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The Cost of Innocence

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“Cathy! Wait up!”

“Come on slow poke!”, Cathryn cried to her little brother as she darted through the trees towards the orchard. Luckily, the family managed to find a small secluded cabin on an island not too far from the mainland whilst on their travels. Cathryn's father had always been the type of man who would do anything for his family so hell on earth couldn’t stop him from finding a way to save them. He managed to locate a warehouse and small estate near the island and cleaned it out himself. Most of the residents and workers left in hope of being saved by the government but in reality, they were just placed in camps waiting for their own demise. Cathryn's family had been travelling through the Americas, it was something their parents had always wanted to do but looking back on it, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. Though to be fair, Cathryn had no idea what state the UK was in now.

Cathryn stopped once she reached the orchard gates for her brother to arrive, this area had been untouched by walkers thankfully. The water warded them off, they seemed to hate the water. Cathryn hadn’t even had to kill a walker, she was sure it was an important skill to learn but her father seemed to want to protect her innocence. She was only a child still. Or was she? She had no sense of time. She remembered she was fourteen when they came to America and that she must have had at least one birthday since then. Maybe she even had two? She decided not to dwell on these things.

“Cathy! Help!”, Cathryn froze but then quickly sprinted towards her brothers scream, she had no idea where he could be but she just had to keep running. What if they were walkers? She had no weapon on her. Shit. She ran into a clearing and spotted her brother with four older men. They weren’t walkers and Cathryn sighed in relief. The men turned around and looked at her, one of them had her brother by the arm.

“Well, Hi there Darlin. What’s your name?”, Cathryn stayed by the trees but kept an eye on her brother. The man who spoke to her laughed at her reaction and stepped forward. He was tall and broad with a leather jacket and a baseball bat. Cathryn noticed it had barbed wire wrapped around it. All the other men had rifles. She was outnumbered, she couldn’t run to her dad. She had to go along with it.

“I’m Cathryn and that’s my little brother Eddie...”, Eddie was being held by a tall skinny man with a brown moustache, he didn’t seem to care that Eddie was struggling.

“What accent is that?”, he took another step closer and she was frozen into place.

“British...”, he smiled, staring at her as if she were a rare commodity, “We were travelling when it happened.”, The man nodded and reached his hand out, he wanted her to take it but she was unsure. “I don’t know you...”

“Well let’s change that Cathryn. Hi, I’m Negan.”, he switched his hand so instead of reaching out it was like he wanted to shake hands. He seemed friendly enough though she didn’t want to get on the wrong side of him. She walked towards him slowly and took his hand, it engulfed hers entirely.

“Pleased to meet you.”, with that Negan burst into laughter and span around before staring at you again.

“Well aren’t you precious!”, Cathryn blushed but more so out of embarrassment than any other feeling. “How old are you?”, Cathryn paused and blinked a few times, that was a strange question to ask.

“I’m not sure really. I think I was fourteen when we got to America. It’s been so long.”, she saw Negan frown and his mood changed quickly. He seemed friendlier now, looking at her as if she were a child rather a piece of meat. “Eddie was seven...”, He blinked almost confused and then remembered that there were two children in his reach.

“I see...What happened to your parents?”, by this point he had sat down on the ground and gestured for Cathryn to sit as well as her little brother. Simon pushed him down quickly but Eddie didn’t complain. Only Negan sat down, the other men towered above them.

“We’re still together, we live not too far from here...”, Negan raised his eyebrows.

“You’re out on your own? With no weapons?”

“We’ve never needed them, Walkers can’t come here.”, Negan looked around and nodded but then looked to his men.

“Yeah but people can...”

“We’ve never seen anyone.”, she quickly replied. It was true. Since the outbreak it had just been her father, her brother and Eddie. Her dad tried to shield her from as much of the world as he could. Though she was sure he had met other people.

“How long have you been here?”, he was looking at her in amazement as if she didn’t exist. He was utterly fascinated.

“Since it started.”, everyone looked down at her. They were all in shocked.

“Wait. Have you ever killed anyone? Dead or alive?”, She shook her head and so did Eddie, Negan stared at them for a while. She could see that so many thoughts were going through his mind but she had no idea if they were good ones or bad. Then when he made his decision he stood up and offered his hand, smirking.

“Let’s go see them then!”

