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September 12, 2013

"Do we really have to go out tonight," Daryl whined as he stood against the bathroom door and watched as Avery finished getting ready. It wasn't their usual date night but Maggie and Taylor had Hunter tonight and they were going out, mainly because Beth had recently gotten engaged to Graham and one of their friends was throwing a mutual get together at some bar and grille an hour away.

A get together that Daryl was slightly dreading because he doubted he'd have much in common with Graham and maybe he also slightly didn't like Graham because Graham was best friends with Avery's ex Chet. But he also knew he'd be the oldest person at the get together which was something that always made him self conscious when he hung out with Avery's friends.

Knowing that he was a good twenty some years older than them which made it even harder to find anything in common with them so he always just sat there awkwardly as they talked and he always felt even more left out. It was one reason he was convinced that Avery would be better off had she married someone her own age or at least a bit closer because then her outings with her friends could be better.

She wouldn't have a husband who was basically a god damn mute around everyone she knew which had to get on her nerves some. He knew it got on her friends nerves, though Beth was one of the better ones about not showing it. Then again Beth was also one of the few who actually supported Avery in being with him. He knew the majority though didn't like him just because of his name and his family and he had heard a few hushed conversations at different events with her friends where some had wished she was still with the ex before him.

The one named Chet who Graham was friends with. The one they had ran into when Avery had been pregnant. The one who looked like he was a model off a magazine and who Daryl had found out after the fact was in school to be a doctor.

Daryl wasn't sure why they broke up but on days when he was especially hard on himself he too convinced himself she'd have been better of with Chet. One day being a doctor's wife and having everything she ever wanted instead of being trapped with him because a baby had happened and now she didn't get to live the life she had wanted.

She had even had to drop out of college while pregnant with Hunter, though lately ever since her random outbursts last month that her doctor said sounded a bit like post-partum as well as just normal depression she had talked about going back to college next year once Hunter was one and once she could find an actual full time nanny and not have to shuffle him from different relatives every day of the week when she was in school.

"Yes we really have to go out tonight," Avery finally spoke bringing Daryl out of his thoughts as a blush washed over his cheeks. "You can survive one night with my friends," she said as she finished putting her hair up into a ponytail before walking to Daryl. "You like Beth good enough."

Daryl heaved a sigh at his wife's words and once she was close enough he slung his arms over either side of her shoulders. "I do like Beth good enough but it's the rest of your friends I don't like and I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual."

Laughing Avery leaned in to peck his lips which caused Daryl to make a face because he was sure she'd gotten lip stick on him slightly.

"Well the rest of my friends are assholes for not liking you still after all this time but it's one night. You all can be nice to each other for one night."

"Fine," Daryl muttered out knowing it was useless to stand here and try to win her over to his side. In the end he'd lose anyway so he was just going to give up. "But don't blame me if I'm grumpy," he said before turning to head down the hallway, hearing her follow after him.

"You're always grumpy," Avery replied and Daryl couldn't help but laugh out loud at that one mainly because she was right. He was usually grumpy anyway so it wasn't like it'd be anything new for him to be grumpy tonight.

He'd just be extra grumpy in the end.

Making it to the front door, Daryl reached for the keys before turning to look at Avery. "You can drive too..since it's you who really wants to go and all."

Avery narrowed her eyes but she reached out to take the keys from Daryl, "Asshole," she muttered under her breath before pushing past him to head outside and once she was out of sight, Daryl really couldn't help the smirk that was on his lips.

"Better not wreck my truck either baby," Daryl called out as he turned around and walked behind Avery as he headed outside too. The Georgia air having a bit of a refreshing feel to it even if it was only September.
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Avery chewed on her lip briefly as she looked up to eye Daryl from her place beside him at the table they were sitting at in the packed restaurant. She wasn't surprised he had chosen to sit near the end, close to a wall but she was a bit surprised that Beth and Graham had chosen to sit across from them but then again maybe she shouldn't have been surprised because out of all of her and Beth's friends they had always been the closest.

It was why Beth had been her maid of honor and why Beth was also Hunter's godmother with Merle and Zac sharing the godfather duties because neither would leave Daryl alone about it and he had been unwilling to choose between them.

"It's probably a good thing Chet couldn't come tonight," Beth who had, had one too many drinks spoke which brought Avery out of her thoughts as she paused at the mention of her ex's name. An ex who she should have assumed would have been here since he was after all friends with Graham still. "Probably would have been awkward with you here and all...and he would have brought Shae and they're engaged now. Pretty sure he didn't even buy the ring from what Graham said," she giggled as she turned to look at her fiancee.

"It's the same one he gave you when he proposed to you," Graham shrugged his shoulders and Avery felt herself blush at that before turning to look at Daryl again watching as he visibly flinched and tensed up at that mention.

