Chapter 8: TASTE
Every night is a futile tousle of conflicting thoughts and yesterday was no difference. Still ruffling in bed with heavy bones at 11 am I was drained and angry. Lost in my own thoughts. I reached out for my notebook from the side drawer with a lot of effort.
Sitting myself in an upright position I began to note down the things I will be accomplishing today since I have zero chores and missions to accomplish. Wondering around the compound and being around the presence of my father was not on my list. As vacuous as it sounds my whole list consisted of having a pleasant time eating pizza.
I on the other hand stroke to spend some time at the mall. Shopping with an unlimited budget sounds sumptuous to me. A visit to the beauty parlor maybe.
Hence I got up and moved from my position to the bathroom. Once I was gratified with my outfit as it consisted of my preferred jeans overalls with a tied up white plain shirt. Accessorizing it with an Italian hat and a portion of makeup and my sneakers I was contented and ready to have a sensational day.
Diving the stairs, I rushed past my father's office before he could see me. The first person I noted was Carlos making himself breakfast.
"You missed the feast today I'm guessing." I said.
"Yeah I woke up late, I heard they had bagels." He grumbled.
"Too bad." I kissed his cheek and stole his salami sandwich from the other side when he was through with preparing it. I grabbed a bottle of water and a nutritious Kellogg's bar.
"Camillaaaaaa." He pleaded "that was mine come back here." He ran after me.
One thing I never regret at this moment was the athletic classes I was forced to take. Still running I didn't spot him behind me. So I considered he has given up. He knows I'd win anyway.
Grasping my hummer keys, I drove off with the music blasting. I ate Carlos's food while I steered about. To say the least I most likely peeked to be a devotee.
The shopping center was not as stuffy as it should be on a Saturday or chaotic. The galleria had architecture anybody could dream of, made from the most aesthetic glass and old fashioned bricks. It smelt like fresh flowers at all places. The floors shined and bathrooms bloomed. The people followed order and drifted like a river in numerous directions.
I leaped from one emporium to the other. From endeavoring the shoe to fit, struggling in zipping my dresses and imitate in floral bikinis. I purchased everything I admired.
I let all my exasperation and annoyance on my credit card. This was therapy, Camilla style.
By the end of my shopping I had too much to carry therefore I traveled to the parking lot. Dumped my bags in the back boot.
It was a relief when I detected the vacant boutique. An estimation of 4 women were seated in different departments.
"Camilla! Hi, long time no see." Maria's voice boasted from the counter.
"Hey Maria, how are you?"
"Grand! Just busy with work that's all and you?"
"I'm doing great." Lie.
"So what's it going to be, the usual?"
"Okay then Clara will take care of you. She's in the nails section." Maria went back to typing on her screen.
"Obrigado." I thanked her.
"How is Mrs. Santos?"
"She's well." I responded.
"Send her my regards."
"Will do." I smiled.
I strolled to Clara who was already waiting for me, after a brisk conversation and some catching up we got straight to business. Which at this time consisted of ruffling, dangling shrieks from scary manicure and pedicure utensils.
I trimmed my hair and I allowed them to treat it with the best products they had.
When all was through I paid and departed the salon. I checked my phone when I got into my vehicle and called Adrianna. Twenty missed calls and over thirty texts from my so called family was not satisfactory.
I assured them I was fine and that I will be late. My mom was certainly not happy but she let me off with a warning.
'Don't be late and be careful' her words not mine.
Just that instant my stomach growled and I knew it was about time I fed my favored organ. I knew just the place. A location I haven't visited in years.
I piloted to Marcos's Pizzeria. The best pizza I've ever had is no doubt here. It felt good to be close again and snug the crisp scrumptious smell that screamed carbs and calories.
"My oh my if it isn't my Bella Camilla." An Italian voice announced and a petite grey haired aged woman crushed me into a long tight hug that has me grasping for air.
"Marcos...Marcos come here velocemente."
"I'm coming I'm coming relax donna....oh my god bellisimo!"
"Avó Luciana, vovô Marcos, how are you?" I greeted my saccharine grandparents.
They were my favorite people and I grew up in their arms, caused more damage than anyone ever will in this pizzeria. After Carlos of course.
The interior never changed, it was always the same red, green washed paint with black and white camouflage boxes.
