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give that man what he’s askin’ for

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He doesn’t know what the fuck she’s doing.

Look, Daryl’s not stupid, no matter what folks assume ‘cause he looks like some redneck dumbass, whatever, he doesn’t care what they assume, even whether it’s right or wrong. Point is, he’s observant, if nothing else — knows how to read people, and far as he’s concerned that's the only kinda smart that counts.

Except.

Except.

He really is a goddamn backwoods dumbass when it comes to Beth Greene. Fuckin’ Beth Greene. He notices things, yeah — notices her — it’s just that he doesn’t know what the hell she’s tryna pull.

It’s something. Gotta be. Or maybe he’s just hoping it’s something and it’s starting to get to him, get in his head and make him just as stupid as most people seem to think he is. ‘Cause this girl, it’s like she crawls into his brain and switches it off every time she sees him, every time she talks to him — and it’s the talking that’s getting to him, because…

Well, he don’t know why. It just is.

Or. Alright. So he knows why. It’s more like he just doesn’t wanna think about it like that, ‘cause if he starts to think about it like that and he’s wrong, then that’d just go to show he’s more like his brother than he thought, and Merle’s not exactly the sort of guy Daryl‘d look to for fuckin’ romantic ideals or what the hell ever, if he was looking to anyone at all.

Which he’s not.

He doesn’t care what Rick says, like that time he caught Daryl gnawing on his thumbnail and staring at Beth maybe a little less subtly than he’d all but trained himself to do, and Rick thought he was fuckin’ funny when he elbowed Daryl in the ribs and said, “You sweet on my babysitter now?” and, okay, so maybe Daryl shouldn’t have told him to shut the fuck up so viciously and then maybe Rick would’ve dropped the whole thing, but no. No, Daryl’d gone and shown all his cards and now Rick knows and he still thinks it’s fuckin’ funny, but it doesn’t matter ‘cause Daryl’s not gonna admit to shit until he figures out why Beth talks to him the way she does.

It all started — or he thinks it’s when it started, anyway, but apparently he’s a damn idiot over this girl so maybe it’s been going on longer and he’s only now just catching up — when Beth got a little apartment in town. Nothin’ great, and Daryl didn’t think the place was worth the security deposit to begin with, told Hershel as much, but the man just smiled and shrugged and said somethin’ about birds leaving the nest or something else that sorta missed the point but, whatever, Daryl’s never been much for sentimentality.

Anyway, Beth was gonna do what Beth was gonna do, so she’d put the money down and’s been callin’ him whenever something breaks since.

It’s a shitty apartment; something’s always breaking.

And he goes runnin’, every time, because she just — Jesus. It just so happens that she fuckin’ owns his ass, he guesses. He admitted that to himself exactly once, and he’s tried not to lend any conscious thought to it since.

Besides, he’s been… occupied… thinking about the shit she says when she calls, so he hasn’t really got the time to think about how pussy-whipped he is when he isn’t even —

Well.

He really shouldn’t be thinking anything like that, but the fact is that ‘Beth Greene’ and ‘pussy-whipped’ is a package deal where Daryl’s concerned.

So how is he supposed to help it, if he happens to think about burying his head between her legs, maybe pull one of those high pretty laughs from her when his scruff tickles the insides of her thighs, ‘til it breaks off on a moan he imagines’d be even higher, prettier, when he covers her cunt with his mouth and just fucking owns her the way she does him, when she hasn’t ever even touched him the way he wants her to?

‘Cause he happens to think about that, too. About her hands in his hair, her legs around his shoulders, thighs clamping hard around his ears, the grind of her hips goin’ faster and faster even as he tries to keep her still with his hands, ‘cause he wants to tongue-fuck her so good that she just can’t help but ride his face and —

Shit. Motherfucking Jesus Christ god damn, he needs to stop.

Not that Beth ever gives him much of a chance, when she calls him up and groans into the phone all, “The washer’s busted, god, I swear, the whole place is flooded, jeez, could you come over? Can’t even walk two steps without soaking my socks. Please, Daryl, I’m so wet, c’mon, could you come help me with this?”

What the fuck’s he supposed to do with that, huh? He’s not exactly the sort of guy who gets his head stuck in the gutter but, fuck, Beth’s sweet little voice in his ear all beggin’ him like that, it just… He wants to make her come just so she’ll stop needling him like that, like she wants him to make her come.

Yeah, so the washer really was broke and her kitchen sure as hell was flooded, but she didn’t need to be wearing that short of a skirt when he showed up, either, so. It makes him wonder, s’all.