It was a fact she hadn't told him. That Chet had once proposed to her. She had only just told Beth when she had been pregnant with Hunter and obviously Chet had told Graham, especially if Graham knew the ring that Chet had given Shae was the same one that Chet had given to her.

Biting her lip again Avery watched as Daryl opened his mouth to speak and she was a bit afraid of the words that would come out, mainly because from the way he had reacted to the news that she had once been engaged to Chet, he hadn't taken it well and she was afraid he'd be rude.

"Think I'm going to go outside for a smoke," Daryl spoke his words surprising Avery though his tone which was cold and harsh didn't surprise her.

Instead of verbally responding to him though, she only nodded her head and watched as he stood from his seat, quickly leaving the restaurant and once he was gone she felt a few tears escape down her cheeks. Tears that she didn't even know had built up though she knew she had been hurt by his tone.

Probably like he was hurt by the revelation that she had once been engaged before him and she had never told him. But it had been such a short engagement and only Beth and Graham knew about it. She hadn't even told the rest of her friends or family.

"Oh crap," Beth sighed which caused Avery to turn and look at her and Graham. "Was...did Graham accidentally reveal something that your husband didn't know?" she asked keeping her voice soft as a frown crept onto her lips and Avery hated that obviously Beth felt guilty.

It wasn't Graham's fault, he obviously hadn't known that Avery never really had told anyone but Beth about that brief engagement.

Avery shook her head after Beth had spoken, "Daryl didn't know but I'm sure he's fine," she said as she forced a smile because she didn't believe her words but she really did hope Beth believed them. She didn't need Beth worrying about something like this.

Beth laughed slightly, "Avery, I know your husband," she sighed as she shook her head now too. "He's going to become angry and pout because that's what he does and Graham you should really go and apologize for letting that slip," she finished before turning to look at Graham all stern or well as stern as she could look while a bit tipsy.

"Beth," Graham muttered out and Avery knew from his tone that he wasn't going to apologize. "I'm not going to apologize," he said confirming Avery's thoughts. "I didn't know that Avery's engagement to Chet was some huge secret."

"It's not really a secret," Avery cut in as she continued with her forced smile. "It just was so brief thanks to me finding out he was cheating with Shae that I just really haven't told anyone that he and I were engaged. Never felt the need too once it ended and it's not important now because so much time has passed and I'm glad I've dodged a bullet with him. A bullet Shae is obviously too dumb not too dodge."

Graham laughed at Avery's words but deep down she knew that Graham probably knew she was right since Graham was such good friends with Chet. He had to know that Shae was dumb for even agreeing to marry someone who'd probably end up cheating on her.

Just like Graham to know it was tacky of Chet to give Shae the ring that had once been Avery's even if she hadn't had the ring for long.

Though of course neither Avery or Graham said anything else and even Beth seemed to drop the subject of Graham apologizing to Daryl and deep down Avery knew an apology wouldn't do any good. Not if Daryl was already brooding over it and he probably was if his hasty exit to supposedly go and smoke was any indication.

So that meant Daryl was brooding and would probably be moody for awhile though hopefully he'd come around and hopefully he'd let her explain things eventually because she didn't want a huge thing like this to be some weird elephant in the room for days between them.

Coming out of her thoughts when she saw Daryl come back from his smoke break, Avery gave him a tiny smile as she started to reach for his hand but before she could even touch it, he moved his hand away from her grasp and yeah Avery knew then for sure he was brooding and this was going to be a some weird elephant in the room if he was acting the way he was.

Like he didn't want her to touch him. Like her touch was lethal or something to him or that she'd betrayed him in some way and Avery didn't think she'd done that. She probably should have told him about the engagement with Chet sooner but she felt she hadn't betrayed him by keeping the brief engagement from him.
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"Are you just going to ignore me all night now?" Avery sighed as she looked down at Daryl as he sat on the end of their bed undressing. "I mean you haven't said a word to me since finding out about the Chet thing and I..I don't know what you want from me right now," she admitted honestly as she finally looked away from him long enough to undo the pants she had wore out tonight and slip them off.

After they were off she slipped on the plaid pajama pants she had picked for tonight before lifting her shirt off and letting it go to the floor with the pants she had taken off.

"I mean I can say sorry if that's what you want but I don't feel it is what you want," she continued in Daryl's silence as she undid her bra and let it fall off as she reached for the red t-shirt she had got that semi matched her pajama pants.

"What I want is for you to stop talking," Daryl muttered out harshly and his words stung Avery though she did her best to ignore the hurt. "Just want to go to bed and forget tonight happened, okay," he said as he looked up at her after he had kicked his jeans off, leaving himself in just his boxers.

Avery just nodded her head before blinking a few times to keep herself from crying because she knew she was close to it. The silent treatment had been bad but the way he had talked to her harshly and the look in his eyes when he looked at her...all cold and angry.

It was enough to cut her like a knife and she didn't like it. Nor did she think ignoring the subject and forgetting things was a good idea but she knew with Daryl that sometimes it was best to pick the battles wisely and right now it probably wouldn't be good to test him too much.

