snapped.

"Well Pookie, it's not really a punishment if I WANT you to do it, now is it?" she murmured, glancing back at him with a naughty smirk and a wink while eagerly assuming the position he wanted her in.

Daryl raised his eyebrow at her in surprise. The woman had spunk, that was for damn sure... and he liked it. A LOT. He snorted. "Don't much matter. Been dying to get my hands on that ass o' yers, woman. Gonna spank ya good whether ya like it or not. You've been a very naughty girl, Ms. Carol," Daryl then murmured just before his big hand then began repeatedly sharply smacking her fleshy ass cheeks again and again. Not hard enough to hurt her but enough to make her whimper and turn her her flesh a rosy pink shade before long that only turned Daryl on more. The sight of her arching her back and thrusting her ass back for more and the sound of her loud, wanton moans made his cock throb. He couldn't take anymore and he abruptly dropped to his knees behind her and resumed eating her pussy from the back, making Carol squeal and her eyes roll back and not to mention making her toes curl from the naughty pleasure. Daryl couldn't get enough but by then he REALLY needed to get off. He stood and grabbed a condom from his wallet and after making sure she was ready for him to enter her soaked core their hot, overexcited bodies finally joined as one. "Oh that's so good..." he moaned as his thick cock FINALLY sunk deep inside her wet heat from the back. "Carol... yer so tight... mmm... fuck!" he grunted as he pulled out and slid back inside again and again, plunging deeper inside the wet, sucking heat with every easy thrust. "Ahhhh.... it's been so long!" Daryl moaned loudly as he squeezed her ass with his big, work calloused hands and pulled on her hips as he repeatedly pumped his cock deep inside her core from the back, and was soon stroking her vigorously as they screwed in the doggy style position. He kept up the pace, occasionally smacking her hard on the ass while they went at it and after awhile she collapsed breathlessly from the pleasure and moaned with abandon as he just kept stroking inside her while laying flat on top of her on the bed. She was so wet for him it was driving him nuts and he moaned even louder as he rapidly pummelled his length and out of her tight, soaked core until he exploded with a loud, animalistic grunt, flooding the condom with his hot release. Daryl rolled over exhausted then tugged the condom he'd worn off just to rest a few moments but Carol wasn’t having it! "More!" she demanded as she abruptly grabbed another condom then climbed on top of him, straddling his thighs to ride him in the cowgirl position.

"Wait," he begged as she began vigorously stroking him back to hardness then slid the fresh condom into his stiff shaft.

"No... that dick is mine, and I want it... Now," she murmured into his ear as she slid down onto him until he was fully seated in her core. Daryl moaned as she began to take him in and out of her soaked center, swivelling her hips in a vigorous steady rhythm until he begged for mercy.

"Fuck... it's all yours, Carol," he grunted as she rode him hard and it wasn't long before he erupted again, spilling into the condom while he was buried deep inside her. They laid still a long time just catching their breath then before long somehow they ended up in screwing a third time in the missionary position. Daryl had NEVER had such a quick recovery time but with Carol he was insatiable and knew he had to make up for lost time. He had to be on top that time while he claimed her. He’d been longing for her for the last two days and he let her know it as he pumped away inside her soaked core with the purpose of making her his own, causing her to cry out from the pleasure, loud and long. Daryl put his back into it as he stroked her slow and deep, lavishing her with praise and kissing her passionately while going at it until they finally came together. They were both exhausted from multiple orgasms when he finally pulled out of her soaked core and rolled exhausted onto his back but after awhile it still wasn't enough and they soon pleasured each other in the 69 position until they were completely spent. It was a little after ten when they finally collapsed in defeat.

“Goddamn!" Daryl gasped when he could finally speak again. "Talk about a good mornin',” he moaned happily. His cock literally ached from the back to back orgasms he'd just had. “Mmm... yer gonna be the death of me, woman!" he replied before kissing Carol's forehead. "Can’t think of a better way I’d like to go out though…” he then added with a lazy smile. “I gotta make you mine now..."

Carol snuggled up close to him and he slid his arm around her shoulder. She could only moan in response due to the powerful pleasurable feelings still coursing through her body.

Daryl chuckled. "Good thing I brought the condoms in with me just in case last night, he sighed after finally catching his second wind. "We damn sure needed 'em after all. And now I need a cigarette!"

“Me too... and I haven't smoked in 20 years,” Carol moaned contentedly; other than that she was speechless. Her whole body buzzed from the pleasure she felt radiating deep in her core... she felt more sexually satisfied and relaxed than she ever had in her life.

They laid here and talked a while then finally reluctantly got up to face the day. Daryl pulled his shorts and t shirt back on then slipped into his flip flops and grabbed his wallet and Carol watched his reflection intently in the bathroom mirror where she’d gone to run herself a hot bath. It was Monday, Daryl’s last day in Savannah and Carol hoped they hadn’t broken the spell by plunging over the edge too quickly… “but boy had it been worth it,” she thought to herself.

“Wanna get some breakfast before I head over to my brother's?” he asked, coming up behind her, wrapping his arms around her and kissing the side of her neck.

“Sure,” she said quietly.

“Man I’m starved. I could really go for some pancakes,” he added, then noticed her concerned expression. “What’s the matter Carol?” he asked in a concerned tone.

“Nothing…” she pouted. “I’m just hoping we made the right decision. I mean I don’t regret a thing… but…” her voice trailed off and he kissed her soundly before she could utter another word.

“Nothing’s changed between us Carol. Nothing.” He was thoughtfult for a moment. “Well one thing changed. A great thing. We got closer… and I’m (smooch) not (smack) going (smooch) anywhere (smack),” he murmured each word between kisses. “You think I’m letting yer ass go now? Forget about it!”

“I know," she sighed with a giggle. "Just gonna miss you bad that’s all. We’ve spent the past 48 hours together! And now this morning…”

“I know. But this ain't it! This is just the beginning for us. So we made love after only knowing each other a couple days. SO WHAT? We're fallin' in love ain't we?" She looked into his eyes and knew she was sure too so she shook her head yes. "Damn right and that's what lovers do. Besides... Were grown and we used protection and we’ve made it clear that we wanna be together. Its gonna work out, I can feel it. And we live less than half an hour apart in Atlanta. But I gotta handle this business with my brother, and I gotta go back home tonight for work. Duty calls, sweetheart. I got a shit load of jobs that have to be finished by the end of this week. But I PROMISE you, I want to be with you even more than I did before.”

She looked at him with a playfully unconvinced smirk.

He stared at her incredulously. “You think I aint gonna miss ya once I get home? Course I will! In fact, I’ll probably break my damn phone textin’ and callin’ ya so much everytime I get a free minute. You’ll probably get tired of me interrupting yer writin!”

“Not a chance,” she smiled, reassuring him.

“Good. Cuz’ my heart would be broken, if ya dropped me now,” he said with a sincere smile and kissed her soundly once again. “Now you take yer bath and get dressed, and I’ll go shower, get dressed then pack up my stuff, and then we'll get some breakfast.”

An hour or so later they were cuddled up in a booth at a local diner, kissing happily between feeding each other their breakfast orders, Daryl's blueberry pancakes with bacon and Carol's cinnamon French toast. Just then, Daryl’s cell phone began vibrating across the table. He grabbed it and glanced at it, then damn near choked on his coffee. “Goddamn it!” he nearly shouted, causing several of the diner patrons sitting nearby to turn in his and Carol's direction and giggle in surprise. “Sorry folks,” he murmured aloud, looking around sheepishly.

“Who is it?” Carol asked in surprise.

“Merle! And he wants to know where in the hell is his damned bike!"

Chapter Text

Daryl was relieved that his brother was alive at least yet at the same time he was so thoroughly pissed off with him that he felt like punching a hole through a wall.
“Excuse me, Carol honey but I gotta call him back right away, and the words we’re ‘bout to exchange ain’t fit for this fine establishment.” He opened his wallet and stuffed two twenties into her hands to pay their bill and cover the tip. “You go on and finish up yer food and get that little girl that waited on us to wrap the rest of mine up to go. I lost my appetite,” he muttered. “Tell her that she can keep the change and I’ll be outside whenever you’re ready.” Carol shook her head in understanding and he kissed her soundly before leaving her to finish her breakfast.

Once outside, Daryl leaned against the bike and stared at Merle’s text. It had come from Merle’s cell, the same one that had been dead for days so he just knew that his brother was back at his apartment. He immediately hit the re-dial button and the phone rang so long that Daryl was afraid he wasn’t going to answer but Merle finally picked up just before the voicemail kicked on.