***

“Get the fuck away from them you little piece of shit!”, My dad shouted, pointing a gun at Negan. Negan just laughed as all his men surrounded him with their guns drawn. Cathryn was scared, the little gasp she let out was noticed by Negan who placed his arm around her shoulder and ran his hand up and down her arm.

“Now now...I don’t want a fight because let’s be honest...you would die. Very quickly. You don’t want to scare your kids now do you.”

“Boss there’s another up top”, one of the men shouted, and Negan looked up to see her mother in the window with a rifle. Negan just waved, he was so confident, he knew he wasn’t going to die.

“Wow, I return your kids to you and you shove two guns in my face? Where are the fucking manners? I heard all your Brits were meant to be polite!”, her father looked at his children before looking at the guns aimed at him. He then lowered his gun and gestured to his wife to drop hers and come down. Quickly she ran down the stairs and joined them. Negan’s smile widened each second.

“Thank you...”, Cathryn’s mother said and held out her arms for her kids to run into, Eddie was there within seconds but when Cathryn tried to go forward she was held in place by Negan.

“There we go! There’s that hospitality I’ve heard so much about! Thing is, we could have been anyone, you really do meet the worst fucking people in an apocalypse! Murderers, rapists, cannibals, Paedophiles...”, Her father was becoming angry at Negan's arms around you, “You are very, very lucky...”

“What do you want?”, Negan smiled.

“Straight to the fucking point! I like that! We are the Saviours! I run a large community a couple hours' drive from here. We have about four hundred people living there. Cathryn told me all about your little situation...I think it would be best for you to come with us so you can be safe and learn how to take care of yourself.”

“We are fine here. Now let go of my daughter and move along home.”, he raised his gun again and Negan just laughed.

“You really don’t fucking get it do you?”

“No, I guess I don’t. Now give me my daughter before I shoot you in the balls.”, Negan smirked.

“I’m going to give you one last chance, accept the offer or I take what I want and leave you in the dust to die.”, With that her father took the shot, but sadly for him, he missed. Cathryn screamed as one of the men shot her father in the leg. He cried out and fell to the floor, her mother screamed and ran towards him. Eddie was in shock before he started crying. Cathryn tried to run towards him but was held close by Negan. She tried to get him off but it was like his arm was made of nothing but muscle.

“Fuck! See! I try to help you, I try to help your family but instead you want to kill me! I never wanted things to end up like this, you gotta know that.”, he paused for a second and looked at Cathryn who was crying in his arms. “But do you know what? I’m gonna be the good guy and help you out. I’m gonna keep this one safe and well fed and look after her for you! One less mouth to feed!”, Her mother looked up in disbelief and shook her head, she cried out in protest but was stopped by the guns being pointed at her.

“Don’t worry, we’ll make sure she’s comfortable.”

Chapter Text

“Let me out!” Cathryn cried in the back of the truck as they drove away from the small island she had called her home for the past couple of years. They just ignored her though as she banged against the doors. She started to cry in frustration more than anything else and eventually it became a quiet sob as she curled into a ball in the corner of the truck.

A pot hole in the road jolted her away and she looked around to see if she was still alone. She was. She had no idea how long they had been driving but it was a long time, they must have travelled far.

“You gonna behave yourself now sweetheart?”, Cathryn looked around for the voice and realised he must be in the driver's seat, or the passengers. She recognised it as the leader, Negan, she thought his name was. It was very strange.

“Please let me go back...I’ll do anything...”, she hoped begging would appeal to his better nature but then again she had no idea what men were like now. She used to be scared of them before this all happened.

“Now Sweetheart. Number one: You should never say things like that. Who knows what kind of sick fuckers are lurking around these days. Number two: I’m afraid you aren’t going anyway. You see, your daddy tried to fucking kill me and I shot him in the fucking leg. He’s not gonna be able to look after you so I am now your official guardian! I’ve been told I’m pretty good with kids!”, Cathryn thought he sounded too smug for his own good, she hated how he treated her like a child.

“I’m not a kid!”, she shouted, before realising she sounded exactly like one.

“Sure you aren’t...”, his sarcasm proved her point and she huffed, crossing her arms and legs.

“Well then why not take my brother too?”, he just laughed however, which made her feel even more stupid.

“Damn, you must think I’m a fucking generous host to take on two kids!”, Cathryn stayed silent and so did he.

