Chapter 1: Take Off
Carol hops on a flight...
38 year old bakery owner Carol Peletier felt as giddy as a teenager as she boarded her late afternoon flight to New Orleans, Louisiana from the airport in Atlanta, Georgia. She’d only be gone for the weekend but her oversized carry-on ‘weekender’ bag was filled to the brim with three hot ‘date night’ outfits, two pair of sexy stiletto sandals and her favorite fire engine red Christian Louboutin® pumps, several choice pieces of flashy ‘costume jewelry,’ and more than a few pieces of her naughtiest lingerie. She’d also thrown in a sexy bikini as well as a bottle of her most intoxicating perfume (Cartier’s La Panthere, of course,) and discretely hidden in the secret compartment of the bottom of her bag was her secret stash... cherry flavored heating massage oil, half a dozen assorted flavored condoms, a big bottle of strawberry flavored lube and even a few of her favorite sex toys, (all of which were fortunately overlooked by airline security!)
That morning she’d hit the salon and gotten a haircut, her legs waxed, eyelash extensions, a spray tan and eyebrow threading and not to mention her bikini line had been Brazilian waxed to bare perfection. Last but certainly not least, she’d gotten her tips and toes airbrushed with a sexy matching French mani-pedi. By 5 she was finally en route to meet up with her fiancé, Daryl Dixon, who was held up in Louisiana on business, and she had big plans for a long overdue getaway that would include sight-seeing tours and shopping by day followed by romantic dinner dates in the evening and ending with long nights of hot sex with her man.
Due to both their hectic schedules as owners of their own respective businesses, Carol and Daryl hadn’t spent much time together in the past few weeks and Daryl had finally able to set aside a little time for them to be alone between handling his many responsibilities concerning the expansion of his and his brother Merle’s growing truck stop business. The trip would hopefully be the last “stolen” time together for the busy “power couple” before their upcoming wedding in a few months, especially since Daryl promised to cut way back on his frequent business trips by sending his and Merle’s trustworthy and capable business manager, Theodore “T-Dog” Douglass, to conduct the expansion planning in his stead a lot more often. They’d FINALLY be living together under the same roof and not have to constantly hop flights all over creation just to sleep together. In the meantime however, Carol instinctively knew that the last of their little ‘dirty weekends’ before the wedding would be one to remember.
Just before takeoff, Carol checked her text messages. The first message had come from her 20 year old daughter Sophia (who was up in New York studying Fashion at Parsons School of Design,) that read, “Hey Mom, have a safe trip and please bring me back some cool souvenirs! Love ya!” The second had come from her future sister in law Andrea (who was married to Daryl’s older brother Merle,) that read, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do and don’t get knocked up! wink wink!” and the third was from her lawyer and dear friend Michonne Grimes which read, “Have a blast in N’awlins! Make sure to try some shrimp Creole, crawfish gumbo and crab etoufee!” Just then another text came through; it was from Daryl and his words made her shiver with anticipation down to her toes. ‘Hope ya remembered not to wear any panties woman, cuz I’m only gonna rip ‘em off ‘ya if ya did.’ “He’ll just have to wait and see, won’t he?” Carol thought to herself with a smirk just before all of the passengers were instructed to turn their cell phones off for takeoff.
Once in the air, Carol ordered a cosmopolitan from the first class flight attendant and after enjoying her drink, she closed her eyes for a little catnap. The flight was only a little under 2 hours and she knew she’d need whatever rest she could get before Daryl got his hands on her; he was insatiable when it came to lovemaking and Carol wanted to save her energy. As she dozed off, she thought back to how they’d met. It was hard to believe that close to an entire year had gone by since they’d met, and she chuckled to herself at how she had her asshole of an ex-husband Ed of all people to thank for hooking up with Daryl in the first place, and not to mention how a batch of chocolate chip cookies of all things had made it all possible...
Chapter 2: Flashback
It was a beautiful Friday afternoon in mid July, and the Southeastern Small Business Association’s annual networking weekend had just begun. That year’s host city was sunny Orlando, Florida and representatives from small, privately owned companies across the southeast had been invited to attend the conference at the Grand Floridian Hotel and Convention Center. A large crowd had already converged in the hotel’s dining hall for the meet and greet champagne brunch scheduled to kick off the weekend of marketing seminars, sample sales presentations and other networking events.
Despite the early hour the drinks were already flowing heavily at the bar, and Carol, owner of Carol’s Cookies, a small bakery based in Atlanta, Georgia, was seated at a prime table near the middle of the overcrowded room, nursing a mimosa while casually taking in the scene. She’d already spotted a few people she recognized from home in the crowd, including Glenn Rhee, owner of Rhee’s Korean Barbecue and a rapidly growing pizzeria chain; Axel Brown, owner of Axel’s, a popular biker bar in the area, Tyreese and Sasha Williams, the brother and sister duo owners of Ty’s Grille restaurant chain, Merle Dixon, CEO of Dixon Inc.; Hershel Greene, owner of Greene’s Family Farm’ and Philip “The Governor” Blake, CEO of Blake Industries, but the rest of the bunch formed a sea of unfamiliar faces.
Carol could easily spot the newer members of the organization from a mile away; they were all overdressed and were much too enthusiastic with their big, phony smiles as they recited their sales pitches to anyone who’d listen and passed out their shiny new business cards to anyone who looked even remotely interested in buying whatever crap they were trying to sell.
Carol had seen and heard it all before; the laughter and the lies of the many unscrupulous businesspeople who got together for these types of events unnerved her to no end. The shady business deals had already begun to commence she’d immediately observed and she wished she’d stayed at home. She detested these types of gatherings but her ex-husband and business manager Ed had nagged her into coming along, yet again. He claimed he had someone he wanted her to meet concerning a business idea he had and she dreaded participating in whatever scheme he’d cooked up, but she went along just to keep the peace. Ed could be VERY unpleasant when he didn’t get his way and she just didn’t feel like dealing with his bad attitude, especially while they were out of town; the last thing in the world she wanted was for Ed to embarrass her in public; it wouldn’t be the first time and the times he had weren’t pretty memories...
Although they’d been divorced for the past few years, Ed had recently resumed an active role in her business. When Carol discovered his infidelity a few years prior she’d immediately filed for divorce and kicked him out (truth be told, they hadn’t been in love for quite some time and were only hanging on for the sake of their daughter Sophia) however Carol refused to be disrespected in her own home and threw him out. When he’d lost his job a year later (as well as his slutty, younger mistress,) he’d crawled back to Carol begging for her to take him back (as well as give him a job.) She refused to even consider getting back into a relationship with him, however, she needed an evening shift manager at the bakery and since he’d helped bankroll the company in the beginning, and knew how to run the place she gave him the job. At least Sophia would get back his child support payments from the money she was paying him. If nothing else he was a decent father and would pay up if he had a steady income. She sometimes felt like it was a mistake in hiring him however; even thought they were divorced, Ed was still as manipulative and sneaky as ever.
Ed was on a ‘paper chase.’ He wanted to get rich quick and was determined to turn Carol’s Cookies from a small family bakery into a multi-million dollar conglomerate and meant to do it hook or by crook. Legally or illegally, ethically or unscrupulously. He’d always wanted to be a big boss and hob nob with the rich and figured he’d found a way to do it through his ex-wife’s ‘little’ cookie business. He’d already convinced Carol to add frozen cookie dough to her roster of sales items at the bakery and to his credit it had been a good idea and had added immensely to the profits. For that, Carol promoted him from evening shift manager to marketing manager. His big plan of action was securing a means of selling their products on a large scale, and distributing the goods nationwide to rake in the big bucks. He was already in talks with Phillip “The Governor” Blake of Blake Industries for a multimillion dollar deal to distribute Carol’s Cookies in Blake’s large chain of grocery stores.
Unbeknownst to Carol however, if the deal was successful, Ed had even bigger plans, to take over the reins of the company as his own. He felt like Carol was crazy for not capitalizing on the little goldmine she was sitting on and tried everything in his power to try to convince her to go big but she paid him little mind. He was incensed by her independence; when they were married she’d always done whatever he wanted. He figured he’d have to MAKE her see things his way in the end, by simply taking over. In his mind he was entitled to take what he wanted. If it werent for him she wouldn't even have the bakery in the first place. He thought he knew what was best for her, and that was going national with the company to make them both filthy rich... then maybe she'd come to her senses and take him back!
Carol didn’t have those lofty aspirations, however. She certainly didn’t want Ed back, nor to get filthy rich. She didn't want Carol’s Cookies to become the next Mrs. Field’s® or The Great Cookie® chain. She was happy and content with keeping the bakery small and local as long as she could pay her staff well and make a decent profit in the process to live the kind of comfortable lifestyle she’d come to enjoy. It was hard enough running one bakery so she knew it would take an insane amount of time and hard work to try to turn it into a Fortune 500 chain and she just didn’t want to complicate her life with opening a bunch of new locations and mass producing her product. She didn’t want industrial ovens, factories or computerised robots mixing dough around the clock; she didn't want to take over the desserts industry. Her bakery made about half a million a year, and even after paying her staff salaries, the store rent, supplies costs and state taxes, she still always made a handsome profit each year so she was content with that. She had 2 nice cars, a beautiful home as well as a vacation property, and several closets full of beautiful clothes. Her beautiful daughter Sophia was happy, healthy, and thriving at the best fashion school in the country as she pursued her lifelong dream of being a designer, on her dime, and that was what Carol really cared about. She occasionally considered possibly opening a second location in the near future due to high sales demand over the past few years, however anything beyond that wasn’t in her plan. She didn’t want her bakery to lose its ‘small town charm.’ It was what made Carol’s Cookies special; every cake, pie and cookie were made with love and care with the freshest ingredients. She didn’t want to cut corners and compromise quality just to turn bigger profits. Of course more money would be awesome, but at what cost? Her time, integrity and her sanity? It just wasn’t worth it. How many millions did she need to be happy? As long as she and her child had everything they needed and most of what they wanted as well as a hefty nest egg in the bank for a rainy day, Carol was happy.
Her goal in baking for money in the first place had only been to make a little extra money so that she could afford for her daughter to attend ballet and horseback riding lessons like the wealthier girls at her magnet elementary school a decade prior. Sophia had gotten accepted into the prestigious Woodbury Day School on scholarship at that time; back then Ed’s meager salary as a shift supervisor at a convenience store, and her own as an office clerk covered the bills but didn’t allow for tuition at the most prestigious private school in the area, but since Sophia’s entry test scores got her a scholarship, Carol was determined that they’d make it work.
She wanted Sophia to be able to do everything her new school friends could, so she started baking on the side and selling her wares at local county fairs and farmers markets in the area for extra money and everything she baked sold like hotcakes. Word spread fast and Carol could barely keep up with the orders on the weekends in her spare time. She could bake anything, but cookies were her specialty, chocolate chip in particular, from a recipe she’d gotten years ago from the original Carol, her namesake grandmother, Caroline.
Carol’s Cookies as an actual business had started with a few dozen chocolate chip cookies that she’d whipped up for a co-worker’s birthday luncheon. Her co-worker, Lori Walsh, took the remaining cookies home after the party and shared them with her husband, Shane, a King County Sherriff’s Deputy who also sold and rented out properties on the side. Shane had a wicked sweet tooth and told Lori to tell whomever made those cookies that he had a tiny storefront bakery space available for rent, and he’d give it to her for next to nothing each month if he could only get a dozen of cookies for free from time to time out of the deal. “These babies need to get to the masses,” he said with a laugh.
Carol was flattered as well as excited about the idea but she wasn’t so sure if it would work out. She already worked full time and Sophia was involved in a lot of activities, and most importantly she wasn’t entirely sure of what her husband Ed would say about the idea. Ed was a bit unpredictable at times; he wasn’t physically abusive toward her thankfully, but he was very controlling and manipulative and Carol had learned early on not to rock the boat with him. Ed saw dollar signs however and surprisingly encouraged her to go for it. He even put up the initial money to buy the supplies and rent the space and they christened the place Carol’s Cookies in honor of her grandmother’s recipe. In a couple of years the bakery had done so well that they were both able to quit their jobs and hire a small staff.
Chapter 3: Ed Strikes
While at the conference, Carol meets a handsome stranger...
Meanwhile at the conference...
Carol tried unsuccessfully to tune out the loud, annoying laughter and chatter all around her so she walked over to the open bar to get another drink to take the edge off. She DID NOT want to be there, AT ALL but she figured she was stuck so she might as well make the best of it. ‘At least they’ve got free drinks,’ she thought to herself as she waited her turn in line. Just then someone handed her a brochure that detailed the events scheduled at the hotel’s conference center, and surprisingly she found a networking seminar scheduled for Saturday morning that she wanted to attend, when all of a sudden she got the distinct feeling that someone was staring at her. She discreetly glanced to her right and noticed a few women chatting at the dessert table but neither of them were looking her way. When she turned to her left she saw that there was a table full of businessmen laughing out loud at whatever lewd joke one of them probably told as they ate their lunch but none of them were paying Carol any attention at the moment either. She resumed reading the brochure when she suddenly felt it again and when she glanced down at the opposite end of the bar she locked eyes with a handsome man she’d never seen before, seated there.
The man was staring at Carol so intently that it made her feel hot all over; her nipples stiffened involuntarily and her core flooded with desire. He was so gorgeous that he damn near took her breath away! He had a deep sun tan and ice blue eyes that were partially shaded by his shaggy, dark brown locks. His exquisitely chiseled cheekbones were accented by a sexy mole beside his top lip and although Carol normally liked men to be clean shaven, the guy’s scruffy mustache and beard made him look manly and a little dangerous. She looked away, suddenly feeling self-conscious in her sheer silk, sleeveless blouse, above the knee length linen skirt and tall nude pumps; it was obvious that the man was undressing her with his eyes. She cursed herself for leaving her blazer at the table, knowing instinctively that he was staring at her traitorous nipples now poking through her lacy nude bra. She glanced his way again and sure enough, he was still staring hard, and upon her second glance at his unkempt facial hair, she couldn’t help wondering just how good his scruff would feel if it were tickling her lately neglected hot spots. She blushed at the naughty thought and suddenly the man licked his lips and smirked at her as if he could read her dirty mind.
Just then he stood and Carol could immediately see that he had a really nice body. He was tall, maybe 5’10 or so she guessed, with broad shoulders, chiseled arms and pecs, a tight waistline and six pack abs under his fitted dress shirt and tailored jacket, and his bulky, muscular thighs were barely hidden under his neatly pressed khaki slacks. He looked damn good, and was dressed appropriately for the event, but for some reason Carol thought he looked totally out of place. ‘He seems more like a jeans, boots and trucker cap kind of guy. I can just imagine him in one of those biker vests too,’ she thought to herself with a smirk. All of a sudden he began walking toward her and her breath caught in her throat. ‘Oh shit, he’s coming over,” she thought to herself as the bartender motioned to take her order. “White wine,” she mumbled with a nervous giggle, tapping her foot impatiently as he poured her drink, then quickly downed a big sip for some liquid courage. ‘Stay calm, Carol. He’s only the sexiest man ever...” she thought to herself. ‘Oh God! What’s he gonna say to you? What if he asks you out?’ she thought to herself with nervous anticipation. She hadn’t been on a date in months, not since Tobin, a widower from her book club asked her out for coffee awhile back. He was a nice enough man and they had fun on their date but after a long heart to heart he admitted to her that he wasn’t quite over his wife’s passing and they decided to remain friends.
Within seconds the gorgeous man was standing directly in front of Carol and their eyes once again locked in an intense, sexually charged stare. He immediately enveloped Carol’s tiny hand in his big one. “What’s yer name, Darlin?” he murmured in a deep, raspy, native South Georgian drawl that IMMEDIATELY caused her lace thong to flood with desire yet again.
“I’m, uh, C-Carol,” she squeaked, momentarily forgetting her name.
“Delighted to make yer acquaintance Carol,” he drawled politely.
“And you are?”
“Dixon!” Ed exclaimed, appearing from out of nowhere, effectively cutting the man off while snatching his hand off of Carol’s and shaking it abruptly with his own, effectively breaking the spell and ruining the moment (as usual!)
“That you, Peletier?” the man who’d introduced himself as Daryl asked Ed with a less than enthusiastic smirk.
“In the flesh, you bastard! Where’s that big brother of yours?””
“I thought I saw that fucker ‘round here someplace! You tell him I said want another chance to win my goddamned money back from him that I lost in that poker game last year!” Ed said with a loud laugh and several people looked over with disapproving glares at Ed’s foul language.
“You two know each other?” Carol asked in disbelief.
“Yeah, this is old Merle Dixon’s baby brother, Carol! You know Merle... he owns a couple of truck stops on the South Georgia Freeway. And I see you’ve met the little lady, Dixon,” Ed then said proudly draping his big paw possessively around Carol’s shoulder.
“She’s your wife?” Daryl asked in disbelief.
Ed only grinned, not giving a definitive answer, causing Carol to cringe inside. The VERY LAST thing in the world she wanted the sexy man to know was that she was in any way associated with Ed’s loud, ignorant, crass and crude ass.
“Make that ex-wife!” she corrected in a no nonsense tone. "Ed and I are HAPPILY divorced!"
“Oh!” Daryl replied with a look of relief. He wanted to get to know the mysterious woman who'd caught his eye.
Ed let out a loud, exaggerated groan. “Yeah, yeah, she dumped me for bangin’ somebody else and we split a few years back... but she forgave me and now I’m working on getting back under the hood if ya know what I mean,” he chuckled, nudging Daryl’s ribs then smacking Carol hard on the ass.
Carol glared at him in disbelief as she slapped his hand away abruptly; she was so angry she felt like strangling her ex-husband with her bare hands, and so embarrassed that she felt like DYING! There was an uncomfortable silence when suddenly and fortunately she was saved by an unexpected interruption.
“Oh Mr. Peletier,” a thin blonde haired man in a linen suit and wire rimmed glasses suddenly called out while striding toward them.
“Just the person I wanted to see!” Ed exclaimed, damn near falling over himself with excitement as the man approached. “Carol, honey this is Milton Mamet, the man I wanted you to meet. He works for The Governor over at Blake Industries!”
“I’m Mr. Blake’s Executive Vice President,” the man sniffed in a haughty tone. “And this is Gregory, our new Assistant Director of Operations.”
“Hello there Carol,” Gregory said in a low tone with a sneaky grin as he kissed Carol’s hand. “I’ve heard an awful lot about you... and Mr. Blake has too. He is more than looking forward to meeting you tonight, especially after I relayed Ed’s business proposal.”
Carol cringed inside. ‘What in the hell kind of harebrained scheme had Ed cooked up with these SLEAZY characters?’ she wondered to herself while FUMING inside. Daryl looked at her with a sympathetic smile as Ed informed her that Milton and Gregory had set up a meeting for them with Phillip Blake himself that evening to discuss the possibility of a big business deal with Carol’s Cookies, and it all depended on her ‘playing the game,” he added with a smirk.
Chapter 4: An Unexpected Visitor
Carol gets a big surprise...
Carol glared at Ed with an annoyed expression on her face at being put on the spot while he explained the details of their upcoming meeting with “The Governor” planned for that evening. She hadn’t agreed to a business meeting with Phillip Blake! Carol knew of him; his reputation as one of the seediest businessmen in all Atlanta proceeded him. She wasn’t sure of why he was even there in the first place; their networking group was for small, southern business owners and Blake Industries was a international Fortune 500 company rumored to have strong mob ties. Carol wondered how in hell a virtual nobody like Ed was even able to get in contact with him in the first place. Deep down Carol was FUMING inside but she played it off because both Milton and Gregory were watching her every move with sneaky smirks and calculated glances between them. She also felt self-conscious because the handsome stranger was still lingering by, taking it all in and staring at her intently with the same interested expression as before Ed’s untimely interruption.
Just then someone in the front of the dining hall announced that the first round of afternoon seminars were about to commence in the conference center. Milton informed Ed that Mr. Blake wanted to meet at 7, and that he’d be in touch about the location so to keep his phone nearby. Then, he and Gregory disappeared into the crowd.
Daryl then spoke. “I gotta get going but it was really nice meeting you ma’am. Hopefully I’ll see you around?” he asked with a wink.
“Looking forward to it,” Carol replied with a sincere smile.
Ed cleared his throat loudly, annoyed at being ignored.
“Later Peletier,” Daryl then added, turning on his heel without so much as another glance at Ed.
“Dixon you be sure and tell Merle what I said!”
“Whatever,” Daryl chuckled as he walked off.
As soon as he was gone Ed roughly grabbed Carol’s arm and pulled her out into a deserted corridor. “What was that all about, huh? He make a pass at you or something?”
Carol abruptly snatched her arm from his grasp. “Take your goddamned hands off me Ed! What the hell’s wrong with you? What’s it to you if he did? In case you forgot I’m NOT your wife anymore! And what in the hell was that nonsense about with those Blake Industries clowns? I didn’t agree to a meeting! Is that why you insisted on my coming down here?”
Ed grinned. “Listen dollface, they’re good guys and it’s a good deal. Trust me! If you simply go along with my business proposal later on and agree to Blake's conditions, Carol’s Cookies will literally be rollin’ in dough!” he chuckled. “Get it? Rolling in DOUGH!” he laughed at his own weak joke.
Carol rolled her eyes. “But you haven’t even explained to me what your proposal is, or how you even set the meeting up in the first place!”
“Look... my idea is for expansion, plain and simple. And all you need to know about the set up is that Gregory's an old gambling buddy of mine who owed me a big favor, alright? I ran into him at the racetrack awhile back and he told me he’s working for Blake now. I told him about the bakery and asked him to set up a talk with Blake about a distribution deal at his chain of grocery stores. Told him our product will sell like hotcakes. A deal would be a win-win for everybody. You know the “Governor’s” chain don’t’cha?”
“Of course I do. They’re all over the place!”
“Exactly! Gregory told me Blake would be at this year’s convention so I gave him the go ahead him to try to set it all up. Somehow he did and if this deal works out, Carol’s Cookies will be selling from coast to coast! We’ll be stinkin’ filthy rich!”
“Ed you’re still not telling me the details of this so called expansion deal! And I distinctly told you that I don’t want Carol’s Cookies to go into mass production! You’re just going to have to cancel the meeting.”
“I can’t do that doll face! Blake is NOT the kind of man you cancel on. Do you even realize how hard it was just to get a sit down with that guy? Please don’t ruin this opportunity for us babe!”
“Us? What do you mean us? Carol’s Cookies is mine!”
Ed’s eyes narrowed into an almost sinister stare. “Carol you know damn well that if I hadn’t helped get you started you wouldn’t have even have the company,” he nearly growled, then softened his tone. “Just give me a chance! You owe it to me to at least listen to the deal before you make a decision. So be dressed at 7 and ummm... wear something sexy!”
“Something sexy?” she gasped in disbelief.
“Yeah... somethin’ sexy! It’ll help compliment the deal... so to speak,” Ed said with a sneaky smirk.
“I didn’t pack anything sexy because I knew I was taking this trip with YOU,” she muttered. “And I’ll compliment the deal, alright,” Carol snapped. “How about I don’t show up at all?”
“You can’t do that Carol!” Ed whined. “You’re the sole owner... and like I said before, you just don’t cancel on Blake,” he added with a nervous expression. “Even though its your company, I set all of this up so it’ll be my ass on the line if you're a no show! He'd take it as a blatant form of disrespect. A real slap in the face.”
"I oughta slap your face!" Carol groaned, rolling her eyes. She could feel a migraine brewing. “Fine Ed. FINE! I’ll be there. I’ll even listen to your proposal. But I’m NOT wearing anything ‘sexy,’ and I’m not promising to agree to ANYTHING! Now, I’m going upstairs to my room to lie down. You’ve given me a headache! And DO NOT FOLLOW ME! I don’t wanna see hair nor hide of you until you find out where this so called meeting is gonna be!” she hissed before turning on her heel and storming off.
Carol took the elevator up to the 7th floor and after entering her suite, slammed the door as hard as she could. She immediately turned the AC up full blast, and began quickly getting undressed to lay across the plush king sized bed. A moment later however there was a quick, low knock at the door.
“Goddamnit!” she shrieked as she yanked it open in a huff, not even caring that she was only dressed in her sheer lace bra, panties and pumps because she just knew that it was Ed’s moronic ass on the other side of the door. “Didn’t I tell you to leave me the hell alone?” she growled.
“’M sorry, Darlin’... I didn’t get that memo,” a deep, seductive voice murmured in a low Southern twang.