“Hey there Darylina,” Merle drawled, calling Daryl by the childhood nickname he’d given him in his usual slow, backwoods Georgian accent. “Long time no hear from!” he chuckled.

“I guess not!’ he exclaimed. “Yer damn phone’s been dead for over a week! And you haven’t called or answered anybody’s calls in damn near a month. What the fuck’s goin’ on Merle?” Daryl shouted. “The whole family’s worried sick, all yer customers have been callin’ me and Axel about handlin’ yer jobs and then I drive my ass all the way down here to Savannah get some damned answers and find the shop closed up tight and yer apartment empty, except for yer damn dead cell phone. Ya know I thought the worst… ya know that right? I felt sick thinkin’ somethin’ horrible must’ve happened to ya. Then yer’ tenant, that snot nosed fucker with the mullet… Eugene or whatever the fuck he calls himself, informs me that ya’ moved out weeks ago and were gone to Vegas!”

“Last time I checked I was all grown up brother!”

“Yer grown alright but that was just downright childish Merle! Yer so selfish!”

“Didn’t think I needed yer permission to switch up where I lay my head at night.”

“You don’t but that’s not the point Merle! Of course you can move if ya wanna, but let somebody know what’s goin’ on! And Vegas! Fuckin’ Las Vegas of all places; the last damned place in the world yer ass needs to go, and you know it! Especially since yer’ havin’ money problems!”

“Money problems?” Merle asked incredulously.

“Yeah! Money problems! Axel told me all about the ten thousand ya owe him, and then ya’ took another ten grand from our joint account without tellin’ us squat, and then I find out yer’ ass is gamblin’ our family business account’s hard earned savings away out in Vegas? I’m gonna kick yer ass when I see ya!”

At that Merle burst into hysterical laughter and Daryl saw RED. Merle had taught him to fight when he was a kid and at 7 years younger they BOTH knew that Daryl could hurt him pretty badly now if he wanted too, yet Merle continued to crack up laughing all the same. “Oh! You think this shit is funny?” Daryl shouted. “We were all worried sick! Damn near ready to file a missing person report. Now I gotta kick yer ass TWICE! Just you wait ‘til I get over there!” Daryl was FUMING!

“Okay, okay! I‘m sorry little brother! Didn’t mean to scare nobody! I’m fine! Just so much has been goin’ on, Ole’ Merle’s head has been up in the clouds,” he chuckled.

“I bet it has! You ain’t usin’ again are ya?” Daryl asked with baited breath.

“Hell no I aint usin’ no damn drugs no more! Other than a little weed from time to time I ain’t got high on any of the hard stuff in as long as I can remember. You know damn well I been clean well over 10 years! I even cut way back on my drinkin’ last couple of months if you can believe it and I feel great! What in the hell made ya think a ridiculous thing like that? Just cuz my cell phone was dead fer a few days? Jeez!”

Daryl breathed a huge sigh of relief but went on. “That’s great to hear but what in the hell were we supposed to think, Merle? Ain’t nobody heard from your ass in I don’t know how long and now I find out you’re borrowin’ big chunks o’ money and gambling in Vegas. I thought you were on some kind of a bender or something! You in some kinda trouble?”

“Oh, I’m in trouble alright,” he laughed, “but not the kind you’re thinkin’ bout!”

“Huh?”

“And I admit I gambled a bit while I was out there… won a little, lost a little… but not enough to bankrupt Ole' Merle," he chuckled. "But look man, I’ll explain all that later. I take it you haven’t talked to Ole' Axel on this fine morning?”

“No, I ain’t. He been trying to call me? My ringer’s been off since late last night now that I think about it... I was uh… indisposed.”

“Indisposed? Well excuse me Darylina! Oh!!! I get it! Ya been usin’ my baby to pull chicks over on Savannah Beach? I figured that was where you'd gone off to with my damned bike!” he exclaimed with a laugh.

“Well, I knew you were comin’ back today and I didn’t think you’d mind! You’re the one taught me to ride… you know I wouldn’t get a scratch on ‘er.”

“I know… the only thing that kept me from hittin’ the roof when I saw that she was gone this mornin’ was when I saw your truck parked out back. But I gotta say, I’d appreciate it if you returned her to me, pronto. Wanna take 'er out for a ride later. I’m itching to burn a little rubber! And yer ass needs to call Axel.”

“No, YOU need to call Axel and tell him all about how you thought it was okay to gamble his money away in Vegas! And ya need to call yer Ma & Pa and everybody else who’s been worried sick about ya. Look man, I gotta drop someone off but then I’m headed out to your place in a few.”

“Must be a chick?" he laughed. "She got nice tits?”

“Not a chick. A lady. My lady... and her name is Carol so don't you worry yerself none about her tits!”

“Oooh! That nice, huh?" he giggled lewdly. "Well excuse me once again Darylina! Got yerself a new girlfriend, huh? Well before you and yet girlfriend go high tailin’ it over to Bayside, remember I’m not at my old place anymore...”

“I gotta go back there. I need my truck remember? And aren’t ya there at the office collecting yer rents?” Daryl asked, rolling his eyes.

“Man I picked up those rents over an hour ago then I split to make it to the bank to deposit the checks before they closed. They always close early on Mondays, and I have a lot of work to do here at this house.”

“Well I’m at a diner in Savannah Beach. Was only hangin’ around town ‘til I got a chance to catch up with you. Either way I need my damned truck! I’m heading back to Atlanta today, now that I know yer ass is alive and well.”

“Don’t you worry ‘bout yer truck none. Bring me my baby and we'll make an even exchange. I got yer truck right here with me.”

“Well where the hell are ya? You said yer at a house. You doing a job?”

Merle just grunted. “You could call it that. And I’m right here in Savannah... well kinda. More like the outskirts of town. I’ll text you the address in a minute. See ya soon Darylina,” he said then hung up.

“Damn Merle,” Daryl groaned. He then tried to call Axel but got no answer, and a moment later, Merle sent him a text with his current location. “10987 Harrison Valley Road, Savannah, Georgia.” Daryl punched it into his GPS on his cell and when he looked up he saw Carol exiting the diner. He watched her from a distance and she was so beautiful she took his breath away. He quickly started up the bike and rode over to her at the entrance. “Need a lift?” he asked with a small smile.

“Sure do, handsome,” she said before pecking his cheek.

“Oh hell naw... what’s with all that cheek stuff? You know I want those lips, woman,” he growled before leaning in for a REAL kiss that took her breath away.

Carol let out a low moan when he finally released her lips and she felt weak in the knees as she climbed onto the bike behind him, purse and doggie bag in tow. “Everything okay with your brother?” she then asked, nuzzling his neck with her cheek.

“Yeah,” he sighed. “Merle’s as tough as nails. He was in Vegas but thankfully the bastard didn’t gamble his share of the family business away. He’s already back to work thank heaven. Out on a job right now somewhere here in Savannah. He’s got my truck and he wants his bike back ASAP so ya got two options. I can either run you back to the beach house now, or you can ride with me to get my truck and then I’ll drop you on my way home.”

“Daryl,” she murmured into his ear. “You know I wanna spend every minute I can with you before you leave,” she admitted.

“I was hoping you were gonna say that. Let’s roll, sweetheart.”

Chapter Text

Daryl’s GPS led him to a large, beautiful wooded area about 25 minutes outside of the Savannah beach area. They passed through a large gate and after driving a few more moments he pulled over and tried to call Merle but he didn't answer.

“Is this the place?” Carol asked above the roar of the bike’s loud engine.

“GPS says it is… but according to that sign we just passed back at the gate, and from the looks of those grounds up ahead this is a freakin’ golf course!”

“I saw it. Harrison’s Golf & Equestrian Resort and Country Club. Looks like some kinda fancy place for rich people.”

“Yeah. I’m surprised they let us in through the gate without a membership pass,” Daryl snorted. “Merle said he was here workin’ on a house, and now he isn’t answering his damn phone!” he groaned.

“Maybe he typed the address in wrong on the text he sent you.”

“Could be… or maybe he’s doing some landscaping work on one of the buildings here on the property. Let’s go a little further then I’ll try to call him again. Keep your eyes peeled for my truck.”

Carol nodded and they took off, gliding at a slow speed around the curving road, past acres of beautiful palm and weeping willow tree lined paths bordering several neatly manicured golf course zones on one side and on the other riding trails, each occupied with dozens of patrons playing golf, riding horses and riding around on golf carts. Before long they saw several large barracks style buildings with dozens of fancy cars parked all around each of the entrances, and several work trucks and other vehicles parked in the rear. There were also a few other larger buildings facing a large pond inhabited by wild ducks, geese and swans, and peacocks were seen to be roaming the property as well. After driving around for a few more minutes, Daryl pulled over and flagged down a tall, balding man wearing a cheap looking business suit. It was obvious that he worked there; he was wearing a name tag that read Gregory.

