“Don’t go,” Beth begs desperately, her throat clogged tight and her eyes hot with tears. “Please, please, Daryl, don’t go.”
She’s desperate and childish and petulant, she knows all these things and she’s a coward too, goddamnit she’s such a fucking coward but she can’t lose him. Daryl grabs her by the shoulders and shakes her, his breath heavy and his face flecked with blood.
Her head rocks on her shoulders and she sobs, crashing into his shoulder with a shake of her own as he hurriedly speaks in her ear, “I gotta do it, Beth. We’re fuckin’ trapped, y’get that?” He spits at her.
She knows he’s not really angry at her but the adrenaline is coursing as swift as the growing puddles of blood all around her and he can’t help it so she’s not angry when he shakes her again, rattling her teeth.
“I can’t lose you,” she whispers hoarsely until her voice cracks and tears stream down her eyes.
“This ain’t the fuckin’ time,” he snaps at her. “Fix up an’ sit up! You gotta have my back, alrite? Beth! You gotta have my back, alrite?”
“Yeah,” she sobs shakily. “I got it. I got your back.”
“Good. Grip that knife tighter. After me, right? Run straight after me.” He orders desperately, his hands slick with blood grabbing her cheeks and staining them as he yanks her in and kisses her.
Beth freezes. He’s never kissed her before. She’s never told him she can’t lose him before. There’s never been time before and there’s none now. Dead. God, they’re all dead. A sob hitches in her throat and Daryl yanks away, strokes away a tear with his thumb and shakes her again.
“Pay ‘ttention, ‘kay? S’just us now. Just us.”
She nods shakily and tries to get a grip on herself, taking a rattling breath and gripping the knife. All she can smell is blood. God save her, please someone save her from this nightmare.