Heaving a soft sigh Avery finally walked to her side of the bed and got in, watching as Daryl maneuvered himself up to his side before reaching out and turning the lamp on his night stand off, though Avery kept the light on her side on.

Seeing him turn his back to her without even saying goodnight Avery once again had to blink to keep the tears back because once again they were on the verge of threatening to come out.

Leaning in close to Daryl, Avery left a light kiss on his back, feeling him tense up at her touch. Something he had never done with her and something that really still wasn't helping things. "Goodnight Daryl," she whispered against his skin softly. "I love you," she muttered wanting to say those words to him because even if they were arguing right now or having some form of an argument she still wanted him to know she loved him and she didn't want to just go to bed all hurt and angry without saying it.

After she had told him that she felt him loosen his body some and a slight smile finally graced Avery's lips because at least it was progress from him tensing up at her touch.

Leaving another small kiss on his back she moved away to turn off the light on her side of the bed and after it was off she laid back on her back as she let her eyes fall shut. Though she wasn't sure she'd go to sleep easily. Not when she knew there was still a lack of communication between her and her husband right now over something that Avery had seen as trivial but something that Daryl had obviously taken much deeper and Avery just wished that right now he'd tell her why it was bothering him so much.

But in the end she knew she'd just have to wait until he cracked even if he continued to be so cruel towards her until he did crack.

Chapter Text

September 19, 2013

Avery stood at the kitchen sink doing the dishes from breakfast though her mind was everywhere but with her it seemed. It had been a week now since the engagement party for Beth and Graham. A week and Daryl still hadn't cracked and was still treating her like she had done something wrong.

He had even started sleeping on their couch and leaving for work before she or Hunter had woken up and in the end Avery was beginning to feel alone in her marriage. Something she hadn't felt before because up until now they had done so well when it came to talking out their issues and she just wished that Daryl would talk to her.

That he'd let her in on what he was feeling so they could fix this divide that was currently going on between them because she missed her husband even if he was physically in the house he didn't seem to be emotionally and she missed him on an emotional level and maybe she also missed him on an intimate level too. She missed connecting with the man who she loved and who she was sure she'd always love regardless of the bad times they went through.

Heaving a sigh as she finished the dishes she wiped her hands off on a hand towel before turning to look at Hunter who was in his high chair and partly covered in the baby food she had tried to feed him for breakfast though she swore more of it got on him than in him.

"Someone needs a bath," Avery sing songed as she walked over to her son and got him out of the high chair, holding him firmly on her hip. "Especially since we have a lunch date with your aunties Kate and Nikki today," she muttered as she leaned in to kiss his cheek which got him to giggle and maybe her day wasn't all bad when Hunter giggled for her.

"Yeah, you excited about that lunch date and seeing your cousin Lennie?" she asked knowing that Kate would have Lennon with her since it was her week with Lennon and well her girlfriend Lucy was probably at work.

Avery knew that her still being close with Kate was probably a shock, especially since Kate had been the one to leave Zac and even more so when it became apparent that she had left Zac for her OBGYN Lucy but yet she was still close to Kate and by an extent she had also become close to Lucy and Avery knew that it was taking time but Zac seemed to be mending fences with Kate as well as trying to like Lucy at least for Lennon's benefit anyway.

Hearing Hunter babble Avery nodded her head, "I figured you'd be happy about seeing cousin Lennie," she spoke as she walked towards the bathroom where she had gotten his clothes together well before even feeding him because she just knew he would make a mess of himself.

He was a messy eater and a Dixon and so that meant it felt like she was constantly bathing him and maybe she was. She did bath him once after breakfast and then again at night before putting him to bed because he was usually dirty again after dinner time.
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After Hunter's bath, Avery smiled as she finished brushing what hair Hunter was slowly growing and she gave him a smile in the mirror when he turned to look at her. "Aren't you just mommy's handsome little boy," she said to him before leaving a kiss on his forehead and inhaling the scent of his baby shampoo. "Mommy's handsome little boy who smells good and is nice and clean for our lunch date," she said before lifting him up off the counter she had been holding him on and putting him on her hip as she headed down the hall to the living room so that she could get his coat and shoes on him before loading him up in his baby carrier and heading out.

Once they got to the living room Avery put Hunter on the couch and she bent down in front of him, reaching for his shoes but before she went to the task of getting them on him once the shoes were in her hand she paused as something on the coffee table had caught her attention.

Something she obviously hadn't noticed in her rush this morning after waking up and getting ready, then getting Hunter's stuff together before getting him up and ready for the day as well.

Daryl had forgotten his phone and so if anyone needed him then he'd be out of luck.

Reaching for his phone with her free hand, Avery chewed on her lip once it was in her hand and she looked down at the screen, seeing that he hadn't exited out of whatever message he had last been looking at and maybe it was wrong of her, maybe she shouldn't have read it but she did.