The man’s nose wrinkled up at Daryl and he spoke in a faux cheerful tone. “Hello. Are you folks here for the picnic or are you by any chance lost?” he asked with a smirk, looking down his nose at Daryl and Carol.

Daryl stared him down. “We're lost man. I’m looking for my brother and I think he’s here.”

“Your brother. I see. Well is he a club member, or possibly a guest of a member here?” the man asked in a haughty tone that clearly said that he doubted it highly.

“He’s a contractor here workin’ on a job. I needed to meet up with him before he gets done and this is the address he gave me,” Daryl replied and showed the man his cell phone with the text from Merle on the screen. "It's really important."

“Oh… well sir, this is a country club! The entire property has this exact address, but all of the resort buildings are coded by numbers and letters and are usually listed after this number including the overnight suites, the stables, dining hall, pool house, spa and all of the other facilities.”

“I see. Well my brother is here possibly doing some landscaping work on a house at this address, but I didn’t see our company truck parked around here anywhere.”

“You mean he doesn’t work here... for the club I mean?”

“Nope.”

:You mean he’s an outside contractor?” the man asked, looking confused.

“Yes. Owns his own firm.”

“That’s impossible!” Gregory exclaimed in a huff. “I’m the maintenance manager and am in charge of all the scheduling and we don’t have any outside workers scheduled to be on the property today. There’s a huge garden party taking place on the grounds in another hour so there isn’t any maintenance work going on done today. Unless of course Mr. or Mrs. Harrison themselves hired someone to work on their private residence. Their family owns the resort, and they also live here in a compound on the grounds.”

“Then they’re probably the one's who hired my brother, Merle Dixon. He specifically said it was a house he was working on.” Daryl whipped out his wallet and showed the man one of his company business cards. “I’m just here to meet with him briefly then I’ll be on my way.”

“So you two aren’t here to help out?” the man asked with a somewhat sarcastic and smug look on his face. Daryl was on a motorcycle, no tools in sight, with a woman dressed in a short sundress and tall wedge sandals on the back.

“No,” Daryl said, ‘asshole,’ he then immediately thought to himself.

"Of course not," Carol said with a smile, 'asshole,' she then immediately thought to herself.

“Just kidding, people," the man chuckled, then his lips made a thin, line across his face. “Unfortunately, I just remembered that Mr. & Mrs. Harrison are out of town, on an extended vacation in Hawaii. Their daughter, Andrea, heiress to the family fortune, is house sitting so I seriously doubt that this brother of yours is at the house. In fact, she just arrived into town herself last evening with a guest, and when I saw her earlier she didn’t make any mention of a contractor coming today, whatsoever.”

“Okay, but if her folks made the arrangements with Merle to do the landscaping work on their house weeks in advance, this Andrea person wouldn't know about it anyway, and neither of the owners would actually have to be here for him to do the work, now would they?” Daryl asked with a smirk. "At least let us check."

Gregory looked ticked off because he’d been outsmarted, but if Daryl's story was legit, he didn't want to hold him up any longer than he had to. He had business of his own to attend to, namely kissing up to all the rich patrons attending the picnic. “Fine, Mr. Dixon, or whatever your name is,” he snapped, glancing at Daryl’s card again before thrusting it back toward him. “I’ll escort you myself. But if he isn’t there, I’m gonna have to ask you folks to vacate the property immediately. This is a private club and I am in charge,” he sniffed.

“Whatever you say Mr. boss man,” Daryl grunted, causing Carol to have to smother her laugh.

Gregory hopped onto one of the golf carts nearby and led Daryl and Carol about another mile or so down the road to a hidden tree lined path. In the distance, there was a large, beautiful stone mansion that sat on a hill overlooking an Olympic sized swimming pool, tennis courts and a large, beautiful pond.

As soon as they pulled onto the large circular driveway, Daryl spotted his old work truck, which stood out like a sore thumb while parked alongside a small fleet of luxury cars, including several Mercedes Benzes, a Bentley, a Maserati, Rolls Royce, well as a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, and a Fiat among a few other high end, posh vehicles.

“That’s it right there,” Daryl shouted to Gregory over the bike and golf cart engines while gesturing toward his truck.

“Fine,” Gregory muttered, pissed off at being wrong. “But I’ll accompany you to go and get him!”

“Whatever man!” Daryl hissed. That clown was REALLY pissing him off!

“Calm down Pookie,” Carol purred in his ear with a smirk, rubbing his neck, before placing a kiss there.

The three of them went up to the massive front entrance and Gregory rushed ahead to ring the doorbell. A moment or so later, a housekeeper in a traditional black and white uniform came to the door. Her name tag read Kay. “Good afternoon, Harrison residence,” she said in a sharp British accent, while greeting Daryl and Carol with a warm smile. She then glanced at Gregory with a sour smirk. “Gregory.”

Before Daryl could say anything, Gregory cut him off. “Yes Kay, these folks are looking for a Merle Dixon. Some kind of contractor or something. He’s probably out back," Gregory gestured to the rear of the house while rolling his eyes in mock annoyance.

The maid ignored him completely however. Her eyes lit up and she smiled as big as anything at Daryl. “You must be Mr. Dixon’s brother?”

“Yes ma’am, Im Daryl Dixon. And this is…” he looked at Carol with a reassuring smile, “my girl, Carol.”

Carol smiled big as anything and said, ‘how do you do?” while she shook Kay’s outstretched hand. Kay gave them both another big smile. “Mr. Dixon is expecting you! Do come in! He’s right upstairs. He just finished up some carpentry work in the guest wing and was about to start painting Miss Andrea's old nursery! I’ll get him for you,” she said, ushering them inside.

“Upstairs? Oh, so he does indoor work, too,” Gregory muttered in surprise as he came slinking in after them, curious to see why these people were being treated like royalty by the normally cold head of housekeeping at the Harrison estate. (Truth be told, Kay wasnt actually cold in the least she was just abrupt with Gregory because she knew that he was a pompous, brownnosing asshole...)

The party was led into a large and luxuriously decorated sitting room off the foyer, and after a moment or two a formally dressed butler came in with a small bar cart bearing drinks and finger foods, which Daryl and Carol partook of sparingly, while Gregory on the other hand began grabbing at the offerings like he hadn’t had a meal all day. He then sat back and put his feet up on one of the antique, hand carved oak coffee tables like he owned the place. Carol and Daryl both shook their heads at him in shock.

Just then Daryl could hear Merle’s heavy footsteps descending the spiral staircase in the foyer. “Where are ya Darylina?” his booming voice could then also be heard.

“They’re in the sitting room, sir,” Kay announced and Merle came in and damn near tackled Daryl when he saw him. “Welcome brother!” he exclaimed as they hugged and threw a few playful punches at each other. All was obviously forgiven between the two and Daryl was just about to introduce Merle to Carol when he realized that SEVERAL things were very wrong with that picture. First of all he thought that it was strange that Merle seemed so at home at this stately mansion but figured that he must’ve been there before to do some work and knew his way around. Stranger still however was that Merle was on a job but he wasn’t dressed in one of his signature khaki Dickie’s® work jumpsuits and his usual Timberland® or Red Wing Irish Setter ® work boots; he was dressed down in an old t-shirt, a pair of shorts that looked like pajamas and… flip flops!

“And this must be the little lady,” Merle said, grinning ear to ear at Carol. “Aint she a pretty one! She’s as cute as a button, brother! Just like a little Mouse!” he chuckled, causing Carol to blush, yet laugh right along with him.

“Carol, this is my big brother, Merle, and Merle this is my girl, Carol,” he said sheepishly.

“I’m gonna call her Mouse, if she doesn’t mind,” he said, turning on the charm. Carol laughed and shook her head to let him know it was okay to call her ‘Mouse’ and reached for his hand demurely but Merle grinned down at her and pulled her into a big bear hug. "Welcome to the family, honey!

“And I’m Gregory, head of resort maintenance!” Gregory announced. “And what exactly is your business here, Mr. Dixon?” he asked Merle in a haughty tone.

"He's with me, as if it's any of your business," a commanding voice exclaimed from behind them causing them all, except for Merle, to turn around in surprise.

‘Uh, brother you've got some SERIOUS explaining to do!” Daryl whispered with a smirk to Merle as the tall, beautiful, and OBVIOUSLY pregnant blonde who’d spoken descended the majestic spiral staircase and entered the room with a regal air.

