As Dimitri climbs into the driver seat he gives me a sideways glance, I manage one of my best Rose Hathaway smiles before blushing again. I never thought I'd feel awkward discussing my love life with my friends. I never had trouble before, not even in class. But then again it wasn't Dimitri. I sigh and look out the window.
"So what did you buy at Outdoor World?" Christian asks breaking the uncomfortable silence.
"Camping supplies." Dimitri responds.
"Camping?" Adrian asks.
"Yes. Unless you'd rather sleep in a cave." I smile at the though of sharing a tent with Dimitri again. Last time we shared a tent, well, we were on the run and I was still with Adrian. I steal a glance at him and catch a smirk. The look on his face, I know he's thinking the same thing. My shoulders relax and I close my eyes.
I wake to voices discussing food. Rubbing my eyes I turn to Dimitri, "Good morning beautiful" his eyes soften and his lips curl into a smile as he speaks. My heart melts, I love his smile. It was always a reward when he'd flash me one during our training sessions. Will I ever get use to him giving them to me unconditionally? I hope not. I make a silent vow to myself to never take the little things for granted. Even something as little as a smile.
The doors open and I realize we've stopped. While I was daydreaming we pulled into the parking lot of an IHOP. I sluggishly slide out of the passenger seat. Dimitri extends out his hand to me.
"Are you okay?" He asks.
"More than okay." I smile. He reaches his arms around me, pulling me closer to him. Wrapping my arms around his solid body, I melt into his chest. He kisses my forehead.
"I have something for you." He says. I look up and meet his intense stare.
"Like a present?" I'm giddy with excitement.
"Yes. A present." Smiling, he produces a small bag from his pocket. Still wrapped in his arms, I eagerly open it. It's my favorite lip gloss.
"You remembered." I smile.
"How could I ever forget the taste of your lips." He whispers as his lips meet mine. His kiss is slow and gentle. Not the heated passionate kisses we usually exchange. I'm entranced by the softness of his touch. The sensation engulfs me. This is love, not lust. I feel a burning deep in my heart. The corners of my mouth turn up into a smile. He slightly pulls away, but not before lightly licking my parted lips. How erotic, I whimper. Does he know what he does to me? He leans his forehead against mine.
"Something amusing?" He asks.
"No. I just realized this is the first time we've openly displayed our affection. In public." I add.
"And how do you feel about that?" He's watching me closely.
"I like it." I lean into him, stealing another kiss.
"You're so beautiful," he murmurs against my lips.
"Hey," our kiss stops. But we don't turn toward Adrian. "You going to eat? Or get a room?"
"No. We're coming." Dimitri reluctantly says. "Go on in. I'll be there in a minute. I want to check the map." I nod and give him one last chaste kiss.
"I get it now." Adrian says as I approach.
"What?" I ask.
"You two. I never made you shine like that." He says thoughtfully. "You've always shined, even when you were shadow kissed. But when you're with him..." He shakes his head and doesn't finish.
"Adrian?" I ask, lightly placing my hand on his forearm. I'm worried about his mental state. As a spirit user he's shadowed in darkness. He continuously walks the line between craziness and staying sane. I should know, I've been there. If it weren't for Dimitri I would be lost to the world. He and he alone was able to reach me when my mind was overcome with spirits darkness. I fear for Adrian and Lissa everyday.
He gently squeezes my hand and says, "You two were made for each other."
As we eat Dimitri tells us his plan.
"Since it's so close to sunset, I think we should get a motel room for the night. Without knowing the actual state of The Keepers and if we have any tails, it'll be safer if we arrive in the woods with as much daylight as possible." We all nod in agreement.
"You said 'room' as in one?" Christian asks. Dimitri nods.
"Seriously, I do not want to share a room with you and Rose." Adrian's voice cuts through the air. I see Dimitri tense up, he's fighting for control.
"It is the most secure way. There are four of us, we will take shifts - two at a time." Glancing to me he adds, "and Rose will be on first shift with Mikhail."
I know what he's doing. As much as I didn't like it, I knew it made sense. If we were on watch together, there was the possibility of...not paying attention, for lack of better words. Ah. I sigh. At least I can snuggle up with him while he sleeps, just like when we were in the tent before.