Not that he said anything to her about the skirt. Not that he minded it. But maybe it took him an extra half-hour or so to fix the washer because he kept thinkin’ about tracing the pattern of freckles on her thighs with the wide wet flat of his tongue.

He thought about it a lot later, too. Thought about soothing that little frown line between her eyebrows, that pout pullin’ at the corners of her mouth when her wet feet squelched on the wetter tiles, like he could make all that bullshit go away just by licking far enough into her cunt.

He might have a problem. Or at least a dangerous preoccupation with going down on Beth, which wouldn’t be that bad of a thing, except that worst case scenario it’s gonna drive him fuckin’ crazy, and best case scenario he’s absolutely gonna suffocate to death.

Which… Fine. Whatever. Daryl’s never been much of a complainer.

Anyway.

Sometimes it’s not quite like that. Sometimes she just texts him, one’a them little grimacing faces, and he shoves his feet into his boots and heads over to see what the hell she broke this time.

“Don’t you got a landlord to do this shit?” he’d asked her around the half-dozenth time, when one of her bracelets snapped off and clogged up the garbage disposal.

Turns out the landlords give Beth the creeps, despite a friendly enough first impression. Some woman named Dawn, and she’s got a friend who drops in too much for comfort — he works maintenance, so far as he says, but Beth pretends all’s well and good whenever he comes ‘round.

“That’s if I’m not pretendin’ to not be home at all,” she explained at the time. “But I ain’t lettin’ Gorman step one foot in here, nuh-uh.”

“Want me to kick his ass?”

She’d laughed at that, but — “Ain’t jokin’.”

“No, Daryl,” Beth said, all dry-like the way she does when she thinks he’s overreacting, “I don’t want you to kick his ass, I just want you to fix the garbage disposal.”

“Ain’t gonna fix nothin’,” he grumbled, “you don’t watch your damn language.”

“Watch your damn language.”

“Girl, I swear to god —”

“What?”

He’d looked at her then, really looked at her instead of actin’ like he was rummaging through his toolbox when he damn well already knew what he needed to fix the disposal. She was leaning against the counter, arms crossed over her chest and legs crossed at the ankle, eyebrows raised and lips twitchin’ like she was trying not to smile, ‘cause it pisses Daryl off when folks laugh at him and for all Beth’s teasin’, she never does that.

Even when she’s… flirting with him? Maybe? He’s got no damn idea, but either way she’s not an asshole. And that shouldn’t be enough to make him want to kiss her hard up on that countertop, and if she were anyone else it wouldn't, but she’s Beth and he wants to kiss her all the time.

“Nothin’.” Daryl’d huffed and ducked back into his toolbox. “Still gonna kick his ass.”

“My hero.”

“Fuckin’ brat.” But it was his mouth twitchin’ then, and Beth really did laugh that time.

Jesus Christ, but he’s pretty sure he’s in love with her or some shit like that.

What the hell.

But… whatever. Whatever. It’s fine. Fuckin’ fine, he tells himself for somethin’ like the millionth time when he clocks outta work for the day, only to find one of those little grimace faces waiting for him in his messages.

He’d been at the shop for nine hours and it’s a triple-digit heat index, easy, but Beth’s on his way home, anyway, and who the hell’s he kidding? Daryl curses, yanks the gear shift and turns sharp onto the road. She could be clear across the state and he’d still make the drive at the drop of a damn hat.

Fine, so he’s pussy-whipped. Daryl’s already made his peace with that, so. Fuck it.

When Beth answers the door after a couple quick raps of his knuckles — god damn it, he told her to keep the deadbolt on when she’s home alone and clearly she’s ignored him, but then that’s the least of his worries when he gets a good look at her and realizes that ‘pussy-whipped’ ain’t gonna cover it anymore. Pussy-macheted might do it.

Doesn’t even make any damn sense, but Beth’s standing there in nothing but her underwear and a fine sheen’a sweat, so obviously the whole universe is outta its damn mind right now.

Fuck him, but he never thought he’d miss that skirt she wore when the washer kicked it. That little swishy chocolate-colored thing that made all those sun-kissed freckles stand out, that shit had messed him up for days (alright, weeks and then some), but this — goddamn, he ain’t ever gettin’ over this.

Because this is Beth in her bare feet, bare legs, with a snug pair of something black slung around her hips, and maybe they could pass for shorts but Daryl’s not stupid and he doesn’t have the mental faculties to try and fool himself at the moment. Her sports bra is thick-banded and bright yellow, which matches her nail polish but makes her scrambled-up heat-frazzled hair look a shade duller. But duller on Beth just means she looks like a slightly overcast sky, and it’s a little easier to look at her straight-on without goin’ blind.