Merle grinned at her like he could eat her up. “Somebody I want you to meet Darylina… this is my new wife, attorney Andrea Harrison-Dixon!”

“Hello and welcome to Harrison Manor, folks,” she said in a friendly tone, while shaking both Carol and Daryl’s hands.

Merle grabbed her and after covering her face and neck with kisses, picked her up and spun her around, making her laugh and shriek and demand that he put her down.

Merle only laughed and smothered her with more kisses which she happily accepted. “Sugartits and I…”

“MERLE!” Andrea exclaimed, turning red as a beet. "Not in front of company!" she whispered, correcting him..

“I’m sorry honey... Andrea and I have been seeing each for months now, and we up and fell head over heels in love! Now seeing that she’s in the family way… well, we just bit the bullet and got hitched in Vegas last week! Can you believe it brother? I’m gonna be a daddy and I'm so happy I could bust! We're staying here while our house gets built in Savannah Beach. Should be done before the baby comes but I've been fixing up Sugartits, I mean Andrea's old nursery just in case.”

Daryl looked shocked, Carol had a happy, yet surprised smile on her face, and Gregory looked like he'd dropped dead and turned into a zombie. He’d had a wicked crush bordering on obsession with Andrea Harrison since he’d started working for the family over 20 years prior and had practically been stalking her ever since. The only thing that prevented him from truly stalking her was that he was very afraid of her rich and powerful father, (and a little afraid of her too.) Somehow he thought that if he kissed up enough and worked hard enough for Mr. Harrison, that she’d finally notice him someday and stopped teasing him with what he thought were her sexy, beckoning looks (actually scowls of disgust) and flashing that awesome rack of hers at him (totally his imagination) and FINALLY give him a chance. (But it never would’ve happened because she'd known since they were teenagers that Gregory really was an asshole and nothing more than a leech and a climber.) “This is your new husband?” he asked her in disbelief.

“Yes. You gotta problem with that?” she asked defensively. "Because I'm sure my daddy would love to hear all about it. He happens to adore his new son in law and is over the moon about his child growing inside me! "Maybe I should call him and tell him you got a problem with my husband!" she threatened.

“Uh no, No! but I just thought…”

“My daddy doesn't pay you to think Gregory. He's paying you to do your job. And for now that includes prepping for the annual picnic. That will be all, Gregory!” Andrea exclaimed with a dismissive wave of her hand. “See your way out.”

“Bye now,” Merle said with a smirk as he slammed the door in his reddened face and they all burst into uncontrolled laughter, including Kay, the maid.

Chapter Text

Just then Daryl’s cell phone rang. “It’s Axel,” he said to Merle who nodded with a grin and a wink.

“I bet he’s got some good news fer ya!”

“Excuse me ladies,” Daryl said to Carol and Andrea then stepped out into the hallway to take the call. The two women barely heard him; by then they were sitting on the couch engaging in girl talk.

“Hey Ax.”

“Hiya Daryl! I’ve been trying to get a hold of ya all mornin’ brother! You still down in Savannah?”
“Yeah man. Finally met up with Merle. He’s okay, and I already let Ma and Pa know that he was back from Vegas after I finally spoke to him this morning.”

“I knew he’d be alright. Merle’s tough as nails! I just got yer message that he was out in Vegas last night. Lil and I took the twins down to the amusement park with a couple of their friends on Saturday and we stayed the night at the hotel down there. Unfortunately my dang phone got wet on one of the water slides so I had to let it dry out. It started workin’ again last night thankfully.”

“The rugrats have a lot of fun?” Daryl asked with a smile. He loved all of his nieces and nephews but was especially fond of Axel’s two youngest daughters. His other three kids were all in high school and one was about to go to college, but the two youngest were an adorable, fun loving set of seven year identical twin girls with long blonde ponytails and big green eyes who talked a mile a minute, finished each other’s sentences and were always giggling, and not to mention crazy about their Uncle Daryl.

“They sure did. We took a shitload of pictures. Lil put them on Facebook if ya wanna check ‘em out.”

“Will do. So what did you need to tell me?”

“D, yer not gonna believe this! Once my phone was workin’ again I got a notification to check the joint account and the ten grand Merle borrowed from it has been put back in, PLUS an additional ten grand! Then first thing this morning I get a knock on the door at the house and it was a certified delivery I had to sign for. When I opened the envelope I saw that it was a personal check from Merle for another twenty grand, paying me back for the ten he borrowed from me plus an extra ten large. That’s forty thousand bucks, man! Can you believe that? The bastard must’ve won really BIG out in Vegas!”

“You can say that again,” Daryl said with a smirk. “That big brother of ours never ceases to amaze me, and he really hit the motherlode of good luck this time. I doubt he’ll EVER have any more money problems ever again. In fact, hang on Ax… I’ll let ya speak to him; he’s got some big news that I’m sure he’d like to tell ya himself.”

Daryl went back inside the sitting room and gave Merle the phone. He then noticed that Andrea and Carol were by then giggling like old girlfriends who’d known each other for years. In fact they were so engaged in their conversation that Daryl almost didn’t want to interrupt them.

“Um, babe… you two lovely ladies already know each other?”

“Something like that,” Andrea said with a smirk. “You wanna tell him?”

“Sure!” Carol laughed. “When I happened to mention that I was staying at my friend Michonne’s house down at the beach, she started screaming laughing and saying that she went to law school with Michonne Douglass and that she was one of her oldest friends! It then clicked that I was Michonne’s writer friend Carol who needed info for finding a book publisher last year. Andrea is a copyright lawyer for a large textbook publishing house here in Savannah, and she’s the one who referred Michonne and I to try the publisher I now work for. If it wasn’t for Andrea I probably wouldn’t have ever gotten my book deal!”

Andrea then chimed in. “And I absolutely ADORE her collection of naughty short stories. I have a copy upstairs I want her to autograph for me and I even follow the fan blog! In fact,” she then whispered, “the kinky stories on that blog are partly to blame for how I got knocked up! I used to read them to Merle in bed sometimes when he’d stay over with me at my old place, and believe me when I say they’d get him all riled up in the sack,” she added with a wink.

Just then Merle came back in and asked Daryl to come see the work he’d done upstairs, as well as to have a word with him privately. Once upstairs he leaned in and told his brother the scoop.

“Look D, I’m truly sorry if I scared ya. I was just so hung up on Blondie that I was losing my mind. I wanted to marry that girl from the moment I laid eyes on her months back, but I didn’t think I was good enough for her. She’s high class all the way brother. I mean REALLY high class. She’s a bonafide blue blood, trust fund baby with Ivy League schoolin’ and her folks are beyond LOADED, as you can see. But guess what, she’s about as down to earth as they come! Her pop’s net worth is around $100 million, easy, and the profits from this country club alone are enough that no one in the family will ever be broke, but they’re all humble folk who graduated college and still go to work every day. She’s got a younger sister, Amy, also a lawyer, and the two of them are in line to take over the country club when their father retires in another decade or so. I did some work on her folks’ vacation house at the beach around New Year’s and that’s when we met. I couldn’t take my eyes off her the entire time were were there and I don’t know how I get the nerve up to ask her out so I said it jokingly so I wouldn’t be so embarrassed when she said hell no, but she surprised me when she said hell yes I could take her ass out. Could’a knocked Old Merle over with a feather. A girl like her wanted to go WITH ME to shoot pool and have beer and wings at a hole in the wall honky tonk! Can you believe that? And we had the time of our lives! Andrea’s smart and sweet and one hell of a ball breaker, and brother she’s a goddamned tiger in the bedroom!” he said with a whistle, while wiggling his eyebrows. “I finally met my damned match! She knows I ain’t rich and had trouble with the law in my past but she said she doesn’t care… I make her laugh, and I make her happy and safe and that’s all that matters. She loves me for me and even her damn folks like me! Her mama is crazy about me and her father respects me because I own my own business and proved to him that I’m a hard worker who genuinely cares for his precious eldest daughter. When I found out Andrea was pregnant I became OBSESSED with spending every minute I could with her, and that’s pretty much how I ended up off the radar these past few months. I was wracking my brain, driving myself nuts trying to figure out a way to propose to her and I scrimped, saved and borrowed every nickel I could get my hands on to buy her that set of rings you now see on her finger while we were in Vegas. I gambled every dime I had and hit the jackpot at the Bellagio, tripling my money. Even though she’s loaded, and I’m scrimping by from client to client, I wanted her to have a ring she could be proud to show off to her friends, and know I paid for it. She said yes and we got married at The Big Little Chapel on the Vegas strip. Now I feel like I’m on top of the world. I got the girl of my dreams and a baby on the way, and brother, I couldn’t be happier. My life’s come full circle. As soon as he found out we were hitched, her pop offered me a big time job here on the estate, to replace that Gregory prick as a matter of fact, but I refused because I still want to make my own money to provide for my wife and child. Of course my new connections are gonna help me get me so many new work contracts that money won’t ever be a problem again, and since Andrea makes about four times what I make annually as a lawyer we’ll be set for life regardless. Mr. Harrison said he respected my wishes about not working for him, but wouldn’t take no for an answer when he insisted on building us a new dream house and giving us $100,000 in cash as a wedding gift to decorate it however we want, and he and his wife have already set up a multi-million dollar trust fund for the baby! I paid off every debt I had, gave Ax a couple of dollars in addition to what I borrowed from him, paid back what I owed our joint business account with interest, and don't be surprised if there's a little something in the mail for ya when ya get back home too,” he said with a wink.

