Chapter 11 ~ The Confession
I stood back from her, dropping her legs to the ground.
“Arlo?” She whimpered with tears streaming down her face.
I laughed, quietly at first, then loudly. “Fuck Harlyn, I thought you were sleeping with him.”
“What?” I slammed my palm against the up button, her eyes intense as her face was covered in dubiety, she was lacking in confidence, choosing to twist nervously. “Arlo?”
“Wait… dad will want to hear this one,” I chuckled to myself like a deranged lunatic. How did I not see this coming? Was I that enraptured in the idea of her that it kept me blind to everything else?
The elevator pinged and the doors slid open to a welter of flushed and confused faces, Harlyn held back but I pulled her harshly by the elbow, into the shambled collection of people. “My room, now.”
I strutted fervently, my grip near bruising as I pulled her in, leading her to the couch. “Son? What is going on?” My dad followed and seated himself on the edge of the coffee table.
“Harlyn here is not who she says she is.” Her desperate hazel’s flick longingly towards Zavion and my head follows suit, I scoff in realisation, “he fucken knew didn’t he?”
“Arlo, listen…” Zav attempted.
“Shut it! Well, what do you have to say?” My temper flaring at the fact that Zav knew before me.
“I investigated her,” Zavion interjected taking a step forward. “I took her into the kitchen intent on finding out the truth, I knew because I researched, it wasn’t easy to find out but I did.”
“Calm down, please everyone,” my mum implored. “Harlyn love?” Mum requested gently as my goddess sat silently weeping on my sofa. “What is he so upset about?”
Harlyn’s bottom lip quivered unleashing more tears, Zav knelt down in front of her, collecting her hands in his. “I did this, you wanted to tell him and I advised you not too, I’m to blame for this, not you.”
She gripped his hands tightly, “Zav, you didn’t do this, I should have told the truth from the start, everyone here is so warm and welcoming and for a brief moment, I got to be the person I’ve always wanted but I’m not that person and now, I have to set it right.”
“Arly, you don’t owe anybody anything.” Harlyn cupped his face with her delicate soft hand, it annoyed me that all of a sudden, he had concern for her and her for him, what had happened between them to cause this closeness? My gut twisted in boiling jealousy.
“You are so wonderful...” she smiled at him through her falling tears. “Everyone, my full name is Harlyn Royce Esperanza, I am Carmelito’s eldest daughter.”
Nobody said a thing, the room was complete silence. If we were standing outside there would have been chirping crickets, it was that quiet. Dad blew out a breath and scratched the back of his neck, taking a step forward. “Little one, we already knew.”
“WHAT?!” Tristan, Zavion, Harlyn and I, spat incredulously.
Mum, Aunty Mags and Uncle Luca chuckled. “Yeah, this is not our first time on the rodeo son.”
“Why didn’t you say anything?” I asked, surprised by his demeanour.
“I had your grandfather find out who she was,” mum looked up apologetically.
“So?... so?...” I couldn’t quite string a sentence together, how could they keep something so vital from me?
“C’mon, everyone back to bed, let’s leave these two to talk,” dad started to usher everyone out.
“Wait? You’re not… angry with me?” He stopped his movements and turned to face her.
“Harlyn, you’ve been protected very well by your father, if it wasn’t for Aiya’s dad, David, following your college career - we probably would have never known. You were caught up in a situation, that most would have crumbled, you’ve lost your father, your mother is a drugged out prostitute…” Harlyn looked down in shame at the piece of information. “Your sister’s life depends on us succeeding. Your family home is empty and in a criminal investigation, because of our target. You have no job and you’ve been cut off from anything you’ve ever known.
“You have lost a lot and so quickly, in the blink of an eye, your world was turned upside down through no fault of your own. You’re safe here, you’re taken care of and considering the lengths your father went to in keeping your identity hidden, it was obvious to us that he didn’t want his mistakes to impact your life. You needed time to heal. Now, we save people, that’s what we do - do you honestly think we were about to turn away the one person that not only needed our protection but brought our boy back to life?”
I could see the grapple of attempted calm breaths as her chest rose and fell, struggling for enough oxygen through her piling emotion. She was seeking a way to understand the words that escaped dad’s mouth, hell, even I was.
“B-but, I am the daughter of a criminal?”
“Yes, I am the son of an evil mob boss, does that define who we are?” It was at that moment I realised my father was a greater man than I’ll ever be. “We all have a past, we all suffer, we all are ashamed of our history. The night Tristan was shot, you stayed awake, waiting for Arlo to come home - a man you barely knew but cared deeply for. Then when needed, you jumped straight in, not caring you had no sleep or seeking revenge because Tristan had no respect for you, you helped - you could have turned your back but you didn’t.
“Harlyn, you have heart, a strong one and you do not live life maliciously, I think you are more like us than you realise, plus... it’s not so bad to have an on-hand medical professional when it comes to ‘The Brothers’ missions. Without your quick reactions, Tristan would have died, so, we owe you more than you owe us.”
