Since the beginning of the apocalypse, Beth had learned that winter on the road was difficult, to say the very least.
It wasn't as though the blonde had ever actually considered that fighting for her survival day-in, day-out would ever necessarily be easy (but if she was going to be completely honest, it was a concept that as a whole she had never really invested much time into thinking about), but it was definitely something that she had not expected to be this difficult; and, overall, it was most certainly something that was worse than she could have ever begun to imagine.
This time three years ago, Beth would have never imagined her life to be anything like the one that she was currently living. As far as she was aware, she was somewhere between the age of nineteen and twenty years old - she had been almost seventeen when the outbreak happened, and this was the third winter that she had survived since then - so had the world as she'd known it not ended, then she would be in college right now, studying (probably music or education or maybe both) and partying and laughing it up with her friends, getting ready for the world of work and adulthood and everything that came with it.
And back then, Beth had always thought to herself that being an adult meant being married and having a mortgage on a house and balancing raising children with having a career. Not once had she had never considered that it might actually mean taking on different types of responsibilities and duties; duties like watching out for the walking dead - or worse, living people - whilst her companion actually allowed himself to rest for a few hours, duties like hunting live animals so that she could eat, duties like raising children that weren't her own and killing walkers who got too close.
But hell, the process of surviving the winter had been difficult before - during a time when the farm, her home, had just fallen; a time before her family - not just her kin, but her new and very real family - found the temporary sanctuary that was the prison. And there had been so many more of them, then - more heated bodies to huddle close to in search of warmth in the middle of the cold nights, more people to share responsibilities like watch duty and cleaning and cooking with.
And it had been a struggle then, to say the least, and there had been plenty of days during that winter when Beth had honestly thought that she wasn't going to make it, that maybe none of them were going to make it, that maybe all of their hard-work and effort and suffering would be for nothing. In they end, though, they did make it; and she had so happily been proven wrong for her negative outlook on their world. Her mama always used to say that she, like her older sister, was stubborn as a mule; but that time, Beth was more than glad to accept the fact that she had been oh so wrong about the lot of them.
Because they had made it.
Even now, at least she was still alive. At least she was still inhaling and exhaling, at least she could still see and hear and smell and touch and taste and at least she could still open and close her eyes and experience a new day. Despite everything that she had witnessed and everything that she had experienced since the world became overtaken by the living dead, despite the loss of her family - not just her kin, but her whole family - and despite the lack of safety and shelter since the fall of the prison, Beth considered it to be a miracle that she was still here, and she thought to herself that that had to count for something.
It could be worse than that, too, because at least she wasn't alone in this world. Although her companion had been completely intolerable at the beginning - mostly mute, but rude and harsh and nasty when he did choose to speak to her in those early days after the prison fell - Daryl had taught her so many useful things in the last few months, and Beth knew that without a doubt there was no way on this earth that she would have been able to survive for this long without his help. It had been something that she had brought up to him on several occasions - unless she was teasing him with sentences like "soon, I won't need you at all" - and it was something that he seemed adamant on refusing to acknowledge.
But Beth knew in her heart that it is the truth, and even if he wouldn't accept it when she told him... well, maybe it would be okay anyway. Maybe one day he would realise it, or maybe one day he wouldn't; but Beth figured that so long as she knew it and so long as she showed him that she genuinely appreciated it - his presence and his guidance and goodness, just him - then it would be alright, eventually.
Some nights, Beth can't help but wonder to herself about what would happen if she didn't make it out of the prison without him, and she honestly dreads to think about it too much. Those are the nights that she usually finds herself glad to be taking watch duty because she most certainly wouldn't be able to sleep, and those are the nights when she finds herself thanking whatever it was that brought this man to her - be it god or the universe or fate, or maybe even nothing at all.
In the past, Beth recalls reading in books and poems and hearing on movies and tv shows that time is just an illusion, but it is only recently that she has began to appreciate that quote and what it actually means.
