Chapter 41

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I woke up with an odd feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was an old feeling, making me feel numb and tingly. I felt the light brush of hair against my neck and I turned to see Carl beside me. I had almost forgotten about last night, written it off as some dream.

The sunlight shone through the cracks in the curtains, and I smiled. The warm glow illuminated my porcelin skin. Carl shifted beside me and his breathing changed. He wrapped his arms tighter around me and mumbelled incoherently.

"I know your awake." I stated and chuckled to myself, brushing the loose strands of hair from my face.

"Dammit," He cursed. "I was hoping that I could use it as an excuse to hug you longer."

"Looks like your back to your sappy self."

"You bring out the best in me."

I chuckled again and tipped my legs off the side of my bed. I was still wearing my grey tracksuit trousers and tank top. I could hear the soft clinking of glasses in the kitchen, likely Carol. Carl smoothed down his flannel and pulled the pristine white runners onto his feet, another perk of this town. Clean clothes.

I pulled on my own low-top converse that were left by my beside by Carol. I smiled to myself again before retreating from the room, with Carl not far behind. Carol gave me a wide smile when I came back in. She watched Carl with approval and gestured to the apples on the dining table. I gladly helped myself to the cherry-red sweetness with a thankful nod. I grabbed my machete and tucked it into my gun belt.

"I'd lay low for a bit, Lauren." Carol mumbelled, filling a glass with water. "They don't really appreciate the show from last night, they also don't believe what you said about Adam was true. He came back, but wouldn't say anything."

I sighed and nodded. It would be easier to just get out of this place today anyway. I could go on a hunt for something, chase the wind wherever it may bring me. Carl brushed his hand across my arm, a sign of ressurance. I didn't need any, I'm not believing in this charade.

"Can we just go somewhere today?" I asked Carl and he smiled before nodding. I tossed the remnants of my apple into the bin and stepped into the warm air outside.

"I just need to get a few things from my house." Carl smiled again and tugged me to the twin building only about fifty feet from my own house. Rick bounced Judith on his hip and Michonne was sitting by the window in the living room.

"Michonne!" I greeted and wrapped my arms around her slender figure. "I'm sorry I haven't got to see you the last few days. It's been.. testing."

Michonne waved me off and nodded, smiling to Carl.
"Don't worry about it, you've had enough to deal with. I'm happy that you made up with him," She gestured to Carl. "He's been a wreak these past few months."

I felt sadness and guilt. I didn't really care for him when I pushed him away, only myself. Rick nodded his head to me when Carl finally had everything he needed. Just a backpack and his sheriff's hat, something I haden't seen in awhile. Carl led me down the stoney road through Mortis, clutching the sherrif's hat between his fingers.

"I wad wondering if-," Carl paused and smiled awkwardly. "If you would put this on me."

I laughed and nodded, placing the brown hat on his head. His cheeks stained crimson and he looked to the ground for solice. I bit my lip, the hole in my heart was swelling with love and I felt wanted, I felt needed. I brushed a strand of hair from his eyes and a smile graced my face. Carl intertwined our fingers and I smiled again.

"Let's go." I breathed out and dropped my gaze to the ground. Carl mumbelled something in agreement and led me further down the cobbled road. Alyssa watched on from her house with a look of disdain before turning on her heel and leaving. I smirked to myself, as long as she dosen't try and kill me again, she's harmless.

-

The meadow outside Mortis was beautiful in the morning light, although, it brought back memories I wished to repress.

"Do you know where we're going?" I asked Carl and he chuckled before answering.

"Not a clue."

It was oddly satisfying, we had nowhere to go and nothing to do. It was almost peaceful, and I basked in it's serenity. We all knew that it would be taken from us in the blink of an eye. Carl looked back and once the tall metal walls of Mortis were far from view he plopped down on a clear area of grass, surrounded by buttercups and daisys.

"I never got to ask you how it was the last six months." I said, looking off into the distance.

"For me, it was awful," Carl started, picking at his fingernails. "We lost Beth awhile back. We were close to dead when we were found by that group and brought in. I don't trust them, but it's all we have right now."

I nodded and lay back, staring up at the bright blue sky and the clouds that passed through it.
"I hopped from place to place with Chelsie, never really settling down anywhere. I kept us moving.. for y'know."

"I wish we never left that cottage," Carl mumbelled after what felt like an eternity of silence. "Everything was perfect then, I had you, I had Judith and we were happy. We were safe."

"I wished for the same thing so many times." I sighed and watched the gentle breeze blow through the trees. "But we had to save them. I made a sacrifice for revenge back then, and I hated myself for it. I lost you because of my stupidity."

"You saved them all," Carl mumbelled and lay down next to me, his arm brushing off my own. "You can't say that it wasn't for nothing."

"It was so simple back then. When it was just us."

"It could be again."

I smiled, loving the peace that Carl provided. It was almost like we were in a bubble, unaffected by the dying world around us.

"What happened when I left." I asked timidly, afraid whether or not the answer would hurt both of us.

Carl sighed.
"I noticed after we promised eachother. I knew something was wrong, so I went to find you. Carol stopped me and she told me what was happening, then she gave me that note. I wanted to run after you, but she wouldn't let me. I hoped that you would be okay. We met the others after you freed them, but not you. One of them said how you were distracting Walkers. You never came back, we couldn't find you. I lost myself for months, the only thing keeping me sane was your last words to me 'Remember our promise', and that note."

My heart broke for him, we were ripped apart, only to be broken by the thing that we thought would fix everything. Eachother. I sat up and faced Carl who was also in a sitting position.
"But I came back. I promised you, and I couldn't break it."

He smiled a little, watching me with happiness.
"I cursed myself for not telling you that I loved you before you left. That was my biggest regret."

I leaned against his shoulder and breathed in a deep breath of air. Carl ran his fingertips down my arm and smiled. I could hear the soft beating of his heart.

"I do love you." He concluded and lifted my chin to level with his face. His eyes were full of sincerity, but there is always doubt in my mind. Nothing can be perfect.

Carl leaned in and I felt my heart rate pick up. I haden't been this close to him in six months. They were the most painful months of my life. He hovered over my mouth, almost not sure if he should kiss me or not.

"Just kiss me, idiot." I mumbelled and Carl complied, placing a warm hand on the small of my back before eliminating the space between us. Just a kiss and it meant more than the world.

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."
-Dr. Seuss

Fluffy chapter ! Ew! More action needed XD Kinda filler

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