“T-thank you, all of you,” she whispered.
Harlyn sat there, long after everyone left, dry tear streaks still marring her face. I didn’t know what to say, so, like an idiot, I grabbed a beer and sat out on the balcony.
With my beverage warming beside me and my interest in numbing alcohol long subdued, she made her way to the doorway. “I can’t take this any longer, Arlo, please talk to me?”
My eyes trailed up and down her body, the only body that made me completely weak but I remained silent, I wasn’t really sure what to say. Zav had found out who she really was, Dad, Mum, Aunty Mags and Uncle Luca all knew, hell, I bet even Ash knew, all she had really done was leave out her last name - a name she had hidden most of her life. Harlyn had told a white lie, yes, out of the safety for herself and her sister. She was a nurse, not a criminal, and I doubt very much she had a ruthless bone in her body.
“Sit with me?” She came around, gingerly and with caution, she came down next to me on the outdoor sofa. Slumping my shoulders as I began. “I’m sorry…”
“Please don’t, this is my fault…”
“No,” I cut her off, “no, it’s not. The thing is Arly, I don’t let a lot of people in and when it comes to you, I’m helpless. I should have listened to you before but I let my ego take over. See, while dad was talking to you, I realised that I still have a long way to go. Dad didn’t judge you before, I did, and for that I’m sorry. I chose to stay blinded and not see things from your point of view, to not hear anything past the fact that you had told a white lie out of protection for yourself and your sister.”
“So what happens now?” She fearfully asks, “do you... not want me anymore? Not... want to be... with me?”
“Far from it, my feelings for you have never changed.” I sat back in my seat and looked out at the ocean, enlacing my fingers around the back of my head as I reflected on my selfish behaviour.
She stood and walked over to the banister, I watched her movements curiously from the corner of my eye. “So, can we start fresh?”
“What do you mean?”
“Come with me.”
She moved quickly, through the doorway and out through my bedroom. I jumped up to follow, on the way I see her shoes at the foot of the bed, pants just outside the bedroom door and her shirt halfway down the stairs. I realised she was stripping - so I did too - littering a trail of my clothes out to the ocean. When I came across her G-string on the sand, I became more than excited, finding her halfway in the ocean.
“What are you doing?” I yelled out, causing her to turn in surprise as she tucked her gorgeous breasts under the water.
“Who are you and what are you doing here?”
I looked at her with perplexion written on my face, baffled by her question. “You just said come with me?”
“Arlo…” she scrunched her face, I still didn’t understand. “Hi, my name is Harlyn Royce Esperanza,” she hovered her hand, outstretched, above the water and I stepped towards her, the gentle current making it somewhat difficult. “Do you swim here often?”
I finally clicked, this is what she meant by starting fresh. “Um… Arlo, Arlo Ramalio and yes,” I grasped her hand and shook it, “you are swimming on my private beach.”
“My apologies, I did not realise this beach was private.” My arms went around her waist and her hands slid over my shoulders, gathering at the nape of my neck.
“That’s okay, but you know, usually payment is required when you trespass onto someone’s private oasis.” She giggled as her legs enclosed around my hips. Despite the rather chilly temperature, my soldier was rising to attention, swaying in the water, brushing gently against her warm folds.
“Payment huh? What do you require? A kiss?” She looked incredible under the reflecting moonlight as it bounced off the water.
I dipped my head and captured her lips with mine, gently grazing my tongue against hers, our lips pushed together as we moved gracefully with one another. My hand left her luscious bum, angling the head of my cock and guiding it into her divine centre, her chin lifted skyward and she moaned at my entry into her. My mouth suckling the tender flesh of her shoulder and collarbone as I thrust up into her, the current aiding in my hip movements, each thrust upward feeling more and more amazing.
I tilted my head up to meet her heated gaze. “Harlyn, I’m in love with you. I am, I want you forever, I never want to let you go. I love you so much it hurts.”
She froze, no longer pulling down to meet my upward motion. Staring straight at me with a furrowed brow, a heavy breath rushed through her parted lips, “what?” She practically whispered.
“I am. I didn’t mean to fall in love with you but I am. I love you and that’s okay if you don’t love me, I just needed you to know - you are my one.”
She closed her beautiful eyes as if allowing what I had confessed to sink in. When she opened them, a whimper escaped as tears rolled down her cheeks, “Arlo… I’m-I’m in love with you too. God am I in love with you.”
Relief flooded my being and I released a thankful sigh I didn’t know I had been withholding. “Do you? Do you really?” Suddenly, I had become insecure, maybe she only said it because I said it?
“Arlo, we’re in the middle of the ocean with your cock inside me. Do you really think I would say something like that if I didn’t mean it?” I exhaled deeply again, relaxing my stiff and rigid body. “Kiss me... kiss me and never stop,” she requested, and with a smirk on my lips and my heart in serious danger of expanding so large it might burst - I did.
I had never made love in the ocean before, being here with the moonlight reflecting off the waves and my shaft inside her, was like magic. I could never be without her, not now, not ever.