We left the prison. Daryl was in the bed of the truck with Zach. When I looked in the rear view mirror I saw Daryl had his crossbow aimed at Zach's head.
We continued down the road until we were far enough away from the prison that we wouldn't draw more walkers to it.
I stopped the truck and got out, Daryl pushed Zach out of the back. The boy didn't seem to be scared of what was gonna happen.
"C'mon boy, get ya ass up!" Daryl yelled at him.
He got up and just stared at us. He looked at me and smirked, "So both of y'all are fuckin' the little bitch, huh?"
I grabbed him by the throat and pushed him against a tree, "She's not a little bitch, she's my wife."
I took the restraints off of him and threw a punch.
He smiled so I punched him again and this time, he came at me. Knocking me to the ground.
He grabbed a rock and hit me in the face with it. That's when Daryl stepped in.
They both took a few swings at each other before I was able to get back up.
Zach was relentless, once I had gotten up, his fist connected with my cheek, before receiving a blow in the nose from Daryl.
Soon Zach was on the ground, Daryl on top of him, punching him over and over. This only caused my anger to grow. I should be the one on top of him for what he did to my Beth.
All I saw was red. I wasn't about to let Daryl handle this on his own.
I ran over and pulled him off Zach. Daryl's first reaction was to throw a fist at whoever had come at him from behind, but stopped when he realized it was me.
Daryl dropped his fist and I jumped on Zach. "She's mine!" I punched him.
"You hear me?! She's mine!" I threw another punch and then another. I kept goin' until his face was covered in blood and he was unconscious.
"Hey sweetie. How're feelin' today?" Sarah asked.
I shrugged, "As good as I can."
"Oh, I'm sorry, sweetie. But maybe these will make you feel a little better."
She handed me a stack of papers.
"They're some pictures the little kids drew for you. They wanted to make you feel better they can see you again."
I smiled as I looked through them, "Tell them I said they're all beautiful and thank you. They made me feel better."
She smiled too, "I will. Well, I'll go and let you rest."
"Do you have Judith today?"
"Yeah but right now she's with Carl. He agreed to watch her for me for a few minutes. You want him to bring her in here for a little bit?"
"Yes, please," I smiled.
"Alright. I'll send him in here."
After Sarah left my cell, I looked through the drawings again. There were a lot of butterflies, flowers and rainbows with the occasional stick figures. They were beautiful.
I looked them over and decided I wanted to hang a few up over Judith's crib and save a few to hang up for the baby. Just so they'd have something that was colorful, beautiful and almost as innocent as them instead of these gray prison walls.
I stood up and looked down at Zach.
"What'd ya wanna do?" Daryl asked.
I knew what everyone expected me to do but I couldn't do that. I was gonna handle things my way.
"We're gonna carry him back to the prison. Lock him up in cell block A," I finally said after a minute.
"Yep. Death row. There's others there that were talkin' shit, too."
"We're gon' make an example out a 'im?"
With that, we tied him back up and loaded him into the bed of the truck. I drove while Daryl sat in the passengers seat keepin' an on the back in case Zach woke up.
We rode in silence for a little while until Daryl spoke first.
"Ya know what ya called 'er?" He asked.
He looked at me nervously, "ya called 'er ya wife."
I shrugged, "Didn't know I did."
After that, nothin' else was said until we got to the prison and had Zach locked away.
"I'm gonna go check on Beth. Do you mind tellin' the others what's goin' on?"
I was almost to Beth's cell when I heard her groan in pain. I hurried in.
Carol was beside Beth's bed adjusting some pillows.
"She okay?" I asked.
"She's fine," Carol said, "her ankles are swollen and she's just feelin' uncomfortable."
I leaned against the bars.
Carol looked at my hands, "When you'really finished in here, come see me. I'll clean up those cuts for you."
I nodded in agreement before she left.
Beth smiled at me wearily when I sat down in the chair next to her bed.
"Everythin' go okay?" She asked.
I took her hand, "Yeah. Everythin's fine."
I smiled at her.
She looked at me funny, "What?"
She huffed and closed her eyes.
I leaned over and pressed my lips to her forehead, "I mean it, baby. You're beautiful."
She gave me a slight smile but didn't open her eyes. I sat with her a few minutes until she had gone to sleep.
When I left, I immediately found Carol in the common room talking to Sasha. She looked up and motioned for me to sit down.
She had cleaned all the blood off my hands before either of us said a word.
"You shouldn't go on anymore runs and you need to stay close for a while," she finally said.
She smiled up at me, "it won't be much longer." She paused and grabbed a bandage, "Beth's gettin' very close. My guess would be anytime within the next few days or week. I don't think you should miss the birth of your child."
"I won't. I'll see if someone can cover my watch shifts and I'll stay with her."
She finished with the bandages and sat the roll back on the table, "She loves you, Rick. And I know you love her. I tried my best to keep her from getting hurt but after today, I know you won't hurt her. If you do, I'll kill you before Maggie, Hershel and Daryl have a chance to."
