'They'll be back in a minute.'
'Are you sure?'
'Well, okay then,' said Rose.
She lay, still stark naked, in Jacob's arms. Her makeshift modest synagogue outfit lay in a heap under his policeman's uniform. Jacob had stopped shaking. His eyes burned with a new, hotter fire than before, and Rose could tell the thoughts in his head ran fast, though they were more ordered now. Between the two of them, he was the strong, experienced one now, and even though Rose normally hated that in men, knowing that she could crush their confidence in instants, she let it be for the time being. She felt as if she were about to fall asleep. She closed her eyes and let herself drift off.
'Is this a beginning? Or is this all that will ever be?' Jacob suddenly asked.
Rose opened one eye.
'What do you mean?' she asked.
Jacob brushed away a lock of brown hair that had escaped her braid and kissed her temple.
'Between us,' he said.
Ugh. This is not what I want to talk about now, Rose thought to herself. Still, she had just slept with a guy she had only known for about two hours now. Some civilization on her side would probably not be entirely unwelcome.
'I don't really know,' she answered.
'Hmm,' said Jacob, and he was silent for a minute. Then, just as Rose's eyes had closed again, he said:
'Maybe Modeste isn't that bad. Maybe we should just present our complaints to him in person, during a peaceful meeting, rather than through revolution. What do you think?'
He looked at Rose with hope in his eyes. She suddenly realized why he looked so old. There was worry in his eyes, so much of it. It was really endearing.
'I think a peaceful meeting would be best,' she said, stroking his jawline.
A gentle kiss followed. When their lips let go of each other, the post-lovemaking spell was broken, and they got up to dress each other. Rose never let a partner dress himself after sleeping with her. They finished just in time: as Rose was putting on her second shoe, the door opened and the rest of YURA barged in, crowding the room in instants. They had brought food with them. It was only when Rose saw the food that she realized how hungry she was. She started to help Andrew and Cog with the cooking as the rest laid a coffee table for dinner.
While they were eating, Jacob proposed his idea of a peaceful meeting to YURA. Gemma disagreed, naturally, but the rest of the gang was overjoyed to hear that Jacob had finally let go of his radical ideas. Apparently, they were all tired of burning down buildings and living as outcasts, and Gemma's voice was gradually stifled by the majority of YURA.
Once they finished dinner, Anne, who had a voice that, according to Cog, could put crying babies to sleep, picked up a device that was supposedly the 107 AR version of a telephone, put it on speaker, and dialled the internal number of the government. The device remained silent for a nerve-wrecking minute, but then a woman's screechy voice answered the call.
'Good afternoon, Department of Affairs, who do I have the utmost pleasure of helping today?' she said.
'Good afternoon. This is Anne Moseley from Monetary Matters. I have an urgent message for Mark, could you connect me to him, please?' said Anne.
'Of course, Anne, one minute, please,' said the secretary. A loud beep was heard through the attic, and then another voice filled the room. It was low, warm and manly, and Rose had no doubt that this was, in fact, the voice of Mark Modeste himself.
'Anne, dear. Long time no hear,' he said. 'Is Jake there too?'
'I am,' Jake answered.
'How may I help you? he said, sounding tired, very tired.
Anne explained the matter at hand and proposed a meeting, underlining the fact that it had to happen fast. She mentioned that Rose was with them. Surprisingly enough, Mark agreed, and even promised to make it happen right that very evening. When Anne put away the telephone, the meeting with Mark Modeste was only an hour away.