Carol gasped as her eyes snapped open in shock. It wasn’t Ed that was for damn sure! It was HIM... the sexy stranger from the bar, framing the doorway of her hotel suite, staring down at her intently with a dangerously sexy look in his eye as he boldly assessed her nearly nude frame from head to toe.
Chapter 5: Ed Strikes Again
Carol and Daryl get acquainted... Ed rents a limo?
Daryl licked his lips as he let his eyes slowly sweep the length of her nearly nude form.
Carol’s eyes locked with his. Suddenly her headache was gone and again her body felt hot all over. Seconds later however she composed herself and really thought about the situation. “Oh my God! I’m so sorry I cursed at you! I thought you were...”
“Yer ex-husband?” Daryl asked with a smirk.
“That is unfortunate, Darlin. Thought you’d be expectin’ me.”
“You did say you were lookin’ forward to seein’ me again. So here I am.”
Carol blushed again. “I didn’t know you’d think I meant this soon!” she nearly whispered. “How’d you find me?”
He leaned in close, still staring at her intently with his ice blue eyes. “I followed ya. And Darlin, unless I’m terribly wrong, it don’t look like you’re too upset about seein’ me again so soon,” he replied, boldly staring down at her stiff nipples poking out at him through her sheer lace bra.
Carol blushed from head to toe from his intense stare. She’d been quite distracted by his sultry, lustful stares but then it suddenly hit her that she needed to hide herself from the sexy stranger. She didn’t know this man and at that point he was practically in her room and she was practically naked. She quickly stepped back in an attempt to hide behind the door but he was too quick for her, easily blocking her move as he pushed the door open wider, making her gasp in surprise.
He leaned in close and sniffed her neck to smell her perfume. “Ya smell real good, Carol,” he murmured into her ear.
“Thanks,” she whispered, impressed that he’d remembered her name. She certainly hadn’t forgotten his. The man looked like pure sex... sweet, tempting sin. ‘Daryl... fits him to a tee,’ she thought to herself. ‘Rugged, strong and manly!’
“Aint ya gonna invite me inside? We got some unfinished business... ya know before that ex o’ yours interrupted us. Besides... I ain’t gonna bite ya... ‘less ya want me to,” he then added with a serious expression.
Carol’s breath caught at the mere thought of his soft lips and scruffy beard pressing hot kisses and soft, tender love bites down her spine, over her neck, across her breasts, past her navel and between her legs... and her core flooded yet again. She KNEW it was a bad idea; she didn’t feel afraid of the man whatsoever, but he was still a stranger... she didn’t know him from Adam... and if Ed came up, he’d shit a brick if he saw them together! And that’s what made up her mind... she’d be damned if she let Ed of all people blow her a chance at having a little fun on this otherwise crappy business trip.
“Okay,” she murmured. “You can come in. Just give me a second to make myself decent, though.”
“You look pretty damn decent to me,” he murmured. “More than decent. You’re gorgeous Carol.”
“Thank you,” Carol smirked at him as she stepped aside so he could enter. He towered over her petite frame and she felt faint. “Umm... you can have a seat over here,” she said motioning to the couch in the sitting area of the suite, “and I’ll be right out.” As she turned her back to him to dart into the bathroom to get her robe, she knew he was staring at her ass in her lacy thong panties when she heard him let out a loud cat whistle.
When she emerged, she sat across from him on the couch and they got acquainted.
“So what brought you down here?”
“I own a little bakery in Atlanta. I like it just the way it is, small and uncomplicated but Ed insisted that I come down here for the ‘networking and growth opportunities,” she groaned. “What about you?”
“I was a truck driver for years but I quit back in January. The money was great but I was tired of always being on the go. My older brother had recently expanded his truck stop business and wanted me to help him run the company so I took the job as his VP. Way better money and I still get to travel, just not every other day. Just bought a house outside Atlanta... out near Woodbury.”
“Nice. I know your brother by the way. I met Merle about a year ago. He sometimes stops by my place to pick up a surprise treat for his wife. He said she absolutely loves my blondies and oatmeal raisins.”
“Hold up... you’re the Carol... of Carol’s Cookies? I haven’t tasted your cookies yet woman... but I bet they’re delicious,” he said licking his lips with a naughty smirk.
“Thanks,” Carol blushed at his double entendre.
“I’ve seen the packages at Merle’s before though and I’ve gotta say, ya look a LOT hotter in person than ya do on yer bags Darlin!”
Carol laughed. “The picture on our bags and boxes is of my GRANDMOTHER! I’m named after her and most of my products are her original recipes so the company is both our namesake.”
“So I gotta ask... if Ed’s your ex, what’s he doing here with you now? Seems to me like he wants you back.”
“He does, and that’s a very good question. I really needed help with the bakery a while back and was desperate enough to hire him to work for me because he helped me get started years ago. I think it was a mistake though. He’s had some good ideas and profits have grown a lot since he’s been back on the team but now he’s overstepping his boundaries. I made the mistake of letting him know that I might open a second location and he went nuts with the whole expansion idea. He wants to go national and I don’t want that for my business. He’s being a real jerk about it too and I’m seriously considering letting him go. He’s a good father to our daughter, Sophia, but Ed isn’t someone that can be trusted too highly. I found that out the hard way a long time ago.”
“I know what you mean. He’s a loose cannon. He used to play cards with us down at the Sanctuary Country Club from time to time and got banned from the place for acting like an ass whenever he’d lose big, which was almost all of the time. How’d you end up with the likes of him in the first place? You seem way out of his league, Darlin.”
“Thanks... and it was a typical storyline... we were high school sweethearts; he was on the football team and I was a cheerleader. We were really popular and everyone expected us to get married anyway so when I got pregnant just before graduation and he proposed, I said yes. He was a nice enough guy back then, but as we got older, he changed. He started drinking heavily, cheating and gambling all the time, blowing our money at the racetrack and on poker games. I wanted to leave anyway and when I caught him cheating IN OUR BED it was the last straw and I dropped him like a bad habit. He gave me my divorce, no contest, and never physically abused me or anything thankfully and like I said he’s a good father, but I think I should have left him alone completely because now that he’s back he’s starting to be a real problem. That meeting you overheard him talking about earlier is a prime example of what I mean. I am the sole owner of Carol’s Cookies. I didn’t authorize him to set up a meeting with Phillip Blake’s business associates. God only knows what they’ve cooked up.”
“About that meeting with Blake... he’s umm... not the best person to go into business with. Trust me, Carol. He tried to get my brother to go in on a deal with him a couple years ago but Merle thankfully backed out before it was too late. Whatever he proposes will be very tempting because you’ll definitely make a shitload of money if you partner with him, but there’s a lot more to it than that. First time you disagree with him, or do anything he and his partners disapprove of, it won’t be pretty. Now I can’t tell you how to run your business, and I’d hate to make you miss an opportunity but my advice is to just listen VERY CAREFULLY to everything he says and read all the fine print before you sign any contracts with him... or your business might not quite be all yours anymore in the long run. His investors are some really unsavory guys and they could make your life a living hell if you try to get out of any deals with them, especially if they start making big money with you.”
Carol saw the serious, concerned look in his eyes. For some reason she knew that she could trust him. “Thank you so much for letting me know that. I’ll take your word for it.”
Daryl then lightened the mood when he suggested that they order lunch from room service and Carol agreed. Before she knew it several hours had passed and they were still talking.
Finally Daryl checked his watch and reluctantly rose to leave. “I hate to go, Darlin’ but I promised I’d meet Merle for one of those business seminars in the conference center at 5 and then go out someplace for supper.”
“Yeah, and I need to get a little rest too before my dinner meeting with Ed and the infamous Phillip Blake,” she frowned.
“Well... I hope we can stay in touch. I really wanna see you again.”
“That would be great. Let’s attend a seminar together tomorrow, maybe?”
“Sounds like a plan... but I meant more like a date... I’m not seeing anyone and I’m really interested in you Carol.” He then leaned in close. “I know this is gonna sound forward... but I really wanna kiss you. May I?”
The chemistry between them was undeniable. “Yes,” she whispered and the next thing she knew his soft lips were enveloping hers in a long, slow, hot passionate tongue kiss that took her breath away. Before he left they exchanged numbers. Daryl then told her that he didn’t think he could wait until the next day to see her again and they planned to hook up later on that night after her meeting was over.
Once Daryl was gone Carol FINALLY laid down to relax and reflect on her afternoon, but the minute her head hit the pillow, her cell phone began beeping. She grabbed it from her bedside table and frowned when she saw a text from Ed. It read as follows:
“Hey Dollface, I just heard from Gregory. Blake changed the time to 8. We’re meeting with him at an Italian restaurant nearby called Russo’s. I heard it’s a really swanky joint so make sure you’re looking like a million bucks! The valet told me it’s only a ten minute drive so I rented a limousine for us to make a good impression! It’ll be out front at 7:45 sharp so have your ass ready to go!”
“A limo!” Carol groaned, rolling her eyes. Ed was a real piece of work! She was NOT looking forward to his little meeting WHATSOEVER!
Chapter 6: Wardrobe Malfunction
Carol shops... Daryl fantasizes...
After a short nap, Carol took a hot shower then scanned through her luggage for something to wear to the business meeting with Phillip Blake. She rolled her eyes when she remembered that Ed had had the nerve to ask her to wear something ‘sexy’ and laughed out loud as she pored over the ‘business casual’ attire she’d packed consisting of a few casual skirts and blouses, a couple of sundresses, her favorite pantsuit and several of pairs of sensible heels. Appropriate for a business conference but nowhere near ‘sexy’ by any stretch of the imagination. Ed frequently made passes at her and commented on how good she looked no matter what she wore lately because he wanted her back but she’d stopped caring about what he thought of her appearance a long time ago and had packed as such since he was her only travel companion for the business trip.
She’d just decided on the pantsuit with a pair of plain black heels when she suddenly remembered that she’d be seeing Daryl immediately following the meeting. Before he left he’d told her that had to attend a seminar with his brother and then that they’d be getting dinner, and he wanted Carol to call him as soon as her meeting with Blake was over.
‘Daryl Dixon,’ she thought to herself with romantic sigh. The man had made a MAJOR impression on her in a short period of time. He was so down to earth, easy to talk to, flirty and EXTREMELY gorgeous... and not to mention he put the ‘S’ in sex appeal. Carol hadn’t dated anyone in months, let alone slept with anyone in YEARS, so it had taken everything in her not to jump the poor guy when he’d had lunch with her in her suite a few hours prior. There was little doubt about his intentions for when they hooked up later on in the evening and the more she thought about it the more she WANTED to look sexy... for HIM. She suddenly remembered something that she’d seen earlier that afternoon before coming upstairs and after glancing at the wall clock she made a quick call to the hotel’s front desk.
“Grand Floridian Hotel, Orlando location, how may I help you?” the concierge chirped.
“Yes, this is Carol Peletier, guest in suite 714. What time does the boutique close this evening?”
“7 pm, ma’am,” she replied.
“Thanks!” Carol threw on some leggings, flip flops and a t-shirt then grabbed her wallet and practically flew down to the lobby. She already knew what she wanted; she’d seen the slinky, cheetah print, above the knee, wrap dress in the boutique window earlier that afternoon and hoped her size was in stock. Fortunately it was and she also found a pair of HOT gold sandals to go with it and a matching clutch as well and she was able to get in and out in record time before heading back up to her suite to do her makeup, pick out accessories and get dressed. She knew she’d never hear the end of it from Ed if she weren’t ready on time like he’d asked so she quickly applied her makeup and slipped into the outfit she’d picked up at the boutique.
At 7:45 on the nose, she stepped off the elevator and entered the lobby, turning more than a few men’s heads in the process as she slipped out the main entrance’s revolving doors. The weather was GLORIOUS outside... a tropical breeze was blowing and it felt to be a balmy 80 plus degrees. She looked around for Ed, but didn’t see him in the crowd of hotel patrons hopping the taxis circling the driveway leading to the hotel’s front entry.
“Carol, get yer ass over here!” she suddenly heard Ed’s loud voice bellow on her right hand side. She glanced over and saw him waving frantically at her from his seat in the rear of a large, classic, white on white, Silver Cloud Rolls Royce limousine.
Her mouth gaped and her eyes nearly popped out of her head. Ed was normally so cheap, she’d been expecting to see him in a 1980s model Cadillac Fleetwood style limo at best... or worse, in a hearse rented for a few bucks from a nearby funeral parlor... NOT in one of the top known car brands in the world, and certainly not in one of their highest end models.
“Come on Doll, we’re gonna be late!” he hissed impatiently through the open window then directed his attention to the driver. “Hey asshole, get the door for the lady, would ya? I’m paying big money for this shitty service, ya know?”
The driver quickly jumped out and opened the door for Carol and she mouthed a silent ‘thank you’ to the guy while returning his annoyed smirk. Once inside the plush back seat she looked around in wonder. “Ed this is REALLY nice! I’m impressed! Talk about making a good impression on Blake! It must have really set you back, though,” she then added.
“Didn’t set me back a dime, Doll!” he laughed. “I used the petty cash card from the bakery. But don’t worry, it’s only a hundred and fifty bucks an hour!”
“Petty cash!” she exclaimed. “I did NOT authorize this expense, Ed!” she exclaimed sternly. “Hand it over, NOW!”
He reached into his wallet and handed her the credit card. “I know Babe, but don’t worry. I got a special on Groupon... It would’ve been $200 an hour! The meeting’s probably gonna be less than two hours so technically I saved you a hundred bucks!”
Carol only shook her head at his backward logic. She couldn’t WAIT for this meeting to end! Suddenly, she could feel Ed staring as he gave her the once over.
“You look damn good by the way, Carol!” he purred. “Is that a new dress?” he asked while openly ogling her crossed legs in her sexy sandals.
“Yes... as a matter of fact it is,” she replied dryly.
“Designer, huh?” he asked.
“Yes... it’s Roberto Cavalli. I splurged a little,” she admitted, but she could... it was her money, after all.
“Nice! You NEVER dressed like that when we were hitched! If you had, I probably never would’ve cheated on ya, that’s for damn sure!” he added with a smirk.
Carol only rolled her eyes at him yet again, not even dignifying his ignorant comment with a response.
“I mean it babe... Blake’s gonna fuckin’ drool when he sees your ass in that dress! Talk about complimenting the deal! You be sure and play nice with him, ya hear?” he then added with a sleazy grin while running a finger up her exposed, toned thigh in her mini-dress.
Carol slapped his hand away. “Hands off, Ed! And I couldn’t care less about what Blake thinks. Just what do you mean by ‘play nice’ anyway? Just what is this big deal you’re proposing? I’m warning you, I’m not just signing anything.”
“You’d be smart to sign on the dotted line. I already told you.... my proposal is for a distribution deal for Carol’s Cookies to be sold at all of Blake’s grocery stores, nationwide. Millions of dollars will be ours for the taking. I’m doing this for Sophia,” he lied.
“Don’t bring our child into this. She’s perfectly happy and has everything she wants and needs already. She has a trust fund and a bright future ahead of her with her fashion career. You’re just doing this for yourself... to get rich quick on the back end of all of MY hard work!
“What in the hell’s wrong with getting rich quick! We’ll all be set for life... including Sophia! Look, just trust me alright?” he purred and Carol only glared at him, angrily.
A few minutes later they arrived at Russo’s of Little Italy's Orlando location. Ed hadn’t been lying, it was a swanky joint, Carol noticed. The driver got out and opened the door for her with a big grin, and Ed stepped in front of her. “You keep your eyes on the road and off my wife’s ass, asshole. Oh yeah, by the way... park the Rolls right up front where everyone can see it,” Ed said with a smirk, then slipped him a five dollar bill like he’d really done something. Carol only shook her head as they entered.
Ed walked in and jumped in the front of the line. “I’m Ed Peletier. Got a reservation for 8 with the Blake party,” he exclaimed, puffing out his chest at the hostess.
“Right this way, sir, Mr. Blake is expecting you.” The hostess then led them to a private room in the back of the restaurant. On the way, Carol was clueless that she had an admirer, once again watching her from afar.
Meanwhile... at a large table in the back of the restaurant, Daryl Dixon sat with his brother Merle and a few of their close business associates. He’d been enjoying his Sicilian style lasagna when he just happened to look up to see Ed Peletier of all people enter Russo's lobby with Carol in tow. Daryl nearly choked on his red wine at the sight of her. She looked absolutely stunning; possibly even better than she had at the hotel in only her bra and panties earlier that afternoon if that was even possible, and his cock swelled and grew heavy in his slacks at the sight of her in the sliver of a dress that she’d worn that hugged all of her petite, yet womanly curves. He knew instinctively that she and that Peletier prick were there to meet with that asshole Phillip Blake, and he chuckled to himself at the irony of them all ending up at Russo’s; him for dinner with his brother, and her for Ed’s dreaded business meeting. Daryl stared at her intently from across the room. She hadnt spotted him but he could see her killer legs from a mile away and all he could think about was running his tongue up her sexy, toned thighs to the hidden treasure buried between them. “Soon,” he thought to himself with a smirk. Carol had promised him that she’d call as soon as her meeting was over, and Daryl had a feeling it wouldn’t be long...
Chapter 7: An Executive Decision
Carol and Ed were led into a dimly lit private dining room where Milton Mamet, Gregory, Phillip Blake, and a few other men Carol hadn’t ever seen before were seated around a large, round table. When they entered the men had been engaged in a loud, lively conversation as they guzzled down their top shelf liquor and gorged themselves on platters of caviar, filet mignon, Maine lobster tail as well as traditional Italian dishes but the room fell silent as Milton made the introductions. Carol immediately felt extremely uncomfortable once the attention was on her; she was the only woman present and all of the men around the table suddenly began staring at her with lust filled grins; Phillip Blake in particular. It was like he was undressing her with his one good eye (the other was hidden behind his notorious eye patch) as he stared at her like she was next up on the menu.
"You werent exaggerating, Gregory," Blake whispered as he openly stared at Carol from head to toe. "She is quite the looker! I'm glad I agreed to this after all. I can't wait to get my hands on her!"
"Told you I wouldnt let you down, sir," Gregory whispered back.
Once Carol and Ed were seated, a waitress took their drink orders and as soon as she left the room Ed impatiently jumped into the conversation that had resumed among the businessmen. “So... Blake... thanks for the invite,” he exclaimed. “Nice place! Now, let’s get down to business shall we? I’m sure you received the samples I sent to your offices and had a chance to go over my business proposal so let’s talk about those contracts, eh Blake?”
“That’s MR. Blake to you... and he was speaking!” Milton suddenly snapped, cutting Ed off mid-sentence.
Ed turned beet red from embarrassment as the other men around the table began chuckling at him.
Milton went on. “I thought that Gregory prepped you for this meeting but it’s obvious that you’re clueless of the expected protocol. We don’t normally discuss business until Mr. Blake finishes his meal, and no one outside the upper level members of our organization EVER addresses the boss directly, especially someone in your position. So until Mr. Blake himself asks you a question, you will direct your inquiries about the deal to Gregory or myself or this meeting will be over before it even starts.”
Ed was FUMING as the men around the table continued laughing at him, Gregory included, and Carol chuckled to herself too; even though she could tell that he was so mad he might flip the table over.
Suddenly Phillip Blake cut his good eye at the men to make them stop laughing and waved his hand with a smug grin. “It’s alright, Milton,” he chuckled. “Besides, this is a working dinner. We’re gonna be partnering up with old Ed here real soon... and I’m really looking forward to working closely with his beautiful companion here,” he said staring at Carol’s cleavage with a lascivious grin. “Lots of money to be made... if we can all come to a... mutual understanding, so to speak. So... let’s get right to it, shall we? You were saying Ed...”
“Yes, sir. I was just wondering if you’d gotten a chance to try the samples and go over my proposal?”
“Yes. I tried everything myself and I gotta say I was impressed. This deal is a no brainer. Everything’s gonna sell like hotcakes. The cookies were heavenly, the fudge was mouth-watering and the cupcakes were divine! And now that I’ve met the baker herself,” he said while turning his focus on Carol, “she’s only making me wanna taste a whole lot more of her... product,” he added with a wink. “What’s your secret, beautiful?” he asked.
Carol ignored his blatant sexual innuendo. “My secret is simple. I use my grandmother’s recipes... and everything I serve at my bakery is made fresh daily with the highest quality ingredients from local farms, which is why I have some serious concerns about Ed’s plans for nationwide distribution of Carol’s Cookies.”
He cut his eye at Ed. “Peletier, I thought you said that she was okay with the deal.”
“She is!” Ed insisted. “Sir, we need this deal!”
“So you’re ready to proceed and sign the contracts, no questions asked?” Phillip asked Carol with a smirk.
“Absolutely not! Honestly I’m satisfied with the bakery the way it is... I’ve told Ed that repeatedly. I’d consider expansion and distribution of certain products, but I have lots of questions and stipulations. We havent discussed any conditions. I’d never sign anything concerning MY business with no questions asked!”
“Carol!” Ed groaned. “You promised you’d have an open mind about this! Mr. Blake was nice enough to sit down with us. Think about the money at stake!”
“I am thinking about the money but I refuse to compromise my name and product for profits. Im already comfortable so I really don’t care how much money is up for grabs.”
Phillip chuckled. “Well, well, Darlin’, you’ll change that tune when you see just how much money is on the table. Your half a million in total sales per year at your little establishment pales in comparison to what I'm offering. But don’t you worry your pretty little head about that! Now... let’s talk business,” he then said in a serious tone.
Milton pulled out a large briefcase and produced several contracts then laid them in front of Carol and Ed along with two fancy Blake Industries logo ink pens. Blake smiled at her. “I’ve already had Milton do the research on your company and I liked what I saw. I had him draw up these contracts and I wholeheartedly approved of all the details. These are for you and Ed to sign, and as you can see I’ve already ‘John Hancock’d’ them. It’s a once in a lifetime deal. I Phillip Blake, CEO of Blake Industries, Incorporated is offering you, Carol Peletier, by witness of these men, 5 million dollars up front, in cash, for complete and outright ownership in perpetuity of the Carol’s Cookies name and packaging logo; and 1 million dollars annually for the next five years for use and ownership of any of your grandmother’s original desserts recipes that I choose, for mass production to be sold at Governor’s Grocery stores. In addition you will receive 2% of total profits on all Carol’s Cookies goods sold. You’re looking at least 2 million a year for the next five years and you won’t have to lift a finger. After that I may be open to renegotiate for even more depending on the profits. I have over 500 locations and steadily counting across the country Carol so you can imagine how much money I’m... er, we’re going to make. I’m also offering you, Ed Peletier, one million dollars up front in cash just for bringing the deal to the table, and another million annually to work for me directly and manage mass production. I already have a big factory in mind to produce the volume of goods we’ll need.”
“Where do I sign?” Ed exclaimed, grabbing a pen from the table.
“Not so fast, Ed. Mr. Blake isn’t finished,” Milton hissed.
Blake continued. “There’s one more thing, Ms. Carol... I’ll need for you to close your bakery in Atlanta immediately, and scrap all ideas for opening any other locations. I don’t want customers to be able to get Carol’s Cookies anywhere except my Governor’s Grocery stores. Also you've gotta promise not to open any rival bakeries under another name with your grandmother's recipes. So, 5 million today and up to 2 mill more a year for the next five.” He then leaned in and whispered in her ear. “And if you’d be willing to spend the night with me tonight, there’s a hell of a lot more where that came from,” he said with a lascivious grin.
“No deal!” Carol exclaimed in shock. She couldn’t believe that jerk!
“You must not know how the big boys do business Carol,” Blake, said with a smirk. “Im Phillip Blake. I ALWAYS get what I want. Now come on and let my sweet tooth get a little taste!” he then added causing all of the men at the table to roar with laughter and lewd jeers. "You look like you're in need a of a good long screw and I'd love to be the one to give it to you."
“Fuck you!” she hissed, not batting an eye as she then slapped his face as hard as she could.
“You’re a feisty one!” Blake roared. “Now I see why you’re divorced! Couldn’t handle her, eh Ed?” he then added with a grin as he rubbed his cheek. “This sexy little bitch is way out of your league! She’s right up my alley though! Hot damn you got me all riled up, honey! Come on back to my hotel room and think on it a little more. I’m offering you millions! I’m even willing to overlook that little love slap. I gotta admit, it turned me on! In fact, I’ll even DOUBLE the deal on the table if you make it worth my while in the sack tonight and let me return the favor," he said with a kinky smirk referring to spanking her. "So... 10 million dollars. What do you say, sexy?”
Carol threw her drink in his face. “Are you deaf as well as stupid? I said no deal asshole! I wouldn’t go into business with you if I was dead broke and starving to death! And Im not some high priced, call girl you can pay for sex! I’ve never been so insulted in my life!” Carol exclaimed, jumping up from the table in shock.
