He shakes his head in confusion, but turns and stares out the opposite window.
I brace myself for the worst and start talking. "Last summer was the best summer of my life. Meeting someone I really liked surprised me more than anything. "
"Same here," he says to the window.
"Yeah, but you told me not to wait for you. You didnt want to get involved, you didnt want a relationship. . . all you wanted was a summer fling. "
"It was awesome. "
"Yeah. But then it was over. You went to the army and I came back home. When things go wrong with Jess, I cant call you. When things go wrong with friends at school or my family, youre not here to calm me down and tell me not to freak out or hold my hand in that familiar way. "
This time he turns to me, his jaw clenched. "So you replaced me with Nathan?"
With my index finger, I twirl it in circles to remind him to turn around.
He looks at the window again and repeats, "So you replaced me with Nathan. I get it, Amy, you dont have to state the obvious. "
"I admit it," I say quietly. "I kissed Nathan. Twice. And he was a good kisser. Well, the first time he wasnt, but the second time was considerably better. "
"I dont want to hear it," Avi says, his voice tight.
"Yes, you do. I dont want secrets between us, Avi. And I dont want you running away from me when things get tough. "
"I dont run. "
"You left so fast I didnt have a chance to figure things out in my own head," I say, putting my hand on his thigh.
I need to touch him, to make him realize how much I care. Will he know by my touch how much I want him back in my life, how theres a void in my heart only he can fill?
He looks down at my hand. "Did you figure it out?"
"I didnt kidnap you for nothing, you know. Stay with me, Avi. Stick with me through my mistakes and through my crap and through my crabbiness and through my doubts because. . . oh, God, I love you. "
Im waiting for him to say it back to me, not that it even matters. My love wont waver. I can list one reason, or a hundred reasons, why I love him. Theres a connection when we laugh, when we fight, and when we kiss. . . theres a restlessness that burns inside me for him when hes not with me. Im calmer when were together.
Hes in the Israeli army, I know. And I wont likely be seeing him for a long time. Maybe hell get leave in the summer; maybe he wont. It doesnt even matter to me, as long as we take the time now to say whatever, whenever.
"Come here," he says.
I look over at the small space in the front seat, the cup holders and arm rest between us. "Um, where do you want me to go, Avi? Theres not much room here. "
"Youre smart. Figure it out. "
Dont ask me how it is that my prisoner is giving me the orders now, but Im totally okay with it. I squeeze my way over the hump of the armrest and wiggle my way over to the passenger side, finally able to sit comfortably while straddling his legs.
"Im selfish," Avi says, his dark chocolate eyes boring into mine. "Because I dont want to share you. " He bends his head down, says something in Hebrew to himself that sounds like a curse, and says, "My ego took a beating when I found out you kissed Nathan. I left you because my damn ego was bruised. "
I twist my head down so he can see my face. "If you can forgive me, I can forgive you. . . and your ego," I say. "I just want to spend every second together before you go back to Israel. "
"And after I go back, whats between us? Ive got three years in the army. Who knows whatll happen. "
"I dont want to break up, Avi. "
"Me, either. How about a dont ask, dont tell relationship until Im out of the army?"
Dont ask, dont tell. That sounds fair. "Sababa. Does that mean I can call you my boyfriend instead of my non- boyfriend?"
The side of his mouth quirks up. "Definitely. "
"Do we have a contract drawn up? Do we shake on it?"
"How about we seal the deal with a kiss. No distractions this time. "
We both lean forward, meeting in the middle. Just as our lips are about to touch, my cell phone rings.
"Arent you going to get it? It might be your dad. "
Tilting my head to the side and brushing my lips against his, I say, "No distractions, remember?"
Ignoring the persistent phone, we start kissing softly, the way it was the first time he ever touched me. Sweet and slow, with passion and hunger lurking behind as if waiting to be unleashed with a vengeance.
Lips against lips, I caress his face before moving my hands down to the hard planes of his chest, exploring my way while hes still bound and were still kissing.
"One day were going to do this somewhere else than in a car," he says, his voice and breath coming harder than before. Through his shirt I can feel his heart racing faster, too. I smile, knowing that I can bring him to feel this way, that he wants me as much as I want him.
Wiggling closer to him and putting the seat into a reclining position, I realize Im playing with fire but it feels too good to stop. Groaning sounds fill the car. Im not even sure if theyre coming from me or him. Avi nuzzles my neck with his lips, licking and kissing a path down to the V in my shirt while my fingers are wandering around his body giving caresses of their own.
With a shift of his body, suddenly Avis hands are on my waist, moving up my spine and cradling my head. His breathing is heavy and erratic and his eyes are so intense when he looks into mine it makes my breath hitch.
"Youre free from the handcuffs?" I whisper, feeling weak from his kisses and caresses and hands and words.