Soon enough the truck began to slow down and eventually came to a stop. She heard muffled talking in the front but couldn’t quite hear what the two men were saying. She then heard one of the doors open and a man shouting for everyone to get inside. She had no idea what was going on but she could only guess they were in the compound. But why was everyone going inside? Suddenly she heard another door being opened and slammed close. There was a moment of pause and Cathryn's heart began to beat fast as she waited for him to open the back of the truck. She couldn’t run, she couldn’t fight them so what else could she do? She didn’t want to give up that easily but maybe it was better that way?

That was when the door opened. The leader, Negan, stood there with his hand outreached. To anyone else he would have seemed helpful, heroic even. The sun shone in the background making it look like he was glowing but Cathryn was still scared. Reluctantly she offered him her hand and stood up, clambering out of the truck. She almost slipped but he caught her and chuckled softly.

“There we go. Isn’t that better?”, he was stroking up and down her back. Cathryn didn’t know whether to feel comforted or nervous. This man seemed to have two sides to him. She chose to ignore his question.

“Where is everyone?”, She saw his jaw tick but then smiled.

“Inside for dinner, speaking of which, are you hungry?”, Cathryn paused and stared at the man for a moment before nodding. He seemed like he was a generous mood and she didn’t want to anger him further by rejecting his hospitality. “Use your words.”, he reprimanded and she shrunk back.

“Sorry. Yes, I’m hungry.”, His frown turned into a wide smile and he led her into the compound. It was large, too big and too quiet. She was used to a small cabin. How did people remember one another here? He led her up a couple of flights of stairs, his hand never leaving the small of her back and went down a hallway. She felt uneasy, there was no one here. No one that she could see anyway, she would think for a place this big they would at least have guards. Eventually they stopped in front of a door which he used a key to open.

“Now Princess, what do you call this?”, he seemed proud of his room. Though, in all honesty, Cathryn thought it was amazing. There was a giant bed in the middle with soft blankets in dark colours, modern furniture and paintings. There was a giant bookcase and even a TV. She had never seen such an extravagant room.

“Where did you get it all?” She asked, wandering around the room as if she were in a dream. He just watched and chuckled.

“You’ll be amazed what people leave behind during an apocalypse.”, she walked instinctively towards the bookcase and had a look at some of the titles. There was some Orwell, Shakespeare, Goulding. She had forgotten some of those books existed, she had a small supply of them back at the lodge but her father never went out specifically for books. “You like reading?”, She nodded and then remembered what he said earlier.

“Yeah, a lot.”

“What’s your favourite kind?”, She thought for a moment then turned around to see his smirking face.

“I like pretty much all books but I love classics, especially the ones with the beautiful hard-covers.” He nodded as if he was pleased with her answer. Negan then walked towards her, and stroked his hand through her golden hair.

“Well, I’ll let my men know. See if we can get you a welcoming gift.”, Cathryn didn’t know whether to be grateful or not. On the one hand it was a nice gesture but on the other hand she never wanted to be here in the first place. She decided to reply using only a smile which caused him to chuckle and turn around.

“I’ll have a room prepared for you for tomorrow. For now, however, you’ll stay here with me.”, Cathryn began to feel nervous, she was never really comfortable around men before and now she had to stay in the same room as a stranger. What if he wanted to sleep in the same bed? He chuckled at her panic, watching her squirm before reassuring her. “Don’t worry, if you’re a good girl you can stay here by yourself for the night.”.

That didn’t calm her nerves one bit.

***

“So, you’re telling me that you never ran into anyone since you moved into that cabin?”, Cathryn shook her head as she ate her soup. She slurped it down before replying.

“Nope. It was weird, felt like we were the only people alive. For a while, I started to believe it.”, he nodded, listening intently.

“I’m sure you did, at least you had your family.”, Cathryn smiled and then grimaced. Shit, how had she forgotten them so soon. Negan was just being so nice that she forgot why she was here in the first place. She felt uncomfortable about where the topic was going so decided to switch it around.

“Well what about you? Any family?”, he shook his head.

“I used to have a wife but she died before all of this”, Cathryn nodded in understanding, she saw a glimmer of sadness in his eyes but then it quickly disappeared. She realised this was a topic he would not get into so she decided to drop it.

“It’s a long time to be alone.”, she said softly, looking down to her soup.

“Yes, it is. Too long in fact...”, he then paused and stared at her. She was unaware of his gaze but he took in every detail he could see. He was trying to figure something out but he felt even more confused after dwelling on it.

“Thank you for the food.”, he snapped out of his trance and smiled. He reminded Cathryn of those old Hollywood movie stars with that smile.

