Beth Greene has never been fond of living by anyone else's standards. She's also never been fond of relying on anyone else, for anything.
The combination of these two ideals may be the very reason that Beth earns next to two thousand dollars a week being a cam girl between the hours of eight o'clock in the evening and two o'clock in the morning.
She's never had a problem with her body, but she's never felt particularly great about it. Basically, it's a tool. Like a workman with his toolbox full of nails and hammer, her tits and pussy and ass are her meal ticket.
With a little fake orgasm thrown in at the end, she's raking in the money and she has absolutely no reason to feel ashamed about it.
Every other hour of the day, she's a normal girl. She shops and reads, meets friends for coffee; writes down lyrics and poems that come to her in sudden waves of inspiration and cuddles her cat Jasmine when she slides into bed at night.
Her family don't know about her secret life. Not that it matters much because Beth moved so far from her childhood farm that they don't see how lavish her apartment or her lifestyle is and so they don't question her lies about her day time job in a bookstore or her evening job at a small dive bar in town.
Plus, holidays are always spent at the farm so it works out perfectly for her. She's always been very liberal: with her body, her thoughts and most especially her opinions.
She thinks she gets it from her older sister Maggie, who has always been outspoken and put Beth in awe of her from a very young age, watching how her big sister took on words with grace and spun them into encouraging, intelligent arguments.
She's now been a cam girl for going on three years and not once has she been caught out or forced into an awkward situation. For the first time in three years, she's never met her clients.
Today is a different story.
Her car broke down in the virtual middle of nowhere nearly an hour out from her apartment after a wild night out with some girlfriends.
Now Saturday morning has arisen and Beth had been making her way back home with a stinking hangover and a car full of doughnuts and coffee when the car had slowed down to a halt on a flat tire.
Luckily, her signal hadn't failed her. With the sun blazing down on her head of wild curls and clinging to the tight material of her little black dress, Beth took to google for local mechanics.
A quick call with a rough, smoke ruined lungs kind of voice left her waiting less than twenty minutes for a tow truck to show up.
Feeling sick and no better than death warmed over, she'd been dragged along in her hooked-up car for what felt like her entire life time when finally, they had pulled up to a dingy little garage.
The old guy up front jumped out and waved at her idly, whistling out towards the dark depths of the building.
Beth climbed out with a sour face and a death grip on her cooling coffee, protectively cradling a doughnut in the other hand and between her teeth.
She barely even gave attention to anything besides the sugary breakfast and so didn't feel the need to look up when feet scuffed against concrete and a shadow fell over her.
With the doughnut three-quarters of the way down her throat, she looks up when she realises how silent everyone is, despite the fact she's standing with the guy that picked her up and a mysterious third party who emerged from the sounds of whirring and sawing.
It's that very doughnut she chokes on until her eyes start watering so bad she spits it all back out. Right onto the shoes of one of her most regular clients.
Eyes watering and mascara dripping down her face probably still isn't the best expression between the two of them. Daryl, her very first and most favourite client stares back at her with his mouth gaping open in the most painful way.
Swallowing down the last bits of doughnut, rather than talking and breaking the awkward silence like a normal person, Beth decides to rams her cup to her mouth and gulp down her coffee instead.
Doing this isn't as easy as she thought it was going to be though because her desperate swallowing leads to an empty cup in less than three seconds and she's forced to pull the plastic from her mouth and smile nervously. "Er, so what's wrong with it? The tire ruined? Or…"
"Ain't seen it yet."
"Right," she answers quickly with colouring cheeks and a glance to the car beside her that hasn't yet been moved. "'Cause it's still here."
"Yeah," he grumbles, recovering a little faster than her and crossing his arms when he closes his mouth.
Beth smiles nervously. "How long I gotta wait?"
Daryl glances at the other man who seems to have gotten bored and wandered off.
When he glances back at her, he clears his throat at the same time that he talks so it comes out in a gruff, hoarse voice. "Right afta you stop pretendin' you don't recognise me."
Her hearts skips and shudders. "Look, we ain't gotta d-"
"Ain't no use pretendin'," he cuts her off. "Just get it out now."
"Okayyy," Beth drawls. "I'm the cam girl you have an' hour with every night and two on Saturdays."
"Smart ass," he comments. "So, gonna need your real name to look at the car."
"Smart ass," she imitates, squeezing her cup with her chipped fingernails. "Beth Greene an' I'm guessin' that surname I've been crabbin' for all this time is Dixon," she says with a nod of her chin to the storefront.
"Tha's me: Daryl Dixon."
"Pleasure," she snipes.
He laughs quick and deep. "Don't recognise ya with clothes on, though that dress ain't really much."
Beth can't repress a throatily laugh and covers it up by glancing over at her car. Daryl takes que and nods towards it. "C'mon, let's take'a look at your car."
Beth follows after him with a smothered smile and a relieved stomach. At least it's not as bad as she thought it was gonna be bumping into one of her regulars.
