Chapter 7

A week later they all looked up at the rumble deep enough to shake the glass of the windows pulled up outside.

Sitting right outside the door was Andy in her Trans Am, except it wasn't primer-red and Bondo-grey anymore. It was oil slick black, bright gold accents making it every bit the Bandit she had always called it.

"Whattya think guys?" she grinned, pulling her sunglasses on top of her head as the whole group filed out of the shop.

"Wow," Jen whispered. "When did you get this done?"

"I took it to the shop last week, they just called me this morning and said I could come pick it up."

"This looks awesome!" Piper grinned, trailing a finger over the smooth black paint.

"Wanna go for a ride?" she asked, grinning at Priestly.

He finally drew his eyes back from the car to smile at her, before looking over his shoulder at Trucker.

He just smiled. "Go."

Priestly grinned, untying his apron and handing it over to Jen as he climbed in the passenger side, the car coming to life underneath him with the turn of the key.

"Interesting shirt by the way," Andy grinned, shooting him a sideways look before pulling her sunglasses back down and gunning the engine.

'I was kicked out of Scouts for eating a Brownie.'

The red that spread up Priestly face was so worth it as she laughed out loud and left the shop in a cloud of burnt rubber.

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They didn't make it back from their impromptu joy ride until after dark, stumbling into his apartment in a fit of laughter.

Priestly grabbed her from behind, snaking his arms around her waist and lifting her clear from the ground spinning her around before crash landing on the couch.

She sighed, back pressed against his chest as they caught their breath, before she turned over and kissed him.

They broke for air and she looked away shyly, placing her palm flat on his chest, rereading his shirt with a smile and something twisted low in his gut when she met his eyes again.

"You sure?" he whispered.

"I haven't…since," she mumbled looking away, remembering the last time she had been with a guy.

"I know," he rumbled. "We don't have to," he said quietly.

"I want to," she whispered, meeting his eyes again.

He nodded, picking her up and carrying her down the hall to his room, kissing her the whole way.

And man was she a fan of that lip stud.

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"You okay?" he whispered, slipping in behind her.

She sighed turning over and burying her face in his neck. "Perfect."

He smiled, kissing her forehead and squeezing her tighter in his arms.

"I feel safe with you," she whispered, causing him to pull back to see her eyes.

"You are," he rumbled, running his hand down her arm.

"I know," she whispered, sliding her own hand up over his heart.

"I still don't know how you can stand to look at me," she mumbled, eyes clouding over with tears.

"Andy…"

"You're the first you know."

"First what?" he choked, not sure he wanted to hear the answer.

"The first to treat me like I was worth more than…a couple hundred bucks," she laughed dryly.

He closed his eyes before leaning his forehead against hers.

"Listen to me," he paused, making her meet his eyes. "I. Do. Not. Care. I can't begin to imagine the shit you had to go through growing up. You had to take care of yourself when you got out, and I'm not about to blame you for that. But seriously Andy, I don't care okay? You walked away…that's all that matters to me. You're all that matters to me."

She fought to hold back the tears, but when one went rogue and slipped free Priestly leaned forward and kissed it away.

"You walked away," he whispered, "That makes you stronger than all of that."

"You're worth everything," he added softly.

"I can't believe it," she said quietly, staring at him.

"What?"

"That someone would ever let you go."

He faked a smirk, looking away from her sincere eyes for a second.

"I thought she was it ya know? I mean, we had been friends at the shop and I…I always liked her. But she was the kind that went after the Abercrombie models, never really paid much attention to me.

"But I grew a pair, cleaned myself up, asked her out. And…it was great," he chuckled, "It really was…but after a while, after I had kinda eased back into being myself, put my stud back in," he said, running his tongue over the back of the silver ball, making it bob. "Things just started changing…and I think deep down I knew she would never accept me, not unless I was in her pretty boy role."

He stared at Andy in a silence for a minute, waiting for her to say something.

"How could she be so blind?" she whispered.

And Priestly found that he didn't really have a whole lot to say to that.

"And how the hell could she not be a fan of that lip stud?" she laughed, leaning forward to kiss the silver, running her tongue teasingly over it and up his lip.

His laugh rumbled in his chest as he pulled her into a kiss, sliding his tongue between her lips and rolling his own to rub the metal ball against hers.

She moaned, laughing against him.

"Maybe I should get a tongue ring," he smiled, eyes dancing with mischief.

"Mm, maybe you should," she grinned, kissing him again.

"Or…maybe you should get a tongue ring," he grinned, waggling his eyebrows.

She laughed, kissing the piercing again. "Maybe I should…but I won't," she grinned.

"Eh," he shrugged, still smiling, "it was worth a try."

She smiled at him, walking her fingers over the inked swirls on his neck, shivering in his arms when he turned his head to kiss her palm.

"I love you," she whispered, all of the previous teasing gone from her tone.

"I love you too," he rumbled, holding her eyes before pulling her into another kiss.

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"Hey!" she grinned, bouncing on the bed over a month later.

"What?" he groaned, face planted in the pillow as he turned to crack an eye at her.

"Look what I found at the store," she smiled, shaking a box in front of his face.

He squinted long enough to see the purple-blue haze of a picture on the hair dye box, claiming it glowed under a black light.

"Did you go shopping already this morning?" he croaked, voice rough with sleep.

"Maybe," she grinned as his mouth twitched into a smirk.

"C'mon, I wanna put it in before you go to work, see what the guys say."

"Fine," he smiled, chuckling as she went outright skipping to the bathroom.

When he finally stumbled his way in the door, and actually stumbled, shoulder colliding with the doorframe as he scratched his stomach she was sitting on the closed toilet lid with nothing but a t-shirt on.

That woke him up.

"What are you wearing?"

"What?" she asked, setting the hair dye box aside so he could see his shirt that she was wearing.

'With a shirt this awesome…who needs pants?'

He laughed out loud as he settled himself between her legs on the floor.

"I don't think you're supposed to take that literally," he smiled.

"Are you complaining?" she asked, running her fingers through his hair before opening the bottle of dye.

"Not at all," he sighed, running his hands up her calves as he melted under her fingers.

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"There," she smiled, her purple hand coming over his shoulder to hand him a mirror.

"Dude that looks awesome!" he grinned, tugging at the spikes in the front.

"I know," she laughed, roughing her hands through his hair again.

He spun around slowly, bringing himself to his knees as his hands slid up her thighs.

"This shirt's too big for you," he growled, hands pushing it up over her bare hips.

"Priestly," she whispered, as he left purple smudge marks on the inside of her thighs.