“My pleasure!”, he took her bowl and stacked it on top of his empty one. He then licked a smudge of soup on his thumb and Cathryn felt butterflies begin to rouse in her stomach. “I’m gonna sleep in my office next door, don’t worry about me, it’s got a proper comfortable sofa bed!”, He smirked and she found herself smiling with him. “If you need anything then feel free to knock, the main door will be locked however. Bathroom is over there.”, he pointed out each of the doors to her and she just nodded at every word that came out of his mouth.

He picked up the tray and walked over to her seat, bending down before kissing her softly on the forehead.

“Sweet Dreams Little One.”

Chapter Text

Cathryn's eyes fluttered as the sunlight softly hit her face and for a while she basked in her relaxation. It felt almost as if yesterday had never happened, like the apocalypse had never happened. She grasped the pillows above her softly, feeling how fluffy they were and rolled over onto her stomach to cuddle one into her chest. The bed smelt so good last night, musky and masculine. That was when the spell was broken. She remembered Negan and how her father was shot and she was taken away. How could she have so easily behaved around him? How could she have eaten his food and slept in his bed like they knew each other for years. She sat up and squeezed the pillow tightly, burying her face in it. She felt like she could cry but the scent of Negan wrapped itself around her and made her calmer. How can a man smell this good during a zombie apocalypse? It should be impossible.

“My, My. That’s a pretty sight.”, Cathryn immediately looked up to see a smug Negan staring at her. “I’m guessing you slept well Princess?”, Cathryn blushed and looked away but this just made him chuckle as he sauntered closer to the bed. “You’re all shy now.”, he reached his hand forward to stoke her cheek but she pushed herself away to the other end of the bed.

“Don’t touch me.”, Negan raised his eyebrow and she saw his jaw tighten. He was getting annoyed.

“Now Darling don’t be rude. I got a lovely new bedroom set up for you and you act all pissy.”, Cathryn's face softened and in turn so did Negan's.

“My room?”, he smiled at her expression of wonder.

“All yours Princess.”, Cathryn grinned unconsciously and Negan's smile widened. It seemed to her that he enjoyed making her happy. Enjoyed spoiling her. Like she was his own daughter, but even her own father never enjoyed giving her gifts as much as Negan did. Maybe he was just a generous man to good people.

“Is it ready now?”, He chuckled.

“Of course, had my men up all night getting it perfect!”, Cathryn bounded off the bed and went to open the door but Negan beat her to it. “Woah! Where do you think you’re going?”, his hand covered hers on the doorknob.

“To my room.”

“Why the rush? You aren’t even changed yet.”, Cathryn raised her eyebrow. Negan never bothered picking up any of her possessions when he took her.

“These are the only clothes I have with me?”

“Good thing then I got an entire new wardrobe for you...”, Cathryn's eyes widened. She couldn’t remember the last time she got new clothes. Without thinking she ran up to Negan and hugged him tightly.

“Thank you! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!”, Negan just chuckled and stroked her hair softly.

“Anything to make you smile Love.”, they stood like that for a while, Cathryn just basking in his warmth and scent, allowing him to run his fingers through her hair. It felt so nice. Almost too nice.

***

“And here we go!”, Negan opened the door to her room, it was directly across from his, once again there were no guards. Cathryn slowly walked into the room and turned around to take it all in. It was beautiful. The walls were a soft blue colour and there was a white fluffy rug in the middle of the room that looked incredibly soft she couldn’t wait to run her toes through it. There was a small double bed in the corner that had pillows and blankets just like Negan's room but this time in a much lighter colour and a medium sized teddy bear in the middle of the bed. There was a large white wooden wardrobe that contained the massive amount of clothes Negan had picked out for her, mostly skirts and dresses. Next to the wardrobe was a white vanity that had little perfumes and nails varnishes and a large mirror.

Cathryn stared in it for a while, she definitely looked more grown up now, they didn’t have any mirrors in the cabin with her family. Her breasts were a lot bigger and her hips wider but she was still very petite, just under five foot. She twirled around in her soft pink dress that Negan chose for her to wear. It was really pretty and complimented her soft pale skin well. She felt like a completely different girl. She then turned around to see a white wooden desk on the opposite side of the room with various pens, pencils and notebooks. It was all beautiful, more so than any room she ever had. Even before the apocalypse. Negan just watched her reactions from the doorway, his smile widening the more he saw her enjoying herself.