“That’s awesone Merle and I'm happy for ya. Congratulations and thanks are in order, brother!” Daryl exclaimed, shaking Merle's hand then pulling him close for a brotherly bear hug. He could hardly believe what he'd heard.

They ended up having a late lunch at the mansion; with Carol & Andrea, Andrea and Daryl and Merle and Carol getting better aquainted, but finally Daryl let Carol know that he hated to leave so soon, but that he had to get on the road to go home to Atlanta before it got too late. They said their goodbyes and promised to hang out again real soon and Daryl took Carol back to the beach house.

Chapter Text

The entire time Daryl drove Carol back to the beach house in his truck, he’d kept his right hand firmly and possessively around her thigh. When they arrived, he walked her inside and they shared a lingering kiss. When they finally came up for air, he gazed down at her with a small smile. “Well sweetheart, guess this is it.”

“This is it?” she asked nervously with a raised brow. Carol didn’t mean to sound so desperate or needy but she couldn’t help herself. She’d never felt that way in her life over a man she hadn’t even known for a week, and even the slightest hint of Daryl ending what they’d started scared her, even if it was just a temporary goodbye.

“Awww, that ain’t what I meant, Carol,” he said, kissing her again. “We discussed this. Trust me, the only reason I’m leavin’ ya now is cuz I got work in the mornin’. If I could call out and use up some vacation leave and let my team handle all those the jobs without me I would, but there’s some things I just gotta take care of personally. One of my top staff is out on paternity leave as of today so I gotta get back ASAP. You know this ain’t goodbye for us, though,” he promised her. “It’s a see you soon. I expect us to be spendin’ a lot of time together once ya come back to Atlanta. I mean it. I want us to see each other exclusively.”

.

Carol smiled. “I know Daryl… but that’s a week away. I’m sorry for sounding so needy, but… well… after this morning I’m not gonna be able to think about anything else except when you’re gonna make love to me again. I felt alone for so long... I felt lonely and was wishing I would find someone. And then you came into my life out of nowhere and made me feel alive again... made me feel passion, told me I was beautiful and made me feel wanted... And the way you kissed me and touched my body... well I’ve never felt this way so quickly,” she whispered shyly with downcast eyes.

Daryl lifted her chin and stared into her eyes with a hunger that proved he felt the same. “Carol, I know how ya feel. How it feels to be lonely. How it feels when it seems like no one wants ya anymore. 'Been walkin' in those shoes for a long time. But times done changed. I want ya Carol, bad, and I think you want me too," he murmured. He then leaned in and whispered in her ear. "Ya think I been able to get this mornin’ off my mind?” he asked. He then pulled her to him and pressed his stiffening cock against her stomach. “Think I ain’t been hard for ya all day long, woman? Feelin’ yer arms ‘round my chest and yer thighs 'round my waist on my brother’s bike earlier… yer warm breath on my neck, smellin’ yer sweet perfume and seeing those pretty legs o’ yers in that short dress and those sexy high heels yer wearin’… mmm..." he let out a low groan. "Couldn’t take my eyes off ya fer a minute. Seems like I’m already missin’ you way worse than you’ll be missin’ me,” he growled.

Carol looked at him with a naughty smirk. “Exactly how much time do you have before you absolutely have to leave,” she whispered while boldly rubbing the bulge in his jeans.

"Mmm... not much… got a close to four hour drive ahead of me and I wanted to get home before its too late to hit the grocery store before hittin’ the sack. Why?"

“Because, Im gonna have to work fast to take care of this for you,” she murmured with a smirk as she quickly dropped to her knees and unbuckled his jeans.

“Carol, what are ya doin’, honey?” he asked in disbelief.

"Taking care of your... little problem,” she murmured with a smirk, gesturing toward his throbbing hard on as she pushed his boxer briefs around his knees. “Only its not so little..." she giggled, "and I fully expect you to return the favor the minute I see you next week,” she added with a wink before kissing and licking the head of his cock. He moaned as she then licked her way up and down his length from top to bottom, then lapped at the pre-cum leaking from its swollen head. Daryl hissed loudly from the intense sensation as Carol opened her mouth wide to take him, then he let out a loud moan of ecstasy as his rock hard length slowly disappeared inside her hot, wet mouth inch by inch. Carol began leisurely sucking him off, greedily taking him as far down her throat as she could without gagging, all while massaging his heavy balls and bobbing her head, moaning and swallowing around the head again and again. She loved everything about giving him pleasure and enjoyed his moans of pleasure as he whispered her name adoringly while running his fingers through her short curls.

Daryl was in ecstasy. "Oh yeah Carol... that's so good... Ahhh yeah.... Just like that... Suck it just like that... mmm fuck... gonna cum real soon, baby," he gasped before long, and she refused to release him as he then exploded with a loud, animalistic grunt of intense, unrestrained release. The pleasure was incredible and he whispered words of gratitude and adoration of her. She then cleaned him up, not missing a drop before tucking him back inside his shorts and zipping up his jeans with a big, naughty smile on her face.

Daryl was breathless after his intense climax. He stared at her with a burning desire and promised her that he wouldn’t be able to wait a whole week to return the favor, and if she hadn't worn him out from that toe curling, spine tingling blow job and didn't have to drive home that night he'd do it right then and there. He then assured her that he'd be working his ass off all week to try to finish up all of his contract jobs early so that he could re-join her back at the beach house late that Friday evening, and promised to call her day and night for phone sex in the interim.

Carol seemed satisfied with the plan and finally let him go after one last lingering kiss. Once he was gone however, she felt intensely lonely without him, and after SEVERAL glasses of wine and several hours of pouring her feelings of lust and loneliness into another book chapter, she finally received a call from Daryl letting her know that he’d arrived home safely, and would call again in the morning and with that she finally went to sleep.

On Tuesday morning, Carol awakened around 11, a lot later than she planned, and her buzzing cell phone alerted that she had several missed calls and text messages. Just knowing that at least one of them was from Daryl, she immediately grabbed the phone to investigate, and was surprised to see that she had 6 missed calls and 9 missed texts, one of each were from Daryl, one text was from Sophia, and ALL of the rest of the correspondence was all from Michonne…

Carol listened to the messages and read the texts and knew that her friend wanted ANSWERS and lots of them about what exactly had happened with Daryl! She fixed herself a pot of coffee and sat down on the deck to enjoy it. "Time to face the music," Carol chuckled as she dialed her friend's office extension on her cell phone.

Chapter Text

Carol called Michonne’s office and was informed that she would be out of the office for the rest of the week. She remembered that Michonne had mentioned about traveling to New York for a trial so she tried her cell.

“Hey Carol,” Michonne whispered. “Its about time you called me back! My flight to NYC is leaving shortly and they’re gonna make me turn my phone off any minute now so talk fast. What the hell happened with you and baby Dixon?”

“Who?” Carol asked playfully. “You mean dear ‘old Daryl?”

“Yes Daryl! And I know something went down! He told me himself that you invited him to stay over the other night, and I can hear it in your voice that SOMETHING happened! My beach house is the perfect love nest with all the ambiance you need for some serious romance… believe me I know! It’s got fireplaces, candles everywhere, a Jacuzzi and a Queen sized, triple thick memory foam mattress in the guest room, so spill it!”

Carol giggled. “Well… I have to admit, we really hit it off. First he took me to a hardware store in Bayside to get some part he needed to fixed the A/C unit and we talked so long that I asked him to stay so he wouldn’t have to pay to get a hotel room and he slept in the pool house. He took me to see the fireworks and we walked on the boardwalk, then we went to Dale Horvath’s for dinner and we actually got to meet the guy by the way.”