“Carol!” Ed groaned in disbelief.
“Who’s in charge here Ed?” Blake laughed. “You or the little firecracker over there? I thought you wore the pants in this relationship. Seems like you oughta be wearing the apron!” All of the men at the table began laughing and pointing at Ed. “As for you honey, I’ll be in town for the conference until Sunday afternoon. Even though you’ve grossly insulted me by not taking me up on my offer of joining me tonight back at the hotel, I still really want this deal. But the price is back to five mill... the drink in my face was uncalled for. But I’m willing to forgive your little outburst and give you a more time to really think it over some more after you cool off. There’s still a lot of money on the table. More than it would take you a decade to make on your own. I look forward to your final answer before I check out on Sunday.” He then turned to Ed. “Peletier, it looks like you got a lot of convincing to do if you wanna come work for me!” he then added with a smirk.
Ed jumped up. “I’ll get her to sign by Sunday, sir! I won’t let you down. I swear it!” Ed begged, grabbing the contracts.
“Ed... YOU’RE FIRED!” Carol hissed as she stormed out of the private dining room, causing him to chase after her to the roaring laughter of all of the men at the table.
Chapter 8: After The Meeting (Pt. 1)
Milton Mamet glared at Ed. “Peletier, you better get her to change her mind, or else the deal is off.”
“But I know most of her dessert recipes like the back of my hand! We technically don’t need Carol, do we?”
“Oh, but we do...” Phillip “The Governor” Blake chimed in. “The bitch needs to agree with my conditions down to the letter. The samples I tasted are the product I want to sell in my stores, and if I hire you alone and we use her recipes without her consent we both may end up with lawsuits on our hands. I’ve got millions to lose so the very last thing I want is a lawsuit on account of that bitch being uncooperative. And, besides all that... she looked so sexy when she got angry! That’s one tigress I’d like to tame! I still want her in my bed. So if you’re serious about working for me you need to learn early that your job is to get me what I want. I bet she’s a goddamned wildcat in the sack, eh Peletier?”
“Yes sir, she is. Best piece of ass I ever had. Too bad I cheated on her like I did; I was a fool to let her go. She’ll never take me back now. I guess my loss is your gain, sir.”
“I like the way you think Peletier!” The “Governor” said with a wry grin. “You’re as ruthless as I thought...I just may have a spot for you on my team after all, even if this doesn’t pan out. But I’d be most appreciative if you got Carol to see things my way. You’ve got a little over 24 hours so you best get to it. Look at it like a trial run... you get that bitch to sign those contracts and I’ll make it worth your while. I might even throw another million your way as a signing bonus. Now get your ass out there and catch her before she high tails it out of here!”
Ed immediately ran out and caught up to Carol just as she was about to exit the lobby area. He shouted after her to slow down and demanded that she talk to him. Restaurant management had to intervene to get him to keep his voice down. Carol stomped out in a huff to hail a cab and Ed followed. They began arguing and Ed grabbed her roughly causing her to wince in pain. The next thing he noticed was Carol’s look of surprise as she glanced behind him and within the second it took for him to look back to see what she was looking at, Daryl Dixon was pummeling his face with his fists. Ed was caught completely off guard and fell to the ground like a dead weight; he already knew that his nose was broken as he heard the awful, sickening “CRUNCH” sound followed by the deluge of blood that began pouring out of his nose and mouth.
Chapter 9: After The Meeting (Pt. 2)
Prior to Daryl cleaning Ed’s clock (and for all intents and purposes rearranging his now bloodied, mangled face,) he’d been minding his business as he enjoyed his dinner with his brother Merle and a few of their close business associates, including Abraham Ford; Merle’s truck stop’s head of security, Theodore “T-Dog” Douglas, general manager at the truck stop, Tyreese Williams, owner of the Ty’s Grille sports bar, and Glenn Rhee, owner of Rhee’s Korean Barbecue and the newly opened Glenn’s Pizzeria chain in Atlanta. T-Dog and Abe had worked for Merle since the beginning and along with Daryl rounded out the executive staff on the Dixon's team. Glenn and Tyreese were good friends as well and they were in talks for a deal.
Daryl had been preoccupied all night however; he couldn’t stop thinking about Carol, the beautiful, mysterious woman he’d met and had gotten a chance to kiss back at the hotel. While at the business conference earlier that evening, he’d been so distracted with thoughts of her that Merle finally asked him what the hell he had on his mind. Initially he’d simply told his brother that he’d met a “beautiful woman” earlier that afternoon that he had plans to hook up with that night so he “best not wait up,” in their shared suite. Merle only grinned proudly, then laughed when he said he’d wondered where Daryl had gotten off too when he’d been missing for the bulk of the afternoon. Then in true Merle fashion he began picking his little brother for details about the identity of the mystery woman he’d spent the day with and had plans to "knock down" for the night. There were dozens of gorgeous female business owners at the conference that year he’d easily noticed and he was curious about which one his baby brother had “bagged” for the weekend. Merle was happily married to his lawyer wife, Andrea, and the proud father of their three teenaged sons, and he sometimes worried about his little brother getting lonely without a wife and family of his own. Daryl was approaching forty and had been single for ages after his divorce a few years prior, and since he was always on the road when he worked as a truck driver, he’d never had much time to meet anyone to seriously date. Since finally settling in Atlanta a few months back to work for Merle, Daryl still hadn’t mentioned that he’d started seeing anyone special so his big brother was at least happy that the poor guy would possibly be getting laid that night at least. When he put two and two together he realized that it was Carol of Carol’s Cookies of all people that Daryl was talking about hooking up with he couldn't have felt happier. He laughed heartily as he told Daryl that he’d been patronizing Carol's bakery for well over a year, but he hadn’t been by in a the past month or two.
Daryl then revealed that Carol was Ed Peletier’s ex and that he still worked for her despite their divorce and Merle shook his head in disgust. How an asshole like Ed Peletier had ever gotten a good woman like Carol to marry him in the past completely boggled his brain. Ed was an asshole of epic proportion. They been casual friends ay one time but recently He'd left a bad taste in Merle's mouth stemming from a series of poker matches a year prior in which Ed lost a shitload of money to some rough characters they all knew, and he'd asked to borrow some cash ($10,000 to be exact) from Merle to pay it off since they were members of the same country club at the time. Merle said yes, them immediately regretted it. Ed was true to his word in the beginning surprisingly and paid some of the money back in installments with interest, then convinced Merle to play him a hand of poker for the rest of the money he owed, double or nothing. Fortunately for Merle, Ed's luck ran out once again and he lost miserably, and now owed Merle double the few thousands he still owed; which by that time had grown to well over $20K with interest, and he had yet to fork it over. He'd gotten banned from the country club, and had seemingly disappeared for a while so Merle had had some trouble finding the bastard to get his money back so Ed was certainly NOT on his list of favorite people.
Daryl then revealed the details of Carol’s upcoming meeting with Blake that evening (along with all the dirty details of Ed’s hands in the middle of it) and Merle shook his head in disgust yet again. Unfortunately he knew all about Phillip “The Governor” Blake and his shady, crooked, business deals as well. He’d almost been foolish enough to sign a merger with Blake himself two years earlier; he’d been blinded by Blake’s big promises of all the money they’d both make if he signed a deal with ‘Governor’s Grocery’ for foods to be served at the snack counters at all of Merle’s rapidly expanding truck stop chain locations, and it sounded like a gold mine was to be made, but when Merle read the fine print on the contracts before signing on the dotted line, he realized that aside from the initial money he’d get up front, Blake would somehow end up obtaining majority stock of his company in the long run, and later end up with complete ownership of the properties over time and somehow Merle would end up having to pay Blake rent for use of his own property and give up points of tribute on the grand total of each of the truck stop’s annual profits (from gasoline sales and auto repairs, etc.) every year, as well as pay a large percentage of the sales profits of all the Governor’s Grocery goods sold at the lunch counters. Merle luckily backed out of the deal in the nick of time, and voiced his hope that Carol wouldn’t lose her business by getting entangled with a man like Phillip Blake, who used trickery to buy small businesses out from under their owners noses to grow his own crooked empire.
When Merle again noticed that his brother was distracted, that time staring intently at the front of the restaurant while everyone else at the table was engaged in talking and eating, he looked up and saw the object of his brother’s desire (along with that goddamned Ed Peletier) being led into a private dining room in the back of the restaurant. He couldn’t help letting out a low whistle as he too caught sight of Carol’s killer legs in her short dress and tall heels; he’d NEVER seen her looking like that before! Every time he’d ever seen her in the past at her bakery she’d been dressed in her signature, pink Carol’s Cookie’s scrub uniform, matching apron and baker’s cap; her cheerful, smiling face usually smudged with powdered sugar or a dot of melted chocolate on her cheek as she rang up whatever devilishly good concoction or another that she’d whipped up for him to take home to his wife.
Just then Daryl leaned in close to Merle. “What are the odds? Of all the places in Orlando, her meeting with Blake and that prick is here,” her murmured.
“It’ll be over soon,” Merle chuckled. “She’s no dummy.”
“No sir, she aint. And I gave her a heads up earlier about what to expect. We’re supposed to meet back at the hotel after it’s all over later on, you know,” Daryl then added with a wink.
“My compliments,” Merle said with a nod, returning his brother’s wink as they clinked their glasses of whiskey.
Just as the waitress brought Merle’s table the check, Daryl saw Carol suddenly storm out of the private dining room in the back, and within seconds Ed was stomping behind her, yelling in an agitated manner. He instinctively knew he needed to protect Carol, and sure enough, once they got outside Ed grabbed her a little too hard for Daryl's liking. The second he saw Ed put his hands on her, he saw RED. Without thinking he jumped up and charged outside after him in blind Dixon rage and within seconds had easily turned Ed’s face into a bloody, snotty mess. “You keep yer goddamned hands off her!” he screeched as he punched the taller man again and again until he fell to the ground in the fetal position, protecting his face from further injury.
“Are you okay? Daryl asked Carol.
“Yeah, thanks to you!” Carol whispered breathlessly as he then hugged her tightly. "Are you?" she asked with concern while staring at his bloodied fists.
"Im good, Sweetheart."
Just then Ed began cursing. “Damnit Dixon!” Ed groaned in muffled voice from the ground, as he glared up at him with sad, hurt eyes and a horribly bloodied face. “Goddamn your hide, I think you broke my damned nose!” he grumbled in pain. “You’re gonna pay for this! I’ll sue the pants off you! What the hell are you even doing here anyway? You stalkin’ her now or something? Carol’s my wife and business partner and this is business you had no right to interfere in!” he groaned.
Carol face burned with RAGE when she heard Ed refer to her as his wife. “For the last time, I’m your ex-wife ASSHOLE! Get that through your thick, numb skull! And for the record I’m your ex business partner too! I just fired your sorry ass remember!” she exclaimed. “You almost ruined my company! And how dare you grab me like that, you bastard? I’m the mother of your child!” she then added, kicking his arm hard with the toe of her shoe. "Ill NEVER sign those contracts!"
Ed began cursing again and trying to get up and just as Daryl was about to lay him back out they heard sirens in the distance as a small crowd of people began emerging from the restaurant, staring at them curiously and pointing. Carol knew it was only a matter of time before someone called the cops on Daryl. He’d done a real number on Ed’s face and since they were right in front of Russo’s glass window, there may have been several witnesses.
She turned to Daryl. “I don’t know where you came from, or how you knew I’d be here, but I’m so glad you came out the very moment when you did. Ed’s never struck me before but I swear he would have if you hadn’t intervened. I’ve never seen him so angry! He’s mad because I wont sign the Blake deal!”
Daryl shook his head intently. “I’m glad you didn’t sign, whatever it was.”
Just then Merle ran out. “What the hells bells is goin' on, Little Brother?”
Daryl told Merle what happened as Ed continued cursing and spouting threats from the sideline.
“He was defending my honor. Ed said he's gonna sue but Ill gladly testify on Daryl's behalf!” Carol exclaimed.
Merle grinned. "That's really sweet of you to offer honey, but I assure you, it won't be necessary." He then walked over to Ed and stared him in the eye, and Ed IMMEDIATELY shut up as he trembled with fear. Merle had connections and he was scared shitless of him because of the huge debt he owed him. “Long time no see, Peletier. Where’s my money?” Merle sneered just as the cop cars started pulling up.
“I... u-ummm...” Ed stuttered.
“Shut up!" Merle hissed. "You owe me upwards of twenty large Ed. With interest. I haven’t forgotten, and neither have any of my friends... you do know who my friends are don't you?"
Ed shook his head with a fearful look. Merle's biker friends back in Atlanta were possibly just as dangerous as Blake's mafia cronies... maybe worse!
"And I bet ya still don’t have it, do ya?”
Ed was literally shaking. “N-not yet, Merle... but I’ll get it to ya I swear it. I got a real hot deal cooked up, with Phillip Blake! You know the business tycoon? There's over a million on the table. But Carol wont fuckin' cooperate. If I can just get her to sign these contracts I'll have your money. Unfortunately on top of everything else... y-y-your brother just broke my nose!”
“My brother didn’t lay a finger on you and you know it,. I saw you fall,” Merle hissed under his breath just loud enough for both Ed, Carol and Daryl to hear and Carol stared at Merle in disbelief. It was OBVIOUS what had just happened there. But what he said next then shocked the hell out of them all yet again. “Way I see it Ed... you owe me a favor. A BIG favor. A damn near $25,000 favor to be exact, that is long overdue to be repaid, and I have a few friends who’d be glad to EXTRACT if from you one way or another but I don’t think any more rough stuff will be necessary. You don’t look like you could take another punch anytime soon anyway. So what do you say we call it even? It’s your lucky day Peletier. I'm making you a deal you can't and won't refuse. I don’t want my baby brother getting into any trouble over your bullshit. So since he’s got a little of your blood on his hands... I’d say your debt with me is cleared. On one condition...” he then added with a smirk.
“What’s that Merle?” he asked sheepishly.
“On the condition that you make sure those fuckin’ cops that just pulled up have a clear understanding that you tripped and fell on that ugly face of yours and that my little brother didn’t have shit to do with it. UNDERSTAND?” he asked, poking Ed hard on the shoulder.
Ed gulped. It was a tough pill to swallow but he had to accept Merle's terms. Heaven only knew when he'd have the money and this was the only way he could get out of having to pay Merle back. “Yeah Merle, I understand,” Ed whined, dropping back to the ground to sit on the curb in defeat.
"Can we get out of here? Carol then whispered to Daryl, and he shook his head yes.
Since Merle had assured him that he’d handle everything, he gave his big brother a silent nod in thanks. "Gonna get Carol outta here. We still have a little unfinished business. Don't wait up!" He made sure he said that last part loud enough for Ed to hear.
Ed cursed again as Daryl led Carol to his truck and Merle only laughed. He knew the last thing Ed saw was his brother and his ex wife driving toward the hotel and he laughed heartily just as Blake and his cronies came outside to see what all the commotion was about.
"I tripped and fell," Ed whined as he hung his head in shame and embarrassment as he lied to the police about why his face looked like ground beef...
Chapter 10: Back At The Hotel (Pt. 1)
Ed won't give up so easily...
Once seated in the luxury SUV Daryl had rented for the weekend, Carol could feel his intense stare on her for the entire ride back to the hotel. His being so close made her feel hot all over and she couldn't help glancing back at him every few moments and everytime their eyes locked she felt even hotter.
They arrived back at the hotel and when he took her hand to help her climb out of the truck she couldn't help wincing; her entire left arm was sore from when Ed had roughly grabbed her at the restaurant.
Daryl glanced down at her with a concerned look. "You sure you're alright, Sweetheart? You dont need me to take ya someplace to get that arm looked at, do ya? It's no problem."
"No, its ok, really... just a little sore now but it should be fine by tomorrow. I'm much more worried about that hand of yours," she replied, glancing at his slightly swollen fist that he'd used to break Ed's nose.
Daryl shrugged as he gave his keys to the valet driver. "No real harm done. A little ice on it and Ill be good as new. Trust me... I've done a lot worse damage to myself than this while roughin' somebody up. Compared to Merle's rock hard head Peletier was a fuckin' cream puff," he chuckled. "So... its on you Sweetheart. What do you wanna do tonight? I know we planned to uh, get better acquainted tonight but I'll understand if you want a raincheck. I know all that crap with Blake and that asshole probably ruined your mood."
"Yes it did. I'm still mad as hell that he proposed that I sleep with him for money!
"What in the hell did you just say?"
"Yeah. Phillip Blake offered me a deal to basically buy out my company. I told him I wasnt interested, so he doubled the amount of money he'd initially offered then asked me to sleep with him. I've never been so insulted in all my life."
"And what in the hell did Peletier have to say?"
"Nothing. He just wanted me to 'play the game' as he put it so he could get his cut."
"Son of a bitch!" Daryl exclaimed. "What an asshole! I'm glad I broke his nose... wish I'd done worse. What'd you tell him?"
"I fired him... and then I told Blake to go fuck himself."
"Good girl," Daryl said with a proud grin as they entered the hotel lobby and waited for the elevator.
"Unfortunately Blake didn't want to take my no for an answer so when he propositioned me a second time I slapped him then threw my drink in his face to get my point across."
"Good for his ass!"
Carol sighed. "There's only one problem Daryl. Blake wants my company and he still thinks there's a chance I might change my mind about the deal. That's why Ed was following me. He says hes gonna do everything in his power to get me to sign the contracts by Sunday."
"What's so special about Sunday?"
"That's when all bets are off and Blake is gonna officially retract his offer. But I know Ed, and a broken nose wont stop him from harassing me about those contracts until we check out on Sunday. I really wanted to spend some time with you tonight Daryl but I think I'd better pack and just head on home to Atlanta. Ed scares me now. Ive never seen him get so crazy like he was earlier and I just know he's gonna try to get to me at every turn until Sunday if I stay and I just can't deal with him right now. His room is right down the hall from mine... he'll probably be here any minute now to start in on trying to wear me down until I change my mind."
Daryl could sense the fear in her voice and see it in her eyes and he didn't like it one bit. They rode the elevator up to her floor in silence. When they got to her suite he took her hand in his. "Carol... I really want to spend some time with you this weekend but I cant go back home to Atlanta until Sunday night. Merle and I have business here in the morning."
"Okay, then maybe we can stay in touch for when you do come home... maybe have dinner sometime once all this blows over?"
Daryl leaned in close and inhaled her scent. Her perfume was driving him nuts. "Don't want ya to leave, woman. What if I promised to keep you safe the rest of the time you're here?"
"That's so sweet of you Daryl but I cant expect you to do that. I cant risk you getting into anymore trouble with him and he has no scruples. Youre a busy man, and as long as I stay Ed'll constantly be popping up and harassing me. He knows where my room is!"
"But that prick doesn't know where my room is," Daryl murmured before tenderly nuzzling her neck and kissing her ear. "How about you come up to my suite for the night?"
Carol stared into Daryl's eyes... she already knew her answer. How could she deny him? Her own body was on fire for him with an intense passion she'd never felt before.
Just then her cell phone beeped, letting her know she had a text. She glanced at it and saw that it was from Ed. It read "Hey sweetness, just found out my nose isnt broken after all, it was just a nasty dislocation from my "fall." (Tell your new boyfriend better luck next time!) Anyway I'm real sorry about grabbing you earlier... I was just so mad about the meeting. Look, Im on my way back there now and I just wanna talk. Carol I know whats best for you and I really think you should at least reconsider the Blake deal. Ill see you soon."
"Damnit!" she groaned. "He's on his way here already! What should I do?"
Daryl took her hand and gave her a naughty grin. "Come with me, Sweetheart," he murmured, leading her back onto to the elevator and pressed the button for the penthouse floor.
Chapter 11: Back At The Hotel (Pt. 2)
As Daryl led Carol onto the elevator, she squeezed his hand. “Wait a second, Daryl. I just need to grab a few things from my room before we go to yours.”
“Sure, no problem.” Daryl walked a few steps behind her as they went toward her suite and he couldn’t help staring at her ass in the sexy dress she was wearing. He then remembered how she’d looked in only her bra and panties earlier that afternoon and he could feel his cock stiffening up yet again just from the memory. He rubbed his hands together in anticipation; he couldn’t wait to see where the night was headed with the gorgeous woman in front of him.
Once inside her suite, Carol could feel Daryl’s eyes on her as she quickly threw a few toiletries and articles of clothing into the carry on duffle bag from her designer luggage set. She tossed in a change of clothes, a pink bra and panty set, her robe, and a pair of decidedly un-sexy pajamas. She felt like kicking herself for not packing any naughty lingerie but getting laid had been the last thing on her mind when she’d flown out of Atlanta with Ed early that morning. When she turned to him he was still staring. “Daryl,” she started but he immediately cut her off.
“Did I tell you how gorgeous you look tonight?” he boldly asked.
“No... but thank you.”
“My pleasure. I mean it Carol. You’re breathtaking. All I wanna do is kiss you again,” he murmured closing the space between them.
“Thanks,” she whispered, blushing pink. “Umm... I’d like that.”
Daryl had crossed the room in 2.4 seconds flat and before she knew it he’d laid a smoldering hot kiss on her lips that took her breath away. Before long his probing tongue sought hers out and she moaned as she allowed him entry and they tongue kissed until they were breathless.
“Damn woman,” Daryl moaned as he finally came up for air. “You got everything you’ll need for the night? I don’t want ya to have to come back down here once that prick starts lurkin’ around.”
“I should be fine Daryl... and either way I can’t hide from Ed forever.”
“I know, but I don’t trust that bastard as far as I can throw his ass. Especially now while he’s all riled up about those contracts. It’s a lot of money on the line and he’s gonna try to manipulate you. I’ve got an important meeting tomorrow and I just don’t want anything to happen to ya while I ain’t around to keep my eye on ya. I know we just met and all but I feel like I need to keep ya safe, Carol.”
“You don’t have to do that Daryl. You’ve already done so much...”
“I know I don’t have to woman... I want to,” he murmured, kissing her again soundly. He then held his hand out for hers. “Now let’s get upstairs before that prick shows up. I wanna be alone with you. No more waiting... no more interruptions,” he added, staring down at her intently with a seductive look in his stormy blue eyes.
“Okay,” Carol whispered, blushing as she took his hand before heading out. Her entire body was on fire. ‘This man is gonna be the death of me,’ she thought to herself with a smirk as he led her back toward the elevator.
When the bell chimed they stepped on and Daryl pushed the up button. While they waited Daryl couldn’t resist kissing her again; he felt like he was getting addicted, and he couldn’t help groaning with want for her as she ran her fingers through his hair while they kissed.
Just at that moment Ed walked off the other elevator that had just landed on Carol’s floor and as he turned toward Carol’s suite, he happened to glance into the elevator parallel to the one he’d just vacated and immediately spotted Daryl and Carol kissing passionately as the doors slowly began closing.
“Goddamnit Dixon! Carol!” he roared with a shocked, angry scowl. His nose was bandaged and his face was red as a beet at seeing them together in such an intimate embrace. “What in the hell do you two think you’re doing and where in hell are you going?” He lunged for them but it was too late. The door began closing rapidly and damn near snapped his arm off. “Goddamnit Carol you get your ass off that elevator this instant! I need to talk...” Ed’s voice got cut off as the door slammed shut in his face and within seconds the lovebirds were whisked upstairs to the locked penthouse floor where Daryl and Merle's suite was located, and both Carol and Daryl immediately exploded into laughter.
Chapter 12: Inferno
Daryl takes things to the next level in the only way he knows how... (Warning: Adults Only!)
Once inside Daryl and Merle’s massive two bedroom penthouse suite, Carol was impressed. “Sheesh... and I thought my room was nice,” she murmured as she admired the awesome panoramic view of downtown and the luxurious décor. “The view of the skyline from up here is amazing.”
“’S alright I guess... but I think the view’s a lot better right here on the inside,” he added with a wink as he undressed her with his stormy blue eyes, making her blush. “You want a drink or somethin’?”
“Sure... after tonight I need one... or two! What do you have?” she asked, while sinking into the plush, white leather sofa.
“Mini bar’s fully stocked. We got assorted sodas and juice, beer, white wine, rum, whiskey and vodka. Anything special you’d like other than that I can call room service no problem.”
“No Daryl, that’s plenty! Please don’t go to any trouble. I’ll take a vodka and cranberry... and make it a double, would ya?”
“Yes ma’am.” Daryl mixed Carol’s drinks then poured himself a whiskey before joining her on the couch. “I’d like to make a toast,” he murmured while gazing at her.
