Chapter Three

"For the lovely lady." Jack handed Rose the roses, then took her hand and gently kissed it. "You ready to go?" he asked, offering his arm.

Rose took Jack's arm and let him lead her out to his car. He was being so gentlemanly; she could hardly believe this was the same guy she was dancing with last night. It was almost like two completely different people. The Jack she was with last night was so risqué, while now he was being completely proper. Oh, well, thought Rose. She figured there was no reason to really be surprised. In the short time she had known him, she already knew Jack Dawson was one of the most unpredictable people she would ever meet.

They got in the car, and Jack put a CD in the radio, not letting Rose see what it was. He put on the song he wanted, and Rose had to smile. God Must Have Spent a Little More Time On You, by N'Sync, started to play, which was the first slow song they had danced to the night before. Jack started to sing to her.

After the song, Jack looked at Rose and stroked her hair with one hand, keeping the other on the steering wheel. Rose couldn't do anything but smile at him, as she joined in singing the next song with him.

XXXXX

"I need you to read my mind again."

"Sometimes the mind needs to discover things for itself."

Jack tried as hard as he could to concentrate on the movie, but that was a near impossible feat for him. His eyes kept being drawn to the girl sitting next to him, holding his hand. And then there was the couple making out behind them, which made things a little awkward for him. Jack wanted to kiss Rose so badly, but he resisted the urge.

Rose rested her head on Jack's shoulder, sighing contentedly. This made Jack lose all of his initial self-restraint that he had tried so hard to keep intact. He lifted Rose's chin with his finger, looking into her eyes. Slowly, Jack leaned in to kiss Rose, inching closer with each passing second. Rose closed her eyes, wanting to savor the moment at hand. To Rose, it seemed like an eternity before their lips finally met, but when they did, it was the most electrifying kiss Rose had ever felt. True, the only other person who had ever kissed her was Cal, but he didn't compare to this at all.

Some time later, Jack pulled away, looking into Rose's green eyes. Eyes he had come to cherish in the two short days they had known each other. Eyes that were the window straight into Rose's soul, if you looked closely enough. Those beautiful eyes that told him if he was happy, sad, angry, or any other fathomable emotion. As he looked into her eyes now, all he saw was adoration.

At the same time, Rose was studying Jack's face. She saw him looking at her with a questioning look in his eyes, and all she could do was smile. This seemed to reassure him, because he smiled back at her. Rose brought her mouth next to Jack's ear, and whispered, "Come on, Jack. Let's get out of here. I'm not really interested in the movie anymore. Some other, more important things, have caught my attention."

Jack looked at her, almost shocked, although he knew he shouldn't be. Something like this should be expected from Rose of all people. Jack quickly grabbed her hand, and brought her outside of the movie theatre. Rose was so happy Jack had finally kissed her she felt that if she were to die at that moment, at least she would die happy. When the two of them got out to his car, Jack opened Rose's door for her before getting in himself. Before starting the car, Jack kissed Rose again, more intensely than when they had been inside. Rose moaned into Jack's mouth, loving the feelings she experienced just by being near him. Sitting next to Jack, kissing him, was almost more than she could handle.

Jack could barely control himself. He wanted to move slowly, not only because he knew that Rose was a virgin, but also because she was a minor. He didn't need to be in any trouble with the law, and from what he had heard about Ruth, she didn't seem like a very understanding person. Jack and Rose could pledge their love for each other as much as they wanted, but it wouldn't matter to Ruth. All she would see was a wrongdoing that involved her daughter, and that just wouldn't do.

Rose was having thoughts similar to Jack's, although she wasn't quite as concerned about her mother. Rose climbed over the console into Jack's lap, straddling his legs. Jack groaned and pulled away, to the disappointment of both of them. "Rose...we...can't...do...this," he managed to get out between kisses. "And...if...you...keep...doing...that...I...won't...be...able...to...oh, what the hell?" Jack climbed into the back seat, bringing Rose with him.

XXXXX

Jack thoughts were incomprehensible. He didn't even know what he was thinking, or what he should be thinking. All he knew was that Rose was here with him, in his car, after the most wonderful event of his life had transpired. He had been dreaming of this happening for the past two nights, and now that it actually had, his dreams didn't mean a thing to him at all. He knew he was in love, even though he had never before believed in love at first sight. Never until Rose, at least. There wasn't a doubt in his mind that Rose was the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He didn't voice this to her, though, not knowing if she felt the same.

Only one word was in Jack's mind at that point in time. Soulmates. He had never believed in destiny or fate until he had met this wonderful girl. Jack lowered his mouth to Rose's, giving her the most passionate yet gentle kiss she had ever had. Rose was indescribably happy at that moment. She looked into Jack's eyes, and saw he was looking at her with a look of pure love.

"Jack."

"What is it, Rose?"

"There's, uh...something I need to tell you." Rose was nervous at what his reaction would be when she said what she so desperately wanted to say.