Between kissing me, he says, "Yeah. There was a release button on them. "
I lean back, separating our lips and bodies for a second. "When did you find it?"
"About ten seconds after you put them on me. " His fingers brush stray strands of hair away from my face. "The funny thing is, you dont need handcuffs to bind me to you. Im yours without them. "
I pull his head toward mine, and we kiss and continue exploring as we move in rhythm against each other.
"I want to forget how inexperienced you are," he groans the words into my ear.
"So teach me," I say. I bite my lower lip as I sit up and unbutton the top two buttons of my shirt.
"Look at me?" Avi asks.
"So I can see your eyes. "
Avis eyes are totally focused on my face and not my shirt as I move my hands lower and start unbuttoning the rest of the buttons. My hands are shaking. Im not sure if its from the cold car or my trembling nerves.
"Didnt you listen when your dad had the sex talk? Didnt he tell you boys only want one thing?"
"Do you, Avi? Do you only want one thing?" I say as I open my shirt and reveal my bra beneath it.
"To be honest, my bodys only thinking about one thing right now. "
"Me, too. Arent you going to take your shirt off?"
As his hands reach for the hem of his shirt he says in a strained voice, "Your dads gonna kill me," then he lifts his shirt over his head and tosses it onto the drivers seat with his eyes never leaving me.
Brushing the tips of his fingers across my abdomen, my body tingles in response and I shiver. "Are you okay with this?" he asks, his face serious.
I nod and give him a small smile. "Ill let you know when Im not. "
As I lean down to press our bodies against each other, his hands reach around under my open shirt and pull me toward him. "Your body. . . so warm. "
His hands are like a fire, consuming my body with his touch. I lean my head on his chest, hearing his heart beating in the same erratic rhythm as my own while his hands move up and caress my hair, my bare back, and my breasts.
I reclaim his lips and my raw emotions and new wonderful feelings whirl in my consciousness. Im fully aware Im not ready to have sex, but Im ready to experience more. . . "Avi," I say, letting my tone say more than my words. I want. . .
As if he understands, Avi shifts
again, this time moving our bodies so hes on top of me. "Ow," he says.
"What?" Did I do something to hurt him?
"I just banged my head on the mirror. "
"I think the seatbelt is digging into my back," I tell him. Or maybe its the handcuffs digging into my back. Or both. All I know is that were both uncomfortable right now.
He puts his forehead against mine and groans in frustration as he attempts to stretch his legs out so theyre not pinning mine under his. I think one of his legs is under the steering wheel, but I cant be sure.
My hands are on his shoulders, my feet scrunched under the dashboard, and I think Avis elbow is stuck in the cup holder.
And now my cell phone is ringing again.
"This isnt working, is it?" he says.
I scan our position, the awkwardness of it all. "I guess youre right," I say, totally frustrated.
He leans into the back seat, retrieves the ringing phone, and hands it to me.
Flipping it open, I say, "Hey, Aba. "
Avi twists himself and ends up sitting in the drivers seat.
"Are you okay?" my dad barks on the other end of the line.
"Yeah. " More than okay.
"Then Im going to kill you. Where are you? Ive been calling and calling. Why get you a cell phone if you wont answer it?"
"I didnt hear the phone," I lie, interrupting his tirade. "I must have been in a bad cell area. " That is such a lame answer, but Im not too good at coming up with lies on the fly.
"Where are you? I asked Nathan, but hes keeping his lips tighter than a submarine door. Are you in some kind of trouble?"
"Im with Avi," I finally say while tossing the handcuffs into the back seat so theyre not pressing into my back anymore.
"I thought he went to stay with his friend at Northwestern. You told me it was over between you two. "
"It was. . . but not anymore. Hes coming back home to stay with us. " I say the words, then look over at Avi hoping hell agree to sleep at our condo tonight and every night until his plane leaves.
"Are you with him now?"
I look out over the empty parking lot, the deserted beach, and the frozen Lake Michigan water glittering in the moonlight. "Yes," I say.
"Put Avi on the phone. Right. Now. "
"Aba, dont embarrass me. "
"Let me tell you this much, Amy. If you dont put him on the phone, Im taking away your cell phone, your computer privileges, car privileges, and that boy is not allowed in my home. Got it?"
My dad is a total buzz kill. I hold out the phone to Avi. "He wants to talk to you. "
Avi takes the phone with all seriousness. "Ken," he says. Yes.
I only hear Avis part of the conversation, but it doesnt even matter because hes in full-blown Hebrew mode.
"Ani shomer aleha. Ken. He beseder. Ken, ani rotze lishmor al kol chelkay hagouf sheli. "
"Whats he saying?" I whisper.
Avi holds his hand over the mouthpiece. "Hes going through a list of my body parts hell rearrange if I compromise you. "
I slap my hand over my eyes. Seriously, my dad could drive any guy away from me, even a commando in the Israel Defense Forces.