We drove in silence for a solid ten minutes, leaving the city behind. I didn’t want to ruin the mood, didn’t want to make him question his choice to take me away, but my curiosity got the better of me and I had to know. “Where exactly are we going?”
I thought he would’ve just taken me to the apartment in the city since it was the closest to the group home, but he was winding the noisy car up into the mountains well past the Hill and a world away from the Point.
“I know this place. When I was younger and people still thought they could beat me in a street race, we used to come up here and let the cars run full-out. It’s quiet and the ride up there is quiet, peaceful even. I figure since neither one of us knows what life is going to look like in the next few days, I can give us one nice memory to take away from it all.”
I wanted to tell him how sad that was, how depressing it sounded, but I knew coming from him, he was telling me that I mattered. For him, that was as close to an admission that I mattered as much to him as he did to me as I was likely to get. I just kept my mouth shut, put a hand on his hard thigh, and let him take me up somewhere in the night.
The drive really was lovely. Well, what I could see of it as it raced by in a dark blur out the window. The trees were eerie shadows in the dark, and the rumble of the giant motor was almost enough to lure me to sleep. I had too much tension, too much desire coiling inside me, to fully relax. I wanted to tell him just to pull over to the side of the road and let me jump him, but he seemed focused on the final destination, and I wanted to let him have that.
He finally pulled to a stop twenty minutes later. The car rumbled to a stop and he turned to look at me in the deathly silent interior. He reached out and used a finger to push some of my curls out of my face. “Come on.”
He opened the door and I followed him out. I was glad I had his hoodie since this high up the night air was a little chilly. When I rounded the hood of the car and stopped next to where he was leaning, I felt the air rush out of my lungs. The view was amazing. The lights from the Point and the Hill twinkled like little stars that had been forced down from the sky. From up here, none of the ugliness that lurked down below could be seen. It was like this place was untouchable.
Bax put an arm around my shoulders and pulled me to his side. I felt his lips brush across my forehead and I smelled the barest hint of the last cigarette he had smoked.
“Race and I used to come up here and get high. This bluff is the perfect spot to line two cars up and then race down the mountain. I won the title to more than one sweet ride up here.”
I put my arm around his lean waist and buried my nose in the crook of his neck.
“What about girls? Did you bring all of your conquests up here?” Jealousy was evident in my voice but I didn’t care. I hated the thought of him cuddled up with some random girl before that magnificent view, and I wasn’t scared for him to know it.
“Conquest implies I had to work at it. Back then it didn’t matter. Chicks were interchangeable, and the idea that I had to put any kind of effort into getting laid never even occurred to me. So no, Dovie, you are the only girl I’ve ever brought up here.”
He shifted me around so I was pressed up against the hood of the car. His hands were pressed on the cold metal on either side of my hips.
“When I finally finished this car, got the restoration done and got it back from Gus’s paint guy, I swore that I had never seen anything more beautiful. I thought the Runner was my reward, my trophy for being such a badass. I barely had her for a week when I ended up locked up.”
He leaned more fully into me, making me spread my legs so he could wedge himself between them. He put his hands on my ass and gave me a little boost so I was actually sitting on the hood with my legs wrapped around him.
“Are you going to try and tell me that changed when you saw me? That I was the most beautiful thing you had ever seen?”
He grinned down at me, his teeth flashing white in the dark. “No. I thought you were ordinary. I didn’t understand why Race was risking everything for you.”
Well, that was a bit of an ego diffuser, but there was no escaping the heat burning down at me from his gaze.
“And then you opened your mouth. All that love, all that loyalty, all the innocence, even though life had kicked you around time and time again, and all I wanted to do was let some of that sweetness and light touch me. I’ve never had very clean hands, but the first time I touched you, that first gasp out of that perfect mouth, the first time I thrust into you, God, Dovie, you made me feel like I was the king in a land of second chances.”
I was stunned. He wasn’t much of a talker in the best of times, but man, when he put his mind into it, he had a way with words that was incomparable. I wanted to tell him how I felt about him, to give him some kind of reason to think before throwing himself to the wolves, but my heart was in my throat and no words were getting around it. Besides, he was unzipping the front of the hoodie and using one of his hands to push me farther back so I was laid out on the hood of his prized possession. I shivered more at the look in his eyes than at the night air popping across my skin as he yanked open the buttons on my flannel shirt. His progress was stopped by the hook of my bra digging into my back, but he maneuvered me enough that he could get it open and loose enough to shove out of his way.
The contrast between the brisk air touching my naked skin and the heat inside the suction of his mouth was enough to make me gasp. I dug my hands into his scalp and arched my back up off the metal under me. I muttered his name as he dragged wet kisses across my chest and treated my other breast to the same treatment he had lavished on the first one. I wound a hand around the back of his neck and held him to me like I was never going to let him go. When he finally lifted his head after sucking and licking and biting all of me that was exposed, I yanked him down to my mouth for a kiss that left no doubt how I felt about him.
Every single bit of fear, love, panic, passion, unease, and everything else he always churned up inside me tasted bitter and sweet as I begged him with my lips and tongue to let this matter enough for him to make better decisions. I pulled desperately at his long-sleeved T-shirt until his naked chest was pressed against my own, his heart telling mine a story as they thundered against each other.
He was so beautiful, dark and wild, just like the night around us. He kissed me on the side of the neck then sank his teeth into the soft skin of my earlobe and chuckled into my ear.
“Normally I think it’s pretty cute you dress like a dude, but in the current circumstance, I think I would be willing to sacrifice my left nut for you to be in a short-ass skirt.”