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Chapter 71

Dimitri

IN THE BACKSEAT OF AN '89 Mustang I bought off of Craigslist for two hundred dollars, Rose gasps for air, and my lips trail down her neck. We both breathe hard, and our hands are everywhere we can possibly touch. Her legs rest across the bench seat as I cradle her in my lap. We were given an hour and a half and we've spent it making love.

"I'm supposed to be getting you food," I whisper in her ear.

Her hand squeezes my neck, bringing my lips to hers. "I can always eat."

For three months, I've dreamed of having her in my arms again. Rose is the kind of girl that requires a wait, and she is definitely worth waiting for. My cell chimes, and Rose moans as she snuggles her head in the crook of my neck. "It can't be time to go home yet."

"No, but it's getting close." Hand-holding and the occasional quick, chaste kiss is all I'm allowed to do under Rose's family's ever-present gaze. Recently, we've been promoted to a hug. I hold her tighter, my hands sliding up and down her back. "I was thinking that we could buy some land and build our shop and home there. That way we're never apart."

"I like that," she says. "But don't you think business will be better in the city?"

I smile. "We'll be so good that people will flock to us just from our reputation."

Rose kisses my jaw, sending shivers along my spine. She cuddles into me. "I love you."

My heartbeats become lighter and happier. She's alive and loves me. "I love you."

She sighs, showing some heaviness. "I miss driving."

"I know." I wish I could tell her when she'll be able to do it again. I sit up straighter as the thought washes over me. "Come on."

I gently help her back into the passenger side and jump into the driver's seat. I start the car, and we both cringe at the sorry state of the engine. I press the clutch, take her hand and place it on the stick shift. "I can't give you the complete feeling of being behind the wheel, but I can give you control. This car ain't moving without you."

That brilliant smile lights up her face. "How fast are you wanting to go?"

I shrug. "Your choice, but I don't have problems with speed."

Keeping our eyes locked on each other, Rose shoves the car into First. I lift off the clutch as I step on the gas.