Though it’s not strictly easy to look at her right now, but Daryl can’t manage to look away, either.

He swallows — shit, it actually hurts — and blinks, but she still looks like that and he should probably say something.

“Jesus.”

Well. That was… something, he guesses.

Beth don’t seem to notice that he’s on the verge of a damn stroke. She drums her fingers against the doorframe and blows a bright pink bubble outta the gum she’s chewing. “The air conditioner’s out.”

“Yeah” — he wipes a hand over his mouth, because he might be drooling, just a little, he’s gotta cut that shit out right now — “Christ, it better be, ‘f ya gonna answer the door lookin’ like that.”

“Lookin’ like what?”

A tic starts up in his jaw. “Girl, you damn well know what.”

“Daryl, it’s a thousand degrees in here.” She rolls her eyes, snaps her gum between her teeth. “What d’you want me to wear?”

An interesting question. He’ll think about that later, because at this point he can’t fucking help it, so might as well embrace it, right? Nobody else has to know. He can just… die of the very private shame of it. That’s fine. Up ‘til now, he’d expected himself to die of something stupid, mundane, like a hunting accident or old age, but it looks like he’s gonna die ‘cause now he knows the exact curvature of Beth Greene’s hip bones where they round off into her ass, and what the hell else was he living for, anyway? He’ll die shamefully, sure, but peacefully, too.

“Roll your damn eyes at me ‘gain,” he mutters. He elbows her aside to get through the door, and far enough away from her so he doesn’t act on any of those ideas about pushing her up on a wall and doin’ what he wants with her. “See ‘f I don’t leave your ass here ta fuckin’ fry.”

Behind him, Beth’s snort is just loud enough to be heard over the click of the door when she closes it. She knows he’s full of shit, which isn’t exactly the way Daryl’d like things to be but, then, he doesn’t want her to think she can’t count on him, either, so he’s pretty much fucked any way he looks at it.

He knows the layout of Beth’s place down to the square footage, down to the corners, so he makes his way to the living room where the air conditioner is. Everything that’s busted so far has been something he can fix, and he hopes for the sake of his own sanity that the unit will be quick work. He gets hot enough ‘round the collar whenever he’s alone with Beth, and the apartment’s sweltering without all the bullshit runnin’ through his head.

“Uh.” He stops in the doorway. Didn’t need to go any farther to notice what’s different about the room. “Fuck’s that?”

“A lowboy,” Beth says, like that explains everything. But when Daryl fixes her with a furrowed brow and a frown, she continues, “It’s a dressing table, y’know, like a vanity?”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.” She follows him the rest of the way into the room, runs a hand over the scarred top of the dresser or whatever the hell it is. “I got it secondhand. Been thinkin’ about paintin’ it.”

Alright… “The hell’s it doin’ in your living room?”

An impatient little breath huffs through Beth’s nose. Her cheeks are tinged pink, and Daryl doesn’t know if it’s from the heat or what. “Will you just look at the unit ‘stead of worryin’ about where I put my furniture, jeez.”

Actually, he’s too busy worrying about where he wants to put his mouth to really care where Beth puts her furniture, but. But. That’s not something he’s gonna say out loud, no way. Frankly he’s surprised the thought even managed to cross his mind; he’s usually good at shutting that shit down before he becomes really conscious of it.

But — again — Beth’s got this way of knocking him senseless, so reasonably speaking he can’t be held responsible for this.

He sets his toolbox on the floor next to Beth’s secondhand table, just as she drops herself on top of it to watch him work. She always does that, never leaves him be to just get to it and then run outta there like the devil’s after him. Girl needs to get a hobby or somethin’, but last time he said that to her she told him she sings at church on the weekends, would he like to come by sometime and see her prove it? She was kiddin’, he knows that, but if she asks him again he knows he ain’t gonna be able to tell her no, jokes or not. Best to just keep his mouth shut, try and focus up on what he’s there to do.

There’s a few basics he needs to check first, make sure the thing is really broken and not just on the fritz, but he can’t remember them. Can’t remember anything that isn’t the way Beth’s foot pops when she crosses her legs.

He swipes a hand over his forehead, beaded with sweat already and all he’s done is pretend to look at the A/C — pretend, ‘cause he’s forgotten what he’s supposed to be looking for in the first place. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s Beth, maybe it’s both, but — ah, fuck it. The only reason he’s noticed the heat at all is ‘cause it made Beth strip down to her underwear, and now it’s only serving to make a tense situation worse, because apparently Daryl’s life ain’t hard enough as it is.

