16.4K 430 50

Daryl Dixon wasn't one for small talk. He wasn't one for any talk, really. When Merle left with the others, the first thing he did was take to the woods.

Pressing his fingers into the moist earth, he reestablishes a deer trail he had picked up awhile back. He reloads his crossbow as sweat trickles down his neck. Cicadas screech throughout the forest, and the sound of the river chatters in the distance.

He follows the tracks for miles, moving silently among the trees.

The sun shines white hot, even through the shade of the canopy. He runs out of water early in the afternoon, and veers off the trail to try and reach the stream.

When he arrives, he's sure he is hallucinating.

Ducking behind a bush, he spots a young woman and her horse drinking from the river.

Daryl had been with a lot of girls, and he knew enough to know this one is beautiful. She has a ruddy, copper complexion and high cheekbones. Her silky black hair is woven into an impossibly long braid that flows down her back like a stream. An ancient looking bow and quiver rest snugly against her back. Her light brown eyes dart up from the river once and awhile as she fills a canteen.

She looks like an Indian right out of one of the old Westerns he used to watch in his uncle's basement.

Daryl raises an eyebrow when she proceeds to take off her shirt, scrubbing it with a smooth river rock. He leans forward a little further to get a better look, snapping a twig in the process.

"I see you. Come out." The girl commands, still shirtless. She pulls an arrow back threateningly.

Daryl silently curses as he approaches the river, hands raised. He pulls the string of squirrel carcasses from his back, dropping them by a fallen log as he gets closer.

Her bright, amber eyes are striking, but not that of a killer. She wasn't going to fire, and Daryl knew it.

He eyes her once more before setting down his crossbow as he kneels on the riverside.

"What are you doing?" She demands, training the arrow on his chest.

He wets his neck, sipping water from his palm. "What's it look like?"

She lets out an exasperated sigh, dropping the bow. "Are you alone?"

He looks up at her with inquisitive blue eyes. "Are you?"

She tilts her head in confusion. "Yes."

"How long?" He asks, leaning back on his heels.

"I was with two others a few weeks ago but..." She trails off, a look of hurt flashing across her eyes.

He nods understandingly, brushing mud from his jeans. "Shit happens."

"Shit happens." She echoes, pulling her shirt on.

"Sonora." She gestures to herself.

He hesitates before replying. "Daryl."

The two stare at one another a little while longer, until Daryl stands. The girl grows tense, placing a finger to her lips. "Be still."

Daryl stops, ready to take down any approaching walkers, but drops his crossbow with a huff when he sees nothing. He looks back at the girl, following her extended finger to a deer standing at the edge of the clearing. His deer.

She picks up her bow, pulling the string back slowly.

"Hey! That's my deer!" He growls loudly.

Startled, the doe bounds into the forest.

Throwing him a glare, the girl climbs on her horse, blazing past him in pursuit of the deer.

Fuming, he runs after them. "That's my deer, you dumb bitch!"

He crashes through the brush, mindlessly following the thuds of the horse's feet against the rocky soil.

He grunts when he crashes into her back only seconds later. She ignores him, soundlessly creeping up on the doe. He glances down at her thin frame, a dirty linen tank top hanging on her bony shoulders like a sheet on a clothesline. He can tell she doesn't eat often, and wonders how long it has been. His eyes trail further down her body until he hears a rustle in the bushes.

They both spot the deer's frame from behind a tree, and the two simultaneously aim and fire, sinking both their arrows into the deer's chest.

She begins to walk toward the deer when he steps in front of her, stopping her in her tracks. "My arrow, my deer." Daryl snarls, making his way toward the dying animal.

Sonora snorts, tossing her braid over her shoulder. "My arrow, my deer." She points at the feathered arrow imbedded behind the doe's left shoulder blade, inches away from Daryl's arrow's neon plastic fletching.

"Mines the one that downed'er." He retorts, examining the two arrows' placements.

"Was it?" She questions with a sparkle in her eye.

He scoffs, grabbing ahold of the deer's hind legs. She shakes her head, climbing onto the horse with a small smile.

CHEROKEE ROSE (D. DIXON)Where stories live. Discover now