Christmas morning. The prospect of the day still gave her a thrill just as it did when she was a child. Soon they’d be up and getting ready to start the day but for now, Beth snuggled down in the blankets, trying to escape the chill in the air. Daryl’s hand lay warmly on her hip. The solid presence he instinctively and intuitively asserted comforted her. Always.
As she turned the corner, heading back home there was a house set back off of the road. She hesitated only a moment before heading down the drive. As far as she knew a man lived there by himself. She’d seen him a few times as he drove past her house, or as she drove past his. A nod of the head, a small wave was all the interaction they’d had. But it was Christmas Eve and she had one more plate of cookies, everyone should have a tiny bit of cheer on this day.
Beth is skinnier than she should be after all the time they’ve spent safe in the funeral home, and that isn’t helping her keep warm in the depths of winter. Daryl is there—and willing—to give her all he can.
Beth. He knew her name was Beth. He’d seen it on her I.D badge the day he fixed the scrub sink. That was the day, standing there with her, that something happened to him. He was 32 years old and he had never experienced anything like it in his life.
He stepped up to the bar, ordered a tall cold one and sat his ass on the stool. He was on his second swallow when he felt it, a hand on his back. Not threatening, not intimidating, it was a light touch, a woman’s touch. He turned his head and there she was.
They met at the bar, but she’s nothing like the women he’s met in bars in the past. Then again he’s no longer the man he was back then either. He knows that if this is gonna go anywhere he’s gonna have to come clean. She doesn’t even want to be here until she is. And she doesn’t know she wants someone like him until she does. And then she isn’t sure how she ever lived without him.