“How did you do all this in such a short amount of time?”, She softly asked in awe.

“I’m a man that gets what he wants.”, Cathryn turned around to face him. His words ringing in her mind.

“What do you want?”, There was a moment of silence as he thought on his answer.

“For you to be happy, it does make you happy?”, Cathryn grinned and nodded enthusiastically, Negan just chuckled.

“I’ve never had a room this beautiful, not even before the apocalypse.”, she turned around to face the mirror in the vanity and saw Negan walk close behind her. She stared at him in the mirror, how he was looking at her face, how his hands held her shoulders gently. How his thumbs rubbed her arms softly.

“You deserve to be spoiled.”, he whispers in her ear and then caught her gaze in the mirror. They stared at each other for a moment when she quickly broke away and backed into the wardrobe.

“Well, I best have time to get acquainted with my room.”, he nodded to himself and went to leave before pausing at the doorway and turning around.

“Before I go we need to go over some ground rules.”

“Okay...”, she replied hesitantly.

“Number One. This is the most important. You do exactly as I say. No exceptions.”, she nodded.

“Exactly as you say. Got it.”

“Number Two. You do not leave this room under any circumstances unless you’re with me.”

“What if there's an emergency, like a fire or something?”

“That’s never going to happen. This is a fire door. Nothing bad will ever happen as long as you stay in this room do you understand?”, Cathryn nodded in silence.

“Number Three. You will have all your meals with me from now on unless I’m busy. In which case I will have it delivered to you.”

“Meals with you. Got it.”

“Final Rule. If you have a problem or anything you come straight to me. You don’t lie to me. You don’t try to manipulate me. You don’t try to escape. You need to understand that I’m the big ol’ daddy in the Sanctuary. You rely on me. You need me. You need me because I own you. You may not like that big pill but you will swallow it, understand?”

Cathryn stood there for a while taking all of his words in. He was definitely a control freak and the idea of not being able to leave or have autonomy rubbed her the wrong way but she had no choice but to accept his demands. He had just given her beautiful room and clothes and he could easily take it away if she refused him. So, after a while she nodded and accepted his conditions.

“Okay, I promise.”, He smiled and leaned his face slightly to the left. It almost looked cute despite his menacing look and large stature.

“Now aren’t you a good little girl. I’m going to be gone for a while. Think you can manage?”

All she could do was nod.

Chapter Text

Cathryn crept back into bed for the third time that day, although her room was beautiful she was restless. Negan never let her outside and he would only come in during meal times and in the evening. Cathryn was becoming bored of the books on her shelf and increasingly more tired than usual. She even started talking to her teddy-bear to ease the loneliness.

“What’s taking Negan so long?”, she asked him but of course the bear would not respond, just staring with its vacant eyes. Cathryn groaned and turned over in bed, trying to hear for any footsteps but she heard none. After a while she fell asleep and woke up again when she heard the door knocking. She had no idea how long she had been asleep for.

Negan didn’t wait for her reply before walking in and staring at her lying in bed.

“Tired today sweetheart?”, Cathryn rubbed her eyes and got up, he must have looked like a mess.

“Kind of, I’m a bit bored…”, Negan frowned and sat on the bed beside her.

“That’s not very good, is it? I’ll get my men to find you some games or toys when they are next out…”, he reached out the brush through her hair and she let him.

“Toys? I’m not a child…”, He smiled, almost in a patronising way.

“Of course, you aren’t sweetheart.”, there was a pause as he motioned for her to turn around as he began to brush through her golden hair.

“If I could just go out every so often I would be able to get some exercise. Run around a bit!”, Negan didn’t reply though, he just kept brushing her hair. She couldn’t even see his face. “How was your day?”, Cathryn asked to break the silence.

“It was productive, we found a new community nearby and we are hoping they are nice enough to let us trade.”, Lily was shocked, she had no idea there would be other communities nearby. She wondered if they were as nice as this one.

“That’s cool. How many do you trade with?”

“Five so far, this one will be six.”, he finished brushing through her hair and turned her around, sweeping it from her face. “There we go, all beautiful again.”, Cathryn blushed and Negan’s smile turned into a smirk.

“No I’m not, I’m a mess…”, Negan frowned and got even closer to her, so close she could smell him.

“Darling, you are beautiful. Most beautiful girl I have ever seen.” He caressed her face softly and she lifted her eyes up to face him. He was so close now, she thought he was going to kiss her. His hands moved from her face to the back of her neck and brought her in closer. She felt his breath across her lips and closed her eyes waiting for his touch.