“Fuckin’ hot in here,” he mumbles. Which. Yeah. Duh.

“You could take your shirt off,” Beth suggests, and snorts again when he whips his head so quick to look at her that his neck cricks. “What? C’mon, I know you got another one on under there.”

That’s… true. Daryl’s always wearing at least two layers, for this precise reason, in case he has to shed the top but fuck no is he getting half-naked for anybody, so he can’t fault her logic; it’s her intent that’s got him narrowing his eyes, and then Beth rolling hers again.

Soon as she does it, though, she looks like she regrets it. She sucks at her bottom lip, gets it sticky with bubblegum, and then she says, “I mean, you don’t gotta. I just thought —”

“S’alright.” Daryl stops her, because the only thing worse than stripping off his button-down would be talking about why he’s doing it or why he maybe would rather not. But Beth’s never made him feel like he has to do anything. All the shit he does for her, the bottom line is ‘cause he wants to.

Anyway, the heat in her apartment is bullshit right now, so he unbuttons his shirt, shucks it off, tosses it at her so it hits her square in the face and she laughs as she flings it aside. It takes about two seconds, and another two for him to feel self-conscious about it when Beth’s gaze scans the curves of his arms. Not like he’s gonna say anything about it, or else he’d sure to be in a whole world of trouble.

Nevermind that he’s already in a whole world of trouble, every time he jumps however high Beth says, but. Well, he’s here, ain’t he, so he’s just gonna have to deal with that. Anything else, he’ll avoid if he can.

Or not, he thinks as his eyes drop to Beth’s legs again. Can’t even trust his own damn self anymore, apparently.

Fuck.

He shakes his head, like he’s trying to get water out of his ears, which does the trick well enough ‘cause he’s just remembered one of the things he needs to check before he chucks the unit and tells her to replace it. Replace the whole fuckin’ apartment, too, just pack up her shit and go back to her daddy’s farm — or not, he thinks again, because then she might not call him as much anymore and —

God damn it, he likes it when she calls.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

He’s about to lose his fuckin’ mind.

First, though…

He crouches down near the floor, shoves aside that little resale table Beth’s sitting on, just enough to get a look at the wall behind it. She yelps when it moves, but Daryl smacks her lightly on the calf to shut her up and she almost does, if it weren’t for the giggle that comes on the heels of his hand connecting with her muscle.

He probably shouldn’t have done that, touched her leg, but what’s done is done and now he’s got an idea of how smooth and strong that leg’d feel if he hoisted it up around his shoulder.

Like he needs to know that shit. Jesus, it’s like he wants to fuckin’ lose it.

He shakes his head again, this time at his own dumbass self, and fishes the cord out from behind the table, brandishing it in Beth’s direction. “Thing’s unplugged.”

He shoves the plug into its outlet and the air conditioner kicks back on, with a hum to go along with the one that’s just reverberated all innocent in Beth’s throat.

“Oh.” Another hum, another smack of her gum and pop of her foot. “Guess I must’ve knocked it out when I was rearrangin’ the furniture.”

“Uh-huh.” Daryl’s eyes narrow some more. He’s still crouched by the table, and he purs a hand on the edge for balance, right on the other side of Beth’s knees so he’s got her caged in. “Got anythin’ else for me t’ do?”

“Might.” She snaps her gum again, grins at him, and he wants to lick the taste from her mouth. “But listen, y’know, I been thinkin’. You’re always comin’ by to fix something for me and I never even give you any money or anything.”

A short breath puffs out from his nostrils. “Don’t want your money.”

Beth cocks her head thoughtfully, tilts it to just the right angle like she’s tellin’ him he could kiss her if he wants to. “So what do you want, huh?”

Is she playing some sorta game with him now? Daryl’s mouth presses into a firm line. He rubs his lips together as he tries to figure that out, but since when’s he been able to figure anything out about this girl?

“Want you to keep the fuckin’ deadbolt locked.”

“What else?”

“Quit rollin’ your eyes ev’ry time I say somethin’ that makes perfect damn sense,” he decides, because she just went and did it again when he mentioned the deadbolt.

She prods his thigh with her bare toes, painted a bright pink in contrast to the obnoxious yellow on her fingers. “You worry too much.”

“Jus’ about your stupid ass,” he mutters as he — what — curls a hand around her ankle to hold her foot still, keep her from poking at him anymore.

Now her toes curl atop his jeans. “Don’t you get all worked up about my ass, now.”

Too goddamn late for that.

