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The trunk was damp with sweat, the scent mixing in a haze of fear to rise up and cloud the air in a haze. Beth squeezed her eyes shut, not even sure what she was praying for anymore. Or why. Prayers weren’t heard in this world. She’s not sure they ever were.

She inhaled a shaky breath, turning to press her cheek tight to Daryl’s shoulder. His arm was taunt, overused muscles flexing, desperately trying to keep the lid down, shutting out the walkers waiting to devour them whole. She thought about telling him not to bother. Death might be the only thing worthwhile in the world now.

His head whipped over, like he could hear her thoughts on the must and dust. His eyes were bright in the darkness, lit by the little slivers of light moonlight creeping in through fractures around the edges of the trunk. “Don’ give up now. We’ve come too far to quit,” he whispered into the darkness. He might have been talking to her, or maybe just to himself. It didn’t matter anymore.

“What’s the point, Daryl?” She whispered, heart so tired of aching it had gone numb long before they climbed into this trunk. “What’s it matter anymore?”

He swallowed, shaking his head with tears pricking his eyes. “Don’ know, Beth. But it’s gotta mean somethin’. Can’t all be for nothin’.”

She opened her eyes as his free hand came around to grip her cheek, too rough to comfort, too desperate to feel. “Don’ leave me, Beth. Can’t see no reason to keep goin’ if ya do.” His voice rasped like sandpaper, sending a shiver racing down her spine.

She’s not sure who started it, she’s just sure it doesn’t matter. One minute they are staring into each other’s eyes, death knocking at the door. The next their lips are crashing together, bruising as they slide in desperation, lips clashing, teeth catching and holding tight to lips. Beth exhales a whine on a sigh, Daryl catching the sound with his mouth as she folds into him, fists tangling in his vest to cling for all she’s worth to the feeling of his mouth on hers, his body against hers.

He pulls the rope he’s got tied around the trunk lid for all it’s worth, bringing it around as he rolls on top of Beth to loop it through the bar at the bottom of the trunk. It’ll have to do. He needs to feel her, needs to touch and press and knead every bit of flesh he can find. He needs to feel before he’s dead what he’s wanted but hadn’t admitted for so damn long.

Her hands are tangled in his hair now, legs spread wide to catch him between them, thighs clinging as she pressed her body up as hard as she can, so that he knows. She needs him to know. That for months now all she’s thought about is a moment like this, alone in the dark, shaking with want and desire and all wrapped up in him. She needs this. She needs him. She needs him to make her remember what’s worth living for.

His lips slide down to nip at her earlobe, a trail of nips and licks and kisses as he marks the soft skin of her neck, peppering it with bruises so anyone who sees them knows. She’s his.

His hands slide down her sides as he leans into her, grinding himself against where she’s aching. If he weren’t so desperate, drowning in her sighs and moans, he’d laugh. Pretty little Beth Greene, moaning and writhing beneath him like he’s the very air she breathes, like he’s all she’s got to hold on to. But it isn’t funny, not anymore. Because he is.

Her hands push his vest off his shoulders, sliding over muscles she’s stared at, dreamed about, touched herself in the middle of the night thinking about, and she feels him start to shake, even from her gentle caress. She digs her nails into his shirt, sleeves cut off, trying to feel the muscles of his shoulders and back, sighing as they give and flex beneath her little fingers. And he’s pushing himself against her, grinding his hips into hers, but it’s not enough, and there’s too many clothes for it to even come clothes.

“Please,” she whines, voice tight with want as he’s sliding her shirt up, lifting her back so he can shove it beneath her head with a growl. Her head slides up to tangle in his hair as his taunting path of nips and licks trails over her collarbone and down to her pert little breasts, visible as he yanks her bra down for his greedy mouth and thumbs. And he’s teasing her, rolling one nipple with his left forefinger and thumb while his mouth assaults the right, catching it between his teeth as he sooths her fevered flesh with his tongue.

She’s bucking into him, hips rolling her apex over the hardness in his jeans, desperate for more friction. He releases her right nipple with a growl as his mouth slides, wide open with his tongue trailing down one valley and up the next, taking that left nipple in to roll and nip and tease until she’s moaning so loud they can’t even hear the dead trying to break in.

