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I stand between Rick and Shane as we stand outside the barn, waiting for Daryl.

I shake my head. He thought laying out my sleeping bag was enough of an apology? After what he said to me? I let out a huff. Men.

I glance between Shane and Rick. There is  a kind of tension there that hadn't been there before, and something dark in Shane's eyes, darker than before. The negative energy makes me uncomfortable, and I shift from one foot to the other.

I am almost relieved when we all turn to see Daryl marching toward us. His arms are uncharacteristically covered, and I notice he now wears a worn leather vest, angel wings embroidered on the back.

"Boy there's got a gang." Daryl reports coolly, crossbow slung over his shoulder. "Thirty men. They got heavy artillery and they ain't looking to make friends." He glances at me. "It's like you said." He shifts, and I notice his bruised and bloodied knuckles. "They roll through here, our boys are dead. And our women, they're gonna..." His pale blue eyes dart up at me with concern. "They're gonna wish they were."

"What did you do?" Carol asks worriedly.

Daryl drops his hands. "Had a little chat."

"No one goes near this guy." Rick commands. The rest of us nod without protest. "We have no choice, he's a threat. We have to eliminate the threat." Rick decides.

"You're just gonna kill him?" Dale asks, horror in his voice.

Rick looks to me, then Dale. "It's settled. I'll do it today."

Deep down, I'm conflicted. We were choosing to take human life, and at what cost? What if he proved to be a valuable asset? I glance at the barn. But then again, what if he proved to be a danger to the group?

I walk the perimeter of the fence, deep in thought. My legs ache from having to run so long.

"Hey." Daryl calls from behind me. "Pocahontas."

I turn to face him wearily. "Yes?"

"You ain't still mad, are you?" He stands in front of me.

I shrug, turning to face the open field.

"Don't be mad." He says softer.

"You said you have nothing now that you're not looking for... you know."

He furrows his eyebrows. "Sophia?"

I swallow. "The Cherokee people believe it is not polite to speak the names of the dead."


"It's okay." I lean on the fence.

"No, I mean, sorry for what I said." He rasps, still standing behind me. "You're not nothing. I was just..."

I turn around. "Disappointed."

"Yeah." His blue eyes hold a deep sadness as he looks from the ground to me.

I can see his sincerity, maybe in the way he peers at me through his eyebrows, a softness taking ahold of his angular face.

I let out a sigh. "You're forgiven. Just don't do it again."

Daryl scoffs, crossing his arms. "Just like that? I was gettin' ready to get down on my knees."

I laugh, taking a step closer. "No one is stopping you."

"Oh, well ain't you cocky." He smiles, taking my braid between his fingers.

I look down at my feet, hoping he can't see me blush.

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