BANG BANG BANG

The moment was gone, and Negan straightened up with a scowl on his face, she had only seen that look a few times. Only when he was angry. He stormed towards the door and swung it open.

“You better have a fucking good reason for interrupting me right now Fat Joey.”, Cathryn peered round Negan to see a shorter man at the doorway. She didn’t like Negan’s name for him, it wasn’t nice to call people words like that.

“Sorry Sir but Angie is having a breakdown and hit one of the other girls…”, Negan groaned and slammed the door in Joeys face before turning to Cathryn.

“Sorry sweetheart, I’m a busy man.”, he came closer to the bed again and leant down to their faces were closer.

“Who is Angie?”, Negan paused for a moment and kissed Cathryn’s forehead softly.

“A bitch that’s what she is. Nothing like my sweet little girl.”, he ruffled her hair which made Cathryn giggle and his eyes began to twinkle. “I’ll see you at dinner little one.”, he ran his finger down her cheek and left without another word, leaving Cathryn in complete darkness.

***

“So what happened with Angie?”, Cathryn asked as she dug into her slice of pie. She moaned as the flavours hit her tongue. She hadn’t had such good food in a long time, the sad truth is though that she didn’t even know if it was good food. Anything was better than cold cans.

“Why are you so interested?”, Negan replied as he took a forkful of carrots into his mouth.

“I live on my own and only see you three times a day. A spider could be interesting right now.”

“Don’t like spiders?”

“What girl does?”, Negan laughed and stuck a potato into his mouth.

“Fair Play”, he replied whilst chewing on his food. Cathryn stared for a while and kept going with her question.

“But seriously what happened?”, Negan stopped chewing and swallowed before leaning back into his chair.

“Angie is a bitch and always has been. She decided to get into an argument today with another woman and that descended into a cat fight where Angie scratched the other woman’s face.”

“Why were they fighting?”

“Who the fuck knows?”, Cathryn frowned at his response and played with the potatoes on her plate.

“Surely they know you have better things to do then stop a catfight? Why couldn’t anyone else do it?”, Negan stared at her, contemplating what she was saying.

“Aren’t you a smart one.” His praise made her beam with pride. “Angie listens to me and only me, if someone else tried to stop it things would escalate, and someone would get hurt.”, Cathryn mouthed ‘Oh’ and nodded, it seemed like an odd excuse but she would go with it.

“Here, try this.”, Negan ordered and reached out a fork of his pie.

“But I already have some…” Negan wasn’t impressed by that answer.

“And I’m telling you to eat this.”, Lily sighed and went to take it from his fork, but he drew away.

“Mouth only.”, Cathryn scowled but arguing would only drag out it further, so she conceded, opening her mouth and leaning towards him, he watched intently as she wrapped her lips around his fork and took the piece of pie from it. He only wished it could have lasted longer, maybe feeding her would be a regular occurrence.

“Thanks”, Negan just smiled in response and continued to eat the dish in front of him. His eyes stayed on Cathryn though and she began to feel overwhelmingly uncomfortable.
When they both finished their meal Negan stood up and took both of their plates, putting them to the side by the door. He then made his way around to the back of Cathryn’s chair and placed his hands on her shoulders.

“I’m so glad you’re happy here Cathryn, I know it will be hard at first but you will come to love the security and affection I give you.”, Cathryn made a gulp but refused to turn around and face him.

“My dad will be better soon, when can I see him?”, she knew he wouldn’t like the question but she needed to know desperately, she missed them so much especially her little brother.

“Oh sweetheart, you really think you’ll be safe out there? No, you’re staying with me. Where I can keep an eye on you.”, he got closer this time, she felt his lips by her ear, kissing softly through her hair. She felt shivers down her spine, her body flushed, as she was trapped by his arms and the table.

“Please let me go…”, His lips went lower as they grazed her neck.

“I do love it when you beg…”, his hands moved from her shoulders to the front of her chest and using all of her strength she pushed her elbow into his stomach and ran out from under his arms into the corner. Tears began to run down her eyes as she covered her body from him with her hands. Despite wearing clothes she felt so vulnerable and she had no idea what he was about to do. She expected to see anger on his face but instead it was shock.

“Shit sweetheart, I’m sorry for making you feel uncomfortable…”, he walked towards her but she grabbed one of the plates to throw it at him. She knew it wouldn’t stop him but she had to try. He stopped again.