Right now, the days just blur into nights and the nights blur into the days, and Beth couldn't even begin to guess at what month it is or even what year it is. It could be late November or mid-December or even January, and all that she really knows is that it is cold and it is wet and it is dark throughout most of the day. This winter, there hasn't been any snow (at least, not yet) but it has been at least three weeks or so since Beth has been able to see her own breath in front of her when she exhales.
Suddenly, Beth lets out a little laugh into the air around them, and Daryl - who has been walking slightly ahead of her in silence for about twenty minutes or so now - turns his head over his shoulder to face her, his brows knotted together and a curious expression on his face.
The hunter doesn't say anything - there are times like these when he is quiet and there are times when he is not - but Beth knows that look, and she knows it's his silent offering of a question. What?
As she answers his unspoken words, Beth shakes her head and smiles to herself. "It's silly," she explains, and Daryl looks ahead again as the two of them continue walking through the frosty woods. "It's just... I was rememberin' when I was little. An' I used to see my breath in front of me, an' then sometimes..." A small giggle escapes her lips, and Beth shakes her head even more as she gazes at the angel wings in front of her. "Sometimes, I would play this game with Shawn. We would pretend that we were dragons, you know, breathin' on each other an' things, sayin' that we're settin' 'em on fire."
At first, Daryl doesn't verbally respond to her explanation, but he turns his head over his shoulder once again and offers her a smirk before he looks ahead once again. It's not as though him looking at her like that really means anything - she's seen him give other people that look before and she's seen him give it to her a few times on the road, too - but her stomach starts to flip and swirl with a sensation she can only describe as butterflies, and her heart is speeding up in her chest before she even realises what's going on.
It's the sound of his chuckle that brings her out of her confused thoughts, and Beth's head snaps up from where she had been staring at the forest floor so that she is now looking at the back of his head. "Got a thing for settin' shit on fire, huh, girl?" he says, and even though he doesn't see the grin that spreads across her face because he continues to look straight ahead of himself, Beth just knows that he knows he has her smiling.
Since the prison fell several months ago, there have been a number of occasions where Beth and Daryl have managed to find some sort of temporary shelter - like the funeral home and the cabin that they burned down - and although all of the places that they have stayed in have been absolutely fine, they never stay in any of them for very long at all. "Ain't safe, an' it ain't smart," Daryl had mumbled to her once - after the funeral home - and Beth had nodded her head solemnly, knowing that no matter how badly she wanted to argue with him about it, there really was nothing that she could say against his words.
After all, he was right.
This time, the two of them have happened to stumble upon what she assumes used to be a hunting cabin, before the world came to an end. It's located quite randomly in the middle of the Georgian woods, and although it is quite small - what, with only one bedroom, a kitchen and a dining area combined, a living area and a tiny bathroom - Beth classes it as a blessing all the same. The weather has been getting progressively worse, and Daryl has mentioned several times that snow might very well be on its way, and at least if the two of them can stay here for a night or two then they will be able to get some rest before they continue on their journey.
Where exactly it is that they are going, neither of them know, and neither of them will say, either. They're looking for family - at least, that's what she thinks that they're doing, anyway - but so far, they haven't had much luck. It doesn't quash her faith entirely, but as each day passes, Beth is accepting the fact that they might never see any of the people they loved so dearly ever again.
Given that the cabin is reasonably small, it's easy enough for them both to check for the presence of the living and the dead, and it doesn't take Daryl very long at all to secure the perimeter of it, either.
(He's been incredibly protective of her since the incident at the funeral home, and Beth has noticed that he seems to take much more care when examining the places that they stay in since her attempted abduction, so she knows for sure now that wherever they stay, they are both safe.)
Whilst Daryl is busy stringing up the alarms that they carry with them and boards up all of the possible entrances to the cabin, Beth cooks the rabbit that the hunter had managed to snag for them earlier on. The animal wasn't necessarily large or fat, but more than anything it's food to put in their bellies and once she's cooked it and mixed it with some canned peas, it looks like it could actually be a meal. It isn't much, of course, but Beth serves their feast on plates - she'd had to wipe the dust from them, yes, but they're plates all the same - and even finds some knives and forks to eat with, and once the meat has been cooked she places it all neatly on the round wooden table located in the corner of the kitchen.