Her heart nearly dropping into her stomach when she realized it was a text exchange between Daryl and Natalie. A text exchange that revealed that Natalie had been in town for the past three days and according to their messages they had been meeting up for lunch at some coffee place downtown.

Though in Natalie's last message to him she had asked him if they could have lunch in her hotel room today because she didn't have anything planned with her kids for the day and so she just wanted to stay in and eat. It was a message that made Avery feel like she was going to lose the breakfast she had just ate, especially when she realized that her husband had agreed to it.

"Fuck," Avery muttered as she laid the cell phone down on the couch next to Hunter with a shaking hand. "Just fuck," she repeated before doing her best to get her son's shoes on him and after his shoes were on, she picked him up but she didn't leave the house just yet.

Instead she sat down on the couch and held Hunter in her lap as she broke down in tears. Something she hadn't done up until today because she had been doing okay in holding herself together but seeing those messages, well that seemed to have been her breaking point because Avery wasn't dumb and ever since Taylor and Maggie's wedding she had known that Natalie had wanted Daryl so the idea that they had been hanging out made her sick and it hurt her because she knew Natalie.

The woman was more than likely trying to worm her way into Daryl's pants and she'd probably try extra hard today if they had lunch in her hotel room.

Looking down at her son when she heard him babble as he looked up at her, Avery reached up to wipe at her eyes as she forced a smile.

"Mommy's okay baby boy," she told him even if she felt far from okay. "Mommy's just trying to get herself together is all so she can think of ways to kill your ex-aunt Natalie and not get thrown into jail."
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"Are you sure that you and Kate really don't mind that I canceled our lunch date?" Avery asked as she stood in Nikki's drive way, watching as Nikki now held her son on her hip. "Or that you don't mind watching Hunter? I know it's last minute and I really don't want to be a burden."

"Ave," Nikki spoke like she was admonishing her for even thinking or saying what she did. "If Natalie was relentlessly throwing herself at Isaac I'd have probably canceled too and drove to the hotel to nip things in the bud," she shrugged with a slight laugh. "I'd also leave my kids off with someone else too so they didn't have to watch me murder their father."

Avery laughed some at Nikki's words, the first time she had really laughed since reading the messages, "I don't want to murder Daryl," she admitted because deep down maybe she trusted that Daryl no matter how angry or upset he was with her would never cross that line with anyone but it was Natalie and she knew Natalie would try and even the thought of her trying made Avery angry.

Daryl was her husband and she'd be damned if she let Natalie think that Natalie could even have what was hers. Natalie would never have Daryl not as long as Avery was alive anyway.

"Honey, I'd murder him just for treating me like shit," Nikki spoke as she locked eyes with Avery and Avery blushed under her sister-in-law's stare because okay, maybe she should murder Daryl for being such an asshole to her for the past week but she knew Daryl and she knew he loved her even if he was an asshole.

He was a hard man and when he got angry he could cut a person deep with how he treated them. Avery had known that when she had agreed to marry him even if back then that was just because of the baby. She had also known that during her pregnancy when she had truly fallen in love with him.

"Yeah well jail doesn't sound too appealing," Avery replied as she gave Nikki a tiny smile before going back to her car and getting in, feeling a bit nervous now about the prospect of driving to the hotel and confronting Natalie or even confronting her husband before he had a chance to go and see Natalie.

Taking a deep breath, Avery started her car back up, pulling out of Nikki and Isaac's driveway as she headed towards the hotel where Natalie was staying at.

Though not long after she had gotten out of the driveway, Avery heard her cell phone ring and she knew from the Led Zeppelin ring tone that it was Zac but of course she had no clue why Zac of all people would be calling her right now.

Reaching down for her phone carefully, Avery hit the talk button before putting it up to her ear, "Zac?" she questioned without even saying hello.

"No," Daryl spoke on the other end of the line. "Zac let me borrow his phone because I forgot mine at home this morning," he explained and Avery wanted to blurt out that she knew that already but she bit her lip to keep from doing so. "I was just calling to tell you that I'll be home to get it soon. It's almost time for my lunch break and I wanted to swing by and get it before going out to lunch with a friend."

Hearing Daryl, Avery closed her eyes as she did her best to think of what to say because this little turn of events hadn't been in her plans.

"I'm not at home right now," Avery finally told him as she chewed on her lip. "But I have your phone with me in my car. I was going to drop it off by the garage," she lied knowing she couldn't be completely honest. "Nikki's watching Hunter for the day because Kate had to cancel our lunch date plans," she lied again and maybe she was feeling guilty but she knew she couldn't tell him it had been her and that she was on her way to the hotel to confront Natalie and maybe him too if he had been there. "I can swing by and drop it off before going to grab lunch for myself."

"That works fine for me," Daryl said and before Avery could say anything more she heard the line go dead which made her frown and again it was another thing that was on her list of hurts for today because he didn't even say goodbye or that he loved her nor did he give her a chance to say it either.

