"Todo lo bueno de mí, florece, eres tú
Ese imán de una preciosa energía
Es tu alma que envía, señales a mi cuerpo"
Eres tú – Carla Morrison
Another Friday night had come and gone. I could hear the stragglers outside, still striking up a ruckus with their laughter. It was at the point in the night where everyone was too gone to cause a fuss if I changed the music inside the bar. I grabbed my phone, plugged it into the stereo system, and pressed shuffle on my personally curated playlist.
I grinned to myself, bopping along. I spun the volume dial until I drowned out the noise from outside. I grabbed the edge of the counter and pulled myself back up. I whipped out my rag and began wiping down all the tables, systemically putting the chairs up as I went. After a few minutes, I paused, fanning myself with my hands.
I didn't mind hot weather but being cooped inside without proper air conditioning and serving bar made things a bit sticky. I wiped the back of my arm across my forehead with a small chuckle. I didn't have much to worry about, I was alone in here anyways. No one to impress or scare away with sweat. I went about my cleanup when an old song faded on.
I froze, remembering what this song used to mean to me. Us. I sagged against the table behind me, catching myself with my free hand. I closed my eyes, letting the mellow guitar guide me along. I nodded my head, the nostalgia raising within me. Letting go, I pushed off the table, swaying in tune with the music.
I murmured out a few lyrics, imagining myself a partner before performing a simple turn. I swallowed as the feeling of his hands on my body felt too real. I bowed forward, squeezing my eyes shut. A frog growing in my throat, my tongue drying completely. My stomach dropped, and I clutched at the emptiness. A fist forming in my shirt. Emotion thrumming through me. I pursed my lips together, willing myself to keep the sob inside.
The doors to the bar squeaked open and I turned my head immediately, hoping that whoever it was hadn't seen my near breakdown.
"You gonna spend all night in here?" Angel's deep cadence asked.
I licked my lips, and let out a shaky laugh, "Still cleaning up."
"Hmm," He hummed.
Before I knew that was happening, the rag in my hand was being tugged out and his fingers were prying open my fist. He folded his hand around mine and spun me around, before catching me. I let out a startled breath, grabbing his shoulder for support. I gazed up at him to see him smiling down at me.
He stepped to the left, carrying me along with him. His body swaying in beat with the song. I clenched my teeth and gave him a strained smile. I wasn't sure if he knew that he was making my situation even more real by his actions. I followed for a few steps before stopping and trying to pull away. He loosened his grip, allowing me room but kept his hand held in mine.
"Dance with me," He insisted, an encouraging smile on his face.
I scoffed, wiping at my eyes as discreetly as possible. A tiny sniffle made its way through and I felt Angel's hand squeeze lightly, reminding me that he was right there.
"I have a bar to clean, Reyes," I tried, giving him the only excuse I could think of.
He made a show of looking around, "I don't see Bishop anywhere, do you?"
Unable to hold it back, I let out a quiet chuckle.
"You're a bad influence, Angel Reyes." I shook my head in amusement.
He shrugged, unoffended. He took a step closer, his voice lowering, "C'mon ma."
I rolled my eyes, hiding the way his words set my entire body on fire. I was emotionally vulnerable right now and couldn't trust myself not to jump him just to feel something. He tugged at my hand again and I met his eyes. His expression was sincere, he just wanted to dance. Nothing more, nothing less. I sighed, giving in and swinging into him.
He matched my moves by twirling us on our makeshift dancefloor. I felt tiny in his arms, forgetting how tall he was. I smiled as he took the lead perfectly. His movements were sinuous and precise. I didn't want to admit it, but he made me feel comfortable; safe. His arms being enough to protect me from everything I tried to keep away.
I closed my eyes and fell into a smooth routine with him. Slowly, I laid my head to rest against his shoulder. He pulled our arms in tighter, holding them close to our sides. He continued to sway in a circle, keeping me held tight. His warmth welcoming me. A touch I'd been longing for but too scared to accept.
Silent tears ran down my face. I drew in a shaky breath and he laid his free hand against the back of my head. His fingers threading lightly through the hair of my ponytail. I squeezed my eyes shut. Angel pulled me tighter, wrapping me up against him. Keeping me steady. I fell into him, letting his aura engulf me. He was calming. I listened to his heartbeat and its steady rhythm. Angel tipped his head to the side, his lips pressing lightly against my temple.