“That mouth’a yours’ gonna get you in trouble,” he says like a warning, but that’s more to himself than to her, and yet it doesn’t stop his grip from tightening, like he doesn’t know what’s good for him.

Which, alright, so he doesn’t, otherwise he wouldn’t be touching her at all. Her skin is warm and soft and smooth, but for a line of fine downy hairs she must've missed when she shaved last, and he shouldn’t know that.

“Hmm.” She blows another bubble and it snaps. “Guess you’ll just hafta show me who’s boss, then.”

“Meanin’ what?”

“Daryl” — she sighs, like she’s losing her patience with trying to get to whatever she’s trying to get at — “jeez.”

Maybe it is a game. Daryl’s never been any good at those, ‘specially not something like whatever Beth’s been up to lately. He doesn’t think she’s trying to piss him off, maybe it’s just that if she’s doing what he thinks she’s doing, maybe she’s nervous about it — though fuck him if he knows why, ‘cause he’ll give her whatever she wants, she’s just gotta tell him that she wants it.

He’s had it up to here with all these guessing games so, fuck it, whatever, he’s already goin’ to hell, might as well make it count.

So he grits his teeth and tells her first, “You got somethin’ to say to me, girl, you best jus’ g’on and say it.”

Beth seems to get the picture. She doesn’t say anything else but “Alright,” which isn’t much of the somethin’ he’d been expecting, but —

Well, she shakes her ankle outta his hold, hitches her feet up on his hips and tugs him forward, hard and fast and unexpected, which is probably how she got one-up on him at all. Daryl’s not got any sense left to suss that out, though, ‘cause this girl’s got muscles in those legs and when she tugs at him, she gets him right where she wants him, right where he’s been thinkin’ about gettin’ himself, if he’d had the balls to do it before now — between her thighs, with his hands braced on the table and his mouth colliding with hers.

That’s how she stops his forward motion, so that his body doesn’t just knock hers backwards right into the wall next to the not-broken air conditioner — she catches his mouth with parted lips and a tongue that tastes like strawberry bubblegum.

He freezes for half a second, then kisses her back a second more than that, sucks that sweetness from her mouth with a low, grumbling moan to match her sharp high one. But then it hits him like a punch to the gut, what he’s doing, what Beth’s doing, what they’re both doing, at the same time, together, and —

Daryl pulls back, so quick that Beth’s lips pop when they disconnect, and he says, voice wrecked on a ragged breath, “The fuck’re you doin’, girl?”

She blinks, eyes shimmering dark pools of black-and-blue. “Well, if you’re not gonna show me who's boss, then I figured I’d hafta do it myself.”

It hurts to breathe, incessant sharp pangs in his chest like he’s being stabbed, though not hard enough to keep his eyes off her mouth.

“What?”

“Daryl, jeez,” she says again, and tugs on his hair this time, “you’re good at bein’ quiet, why don’t’cha just shut up and kiss me again?”

Well, he wanted her to be straight with him. Guess it’s not a game anymore, and it’s not like he had any other hang-ups to begin with, so…

Yeah. Fuck it.

He crushes his mouth back to hers, lips clinging like he means to keep them there.

Now that he’s got more a mind to notice, Beth tastes sweet and tart and a little salty, that mix of candy in her mouth and the sweat drying on her upper lip. She’s soft, too, so soft that he wonders if the rough drag of his stubble’s gonna leave a mark — wonders, not worries, ‘cause he kinda wants to mark her up. He’s got a single-minded obsession with making this good for her and he wants her to remember it, so that maybe she’ll let him do it again. Maybe let him keeping doing it.

But he’s doing it right now, which is further than he ever thought he’d get, honestly, so if he’s kept her waiting it’s about time he makes it worth her while.

Besides, he sort of owes her for all those times she’s made him damn near crazy; he wants to make her a little crazy, too. Girl’s got it comin’ to her.

So he coaxes her lips open wider, sweeping his tongue inside to tangle with hers, moaning deep and harsh when she sucks on his the way he wants to suck on her pussy, on her clit ‘til she comes. Wet and sloppy and fucking feral.

He’s been hard for her since she answered the damn door in her underwear, trying to talk himself down, talk himself out of it, which’s only been a problem since he’s started thinkin’ about Beth the way he’s been. Since she started smiling at him, ribbing him, calling him. She got in his head and he wants her to know what that’s gone and done to him.

So he cups the tops of her thighs, rubs his thumbs roughly, repeatedly, up and down the crease of ‘em, teasing her pussy with every pass. Her hips rock a little each time, closer ‘til he can’t stand it — his hands grip her hips, not to still them, but to yank her to the edge of the table, so he can rear up on his knees and get his hard-on between her legs.