Why she even bothered with the formality of plates and cutlery, Beth doesn't even know. Really, she should have known that Daryl would have wolfed his meal down in just a matter of minutes and that he wouldn't have even spared a glance at the knife and fork that she had placed on either side of the plate; but she supposes that, silly as it seems, it was just nice to make a bit of effort whilst they have somewhere proper to stay for the night.
Somewhere with walls and warmth and oh, god, a bed.
Once Daryl finally joins her to eat their meal, Beth seats herself down in one of the chairs and offers him a shy smile. For the tenth time in the last hour, Beth thinks to herself about how the food that she's prepared isn't much at all, but she's suddenly nervous about whether or not he'll like the meat and what he'll think about the food that she has made and -
- and it's stupid, really, because Daryl just deeply inhales the scent of the rabbit before he begins to scoop the food into his mouth, not using his knife or fork, but using his hands and his fingers. There are absolutely no pretences with this man - no table manners, ever - and Daryl wolfs down his food at a fast pace, none of it even touching the sides as he scoops more and more into his mouth and quickly swallows it down.
It isn't as though Beth is necessarily a slow eater, because she is equally hungry, too (it has been nearly a full day since they've last eaten, in all fairness) but when she spread out their portions of food, the blonde made sure that she put an extra helping of both meat and peas onto Daryl's plate. It's the least that she can do for him, considering the fact that he does a lot more than she does on the physical side of things; that, and the fact that he is so much bigger than her, too. Yet he has still finished his meal a good few minutes before she has finished hers, and Beth can't help but find it the slightest bit amusing.
During the process of eating, Daryl never seems to be at all self-conscious, but once he has finished he always seems to shrink into himself a little bit. Before Beth can even realise that she has been staring at his greasy hands (waiting for what she knows is to come, probably), Daryl is raising his thick fingers to his mouth and he's sucking at them, grabbing at the last tiny remnants of food that linger on them. There is a familiar heat building between her legs at the sight of his actions and Beth has to pull in a heavy breath in an attempt to distract herself from it, and she busies herself by slowly moving the last piece of rabbit meat from her plate up to her lips.
Apparently, it's Daryl's turn to ogle her now, and his deep blue eyes are heated as they watch her chew on the meat and then swallow it down. His gaze lingers on her pale neck, even after she is finished, and Beth can't help but bite down on her lower lip at the sight of him looking at her like that.
The meal that they have eaten has definitely satisfied her, and although it's really nothing to boast about - the fact that her stomach has shrank so dramatically since the outbreak first started - it's still better than having an empty stomach. Daryl feeds her as best that he can - but no, she thinks, correcting her own troubled mind. They feed each other. They help each other.
Although Beth might not be capable of doing half as much as what Daryl can, she still tries her best to make sure that she pulls her own weight between the two of them, and she hopes that Daryl notices it about her.
It would seem as though the small action of biting down on her lower lip has scared Daryl away, and before Beth even has the opportunity to blink her large blue eyes open and closed, he is pushing himself away from the dining room table - causing the bottom of the wooden chair that he was sat on to scrape noisily across the floor - before he silently walks away from her. The hunter disappears from her line of sight as he enters the lounge area of the cabin, and just like that, another heated moment between the two of them is broken.
Beth doesn't bother repressing the heavy sigh that aches to fall from her lips, and disappointment settles within her stomach as she stares at the place where he had been sat in front of her just moments ago. She wasn't sure what it was that she had gone and done this time - hell, she never was - but something or other had scared Daryl away, and Beth knew better than to go probing him about it.
Instead, the blonde took in a long, deep breath before she pushed her own chair backwards and gathered up the dirty plates and cutlery from the surface of the table, reminding herself that these are the small ways in which she has to contribute to their functioning.