“Nice! Dale’s a real sweetheart.”

“I know, and you were so right about the food! Then on Sunday Daryl and I went swimming together, he took me to play mini golf and bowling and that evening we had a little barbecue, then he took me for a ride on his brother’s motorcycle, which was so much fun and so romantic. He found his brother by the way… come to find out, Merle was out in Vegas all that time... Without his cell phone! That's why he never returned our calls. Meanwhile Daryl and I went to breakfast yesterday morning at a romantic little diner at the beach and I rode with him to meet up with Merle to return his bike… and can you believe while we were out I happened to meet your friend Andrea Harrison, your buddy from law school who suggested my publishing house?”

“OMG! That’s crazy! Andrea called me out of the blue yesterday and left a message but I haven’t gotten a chance to check it or call her back yet. I’ll definitely give her a ring back when I get to New York! The trial for my case isnt until Thursday morning so I have some free time to do some shopping this afternoon and am meeting up with some old college friends for dinner this evening so I’ll call her before I go out. And then T-Dogg called me first thing this morning, saying that Daryl called him while he was on the road back to Atlanta last night and read him the riot act for not introducing you to him sooner since he worked with you all that time since your divorce and invited you to his house all those times,” she laughed. “He said he doesn’t know what the hell you did to him this weekend but whatever it was, Dixon’s plumb crazy about you now! Then he told him that Merle got married out in Vegas and is back in Savannah! So much happened in this one weekend! But you still haven’t spilled the real tea, Carol! Did you and Dixon bump uglies or what?”

Carol squealed with laughter. “Well, I’m not usually one to kiss and tell, but…” Carol closed her eyes, speechless for a moment while reliving the highlights of the passionate interludes they’d shared. Just thinking about Daryl kissing and touching her all over her body made her grow wet with desire for him.

“Well? Come on Carol, spill it!” Michone gasped, literally on the edge of her seat. Just then a flight attendant made the announcement for all cell phones to be turned off for takeoff. “Damnit! Carol I gotta go now… Look, I’ll be at JFK airport in a couple of hours and will be calling you as soon as I land! Talk about bad timing!” she groaned as she hung up and all Carol could do was burst out laughing.

Chapter Text

When Michonne arrived at the airport in New York the first thing she did after hailing a cab to her midtown Manhattan hotel was call Carol back.
“Okay Carol, the suspense is killing me! What happened with you and Daryl?”

“Well… I already told you… we talked, we hung out… we kissed…”

“Yeah and? There’s gotta be more if my brother’s report is any indication.”

“Well…” Carol paused. She didn’t want to kiss and tell but it was eating her alive and she had to tell somebody about the crazy feelings she’d been experiencing and if it weren’t for Michonne she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get to know Daryl in the first place, plus she knew that she could trust her not to blab all the details to anyone , so she went ahead and spilled the dirt. “If you PROMISE not to tell him I told you...”

“I promise… now tell me!”

“Okay… he stayed over on Sunday night… and we slept together... no sex mind you, just a lot of cuddling, touching and kissing all night...”

“Oh now that’s romantic!”

“Yeah it was... and there’s more…”

“By all means, go on!”

“And then on Monday morning… we finally had sex and believe me when I tell you that it was AWESOME! In fact, it was the BEST sexual experience of my life! Not once, not twice, but three times back to back. I’m talking SCREAMING, MULTIPLE ORGASMS, over and over again!” Carol exclaimed, giggling terribly. “Daryl… well he’s insatiable… He did everything I like, Michonne. And I do mean EVERYTHING… He kissed and touched me like I’ve NEVER been kissed and touched before. When he went down on me I CRIED like a baby because it felt so damn good! He took his time… and damn if he wasn’t the best I’ve EVER had! BAR NONE!”

“Hot damn!” Michonne exclaimed. “I KNEW it! I KNEW IT! So Daryl really put it down, huh?”

“Oh yeah… he’s so good in bed, its scary. Michonne please don’t think I’m losing it but… well… I think it was more than just sex. I-I’m really falling in love with him and I think he feels the same way too. I know it sounds insane because I just met the guy, and this was just supposed to be a little vacation fling, but I think it’s real! I haven’t felt so alive in my entire life! Daryl makes me feel alive again. But deep down I’m scared to death! It hasn’t even been a week! I’ve never felt this way for anyone and I’m terrified that I’m fooling myself.”

“But are you happy, Carol? Does Daryl make you feel happy?”

Carol didn’t have to think about it. “Yes, he does.”

“And do you really think he’s sincere? What does your gut tell you?”

“My gut says I can trust him. Call me crazy, but I really do think I can trust him.”

“Then there's your answer. Always trust your gut honey. Its your 6th sense.”

“I agree. Daryl says he wants us to start seeing each other exclusively when I get back to Atlanta and I told him I felt the same. In fact, he said he can’t wait that long to see me… he’s coming back down to Savannah on Friday night to stay here with me again this weekend. ”

“Wait a minute… stop the press and hold the phone! Do you mean to tell me that Daryl Dixon is taking TWO WEEKENDS OFF IN A ROW? Just to drive down to Savannah so he can stare into your eyes a few more days?” Michonne chuckled. “Oh yeah… he’s serious about you alright. That’s all I needed to hear. Trust me, I’ve known him since we were kids. Daryl’s a workaholic like I’ve never seen, especially since he broke up with… what’s her name... But if he’s coming back down there just to spend time with you again so soon, he’s falling in love with you, alright. But don’t tell him I told you that. Let him continue to try to prove it to you,” Michonne laughed. “But seriously, he’s a good man, Carol. I love him like a brother. He’s been lonely for a while now, mending his broken heart. I’m so glad he found you. He’s honest, respectful, kind-hearted, protective, loyal and hard-working... and not to mention he looks damn good in a pair of jeans.”

“And in nothing at all,” Carol added with a giggle.

Michonne giggled too. “I bet he does… and that makes him everything a woman could ask for. I’m so happy for you both.”

“Now Michonne, don’t think that just because Daryl is coming back that I don’t want you to still try to come down here this weekend! That invitation is still open!”

“I know, and I’m gonna try! My client’s trial is first thing on Thursday morning. If it doesn’t run over I can be back in Atlanta as early as Friday evening and head down on Saturday. Let’s play it by ear, babe.”

Carol agreed, and before they hung up she reminded Michonne to call Andrea ASAP. She had a feeling that her longtime friend’s whirlwind marriage to Merle Dixon and surprise pregnancy by him was gonna give her the ultimate shock of a lifetime.

For the next few days, Carol did a lot of soul searching and reflecting. She wrote, talked to Daryl, did some shopping, talked to Sophia, did some sightseeing, relaxed, talked to Daryl some more, wrote some more, talked to Daryl some more, went back to the beach, talked to Sophia some more, talked to Daryl even more, wrote a little more, then talked to Daryl a whole lot more. She couldn’t wait to see him again, and was counting down until he arrived back at the house on Friday night after he got off work.

Friday finally came. Carol spent all day writing, cleaning and cooking and before she knew it Daryl had texted her letting her know that he was on the road headed toward Savannah.

Chapter Text

Daryl had worked anywhere between 12 and 14 hour shifts on Tuesday, Wednesday and again on Thursday as well as a standard 8 hours on Friday, totaling close to 50 hours in four days in order to be able to leave Atlanta in enough time to meet Carol for dinner in Savannah by early Friday evening. Abraham was out on paternity leave; his beautiful wife Sasha had finally given birth to their beautiful, healthy, bouncing baby boy, Abraham Liam Ford, Jr. (weighing in at a whopping 10 lbs 3 oz, with gorgeous, honey brown skin just a few shades lighter than his mom’s, his daddy’s clear blue eyes and a head full of thick, curly reddish-brown hair that was a combination of both parents locks), and Daryl had to work extra hard to make up for the proud papa's absence to complete all the home repair and construction rehab jobs in time, but he was able to get everything done on schedule, and was on the road a little after 4 pm on Friday afternoon.

Daryl couldn’t wait to see Carol. He’d spent every night for the past week talking to her for hours and every conversation ended in hot, explicit phone sex and he was impatient to take her up on everything she’d been bold enough to offer to do to him when they met again. He’d packed a few outfits and necessary hygiene toiletries on Thursday night and had hitched his bike trailer to the Bronco, and by Friday afternoon, he took off like a bat out of hell the minute he finished working on the weekly payroll for his employees. Although he was driving well over the speed limit, he was still careful not to get pulled over by any overzealous Georgia state troopers; the last thing he needed was a ticket, points, or a hassle from some renegade cop on a mission that would keep him from his beautiful Carol a moment longer than necessary. She’d promised to make him a big welcome back dinner so he’d had a very light lunch and was looking forward to sitting down to a romantic dinner with her, (hopefully to be followed by dessert in bed!)