Shaking her head Avery moved her cell phone as she hit hang up on her side as well and she was kind of glad the garage was also on the way to the hotel because at least she wouldn't have to turn around or change her direction. Though now she figured she probably wouldn't go to the hotel at all.

She'd just head home and hope to god her husband didn't wind up fucking up completely with Natalie...though she did still feel a little content that he probably wouldn't. She felt content that even if things were so badly strained that he loved her enough not to ruin what they had.

That he wouldn't break the vows they had made to each other almost a year ago now.

Making it to the garage in what felt like only seconds but was probably more like six minutes, Avery pulled into the parking lot surprised to see Daryl outside though she probably shouldn't have been. He was obviously in a hurry to go and see Natalie in her fucking hotel room.

Pulling up to the sidewalk where he was standing, Avery had barely even came to a stop and Daryl was already at the window on the driver's side and Avery rolled it down after reaching for his phone and handing it to him.

"Which friend are you having lunch with?" Avery asked feigning ignorance as she watched Daryl put his phone into the pocket of his jeans. "I mean Merle's in jail again so I doubt it's any of the friends you know through him," she said as Daryl turned to look down at her.

Daryl chewed on his lip and as Avery locked eyes with him she could see the war going on inside of his head and she knew he was debating on being honest or lying to her.

"Just a friend from school," Daryl finally spoke as his voice went low and hushed and Avery just nodded her head a bit shocked that he had lied but she tried not to let it show and maybe she didn't have much of a right to be angry as she was lying and playing dumb on even knowing about who he was meeting up with.

"Didn't know you were close to any of them," Avery spoke as she turned to look away from Daryl because she was sure if she kept looking at him she'd end up crying for the second time that day. "Have fun though," she muttered and after she said those words she turned back to look at her husband, watching as he gave her a head nod before turning to walk away without even a kiss or a goodbye or an I love you and Avery was sure everything was slowly breaking her resolve because it felt like the divide between her and Daryl was slowly getting worse and she hated to admit it but maybe she was a bit afraid for her marriage right now.

She was afraid that it would crumble and they wouldn't even reach their one year anniversary in November.

"I love you," Avery called out to him before he could get too far away and she watched as he stopped in his tracks though he kept his back to her. "I love you and have fun at the lunch with your friend."

Daryl slowly nodded his head at least partly acknowledging Avery's words to him. "I love you too," he finally replied as he turned to look at her briefly and as he did so Avery gave him a tiny smile because it was something at least. He acknowledged that he still loved her and he hadn't done that in a week.

A very long fucking week.

After he had said that, Avery rolled her window up and pulled out of where she was parked, heading to get her lunch and then go back home as well as hoping to god that nothing happened during Daryl and Natalie's lunch in her hotel room.
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Watching Avery leave, Daryl heaved a sigh as he just stood on the sidewalk after that, feeling a bit guilty for lying to her and not just telling her that he was having lunch with Natalie today but then he knew she'd ask where and the moment he said her hotel room Avery would flip and he didn't want an argument with Avery.

He had been avoiding one with her for the past week ever since finding out she had been engaged to Chet. A fact that Daryl knew probably shouldn't have made him upset but it did and he also wondered why she didn't just stay engaged to him or why she didn't come to her senses and just leave Daryl before they got married so she could go back to Chet.

Hell if she had been smart she could have just gotten rid of Hunter without even telling him and still went back to Chet or passed the baby off as Chet's baby.

He would have been a better man for Avery in the end. He'd fit in with all her friends since they had the same ones and he was Avery's age and if Daryl was being honest he was better looking and he could provide for Avery better than he could and maybe the real issue he had was he didn't understand why in the end Avery was his when she had, had a better man.

Why'd she choose just to settle for him because of the baby they had on the way?

He also knew if he confessed all of those thoughts to Avery it'd start an argument or she'd laugh at him and call him ridiculous and he didn't feel ridiculous. He felt justified in being upset at her not telling him as well as fucking wondering why she was here as his wife and not back with someone who could give her a better life.

So that was why he had distanced himself from her and had even taken up sleeping on the couch. It was also the reason he'd been hanging out with Natalie the moment she texted him saying she was in town to see her children. Because at least with her he had someone he could talk too and vent too about the situation with Avery and she didn't laugh at him or argue back with him.

Natalie made him feel valid for how he felt and he liked that about her. Liked how understanding she was and liked how he felt okay opening up to her when he couldn't even do that with his own wife right now.

A wife who would be upset if she knew he was even hanging out with Natalie because ever since Taylor's wedding she had been convinced Natalie wanted him for reasons he still didn't entirely understand and so maybe after her declaration of love after his lie was enough to make him feel guilty or at least guiltier than he already was for withholding how he felt and pushing her away as well as already keeping his first few meetings at the coffee place with Natalie a secret.