Things mostly went back to normal between the two of them after dinner, and a few hours later Daryl announced to her that he had decided on their sleeping arrangements: apparently, he would be staying in the lounge area whilst Beth slept in the bedroom.
At his words, Beth immediately pursed her lips and furrowed her brows, but the look didn't appear to phase Daryl whatsoever.
"S'fine," he said to her, cutting her off before she could even begin to argue with him about it. "Always preferred stayin' on a couch, anyway."
Of course, Beth couldn't help but push the subject a little bit with him, but Daryl was absolutely adamant that she would be taking the bed. In the end, Beth supposed that there wasn't much she could do about it, and it seemed like such a waste for someone not to sleep against the double mattress.
With a tired sigh, Beth offered Daryl a weak smile as she pushed herself from the couch that they had both been sat on and began to walk in the direction of the bedroom.
"Holler if you need anythin'," Daryl said to her, his voice soft as she padded across to the bedroom, and Beth offered him a soft smile and a nod of her head.
"Sure thing," she breathed out, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear as she did so. "Goodnight, Daryl."
It was the middle of the night when Beth awoke to the sound of howling wind and heavy rain beating down against the glass of the bedroom window, and even though she couldn't see outside as Daryl had used long planks of wood to board up the window, Beth knew that the weather was bad. Once again, she counted her blessings and was grateful that the two of them had managed to find shelter for the night, as she couldn't really imagine what they would have done if they would have had to stay outside during the storm.
As Beth pushed herself up into a sitting position in the middle of the bed, she realised for the first time just how cold it was. Not just her body, but the entire room, too, and as a result of the chill that lay in the air, all of the exposed skin of her arms was covered in goosebumps, and her teeth were chattering ever so slightly. Even the duvet covers and the actual bedsheets felt icy around her body, and it didn't take Beth much conscious thought to pull herself out of the double bed and quickly make her way over towards the bedroom door.
Earlier on, Beth had found some candles and lit them so that there was at least some light in the cabin, but Daryl must have blown them out before he himself went to sleep, and Beth found that it was incredibly difficult to manoeuvre herself around the unfamiliar cabin when everything around her was in complete and utter darkness. Helplessly, she held out her arms and slightly bent her upper body so that she could feel everything around her, moving at a slow and steady pace so that she didn't fall or trip over anything and injure herself.
When she finally reached the couch that her companion was sleeping on, Beth was surprised to notice that Daryl was still fast asleep, and she spent a moment or two debating how best to wake him. In the end, she decided that touching him was completely out of the question; and so she softly called out his name once and then twice, waiting patiently as she listened to the sound of his body stirring against the leather material.
It was on the third occasion that she said his name when Daryl finally seemed to wake up, and by the sounds that his body made, he was pushing himself onto his elbows on the couch. A low grumble escaped from his throat and Beth's chest couldn't help but swell in pure and utter affection for the man just at the sound of it.
"I can't sleep," she said, her voice low and hushed despite the fact that it was just the two of them; nobody else around, at least not for miles. "It's freezing."
For a moment, Daryl didn't say or do anything, but then his hand reached out and curled around her bicep in a smooth and quick motion, and a quiet gasp escaped her lips from the shock of the contact. It wasn't as though Beth could actually see anything around her - the cabin was literally pitch black, most likely because of the way in which Daryl had thoroughly boarded it all up - and so the contact had been a complete surprise.
His hand was so big, wrapping around the toned muscle of her slender upper arm with ease, and despite the fact that he was warm - so, so warm - goosebumps prickled over her skin once again.
Daryl cursed under his breath, and she could hear the sound of him rustling around once again. "You're freezin'," he said to her, his own voice low, and Beth nodded her head despite the fact that he couldn't see her, either.
"Yeah," she said, realising that she probably sounded a little stupid, but she honestly couldn't think of anything else to say.
Before she really knew what the hunter was doing, she heard - more than felt or saw - Daryl move to stand up from where he had been lay down on the couch, and then his thick fingers dropped away from where they had been wrapped loosely around her upper arm, and then moments later both of his hands instead found rest upon her shoulders.