She jolts when he does that, but it only brings her closer and he slips a hand down to her ass to hold her there.

“Been doin’ this t’ me ev’ry fuckin’ time,” he all but grunts out as he ruts against her, the hard line of his cock and the rough drag of denim against her cotton-covered pussy making her breathe harsh and fast in his ear. It’s all heat and bubblegum and the flick of her tongue. “Goddamn, girl, got me wantin’ t’ fuck you all over this shithole place, Jesus.”

“Shoulda said somethin’.” Her breath comes sweet and panting as it bursts against his own gasping lips. No fuckin’ idea where her gum went, but he wouldn’t be surprised if he’d swallowed the stuff when he was lickin’ all up in her mouth. “Coulda had me wherever you wanted by now.”

She moves her lips down to his throat, lapping at the line of his scruff where it starts to taper off into smoother, sun-tanned skin, so she’s sure to feel the words reverberate when he tells her, “Shit, ‘m fuckin’ gonna now. Soon as I get some fuckin’ rubbers, I ain’t lettin’ you up ‘til you can’t walk no more.”

Christ, feeling this girl up’s really got a way of loosening his tongue, don’t it?

“Hmmm,” Beth hums approvingly. She’s kissing his neck hard, like she means to leave a mark and he’s gonna damn well let her. “Want me to suck you off ‘stead, huh?”

“Nah-uh.” He nudges her back up, shakes his head, even as he keeps grabbin’ greedy kisses off her lips, so that their noses bump and her tongue swipes between his teeth. “Wanna do that t’ you.”

Beth blinks, dark, heavy-lidded eyes and all, pupils blown wide and sparking with just a little bit of confusion now. Surprise, maybe, when she asks, “That’s what you want? Really?”

“Girl, you got no idea. Fuck,” he grounds out and grinds against her again, squeezing her ass to urge her to move with him. “Think about gettin’ my mouth on this pussy all th’ time.”

Ooooh, my god…” The words whistle out on a moan, her hands tighten in his hair, chest pressed more firmly to his, feet hitching higher so he’s got more room between her legs.

Daryl dips his head down to taste her neck, too, to suck behind her ear, same as she did to him. He wonders if he tasted half as good as she does, wonders if she tastes this good everywhere and bets on yeah, probably, but he means to find out or else he’s gonna kick his own ass for missing his shot.

“You want me to?”

She nods, kinda on the frantic side, like she wants it bad enough that she’s willing to give him a head injury over it, the way her chin’s bumpin’ up on him. But he’s willing, too — fuck it, he’s got health insurance — so he’s not about to tell her to knock that shit off.

“Yeah,” she says, just in case he didn’t catch on. “Yeah, I want you to, please, Daryl” — her words break off a second when he rubs his beard along her collar bone, his tongue right there to soothe the ache — “c’mon, do it, go down on me, want you to make me come.”

He grips her beneath one thigh to hold her up, and uses his other hand to smack her ass. “Fuckin’ impatient, better settle the fuck down ‘fore you make me come first, wriggling around like that, Jesus.”

He feels the curve of Beth’s mouth twitch up into a grin against his cheek, and then she rolls her hips hard and measured and purposefully, dragging those black cotton shorts up and down his inseam like she’s riding his dick.

“C’mon, I said please.”

Thing is, she doesn’t need to, though Daryl can admit — to himself, anyway — that he likes hearing her beg for it. Beg for him. Like she wants him as much as he wants her, not just for what he’s gonna do to her, but because it’s him who’s gonna do it.

“Jesus, fine,” he bites out, not like it’s a chore, but because she really is gonna push him straight to orgasm if she doesn’t quit rubbing up on him like she is. He curls his hand into the waistband of her panties, but then he thinks better of it, so he releases his hold with a quick snap of elastic against her lower abdomen. She jolts at that, too, hands bunching into his shirtfront to keep herself steady.

“Been teasin’ me for weeks,” Daryl mutters some more. Months, even, but he’s not about to get into the semantics of the damn thing right now. He jerks her legs farther apart, lowers himself down ‘til he can trace his nose along the vee of her thighs, breathe her in. “Gonna show you what’s good for y’, you try ‘n do that shit t’ me again.”

She wants him to show her who’s boss, fuckin’ fine, he can do that.

Without any more of a warning or preamble or whatever other shit he could do to prolong this, it’s been long enough as it is, he swipes his tongue roughly up her slit, mouthing at her cunt over those panties that damn near gave him a heart attack when she answered the door in nothing but.

