Chapter 3: They Come First

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"Uh, Dimitri," I said, once I'd stepped out of his shower, "we've got a problem."


"Well, what am I going to wear?" It was the middle of the Moroi afternoon, and campus would be crawling with students, guardians, and teachers. There was no way I'd be able to get away with walking across campus in that dress. Much less walk out of Dimitri's room in it. And wearing his towel wouldn't really be any better.

"Oh." He looked at the rumpled dress skeptically. "Maybe..." But we both knew it would be a terrible idea.

I picked it up. "Oh. It's..."

"It's what?"

I held it up wordlessly, giving him a moment to take in the fact that it was practically ripped in two.


"You've been saying that a lot this afternoon."

He grimaced. "I need food, Roza. We both do."

"Yeah. Which brings us back to this." I dropped the dress, nose wrinkled.

"Um. Maybe I have something you can wear?"

I eyed him skeptically. "Comrade, if you hadn't noticed, you're like, two feet taller than me. In fact, you're probably twice my size."

"So pants are out. What about shorts?"

"You own shorts? You're from the –"

"The frozen north. I know." he interrupted my familiar jibe. "We do have summer though. So yes, I have shorts."

He dug through his closet as we spoke, unearthing a pair of athletic shorts, which he tossed at me. A T-shirt followed seconds later.

I slipped them on, and went to stand in front of the mirror. My snort of laughter soon drew Dimitri.

"I look ridiculous." The shorts fell past my knees, and the T-shirt sleeves hung past my elbows.

He failed to hold back a snort of his own. "Yes, Roza, you do. However, that's the best we can do."

I nodded. "I need a belt." I held out the waistband to illustrate – it would have easily accommodated two of me. "And better toss me a sweatshirt."

"Are you cold, Roza?" He looked puzzled.

"No, but these," I indicated my chest, "need a bit more coverage. Unless you really want all the guys to stare."

He eyed my chest and gulped. "Right," his voice came out strangled, "let me see... here."

I caught the hoodie he tossed me and pulled it on. A bit warm, but it would do. I rolled the sleeves up, and cinched the belt around my waist to hold up the shorts. I then rolled up the legs of the shorts to a more reasonable length. The T-shirt sleeves felt weird, but they were hidden under the hoodie, as was the odd bunching where I'd rolled the waistband of the shorts over the belt.

We both surveyed the results. Not bad, I decided. Not my best look, but not bad. Maybe I'd start a trend.

Dimitri wrapped his arms around me from behind and leaned down to whisper in my ear.

"You look sexy when you wear my clothes, Roza."

I wiggled my hips, pressing back against him, and he growled. He spun me around in his arms, and I wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling his face to mine. I pressed my lips to his, but instead of kissing him, I whispered against his lips.

"We both need to eat, and you know it. And if we start this now, we'll be here all night."

He groaned, but released me. I instantly missed his warmth, and was tempted to snuggle back into him and kiss him senseless, but my stomach growled loudly, reminding me that both of us would be really grumpy if we didn't eat soon. With a sigh, I pulled away, and headed for the door.

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