"C'mon," Daryl breathed, his voice sounding groggy and still tired, and he gently guided her back towards the bedroom.
It wasn't as though Beth had really known what to expect when she went and woke Daryl up, but it had hardly been as though she had been thinking clearly - after all, she was still half-asleep, even now, and she suspected that he was in a similar state, too. But as Daryl nudged her in the direction of the double bed and closed the bedroom door behind the pair of them, Beth's light blue eyes widened in realisation of what was happening.
After she had climbed onto the cold sheets of the bed, Beth only had to wait a few seconds before Daryl followed her onto it, and she heard him curse once more when he lay himself down on the mattress.
"Told you so," she said to him in a whisper, and Daryl grumbled something inaudible at her as she lay herself down beside him.
For a long moment, it was quite awkward between the two of them - uncertain boundaries floating through the air - but then Daryl shifted his body slightly closer to hers and moved one of his arms above his head. The silent invitation was all that it took for Beth to come crawling closer to him, and soon she had wrapped herself around his warm body; her leg wrapped over his waist and upper thighs, one of her arms spread across his middle whilst his own hung over her slender shoulders.
More than anything, Daryl was warm, and Beth let out a content sigh as she buried her face in the crook of his neck. As she snuggled herself into him and allowed her eyes to drift to a close, Beth could have sworn to herself that she felt his lips graze the top of her head and press down against her; but it was so late in the night and she was so tired that she didn't really think on about it at all.
Perhaps it was the darkness or the cold or the combination of the two that had made them both brave, but Beth didn't care much about the details of either of their actions. Instead, she chose not to over-analyse the situation and for once, relaxed her body and her mind.
Before, that had always seemed to be something that was much easier said than done; but right now, wrapped up in the arms of Daryl Dixon, it seemed to be the easiest thing in the world.
Sometime during the night, the two of them had shifted; and when Beth awoke, it was to find that she was lay on her side with Daryl sleeping soundly behind her, one of his muscular arms draped over her waist, his hand resting against the flat of her stomach from where it had slid underneath her jumper. The two of them were tightly bound together and her backside was pressed right against him, and -
- oh god, he was hard.
For a moment, Beth couldn't breathe, and it was only when she opened her eyes that she noticed that the room was now filled with much more light than it had been during the night. It was still quite dim in the space around them and she could still hear the rain as it pounded against the windows and the roof of the cabin, but if anything, the sound was actually quite soothing as opposed to worrying or unsettling.
Despite the fact that she definitely was not an expert in the art of seduction, Beth couldn't help but appreciate the fact that she had been given an ideal scenario here; and as much as she had been lusting after Daryl Dixon for what had to be weeks, if not months now, Beth had never actually thought that anything between the two of them would ever actually happen. Daryl was always so closed-off with both himself and with her, and although there were flirtatious comments and knowing smirks and moments like "you know" and "oh", Beth never actually considered the fact that the two of them might actually act upon any of the sexual tension that had been buzzing around them.
Well, that had been until she had rocked herself against the hardness of his cock, anyway.
It was such a natural and instinctive behaviour for her to roll her hips in just the right manner so that her ass brushed against the hard length of him through both of their jeans; and after just a few times of doing it, Beth began to notice the tell-tale signs that Daryl was waking up in reaction to her movements.
At first, his long, thick fingers began to twitch against the pale skin of her stomach, and then he was deeply inhaling from behind her - no doubt taking in the scent of her hair, the smell of the shampoo she had used a few days ago in the creek that they had found. And then Daryl was shifting his body so that it was impossibly closer to her own, and his cock was pressed even harder against her.
By now, Beth was certain that Daryl absolutely had to be awake, and she rocked herself against him again and again, her confidence in her movements growing with each roll of her hips. Beth couldn't be entirely sure when Daryl began to move with her, but it wasn't long before he was rocking back into her with an equal amount of force, and when she rubbed against him in what she assumed to be just the right way, the hunter let out a long, pleasurable moan.