“Of course,” she replied, raising her glass.
“To us... and the beginning of something really special.”
“Here, here!” she replied while clinking her glass with his. “Bottoms up!” she then added with a wink before taking a big sip.
Just then Daryl got a text from Merle. It read: “Hey little Brother, don’t worry about me none tonight. I’m bunkin’ with T-Dog and Abe... their suite’s got a big ole’ pull out couch and I’m snug as a bug. Have fun gettin’ laid! I’ll see ya in the am. Don’t forget were meeting with Rhee at eleven sharp in the main dining room.”
Daryl replied “Will do,” as he chuckled to himself. His big brother was a real piece of work. He owed Merle BIG TIME for bailing him out earlier with that foolishness with Ed, and for letting him have their suite to himself to be with Carol.
The two lovebirds had a few more drinks and it wasn’t long before they were quite tipsy and not to mention even hornier than they were before. They’d been lusting for each other all night and Daryl couldn’t take his eyes off Carol’s curvy legs and all he could think about was kissing them all over. He wanted to taste her in the most intimate way and his cock throbbed with need.
Since he’d already long since gotten out of his blazer and tie and his shirt was half unbuttoned Carol couldn’t help staring hungrily at the sparse blonde hair on his muscular chest and all she could think about was licking his neck and pecs. It wasn’t long before they were kissing passionately on the couch and Daryl boldly caressed her breasts as he plundered her mouth with his long tongue, devouring her whole with his hot, potent kisses. His lust was infectious and Carol moaned low in her throat for him as he caressed her stiff nipples right through her dress and it wasn’t long before his hand was up her dress and inside her panties. Carol whimpered with lust as he fingered her wetness and he then immediately suggested that they take the party to his bedroom.
“Sure... but I’d like to freshen up a bit and slip into something a bit more comfortable first. May I use your bathroom?”
“Sure sweetheart, you can use Merle’s. He isn’t coming back tonight. I think I oughta take a quick shower too. I got a little sweaty earlier.”
“Okay... then I’ll meet you back here in about fifteen minutes?”
“No... in my bedroom in ten.” He kissed her again and ran his big hands over her ass possessively. “Then again, make it five.” Carol giggled at him as he smacked her hard on the ass before they separated.
A little while later she emerged from the bathroom in only her sheer black kimono robe and panties and Daryl stared at her from his side of the bed with a lust filled gaze. He wanted her, there was no denying it and before long they were tangled up in the plush silk sheets on his king sized bed, kissing with more passion than ever.
Daryl jumped up suddenly, his thick cock making a large tent in his hunter green boxer briefs. “C’mere, woman,” he growled, and Carol giggled as he pulled her by her ankles to the edge of the bed. He then dropped to his knees before her. “Been dyin’ to do this since the moment I first laid eyes on ya,” he murmured before tugging her panties down and off her shapely tanned legs. “Can I taste ya? Please...” he begged and Carol let out a long, low moan as he leaned down to kiss and lick a slow trail from her toes to up between her legs, not even waiting for a response.
“Yes... Daryl... it’s been so long... yes!” she whimpered as he then spread her thighs open wide with his big hands and began slowly kissing her inner thighs and all around her exposed pussy. She was so glad she’d gotten a bikini wax at her salon appointment before heading down to Orlando! “Oh God! Don’t stop!” she moaned as he then began greedily licking her open.
“Yer so wet,” he moaned with lust before gently sucking her clit, causing her to cry out from the pleasure.
Daryl’s long tongue and scruffy mustache felt incredible as he devoured her whole and Carol couldn’t stop moaning and shaking from the pleasure as he lapped hungrily at the nectar dripping from her core, soon adding two fingers to softly massage her g-spot while he ate her out, going faster and faster, not stopping until she tensed, arched her back and came hard with a toe curling orgasm, letting out a loud, glorious squeal that made him feel proud as hell for getting such an enthusiastic response from her.
Daryl moaned with satisfaction as her juices drenched his fingers, lips and chin and he chuckled to himself as she convulsed beneath him from his passionate onslaught. He was nowhere near finished with her however, as he then made it his business to make her cum again in the same way.
Before long Carol was eager to return the favor and they pleasured each other in the 69 position. Both of them were long overdue for that kind of passion and saying that it felt incredible was an understatement.
Before long Daryl needed her in the worst way and he let her know it. “Want you now, woman,” he growled as he then flipped her onto her back and grabbed a condom from the bedside drawer.
“Yes!” Carol moaned, wrapping her arms around his neck as he then climbed on top of her and after kissing her passionately yet again, buried his thick, swollen length deep inside her tight, soaked core. “Yes... yes..” she repeated, running her nails up and down his back as he began stroking deep inside with an intensity she’d never felt before.
Daryl’s eyes rolled back as he pumped his cock in and out of her wet heat as he moaned in her ear. “You feel so good, Carol... fuck...” he moaned. He couldn’t hold back; it had been so long for him and Carol was like a dream come true. He kept stroking inside her and it wasn’t long before he came hard with a loud, passionate groan as his release erupted into the condom.
After recuperating a bit, they went at it for round two... that time with Daryl taking her from behind. Carol buried her face in her pillow to muffle her loud moans of pleasure as Daryl stroked her g-spot in the doggy style position with his massive cock until they both came yet again, then after kissing passionately, they fell asleep in one another’s others arms, both feeling more exhausted and satisfied than they’d ever felt in their lives.
Chapter 13: Good Ole Merle
Merle's got an idea...
The next morning the lovebirds were so exhausted that they slept in but when Daryl did finally wake up he had a huge smile on his handsome face because Carol was giving him what he deemed to be the absolute best blow job of his entire life. He moaned loudly and jerked his hips uncontrollably as she worked him over until he came. Daryl stared at her in disbelief as she gave him a playful wink as she licked him clean. 'I think I love this woman,' he thought to himself before eagerly returning the favor, insisting that Carol sit on his face, and before long his long tongue's insistent attention to her most sensitive spot made her explode, which in turn led to them screwing all over again until they were both breathless. He couldn't get enough of her and Carol didnt hide the fact that the feeling was mutual as they cuddled after their intense orgasms.
Merle texted Daryl while the latter was still recuperating from his latest round of 'extracurricular activities' to remind him that he'd be coming back shortly to get dressed for their big meeting. "Please let that little Mouse of yours know Im coming up soon so I can get dressed little Brother, and for the love of God PLEASE put your "little turtle" away before I get there!"
Daryl cursed and Carol laughed but then she sulked. "Awww Pookie, I wanted us to do it in the shower before you had to go!" she pouted, before sucking on his bottom lip.
"Who the hell's Pookie?" Daryl nearly choked with laughter.
"You. Its just a little nickname I made up... you're my Pookie... I mean, only if you wanna be, of course."
Daryl pulled her in close. "Woman, I'll be anybody ya want me to be, Pookie, or whoever else... and if my damned brother wasn't on his way back up here I'd for damn sure take you up on your offer of doin' it in the shower. I cant get enough 'o ya. Rain check? Later on, after my meeting, maybe?" he asked before kissing her neck.
"Mmm... I wouldn't miss it, Pookie," she replied with a flirtatious wink before darting into Daryl's room's en suite shower to quickly get washed up and dressed, and Daryl was right behind her. They ended up showering together after all just to save time, and it took everything in them not to give in to temptation and screw each other's brains out.
Merle arrived a bit later and went into his own room to shower and get dressed, then greeted the lovebirds with his usual brand of playful, teasing jeers. Daryl filled him in on Ed's antics at the hotel the night before and Merle shook his head in disgust. He could already tell that his brother was crazy about Carol by the way he couldn't keep his eyes or hands off her and as such Merle had already become concerned for her well being as well. He hadn't forgotten how she'd immediately offered to testify on Daryl's behalf in case Ed tried to press charges against him for assault the night before. "That goddamned Peletier's a real piece of work. He ain't gonna let up on ya 'til ya give. You were right smart not to sign those contracts he and Blake cooked up. You'd have lost your company for sure. But I've got an idea that'll let you keep running yer business the way you want and make you some big money on the side. Probably nowhere near as much as Blake offered ya but my offer's legit, and it'll let you burn both Blake and Peletier in the process."
"That sounds interesting," Carol said with a big smile.
"What ya got in mind, Merle?" Daryl asked with a mischievous smirk.
"You'll see little Brother! Care to join us for our little breakfast meeting, Mouse? I'll tell ya all about it," he then said to Carol, calling her by his new nickname for her before offering her his arm.
"I'd love to!" she replied, then after taking both Merle's and Daryl's outstretched arms, one on each side, headed down with them to the dining hall to meet up with the Dixon's associates for breakfast and to do a little business.
Chapter 14: Breakfast Of Champions
The breakfast meeting ensues...
When Carol, Daryl and Merle entered the hotel restaurant the hostess on duty let them know that the rest of their party had just been seated in one of the private dining rooms.
“Great!” Merle said to Daryl with a big grin. “Tyreese and the others are already here.”
They were led down a corridor to a large room with a massive buffet table laden with heated platters of scrambled eggs, waffles, French toast, croissants and other pastries, bacon, grits, fried apples, country ham and sausage, as well as carafes of coffee, tea and assorted juices. They were greeted at the table by a small group of smiling people who readily offered friendly handshakes and Carol immediately felt welcomed and at ease, the total opposite of how she’d felt at the meeting with Philip Blake and his cronies.
Merle made the introductions; present were Tyreese Williams and his younger sister Sasha, co-owners of Ty’s Bar and Grill chain, Glenn and Maggie Rhee, owners of Rhee’s Korean Barbecue restaurant and Glenn’s Pizzeria chain and Hershel Greene, owner of Greene Family Farm, as well as Dixon Industries executive personnel Abraham Ford and Theodore “T-Dog” Douglass. After making their plates, the group commenced to enjoy their breakfast while engaging in small talk before getting down to business.
Carol was flattered when everyone present told her that they’d patronized her bakery before and loved her desserts. The only person that she knew for certain had frequented her establishment was Hershel Greene, whom she already knew quite well, she’d had a standing order at his farm for bi-weekly deliveries of fresh eggs, milk, cream cheese, and butter at her bakery for the past couple of years. She didn’t know however that his beautiful (and VERY pregnant) daughter Maggie was married to the young and handsome Glenn Rhee, owner of the fastest growing pizzeria chain in Atlanta.
Throughout their meal, Daryl barely took his eyes off of Carol for a moment, and she felt hot all over from his intense stares and winks as he boldly undressed her with his eyes. The man made her feel like a horny teenager and she couldn’t help blushing terribly at the naughty things he occasionally whispered to her when no one was paying attention, only serving to remind her of the AMAZING sex they’d had the night before and again that morning, and were sure to indulge in further for the remainder of the weekend if he had his way. She’d worn a simple, knee length sundress and a pair of tall wedge sandals to breakfast and every time Daryl’s leg brushed against hers or his hand discreetly slipped under the table to slide under the hem of her dress to boldly caress her bare thighs, she could feel her core flood with desire for him all over again.
After everyone was finished eating Merle cleared his throat. “Okay folks you all know why I invited you all here. We’ve already discussed and agreed on terms, and there’s a lot of money to be made. I know you all brought your contracts; I’ve got mine right here as well,” he then added, motioning to T-Dog, who then opened a large briefcase containing several documents in manila folders, a laptop computer and a portable printer.
Merle went on. “You’ve all met Carol, and I invited her along hoping you all would be amenable to bringing her in for orders at your respective establishments.” He then turned to Carol. “You see honey, my baby brother and I now own four truck stops in Georgia, one in Alabama and are on the verge of acquiring two more, one here in Florida and one out in New Orleans, Louisiana we plan on opening next year. All of the locations have similar models, with on premises auto repair shops, souvenir kiosks, gas station, restrooms, car and truck wash, and motel rooms on the premises for truck drivers and other travelers to get hot showers and a good night sleep. In addition, each location has a lunch counter, diner style restaurant on the premises. Currently my truck stop restaurants only serve burgers and fries, soups, chili, salads, ice cream cones and grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu, but due to the overwhelming demand for hot food from travelers and the high profits coming in at all of the restaurants for the meager items we already offer, I recently decided I want to add personal pan pizzas to the menu. They’re quick to heat up and cheap to get and can be sold at a big profit, and Rhee here agreed to be my supplier for the frozen pan pizzas and it’s a no brainer for how much money were gonna make. Tyreese and Sasha here not only own their restaurant chain, they’re soft drink distributors as well and gave me and Rhee amazing discounts for both our businesses, and Mr. Greene here is supplying us all with foods from his farm.”
“So where do I come in exactly?” Carol asked curiously, although she had an idea of where Merle was going with this.
“Well honey, your bakery’s about the best in town, and I figure I could sell your cookies at my truck stops! Maybe start small with an order for... oh I don’t know... maybe $5,000 worth of assorted frozen cookie dough just to start and see how it sells in the next few months and increase the order if you’re comfortable with it? Like I told you earlier, Darlin, it’s nowhere near the millions Blake offered ya, but you’d still make a killing profit wise, and the orders would be on your terms, big or as small as you want, since I figure you don’t wanna go too big. Are you interested?”
“Absolutely Merle! Thank you!”
“Now hold on a minute, we’re interested in selling your desserts too,” Sasha then immediately interjected. “Your delicious cheesecakes in particular! We could sell them by the slice at our bar and grill restaurants! Small orders are no problem; we only have three locations right now and opening another next year, but I’m ready to make a very generous offer. I know the specialty flavored cheesecakes you sell at your bakery start at $60 each because I’ve bought more than one of them for my family. I’m willing to pay full price because we can sell them at a profit by the slice... Let’s say 5 assorted cakes shipped to each of our locations every week... plus shipping fees of course... that’s a little under $5,000/month on an as needed basis then maybe renegotiate for a wholesale fee if they do well and have an increase in demand. Are ya interested?”
“Hey! Me too!” Glenn added with a grin. “I need desserts at my pizzerias! We love your cheesecakes as well as your delicious layer cakes by the slice. How much are they again?”
Carol swallowed. “The layer cakes are $40 each; cheesecakes are $60.”
“I can swing that. Maybe mix it up, send us a few different cakes at each location every week to start... We have 7 locations and are about to open two more? Maybe another five thousand dollar order each month to start?”
Carol’s jaw dropped as she shook her head yes at them all. It would be hard work but she knew her team could manage all of their orders. Their offers were perfect. She’d make some good money on the side, and could keep running her business exactly the way she wanted, and if she ever felt overwhelmed by any of the orders she could cut back. They were all running small businesses and would understand, plus they all seemed like good people to do business with.
Hershel then chuckled, “This is great! I’m already in business with this lovely lady, and you all’s orders are gonna earn me a little extra money too!”
“How Daddy?” Maggie asked with a laugh.
“Carol orders all the dairy products she needs to make her desserts from me!”
“I’m printing up the contracts right now,” T-Dog said with a smile, and Daryl grinned as big as anything at Merle when he saw how happy Carol was. In fact, the only person smiling harder than Daryl at that moment was Merle’s business partner Abraham Ford, who’d slyly asked the beautiful Sasha Williams for her phone number, and she shocked the hell out of him by giving it to him. He’d had his eye on her for ages!
As they were all leaving, the group had the misfortune of walking straight into Ed, who was of course flanked by Blake and all of his asshole associates.
"Carol!" Ed exclaimed with a frown at seeing her with Daryl's arm around her shoulder. "Just who I wanted to see," he sneered, and as Carol attempted to hurry away in the opposite direction he cursed and lunged for her causing Daryl to see red.
"Where the hell do you think you're goin, asshole?" Daryl growled as he shoved Ed as hard as he could, sending him tumbling backward onto the carpet right on his big, clumsy ass, causing a poor unsuspecting nearby waiter to spill a big tray of food right on Ed's head, drawing loud laughter from everyone in the dining area.
Chapter 15: Check Out
Carol tries to make a quick getaway...
Thanks for your patience for this long overdue and brief update... I was out of the country (down in Jamaica "Mon") recuperating from this past semester of nursing school... more to come soon!
Carol fought to hold back her tears as she made a beeline through the crowd of onlookers toward the hotel’s lobby, then immediately took the elevator up to her suite. This crazy situation with Ed was only getting worse and worse as the weekend from hell lingered on. She only had one thing on her mind; something she regretted not doing sooner, and that was packing up her things to go back home to Atlanta where she should have stayed in the first place; before Ed all but dragged her down to Orlando. The only thing she didn’t regret about the trip was meeting Daryl but she needed to get the hell out of there fast, and hoped he’d understand her quick getaway. As she hurriedly threw her things into her bags, she made a quick telephone call. She was mad enough to spit fire at Ed for trying to intimidate her again and worse for embarrassing her in front of all of her new friends and business partners and there was only one person that she knew that she could vent to about Ed’s most recent asinine behavior; her best friend back home in Atlanta, lawyer Michonne Grimes. She refused to burden Sophia; she didn’t want her daughter worrying about her while she was all the way up in New York working as a summer intern at a small independent fashion label, so Carol called Michonne to pour out the details of Ed’s antics over the past 24 hours. Michonne despised Ed; and as soon as Carol informed her of how he’d gotten aggressive with her she encouraged Carol to leave immediately.
When Daryl saw Carol run away from him, he suddenly wondered if she was upset with him for knocking Ed down. It was obvious that she was very upset and he wondered if he’d overreacted. He longed to follow her up to her suite but Merle held him back, advising him to give her some time. A little while later he saw her at the hotel's front desk with her luggage in tow and it was obvious that she was checking out. He hurriedly followed her outside and when he caught up to her she was facing away from him, talking a mile a minute on her cell while trying to hail a taxi to take her to the airport. He touched her shoulder lightly and she flinched as she pulled away from him.
“Leave me the hell alone! Don’t you dare touch me ever again!” she hissed with rage without even turning around.
Daryl’s face fell. It was now obvious to him that he’d totally blown it with the woman he’d fallen in love with overnight. “’M sorry Sweetheart... I’ll let ya be.”
“Daryl!” she gasped, whirling around in surprise. “I’m sorry... I thought you were Ed!” she whispered before hugging him tightly, and Daryl sighed with relief as he held her back tight. She DIDN’T hate his guts after all!
Carol let Michonne know that she was okay, and would call back once she got home before ending their call.
“Speaking of Ed,” Daryl smirked at her, “That asshole’s probably still on the floor where I left him, but I’m sorry too Honey, I know I made a scene back there.”
“Daryl you have absolutely nothing to be sorry for. I ought to be apologizing to you for getting you caught up in this mess.
He waved his hand at her. “That aint necessary. But... were you really gonna leave me without sayin’ goodbye? After last night. And again this mornin?” he added, turning red as he remembered the hot passion they’d shared.
Carol blushed red herself. She’d NEVER in her life experienced anything like what Daryl had done to her body, not to mention her heart and soul. “Daryl... please try to understand. I’ve gotta get out of here, now. Ed isn’t gonna stop hounding me until Blake’s offer is off the table. I would have called you once I got back home, you know that. For business... and pleasure,” she added.
“I know,” he murmured, before kissing her forehead tenderly with a sigh. Suddenly he had an idea.
“Look Carol, Merle and I don’t have any more business meetings lined up that we have to attend... we were just gonna hang around down here until the conference concludes tomorrow since we booked our suite through the late check out after the last breakfast seminar in the morning. Merle, Abe and T-Dog flew down here yesterday but I rented that truck and drove down by myself on Thursday night. It’s a long ride back to Atlanta... damn near seven hours matter of fact, but, well... can I take you home? Won’t take me but a few minutes to grab my shit, and give Merle my room key card for when he checks out in the am. So make me happy and say you’ll let me drive ya home Darlin,” Daryl begged her with pleading, puppy dog eyes. “I wanna spend all the time I can with ya.”
“Well in that case... yes,” Carol replied before kissing him soundly. She couldn’t refuse him, even if she wanted to. ‘And I can only imagine the mischief we may get into along the way,’ she thought to herself with a naughty grin!
Chapter 16: Brother Knows Best
Merle's advice comes to fruition!
Daryl kissed Carol back hungrily, then spotted a couple of the hotel’s teenaged valet staff members standing nearby chatting. “Hey Noah,” he said after approaching them and reading one of the young men’s name tags. “I need a favor, buddy. The name’s Dixon, and I’m a guest in Penthouse 20-C. My truck rental’s down in the underground garage... Hunter green Escalade with tinted windows. It’s a custom paint job, you can’t miss it. Could you to load these bags into it then park ‘er up front for me in about fifteen minutes? The lady here and I are checkin’ out shortly, and were gonna be in a bit of a hurry when we do,” he then added, slipping the young man a handsome tip along with the valet ticket he’d kept in his wallet.
“No problem... right away sir,” Noah replied, taking Carol’s luggage with a friendly smile before sprinting off toward the garage.
Daryl then led Carol back inside the hotel lobby before taking the elevator up to the penthouse floor. Upon finding his and Merle’s suite empty, Daryl immediately called his brother.
“Yo!” Merle answered a couple of rings later.
“Hey... where are ya,” Daryl asked while hurriedly tossing his clothes and other belongings into his suitcase all the while openly eyeing Carol’s shapely crossed legs from across the room with a lust filled smirk.
“I’m upstairs at the rooftop lounge, Brother! It’s real nice up here too! T-Dog ran into an old friend of his from college, Morgan Jones, some big time stock broker from over in Macon. Real nice fella... might have to do some business with him in the future. Anyways, we’re all up here having a few drinks! Abe too. But where in the hell are you? Please don’t tell me you’re still mopin’ around the lobby with yer panties in a bunch over the Mouse runnin’ off earlier!” he chuckled.
“No, I most certainly am not, but,” Daryl began...
Merle cut him off. “Look Darylina, just trust Ole Merle fer once... I done told you and told you! If yer just half the man yer big Brother is in the sack, that little filly’ll be back in the saddle in no time,” he laughed.
“Merle let me finish,” Daryl exclaimed.
He cut him off again. “I’m serious Brother! Just ask yer sister-in-law Andrea. I’m rarely in the dog house for longer than a few hours... she told me herself that she just can’t sleep proper without her nightly dose o’ “Big Dixon! You probably think I’m lyin’ Brother but she made up that nickname for my dick all by herself. So don’t you worry none... you may not be quite as well-endowed as I am below the belt.... I mean everybody can’t be this lucky. But look on the bright side! We’ve got the same Pa... so I’m sure the apple didn’t fall too from the tree, eh?”
“Shut the hell up Merle! I sure can tell your ass has been drinkin!” Daryl groaned but he couldn’t help chuckling to himself at his brother’s colorful choice of words, which at that point were even more vulgar than usual due to his having a few drinks. “Believe me, the lady was satisfied when I got through with her, alright!” Daryl sighed before going on. “Look... I hate to change the subject, but we got what we came down here for this weekend, right? We went to a few networking seminars and sealed the deals with both Rhee and Williams, and not to mention struck up a new deal with Carol. You don’t really need me down here in Orlando anymore do ya?”
Merle took the last sip of his double rum and coke, then chewed on the ice thoughtfully before ordering a vodka and cranberry. “Well, aside from you damn near gettin’ yourself arrested over rippin’ Peletier a new asshole, twice, everything went off without a hitch... so no, I don’t reckon so. Why?”
“Well... I caught up with Carol after all and she wants out of here somethin’ awful. She’s dyin’ to put some miles between herself and her ex-husband and not to mention that goddamned Blake, or The Governor or whatever the hell he’s calling himself. She was gonna fly out this afternoon, but I offered to take her home and she agreed to let me.”
“Oh! So yer gonna drive ‘er back to Atlanta, huh?” Merle sang with his voice dripping with sugar. “How romantic! The little lovebirds are takin’ a little road trip! Darylina, yer a chip off the old block! Of course you can go on home a little early if ya wanna! I’m flying home tomorrow afternoon and taking Monday off, so I guess I’ll see ya down at the office on Tuesday mornin’, first thing. Now you drive safe, ya hear? And uh... make sure you take advantage of one of those little road side hotels along the way... I want all the dirty details about how you put the wood to her on Tuesday mornin’!”
“Shut the hell up Merle!” Daryl repeated, shaking his head. “Look, I left my key card on the dresser in your room along with a tip for the housekeeper. Make sure you remember to turn it in along with yours when ya check out tomorrow morning.”
“Will do... and don’t you worry Brother, if I see that prick Peletier roamin’ ‘round here huntin’ Carol down, which I’m sure I will, I won’t breathe a word to him that you two are long gone, off bumpin’ uglies someplace off the I-95,” he laughed. “The front desk staff may blab to him that she already checked out if he thinks to ask, but I doubt that asshole will have the balls to approach me for any details of yall’s whereabouts,” Merle laughed as he hung up.