"I'm surprised you haven't left yet," Zac spoke which brought Daryl out of his thoughts and he blushed realizing he had been so lost in them that he hadn't even heard Zac come outside. "Then again I guess you can stand out here all you want since you asked to take the rest of the day off after lunch."

Blushing more at Zac's words, Daryl had to look down at that reminder because he had asked for the whole day off after lunch because as pathetic as it was. It was Natalie's last day in town and he wanted to spend as much time with her as he could since it felt like right now she was the only person who understood him.

That and maybe she could finally give him the courage and the words to face Avery with how he felt once she was gone because he knew he'd have too.

"Yeah guess I can," Daryl half smiled as he nodded his head briefly before walking to his truck and getting in.

Once he was in he started the truck up before pulling out of his parking space and leaving the garage parking lot. But instead of driving to the hotel, he drove somewhere else instead.
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"Are you sure this flower is going to work?" Daryl asked as he stood in the flower shop and looked at his sister-in-law Maggie. A woman who worked there part time when not helping Taylor take care of his five children.

Maggie laughed as she looked at Daryl who was holding the single full bloom red rose in his hand. "Daryl I've worked here for two years now and I also grew up gardening on a farm. I know the language of flowers and a single red rose in full bloom means I will always love you and all my affections are concentrated in you alone, which is what it seemed like you wanted to convey with the flower you were planning on giving this person who I'm really hoping is your wife."

Blushing under Maggie's stare Daryl remained silent not denying or confirming Maggie's last statement.

"Just tell me how much it is," Daryl finally huffed out hoping the eldest Greene sister hadn't lead him astray.

Again Maggie just laughed before telling Daryl the amount and he couldn't help but heave a sigh as he got his wallet out and forked over the cash. "Can't believe it costs that much for one damned rose."

"It'll be worth it in the end though," Maggie told him after she had the money in her hand. "Avery will love it and maybe you'll get laid tonight."

Blushing more Daryl just shook his head as he turned to leave, once again not confirming or denying her thoughts on the rose being for Avery.

Making it back to his truck, Daryl got in and laid the rose down on the seat beside him before starting his truck up and driving away from the sidewalk of the downtown flower shop.

Chapter Text

September 19, 2013

After finishing her lunch, Avery stood from the couch and went into the living room to throw her trash away, though on the way back to the living room she paused in her steps at the window as she saw Daryl pulling into the drive way an eyebrow raising a bit.

There was no way he'd be back here now if he had went to have lunch with Natalie so she was curious on why he was home. But maybe he had forgotten something else and had just realized it.

Shaking her head she moved from where she stood as she headed back into the living room and she had just gotten sat back down when the door opened as Daryl stepped inside.

"Thought you had lunch with a friend?" Avery questioned as she turned to face him though her raised eyebrow got a bit higher when she saw a single red rose in his hand as he faced her after shutting the door behind himself. "What is that?" she asked another question as she watched him walk a bit closer to the couch.

"A gift for you," Daryl told her as he held the flower out once he was closer to where she was. "Kind of felt guilty for how I've been treating you this week and I just wanted you to know I still love you."

Falling silent at his words Avery took the rose from him before feeling a lump in her throat and god she hated to admit it but she was going to cry. She was going to cry and she almost wasn't sure she'd be able to stop once she did start. The tears being because maybe she had been more afraid than she had let on that their marriage was in trouble..that she'd lose her husband.

"I still love you too," Avery spoke as her voice cracked slightly as she felt Daryl sit down beside her on the couch. "But..I just..I was so scared," she admitted as she felt a few tears go down her cheek and she reached up with her free hand to wipe them away. "I thought I was losing you."

Hearing Daryl heave a sigh as he reached over to take her free hand after she had wiped her cheeks, she looked back up at him knowing from the way he looked and the sigh that he wanted to say something but obviously he was searching for the words.

A fact that made her even more happier than the rose because if he was searching for words then maybe hopefully they could work through this and get back to where they were. Get past this small bump in the road that was their marriage.

"You weren't losing me," Daryl finally said as he squeezed her hand. "I was just an asshole and I know it," he laughed slightly. "Finding out you had been engaged to Chet, I just didn't see why in the end you choose to stay with me even with a baby on the way. You could have aborted the baby before I even knew or you could have passed it off as Chet's. Chet's a man who could...he could give you everything you wanted and I can't. Plus he's closer to your age and all your friends actually like him. They can stand to be around him and don't make complaints about how they wish you'd leave him like they do with me when they think I'm not listening."

Listening to Daryl as he spoke Avery fought the urge to roll her eyes because she didn't want him to think that she thought he was stupid for feeling like he did. She didn't think it and in fact she understood it but she also knew there was a lot he didn't know.