And then his hands are on her jeans, unbuttoning and pushing while his mouth doesn’t miss a goddamn beat, still teasing and licking and sucking until she’s sure she’ll explode before he’s ever even inside her. And when her jeans are off and so are his and she feels the rough pad of his thumb slide through her curls to graze her wetness, she’s sure she’ll die.

Her head rolls back, one fist still tangled in his hair while the other clings to his shoulder through the shirt he’s refused to take off, thighs clenching against his as he keeps her legs spread wide while he cups her wetness, two fingers pushing in as she whines and bucks with need.

“Fuck, Beth,” he whines into her chest, need laced through as she falls apart in his arms. “Fuck, you’re so wet and tight.” And he’s groaning as he presses his erection against her hip, trying to take his time but so desperate to feel her clench around him like she is around his fingers as he pumps them into her.

And if she was able to she’d smile at him, but she can’t do anything but bite her lip and try to stifle another loud moan as his fingers start to while they thrust into her, sliding against a spot that has her twitching and seeing stars while she tries to hang on. “For you, Daryl.” And she’s throwing her head back, eyes rolling as she pushes against her hand, begging for what she’s not even sure anymore. “I’m wet for you.” And the way she says it, voice desperate and tight with want and need has him bucking against her hip, nearly undone before he’s even gotten to push into her tight little pussy, so wet and ready for him.

And then his fingers are gone and she’s crying out at the loss, when she was so close to something, so close to everything she’s ever wanted for so long. And he’d smile if he could as he lines himself up, but he can’t because this is everything he’s ever wanted too, and he needs her so badly he can’t think of much else as he slides the tip over her slickness and then bucks his hips into her, pushing in rougher than he meant to as he buries himself to the hilt in her. And she’s so tight, and so wet, and so much more than he’d ever experienced in his life that his whole body is shaking as he tries not to slam into her again, waiting for her to adjust, to tell him it’s okay, to tell him this feels even half as good for her as it does for him.

She whines, shifting her hips and rolling them so that he’s barely hanging on to his control. She catches his ear in her teeth, breath hot as she whispers into him. “God, Daryl,” she exhales a moan, “more, so good, need more,” and she’s tugging his shoulders and his eyes roll back as he starts to thrust into her. And the car is shaking, and the dead are knocking, and he doesn’t give a fucking damn, because he’s pounding into Beth fucking Greene, and nothing’s felt this right in his entire life.

She’s clenching around him, pulling him deeper as she rolls her hips each time he slams into her, clawing at his back and moaning into his ear as he works into her, so thick with want he’s sure he can’t hang on much longer. And then she’s quivering around him, body tightening with release and clamping around him like a vice as she practically screams his name. And then he’s slamming in one more time, two, three, until he’s falling apart in her arms, growling her name in her ear as he spills into her, head spinning while he buries it into her neck to hang on.

They cling to each other, panting and slick with sweat, while they come back down from the clouds. She pulls back a bit and turns her head, smiling wide into his eyes, and he finds himself smiling back, grinning like a goddamn fool. “Daryl?” She whispers softly, biting her lip, and he can’t help but chuckle because after the sounds she was making, he was shocked she picked now to be shy.

“What is it, Beth,” he asked with amusement, still deaf to the death waiting just outside.

“Why haven’t we been doing that the whole time?” And she’s giggling which makes her tighten around him, and he’s still inside her and starts to twitch in response, and her giggles die in a soft moan as her back arches in response.

He kisses her, soft and sweet this time as he hardens inside her and starts to move again, slow, taking his time. “ ‘M thinkin’ you’re worth living for, Beth,” he whispers against her lips, tongue teasing hers out to play with his.

She smiles, brushing her nose with his before she catches his tongue and sucks it lightly between her lips, smiling again when a low groan spills out of his mouth and into hers. “I’m thinking you are, too, Daryl.”

And the smile he sends her warms her to the bone, and the smile she sends back makes his heart squeeze and chest flutter, and when they look in each other’s eyes, they know. This was the point. They are the point. And they aren’t wasting anymore time.