Her body shudders, he hears her moan, and he clamps his mouth over her pussy and sucks, taking the thin cotton into his mouth and finding it damp.

He made her wet. Doesn’t even know what the hell he’s doing, but he did that.

That’s the truth of it, that he’s got no idea what he’s doing. He’s never wanted to do this, never wanted anybody, anything at all, the way he wants Beth, because she’s just… She’s somethin’ else, he doesn’t even fuckin’ know what, he’s just real goddamn sweet on this girl and that’s all he needs to know. Now that he knows she wants him back, there’s nothin’ else to try and figure out, except how to make her come with his name on those pretty pink lips’a hers.

God damn, but does he want that.

So his fingers work their way back into the band of her panties, he drags them down hard enough to tear a seam — and maybe he does, he’s not sure, becaus his mouth is too busy following close behind, lapping at every new inch of Beth’s skin he can reach as her legs flex, as he gets those panties off’a her so there’s nothing between her and the way he wants to worship her with his tongue.

Almost idly, he wonders what she’d think about that — about him worshipping her, and whether it’d cross her mind when she’s singing at the piano bench at Sunday church.

There’s a part of him that hopes she does. Hopes she recalls the way he eats her cunt every time she needs to be thinkin’ about something else, ‘cause he’s been imagining it every time he shouldn’t and he wants her to feel that, too.

His hands smooth back up her legs, memorizing the lines of her calves, the dips of her knees, the curves of her thighs, before they dig into her there, grasp her thighs, and spread her open, before he licks up the crease that makes her hips jerk up, makes her moan his name and please, all wrecked like she can’t even think about teasing him no more, she wants him so bad.

He flicks his tongue to tease her, though, circling her clit with no more pressure than his breath on her skin.

“Want me to?” he asks again, the question a low rumble that makes her shake, makes her shiver like it was never a hundred goddamn degrees in her apartment. “Want me?”

“Yes, god yes.” Her hands are in his hair again, carding through and twisting, urging him forward. “C’mon, please, Daryl, I want you so much —”

And, Jesus, ain’t that enough for him?

He covers her with his mouth again, lips on her lower ones with nothing in-between this time, breathing deep and groaning when her scent hits him — all sugar, all tart, all heady sweetness like the humid summer evening outside. Can’t help but lap at her like a hungry mutt straightaway, panting into her pussy like how wet she is for him could save him from dehydration and, y’know, he’s pretty sure it could, and either way he’d rather bury his head between her thighs than anything else, imminent death notwithstanding.

Fuck it. What’s the point in living, if he’s not gonna get his face in her cunt whenever he feels like it, whenever she wants him to?

A lot, he hopes. Every damn day. She wants to pay him for fixing up her apartment, she can tell him to get on his knees for her, fuck her with his mouth. He’ll hoist her up onto this little nicked-up table, or anyplace else she wants, drop right down to the floor at her feet. She can dig her brightly-painted nails into his scalp and thrust against his face, she can smear her arousal across his beard so he’s sure to taste her for hours afterward, just like she’s doing now as he licks into her cunt, sucking on her like she’s the stick of bubblegum and he wants to drain every last drop of flavor outta her.

He swipes his tongue up again, and pauses to blow-dry the spit he leaves all over her, sinking two fingers into her pussy as he does so as not to leave her waiting and wanting. ‘Cause if she wants him, she’s gonna get him, and he’s not gonna make her wait for it.

“Fuckin’ soaked,” he pants as he sucks a harsh kiss onto her mound, crooks his fingers inside of her and makes her near-scream. “You been like this all day, huh? Been wantin’ to give me this pussy?”

“Uh-huh.” She’s nodding, one hand uncurling from his hair to work at her own breast, palming the nipple he can see peaked through her sports bra. Fuck him, but he wishes he had two mouths. “Busted half my own appliances, tryna get you over here.”

Oh, fuck. Part of Daryl wants to laugh, but part of him knew it, too — ‘rearrangin’ the furniture,’ my ass — suspected it, hoped for it, wanted her to light the damn place on fire if it meant she called him to help her sweep it up. He doesn’t laugh, though; he’s not much for laughing as it is, and anyway he’s sort of in the middle of something right now.

“Fuckin’ troublemaker,” he mumbles, and switches out his fingers for his mouth. His tongue traces every curve, every nook, thrusts into her to taste her deep as he can get.

