One minute, Aaron had thought the conversation with the
strangers had been going well. The next minute, something had yanked his feet
out from under him, and he’d seen Daryl take the stock of a rifle to the back
of the head.
Now, Aaron was waking up in a chair, with rope around his
chest, rope binding his ankles to the legs of the chair, and his wrists tied
together behind the chair. He assumed that Daryl was tied the same way to
another chair bound to Aaron’s back. The other man was shifting sluggishly,
probably figuring out their situation just as Aaron was.
“Hey?” Aaron tried tentatively, turning his head around as
far as he could. “Are you all right?”
He received a groan in response, and Aaron remembered the
loud crack of the impact of the rifle against Daryl’s head. He grimaced and
looked around. They were surrounded by aisles of dusty slot machines and what
looked like dismantled poker tables and boxes of chips. If he had to guess,
then he’d say that they had been taken hostage in a casino storage room.
Of all the cliché…
He spotted Daryl’s crossbow, in the hands of a teenaged girl
and aimed directly at his head. He recognized the girl as one of the five
people in the group that he and Daryl had approached. The girl was obviously
trying to look like she knew how to handle the weapon, only succeeding in
highlighting how much she didn’t.
“You don’t need that,” Aaron stated. “We’re tied to chairs.
Pretty effectively, actually.” He wiggled a bit in his seat to show her. “I
just want to talk.”
“How many more of them are you?” the girl asked.
“Just the two of us, like I said before your group knocked
us out,” Aaron replied. “Where are the rest of your people?”
Daryl moaned again, finally starting to move with more
“Daryl? Hey.” Aaron pushed back slightly. “Welcome back.”
“Who’s Carol?” the girl demanded.
Daryl sat straight up at that, and Aaron frowned. “Where
“He was saying her name while he was out…Is she your back
up? How do we know this ‘Carol’ isn’t just outside, waiting to snipe us?” she
“Shit,” Daryl grunted.
“Oh, but you two aren’t a thing or anything,” Aaron called
“Shut up,” Daryl growled.
“I don’t understand why you keep denying it. It’s not like
this big secret that you seem to think it is—“
“It ain’t none of your business—“
“I’m not making fun of you,” Aaron stated. “But we don’t
exactly live in a world that forgives you for not speaking up sooner.”
“Who’s Carol!?” the girl snapped again.
“His wife,” Aaron replied smartly.
Daryl cursed him. “No she ain’t!”
“Not yet,” Aaron snickered.
“You realize that I could kill you both?” the girl hissed.
Daryl sighed. “Not without any bolts, you ain’t.”
The girl paused, looked down, realized that the crossbow
wasn’t loaded, and blanched. “Fuck.”
“I would advise you to let us go,” Aaron said coolly.
“Nothing has happened here—“
“I got a fuckin’ concussion!” Daryl grumbled.
Aaron shushed him, looking at the girl. “Let us go, and
Carol won’t have to—“
“Fuck your shit up!” Daryl barked.
Aaron deadpanned. Sure, okay, they’ll go that route this