As discussed Dimitri pulled over at the first decent looking motel we see from the interstate. I flashback to the little motel room we stayed in the first night after our grand escape when Dimitri and I were still at odds with each other. I was heartbroken because he said he didn’t love me anymore. I was also disgusted with him because at the time I thought the only reason he helped me escape was due to his pledged loyalty to Lissa.
We’ve never spoken of that night, but I always wanted to ask him what he was thinking at the time. If he thought the events of that night may have played out differently if I didn’t punch him. If he would have distanced himself from me even more and become a recluse. I shake my head, I don’t need to play the ‘what if’ game right now. He slides in the driver seat and gives me a questioning look. I put on my best Rose Hathaway smile and bat my eyelashes. He rolls his eyes and says,
“We’re in room 22b. They’re bringing a cot.” He puts it in gear and drives down the parking lot pulling in front of the room. We pile out and walk in to see the setup. It wasn’t all that bad, two double beds, a couch, TV, and desk. We all jump at a knock on the door. It’s only the housekeeping bringing the cot.
“Okay, let’s grab out stuff and settle in for the night.” Dimitri’s voice cuts through the awkward silence.
“Hey Eddie, can you grab my bag? I’m going to jump in the shower while there’s still hot water.” Adrian calls as he walks toward the bathroom.
“I can grab your stuff too, if you want to call Lissa.” Eddie says to Christian. He nods, pulling out his cell phone and sprawls on the couch.
Sonya lies down on a bed while the rest of us head outside. Eddie grabs his, Adrian’s, and Christian’s bags, and also a sleeping bag. My face scrunches up in questions.
“I’ll take the floor.” Eddie says to no one in particular. I hadn’t even thought about sleeping arrangements. He and Mikhail head back inside, I turn to follow when Dimitri grabs my arm.
“Are you okay?” He asks. I rest my head on his shoulder and he wraps his arms around me.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I say wrapping my arms around him in return.
“Want to tell me what you were thinking about earlier?”
“Earlier when?” I ask.
“Just a few minutes ago while I was checking in.” He pulls my face away from the crook of his neck where I had managed to bury my face. He rests his forehead against mine, we’re nose to nose, and a smile creeps up to my face. I flush by the close proximity of him and my stomach flips. How does he do this to me with just a single look and touch?
“Oh, I was just thinking about the night we almost spent in a motel.” I say. “Playing the ‘what if’ scenario.” I smile wryly.
“What do you mean what if?” His tone is deep and seductive, my chest tightens. Does he know what he’s doing to me?
“How that night may have played out different.” I’m looking down suddenly fascinated by a spot on his shirt. A minute or two go by and he still hasn’t said anything so I finally look up. He’s staring down at me expressionless with a glassy eyed look.
“Dimitri?” I ask my voice full of concern.
“You mean if you didn’t try to run,” I shake my head cutting him off.
“No, if I didn’t punch you.” I meekly say. Why am I being so shy with him? The corners of his mouth pull into a smile.
“You mean the kiss?” His eyes twinkle as he leans closer to me. My breath catches and my heart pounds. I nod not able to find my voice. Damn. Why is he so sexy when he’s playful?
“I’ve always wondered that myself. You surprised me with the kiss, but caught me off guard with the punch.” He says, nipping at my bottom lip.
“You kissed me back.” I lightly flick my tongue at his upper lip. His grip tightens around my waist.
“Yes, I surprised myself too.” He kisses my jaw line, stopping to whisper in my ear, “I was so upset with you that night.” I lift my chin and slightly tilt my head, exposing my neck. He takes the hint and trails kisses down to my collarbone.
“Why were you so upset?” A low moan escapes my lips. His lips freeze and I feel his hands tighten.
“Dimitri? What is it, what’s wrong?” I quickly straighten up, looking around for danger. His eyes have gone dark and his face is contorted in a tight grimace. I know this look. No, no, no. Not here, not now. “Dimitri,” I say in a low sing-song voice, as I gently brush his cheek with my fingertips. His grips tightens around my waist, I wince knowing I’ll have marks tomorrow.
“Comrade,” I switch tactics. Guiding his head down to mine, forcing him to meet my eyes, I continue gently stroking his cheek. “Dimitri, er, Comrade, it’s me Rose. Your Roza.” I say with a shaky voice. I see a flicker in his eyes, that’s something. The sun is starting to set, we need to get inside. But I can’t take him inside like this. The others can’t see him like this, it’ll destroy him. I take a deep breath and then decide what I need to do. It’s risky, but worth a try.
“Dimitri I will always love you.” I say as I smash my lips into his. An animalistic rage takes over my actions; I give him everything I’ve got. It’s not slow, or gentle, and it’s most definitely not romantic in any way possible. It’s pure lust, plain and simple. I need him, but most importantly he needs me. He needs human contact, he needs to feel love and affection.
“Oh Roza,” I know he’s back when I feel his hands slide up my back to tangle in my hair. Our kiss trails off and he rests his chin against the top of my head, hugging me tightly. “I…I love you.” He whispers, “I’m lost without you.” I hear the desperation in his voice.
“Then it’s a good thing I’m right here.” I say, squeezing him tightly around the midsection. “Right where I’m mean to be, in your arms.” His embrace tightens with my words.
“Do you want to talk about it?” I’m skating on thin ice, I know I shouldn’t pry. But I also know it helps him when he does talk about it. Though sometimes it also throws him back in the deep end.
“Later. It’s already dark we should get inside.” He tilts my chin up and our lips meet. The gentlest and most romantic kiss we’ve ever shared. This kiss, as slow as it is, is full of pure emotions, radiating love. My head is spinning and I’m literally dizzy from the spell he’s put me under.
“I can’t wait until tomorrow night when we have our own tent.” I murmur against his lips and I feel him smile before our lips part. We walk inside hand in hand with our bags.
“What have you two been doing, checking the perimeter?” My eyes meet Christian’s and I give him a sharp look that says, ‘drop it’.
I glance around the room and notice Mikhail and Sonya are cuddled on one bed, Christian is sprawled on the couch, Adrian is asleep on the cot, and Eddie is lying on the floor. I guess they left the other bed for me and Dimitri. Walking toward the bed I tell Dimitri to get some sleep. He nods, reminds me when to wake him and Eddie, he gives me a kiss on the forehead and lies down.
I sit next to him and he instantly reaches for me. Weaving his arm around my hips he lays his head on my belly and I place my arm around him cradling his head. He quickly falls asleep as does everyone else except me and Mikhail.