I sulked at the bar for half an hour before Darcy and Dax’s friends found me. After I had told them what had happened, Darcy sighed sympathetically and moved a few strands of hair away from my face.
“I’m sorry, Jane. Camilia is a part of Dax’s past that he’s not proud of, which is why he probably never told you about her.” She rubbed my back comfortingly.
“Puta ruined his life down here.” Angel glowered over at them. Dax and Camilia had been talking since I had left for a drink, neither of them paying any mind to the fact I was now absent. I couldn’t help but watch the way she held herself; confident, sexy, and alluring. She was, undoubtedly beautiful with big green eyes, plump lips, a thin waist and big butt.
“Don’t worry about her, Jane. She’s bad news, but Dax hates her; we all do.” Benny noted begrudgingly. I looked between Dax’s friends, cocking an eyebrow.
“Is there something you guys want to share?” The men looked at each other and then back to me.
“Camilia was the hottest girl in our high school, everyone wanted her and she took advantage of that. During our senior year, Camilia made her way through our group.” Benny grimaced.
“Angel, Benny, and Dax slept with her.” Darcy interjected with a shrug, sipping at her drink through a straw.
“We hated each other, all of us competing for her like she was a prize. We took her on dates, bought her whatever she asked for. But it was never enough.” Angel grumbled plopping down into the chair next to me. “She finally picked Dax and he was obviously so manipulated into thinking what they had was love, that he proposed to her. A couple of months later, she found out she was pregnant,” I felt bile begin to rise in my throat.
“Please tell me Dax does not have a child with her.” My hand covered my mouth in case I needed to vomit.
“That was the thing, Camilia pops and to everyone’s surprise: the baby was a lot darker than expected.” I looked between the three of them in confusion, before finding Benny’s head lowered in guilt.
“No,” I gasped, “It’s yours?”
“Sadly, the mother of my child is a major puta, but I got a son out of it so I can’t complain.” He shrugged, finishing Angel’s drink for him.
“Wow,” I shook my head in disbelief. “So what happened?”
“Dax broke off the engagement, the three of us mended our friendship and he went to the States to be a do-gooder,” Benny took my hand and kissed it. “You have nothing to worry about from Camilia, just talk to Dax.”
“I know I should, I just need a couple moments to myself.” I sighed and between the side hugs and empathetic back pats, they left me to my thoughts. Only a few minutes had gone by when I felt him behind me. His presence felt safe and comforting but I couldn’t shake the feeling of jealousy I felt for Camilia.
“I’m sorry.” He whispered from behind me, “I should have told you about Camilia, it’s just hard for me to bring her up. I thought I loved her, but I didn’t. I didn’t know what love was, but now-” I spun in my chair to face him.
“Dax, I just need a few minutes alone to think. I’m not mad at you and truthfully I have no reason to be, it was before we met.” I sighed softly and looked up into his sorrowful eyes. “I’m just... shocked.”
“Understandable,” He cleared his throat. “Well, when you are done thinking, please come find me, we have to talk.” He pressed a soft kiss to my cheek and disappeared into the crowd. I felt tears drip into my line of sight and I made a lame attempt to stop them from falling. I pushed off of my seat and made my way toward the exit.
“Jane, are you okay?” I heard Dax’s mother call to me, to which I simply nodded and ran faster. Once outside, I placed my hand against my chest and slumped against the wall of the barn. I shouldn’t be this hurt over something that happened before I knew Dax, it was childish of me to be this upset. The worst part of me became anxious, finding the depths of insecurities and comparing them to Camilia.
She is prettier than me. She is more confident than me. She has had him.
Someone tapped on my shoulder as I ordered myself another whiskey, neat. I turned, finding my mother wearing her best jewelry and a new dress. Her hand drifted from my shoulder to my forearm, squeezing it warmly. I smiled as best as I could manage, feeling sunken from my conversation with Jane.
“Mijo, what are doing?,” She looked into my eyes and I looked into hers. Those green orbs mirrored my own and held many years of wisdom, motherly and otherwise.
“¿Qué quieres decir?” I questioned before thanking the bartender for my drink.
[“What do you mean?“]
“I don’t understand the two of you, one moment you’re out in my driveway besándose and the next, she’s running out of the room crying,” She grabbed my chin firmly, “Fix this.” I shook my head and took a sip from my glass.
“She said she wants a couple minutes alone.” She laughed softly at my response, patting my shoulder.
“Oh Mijo, you have fallen into a trap many men fail to get out of. She doesn’t want you to leave her alone, she wants you to go after her.”
“Créeme.” She patted my cheek lovingly, pushing me gently toward the exit.
I nodded, feeling a rush of adrenaline run through me as I attempted to pump myself up. It wasn’t every day that I professed my feelings to someone, much less Jane. I left the bar and ignored Angel’s calls to indulge in a round of shots with him, looking for any sign of Jane. I pushed through the exit and and made my way around the side of the barn, finding her small figure hidden away by a shadow. The sun was in it’s last few moments of setting, the sky a medley of orange, red, and blue, sprinkled with stars that reminded me of Jane’s freckles. I made my way over to her, giving her little time to react to my presence.
“I was stupid,” I took a small gulp before I continued, “I was a stupid teenager, Jane. She made me compete for her attention and I thought, because I won, that what we had was love. Camilia put me through hell and you know what? I’m glad. I’m glad because the hell she put me through led me to become an officer in the States, which led me to Wisconsin; which led me to you. And I have never felt-” My voice broke off and my head dropped. It suddenly felt as though the weight of a thousand bricks had fallen on my shoulders. Jane watched me closely, her eyes welled and searching for the rest of my sentence. “I have never felt for anyone the way I feel about you.” She swallowed and I became silent, listening to the heavy heartbeat in my ears. After a few moments of silence, she took a step forward and slid her hand across my jawline, pulling me down to her level. Barely a second had flown by, but everything seemed to be in slow motion. Jane pressed her lips against mine, and I slowly melted into the surprising gesture. When she pulled away, I felt breathless. I looked down at her, a permanent smile on my face.
“Stop it,” Her cheeks burnt red; I loved that. When I didn’t stop smiling, she smacked my chest with her palm playfully and rolled her eyes.
“I can’t.” I replied honestly, my cheeks even aching from my facial muscle use. Jane leaned into my chest and I welcomed her warmth, despite the temperature. “Do you want to get out of here?”