Daryl shook his head as he pocketed his cell phone before snapping his suitcase closed and ushering Carol out the door. His brother was a real piece of work, especially when he drank, but somehow, he always seemed to know best, and always had his little brother’s and his new found lady friend’s best interest at heart.
It was hot, sunny and gorgeous out when Carol and Daryl left Orlando. It was only a little after two pm, and they were mostly quiet initially while on the road, but before long they were soon engaged in a deep conversation, starting up right where they’d left off during their lunch ‘date’ in her hotel room the day before, which by that time seemed much further in the past considering all that had happened between them since meeting in the past 24 hours. He told her more about himself and she told him all about Sophia, then revealed more of her past with Ed before revealing that although she’d dated often since her divorce, she’d NEVER in her life had a one night stand prior to being with him. Daryl felt deeply flattered that Carol had responded to him the way she had the night before, and again that morning when they’d been intimate, and he already knew that he wanted more with her, and not just for the amazing sex, and he was already thanking his lucky stars that he’d thought of asking to drive her back to Atlanta; the drive alone was a guaranteed seven hours plus stretch of having her all to himself, and if he could stretch it out like he hoped (he hadn’t forgotten Merle’s advice after all) it could go on a little longer if he had his way.
They’d only been on the road for close to an hour or so when Carol asked that he stop so that she could use the restroom. He pulled into a large gas station and convenience store rest stop alongside the highway. While he waited, Daryl bought some gas then ran into the store to grab them a few drinks and snacks for the road. On his way back to the truck, he noticed that the upcoming exit sign on the highway read: Last Exit for Local Beaches, and he suddenly got an idea.
When Carol got inside, he asked her, “This is gonna sound crazy, but... do you wanna go swimming?” he asked, all the while imagining her womanly curves filling out a skimpy swimsuit.
“Hot as it is, I’d rather go skinny dipping,” she replied with a wink.
Daryl’s cock twitched in his pants when he remembered just how she’d looked in her birthday suit just a few hours prior.
Before Carol knew it they were looking for vacancies at the hotels on the Daytona Beach strip...
Chapter 17: Afternoon Delight
Carol and Daryl enjoy their trip to the beach... unbeknownst to them they have an admirer...
After stopping for ice cream cones, Carol offered to split the bill at whatever hotel they decided to stay at for the night, but Daryl insisted on treating, so Carol made him promise not to overspend, mentioning that a little budget friendly motel on the bayside would suit her just fine. Daryl however was already so crazy about Carol that he wanted nothing less than the absolute best for her. He was a frugal spender most of the time, but since he started making six figures annually by working for Merle money was no object, and he believed that there was no better way to splurge than to throw some money around on the woman he was falling in love with.
It was a Saturday afternoon in the middle of July so most of the budget friendly hotels and motels were already jam packed for the weekend, but as they drove along the beach strip taking in the sights, Daryl’s quick eye caught sight of a neon green vacancy sign at the entrance to a massive, white, high rise hotel on the ocean side of the street near the end of the strip.
“Hey Carol, I see a place just up ahead... it looks kinda fancy,” he admitted, “but the sign says they’ve got a few suites left... and there’s something about a lazy river pool and a swim-up bar. Wanna check it out?”
“The Brass Palm Resort and Spa?” she exclaimed, gazing up at the property in awe. The place was fancy indeed; it was huge and had beautifully landscaped palm trees and colorful tropical flowers at the entrance and a parking lot filled with high end luxury cars and not to mention all of the doormen, valet drivers and bell hops were dressed in crisp white uniforms. “Daryl! Isn’t the Brass Palm one of the top all-inclusive hotel chains in the south? I think it’s got a five star rating! One night here is probably gonna run you three or four hundred bucks at least! And that’s probably just for a standard room, let alone a suite!”
Daryl pulled the truck onto the lot and put it in park before kissing her lips tenderly. “Just let me spoil you a little, okay Carol?” he murmured before kissing her again.
“You’re going to an awful lot of trouble just so I can go swimming.”
“Look, it’s only for one night before we head on home and I want you to relax and get pampered a little after all the craziness you’ve been through in the past 24 hours. I want ya to enjoy this time we got here together. Now what do ya say, Sweetheart?” he murmured before kissing her again.
Carol moaned into his mouth, accepting his heated kisses which held the promise of a hell of a lot more passion before the night was through. “Alright, alright! The Seashell Inn across the street would have been just fine, but I gotta admit, I’d love to hit that lazy river... I really can’t wait to get out of these clothes!” she then added with a wink.
“You keep talking like that and we might not make it to the pool,” he replied before kissing her again.
“I just might hold you to that,” she flirted back, returning his kiss.
Daryl gave his key to a valet, and their bags to a bell hop at the door then upon entering the lobby, a friendly hostess brought them a complimentary tray of assorted tropical drinks. After checking in, the bell hop took their bags up to their oceanfront suite up on the 17th floor. Before retiring to their room however, the love birds both had to hit the hotel’s boutique; neither of them had packed swimsuits for their weekend business trip after all. Daryl grabbed the first pair of black swimming trunks he saw in his size, while Carol shopped around a bit and chose two swimsuits; one was a sexy, blue one piece with a plunging neckline and matching sarong, while the other was a slinky, fire engine red, thong style bikini that was nothing more than a few strings embroidered together and held together by tiny gold hooks. It was practically obscene; much more like a piece of naughty lingerie than a swimsuit and it left absolutely nothing to the imagination so Carol just knew that it was sure to make Daryl drool when he saw her in it. She also picked out a cute, black knee length halter dress to wear to dinner later in the evening and a tall pair of matching strappy sandals.
Once in their beautiful, modern, all white and chrome accent suite both of them were impressed. They had a huge fruit and gourmet chocolates basket waiting for them, as well as a fully stocked bar and a huge California king sized bed with a bedside balcony that had an awesome ocean view.
Neither of them could wait to get outside to the water so they both immediately stripped to get a quick shower in so they could get into their new swimsuits. After one glance too many once they were nude and scrubbing up in the oversized garden shower, they simply couldn’t keep their hands off of one another.
Daryl attacked her generous cleavage with hot kisses and Carol’s soapy hands teasingly stroked Daryl’s stiffening cock while they kissed and he moaned as he squeezed her ass possessively then pushed her back against the wall. He dropped to his knees and pulled one of her shapely thighs over his shoulder before burying his head between her legs to feast on her pussy. All Carol could do was throw her head back and moan from the pleasure of Daryl’s long tongue greedily working her clit. She cried out as she tugged on his shaggy brown locks while the steamy hot water beat down on their bodies. Daryl grunted as he devoured her; he just couldn’t get enough and he hungrily lapped at her soaked core like she was the sweetest nectar he’d ever tasted. Carol came good and hard before long but Daryl just didn’t want to stop and once he made her climax a second time, he reluctantly stood and turned her around to face the wall before taking her from behind, moaning in her ear as he grabbed her hips and took her from the back, stroking her core with his long, thick cock until they both climaxed together. They were both exhausted when they finally emerged from the shower, but not too tired to go at it again once all over their beautiful brass bed.
After recuperating from their steamy sex session, they emerged from their suite, giggling like horny teenagers, unable to keep their hands off each other as they grabbed a bite from the all you can eat buffet in the hotel’s restaurant, then headed out to the beach. After swimming awhile in the ocean, they hit the Olympic ocean front swimming pool to enjoy that for awhile.
As they frolicked in the water, swimming, kissing and enjoying the bottomless tropical drinks flowing at the swim-up bar, they were both clueless that they had been followed since leaving Orlando and were being closely watched by the tall man in the hat and dark sunglasses seated nearby at the resort's patio café.
Just then, the man who’d been watching them received a call on his cell phone...
Gregory turned reluctantly from where he’d been intently watching Carol and Daryl in the pool to check his phone. He’d been enjoying the view of Carol in her hot blue swimsuit and envied Daryl for having access to openly touch the tits and ass he’d been admiring for years. He’d known Ed for a long time and had always thought he was a lucky bastard for being married to Carol, and an idiot for losing a woman like her. “This is Gregory,” he answered quickly once he realized that Phillip Blake was on the line.
“Gregory did you get my text earlier? I had Milton track that sneaky bitch's bank card. Have you been getting the notifications?”
“Yes sir, Mr. Blake and I’ve been following the trail like a bloodhound. In fact, I was just about to call you. I located Mrs. Peletier just a little while ago.”
“Good job Gregory. But don’t tell me she’s back in Atlanta already!”
“No sir, she’s still here in Florida. ABout an hour and a half away from you at our hotel in Orlando. Daytona Beach as a matter of fact, at the Brass Palm Resort. And get this... just like I suspected she’s with the younger Dixon brother, the one who cleaned Ed’s clock last night. I’ve been following them since the tracker picked up a sale on her bank card at a gas station off the interstate a little while back then followed my hunch about them heading east. Sure enough not long after that I got the notification that she'd used the card at the hotel gift shop. They were holed up in their room for well over an hour earlier but now they’re out here on the beach... and you should see them sir, they’re all over each other. No doubt he's putting the wood to her and good. I’d bet my life that he’s the one who convinced her not to go along with our deal.”
“I figured as much. I ran into his damned brother Merle a little while ago and the asshole wouldn’t give me any info about their whereabouts. Those goddamned Dixon’s need to stay the hell out of my business!”
“I’ll deal with them later but for now all I want is Carol. You keep a close eye on her, you hear? Don’t let that bitch out of your sight. I’m on my way, and should be there in a couple of hours,” Blake growled then hung up. He then turned to Milton Mamet. “Milton, you run along now and find that idiot Peletier and let him know were taking a little road trip. I want this deal and I mean to have it... by any means necessary!” he sneered. "And I'm very interested to see just how far Ed will go to get it for me!"
Chapter 18: Peeping Tom
A Peeping Tom is on the loose... better yet make that a Peeping Gregory!
After lounging around in the lazy river for another hour, Carol and Daryl were quite tipsy from their many poolside pina coladas, banana daiquiris and other complimentary drinks from the swim up bar and finally headed inside to take a short nap, agreeing to check out the live jazz set in the hotel lounge before getting a late dinner at Samurai, the hotel's uber chic rooftop sushi bar & restaurant.
Gregory was quite disappointed when he saw the couple exiting the pool. He had really been enjoying their open public displays of affection and had been secretly fantasizing that he was the one with his hands all over Carol's scantily clad body. He could just imagine all of the ways he wanted to screw her; a woman as passionate as she was 'had to be awesome in bed' he thought to himself with envy as he watched her openly flirting and necking with Daryl in the water, but he wouldn't dare try to hit on her. He'd witnessed how she'd zapped out on the 'Governor' when he suggested that they sleep together and had seen first hand the damage that Daryl had done to Ed's face just for grabbing her the night before and could only imagine what he'd do to him if he had the balls to make a pass at her while they were together. Not to mention, his boss still wanted her pretty badly as well and the last thing he wanted was to get on Blake's bad side now that he'd gotten in the man's good graces. Phillip Blake just wouldn't take the hint; he actually thought that Carol was just playing hard to get despite it being obvious that she just wasn't interested in his multimillion dollar deal, nor with sleeping with him. Deep down Gregory knew that his boss was a real nut job but since he was so rich and had so much power in the underground criminal world he knew he'd better be on his Ps and Qs while handling the man's business, and keep his eyes and his hands to himself when it came to the woman the "Governor" was interested in.
Gregory discreetly followed the couple into the lobby and from a distance watched them board the elevator, lingering back just long enough to see the numbers on the old fashioned elevator light up when it stopped on the 17th floor. He quickly hopped onto the next elevator and when he got off on 17 he saw Carol and Daryl kissing passionately as they tipsily stumbled into their suite.
Once they'd locked themselves inside, he slithered like the snake he was down the long hallway and when he was sure that no one was paying him any attention, he crept up to their door. 'Penthouse suite 17-J,' he muttered under his breath, pulling out his cell phone to immediately inform Blake of Carol's room number via text message.
After sending the message, he was about to walk away to look for a spot to discreetly keep an eye out for whenever they emerged from their room when he suddenly heard the unmistakable sound of the couple having sex on the other side of the door. He'd had a hunch that they were gonna get it on as soon as they were behind closed doors if their suggestive flirting and open PDAs in the pool were any indication, and as usual his hunch had been on the money.
He knelt down and peered inside the key hole in the door knob, happily surprised that the Brass Palm Resort suites had antique hand carved wooden doors that took large old fashioned keys instead of computerized key cards. He then zoomed in on the action. "Good grief!" he muttered, staring in slack jawed disbelief at the intimate sight before him. In the middle of the big brass bed in the center of the room, Carol was totally nude and seated astride Daryl's long, outstretched legs, facing him as she vigorously rode his cock like a jockey riding a thoroughbred stallion! Her large breasts jiggled with her every move and her head was thrown back as she moaned with abandon as she eagerly took her pleasure. Daryl's loud grunts and throaty, satisfied moans told Gregory all he needed to know about the pleasure he was feeling as Carol's swivelling hips took his length in and out of her soaked core, and as he stared intently at her tight ass and toned thighs as she worked him over, he felt beyond envious that he wasnt in the infamous younger Mr. Dixon's shoes.
Just then, Gregory heard a pair of heavy footsteps followed by a man's deep voice behind him clearing his throat. Before he could even move he suddenly felt a heavy handed finger roughly tapping his shoulder. "Excuse me, sir," the voice barked.
Gregory glanced up in shock at the pair of tall and muscularly built security guards staring down at him like he'd just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "Y-yes gentlemen?" he stuttered as he quickly jumped up on his feet.
"Were you just peeping in on the guests in that suite?" the guard who'd tapped him asked.
"O-o-of c-course not!" he stuttered. "I uh, d-dropped my phone and I er... umm... was just picking it up... that's all!"
"Of course I am!" Gregory snapped with a haughty tone.
"May we ask what room you're staying in?"
Gregory glanced around wildly. "Well... I havent exactly checked in yet. I was just looking around first. Taking a little tour of the property, if you will. You know, to see if this is the kind of establishment a man of my reputation and pedigree would like to stay in," he sniffed in a haughty tone.
"Fair enough, sir. Visitors do occasionally ask to tour the resort. But you dont have any luggage."
"I happen to make it a habit to travel light! After I check in I may pick up something at the boutique."
"I see! Oh okay. Well, if you just let us see your visitor wrist band, we'll let you go on your merry way with our apology."
"Wrist band?" Gregory's face turned white as he glanced down at his wrists, which were bare, save for his watch.
"Yes, everyone has to get one at the desk before leaving the lobby area to come upstairs; theyre color coded for booked guests and for the bar and restaurant patrons."
Gregory slapped his forehead in an exaggerated, theatrical manner. "Oh darn! It seems it must have fallen off. Ill just run down to the front desk to get another," he hurriedly turned to walk away but the security officers stopped him.
"No sir, I don't think it could've fallen off; they have to be cut off."
Gregory knew he'd been caught, but he still tried to play it off. "Wait, did you say wrist band? Now that I think about it, I never got one from your incompetent front desk staff! I asked for the bar and they told me to take the elevator!"
Both of the guards frowned; somehow they'd known the guy was gonna be trouble. The first one spoke. "I don't think so sir. The bar is in the lounge on the first floor in the west wing, which is nowhere near the main elevators. I'm gonna have to ask you to come with us. This is a private resort and if youre not a booked guest, you are trespassing unless of course you work here or plan to dine at the restaurant."
"But I was looking for the restaurant!" Gregory exclaimed.
"Sir, first you said that you were looking for your phone. Then you said you were taking a tour of the resort. Then you claimed you had inquired about the bar at the desk. Now youre claiming to be looking for the restaurant. But I know good and well that If you had simply told the front desk staff that you wanted to dine at the restaurant in the first place they would have given you a blue wrist band and specifically told you to take the elevator to the roof. But you dont have one, so you'll have to come with us, NOW."
Gregory started shouting and making a scene so the guard glanced at his partner. "Do you think we need to call Daytona Beach PD for back up to throw this clown in lock up for trespassing and Peeping Tom charges?"
The last thing Gregory wanted was for the heat to get involved. Blake would have his ass on a platter! "That wont be necessary gentlemen! Ill just leave! "Besides," he then added with a haughty smirk, "I didn't want to stay in nor eat in this shabby establishment anyway! The customer service here SUCKS!" he exclaimed as the guards then roughly dragged him toward the elevators.
Fortunately, Daryl and Carol were oblivious to everything that had gone down out in the hallway. They were still enjoying round two of their late afternoon delight before drifting off to sleep for a short nap before going to dinner.
Meanwhile, a few miles away, Phillip Blake, Milton Mamet and Ed Peletier had just exited the interstate in Daytona Beach and were headed full speed ahead toward the Brass Palm Resort. They all had one goal in mind; to coerce Carol into signing those contracts, by any means necessary...
Chapter 19: Fair Warning
Carol calls an old friend...
A couple of hours later, Daryl was the first to awaken from his and Carol's lover's catnap and he took the opportunity to lovingly kiss and caress her all over until she too was wide awake and before long she was eagerly returning his hot kisses and was just as horny as he was all over again. As had become their new habit, they were both quite tempted to resume the steaming hot passion they'd been indulging in all weekend, but at that point the exhausting toll of their repeated erotic escapades from the morning and most of that afternoon had finally caught up to them and for the first time since they'd hooked up the night before the desire to feed their bellies overruled their mutual desire to feed on each other.
It wasn't easy with all of the sensual kissing and intimate touching going on in their bed that had immediately resumed as soon as they both woke up, but they were ravenous, and as such mutually decided to briefly postpone having sex again until after their dinner reservations, and Daryl then whispered in her ear that he couldn't imagine a more delectable dessert he'd like to feast on other than her, which made Carol blush fifty shades of red. Daryl then informed her that she'd outdone herself that last time they'd screwed before falling asleep earlier in the afternoon, and that she had literally knocked him out after riding him, which only made her blush yet again. He then sincerely promised her that he fully planned to return the favor when they got back from their dinner date, and before he jumped into the shower a few moments later he guaranteed her that by the time he got through with her later on that night, she'd be moaning his name so loud that everyone in their hotel was gonna know it.
" Promises, promises," Carol murmured with another hot kiss and a flirtatious wink.
While Daryl was in the shower, Carol checked her phone and discovered that it had died hours before. She plugged it into her portable charger and once it was powered on she checked the call logs and noticed that she had 17 missed calls; not surprisingly 16 of them were from Ed, and the other call was listed as coming from a Richard Grimes.
Carol knew that name and number quite well. Richard "Rick" Grimes was the Chief Executive Deputy of the King County Sheriff's Office just outside Atlanta, and he also just happened to be the husband of her best friend at home in Atlanta, top criminal prosecuting attorney Michonne Grimes Esq., so upon seeing Rick's name on her cell, Carol easily deducted that her friend had called her from their home telephone number.
It was a no brainer; calling Ed's moronic ass back was completely out of the question, but since she had to kill a little time before she could get her shower, she called Michonne back while laying out her outfit for the evening.
Michonne answered Carol's call in her usual sarcastic, yet playful manner. "So Ms. Carol... did you make it home yet? Or did you and Mr. Wonderful decide to pull over on the side of the road to bump uglies along the way?"
All Carol could do was laugh. She'd told Michonne a little bit about Daryl earlier that day while pouring out the sordid story concerning Ed's unusually aggressive behavior and aside from Michonne being adamant about her friend putting some distance between herself and her idiotic ex-husband, she'd been equally as supportive of her little "dirty weekend" fling with Daryl Dixon, particularly when Carol filled her in on how Daryl had defended her against Ed and whipped his ass in the process, then insisted on making sure that Carol got home safely.
Just thinking about Daryl made Carol smile. "As a matter of fact, we did! We stopped and got a room in Daytona Beach, at the Brass Palm... Daryl's treat. Were here now."
"The Brass Palm... very nice! Your Mr. Dixon has excellent taste. I think I like him already!"
"Me too," Carol replied dreamily. "We've been swimming, drinking, and not to mention bumping & grinding all afternoon! Girl that man is an absolute demon in the sack and I'm hopelessly addicted already! You know how long I've been in a dry spell so for the past 24 hours I've been on cloud nine! Im so glad he lives in Atlanta! Michonne, the things that man can do with his tongue defy the laws of physics, okay? And don't even get me started on the rest of his equipment! But don't worry, he promised to have me home by tomorrow so I can get back to work on Monday. Ive got 3 big cake orders to fill next week. But trust me 'Chonne, I'm safe and sound and in a big, strong pair of capable hands," Carol laughed.
"I hear that! You deserve all that and more so enjoy yourself. Now on another note, have you heard back from that asshole? Id bet fifty grand that prick's been blowing up your phone trying to apologize. I still think you ought to press full charges against him for daring to lay his filthy paws on you. And if he has the balls to counter sue I'll defend you myself, free of charge!" Michonne added. She REALLY couldn't stand Ed!
Carol sighed. "As a matter of fact, I just checked my phone for the first time since a few hours ago just before calling you and I saw that Ed's been calling me all day long. Close to 20 calls this afternoon alone."
"You really need to take action against him. Thats stalking Carol! He doesn't work for you anymore!"
"I know, and he's left me at least eight messages since I checked out in Orlando. He just won't let this business with Phillip Blake go. The deal won't be off the table until tomorrow so he's still trying to get me to change my mind but I told him repeatedly that I'll never sign those contracts. It'll be a cold day in hell before I approve of a merger between Carol's Cookies and Blake Industries. After the way they treated me last evening, Blake can go fuck himself for all I care! I dont care how rich and powerful he is!" she laughed. "And Ed can just go take a long walk off a short bridge!"
"Carol did you just say that the big business deal Ed's been trying to rope you into all weekend is with Phillip Blake... aka the Governor?" she gasped in disbelief.
"Yeah! I didn't mention that part earlier?"
"No you didn't!" Michonne gasped. "And I really think its imperative that you tell me everything! Im not supposed to tell anyone this but he's been under investigation by the King County Sheriff's Department and theres a huge class action lawsuit against him. My firm is building the case against him as we speak."
Carol proceeded to tell Michonne all about Ed dragging her to the conference with the sole purpose of a having a sit down with Blake the night before. She then gave the details of Blake's contract offer and as well as his offer of increasing the money on the table in exchange for sex after she told him no, then about Ed repeatedly harassing and threatening her to get her to change her mind.
"I dont believe this!" Michonne hissed. "I just can't believe he got you mixed up with Blake of all people! He's dangerous, Carol," she exclaimed.
Carol was really growing concerned. NOTHING EVER made Michonne lose her cool and she sounded genuinely alarmed; the woman ALWAYS had nerves of steel; whether in the courtroom or anywhere else for that matter, and Carol thought her friend was the most 'cool, calm and collected' person that she'd ever met, so to hear her sounding so unnerved concerning her situation with Ed and Phillip Blake was more than a little unsettling.
But Michonne wasn't scared. She was PISSED OFF. Blake had messed with her friend and now it was personal. "Carol what I'm about to tell you could compromise close to two years of hard work by a lot of dedicated people, myself included if the wrong people get wind of what's about to go down in the next few weeks, but you're my dearest friend and I have to let you in on it because now youre directly involved."
"You know I NEVER discuss my cases with anyone who aren't legal participants in the court proceedings but Ed's got you mixed up in some serious shit. Phillip Blake is a very dangerous man. He's totally unscrupulous and will stop at nothing to get whatever it is that he wants. He's built his empire on greed, extortion, and swindling, and if he really wants your company, or you for that matter hes gonna go out of his way to make it happen. He's ruined countless lives and small businesses in that same way because he's got a lot of money and a lot of friends in low places to help him get whatever he wants. But his last few shady deals went too far; he finally crossed the wrong people who aren't too scared to testify against him and its attracted a lot of unwanted attention his way. Blake's day of reckoning is near; in fact I'd bet my life he'll be behind bars within a few weeks, and hopefully for good in a couple of months. The evidence against him is astounding. Tax fraud, credit card fraud, racketeering, embezzlement, money laundering, insider trading, extortion and grand theft are among his white collar crimes, and not to mention the half dozen stalking and harassment charges brought against him by the women from his past and now you if you decide to proceed. Rick's team at the Sheriffs Office is on the case; they're closing in and on the verge of bringing him down, and when he falls, hes gonna fall hard because I'm the one who's gonna prosecute him. Like I said before there's a huge class action lawsuit against him for millions upon millions of dollars from the small businesses he's fleeced in the past couple of years, and since he's trying to lure you into merging your company with his corporation, Carol's Cookies name is probably already on his books as a money laundering operation and you may be subpoenaed to testify against him in court, as well as be entitled to a part of the settlement in time. But for now, I need you to be very careful. Don't cross him again if you can help it."
