I backed out of the Hershel’s cell, leaving the others to fuss over the man, and started making my way to my own cell. I was exhausted from the day’s events and all I wanted to do was sleep. I pulled my gun and knife out of their respective places on my body and lying them down on the little night stand.
I jumped slightly and turned to the entry way to the cell. Daryl stood there, leaning against the door frame. “Daryl! Don’t scare me like that!” I laughed, turning to my bag of clothes and rifling through it to find something a little less sweaty and bloody to sleep in. I pulled out a Batman t-shirt and a pair of black shorts and laid it out on the small bed. “Turn around,” I said looking over at him. He smirked and turned around. “No peeking,” I said and began to change.
Once I was done, he turned back around and walked over to me. “You gonna answer my question?” He asked placing his hands on my hips.
“I’m fine, I promise. Just tired.” I replied, wrapping my arms around his neck. “It’s been an exhausting day.”
He nodded, agreeing with my comment and we both stayed silent for a moment. “I didn’t know you could speak Spanish,” Daryl stated after a few moments in silence.
“You never asked. If you wanna know something about somebody, you need to ask.” I stated leaning my head against his chest. “Mi major amiga era mexicana y me enseñó todo lo que sé.”
He pulled away from me slightly confused. “Wha’?” He questioned in his thick southern drawl.
I giggled and said, “My best friend was Mexican and she taught me everything I know. Her name was Isabella Garcia, but I called her Izzy.” I smiled remembering my friend.
“Go on, get some rest.” Daryl muttered after a few minutes of silence and kissed the top of my head.
I nodded and lay down on the small bed. “Good night, Daryl.”
Daryl walked out of the cell leaving Chelsea to sleep. He was worried about her; he could tell that this world was getting to her. She was much thinner than she used to be. Every time he wrapped his arms around her he could feel her ribs poking out. She was also quieter. Her and her brother hardly spoke anymore. He shook the thoughts from his head when he noticed a lone figure sitting half way up the stairs he was about to descend. The figure turned as he made his way down the stairs. “What are you doin’, kid?” Daryl questioned stopping beside Riley.
“Trying to stay out of everyone’s way,” He replied looking up at Daryl with the same eyes his sister had.
It was then that he realized that they resembled each other a lot more than he thought. The same dark straight hair, same brown eyes, same facial structure. The only difference was that Riley had a darker skin complexion. Chelsea didn’t tan, but Riley did.
“Maggie, Beth, and Glenn are with Hershel. T-Dog and Carol are sorting out the food. Lori and Rick went outside and Carl’s in the cell.” He added.
Daryl nodded, but didn’t know what to say. He’d never had an actual conversation with the kid before. Riley pretty much kept to himself, hardly spoke to his sister now. Everyone just kind of threw him and Carl together since they’re roughly the same age.
Daryl looked down at the boy again. “Yeah, just tired. It’s been a long day for everyone.” Daryl thought of walking away, finding Rick or helping T-Dog and Carol, but he could tell the kid wanted to say something else so he waited patiently.
After a few moments of silence, Riley finally spoke up. “So, uh… are you and uh my sister, you know, like together?”
Daryl was not expecting that, and he didn’t know how to answer that. Of course he cared for Chelsea; he’s never cared for anyone like that before. He’s never really thought about it before. Were they dating? Was he her boyfriend? It all sounded wrong to him. She was just his, and he was hers. That was it and there was nothing else to it. Eventually Daryl nodded and muttered a small yeah, embarrassed to be having this conversation with the kid.
Riley nodded and they were silent again. “Don’t hurt her,” He whispered. “She’s been through so much already.”
This caught his attention and he moved closer to the kid. “What do ya mean?” He asked, thinking about earlier when Tomas had viciously beaten Big Tiny to death and Chelsea mentioned she’d seen some messed up things. He already knew about the thing that had happened before she and Riley had joined their group. They never talked about it, but she’d made it very clear that she’d been raped by that man, whoever he was, when they had been discussing what to do with Randall.
Riley sighed before explaining. “Home life wasn’t very good for us, Mom left a few days after I was born and every time I asked about her, Chelsea said that it was better that I didn’t know her. Dad drank a lot and was a lot nicer to me than he was to her. Let’s just leave it at that.”
Daryl stared at the boy not knowing what to say. He and Chelsea had never talked about their lives before the world went to shit. He never even thought to ask. Hell, they didn’t know anything about each other! All he really knew about her was that she was twenty, had a younger brother, had been going to school to become a veterinarian like Hershel, and worked as a veterinarian technician. And he only knew half of that because he had overheard her talking to Glenn.
But none of that really matter now. All that matter to him was that she was here; safe, alive, and his. That’s all that matter to him. He stared down at the kid again feeling like he should say something, but too awkward to know what to say.
After a while Daryl said, “I ain’t gonna hurt her, kid. I promise.”
Riley smiled his dimpled smile up at the man, thankful for his promise. Chelsea was all he had in this world, even before all of this. “Thank you.”
“No problem, kid. Now why don’t ya go get some sleep.” Daryl said as he ruffled Riley’s hair. The boy nodded and left Daryl on the stairs to think over the little insight he had given him into Chelsea’s life.