Shaking her head once Daryl finished speaking she brought their joined hand up to her lips and kissed his hand softly before speaking. "I never went back to Chet because he cheated on me," she sighed as she shook her head. "The same week he had asked me to marry him was the same week I found out he cheated with Shae and I knew if I went back it would just be the same so yeah maybe he could give me a lavish life style but he can't give me everything," she said as she gave Daryl a tiny smile. "He can't fully love me like you can and honestly I don't care what my friends say because they don't know how good you are. They don't get to see you in moments like this where you bring me home a rose or how you are an amazing father to our son and have been since before he was born."

Daryl looked down at Avery's words and Avery couldn't help but smile more when she saw him blushing and trying to act all shy. It was always kind of adorable that he'd never been able to take compliments much. "I love you Daryl and I don't regret any decision not to go back to Chet," she muttered as she leaned in and left a light kiss on his cheek. "I don't regret how I got here and I'm never going to regret being your wife."

"I'm a dick," Daryl finally spoke as he looked back up at Avery. "Such a fucking dick."

Laughing softly Avery let go of his hand as she nodded her head, "Yeah, you kind of are but you're my dick," she told him with a smirk before standing from the couch, "And I think I'll keep you for a bit longer," she winked before going to find something to put the rose in and once she had found a vase in the kitchen, she put the rose inside of it.

A smile playing on her lips at the sight once she had. It was pretty and such a sweet gesture on her husband's part. There was no way he was fully a dick even if he had his moments. He was just kind of a dick and she did mean it when she said she'd keep him a bit longer. She'd keep him forever.

As she stood there though admiring the rose, Avery closed her eyes as she smiled more when she felt arms wrap around her waist as well as the prickly feeling against her cheek from Daryl's stubble. It felt nice to be in his arms again and she hadn't realized a week could feel like forever when it came to not being in his arms.

"I love you," Daryl muttered into her ear as his breath hit the skin of her earlobe and Avery felt a shiver run down her spine at the sensations. "I love you and I'm sorry for the past week."

Opening her eyes, Avery turned her head to look at him, "I forgive you," she spoke as she locked eyes with him before turning around in his arms, her arms going around his neck. "I forgive you and I love you and I want to show you how much I do," she smirked slightly as she leaned in to kiss him on the lips after she had spoken.

Feeling Daryl kissing her back, Avery moved a bit closer to him, letting out a tiny moan as the hand that he had around her waist slowly worked it's way up the back of her shirt. Goosebumps soon forming on her skin at his touch.

Kissing him a bit harder at that, Avery let her arms move from his neck as her hands found their way down to the hem of his shirt and once they had reached their destination she pulled away from the kiss before pulling his shirt off and throwing it to the floor.

After it was gone she then pulled him into another kiss and again a moan came out of her mouth as he bit down on her bottom lip.

"Are we really doing this here?" Daryl asked in between kisses his voice getting all soft in ways that made Avery feel almost weak.

"Why not here?" Avery asked as she pulled away from the kiss again and looked him in the eyes. "Don't believe in having sex in any other room but the bedroom?" she questioned with a hint of teasing to her voice and before he could respond her lips moved to his neck where she kissed and sucked on the flesh softly, which made Daryl moan out as his hand which wasn't under her shirt went up and tangled into her hair pulling on it slightly.

Letting her tongue come out eventually, Avery ran it over the skin on his neck gently as she let her lips begin to move away from his neck, going farther south until she wound up down on her knees in front of him and the moment she did she pulled away to look at him innocently as she undid his jeans slowly, watching as his stomach went in some as his breath hitched. Clearly realizing what she was going to do.

She hadn't ever given him a blow job mainly because he had never asked for one and Avery had never been sure of his stance on them. But ever since Taylor's wedding when he had eaten her pussy he had continued to do so every so often and now well she really wanted to return the favor as well as really showing him how much she loved him.

She loved him enough to suck his cock and willingly give him a blow job which was something she hadn't really ever liked doing before.
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Daryl felt his breath hitch as Avery undid his jeans which was when it dawned him on what she was going to do, which in all aspects maybe it should have hit him when she dropped to her knees but it didn't because he could be a little slow at times.

"Are you sure about this?" he asked her as he looked down at her, seeing her look up all innocent even if she was anything but, especially right now. "I mean you don't..."

"I want too," Avery told him before he could even finish his sentence and he fell silent at that because of how sure she sounded. So he just stood there and looked down at her still as she pushed his jeans and boxers off, before moving just a bit to step out of them.

Though right after he did, he wasn't sure he would be able to move much more. Not when her hand had went around his cock and she was stroking him, making him harder than what he already had been.

Letting out a moan as her hand movements became faster, all Daryl could really do was watch her and when she must have felt his eyes on her, she looked back up at him again.

"Don't look so innocent," he spoke through a moan as they locked eyes. "You're far from it right now."

Avery batted her eyelashes slightly as she gave Daryl a tiny wink, "I'm always innocent baby," she told him but before he could reply or even think of one her mouth had finally went around his cock and all his thoughts were rendered useless just like the only sound that came out of his mouth was one long moan.