"He was wrong," Angel whispered, "Whoever he was. He was wrong to have hurt you."
My eyes flew open at his words, my heart pulling. My mouth trembled, as fresh tears started. I let go of Angel's hand and wrapped my arms around his neck, burying my face against him. Angel readjusted, his arms coming around to cradle me. We continued a simple two-step back and forth to the rest of the song. When the song faded out and a new one started, I pulled back.
"Gracias," I thanked him.
He shook his head, and gave me a wink, "Any time, querida."
I turned away from him, wiping at my eyes for the thousandth time and picking up my rag.
"I got the chairs," Angel offered, "You finish up at the bar?"
I glanced over my shoulder at him and nodded. Together, in silence, we finished the after-party clean up. Neither of us spoke a word as I turned off the lights and we walked out into the yard. Being the gentleman he was he accompanied me all the way to my car. As I opened the door, he wrapped his hand over it, to hold it open.
"Buenas noches." He whispered, leaning in and kissing me on the cheek.
I laid my hand over his, squeezing to let him know I appreciated everything he'd done for me tonight.
I heard the frustrated growl he let out. I chuckled to myself, wondering what could be irritating him so much. I stayed in the living room, listening to see how long it would take before he lost all his patience. Not even a full minute later, there was a loud bang as he slammed something down. I smirked. That didn't take long.
Pushing myself up and off the couch, I padded lightly into our bedroom and around the corner. I peeked through the ajar bathroom door. Nestor had his head flipped over and was running his fingers through his hair. Bunching all his hair up into his hands, he reached for a hair tie and attempted to tie his hair into a bun. Having no practise, it fell apart as soon as he stood up and the annoyance obvious in the look reflecting in the mirror.
With a soft laugh, I poked my head through the door, "Need some help."
He glared at me through the mirror, before admitting defeat, "Si."
I grabbed my spray bottle, some ponytails and the brush. Placing my hands on his shoulders, I guided him out of the bathroom to the living room and pushed him down onto the floor. I perched on the edge of the couch cushion and gently began threading my fingers through his hair.
"It's longer on top than the bottom," I noted, "A bun might not be your best bet."
I continued to play with his thick locks, imagining a way I could pull it back to keep it out of his face. Closing his eyes, he let his head fall back into my lap, a content smile on his lips. I bent over and kissed him, unable to resist myself. He grinned as my lips pressed against his and the metal grill encasing his incisors brushed against the skin of my mouth. His hands crept around until they wrapped around my biceps, holding me in place. I laughed into his kiss.
"We'll never get anywhere with your hair if you keep me hostage like this," I joked.
He sighed, pressed a lasting kiss to my mouth and mustering up as much effort as he could, he let go. I rolled my eyes at his show and patted my hand against his cheek. He stared up at me, letting those big brown puppy dog eyes blink in faked innocence. I shook my head, taking care to reposition his head properly between my knees.
Leaning forward I grabbed the spray bottle and using one hand to cover his eyes I wet his hair. Running my fingers through to spread the moisture around, I came up with a plan on how to hold his hair back. I wasn't sure how he'd feel about it, but all suggestions were welcome at the moment.
Taking the brush, I smoothed out the last of the tangles and then parted his hair directly down the middle. Using one hair tie I tied the left part into a ponytail, making sure it didn't get mixed up with the right section.
Brushing everything back tight, I ran one finger through the tip of the sectioned off hair, creating a mini triangle at the top of the part. Splitting off that small amount into threes, I began braiding my way down. Using the brush, I kept each new plait fresh and smooth. Thankfully, he only grunted out of discomfort a few times but nothing too drastic.
Finishing the right side, I tipped his head in the other direction and repeat the process for the left. Once I was finished, I used my fingers to comb into the double French braids, making sure everything set properly.
"Done," I announced.
Nestor opened his eyes, pausing for a moment and then sitting up. I slid back on the couch, letting him go to check it out on his own. I curled my legs underneath me as I leaned in the cushions, staring at the opened doorway.
"So...?" I called out, anxious to know his thoughts.
He didn't answer and It terrified me. I knew I took a liberty, braiding his hair, but I figured every vato wanted braids at one point.
"Nestor?" I called out again, to no answer.