“Alright, Alright! I’ll go…I know you’ve been exhausted recently, hopefully after a long sleep you will be able to calm down and see how much I care for you.”, he walked past her to grab the door handle and opened it.

“Goodnight.”

Chapter Text

Time seemed to go by incredibly slowly since Negan had captured Cathryn. She had no idea when the sun was rising or setting, she could make guesses when he brought certain types of food to her rooms, he spent the most time with her in the evenings when he had finished work, but she still had no idea when that was. She asked for a clock at one point, but Negan seemed adamant against it. She had no idea why, but it did the job of slowing down life for her. She threw the new tennis ball Negan had got her to the wall and caught it with one hand. She used to have terrible hand eye coordination but with enough practice she managed to get past it. She even learnt how to throw it and spin around before catching it again. God she was becoming sad, she remembered how she used to run around the woods with her little brother and as that memory came into play her legs began to ache. She was eating better foods with Negan, but her lack of exercise made her muscles weak. Standing for too long made her head spin and her back began to ache from lying down so much.

It wasn’t just that though, since Negan tried to come onto her, however long ago it was, he acted so strange. He would come into her room in the middle of the night and stare at her. Cathryn found out about this when she heard the door open but didn’t want to talk to him, she stayed quiet and he just stood there watching. Cathryn didn’t know how long for, but it seemed like a long time. Since then she became aware of him coming into her room. He never touched her or anything, but it was strange all the same. He was also becoming more touchy feely, not in a sexual way but the odd hand on the shoulder or stroking her hair or holding her hand. It felt innocent, maybe the way a father would treat a daughter. But he wasn’t her daughter and she knew his intentions weren’t innocent.

She was restless, and she had enough. She had been planning for this for a while, Negan had told her the last time he saw her that he wouldn’t be able to see her tomorrow except in the evening, so this was her chance. She put on more suitable clothing, the only pair of jeans she could find and a tank top before knocking the door. Suddenly, a man opened the door. He was tall and menacing but he didn’t scare Cathryn, no one could touch her or Negan would kill them.

“What do you want?”, Cathryn rolled her eyes.

“Wow, polite much?”, The man grunted, obviously annoyed his boss put him in such a boring job. “Look, I’m going through some lady troubles and I need the equipment if you know what I mean.”, the man raised his eyebrow.

“No idea what you’re talking about.”, Cathryn groaned and stared at him before shouting.

“I’m on my fucking period and I need pads or tampons. Also preferably a soft blanket and pillow

with something sweet or I’m going to go mental and explain to Negan why you made me a hormonal mess with blood all over my bed.”, the guards eyes widened.

“Okay, okay! Didn’t need to know that.”

“Uhh mate, we live in a zombie apocalypse and you’re still freaked out by periods?”, The man groaned and stormed off down the hall to find her supplies. She shouted after him. “I’m gonna be asleep so just shove it in my room!”, as she saw him climb down the stairs a big smile crossed her face. She ran to her bed and stuffed items under it so it resembled a body under the duvet and crept out of her room into the hallway. She went the opposite way of the guard and wandered down the corridor to a set of stairs. As she walked down them she saw through a window the many workers of the Sanctuary taking part in their everyday jobs. When Negan said there were lots of people living here he wasn’t kidding. When she managed to find the door leading outside she had to shield her eyes from the sunlight. It wasn’t even midday but she still felt her eyes burning.

“Hey are you okay?”, she turned around to see a boy around her age, maybe a bit older, coming over to her.

“Umm, not really, I’m new here and have no idea what’s going on.”, The boy raised an eyebrow but then smiled, reaching his hand out. She followed suite and shook his hand.

“Weird, usually they give you the tour, but things have been pretty manic here recently. I’m Peter, been here just over two years now, I work with the builders but move pretty much where they need me!”, Cathryn smiled. He seemed like a really nice guy, she trusted him.

“Can you give me a tour?”, he smiled.

“Sure! I’m on my break now anyway!”, he then offered his arm and she laughed and took it.

***

“So this is the market where we buy things for points!”

“What kind of things?”, she said as she snooped around the stores.

“Luxuries like snacks, toiletries, comforts! You know? The saviours go scavenging wherever they can and bring this stuff back for us, they get first pick of course but everything else is up for sale.”

“That’s cool, where do you live?”, she asked staring up at him.