Daryl's trying to blow it off so she'll follow his example. They reach her car and he drops to his one knee, calling out the name "Merle," so she imagines that's the guy inside.
He comes out and they start talking mechanics so Beth zones out and eats her other doughnut, a little annoyed at the fact that she looks like death the first time she meets a client in real life.
The most worrying thought is if he can ever see her as sexy again after today and if he can't, dealing with the fact that he won't be paying her hourly rate anymore to watch her finger fuck herself for his hungry on-screen eyes.
When she gets fed up of waiting she pointedly sighs until the two men look at her, pausing their conversation. "So?"
"Ain't dealin' with this one," the guy named Merle laughs. "Too damn early."
Daryl scowls after his colleague and Beth raises her eyebrow. "You gonna let your employee talk like that?"
"Employee?" He laughs. "Guy owns half the fuckin' place. S'my brother."
"Oh," she coughs, face tinged red. Will she ever stop embaressing herself? "Sorry."
"S'fine. Look, you gotta flat. Gonna be 'bout twenty minutes to change it but gotta wait 'til I'm done with the other cars. You're lookin' on an' hour."
Beth sighs in frustration. "Can't it be faster?"
"Look," Daryl grumbles, straightening up a little. "You gotta flat, s'quick, with me an' Merle workin', could get to it faster but I got other people waitin' for their cars who brought 'em in sooner."
"Fine," she sighs. "Can I wait inside? I'm boilin' up out here."
He hesitates before he nods. "Office in the back. Ain't the cleanest, but it's dark an' cool."
"Fine by me," Beth answers quickly, more than ready to get off of her aching, swollen feet.
Daryl trails behind her, fingers reaching out to cup her elbow any time they come across a stray piece of equipment on the floor or an area scattered with nuts and bolts.
When they survive the work area and reach the office, Beth sits straight in the chair behind the desk, kicking her Louboutin's off like they're common store shoes.
Usually, she would be horrified at her own behaviour because those heels were damn expensive and her love for shoes is beyond sanity, but she's at zero tolerance for bullshit right now and the pain her feet are in is the biggest bullshit she's had to deal with today.
Sighing, she leans back and tips her neck back, only realising Daryl's remaining presence when they connect eyes. "What? You judgin' me 'fore kickin' off my shoes in your place?"
He shakes his head, eyes sparkling with mirth but mouth set and serious, thick arms crossed over his chest. His muscles bulge because of it and she has such a vivid flash of his straining bicep and jerking hand wrapped around his cock that a hot flush descends straight from the very crown of her head all the way down to her aching toes. Jesus, she needs to get out of here.
"Nah," Daryl finally says, straightening up now and shaking out his arms. "Would offer you summat to keep you occupied, but you look like you're all set." He pointedly jerks his chin to her face and she swipes hastily at her mouth, brushing away powder from her doughnuts with burning cheeks.
"Ha ha, you're so funny," she mutters dryly, swiping at her dress which is also sprinkled with powder. "You know, I don't remember you bein' this much of a dick whenever we were on cam."
"Tha's 'cause you'se too busy lookin' at my dick."
Beth's not even sure who in the world has the gift to make a cam girl blush but this man is the first and only person tallying up on her list. "Will you please just go an' work so you can get 'round to my car soon as you possibly can?"
"You're damn stressy in real life," he answers, turning to leave.
She huffs and decides to let it go, knowing he'll be here all day listening to her if she even attempts to get into the list of reasons why she's stressing.
Having a stinking hangover is sitting pretty at number one and right now the only cure is a hot shower, her most fluffy pyjamas and a cuddle with Jasmine watching Disney movies and maybe some take out.
Daryl Dixon can just piss off for five seconds and stop expecting her to flirt back with him when her brain isn't firing at its full capacity.
Frankly, she hasn't got the mental stability right now to deal with how sexy he looks in a dirty wife beater full of holes and a jumpsuit tied around his waist.
She's not even going to think about the grease stains.
He's always so clean when they go on camera together, right down to his fingernails. Maybe he showers before every session.
Either way, he takes her advice though it's with a sarcastic snort that trails out behind him. So, Beth's left to her own devices.
Her phone isn't getting much signal in the office, so that's out and there's really nothing else to do.
The office chair she's sat in is unrealistically big though, like those chairs that supervillains use in the movies to turn dramatically and say, "I've been expecting you."
It's big enough to swaddle her whole body and cradle her if she were to pull her legs up. So that's exactly what she does but then she's left with the sudden realisation that she's fucking freezing.
That horrible drunk cold where a person's bones feel like glass because they stood outside all goddamn night with that one friend that just has to smoke.
Truthfully, she feels awful so maybe a nap will do her some good, not to mention the fact that she shouldn't be driving when she still feels a little drunk from the night before, wired on coffee and sugar and now to top it all off: the adrenaline rush of meeting Daryl.
Yeah, a nap is what she needs. Then when she wakes up, the car will be done, she'll pay, she'll leave and she'll be one step closer to getting home to those pyjamas, a hot shower and Jasmine.
Sleep is a great idea.