"Yes ma'am, but I'm not gonna hurt her," I looked at my hands and chuckled, "Daryl said I called her my wife today."
Carol started laughin', "Neither of you have said 'I love you' to the other but yet, you're husband and wife."
I furrowed my brow and stared at her.
"Sarah told some of the women from Woodbury that you and Beth are husband and wife. She said they kept goin' on about how you were only with her because she's pregnant and you won't want her after she has the baby. When she heard them sayin' that, she said it kind of ticked her off so she told them that y'all were married and had been together for a while before she got pregnant."
"Oh," was all I could say.
"Don't worry, Rick. Hershel and Maggie haven't heard any of that and neither has Beth."
Later that night we had everyone gather for a meeting. It wasn't gonna be like the rest. This time we had to give them bad news.
Once everyone was settled in their seats, I spoke to Daryl. Then turned my attention to the group.
Everyone looked to us nervously.
"Have all y'all heard about the situation with Zach?" I asked.
They all agreed that they had heard about the situation.
"Okay then, there's really only one thing to talk about," I looked at everyone, "Daryl and Merle...um...they might've found the Governor."
At the mention of the Governor the whole group exploded with questions.
When they settled down I looked to Daryl and he gave a nod.
"He ain't far from 'ere. Jus' an hour or so away," he told them, "from tha looks of it, he's got some people on 'is side an' more fire power than we got."
"So what are we gonna?" Maggie asked.
"We're gonna go after him. Even if they have more weapons than us, we have the element of surprise."
"When do we leave?" Michonne asked.
"Not for a couple days. We're not gonna rush into this. We're gonna make plans and go from there. We'll discuss things more tomorrow."
After the meeting was over I headed to Beth's cell only to be stopped by Maggie.
"I don't know what you're plannin' but you need to stay here," she said.
"Maggie, we'll discuss this further tomorrow. We'll decide then who stays and who goes."
I took a step but she blocked my way.
"Rick, please promise me you won't go. You need to stay here with Beth and your kids."
I rubbed my eyes, "I know that, Maggie."
"Then you'll stay? No matter what's said at the meeting, you'll stay?"
I saw the look on her face. She didn't believe me and I sure as hell didn't believe myself.
I walked on to Beth's cell. The curtain was closed and I could hear her talkin' to someone and cryin'.
I pulled the curtain back. Carol immediately jumped up and pulled me away from her cell.
"What the hell's wrong with her?" I asked.
"She's in pain and very emotional."
I raised my eyebrow, "Pain?"
"Oh, no, Rick. Not labor pain or anything, just pain. She has a headache and her back, feet and ankles are hurtin'."
She pulled at my arm, "I need you to help me gather up some extra pillows or blankets to prop her feet up."
I help her and then we both returned to Beth's cell. She was still cryin' but not as bad as she had been before.
We propped her up and helped her get into a more comfortable position. And when Carol left, I sat down in the chair and tried to rub her feet and legs.
"You don't have to do that. I'm fine," she told me.
"I may not have to but I want to. Carol said you could have the baby any day now."
"I know, she told me."
She laid back and started cryin' a little more.
I moved next to the head of the bed, "Hey, baby. I'm gonna be right here with you. You know that, right?"
"Yes," she cried, "I just...I never thought I'd be havin' a baby in a prison while there's...there's dead people walkin' 'round outside. None of this is how I pictured it!"
Carol was right, she was very emotional.
-The Next Day-
We were all up before the sun and before the people from Woodbury but we had a lot to work out.
Before any of us went about our day, we were gonna go over a few plans.
Daryl and Merle had already scouted several different routes we could take to and from The Governor's camp, along with potential hideouts.
That was the first thing we talked about. The next was a bit tough.
I had already told Maggie I wouldn't go and I hated to leave Carl, Judith and Beth, especially with her so close but I had to go.
"Who are you carrying?" Michonne asked.
"Daryl, Tyreese, you and me," I told her, "that leaves Sasha, Maggie, Glenn and Merle in charge of defenses here. Karen's agreed to look after everyone from Woodbury. And Hershel, Carol and Sarah are gonna take Beth and the kids away from here in case...in case we don't make it back."
Hershel looked over the maps of places close by to take Beth and the kids. He pointed out a place they'd go and a backup.
"We still need to prepare for this more but knowin' that little bit helps," Michonne replied.
"It does," Hershel said.
Everyone seemed to agree with those details of the plan, everyone except Maggie and Carol.
Carol was just upset that I had decided to go but Maggie was clearly pissed.
"There's more to discuss but we got stuff that needs to be done. We're not gonna rush into this so we'll talk more later," I told everyone and we all went our separate ways.
I headed towards the administration offices when I heard footsteps behind me.
I didn't have to turn around to know who they belonged to but I did anyway.
Maggie stood there, tears in her eyes and both fists clenched.