Biting down on my lip, I slipped off the couch and crept towards the semi-opened door.
"¿Están bien las trenzas?" I asked, rounding the corner and came face to face with those gold grills again.
His hands were smoothing over the new hairstyle as he turned his head from side to side, admiring the look. His eyes caught my movement from the mirror and his smile morphed into a mischievous grin.
I started to shake my head 'no', knowing what was about to come next. A squeal grew in your throat and he swung around and charged. My squeal erupted loudly, as I ran backwards. His deep chuckle calling after me.
"No!" I shouted, warning him not to even try.
He stuck the tip of his tongue through his teeth before raising both eyebrows to give me a fair warning. I kept moving backwards, not paying attention to where I was going. He charged forward again, this time catching me with no effort.
I screamed in exhilaration, as his laughter grew louder and echoed around our small bedroom. He circled my legs around his waist, while I trapped his head against my chest. I wrapped my arms around his shoulder and head as he spun around. I shouted with laughter, begging him to stop all the while smiling.
After a minute, he slowed, coming to a stop. I pulled back as he rested his chin against up collarbone. I ran one hand over the top of his head while palming the back of his neck with my other. I licked my lips, admiring my own handiwork and the way they upped the ante.
"It's ok?" I confirmed.
He smirked, "More than ok. Las amo mucho."
"Really, really?" I asked, tilting my head to the side. I bit down on the corner of my lip, feigning innocent insecurity.
He shook in amusement and took two steps forward, to drop down onto the bed. I fell into the mattress, the bounce up blocked by his body hovering close. One hand pulling my thigh up higher and the other planted next to my cheek, keeping his body a few inches from mine.
He shifted down onto his elbow, his face falling a centimetre from mine. The edges of our noses barely touching. "Really, really." He agreed, wetting his lips before capturing mine in a passionate embrace. My arms shot up, circling around his neck and back. My hands exploring the planes of his muscles.
As lightly as I could, I tucked my hands under his shirt and lightly ran my nails up the expanse of his spine. His hips dipped low, into mine as a growl escaped his throat at the sensation. He pulled back; his eyes flooded black with lust. I chuckled darkly up at him, my actions having their desired effect.
He laughed along with me, the gold of his grill glinting in our lamplight. "You're an evil woman, mi amor, but you're my woman."
He kissed you as if to seal the claim he'd just made. I laughed into him, matching his kiss with the same intensity. My fingers traced down the center of his scalp, before reaching the frayed ends of his braid. I wrapped my fingers around the small bunch there. His words echoing through my mind. Mi amor. Yes. Always. He was my love. Forever.
It didn't take any time at all until the whole club was on the lookout for a new place for me. I tried to explain that I was perfectly comfortable living out of my care. Hell, EZ was doing the exact same. His metal home just came with a different name. Angel was having none of it.
"You can't keep using my baby brother for all his hot water." He complained.
I couldn't help rolling my eyes, "Why not, exactly? He's barely here anyway. Always off taking care of your pops."
Angel shook his head, "Doesn't matter, Valentina." He emphasized his point by using my full name, "You're too good to be living in this," He held his arms out, gesturing to the tiny kitchen we were standing in, "squalor."
My mouth dropped open at the fancy word. "You been reading the dictionary?" I scrunched up my nose as I quipped.
He rolled his eyes, mumbling, "Coco gave me some book to read. Don Quixote."
"Damn papi," I leaned back, spreading my hand across my chin and making a show of checking him out, "You smart, huh?"
He scoffed, shaking his head in mock annoyance and spun around towards the entrance of EZ's trailer.
"I mean it, querida," He promised, "We're gonna find you a new place to live. Somewhere comfortable."
"Yeah, yeah." I waved him off, hoping he'd take the hint and leave for real.
He flashed me a grin over his shoulder and ducked through the door, letting it slam shut behind him. As soon as I knew it was safe, I exhaled and collapsed into the bench behind me. Shit. This was a problem. I took several calming breaths, hoping to quell the butterflies fluttering around in my chest. Was I ready for this?
A/N: It's been a minute since I updated this. Here I am, bringing more Nestor and Angel in our lives. I love you guys and if you're still here, doing the reading thing, drop me a review. I can honestly tell you it warms my heart hearing from you. No matter how long or short it is! *hearts*