His lips were so close to her ear that the sound travelled through her, and Beth was absolutely certain that if this man didn't hurry up and do something more to help ease the borderline painful throbbing between her thighs then she was going to combust.
Lost so much in her mind, Beth didn't even realise what it was that she had said out loud, but it was obviously something amusing because Daryl let out a chuckle from behind her at her words. Dazed and a little bit confused, Beth opened her mouth to say something else - what, she wasn't entirely sure - but her unspoken words were replaced with a long, low moan at the feel of Daryl's teeth grazing against her upper earlobe.
And, apparently, that was all that it took for the hunter to lose all sense of his self-control.
A sharp gasp flew from her lips when Daryl flipped the pair of them over so that Beth was lay on her back and he was hovering over her, both of his large hands braced on either side of her head, and her light blue eyes were wide as they stared up into his much darker ones for the first time that morning. In all honesty, Beth had no idea what she had been expecting to see there - uncertainty, perhaps, or distance - but instead, all that she found was heat and desire and want, and the sight of his eyes looking so hungry caused her mouth to fall open.
It was the sight of him gazing at her lips that was Beth's undoing, and before she could even talk herself out of it, the blonde was pushing herself upwards so that her lips could meet with his own. Clearly, Daryl was surprised at the contact, and his whole body briefly stiffened up before he eventually relaxed into the kiss, and Beth's shoulders sagged in relief when he pressed her back down against the mattress, his mouth moving against her own the entire time.
When he began to press messy, sloppy kisses down her jaw and her neck, Beth couldn't help but breathe out his name, and she was rewarded with the feel of him grinding his hard length against her core. The pair of them were both still wearing jeans, but it didn't mean that she couldn't feel the length of him, and her eyes fluttered to a close as he repeated the action again and again and again.
By now, after weeks on the road, the cotton panties that she wore were thin, and it meant that the seam of her jeans rubbed against her clit with a delicious amount of pressure. Another long moan escaped her lips, captured by Daryl's mouth, as he pushed himself harder against her, and the feel of his wet tongue clashing against hers was enough to make Beth certain that this really was better than any of the dreams that she'd had about this man.
The cold that had surrounded them during the night had evidently been long forgotten, and Beth didn't waste much time in popping open the button of Daryl's jeans and pulling down the zipper. Apparently, he'd decided that underwear wasn't a necessity any more, and a small smirk graced Beth's lips when her hand instinctively wrapped around the length of his cock. By this point, her core was practically throbbing against the material of her soaked panties and against the seam of her jeans, but the feel of his hot and hard length in her hands was enough to momentarily distract her.
With heavy lids, Daryl pulled away from her, his eyes roaming over her face. The man had never really been good with words, but it seemed as though he was better now that the two of them were like this; her pinned beneath him, his saliva on her lips and his cock in her hands, and Daryl breathed out a mumbled "want you". The words caused goosebumps to prickle over her skin again, but once again it was not because of the cold.
Instead of verbally responding to his statement, Beth instead chased his lips so that she could kiss him once more, opening her mouth up to him almost urgently as her hand moved against his cock. Slowly, Beth began to pump him, encouraged by the gasps and moans and whimpers that escaped from his lips as she did so.
When he abruptly pulled away from her, Beth momentarily thought that perhaps she had done something wrong, that maybe the two of them had gone too far with all of this. But then Daryl was rocking himself backwards slightly so that he was balancing on his knees and then his hands were wandering down to her jeans, hovering over the top button of them as he looked directly in her eyes.
And there were so many silent questions there, too - are you sure? do you want this? you know that we don't have to? - but in the heat of the moment, Beth found that for once, she was speechless. Instead of saying anything at all, she nodded her head up and down in an attempted response; and although the gesture wasn't much, it was still something, and she knew that Daryl understood what it was that she was saying to him.
Yes. Of course. I want you. Always.