"But Michonne, our deal is off the table as of tomorrow, and I got the hell out of dodge as soon as I could. Blake doesn't even know I've left the conference!"
"Carol, did you hear anything I just said? The man is CRAZY! He wants you AND your company! Tomorrow's deadline means nothing; its just a stall tactic. If he wants your company hes gonna take it and will stop at nothing to get it. And if he wants you he probably had you followed to Daytona Beach! Just trust me on this. Ive read whole dossiers from the women he's harassed for sex and business deals. If Blake, Ed or any of his other cronies happens to turn up in Daytona, act alarmed but don't give them any reason to give chase or get angry with you. They're all DANGEROUS, and that includes your ex husband. He's on Blake's side now; he's been blinded by the mans power of persuasion and promises of big money. Hes gonna come after you again so just be prepared. Don't sign anything of course, but let them think you might. It'll make Blake relax, buy you some time, and give us even more evidence for the case against that prick. Trust me my friend, Im gonna nail his ass to the wall on our day in court!"
Chapter 20: Deep In Thought
Daryl ponders on how he can help Carol, then gives Ole' Merle a call to get his opinion on the matter...
Carol was still talking to Michonne when Daryl emerged from the shower, and as he got dressed he could see that she was visibly upset. Once she hung up, it was obvious to him that something was really bugging her.
"What's the matter, Carol?" he asked in a concerned tone, caressing her shoulder as she passed him to take her turn in the en suite bathroom. "You okay, honey?"
"No, I'm not," she sighed. "And I'm so sorry for being such a downer when we're supposed to be having fun but it seems this nightmare just won't end!" she exclaimed.
"What happened now? Maybe I can help," he offered. He already cared deeply for her and immediately enveloped her in his strong arms and held her tight.
They shared a kiss then Carol began to explain. "Thanks so much Daryl, but it's this madness with Phillip Blake! I thought it was all over; or at least would be over tomorrow but from what my best friend just told me, this may be just the beginning!"
"Your best friend? What's she got to do with all of this?"
"My best friend is a big time lawyer in Atlanta... maybe you've seen her commercials. Michonne Grimes, Esq. Her name ring a bell?"
"I've heard of her! My sister in law, Merle's wife Andrea Harrison-Dixon Esq., worked with her before starting her own law office. I think they went to school together or something and still collaborate on cases from time to time. I hear she's one of the top criminal prosecution attorneys in Georgia."
Carol smiled proudly. "She is, and worked very hard to get where she is today. We've been friends for years. In fact she's more like a sister to me." Carol knew that she could trust Daryl as she filled him in on her conversation with Michonne about the lawsuit as well as her concerns and fears about Blake possibly having her followed.
Just below the surface, Daryl was seething. Fortunately he was pretty good at masking his emotions, but deep down he was enraged with Phillip Blake, Ed, and everyone else involved with scaring Carol and threatening her well being. He was deep in thought about how to solve the problem and resolve the situation at hand as he consoled the new woman in his life, and vowed to keep her safe.
When Carol got into the shower, Daryl made a quick phone call of his own... to Merle, who was still in Orlando with Abraham and T-Dog, enjoying the last full day of the business conference. After all, his big brother and his partners had a habit of 'fixing' things and knew they might have a few ideas of how to stick it to Blake to make him back off of Carol for once and for all...
Chapter 21: Merle's Dilemma
Grand Floridian Hotel-Orlando, late Saturday night...
Merle Dixon was more than a little worried as he smoked his gourmet, hand rolled Cuban cigar on his penthouse hotel suite's balcony. Smoking cigars was an old habit that he only rarely indulged in of late because his wife abhorred the smell and didn't allow it in their home, but he was technically on vacation, and had needed one pretty badly to calm his nerves. He'd been ecstatic when Abe shared a few with him from the box he'd picked up in the hotel gift shop after seeing how rattled he'd seemed while they'd chatted earlier.
Merle's usual laid back, 'laissez faire' attitude was somewhat altered; his normal nerves of steel were a bit rattled by nervous energy because his hands were currently tied in his brother's situation and he felt somewhat helpless temporarily which was a feeling that was totally foreign to him.
He'd instinctively known that something serious was up when his brother had called him a second time that evening with his deep rooted concerns about the escalating drama between Carol and Phillip Blake. Merle had taught Daryl to fight with his hands as well as with his head when they were kids growing up in the rough, back woods trailer park community they hailed from in rural Georgia so he knew his little brother could handle himself in any given situation, but it didn't stop him from worrying about him like the good big brother he was, particularly since Blake didn't have a reputation for playing or fighting fairly.
Apparently the asshole had placed a tail on Daryl's truck when he and Carol had left Orlando early that afternoon, and had them followed all the way to Daytona Beach where they'd stopped off on the way home to Atlanta to enjoy the awesome weather and make the most of what remained of their romantic weekend together.
It had only been a day, but it was obvious that Daryl was already falling hard for Carol and it seemed that she genuinely felt the same. Merle's little brother was one of the most intelligent and shrewd people that he knew, so if he felt that strongly about wanting to help protect Carol so quickly then he was all in as well. Daryl was no lovestruck teenager; he was well over 30, tough as nails and not easily disillusioned by a pretty face or a nice ass on the opposite sex, but Carol had made a serious impression on him just that quickly and Merle was glad about it. It seemed a little crazy because it had happened so fast but Daryl seemed driven by more than infatuation. Merle had always wanted his baby brother to settle down and meet someone nice so that he could enjoy a healthy relationship like he had with the love of his life Andrea, and Daryl's steamy fling with Carol had already seemed to have bloomed into something more than a hot one night stand, literally overnight. Daryl had seemed genuinely happier than Merle had seen him in ages that morning; Carol was making him SMILE, and not just because she'd slept with him either; 'although with an ass like hers that's gotta be a big part of it,' he thought to himself with a wry grin.
Merle felt sorry for Carol, and blamed her moronic ex husband for getting her caught up with Blake. He'd heard all about Blake's unsavoury past, and had the misfortune of dealing with him himself briefly when he'd approached him about a business merger a couple of years back, and it hadn't taken him too long to figure out that the guy was dangerous, unscrupulous as hell, and not to mention completely nuts.
He took another long drag off of his cigar. Daryl had yet to text him back to say if he and Carol were okay after being approached by Blake and a few of his men while at dinner at their hotel earlier in the evening. Daryl had contacted him with his concerns about that very possibility and Merle had advised him accordingly. When Daryl called a second time he hadn't sounded like himself and Merle could feel his own patience growing thin. He hoped and prayed that Blake hadn't overstepped his boundaries, because at that point Blake's harrassment of Carol was personal, and Merle figured that if so much as a hair on his brother's or Carol's heads were harmed behind that contract foolishness, he'd have to take revenge personally. Merle didn't want to have to do that because it had been so long since he'd had to revisit that part of his own dark past (long before his marriage, raising his family and starting his own business; when he'd been a high ranking member of one of the most notoriously violent biker gangs in the south,) but he still had many loyal connections in that world from when he lived that life, and he could be as ruthless as needed under the circumstances; it all depended on Phillip Blake...
Chapter 22: Indigestion
Carol and Daryl's romantic dinner gets interupted by a familiar yet not so friendly face in the crowd...
A few hours prior...
Meanwhile back in Orlando, before leaving out for their dinner reservations, Carol and Daryl had a little talk. She admitted that she was beyond hesitant to leave their suite due to the fact that Ed or Blake could be lurking around somewhere hunting her down but Daryl reminded her of his promise to keep her safe and eventually she relented because she REFUSED to allow Blake or anyone else to rain on her parade. She’d never been in an insane situation like that before but at the same time she felt happier since she’d met Daryl than she had felt in ages and would not allow anyone to take that away from her, particularly not her asshole of an ex-husband, and not even Phillip Blake’s demented ass. She'd already told Daryl all about Michonne’s concerns and the very real possibility that Blake had had them followed, and Daryl in turn let her know he’d talked to Merle about the situation, then told her that Merle’s advice had been that if any of Blake’s men were unscrupulous enough to have followed her to Daytona, then it would be in her best interest to pretend to go along with whatever they said if for no other reason than to buy some time until he could come up with a plan and so that she could file a confidential formal complaint against him with the authorities to add to the case against him. The last thing she needed was to agitate him further. Deep down Carol didn’t believe that Blake had actually been crazy enough to have her followed but she agreed to go along with Merle’s plan for the time being... just in case.
They left out of their suite warily, with Carol holding tightly onto Daryl’s arm but the hallway was clear, and once they got down to the lobby area to look around, neither Gregory, Milton, Ed nor Blake or any his other henchmen were anywhere in sight. They then went over to the desk and Daryl asked the desk clerk if either anyone named Peletier, Mamet, or Blake had checked in in the past few hours. The young lady hesitated but Daryl slipped her a fifty dollar bill and told her he was trying to surprise some friends who were in town for business and she quickly scanned the database to no avail. “No sir, no guests with any of those last names are here... yet. I can check again in a little while if you like.” She added, hoping for another hefty tip to break company protocol.
Daryl thanked her and told her he’d stop by later then led Carol back toward the elevators.
“Well,” she finally sighed in relief, still holding tightly onto Daryl’s arm, “so far so good. I’m glad that’s over... Maybe Michonne was just over reacting a bit about Blake? Letting the clues from her big case get the best of her.”
“Let’s hope so Darlin’... for Blake’s sake. If I see his ass anywhere near you I don’t know what I might do to him. But we can’t be too careful Carol. I don’t want anything to happen to you. But at least for now everything seems ok. And besides, I’m starving after that workout you gave me earlier,” he said with a wink. “Our reservations are in a couple of minutes so let’s head back upstairs to try to enjoy what’s left of our evening.” Carol shook her head in agreement and they kissed deeply before they boarded the elevator, unaware that they’d been watched the entire time.
As soon as Gregory saw that the elevator that Carol and Daryl were on was headed up to the roof, he immediately dashed down the hallway to the suite that Blake, Ed and Milton Mamet were hiding in to stay close to the couple yet out of sight until they were ready to be seen. Somehow Gregory had snuck back into the resort and rented a suite under a fake name, and as soon as Blake, Ed and Milton got into town they'd all been holed up in there plotting on how to ambush Carol and coerce her into signing those contracts!
Close to an hour or so later, Carol and Daryl were seated at a prime table at Samurai, the Japanese themed rooftop bar and grill at their resort, enjoying the live band, strong drinks and tasty appetizers and entrees from the sushi buffet, and Daryl had done such a good job at making Carol laugh and putting her at ease despite the situation at hand, that she’d almost forgotten that they might have been followed by Blake and his henchmen. Just then however, she noticed an all too familiar face in the crowd that was looking around wildly as if trying to find someone, and suddenly her face went white as a sheet.
“Carol... what is it?” Daryl whispered, although judging by the stricken look on her face he instinctively knew he should have asked ‘who is it.’
Carol grasped his hand tightly. “Don’t look now Daryl... but it’s... it’s him,” she whispered back before taking a big sip of her saki and nearly choking on the strong alcohol.
“Who? Yer ex-husband?”
“No... it’s Blake...” she gasped.
Chapter 23: Deceitful Flirtation
Carol puts on an Oscar worthy performance...
"This is insane," Carol nervously whispered to Daryl. "I repeatedly told him that I wasn't interested in his proposal. Why is he doing this to me?" she asked.
"I don't know Darlin'... just seems to me that his elevator don't go all the way up to the top floor, if you get my drift," he murmured. "Good thing he'll be behind bars soon," he then added, all the while keeping an eye on Blake, whom he'd presumed had finally spotted them because he was moving in and out of the crowd, and stealthily inching closer and closer toward their table. "What do you want me to do?" Daryl whispered. "Just say the word." He was thoughtful for a moment. "You know what? This is too risky... maybe we should just get the hell out of here."
All of a sudden Carol wasn't afraid anymore. She squeezed Daryl's hand courageously. "No... I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing my ground. I can't run forever. Daryl, your being here with me now is all the support I need and I'll never forget it. In fact, you've done more to protect me in the past 24 hours than Ed did during the entire time we were married! But this is my fight. If I don't stand up to this prick for once and for all he's never gonna let me be until I give in. I gotta do this for my daughter and for myself." Carol then gave him a mischievous smirk. "The good thing is that Michonne told me that Blake's time is about to run out regardless so its a win-win situation if I can get him to trust me. He still wants me and my company so I know just what I need to say and do to put him at ease to buy some time... just leave Blake to me."
"Carol, are you sure about this?" Daryl whispered in a worried tone.
"Positive," she whispered back, cool as a fan. "I'm just gonna take Merle's advice and tell him exactly what he wants to hear."
Just then, a waiter brought over an obscenely expensive bottle of Dom Peringnon Rosé in a fancy silver ice bucket.
"I'm sorry, you must have the wrong table. We didn't order champagne," Daryl began.
The waiter cut him off. "I'm sorry sir, but this is for the lady, compliments of a Mr. Blake, down at the bar. Ma'am, Mr. Blake says that he hopes you'll accept this token as his sincerest apology."
"Blake!" she exclaimed, looking around the room wildly. She knew that she was being watched so she knew that she had to act acted surprised to hear the man's name, and then suddenly Blake was standing beside her.
"Hello again Carol! And Dixon the younger, isnt it?" he then asked Daryl, flashing a big phony smile before totally ignoring him. He'd already immediately turned his attention entirely back on Carol. "I'm so sorry to disturb your little cozy dinner date Honey but when I spotted you in the crowd I just had to come over. Ive been trying my damnedest to catch up with you all day but you're one tough lady to get ahold of! I thought I was gonna have to cross state lines just to see you again!"
Carol glared at him as she began fiddling around in her purse then rested her hands demurely on the table. Unbeknownst to "the Governor," she'd turned on the voice recorder on her cell phone! "Phillip Blake! You most certainly do owe me an apology for how you offended me last night! Offering to buy out my company, offering me insider stock points for Blake Industries then propositioning me for more money in exchange for sexual favors if I went along with the deal! And what in the hell are you doing here in Daytona Beach anyway? You followed me here, didn't you?" she asked incredulously, although she already knew the answer to her question. She needed to hear him admit to stalking her as well as everything else he'd been up to. "I thought I made myself clear that I wasn't interested in your business deal. You must know that deep down I know its an awesome opportunity, but I was so shocked at your approach that I made that hasty decision."
He took a seat (uninvited) and slipped his arm around Carol's shoulder. "I know that now and you humbled me terribly. If I came on too strongly, I sincerely apologize... Look can we talk privately for a moment. Im sure old Dixon here won't mind a bit... will you Dixon?" he then muttered while glaring daggers at Daryl, clearly threatening him, and Daryl had to refrain from ripping the man's arm out from around Carol's shoulder.
"Its up to the lady," he replied through clenched teeth.
Carol winked at Blake and giggled. "Daryl I'll be fine. Mr. Blake's a very busy, important man who was thoughtful enough to apologize for something he said to me last evening. Let me speak with him privately a minute would you?" she said, before waving her hand at him like he was annoying her, causing Phillip to laugh.
"Fine... Ill be at the bar if you need me," Daryl hissed in an annoyed tone, but inside he was amazed. Carol was putting on the performing of a lifetime!
Once Daryl was gone, Carol's whole demeanor continued to change. She was hesitant at first but before long she was flirting shamelessly with Blake, dropping hints that she had actually considered sleeping with him but was being held back by her situation with Daryl, then buttered him up with everything she knew a pompous, egotistical jerk like him wanted to hear, including blaming everything that went wrong concering the deal on Ed, and he fell for it hook, line and sinker.
After nearly an hour of talking and flirting, Blake tried yet again to persuade Carol to consider signing the contracts, as well as to go to bed with him. "I still want us to do business Carol... and a lot more. There's so much I want to do for you. Youre the type of woman I need by my side in the boardroom... and in my arms in the bedroom. Im sorry if it sounds crass but Im laying my cards on the table. And yes, I admit, I did follow you here. I just felt so awful about how things turned out last night that I wanted to make amends. Disrespecting you wasnt my intention; Im just so attracted to you. Ive never met a woman like you. Beautiful, strong, independent, sexy... I'm a man who's used to getting what he wants and I want you so you're like a challenge to me. And Ed was the one who led me to believe that you might be persuaded to 'play ball' for bigger dollar signs so I gave it a shot. I just wanted to offer you the opportunity of a lifetime. Do you think you can forgive me?" he asked, turning on the charm.
"Well... maybe I can," she said in a uncertain yet coquettish tone, gazing up at him with her big blue eyes from under her long lashes. "I just need a little more time. Youre a very rich and powerful man Mr Blake... maybe I was the one who was out of line. Like I said, Ed didn't exactly represent your position to me in the best light."
"You let me worry about Ed," Blake then said with a cold, almost sadistic glare, then almost as quickly, his expression softened to one of unadulterated lust as he stared intently at the exposed cleavage in Carol's sexy black halter dress. His cock throbbed in his pants at the mere thought of banging her later on in the evening if he got the opportunity. He had to have her!
Chapter 24: Encore
Carol continues the ruse...
Phillip Blake gazed at Carol with a lust filled smile. "Why don't we finish this conversation in private, Honey? Now that you're seeing things my way you can ditch that loser Dixon and stay with me tonight. I can get us one of those Jacuzzi suites," he whispered in Carol's ear.
"Now Mr. Blake," Carol warned in a hesitating tone. She was outwardly calm but inside she was panicking terribly. This was NOT the direction she'd intended for their conversation to go.
"No more of that Mr. Blake crap... please, call me Phillip! I'm not gonna be your boss when you merge Carol's Cookies with Blake Industries, we're going to be business partners... and a whole lot more if I get my way, starting right now. I want you in my bed tonight Carol," he murmured before discreetly pressing a tender kiss against her neck. "The ten million dollar deal is definitely back on the table."
Carol cringed inside as Blake then possessively ran his hand up her thigh under the table. She was getting in over her head. "But Mr. Blake," she began, attempting to squirm away from him.
"Uh uh uh... call me Phillip," he corrected, pulling her in closer for another hot kiss against her neck.
All of a sudden Daryl appeared beside them at the table. He glared at Blake's lips on Carol's neck and his hand on her thigh with the death stare but knew he had to remain cool to keep up the ruse that she was trying to pull over on the prick. He could sense that she might be getting in a little over her head however and knew that he had to intervene. He stared at her intently, hoping to convey his concern. "Carol ain't he done talkin yer ear off yet?" he barked impatiently, causing Blake to jump up in surprise. "Been waitin' on ya fer damn near an hour."
Blake glared at Daryl. "We're just talking a little business Dixon, not that it concerns you. Matter of fact, you might want to consider taking a hike, if you know what's good for you."
"That a threat?" Daryl growled.
"Not exactly. You haven't violated code, yet, but you're on thin ice buddy... You know who I am and what I'm capable of. I hadn't said anything before out of respect for your brother, but I don't appreciate being interrupted when I'm discussing business. Besides..." he then said gazing down with a grin, "the lady can choose for herself whose company she wants to be in tonight... and I think she's made her choice for the evening, isnt that right Carol?" he asked with a creepy, freaky smirk.
Daryl's fists were itching to bash Blake's smug looking face in but he refrained.
Carol cringed inside at the mere thought that that slime ball could even fathom that she'd consider sleeping with him, but she returned his smile. She then turned to Daryl and gave him a quick wink that Blake fortunately didnt see. "Daryl, just give us another few minutes okay? Mr. Blake's time is very important and were discussing a private business matter. Just wait for me down in the lobby, would you?" she hissed at him with an impatient frown.
"Whatever!" he huffed, easily faking a deeply annoyed tone with her before stalking off to go call Merle.
Carol then turned to Blake, shaking her head in mock annoyance. "Now where was I before we were so rudely interrupted. Oh yes... I was saying, Phillip, that I like you now but I'm not going to lead you on. I simply cannot sleep with you tonight. Its just a little too soon for an old fashioned girl like me. Now what the future may hold.... well let's just say that the possibilities are endless. I admit, Im very attracted to you; in fact I couldn't take my eyes off of you last night. Youre a very handsome and powerful man and I'm flattered that you are even considering me as a partner... in business and in your bed. But for now, I just need a little more time to think this all over... Please understand, I am very interested in the deal, and now you personally as well since Ive gotten to know you a little bit better this evening but this is still all so sudden.... I was totally blindsided by all of this!"
"But Ed said you were ready to sign," he began.
Carol pressed her fingers to his lips. "Ed LIED to you when he told you I was ready to sign those contracts! He lied to us both about... well everything. He just wants his cut. If he'd simply let me read over the contract and gave me some time to think on it I know I probably would have signed in a heartbeat. It would have taken me a decade to make the initial five million on the table. But he's selfish and not to mention, a moron! But I need you to promise me that you won't hurt him... he's an asshole and all but he is the father of my only child and she loves him dearly."
"For you I won't have him exterminated, although I would like to, but Im definitely cutting off all ties with him immediately. He's bad for business."
"Good... That's the reason why you're in charge... you have excellent judgment. So please Phillip... just give me a couple more days to think everything over, alright? Let me go home to Atlanta and in a couple of days you can send over the new ten million dollar deal contract. I promise I'll have an answer for you no later than next week. Remember, I have a staff to consider and lots of arrangements to be made before I relinquish control of the company. Besides," she then added with a playful smirk, "I also need a little time to let Daryl down easy," she chuckled. Then her expression grew serious as she looked up at him with big doe eyes. "Then, Ill be all yours... maybe we can spend a few days down at my beach house in Jamaica? I'll be more than happy to show my appreciation," she added, seductively licking her lips.
Blake's cock stood at attention. "Well, when you put it that way... that sounds just fine," he murmured with a big, victorious grin. "Im so glad youre finally seeing things my way. I can wait a couple more days to have you... I'll be in touch," he then added before suddenly pulling her in roughly for a kiss. Before she could blink his hot mouth was plundering hers possessively and as his thick, disgusting tongue stroked against hers she let out a low, wanton moan that made his cock throb painfully in his slacks. He then suddenly pulled back and stared at her intently, gauging her expression for any sign of deceit but to his delight she showed none, her pretty blue eyes only mirrored his lust filled gaze. He was no dummy, and he didnt really want to let her go so easily, but he figured he should respect her wishes... for the time being. Good things come to those who wait, he'd reasoned, and he planned on making her come for him all night long in the very near future.
Carol smiled at him just before he turned and walked away but inside she was cringing with disgust. She'd felt like "hurling chunks" across the room while he was kissing her and all she could think about was gargling with a gallon of Listerine(R) once she got up to her and Daryl's suite, but once Blake had FINALLY disappeared she let out a huge sigh of relief. Despite the DISGUSTING tongue kiss she'd accepted, she was otherwise satisfied with her "Oscar worthy" performance. She'd succeeded in seducing Blake, undoubtedly gained his trust and had even caught the entire conversation on tape. Hed admitted to stalking, insider trading, and had even let it slip that he'd considered having Ed killed. She'd also bought herself a little time to be free of him, secured Ed's safety (even though he barely deserved it) and had even bought Michonne's team the opportunity to continue their investigation with the additional charges she planned to press against him as soon as she got back to Atlanta.
She then wasted no time heading down to the lobby where she spotted Daryl nervously pacing near the fountain by the elevators.
Chapter 25: After Dinner
As soon as Daryl reached the lobby, he called Merle to tell him how worried he was about Carol and how badly he'd wanted to bash Blake's skull in for daring to put his filthy hands on her. Merle told him to calm down, repeatedly trying to reassure him that Carol was "a tough broad who could handle an asshole like Blake easy," but to no avail. Daryl was really concerned and when he and Merle hung up, he was even more worried than ever because Carol had yet to join him downstairs. He'd had a few beers and a couple of shots with his dinner, and the alcohol had him a bit wired as he started pacing the lobby trying to burn off his agitated energy before he did something he regretted... (like getting his 'piece' from the locked box in his truck and giving Phillip Blake a long overdue hole in his head!)
Just then he happened to see Blake slither off the elevator and head toward a side hallway... without Carol. "Where the hell is she?" he muttered in a worried tone, torn between immediately going off to find her and (a seemingly better option,) beating Blake to a bloody pulp in front of all of the people lounging around the ornate hotel lobby. Carol was his priority however so he headed toward the elevator through the crowd of guests. He quickly checked his phone but Carol hadn't texted him saying if she was in their room or still up at the rooftop restaurant. 'If he so much as hurt a hair on her head... Ill kill him myself with my bare hands,' Daryl thought to himself as he headed toward the elevator. Never in his life had he had such murderous ideas in his head but he was already head over heels in love with Carol and he couldn't help it. The desire to protect her had become paramount to everything else. Just then (fortunately for Blake,) his eyes locked with hers from across the room. He'd never felt so relieved as when she hugged him then grasped his hand and quickly him onto the elevator.