He glances up to watch her play with her tits, and schools the motions of his thumb on her clit to match the swipe of hers over her nipple. If his hands weren’t so busy — one on her clit, the other holding her down so he can eat her out without her pelvic bone givin’ him a damn black eye (imagine explaining that shit away to everybody they know) — he’d feel up her tits himself. Wants to. Makes a note of doin’ it when he’s done here.

Shouldn’t be too long now, he figures when her muscles start to tighten, when her stomach bunches up like she’s trying to regulate her breathing but can’t, ‘cause he won’t let her, ‘cause he wants to get her riding high like she’s riding his face — hot and frantic and keening, like she don’t wanna do anything but this and he sure as shit’d be happy to stay right here the rest of the night, too.

“Daryl” — his name sounds like it hurts, the way she chokes it out, all high and breathy. Her hands scramble in his hair, down his back to clutch at his undershirt. Then her legs hitch up higher still, like she wants to pull his mouth, his tongue, deeper into her cunt and he readily complies, and speeds up the movements of his thumb on her clit, too. “Oh my god, ohmy god, ohmygod, ooohh —”

That’s all she’s reduced to, sharp cries of oh and his name, and that’s all he’s ever goddamn needed.

He makes her come and he wants to do it again, just once more before she’s finished the first time.

His dick strains against the confines of his boxers, his jeans, so he hurries to undo the zipper. He pops the button and laps up Beth’s release, then straightens up onto his knees — they crick, but like he gives a shit — and his hand slips back between her shuddering thighs. He thrusts two fingers back into her still-quivering pussy, riding out the aftershocks and building her up to more, while his free hand shoves under her bra to palm her tit. Her heartbeat is wild beneath the callused press of his hand.

“C’mon,” he says, all rough and insistent in her ear, then into her mouth as he drinks down her whimpers, her moans. “C’mon, want you to come again. Wanna get you off some more. You gonna let me do that, Beth, huh? Want me to get this cunt all wet for me ‘gain?”

“You’re gonna,” Beth assures him, all breathy still, pretty mouth caught between a smile and a moan as he keeps working at her, lips puckering to kiss him back whenever he wants another taste. “Oh my god, Jesus, Daryl, you’re makin’ me come so good —”

Fuck, oooh, fuck. The hand on her chest falls, he’s gotta touch himself, gotta press down on his cock to relieve the ache she incites every time she talks, every time her kiss-swollen lips find his, whenever her hips roll up into his seeking fingers.

It feels so fucking good, touching himself while he’s touching her, really doing it, not just in his head in the shower or when he can’t sleep, because she’s the only thing that’s ever stopped him from living his damn life, the only person he’s ever believed would stick around for good, in that way folks stay when they want you, just you, and holy shit does he want her.

“Beth” — he groans her name into the slope of her neck, panting hot against her skin, and he comes when he feels her do it again. That shudder of her cunt echoes all the way up into his wrist, and he comes all over her stomach, her thighs, when she says his name like it’s the only word she remembers, like all she knows is him.

He’s never felt so good in all his sorry life. Beth is all good, and she’s all his.

It’s quiet, just the hum of the completely fine A/C unit, and the heavy drag of their breathing. Beth presses her lips to his temple, and Daryl kisses the side of her neck. He catches sight of the dark purple bruise he left there, and there’s a twinge behind his own ear that tells him he’s got one to match.

Fuck, yeah.

“So,” Beth says a minute later, going for casual if only her voice wasn’t so wrecked, “still want me to keep that deadbolt locked?”

“Jesus.” Daryl snorts into her frizzy mussed ponytail. His hands hold her hips tight, too, just for the sake of holding her. “Yeah, girl, I fuckin’ do.”

Her heel taps the back of his thigh, just above his knee, and she teases him in that dry tone’a hers, “Yeah, okay, Daddy, jeez.”

Daryl swears, squeezes her hips. “Don’t go puttin’ ideas into my head, damn, girl.”

Beth giggles, nudges at him ‘til she can comfortably plant a big, wet smack of a kiss to the stubble on his cheek. “‘M gonna put all sorts’a things into your head, Daryl Dixon, you just wait.”

“Hmph.” He kisses her ear — Christ, he ain’t ever gonna be able to quit kissing her now — and begrudgingly (but not really all that pissed about it, actually, go figure) acquiesces to whatever she wants. “Quit breakin’ shit and you got yourself a deal.”

“Deal,” she agrees, and tugs on his hair just one more time — for now, anyway, ‘cause he wants to get her pullin’ it as much as he can — to bring his mouth back to hers.

This time, finally, he knows exactly what the fuck she’s doing, and he’s more than ready, more than happy, to go right along with it.