Chapter 9: Are We There Yet?

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So, here's the thing . I'm currently writing Just Not Cut Out for Torture. So that one's gonna stay a MONDAY & FRIDAY update.
But.
The others... are all complete. So maybe we'll do it this way. A chapter a day. I'm waaaaay too impatient to drag this out, you guys :-)

Soooo... There are 2 more chapters after this one. Chapter 10 will go up tomorrow, and the final chapter, chapter 11, will go up Tuesday, April 19

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"Are we there yet?"

"Rose." Christian stared at me. "We've only just left." He twisted around to look behind us. "You can still see the gate!"

"Are we there yet?"

"Rose."

"Are we there yet "

"Rose!"

I grinned. "Are we – "

Lissa leaned forward and smacked me in the head with her bag of popcorn. Which promptly spilled all over my head.

"Food!"

I dove for the popcorn, hunting out every last piece. When I was done, I smirked at Christian and opened my mouth.

"Are we there yet?"

Christian sighed. "If I give you all the food, will it shut you up?"

"No!" squawked Lissa. "Don't do it! It's what she wants!"

I reached back and clapped my hand over her mouth. "Pay no attention to your girlfriend, Pyro. It's lies – all of it lies. Now gimme the food."

"Rose."

Dimitri placed his hand over mine, squeezing it. I turned to him. "Yes, comrade?"

He turned to look at me. I bit my lip. "Oh, all right. I won't do it any more."

"Thank you." He squeezed my hand again, then returned both hands to the wheel. "How about some music? He suggested brightly."

"Oh, thank God!" shouted Christian.

"No, wait! Chrissy, you don't know what you're doing!"

He stared at me. "Rosie. It can hardly be worse than your – "

He stopped, staring at the radio openmouthed. "What is this?" he asked incredulously, after we'd all silently listened to a few verses of "Rock Lobster."

I dropped my head against the back of my seat with a thunk. "This, Fireboy, is what Dimitri considers 'music.'" Then I sat bolt upright. "Hang on! Liss! Do you have your Slayerz CDs with you?"

She straighted, grinning. "Yeah! Hang on, lemme find 'em." She rummaged furiously through her bag, eventually coming up with a stack of CDs. She passed them to me.

"Excellent! Now, Dimitri, you will have to listen to good music, because it's your friend's band, and you don't want to go to their concert without knowing any of the songs do you?"

He sighed.

I took that as my answer, and ejected his CD, holding it by two fingers as if I thought it might bite me. Or contaminate me with bad musical taste. His fingers twitched, as if he was struggling not to bat my hand away from the controls. I replaced his CD with the Slayerz's first album, bobbing my head as the first notes played.

Dimitri gave a resigned sigh, but otherwise didn't comment. I leaned back, put my arms behind my head and propped my feet on the dashboard. Dimitri frowned at me, but shrugged and didn't chastise me for that either. I grinned. Yes. This car ride was going to be So. Much. Better. than the usual ones.

Of course, I secretly didn't mind Dimitri's music that much. But there was no way I was actually going to tell him that.

After a while, Dimitri's frown eased. Soon he was even wearing a slight smile and bobbing his head to the music. By the time I put in the second album, he was tapping his fingers on the steering wheel in time to the beat. By the time the third album started, he was humming along.

I turned back to grin at Lissa, but she was asleep, head pillowed on Christian's shoulder. He was asleep too, arm wrapped protectively around her. I felt my mouth twitch. They were cute together. I even approved of Christian – Hell, I even liked him. But he was so much fun to annoy!

Alberta caught my eye from her seat in the back. She smiled at me, nodding to the lovebirds in front of her. I grinned back. Then I made an exaggerated shushing motion with my finger. She frowned at me, and I grinned again, then held up a chocolate bar and motioned to her with it. Her eyes widened slightly, and she nodded emphatically.

I mimed tossing it to her, and she nodded. I aimed carefully, then sent it sailing neatly over the lovebirds' heads and into Alberta's outstretched hand. Score! She sent me a thumbs-up and began to unwrap her chocolate.

I turned back to the front, preparing to settle in again. Dimitri's hand touched my shoulder, and I looked up at him. He was smiling at me – that huge, sincere smile that no one else ever got to see. I smiled back, and then blew him a kiss. He squeezed my shoulder, silently promising something better when we were alone.

I leaned over to give him a quick peck on the cheek. "I'll hold you to that, comrade." I whispered in his ear. Then I licked it. He jumped, sending the car swerving, but righted it quickly. He glared at me. I settled back in my seat, a smug smile on my face. I stretched and propped my legs up on the dashboard again. He opened his mouth as if to reprimand me, then stopped as I adjusted my position slightly. I'd removed my sweater – and tugged my rather low-cut top even lower - and I knew his view had just gotten a whole lot more interesting.

He growled softly and sent me a smoldering look that promised he'd get me back later. Which, of course, was exactly what I'd intended.

I closed my eyes, letting myself relax and drift as I listened to the music, shifting ever so slightly every few songs. Which, as I'd hoped, drew Dimitri's gaze to me again and again. I glanced through my lashes at his hands, which were gripping the steering wheel, fingers clenching and unclenching.

I grinned to myself. Best. Car. Ride. Ever.

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