"You alright Sweetheart?" he asked.
Carol let out a deep, relieved breath. "Yeah. I got him to back off, temporarily at least. Everything went pretty much as I planned... I bought myself and Michonne's team of lawyers a little more time, but he's really, really crazy and he needs to be dealt with soon. The guy is totally delusional, a complete nut job, and it scares the hell out of me how easily someone like him can use his money and power to infiltrate my life and try to take over. I can't wait to get home and away from him tomorrow morning, even if its just for awhile until he tries to strike again, but hopefully he'll be in jail before long. I'm just so grateful to have had you in my corner through all of this, Daryl."
"Had? You mean HAVE! Aint plannin' on goin' nowhere, woman," Daryl replied with a sincere smile. "I promised I'd keep ya safe from that prick and I always been a man of my word. I plan on standin' by ya 'til this all blows over and that asshole is where he belongs, behind bars. In fact," he hesitated, "I really hoped you'd wanna keep me around after all this stuff is resolved. Im crazy 'bout ya, Carol," he admitted.
"Im crazy about you too, Daryl... and I'd really like that," she whispered before he pulled her in close for a smoldering hot tongue kiss that took her breath away.
"Mmmm," she murmured as he finally let her up for air as the elevator reached their floor. "Lets head inside... I believe we've still got some unfinished business."
"Yes... something about doin' it in the shower next time?" he reminded her with a wink...
Chapter 26: Claimed
Carol and Daryl have yet another night of passion before heading back to Atlanta...
While on the elevator, Carol made the fatal mistake of mentioning to Daryl that Phillip "The Governor" Blake had stolen a kiss from her at the restaurant... and Daryl took it personally. She had no clue of how deeply enraged he felt; Daryl Dixon was protective at heart and extremely possessive (yet thankfully without a shred of being domineering or abusive of course,) and he felt angry at himself for leaving her alone with him for even a moment. Daryl already knew that he wanted Carol to be his woman, so Blake's taking advantage of her and blatant disrespect toward her made him doubly pissed off. He was torn between clashing feelings of intense rage against Blake and an equally passionate desire to kiss Carol himself; to put himself at ease by wiping the other man's kiss away, as well as to reassure her that he would be the only one kissing her from then on. Instead of finding the guy and giving him the business end of the hunting crossbow in his truck, he chose to reclaim what was his. Daryl immediately pulled her in close. "Im sorry Carol. I never should have left you alone with that asshole. He ever tries to touch you again, ever, you be sure to let me know, but I swear I won't be responsible for what happens." He then claimed her lips in a passionate, heated duel of tongues that made her moan as they kissed. The sound alone made Daryl hot all over and so filled with desire for her that he really had to hold himself back from taking her right there on the elevator.
Once back in their suite however it was on; he just had to have her. He didn't waste any time getting out of his clothes; Carol's sweet, passion filled kiss had gone straight to his groin. His thick cock was straining for release against his boxer briefs and he stripped in haste. He then had to pause however because Carol was staring over at him with a naughty smirk as she ever so slowly peeled her long, sexy halter dress from her curvy sun-tanned frame.
Daryl's mouth watered from the sight of her full, bare breasts once they came into view, followed by her flat stomach, curvy hips and killer legs. She then turned away from him and bent over at the waist to untie her lace up sandals and he gasped audibly as he stared intently at her perfect ass which was barely hidden by the sheerest lace bikini panties he'd ever seen. She glanced back at him with a seductive wink. "You got your eyes full, Mr. Dixon?" she asked playfully as she kicked off her shoes then peeled off her panties.
"Not yet," he growled, then picked her up 'caveman style" over his shoulder and hauled her into the bathroom. Carol did not object to his possessive manner one bit.
Once under the steamy spray of the garden shower, they kissed passionately as they ran their hands all over each other's heated, soaked flesh. Daryl massaged her back and shoulders then knelt before her, tenderly washing her body from head to toe then she returned the favor. Before she knew it he'd dried her off it and carried her to the bed. "I want you to be mine," he whispered before kissing her all over, claiming her neck and breasts, then kissing down her spine, all over her ass and down her legs before spreading them with his big, strong hands. Before long he had her crying out from the pleasure as he took his time greedily devouring her pussy. "Oh Daryl, dont stop!" she whimpered as his long tongue stroked her soaked folds. He was relentless and Carol couldn't stop moaning and gently tugging on his shaggy brown locks as he made her climax again and again from his long tongue and scruffy beard's attention to her clit. Never before in her life had she EVER felt so much pleasure. He didn't dare stop until he knew she was satisfied either. He then climbed over her and kissed her deeply as he pushed his stiff, swollen manhood deep inside her, moaning her name in her ear as he bottomed out inside her core. Carol gasped as he then repeatedly plunged his rock hard length in and out of her wetness, stroking her g-spot with every thrust. She wrapped her legs around his waist as he stroked so deep inside that she saw stars. She held onto his neck and broad shoulders for dear life as repeated multiple orgasms caused her core to flood and clench around him again and again. "Carol you feel so good," Daryl grunted breathlessly as he worked her through yet another climax.
They went at it seemingly for hours, frequently changing positions and Daryl seemed to have boundless energy for her. Carol loved every minute and came over and over again with abandon. Finally however Daryl couldn't take anymore. Something had come over him as he took her for the last time in the missionary position just before his own final intense climax hit hard. "Carol, I... I love you," he moaned helplessly, gazing into her eyes as his entire body seized with pleasure as his release filled her, triggering her to cum yet again as well. "I mean it woman. I love you so much,. I want you to be mine," he admitted with a sigh once he caught his breath. Making love to Carol had literally drained him and he never felt so deep in love in his life.
"I love you too... and Im already yours," she whispered before pressing a tender kiss against his sweat soaked temple, just before they fell into a deep, restful sleep.
She woke with a start early the next morning to pack for the trip home and it suddenly hit her that Daryl hadn't worn a condom that previous night. She then chuckled to herself at the silly notion of possibly getting pregnant at her age...
Chapter 27: Sweet Home Atlanta
Carol and Daryl make it back safely to Atlanta... Merle gets a strange phone call...
Unknown to Carol, Daryl was awake a little before she was. He'd laid in bed beside her, watching her sleep blissfully after their long night of heated love making and grew even more in love with her. He'd never felt so moved as by the intense passion they'd shared and he'd never fallen so deep in love with a woman so quickly in all his life. It then hit him that he'd been so hot for her that he'd neglected to use protection any of the numerous times they'd gone at it the night before and he chuckled to himself at the notion of possibly getting her pregnant. 'Me, Daryl Dixon... becoming a daddy this late in the game? Get outta here,' he chuckled to himself. He suddenly stopped laughing however when it hit him hard that she'd already become his priority, they'd decided to jump headlong into a relationship together, sight unseen after only knowing each other for a few days simply because it 'felt right' to them so he was all in, and as he watched her sleep, he vowed to keep her safe at all costs and stay by her side, baby or none.
He knew there may be some perilous days ahead; that asshole Phillip "The Governor" Blake still wanted Carol and still desired to take possession of her business, and his crew of roughnecks who did his bidding were as unscrupulous as he was and would do anything necessary to curry favor with the big boss including intimidating a defenseless woman. Not to mention, Daryl hadn't forgotten that Blake had threatened him personally as well which couldn't be ignored nor taken lightly. The guy was an unhinged sociopath with a lot of money and more than a few powerful friends in low places. Fortunately Daryl was no pushover, and he had Merle on his side and that within itself was reassuring considering Merle's strong connections with Atlanta's notorious underground biker gang community, but he knew he couldn't be too careful in the days ahead. His main goal was to get Carol back to Atlanta safely and keep a close eye on her until all of this blew over. He could only hope that Michonne Grimes was as awesome a lawyer as Carol claimed she was and that her prosecution case against Blake was vice tight, and not to mention that her husband was an equally awesome detective who could finally put Blake behind bars where he belonged, for good!
Once up they didn't waste any time, both showering and dressing quickly before packing, checking out and immediately hitting the road. As expected, Blake texted Carol a couple of hours later, demanding that she meet him for breakfast to further discuss their future business arrangement as well as to celebrate her ditching that "mettlesome baby Dixon." Carol responded by blocking his number, and could only imagine how many additional times he'd tried to call and text her trying to get through as she and Daryl crossed the Florida-Georgia line...
Late Sunday afternoon...
Once back in Atlanta several hours later, Daryl pulled up at Carol's address, and she invited him inside her beautiful townhouse in Alpharetta, an upscale Atlanta suburb, surprisingly not too far away from his restored Colonial home in nearby Woodbury. They'd grabbed a quick bite on the road not long after leaving Daytona early that morning but by then were both ready for dinner and decided on ordering Chinese delivery. While waiting for their food, Daryl stepped out on the deck overlooking Carol's beautifully landscaped backyard garden to call Merle to let him know they'd made it back safely. Before he could dial his brother however, Merle was calling him!
"Hey man I was just about to buzz you," Daryl chuckled after he tapped the green 'answer' icon on his cell screen.
"Oh yeah, well I guess I beat you to the punch, Little Brother! What in hell's bells is goin' on? Ya never called me back last night, and ya phone went straight to voicemail everytime I tried to call ya before my flight home earlier this afternoon! I been worried sick all day with everything that's been going on with Blake! Talk to me bro!"
"Sorry for making ya worry, Merle. Carol and I just got to her place a little while ago. She lives in Alpharetta, which is thankfully just a little over half an hour from my place. By the way she took your advice and everything worked like a charm last night. Your strategy for her to make Blake think she was interested bought us a little time for sure."
"Good, good. Now its just a waiting game. T-Dog and Abe and I just got back into town ourselves. In fact Andrea just picked me up at the airport. Brother youre not gonna believe who the hell she said called lookin' fer me while I was out of town, " Merle roared.
Daryl was genuinely intrigued. "Who?"
"Officer Friendly himself."
"Who?" Daryl repeated.
"You heard me loud and clear. The one and only Rick mutha 'effin Grimes," Merle said with a sneer, holding in the curse words he really wanted to use because his youngest son was in the back if the truck and Andrea would've smacked him if he'd cursed AND probably withheld sex on his his first night back to add insult to injury. "Can you believe that? I mean what are the freakin' odds?"
Daryl's jaw dropped. It suddenly clicked why Carol's best friend Michonne's cop husband's name had sounded so familiar. Rick Grimes was the sheriffs deputy who'd repeatedly arrested Merle years prior when he was heavily involved in his biker gang, and later had served as his probation officer after a gunshot wound took him off the beat temporarily and forced him to do desk work for awhile; long before his string of promotions led him to his current position as the Sheriff of King County. Since then he and Merle had developed a grudging respect for one another; Merle toward Rick since he'd at least treated him with respect during his legal processing, and Rick toward Merle for turning his life around by starting a family and becoming a top business man in their community. It was still weird that he'd contacted him though; the two hadnt spoken in years.
"I'm gonna call him back as soon as I get home to the ranch. I cant imagine what the hell he wants," Merle then muttered, breaking Daryl's reveree. "I haven't spoken to Grimes since Lil' Merle was in elementary school with his son and now theyre about to be seniors in high school in a few months."
"I think I have an idea," Daryl then replied with a grin...
Chapter 28: Dixon Family Values
Merle and Andrea chat as they head home from the airport...
After dropping 13 year old Bruce (the youngest of their three sons) off at the local Boy Scouts troop headquarters for a camping trip out at Lake Senoia for the next few days, Andrea and Merle headed home. "Hey Honey, lets grab some dinner on the way. I'm half starved after those little bags of pretzels and peanuts they handed out on my flight!" he exclaimed.
Andrea smiled at him. "I've already got dinner all prepped at the house, Merle. Just gotta fire up the grill and throw everything on when we get there. Steak kabobs and chicken breasts in teriyaki marinade, stuffed peppers and corn on the cob. We also have strawberry ice cream for dessert if you like."
"Sounds great Darlin'!" Merle exclaimed with a proud grin. "Andrew and Merle Jr. back at the house?" he then inquired about their two elder sons.
"Nope... Drew's at work and he's staying on for the graveyard shift again tonight. Hes been down there all weekend."
Merle and Andrea's eldest son Andrew had just completed his freshman year as a business major at the University of Georgia and had been working hard all summer at one of his father's truck stop gasoline stations to help pay his way through school as well as to save up for a new motorcycle. Andrew was tall with the slim, muscular build of a pro basketball player, and he had Andrea's pale blonde locks and ocean blue eyes as well as her laid back personality, sharp wit and high IQ. She'd hoped he'd follow in her footsteps and pursue a career in law, but he wanted to go into business with his father after completing college in a couple of years.
Merle grinned. "Drew made the dean's list last semester and has been pulling double shifts all summer long down at the truck stop. I think I'm gonna surprise him and pay the down-payment for that new bike he wants; he deserves it. I want the boy to know his hard work is paying off." He was thoughtful for a moment. "And where did Junior get off to?"
"Lil' Merle is house sitting at Amy's until she gets back from Las Vegas on Tuesday."
Merle chuckled to himself. "Out at your sister's place again, huh? I can only imagine all the trouble he's getting into with those hot college coeds!" he then added with a laugh causing Andrea to roll her eyes.
17 year old middle son Merle Jr. was his father's spitting image in looks as well as in temperament. He was tall and muscularly built from years of wrestling and playing football, and ruggedly handsome with striking ice blue eyes and a head full of brown curls that he'd recently started wearing in a military buzz cut, just like his dad's. He was outgoing and boisterous, as well as fiercely loyal and very competitive. He walked, talked and even sounded EXACTLY like Merle, and just like his proud papa he loved to laugh and 'wore his heart on his sleeve." In addition to sports and fast cars, he was also exceedingly interested in the opposite sex (older women in particular, just as his father had been at his age) and at 17 had already had a string of girlfriends. As a soon to be senior in high school that upcoming fall, his goal for the summer had been to get laid by a college chick and he'd easily hit the mark, simply by spending time at his aunt's house with no supervision. Andrea's younger sister Amy worked as a dormitory manager at nearby Woodbury College and lived in one of the staff apartments on campus. Amy wasn't married yet, but she and her boyfriend Spencer, who also worked on campus, traveled a lot during the college's summer breaks and she paid her favorite nephew handsomely to house sit and feed and walk her dog during her frequent absences. Merle Jr. had happily volunteered for the job; it gave him the opportunity to get out of doing chores at home as well as the chance to meet a few of the gorgeous college girls in Amy's neighborhood. He couldn't wait to brag about his exploits to his friends when he returned to Atlanta's Walker High in September.
"He's a regular chip off the old block, that one," Merle then chuckled with a proud grin.
"So that's why hes always so eager to get over to Amy's place all of a sudden! He trying to impress those college women by pretending he's got his own place! He better not be getting into too much trouble over there," Andrea groaned. "If he's a chip off your old block I suspect he's trying his best to make me a grandmother before my time!"
"Awww, I seriously doubt that Darlin'... not with all the money that boy claims he has to spend on condoms these days! According to him those sorority chicks are throwing their panties at him! At this point I'll bet he's gonna want to enroll at Woodbury next year... for the extracurricular activities alone," Merle chuckled.
"Merle, you cant be serious!" Andrea exclaimed. "He's really fooling around with those college women? He's just a child! This is not okay and you know it!"
"Awww, honey he's a red blooded 17 year old young man! But I'm sure he's exaggerating a little. But even if he isn't Ill bet you'd be the sexiest young grandma in town!" he laughed, attempting to steal a kiss while they sat in traffic at the stop light.
"Merle Dixon this is no laughing matter! The last thing in the world I want to think about about is the idea of my baby possibly becoming a teen dad because of his raging hormones and those sorority 'cougars'! He hasn't even graduated high school yet! And not to mention his grades are sub par, he lost his job at the diner last month and he can't even keep his room clean! What in the world does he know about being responsible enough to possibly bring a child of his own into the world?"
"Awww honey calm down. He's just a boy. My boy at that... from tip to tail."
"Precisely! And your boy is playing a very grown up game that we'd end up having to deal with! Merle this doesnt sit well with me at all. I think you need to have a serious talk with him before this gets out of hand!"
"Oh Andrea, he'll grow out of this girl crazy phase before long, you just watch and see. I was just teasing you a little. Besides, you know Merle Jr. and I already had "the birds and the bees" talk, the same talk I had with Drew a couple of years back when he first discovered girls and he turned out just fine. Besides, I made Merle swear to me on his driving privileges that he'll use protection every time he's with a girl and we both know that boy would rather die than have me take his car away from him so relax! Now gimme another kiss will ya sugar?" he cooed since they were caught at another stop light.
"Don't even think about kissing me after that 'sexy grandma' remark!" Andrea hissed in an annoyed tone, while pushing him away. "I cant believe you're taking this so lightly," she huffed. She rode the rest of the way in silence and as they neared the house, she noticed that he'd grown unusually quiet as well.
"Cat got your tongue, Mr. Dixon?" she snapped.
"Just twistin' that phone message you gave me round in my head, that's all. I'm curious as all hell to know what on earth Rick Grimes wants to talk to me about."
"I was talking to Michonne last night and happened to mention to her that you and Daryl were out of town. She must've mentioned it to Rick for some reason and he called this morning asking for your cell. Its probably nothing important. On another note, I really was just teasing you earlier about not wanting you to kiss me. I missed you," she then added in a flirty tone.
Merle grinned from ear to ear. "Is that right? Well ya surely fooled me, Mrs. Dixon. I missed you something awful myself but I figured you didn't miss Ole Merle a lick if ya didn't even want me kissin' on ya a little," he teased.
"Merle, you've been in Florida since Thursday... thats four days and three nights! We've rarely slept apart since we've been married. You've gotta know that I missed you!" she exclaimed.
"Didn't seem like it to me!" Merle said with an unconvinced shrug as he pulled their Suburban truck up to the circular driveway at the entrance of their spacious country ranch property. Just as he turned off the ignition Andrea surprised him by boldly climbing onto his lap.
"I guess Im gonna have to prove to you how badly I missed you," she murmured. "All of the kids are gonna be gone all night so..."
Merle cut her off with a smoldering, long overdue kiss. "Gonna hold you to that, Sugartits!" he murmured with a grin as he slid his big hands under her tank top to caress her breasts through her lacy bra. "Soon as my belly's full and I take care of this business with Officer Friendly, Ole Merle's gonna give ya just what youve been missing!"
Chapter 29: The Call
Merle returns Rick's call...
After sharing a romantic, candlelit dinner for two with Andrea out on the deck, Merle decided to postpone returning Rick Grimes' mysterious phone call until the next morning. He was really curious to know what the man wanted after all those years but figured that whatever it was, it could wait... he hadn't spoken to him in ages and they hadn't exactly been friends when they had. Their little tête tête would just have to wait until another time. Merle Dixon hadn't slept with his woman in days and at that point he felt horny as all hell for her and was more than ready to make up for lost time.
Since their three sons were out of the house for the evening, Andrea had showered and purposely changed into a stretchy, sheer nude tube top (sans strapless bra) and a pair of matching bikini panties to lounge around in after dinner, knowing full well that showing off her still amazing body would get Merle's motor running. After admiring the view for awhile, he eagerly took the bait.
They'd started their passionate reunion on the plush, sectional couch in the basement where they'd retired after dinner to watch a movie. Andrea eagerly gave Merle a 'welcome home' blow job that made his toes curl and he returned the favor, going down on her so long he had her begging for mercy. Then, after screwing in the basement they hit the Jacuzzi, then the living room, then the sofa in the den, and followed up by Andrea taking charge and riding her man on his big reclining "easy chair" in his man cave until they both exploded in a hot, mutual climax. They somehow ended up in their California king sized bed in the master suite to go at it some more before long and had finally worn each other out by the wee hours of morning...
Merle had scheduled himself off from work on Monday to relax a bit after his trip and he was glad he had, he was exhausted. Not surprisingly however, it wasn't the business conference and flight home that had worn him out; he'd needed to recuperate after going at it half the night before with Andrea, who was eight years his junior. Merle was no spring chicken in his late 40s while his gorgeous wife was only 38 and at her sexual peak. She also had a highly stressful career with a large law firm in Atlanta so she frequently needed Merle to relieve all of her pent up stress most nights which he was happy to do. Merle just needed a little more rest than she did after the all nighter they'd pulled... fortunately he still had what it took to put his wife to sleep with a smile on her face.
Around eleven Merle woke up to the sound of the lawnmower. He went out onto the balcony off the master suite and spotted his son Andrew, finally home after working the graveyard shift, mowing the lawn in the backyard. 'Does that kid ever sleep?' Merle thought to himself with a laugh after waving hello. He then showered and went downstairs to make a pot of coffee and have a late breakfast. While perusing the local newspaper, The Dead Walker, over a plate of fried eggs and wheat toast, Merle suddenly remembered that he needed to return Rick Grimes' telephone call. He pulled out his cell and did a quick Google search to find the King County sheriff's office number then hit dial. After a series of recorded options, Merle finally got a hold of a human being on the line.
"King County Sheriff's Office, how may we serve you today?"
"Yeah, I'm lookin' fer Rick Grimes?"
"Sherriff Grimes is in a very important meeting at the moment. Is this an urgent matter or can I take a message and have him call you back?" the receptionist asked.
Merle groaned. He was not in the mood to keep playing phone tag with Officer Friendly. "Look, I dont know if its urgent, he called me! Im simply holding up my end of the bargain by calling him back. So how 'bout you run on in there and tell him Merle Dixon's on the line. See what he says 'bout that. Its his call on if its urgent or not."
"But sir, Sheriff Grimes..."
Merle cut her off, "Time is money, honey! Get to it if ya please!" he then added in a no nonsense tone.
"Hold on sir," the receptionist replied with a sigh, and a few moments later Merle heard a very familiar voice from his past.
"Hey, Merle, thanks for calling back so fast, buddy. What's it been, ten years?" Rick asked in his signature, Central Georgia twang accent.
"About. Both our boys are 'bout to graduate next year."
"That's right!" Rick exclaimed cheerfully. "We haven't spoken since Carl and Lil' Merle were at Woodbury Elementary together, and soon they'll be off to college and out of the nest!" he chuckled, before going off on a tangent about his son Carl's college plans and other mundane topics.
Merle listened patiently for awhile then rolled his eyes, drawing the line when Rick started reminiscing about the days when he'd been Merle's probation officer. "Look Grimes, let's cut the bullshit already. I know you didn't contact me after all these years just to take a stroll down memory lane. Our wives have been close for years and all and we've always respected each other but lets face it Rick, we've never been friends. So since were both very busy men, and you apparently have a 'very important' meeting to get back to, why don't you tell me what the hell you want so I can get back to enjoying my day off?"
"Same old Merle," Rick sighed with a laugh. "Same old Merle. Fine, Ill tell you. But its a rather serious matter of classified information that must be handled very carefully and I'd need your word to keep it strictly between us."
"Okay, but why me?" Merle asked.
"Well... I called you because this concerns your brother Daryl, his new lady friend Carol, and... business tycoon Phillip Blake. As you know, Blake is a very dangerous man, Merle, and I'm trying to take him down but I need your help. One of our informants has given us some vital information about an upcoming case and youre the only person I can think of who can help us pull it all off. Its imperative that we meet up, the sooner the better. I'd owe you, big time."
"Are you trying to tell me that you need me to help you nab Blake so that he'll finally leave my brother and that little Mouse of his the hell alone for once and for all? Well shit! Why the the hell didn't you say so sooner?
Id be glad to help you nail that asshole! You just name the time and the place and Ill be there. Anything you need. I cant stand that prick!"
Rick let out a sigh of relief. "I was gonna grab some lunch out at Dale's after my meeting, can you meet me there around 1:45?"
"Ill be there with bells on," Merle exclaimed.
Chapter 30: Working Lunch
Merle meets up with Rick...
As soon as Merle ended the call with Rick he called Daryl, whom he knew was working that morning at their main truck stop location.
"Hey there Lil' brother! How are things down at the office?"
"Pretty busy 'round here fer a Monday. The numbers were real good over the weekend too; here, down at both of the other South Parkway locations, and out at the Alabama state line site. Senoia did alright too. Still waiting on a fax on the developments from our agent concerning the Florida property."
"Sounds good... and how's the Mouse?" he added.
