With his index finger he lightly traced the cord along the right side of her neck, he wanted to press his lips there, but even this action risked waking her. The moon was bright and filled the cell with an unusual light. He could see the fine hairs that curled the curve of her ear, which he had a sudden longing to nibble.
He pulled upright and gently placed his palm on her hip. In her sleep she let out a deep breath. He wished to curl up beside her, wrap his arms around her waist and intertwine his fingers with hers. But he shouldn't even be here.
Watching her sleep was the most he would allow himself to invade her privacy. It hadn't been the first time, but if he wasn't careful, it would be his last. Touching her had been too much. It crossed a respect boundary, but worse yet, it made him desire more.
But what more did he desire? Was it worth it to risk the closest friendship of his life for something she mostly likely didn't even want? They were such good friends that they could joke about it, but did she feel the same impossible attraction he felt?
She stirred and he removed his hand. He had sat watching her enough to know that soon she would turn to lay on her right side, and in the light of the moon it would be too much of a risk for him to stay.
As he left her cell, he realized that he had to figure this thing out soon. If it was safe for him to show her how he truly felt, or if it was better to remain as they were. He couldn't keep watching her this way. It hurt too much to not touch her more.
Finding physical comfort in a best friend was almost too much to hope for. And for someone who had really had neither it seemed impossible. But men like him, they didn't hope, did they? He was a doer. And what does a doer do when he is unsure? He takes action.
Daryl turned on his heel and returned to Carol's cell. She hadn't turned yet and so he slid in behind her, wrapping his arm around her waist and nuzzling into her neck, just below the spot where her hair curled. She responded by pressing into him and sighing slightly.
He smiled. Doers do.