Carol had spent the better part of the morning writing and editing the finishing touches on her book, ran a few errands around town then spent the latter part of the afternoon cooking. She made a big pitcher of sangria, prepared a pan of lasagna and planned to serve it with salad and garlic bread, and when she remembered the peaches she’d bought from the fruit stand the week prior, she took some of them and baked a small pan of homemade peach cobbler, which Daryl had revealed to be his favorite.

Daryl called Carol when he was leaving Atlanta so she knew he’d be arriving in Savannah at around 8 or so depending on the traffic, so at 6:30 she started getting dressed. She’d just emerged from her hot bubble bath when he texted her letting her know he was approaching Bayside. She carefully applied her makeup and styled her hair, and opted to wear a short, black wrap dress with a high, thigh split, gold accessories and a pair of sexy, gold strappy sandals. She now knew how much Daryl liked admiring her legs and that dress and those heels displayed them well. She’d just spritzed on her perfume when she heard the doorbell. “That was FAST!” she thought to herself with an excited giggle. She darted down the stairs to let him in, heels clicking across the tiled living room floor to get to the door in a hurry with a big grin, expecting to see Daryl’s handsome face, as well as his truck and its attached trailer in the driveway (he’d told her that he’d be dragging his bike along so that he could take her on a few rides over the weekend,) but when she peered outside through the big bay window, she was SHOCKED to see that Daryl’s truck was nowhere in sight; an Atlanta police cruiser was in its place, parked in the driveway behind her own vehicle. She immediately panicked; her first thought was that something may have happened at home with Sophia then she wondered if Daryl had been in an accident on the road and the fear she felt was evident on her face when she yanked the door open and locked eyes with Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes, who was dressed in full uniform.

Chapter Text

“Rick?” Carol gasped in a surprised whisper.

“Ms. Greene, ma’am,” he nodded respectfully with a small, solemn smile, while tipping his wide brimmed brown sheriff’s hat at her as only a true southern born gentleman could.

“Rick! Please, you know you can just call me Carol... Wha-what are you doing here? Are the kids okay? Sophia? Carl?” Carol asked, grasping at his hand with baited breath.

He grinned broadly. “They're fine. Talked to Carl just before I headed down this way. He and Ron are taking Soph and Enid to the drive in movies over in Macon tonight.”

Carol breathed a big sigh of relief. She watched him closely overjoyed at how calm he seemed. Apparently everything was okay at home with their respective children but she just couldn’t fathom any other reason why a King County Deputy Sheriff (who happened to be the father of her daughter’s boyfriend of all people) would show up in Savannah and pop up at Michonne’s house unless it was to bring her some important (and hopefully not too horrible) news from home. She then immediately thought about Daryl again and braced herself for another blow all over again. “And what about Daryl? Please tell me he’s okay! He just texted me not twenty minutes ago!”

"Daryl? Dixon?” Rick asked with a curious smile, looking quite confused.

She stared at him incredulously. “Of course! From Dixon’s contractors in Atlanta!”

“Never met the guy… but Ive heard a lot about him. I know he’s a good friend of T-Dogg’s.”

“Umm… you know Theodore Douglass?”

“Of course I do… he was Carl’s little league football coach. Four years straight. Taught my boy the game better than I did, got him ready for high school ball."

“Okay… so by extension you know his sister Michonne. This is her beach house.”

“I know. Michonne Douglass is the reason why I’m here,” he said quietly.

“Oh!” Carol gasped, covering her mouth. Her concern for her child and her man had totally eclipsed her concern for her dear friend. She hadn’t even considered that something may have happened to Michonne. Something must have happened and Rick was there to inform her since she was in her home. Carol guessed. “Is Michonne okay?” she asked with baited breath.

Rick sighed. “I certainly hope so! She’s the one who invited me down here!”

“Huh?” Carol asked, clearly confused. “Michonne told you that you could come down and stay here this weekend! Probably long before she told me I could stay! She must've gotten the weekends mixed up.”

Rick looked at her like she was crazy. “Carol, of course Michonne knows you’re here this weekend! Everyone knows. Carl’s the one who told me! Wasn't some mix up... Michonne just invited me this morning. What surprises me is that she isn’t here. She left an hour before I did! Traffic wasn't that bad.”

“What? I thought Michonne was in New York until tomorrow!” Carol exclaimed. Although she was ecstatic that everyone from home was okay, she immediately felt a headache brewing. NONE of anything that Rick was saying was making ANY sense. He then broke her reverie.

“Ummm… Carol… its hotter than the devil’s front porch out here, sweetheart. Can I please come in?”

“Oh! Of course, I’m sorry,” she replied, ushering him in and it was at that moment that she noticed the large overnight duffle bag he was carrying.

She offered him a seat in the living room then went into the kitchen to fix him a drink. She then returned and plopped down beside him. She handed him the glass of sangria she’d poured him. “Wait, before you drink that I should tell you it has alcohol in it. I can get you a sweet tea if you’d like since you're on duty.”

“Oh no, this sangria looks divine honey! And I’m off for the next five days darlin' so bottoms up!” he exclaimed before taking a big swig. "Damn that's good!"

“Okay Rick, I need you to explain to me what the hell’s going on. I know that Michonne lets friends stay down here at the house during the summer months but she knew I was already down here this weekend so I don’t know why she ‘double booked’ us like this. Of course I don’t mind a bit… our kids are dating so you’re practically family; there’s another spare guest bedroom upstairs as well as the fully furnished pool house out back, but I’m still a bit confused as to why you’re here, in uniform at that, and why you think Michonne is on her way here. She told me on Tuesday that she may be coming down tomorrow, and I didn’t even know you two knew each other.”

Rick let out a big laugh when it finally dawned on him that Carol still didn’t know that he and Michonne were in a relationship. Before he could explain however, they heard keys in the front door and Michonne came strutting in, looking like a million bucks in designer shades, a backless, beige embroidered halter top, microscopic denim shorts and a pair of knee high, tan leather gladiator sandals, pulling a tall vintage Louis Vuitton trunk behind her.

“Honeys, I’m home!” she exclaimed with a laugh.

“MICHONNE!” Carol shouted, jumping up to greet her friend, clearly surprised to see her, despite Rick spilling the beans moments prior. “What in the world are you doing here?” she asked with a laugh while hugging her. "You're still supposed to be in New York!

“Well I told you if my case ended timely I’d come down tomorrow, but the couple decided not to split after all so no divorce, no custody case. I told you those people were crazy! But they're LOADED so I still got my fee and my commission as well as all of my traveling expenses covered; the couple is back together and their kids are happy and safe. That's all I cared about so everyone is happy. I left New York late last night and decided to surprise you a day early!”

“I’m so glad you could make it… but I didn’t know you knew Rick! Did you know that he’s Soph’s boyfriend’s dad!”

“Yeah... and now you know,” Michonne said with a smirk.

"Know what?"

“Now you know just how well we know each other…” Rick said with a sly grin as he stood, taking Michonne in his arms and planting a long, hot kiss on her lips that was so passionate it made Carol do a double take.

“Wait a minute… Michonne… THIS is the cop? Rick Grimes is your mystery boyfriend?” she exclaimed incredulously with a laugh. “Get outta town! I can’t believe this!

“Yup!” they both exclaimed, before kissing each other passionately again and again and Carol burst into laughter.

“When I saw you in uniform, I immediately panicked and thought something was going on with the kids back home, or worse that Daryl had been in an accident on his way here from Atlanta!” Carol explained to Rick.

“Oh yeah, you did say Baby Dixon was coming down tonight!” Michonne exclaimed.

“Yeah. But then I thought about it, Daryl texted me when he stopped for gas in Bayside so he’s almost here, and that would’ve been way out of Rick’s jurisdiction. But he’s in uniform so my imagination ran wild.”

“I’m still in uniform because this was a spur of the moment kinda trip and I ran home on my lunch break to pack a bag and hauled ass down here the minute I got off at 3. Drove my squad car and everything. I've got civilian street clothes in the bag. Nothing a quick shower and changing won't fix. My baby said she wanted me here now so here I am,” he laughed before kissing Michonne again.

“That’s because he knows, when he does whatever I want, I’ll do whatever he wants, isnt that right?” Michonne murmured to Rick.