The sound escaped her lips without any conscious thought once Daryl had yanked down both her jeans and her panties down her thighs in one fluid motion, and her light blue eyes were wide as he nudged her legs apart, essentially spreading her most intimate region completely bare in front of him. It wasn't necessarily ideal, considering the fact that neither of them had showered for several days and hadn't shaved in even longer, but Daryl's gaze was heated and his eyes darkened at the sight of her spread out before him.
Slowly, Daryl pushed his jeans further down his thighs, and Beth watched as the material sunk around him and exposed him to her, too. Beth's tongue probed her mouth and trailed over her bottom lip at the sight of him, her heart hammering violently against her chest as he manoeuvred himself on top of her once again.
There was that look in his eyes again as he lined himself up against her; that silent are you sure?, and Beth again chose to answer his silent question with a nod of her head. After staring into her eyes for what felt as though it lasted forever, Daryl finally lowered his gaze to her lips as he pushed the head of his cock inside of her, his deep blue eyes snapping shut immediately.
This time, it was her name that fell from his lips as he moved himself further inside of her, and Beth whimpered beneath him as he stretched her. It wasn't as though Daryl was her first, but it had been such a long time since she had last been with anyone, and it seemed as though it would just take a minute for her to accommodate to him and -
- and then he was thrusting in and out of her, and Beth's own eyes rolled back into her head before they fluttered to a close, and a long, drawn-out moan tumbled from her lips as Daryl moved himself inside of her.
This had been building between them for what had seemed like forever, and Beth felt as though she could laugh and cry at the same time out of a combination of pure joy and utter relief. Instead, Beth pushed her head up slightly so that her lips could press against Daryl's once again, and immediately his mouth opened up to hers, his tongue invading her own and clashing against her.
The speed of his thrusts soon quickened, and Beth's whimpers grew more and more frequent as he hit against just the right spot inside of her. When one of his hands dropped from where it had been placed beside of her head and latched onto her clit, Beth thought that she was going to scream out into the expanse of the bedroom; but instead the blonde bit down on her tongue until she could taste her own blood in her mouth, and even then she didn't stop.
As Daryl pushed her body closer towards release, she couldn't think about the tears that were building up in her eyes - from happiness and relief and pleasure - and when he finally spilled himself inside of her, Beth found herself squeezing tightly to his cock. The built-up tears spilled down her flushed cheeks as she came around him, and it was only when he rolled himself from on top of her and flopped down on his back beside her on the mattress that Beth even realised that she was crying.
A couple of minutes of silence floated between the two of them before Daryl seemed to notice the tears that had fallen down her face, too, and the hunter didn't hesitate to react; pushing himself up on one of his elbows so that he was once again towering over her. One of his large hands came to rest upon her face as though he were cradling it, and his thumb swiped across her damp cheek several times, wiping away the tears so that they drenched his skin instead of her own.
"You alright?" Daryl murmured to her, a frown on his face, and Beth let out a shaky breath as she nodded her head up and down.
"Yeah," she said, concentrating on her breathing as she spoke. Daryl didn't necessarily looked to convinced by her answer. "I am. I'm... I'm jus' happy."
From where he loomed over her, Daryl ducked his head so that he broke their eye contact, snorting as he did so. "Happy?" he repeated, the word sounding slightly bitter on his tongue. "You're cryin' -"
"'Cause I'm happy," Beth interrupted before the older man could continue, and Daryl's head instantly snapped up so that his brilliant blue eyes met with hers once again. One of her own hands moved up so that it rested over where his was still cradling her jaw, and she gave it a slight squeeze before she offered him a weak smile. "I've wanted you for so long, Daryl, an' I... I'm just happy."
For a brief moment, Beth was certain that Daryl wouldn't understand anything that she was saying; but he surprised her with an understanding expression, and then, when she turned her head in his hand ever so slightly so that she could press a gentle kiss to the inside of his palm, realisation seemed to wash over his features.
"Oh," he breathed out, and the sound made Beth grin so brightly that she thought she actually might start to cry once again.