Daryl smiled. "She's good. Called me a little while ago from her bakery. I stayed with her out at her place last night. She's got a beautiful three story town house over in Alpharetta... looks like something out of Southern Homes magazine. We were um... up kinda late last night... but somehow we both made it back in to work today. Better late than never ya know?" he chuckled.
"I bet y'all were!" Merle roared. "Andrea and I pulled an all nighter ourselves, but I had sense enough to stay home today."
"She wore ya out didn't she?" Daryl laughed.
"Yes sir she did. I can't even lie, I'm drained," Merle said with a smirk, "but Andrea woke up with a big smile on her face and I'm the one who put it there. I guarantee ya she's still walkin' 'round with it down at her office too!"
Daryl laughed. "Carol's coming out to my place later on this evening for supper and I hope she stays over." I'm crazy 'bout her already Merle," he admitted.
"A blind man could see that Brother! And that's what I I wanted to talk to ya about. I finally spoke to Officer Friendly."
"Yeah... what did he want? And what's he got to do with Carol?"
"You're not gonna believe this but he wants me to help him bring Blake down."
"The hell you say?"
"That's right. You already knew Rick Grimes was investigating the prick, but come to find out his wife is Carol's best friend Michonne, who also happens to be Andrea's good friend from law school. Andrea mentioned to her that my brother and I were down in Orlando this weekend and she must've figured out that you were the same Daryl that Carol had fallen for and she told Rick. He seems genuinely concerned about her and I told him that I would help him out in any way I can to end that fucker for once and for all."
"But why you?"
"I dont know, and that's why I'm meeting him in a little while to talk. Apparently Blake's got a defector... a weak link in his chain of command who's been leaking info to the cops about all of his crimes and crooked business deals."
"Yup. The investigation is almost over and they're just about ready to strike... Grimes just needs me to put the icing on the cake so to speak."
"What do you want me to do in the meantime? Blake's dangerous and I know he's gonna start harassing Carol again real soon. Ill break his neck if he tries to hurt her."
"I figured that. You just keep an eye on the Mouse 'til this all blows over and watch your own back while you're at it. I think the shit's about to hit the fan Brother."
"You be careful and keep me posted."
"Will do." Merle then hung up and got dressed.
Two hours later he and Rick were seated in a private booth in the back of Dale Horvath's Steakhouse, a small yet popular family restaurant located out near the Greene Family Farm. Dale's was known for its good food and awesome drinks but since Rick was on the clock, he declined any alcohol, opting for a sweet iced tea to go along with his T-bone steak, sweet potato fries and Caesar salad. Merle on the other hand only ordered a rum and coke.
"That all you're having?" Rick chuckled. "This is a 'working lunch', if you will, and its courtesy of the King County Sheriff's Department. Get whatever you like!"
Merle sighed. "Im not hungry. I was having a late breakfast when I called you back earlier. Look Grimes lets cut to the chase. Why am I here exactly?"
Rick looked around, making certain that they were out of earshot of any of the patrons or staff. "Look, were just about ready to apprehend Blake. We've got a list of charges stacked up against him a mile high and as you know his latest victim is your brother's new girlfriend Carol. The guy's M.O. will be to try to steal her company out from under her, initially by laying on the charm, then he'll resort to intimidation tactics to get what he wants. Carol didnt fall for it, thankfully but he's already got her company on his books as a potential money laundering operation. Its just a matter of time before he swoops in for the kill. According to our informant however, he's apparently plum crazy for Carol and is intent on having her AND her company. She somehow led him on on Saturday to buy some time but he's absolutely livid about her leaving Daytona Beach yesterday without informing him. He's already back in town and he's mighty jealous. Your brother might be in danger if we don't act fast."
"But you still haven't told me exactly what you want me to do?"
"My wife will be serving as chief prosecutor on this case and her superiors down at the Commissioner's Office think it'll be a cut and dry case if we can get one more big name that he cheated out of a business deal to press charges against him."
"Trust me, I would if I could, but technically I never went agreed to a deal with him. I almost did but got out if it in the nick of time."
"No, its not you Merle, but we have someone in mind. A major name, used to be pretty big in the Atlanta crime syndicate underworld, someone whom Blake's still in business with that he's repeatedly double crossed without him even knowing it, according to our informant. Unfortunately this person won't give us the time of day. But... if you present the facts to him, he might listen then turn on Blake and implicate him."
"But Rick I dont have any ties with the Atlanta crime syndicate! I'm a business man and a family man."
"Yes, but you used to be a high ranking member of The Wolves motorcycle gang, and I know you're brothers for life with those guys, even after leaving."
Merle frowned. "The Wolves aren't a gang anymore and you know it! Its a legit bike club!"
"True, but you know as well as I do that there are still some criminals in the ranks."
"So what! What's my former affiliation with The Wolves got to do with Blake? Trust me he's not a member. He's not Wolf material!"
"No he's not. But he's done more than a few shady business deals with your former gang leader, Negan."
"Negan!" Merle choked on his drink.
"Yes, Negan. And you know as well as I do that he won't talk to us. But he'll talk to you, Merle. If you can convince him that Blake's been double crossing him all these years, and yes we've got the proof, and he presses charges, Blake's ass will be behind bars in a week at most."
"Negan. I havent spoken to that bastard in years," Merle said with a sneer.
Rick looked crestfallen. "I thought you might still be friends."
"Hell no... and we never were. I NEVER liked Negan... none of us did really. We all just tolerated him because of his rank in the club. He's an asshole, almost as bad as Blake. But not quite... Look, Ill see what I can do."
Chapter 31: Fire Warning
Carol has some visitors...
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Carol had a few new patrons at her bakery that she'd never seen before. Jacqui, her day shift bakery manager mentioned that two rough looking men had been lurking around outside all morning and after awhile had come inside but had yet to buy anything and they were making her a little nervous. Carol was always happy to get new customers but it was obvious to her that the two men looking around like they were casing the joint had come in for more than coffees and cupcakes let alone for a dozen of her world famous cookies. She had a bad feeling as she stepped out from behind the counter and approached them with a warm plate of freshly baked bite sized cookie samples as well as a cautious smile. "Good afternoon and welcome to Carol's Cookies gentlemen. Today's deal of the day is half off any birthday cake order. Can I offer you a free sample?" she asked, offering them the plate. Both men stared down at her with a menacing glare.
"Yeah, you can. And we need some answers too. You're Carol, right?" the handsome Latino man asked with a sneer as he shoved a handful of the bite sized cookies into his mouth.
"Yes, Im Carol, and who are you?" she asked.
"The name's Martinez... and this here is Shumpert," he then said nodding toward the tall, hugely muscular and silently brooding African-American man standing beside him. "Phillip Blake sent us down here today to check things out... and to check in on you, Miz Carol. Ya know, the boss is really, really disappointed in you Carol. You made the big man a promise, then left him high and dry down in Florida yesterday morning. You didn't let him know you were leaving town, then you ignored his calls all day, and you even ignored his text messages," he replied, shaking his head. "He was a little worried that maybe that Daryl Dixon character had kidnapped you or something," he laughed. "In fact, his first order of the day was for Big Shumpert and I to ride out to Woodbury to pay Daryl a visit at his place, but I convinced him to let us stop by here first to see if you were working this morning. And here you are! So dont you worry. Weve already let Mr. Blake know that youre here, safe and sound. So for now Daryl Dixon is safe too... for now," he repeated with a chuckle. "Rest assured Mr. Blake is a very patient man and told us to make it clear to you that there'll be no hard feelings as long as you keep your word and haven't changed your mind about the deal, or about sleeping with him. He knows how you ladies like to play hard to get and he really likes you so he's up for the challenge. You are gonna keep your word though aren't, you Carol?" he asked with a menacing glare. "We were told you'd be shutting this place down in a few weeks... Id hate to have to close up shop early for you, you know, in case you had an accident or something," he said with a smug grin while he and Shumpert simultaneously pulled out Zippo cigarette lighters and began flicking the flames on and off.
Carol's jaw dropped at the implied threat. 'Was Blake really crazy enough to send his henchmen to burn her bakery down if she didn't sleep with him and sign those goddamned contracts?' She was seething inside and had half a mind to crack both Martinez and his companions' skulls open with the heavy China plate in her hand, but she had to think fast and play off her anger and surprise at Blake's sneak attack.
"Look, I am a woman of my word. I told Phillip I'd read over the contracts when I got to Atlanta. But I cant just fire my staff all of a sudden like he expects! These things take time! He hasn't even sent the new contracts over yet! And I must've simply forgotten to tell him that I was leaving yesterday. Daryl offered to bring me home so I left right away. I told Phillip I had to let him down easy and he said he'd give me some time. I do not appreciate him threatening Daryl, he's totally innocent and this is between Phillip Blake and I alone! And I do not appreciate you threatening me like this either... in my place of business of all places. In front of my staff and customers! This bakery is still mine until I sign those contracts! He told me I had some time. Im not going into business with him, let alone start a relationship with him if sadistic henchmen like you two thugs are gonna be harassing me like this! In fact Im going to call him right now. Maybe I need to call the whole thing off!" Carol exclaimed, fake tears springing to her eyes.
"Alright lady, were sorry! Please calm down!" Martinez exclaimed trying to soothe her. He and Shumpert both knew that Blake was crazy about Carol and wouldn't be happy if they'd scared her too badly, and he was just insane enough to blame them if anything went wrong with the deal even though he was the one who sent them over to Carol's to harass her in the first place. "Look lady, there's no need to call Mr. Blake. He's a very busy man. We were just kidding around with the lighters. Added touch for show that's all. Were simply just here to drop off the contracts." He motioned to Shumpert who pulled a large folder from his duffle bag and shoved it into her hands. Martinez went on. "Please look these over and contact Milton Mamet or Mr. Blake himself the minute they're signed. Sorry if we bothered you."
Carol frowned as she ushered them out the door. She'd played it off but she was shaking inside as she watched them drive off in a hurry in a pickup truck stacked with gasoline containers in the back. She immediately went into her office to call Daryl. This business with Blake needed to end soon before everything she'd worked so hard for went up in flames!
Chapter 32: Sanctuary
Daryl gets a late night call...
A few nights later...
It was well after 1 am on Friday night but Daryl was wide awake in bed, one of his strong arms protectively draped around Carol's shoulder where she slept peacefully beside him as he gazed out the window into the darkness. He was exhausted but he had a lot on his mind and he wouldn't dare go to sleep until he received a call from Merle. Earlier that night his brother had finally met with Negan, their former motorcycle club president, and Daryl was impatient to know what went down. King County Sheriff Rick Grimes had asked Merle to talk to Negan to get him to turn against Phillip Blake and according to Merle it had taken nearly a week just to get a sit down with the bastard who was almost as nefarious and unscrupulous as Blake himself.
Meanwhile, Carol had called Daryl at work that past Monday to tell him about Phillip Blake's henchmen Martinez and Shumpert stopping by her bakery to threaten her, and it had taken every ounce of restraint in him, as well as a word of caution from Merle, to not go after those bastards on his own with one of his hunting crossbows. He knew exactly where they and Blake's other guys hung out; most nights they could easily be found at his sleazy strip club, The Dirty Zombie, out on Old Dead Walker Road in Senioa but he restrained himself from going down there.
Daryl had previously invited Carol over to his place to stay with him that night anyway, initially because he missed her already as well as because he just couldn't wait to make love to her again after their romantic weekend, but at that point his objective had drastically changed; not only did he want her in his bed, he wanted to keep her safe by his side in case anything else happened before all of this craziness with Phillip Blake blew over. The man was unpredictable and apparently ruthless when it came to getting what he wanted. Daryl didn't know what else that asshole might've had in store to try to intimidate Carol into signing those contracts, particularly since the more time that went by the sooner he'd realize that Carol had pulled one over on him and had no intention whatsoever of going into business with him.
Carol had been more than a little shook up after the stunt Blake's men had pulled on Monday afternoon and didnt want to stay at home alone. After re-packing the suitcase she'd just unpacked the night before after arriving home from Florida, she drove out to Daryl's home in the Woodbury countryside after work that evening and ended up staying a few nights longer than planned. She didn't want to impose but Daryl wouldn't take no for an answer; he was more than glad to have her and insisted that she stay as long as she wanted. She had to admit that she felt much safer with him at his place than alone at her own, even though she'd initially felt a little nervous coming at all because Martinez had claimed to know where Daryl Dixon lived and had said that he and Shumpert had originally planned to pay him a little visit before coming to the bakery.
Daryl cursed under his breath everytime he thought about that. The very idea of Carol being afraid in her own home made him mad as hell but the thought of Blake's minions daring to come to his home for any reason whatsoever made him see red. "I wish those fuckers would step foot on my property," he muttered under his breath, knowing that he was well within his rights to use any or all of the fully loaded shotguns and handguns he had strategically and discreetly hidden all around his home (including inside the case within arm's reach just under his bed,) if he discovered any intruders. 'I got something hot waitin' fer 'em if they dare!' he thought to himself with a smirk.
After working their respective jobs that day and later enjoying the delicious chicken salad that Carol prepared for dinner followed by a helping of the homemade peach cobbler she'd whipped up for dessert, they took a long walk down by the trout stream bordering Daryl's ranch then retired for the evening and after a make out session in his shower that quickly escalated into another few rounds of hot, kinky sex all over his king sized bed, she finally drifted off into a contented sleep. Daryl couldn't sleep a wink however; despite climaxing twice he was still a little on edge. It was too quiet. He just couldn't completely relax until he knew this business with Blake was gonna get resolved and he needed it done fast.
Just then his cell phone began vibrating on his bedside table. He knew instinctively that it was Merle. "How'd it go?" he asked as soon as he answered.
"Not too bad," Merle chuckled as he headed home. "I doubt if we'll be having any problems out of Blake for too much longer!"
"So Negan's actually gonna help the police?" Daryl asked with baited breath.
"I think so Brother, I think so. He was mad as all hell when I showed him the evidence that Blake has been double crossing him for months. So mad in fact, Blake might not make it to trial if Negan gets his hands on him before Rick Grimes does," he chuckled.
"What did he say exactly? I know Negan's a bit of a loose cannon."
"Well, when I called the clubhouse on Monday trying to get ahold of Negan I was informed by Axel that Negan had quit the Wolves a few months back and had started his own club. After proudly informing me that he was now the interim president of the Wolves MC and lecturing me on how past due I am in my dues payments and how long its been since Ive been to a Wolves meeting, Axel's crazy ass finally gave me Negan's new clubhouse number."
Daryl chuckled to himself, he hadnt seen Axel in ages but he apparently hadnt changed a bit.
Merle went on. "I tried calling Negan's new number every night this week but everytime I called I either got that asshole Simon or that lowlife Dwight on the line. Apparently they followed Negan when he left the Wolves to start his own club. You remember those two clowns don't ya?"
Daryl frowned. "Course I remember those pricks. They always followed behind Negan like baby chicks follow Mother Goose."
"Yeah... and they still are. In fact now its worse because they're his right hand men now. Theyve already gotten a pretty big following. They're calling themselves the Saviors now and Negan is so full of himself its crazy. Everytime I called both Simon and Dwight would pass the phone to one or another of the dozen or so female groupies at the house they insanely referred to as Negan's 'wives' to make up new excuses about him not being there. But I knew he was there because I heard him running his big ass mouth as always in the background everytime. I finally got an invite this evening when I reiterated that I had pertinent information that Negan needed to know and that there was a whole lot of money involved. I drove out to their compound; its a huge old warehouse building out on Alexandria Pike they named The Sanctuary. I went inside and was escorted to Negan's top floor office by Dwight's corny ass of all people. Can you believe that prick was carrying around a crossbow and had the nerve to be wearing a winged vest like yours?"
"The hell you say! So he's trying to be me now?" Daryl laughed.
"Yup. He always did look up to you, and he really thinks he's hot shit these days since he along with Simon are the new Savior's club's VPs, but everybody knows that Negan's been fucking his wife Sherry behind his back for years!"
"Negan's been tapping Simon's girlfriend Honey's ass right under his nose for years too," Daryl laughed. "He's a real piece of work."
"Yeah and I saw red when he had the balls to ask me about Andrea with a dirty smirk. He always used to make comments about how lucky I was to have her in my bed and she said he made her uncomfortable with his dirty looks. It used to drive me insane. Good thing I got the hell out if the club back then. If he'd so much as laid a finger on her I would've killed him with my bare hands. in fact I was packing tonight but I refrained from popping a cap in his ass. I played it off but I didn't want to spend any more time longer than was absolutely necessary with that slimeball so I got straight to the point. I told him why I was there then dumped the contents of the briefcase filled with evidence against Blake that Grimes had given me on top of his desk. There were copies of business contracts between Blake and Negan as well as two sets of books detailing profits, the phony one with the numbers that Negan knew about and the real one that only Blake's accountants and top associates had access to and it was obvious that although he'd been paid handsomely, Blake had swindled Negan out of nearly a million dollars since he'd started investing in shares of the Governor's grocery stores a year or so ago. After cursing up an unholy storm, all he wanted to know after that was who the police informant was so he'd know who to thank after he bashed Blake's head in with his trusty spiked baseball bat, Lucille. I laughed but told him Rick Grimes hadnt revealed the informant's name to me. I then implored him to press formal charges against Blake instead of beating him to death and he said he'd think about it. I told him time was of the essence because of Blake harassing and threatening my brother's new girlfriend and he saw red! He said he'd always been fond of you since you were a kid hanging around the old Wolves clubhouse. He said he'd contact Rick Grimes down at the Sheriff's Department first thing in the morning, then dismissed me, but not before extending the both of us with an invitation to join the Saviors crime organization. I declined gracefully on both our behalf, but thanked him profusely for helping us out then got the hell out of there. Ill give you a call sometime tomorrow, soon as I hear anything, Brother," Merle laughed as he ended their call.
"So now its just a matter of time until that asshole Phillip Blake gets arrested and goes to trial!" Daryl thought to himself as he placed a tender kiss on Carol's forehead as she slept peacefully in his arms.
Chapter 33: Breaking News
Carol gets some good news!
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
On Saturday morning after Carol got up early to shower and dress before heading home, Daryl filled her in on the update from Merle about Negan helping them by agreeing to press full charges against Blake. He then cooked her a big French toast breakfast fit for a queen then invited her to stay with him for one more night, "to celebrate," he then added, wiggling his eyebrows at her. Carol laughed and told him that she wished she could but she had a ton of overdue chores to get done back at her place. Daryl wasn't about to take no for an answer and he cut her off with a kiss that nearly took her breath away to persuade her to stay, and she found it impossible to say no to him and after breakfast they ended up spending the rest of the morning in bed, making love. That afternoon they went to the movies and she ended up staying over after all...
As usual the sex between them was explosive and one more night turned into two and before they knew it the weekend had flown by. Daryl didn't hear anymore news from Merle and Carol didn't hear anything from Michonne either so all they could do was hope for the best as the new week approached. Carol was happy that she hadn't heard anything else from Blake nor seen any of his men in the past week (aside from the stunt they'd pulled that past Monday,) but she still felt a little nervous as she headed home on her own late Sunday evening. She missed Daryl already and had a little trouble falling asleep after hearing messages from both Ed and Blake on her home answering machine and after seeing several missed calls from both as well as a few other weird numbers on her cell phone when she finally turned it back on (it had been off all weekend while she was at Daryl's) and she was waiting for the other shoe to drop all night but fortunately the time passed without incident and she returned to work on Monday morning. She almost expected to find Ed (or worse, Blake himself,) standing on her doorstep when she left but no one was out there thankfully.
Around 10 am while working on payroll there was a knock on her office door. "Yeah,' she called out with a smirk while signing Ed's final paycheck. She already had a few interviews lined up with competent prospects vying to take his place as her evening shift bakery manager and she was looking forward to the breath of fresh air around the place.
"Hey babe, you've got a call on line 2," Jacqui replied
"Thanks." Carol glanced at the screen on her desk phone and immediately recognized Michonne's cell phone number. "Mornin' 'Chonne."
"Hey! Carol, I'm so glad I caught you! It is IMPERATIVE that you stop whatever you're doing IMMEDIATELY and go online to check out the big breaking news story on AMC."
"Why? What's going on?" Carol asked.
"You'll see," Michonne giggled.
Carol immediately logged onto the popular local news website on her desktop computer and her jaw dropped when she read the headline. "Top Atlanta business mogul Phillip Blake turned himself in this morning, admitting to a slew of white collar and other crimes. He's now in custody pending formal charges and facing major jail time." The bold headline was followed by a video clip of an obviously beaten up and crying Phillip Blake, down on his knees, banging on the doors of the King County Sheriff's Department offices demanding to be arrested and taken into custody.
"What the hell?" Carol exclaimed as she read the article that detailed all of Blake's admitted crimes and the many charges against him, the full extent of his personal net worth (well over 50 million dollars,) and not to mention the hundreds of millions that would be up for grabs in his nefarious business empire once he was indicted and jailed which was to be the inevitable outcome, including monies to be distributed to his victims.
"Carol, you there?" Michonne asked.
"Yeah I'm here... but I can hardly believe it!"
"Believe it sister! I'm down here at Rick's office right now having a celebratory glass of champagne with the crew. This is the biggest case break in King County history. All our hard work has paid off handsomely and the guys on the force didn't even have to break a sweat to bring that miserable prick in! He made it that much easier for us to nail him to the wall by turning himself in and pleading guilty to everything, before we even presented the charges," she laughed.
"But why? What made him do it?"
"Well aside from him being a complete nut job, its obvious that something, or more likely someone, put the fear of death in him last night, the likes of which are yet unseen. Rick's and my guess is that it was that Negan character he asked Merle to talk to; he's the leader of a big time local crime gang called the Saviors. Apparently Negan had done some business with Blake not long ago and found out somehow that Blake had swindled the Saviors out of nearly a million bucks in investments, possibly more. He was the last person to come in to press formal charges against Blake first thing Saturday morning and Rick said he told him on his way out that the only place Blake might be safe from the wrath of the Saviors was if he was locked up deep inside the state penitentiary. I don't know what he said or did to him after that but Rick told me that Blake was here first thing this morning, beat to a bloody pulp and crying like a baby, all the while giving up info about his own misdeeds and snitching on all of his former business partners while literally BEGGING to be taken into custody!"
So my bakery and I aren't in anymore danger?" Carol exclaimed.
"No ma'am, and from the looks of it, since you pressed charges prior to his arrest, and your company was on his books illegally as one of his money laundering prospects you're gonna be entitled to a hefty settlement once his assets are liquidated after the case ends, and you know Im going for the jugular during his trial!"
"This is amazing news. I gotta go so I can call Daryl right away! Thanks so much for everything Michonne and please keep me posted!"
"Will do. This story is a high profile case that's gonna be in the headlines for weeks. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if they film the trial and broadcast it live!"
Carol then called Daryl at work and filled him in and he then let Merle know the good news. Carol and Daryl then decided to celebrate with a little romantic dinner back at her place and as usual one night just wasn't enough. They ended up taking an impromptu trip that following weekend down to her beach front property in Jamaica to celebrate properly with another sun drenched, wine soaked, sex filled, dirty weekend! Daryl was crazy about Carol and couldn't get enough. She on the other hand was addicted to his hot body and skills between the sheets that only made her want more and more.
In the months that passed, it was obvious that they were meant to be together on and on yet another 'dirty weekend' getaway Daryl proposed to Carol and she accepted, eager to begin the rest of her life with the sweetest man she'd ever known.
As expected Michonne nailed Phillip Blake to the wall during his highly publicized trial and everyone involved got hefty reparation settlements from his ill gained fortune. He was then sentenced to over 20 years in federal prison for extortion, money laundering and tax fraud and his many other crimes, with no chance of parole anytime soon. Not surprisingly his former right hand man Milton Mamet ended up taking over the "Governor's" food store chain which was all that remained of Blake's former business empire and Carol realized that he must've been the police informant who'd blown the whistle on Blake in the first place. He was the only person who was close enough to Blake to know all that information and who could've turned on him for revenge for his misdeeds and to get his own hands on the empire.
The trial commenced and once Carol got her settlement money she went through with her original plan of opening a second bakery location, not too far from Daryl's home in Woodbury where she planned to live permanently once they got married in a few more months.
Epilogue... (Back to the present, where the story began...) Just then Carol was awakened from her nap by one of the airline stewardesses on her flight to New Orleans where she'd be meeting up with Daryl for their final little 'dirty weekend' before their upcoming wedding. They'd be landing momentarily and all Carol could do was smile about her flashback of how it had all begun. She couldn't wait to start her forever with Daryl Dixon, the man of her dreams.
Thanks everyone for your patience with this story. It took waaaay longer than Id ever thought it would to write but I hope everyone enjoyed it. New one on the way soon!