She had never gave him a blow job before, mainly because he had never asked her too and also because he wasn't a huge fan of them...or at least he had never been a huge fan of the ones he had gotten from the women Merle had put him with in the past.

But the way Avery was moving her mouth around him, like she knew what she was doing. Well maybe he could become a fan of them at this rate.

"Fuck....Avie," Daryl muttered as he let his hand go down to tangle in her hair as the movements she was doing with her mouth picked up slightly and Daryl swore he was in some kind of heaven. A lust fucking filled heaven and he wasn't sure he wanted to come back to reality anytime soon. "So good with your mouth baby," he sighed as he pulled on her hair some.

The hair pulling it seemed was an action that caused Avery to moan around him and the moan was one he could feel against his dick thanks to vibrations and before he knew it, his head has fallen back against his will as his eyes fell shut.

He was sure if she kept this up he'd come quicker than he normally did and he wasn't so sure this was how she wanted him to get off.

Hell he wasn't sure himself that he wanted to get off like this either. Not when they hadn't had sex in a week and he kind of wanted to just be inside of her. Be as close to her as he could possibly get.

"I'm getting close already baby," Daryl told her as he finally found words to speak before looking down at Avery. "Kind of wanted to get off another way though," he said watching as she moved away after his words.
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Avery who had heard Daryl, pulled away from him when he said he wanted to get off another way and it took a moment for his words to fully register even after she had pulled away. But when they had, she stood up slowly and pulled him into another kiss as her hand fell between them, pumping his cock even as his hands found their way to the jeans she had on.

Once he had unzipped her jeans, Avery slowed her hand some as she kissed him a bit hard as he removed her jeans and once they were off she resumed her hands movements for a bit. At least until she felt him beginning to back her towards the counter next to the sink.

Where when they reached their destination she bit down on his lip softly as he lifted her up onto the counter before working to remove her underwear. A slight moan escaping her mouth when he bare ass felt the cool counter top below it.

"Going to need you to fuck me so hard right now," Avery spoke as she pulled away from the kiss and looked her husband in the eye. "You think you can do that?"

Daryl just gave her a smirk as he slowly pulled her a bit closer to the edge before lining up with her wet opening, her anticipation building slightly as he did so. "I'm pretty sure I can," he said his voice going a bit deeper before he finally entered her and the moment he did Avery let out a semi loud moan that surprised even herself.

But it probably shouldn't have. It had been a week since he had been inside of her and she had missed it. Missed him in general and just being so close to him.

"I love you," Avery muttered out as he started to move inside of her, her hands going to rest on his bare ass cheeks. "I love you so god damn much."

"I love you too baby," Daryl sighed out as his lips found hers again in a heated kiss and Avery returned it, letting herself finally move with Daryl, her whole body sort of just going with the flow of things while also relishing finally being with him again. Being in the arms of the man she loved and having him inside of her, as close as he could get to her.

It was something she loved, just being able to connect with him like this and knowing she was the only one at least hopefully who would do it forever now.

Kissing him a bit harder, Avery bit down on his bottom lip as she felt her orgasm building up. Slight whimpers coming out especially when Daryl slowed down some, obviously wanting to prolong her ending for a bit. Though even his slow movements couldn't prolong it by much and eventually her walls closed in around his cock as she muttered his name out into his mouth.

Her hips still moving even through her orgasm and she was sure by the time it had ended she had felt Daryl come inside of her before burying his face in her neck, against the material of the shirt she still had on.

Wrapping her legs around his waist, Avery kept Daryl in place not wanting him to move out of her just yet, nor did she really want him to move away either.

"I knew about your lunch meeting with Natalie today in her hotel room," Avery spoke softly after catching her breath, feeling Daryl lift his head as he looked at her. "And the previous ones this week."

"I didn't go today," Daryl revealed and Avery couldn't help the slight smirk that appeared on her lips. "I wanted to apologize to you and I just didn't go. Texted Natalie on the way home and told her something came up," he sighed before biting his lip. "I'm sorry though again I mean for lying earlier."

Avery shook her head at his words, "I think you more than made up for it," she told him with a hint of teasing to her voice as she leaned in to leave a kiss on his cheek, her lips lingering there against his skin for a bit longer. "But if you're really sorry we can try for a round two of sorry sex after we shower," she muttered on his skin feeling his cheeks move as he grinned at her words.

"I think we can work something out there woman," Daryl spoke as he turned his head, his lips mere inches from hers now. "I'd do anything to make you happy," he told her before kissing her again and Avery kissed him back, the sincerity in his tone when he said his last words letting her know that he did truly mean them.

Daryl would do anything to make her happy and well that just made her content in the fact that even if Natalie kept trying to worm her way into any cracks that formed in her marriage that she'd fail. Daryl had proven today in the end at least to Avery who came first and it was her, his wife who came first.