Noticing her nervous state, Jack kissed her again before softly whispering, "I want you to know you can tell me anything, Rose. You don't have to be scared to talk to me. Now, what do you want to tell me?"

"I l—" Rose stopped before she finished speaking. Was it too soon to say those three little words? After all, they had only met two days earlier. But at that moment, Rose decided she didn't care how long she had known Jack. She loved him, and that was all that mattered. "I love you."

"Oh, my God, Rose. Really?" All he could do was nod. Jack leaned closer to her, and whispered in her ear, "I love you, too, Rose. It's so funny. I've never believed in love at first sight or destiny or any of that before. But that's all changed now. You're the one that changed that, Rose. It was all you. My entire outlook on love and life is different. I realize it is entirely possible to be head over heels in love with a person even if you only known them a short time."

"I'm so glad you said that, Jack, because that's exactly how I feel. I never thought I would meet anyone who understood me how you do. I think you are the only person in the world who truly knows the real me. Other people just see that I'm from a rich family, so they assume everything about me before they meet me. But not you, Jack. You are so incredibly different from anyone else I've ever met. And I just love you so much for it."

Jack kissed Rose once more before sitting up, saying they should head back to Lacey's house. Rose really didn't want to; she wanted to stay with Jack. She was tempted to call her friend and tell her that she would be staying with Jack that night, but thought better of it. After all, it was Lacey's last few days in Orlando, hell, in Florida even, and Rose did want to spend some time with her before she moved.

XXXXX

"Lace, I'm telling you, it was so amazing!"

"Maybe so, but you do realize that's a big step to take with a guy who you met a grand total of two days ago?"

"Yeah, of course it is. But we're in love, Lacey! So does it really matter that much? We're both happy about it. So why can't you be happy for me?"

"I am happy for you, Rose. I just want to make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. Let's just hope your mom never finds out about this."

"Why would I give a shit what my mom thinks? It's my life, and she can't control me."

"Well, maybe it is your life, but you have to remember he's twenty and you're seventeen. That's illegal, Rose. Even with your consent. If your mom found out, she could press charges and he would go straight to prison."

"Well, then she just won't find out."

"I hope not, Rose. I pray to God she doesn't find out about this. For both your sakes."

XXXXX

The next day, Rose went home and had to face her mother about the breakup with Cal. She also had to tell her about Jack. She hoped that went well.

"Rose, why do you refuse to listen to me? I'm your mother and you should do as I say."

"I realize that you are my mother, but I'm not a little kid anymore. And you sure as hell can't tell me who I can or can't date. Besides, it's completely over with Cal, Mom. There's no chance we are getting back together. I have a new boyfriend now."

"And just who may I ask is this new boyfriend of yours? I am almost positive it has to be someone I don't like. You would do it just to spite me."

"You don't even know him!" At her mother's expression, Rose remembered Ruth's rule about knowing all the people she went out with. "He's coming over to dinner Wednesday night. You'll meet him then."

"When did you meet this boy, Rose? What is his name? How old is he?"

"If you must know, mother, his name is Jack and I met him at the park Thursday. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going upstairs to take a shower and go to bed." Rose deliberately left out telling Ruth about Jack's age, not wanting anymore tension between them right now. She knew her mother would be appalled that she was dating a boy she had met three days before, but that was the least of her worries. She would be eighteen in just a few weeks, anyway. Then Ruth would no longer have any control over her life.

XXXXX

After taking her shower, Rose decided to call Jack. She wanted to see if he would pick her up after school the next day so they could go do something. She dialed his number and waited for him to answer.

"Hello?" said the voice on the other end of the phone.

"Hey, Jack! Listen, I told my mom about us and she seems okay with it. I think she's kind of pissed about not knowing you, but it doesn't really matter to me."

"Well, she'll know me after Wednesday. Then what objections could she have?"

"Other than your age, nothing."

"Rose, it's not that bad, You'll be eighteen in about three weeks anyway. So I'm only two years older than you."

"Yeah, I know. But that's not how she'll see it. Trust me, she's gonna try to find any fault in you she can just to try and convince me to go back to Cal."

"For some reason I don't think she'll be successful. Or I hope not at least."

"There's no way. I love you too much to do that to you. Anyway, the real reason I called was because I wanted to know if you could pick me up from school tomorrow. Then we could go out."

"Sure. What do you wanna do?"

"We can talk about it tomorrow. I have to go to bed soon, so I can actually wake up in the morning." She laughed.

"Just tell me when you want to go. I won't mind. Or I'll try not to, at least."

"I'm pretty tired now, actually."

"Okay. Well, I'll let you go to bed then. Love you."

"Love you, too. Good night. I'll call you tomorrow during lunch."

"Okay. Night. I'll see you tomorrow."

Rose hung up the phone and fell back on the bed. She almost instantly fell asleep, with a happy smile across her face.