“Oh yeah!”

“Well, I fixed plenty of food,” Carol replied. “Hope everybody likes lasagne.”

“I love lasagne!” both Michonne and Rick exclaimed in unison.

“Good. Lasagne, garlic bread and a big salad. I made a peach cobbler too.”

“Sounds delicious!” Rick exclaimed.

“And I would’ve been her long before now if I had known you cooked so much. I stopped at the market and picked up a big party tray and a few bottles of wine on my way here, Michonne then added. “I also just ordered a pizza but I guess I can call and cancel it. Too late for the platter though. Everything’s out in the car. Rick can you get the bags?”

“Sure babe,” he replied, grabbing her keys.

“A party tray?” Carol asked.

“Yeah. Assorted slider sandwiches, cheeses and veggies with dips," Michonne replied.

”Sounds great but you didn’t have to do that Michonne. I made enough lasagna and salad to feed a small army! There’s only gonna be four of us.”

“Make that six. I finally called Andrea back while I was driving down and she was so happy when I told her I was coming to town that she said that she and her new hubby might stop by. I can’t wait to see her and meet the guy.”

Carol’s eyes lit up and she smiled happily, but she didn’t let on that she wasn’t the only one in for a surprise that night! Just then they heard a loud engine outside. “That must finally be Daryl,” she laughed. Michonne told her she’d get the door, and Carol went into the kitchen to get more plates, silverware and glasses to re-set the dining room table for six instead of the original two then darted back out when she heard Michonne yelling, ‘Put me down!”

“Merle Dixon put me down, would ya!” she repeated. It wasn't Daryl at the door, it was Merle and he'd come in and upon seeing Michonne he had picked her up and thrown her over his shoulder like a cave man. “What in the hell are you doing here anyway?” Michonne exclaimed while beating Merle’s back until he finally set her down onto her feet. “You're a little late to fill up my pool!” she huffed.

“Awww I'm sorry about that 'Chonne! And I was told I was invited to this here shindig! Hey Mouse!” he then exclaimed before rushing over to give Carol a big hug. “Didn’t know you were still gonna be here, honey. Didn’t see my brother’s truck out there so I guess I’ll be stag tonight with you lovely ladies."

"Don't worry, Merle, Daryl is on his way." Carol laughed.

"Good, good. By the way whose ‘pig-mobile’ is parked outside?" Merle laughed, referring to Rick’s squad car.

“Watch it Dixon! That would be my man’s company car... He's a King County sheriff's deputy with connections to the Atlanta P.D. so you better be on your best behavior!" Michonne warned.

“Oh! Will do!” Merle exclaimed just as Rick re-emerged carrying the party platter and the bottles of wine, before introducing himself.

Michonne looked over at Merle again curiously. “Merle you know you’re always welcomed in my home, but you still haven’t told me why you’re here. Congratulations on getting hitched by the way. Daryl told my brother, and he told me.”

“Thank ya honey! But like I said, I was invited!”

“Invited by whom?” Michonne asked incredulously. “The only person I can think of that could’ve possibly invited you was Daryl, and he isn't even here yet!”

"And I cant imagine him doing that, he still thinks were about to have a romantic, cozy dinner for two!" Carol chuckled.

“Wait a minute, I thought YOU invited me!” Merle said to Michonne.

“Merle I haven’t spoken to you in almost a month!”

“I know but the wife texted me a little while ago and told me to meet her here in half an hour.”

“Your wife?” Michonne asked, looking confused. “How could I possibly know your new wife, let alone give her my address and tell her to come here for a dinner party that just got planned less than half an hour ago?”

Merle shrugged. "I could've sworn she said she knows ya!" and just then the screen door opened yet again and Daryl came walking in and held the door for Andrea.

“Hello everyone!” Andrea said shyly, and Daryl scanned the room for the only face he wanted to see, and when his eyes finally found Carol’s they broke into the biggest smile ANY of them had EVER seen on his handsome face. He and Carol couldn’t reach each other fast enough to hug and kiss.

Michonne was ecstatic to see her old friend and jumped up to hug her. “Andrea! You’re pregnant?” she cried happily. “I’m so happy for you… you’re positively GLOWING! But wait a minute. I know Daryl isn’t your new hubby?” she laughed. “Don’t tell me your man couldn’t make it! I wanted to meet the lucky guy!”

Andrea stared at her incredulously. “MIchonne, he’s right over there!”

“Huh?” she asked in complete shock.

“Michonne!” Merle laughed before he then laid a long, hot kiss on his beautiful, pregnant bride. “This here is the new Mrs. Merle Dixon!”

"Mrs. Harrison-Dixon... I hyphenated my married name because my dad doesn't have any sons. For the family business, you know. Merle said he didn't care as long as Dixon was on the end of it," Andrea added with a laugh before Merle swooped in for another kiss.

You could have knocked Michonne over with a feather when in FINALLY sunk in that Andrea had married MERLE! Even though she was one of the SHARPEST lawyers in the state of Georgia, this was one case that she hadn't been able to crack without a little help. She could see how in love they were and she laughed about the whole thing until her stomach hurt.

"By the way," Andrea then added, "were gonna be neighbors! We're having a house built in the new section of this community, right on the beach a few blocks up. We're moving in after the baby is born!"

Michonne hugged her again. It was certainly going to be a fun evening filled with happy surprises for the old friends and laughs that would last a lifetime!

After dinner and dessert, the three happy couples chilled out on the deck, getting even better acquainted while playing cards, cracking jokes and enjoying a few drinks. After awhile Andrea felt tired however so she and Merle headed out before it got too late. Since she didn’t drink any alcohol she was Merle’s designated driver (he'd been abstaining for awhile so the couple of Carol's strong sangria's he'd indulged in had him feeling a bit tipsy), and he told Michonne he’d just pick up his truck in the morning. Michonne and Rick decided to turn in and left Carol and Daryl out on the deck. They were initially going to retire to Carol’s guest bedroom but after kissing passionately to make up for lost time (if it hadn’t been for Merle, Andrea, Michonne and Rick unintentionally cockblocking the horny couple ALL NIGHT LONG, they would have BEEN in bed hours before, getting it on!) It wasn’t long before they made the decision to spend the night in the pool house instead of sleeping in Carol's guest room so that they could get as loud and as wild as they wanted in the sack, without fear of interrupting (or being interrupted by) Michonne and Rick who had similar plans down the hall in Michonnes' master suite. From what Michonne had told her about her sex life, Carol knew that she and Rick might get just as wild if not wilder in the sack as she and Daryl would.

Carol and Daryl used their time wisely and did EVERYTHING they'd been looking forward to doing to each other's bodies all week long... all night long!

The rest of the weekend flew by, with the two remaining happy couples hitting the beach the next day and going to dinner the following night at Dale Horvath’s of course (with Andrea and Merle joining them again,) followed by more hot passion behind closed doors; between Rick and Michonne in the master suite, and between Daryl and Carol in the pool house... and before they all knew it Sunday had arrived, and it was time for everyone to head back to Atlanta after Carol prepared them all a big breakfast. Both couples were anxious to continue their new futures, together.

Epilogue...1 Year Later…

Andrea and Merle became the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl, Merilyn Amy Harrison-Dixon. Andrea quit her job to be a stay at home mom for a few years, and Merle’s business was booming due to the big contracts he was getting through his rich, new father in-law law's connections. He doted on his wife and adored his precious daughter and they loved him dearly as well. They resided in a gorgeous mini mansion in Savannah Beach, not too far from Michonne's house and spent time with their dear friend whenever she came to town which was quite frequently.

Michonne and Rick surprised everyone by eloping in Vegas, just like Andrea and Merle had, a few months after they and their friends all spent the weekend at Michonne's beach house that previous summer, and couldn’t be happier, especially now that they were expecting the birth of their twins in a few months.

Despite their parent’s warnings and well intended advice, Carl and Sophia were deeply in love, and just KNEW that the love they had would last forever, so they decided to get engaged; fortunately, they still promised to wait until after their respective college graduations in another year to actually get married so Rick and Carol finally gave them their blessings. Carl’s mother Lori was happy to have a project, and was having a field day planning for the big day.

Carol’s book Principal Desires, ended up being a multi-million seller. She and Daryl had gotten engaged as well, and were splitting their time between her house and his. She planned to give her house to Sophia and Carl as a wedding gift since it was already paid off and planned to move in with Daryl once they got hitched. They were also looking for affordable condo properties to purchase together in their favorite place to escape, Savannah, and planned a summer wedding there on the beach with all of their closest friends in attendance.

Finis
;)