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“Do you think they’re gone?” I whispered. I was afraid to ask. The bark against my back was cold, rough, and unkind. That was quite a contrast to what was pushing up against my chest. Dean’s warmth was radiating from his smooth leather jacket. He was pushing me against the tree not only shielding me from the piercing wind but from something else lurking around in the pitch black of the autumn night.
“I think those bastards are gone. But keep quiet just in case,” he whispered hoarsely. My neck turned into goose bumps when his hot breath brushed my throat. He slowly leaned away from me carefully making sure he wasn’t making too much noise. He took my hand leading me quietly through McAuger’s Forest. I held my breath concentrating on where I was going, trying not to make a sound. I clenched my other fist that wasn’t in Dean’s hand. I was shaking so badly. In all of my life I had never come this close to actually having an anxiety attack.
Finally we made it to the end of the forest. Dean’s old Chevy waiting hidden behind a falling apart shed. We climbed in but before I could shut the door Dean leaned over and whispered into my ear. “On my count we shut the doors and I’ll start the car and then I’m going to peel the hell outa here okay?” I nodded as best as I could. Dean counted off and once he hit three I slammed my door shut and held on for dear life because I knew Dean and when he said he was going to peel out of there he was. Besides it wasn’t like Dean was the best driver any way; I was used to it by now having to hold on for dear life normally when Dean drove.
As soon as we were out gone by twenty miles I heard a “GOD!” came from beside me.
“What!? Are they following us again?” I asked my blood pressure escalating. Dean pulled into the parking lot of the park, which ironically was adjacent to the Police Station. Dean slammed the car into park and turned off the car. He wrenched his car door open and flew out towards a park bench. I tried to quickly unbuckle myself from the front seat but failing to do so because my hands were shaking so hard. As soon as I sat down on the bench another, “GOD!” came from Dean who was hunched over hands on his knees, and face in his hands. I jerked back not knowing what to do.
“Dean…” I finally came up with enough courage to say. He didn’t let me finish his head jerked up and his arms quickly came around me enfolding me in his arms. “Dean, please tell me what’s going on, you’re confusing me,” I asked him gently. It took him a few seconds but he finally raised his eyes which now were abundant with tears. “Oh Dean…”
“No Sally! I’m so sorry! I should have never taken you there have put you in this situation. Sally I’m so sorry!” He hugged me tighter to make sure that I was safe in his arms, like he never wanted to let me go. He was crying so hard he was shaking. He had never lost control this way before.
“Dean,” I said taking his face into my hands, “I’m okay. I’m right here with you…”
“No!” Dean shouted again, “Those stupid idiots had their hands on you. Touching you… God I feel like I could kill every single one of them right now!”
“But you aren’t are you? Because you know as well as I do that not one good thing will come of it,” I said in a stern voice.
“I know but Sally I should have never put you in that situation. You shouldn’t have been there and you wouldn’t have been there if it weren’t for me! Sally you’d be so much better off with someone else.”
Now I felt my eyes fill with tears. “How dare you even think like that!?” I said with honest hurt in my voice. He looked away from me the sting of my words cutting into him. “Now you look at me when I say this,” I said turning his face to look directly into my eyes. “I love you Dean and nothing will be able to break that, not even you unintentionally putting me in danger, because you know what I understand that you didn’t mean for any of this to happen. You need to forget about it. There will always be something that’s in our way. Love isn’t supposed to be easy. If it was there’d be nothing to work for. It makes it all so rewarding in the end… Now, you look at me right now and tell me that you love me too,” I ordered him.
I whipped the tears from his eyes and he said to me, “Sally I love you more than anything and I don’t disserve you but as long as you will have me I’m yours.” He then reached up caressing my face pulling my face close to his. His lips so incredibly close to mine they were on the brink of kissing. He looked me squarely in the eyes and said, “Will you have me?”
I answered him by eliminating the last remaining millimeters left between our lips. I gently touched mine with his pressing them there for a minute, then finally letting him kiss me harder and more passionately. I finally broke away letting him hold me tightly in his arms until he was ready to leave. He drove me home and walked me to my door giving me and quick gentle kiss on my lips before he walked back to his car and drove away.
My father always said I was looking for trouble. And everyone in town knew that Dean Derrickson was trouble. Maybe he was just what I was looking for.