“Bunker 32, I live there with my mom and sister, they both work in the kitchens. Plus another family.”, Cathryn raised her eyebrow. They all lived in the same room? Maybe it was quite big.

“Oh, isn’t that a bit weird?”, he nodded.

“Yeah but you get used to it, we are quite close now.”, Cathryn smiled, Peter was such a considerate guy. She was sure a lot of people would be complaining about their living conditions, but he just took it in his stride. She looked to her left and saw a cute little bracelet. It was one of those cheap ones you got on holiday, but it had a little white stone on it and green beads. She smiled, one that was noticed by Peter before moving onto another store.

***

“Wow, this has been super fun.”, Cathryn stated smiling widely.

“Yeah it has. Any idea where you want to go for work?”, Cathryn frowned. She didn’t know whether to tell Peter but it seemed like a bad idea.

“Umm, I don’t know. Maybe the kitchens?”, Peter smiled.

“Well if you are then you might see my mom and sister. I’m sure they would love to meet you.”, Cathryn blushed. She felt like he was flirting with her and in all honesty, she didn’t mind it.

“I would like that.”, Peter blushed and then turned around.

“Close your eyes.”, she followed his instruction and felt him lift up her hand. After a while she felt the weight of something land on her wrist. “Open.”, she opened her eyes and gasped at the beautiful bracelet she saw in the store on her wrist.

“Oh my God Peter! How did you afford this?”, He chuckled.

“I had enough points and I really enjoyed my time with you today. I want to see you again, if I can?”, He lowered his head, obviously feeling quite shy but it only made her heart beat faster.

“I would love to.”, Peter raised his head and smiled before grasping her head quickly and kissing her. It was a soft kiss but passionate, the kind of kiss any teenager might have during an apocalypse. When you are only thinking of the moment, of yourselves, of the moment and not the consequences. After a while they pulled away and cuddled.

“Today has been crazy.”, he whispered into her head, she smiled and nodded. It sure had.

Suddenly, they heard a large horn coming from the centre of the Sanctuary and Cathryn shot up.

“What was that?”, Peter groaned.

“It’s an alarm, it means Negan is making an announcement.”, Cathryn felt her heart stop. Shit. She almost forgot about Negan, what if he found out she went missing. Peter stood up and offered his hand, but she hesitated. “We have to go, if they catch us we will get badly punished and they will catch us.”, Cathryn sighed and they followed the crowds of people to see what Negan had to say.

***

They managed to get a space on one of the bannisters by the stairs. In the middle of the hall there was Negan and a man sat on a stool, he was tied up and had been crying. There was also a large furnace in the middle of the hall and next to Negan were a couple of guards and a group of women dressed in black. Cathryn was so confused.

“Who are the women?”, Peter sighed.

“They’re his wives.”, Cathryn gasped.

“Wives? As in more than one?”, Peter nodded, and Cathryn was in a state of shock. What man needed that many wives? And he never mentioned them once in front of her. Suddenly Negan banged his baseball bat on the ground and everyone went silent.

“Alright everyone, quiet down! Now, I think of myself as a fair man. I think of myself as a strong leader. I make rules and when people obey those rules we prosper. The Sanctuary prospers! But when you steal from me, you steal from the Sanctuary! You steal from everyone!”, Cathryn hated the atmosphere in this room. Negan was acting cocky and confident but he was menacing.

“He’s going to die.”, Peter whispered next to me and I looked forwards to see who the man was. Shit, she thought. It was the guard outside of her room.

“This fucker released a fucking valuable prisoner from her cell, allowed her to fucking escape and none of my guards have been able to find her.”, Cathryn felt her heart stop beating. He was going to die because of her. “So, I’m gonna say this once. If you see a cute little blonde and have no idea who she is then she is my fucking prisoner and you will return her to me this instant!”, Peter whipped his head around to stare at Cathryn as tears filled her eyes. No, she mouthed but her voice couldn’t come out. “Or you will end up like this sorry fucker!”, without another word he raised his bat to the man’s face and swung hard. The sound would remain in Cathryn’s head till she died. She closed her eyes and held her hands to her ears.

Before she even realised she cried out “Stop!” and everyone turned around to face her, including Negan. Her heart stopped as she saw his smirk grow. He turned to one of his men and nodded towards her. Cathryn tried to run but everyone blocked her path. They were all on Negan’s side. Even Peter didn’t try to help her when one of the guards grabbed her arms and dragged her back to a cell.