A Karaoke machine that reminded me of highly school Friday nights and the red slumber sofas we used to doze off on after a whole pizza and getting drunk at a random high school party.
Timber tables and Italian lights danced all over the site.
"Look at you all grown up, last time I see you, you look like this." My grandmother brought her hands almost a few inches above the floor. "You don't come I know I know you don't miss my pizza....me very angry at you and Carlos. Sì Carlos when I see him I will pinch his big ears. My Adrianna she came to me, to see me." She dramatically explained.
"Sì but I've been very occupato." I laughed at this woman with the funny English.
"Perché?" She asked why.
"Escola e Padre." I complained to her.
"Ah that father of yours will never give you a break." My grandfather claimed.
"What do you want to eat Camilla?" My grandmother changed the subject now.
"Do you even have to ask?" My grandfather declared. "I know you still love your pepperoni and extra cheese." He said making me chuckle.
"Sì sì I make pizza Marcos, you watch tables." She commanded and ran back to the kitchen.
"She missed you very much."
"I missed her terribly but you know I never have the chance to be free."
"Your father just wants what's best for you. You are his favorite after all." He admitted.
"That's not true." I mumbled.
"No I don't lie Bella. When he found out your mama was pregnant with you...aya yay he went pazzo. Came to me and said padre I'm having a baby girl. So much pride. You never come across a don who is proud of having a daughter." He nagged his finger at me.
"Yes Camilla...now take a seat I have to check the tables before she comes after me with a stick." He pinched my cheeks and set off to work.
The counter was my spot, I had my first summer job here and I enjoyed every minute of serving and offering pizza orders. The best part I get to take a pizza home after work. I noticed they were lacking waiters and had herds of customers so I volunteered to the bar.
I distributed many drinks and giant dishes of mouthwatering food. While doing so I waltzed to my pizza and had a piece once every while.
"Once caprocciosa, one Quattro satgioni and a margherita if you please." I know that voice. I turned around from the juice appliance and my pizza went splat on the floor from my hand. How un-ladylike mama would've said in this situation.
What was he doing here?
'To eat pizza duhhh.' The voice in my head argued.
The idiot just sat there with the biggest smirk and seemed quiet amused. With his chin resting on the palm of his hands.
"Cute overalls." He said.
"Thanks." I rolled my eyes in secret.
"The rich girl works." He professed after a moment of observation.
"The asshole eats pizza." I offended.
"Ha! Name one person who doesn't."
"My mom." I snickered in response.
"Hey man did you..." great I thought. "Camilla ma bebe como estas?"
"Bieno Mateo y tu?"
"Perfecto and your sister?" He asked about Adrianna.
"Is none of your concern." I ended the conversation with a fake smile. "Pizza will be ready in 15 you can sit down and wait over there." I pointed to the lounge far away from me as possible.
Mateo was the first to leave but Alejandro held his arm and whispered something in his ears before he left.
The fool just sat there eyeing me. God I wish I could swipe that smirk off his face.
"Take a picture it lasts longer." I eventually said and that's exactly what he did. I was just messing around but he managed to catch one of me laughing at his actions of actually taking the photo.
Minutes later Mateo came back with a gorgeous woman.
'Where did she come from?'
A brunette with freckles and chocolate brown eyes that would melt a mans sorrow. Dressed as classy as my mother only she looked younger. Mid twenties, I supposed a bit older than me.
She took the seat with the others at the counter and I envied her for a minute.
'Because she's sitting next to Alejandro.'
The voice in my head threatened.
"Grandma." I screamed from my position.
I shouted the order out for her.
"Viniendo." She replied.
"Any drinks?" I turned my attention back to them.
"I'll have a Pepsi and a sprite for Francisca." Mateo answered me.
So that's her good name.
"Water with ice for me." Alejandro spoke.
Without further ado I filled their drinks from the contrivance of refreshments.
"Aren't you Camilla Santos?" I was surprised by Francisca's accent speaking to me.
"Yes that's me." I served them their drinks.
"Do you work here?" She asked again.
"No I'm just helping out my grandparents." I smiled and she kindly returned.
Alejandro's eyes never left mine and it was starting to get on my nerves. I couldn't do anything about it because it was a public area. If grandma witness's something wrong she will start cursing and trust me this woman can go years screaming random shit in a foreign language that no one will understand.
When their food was ready they all dug in. Mateo and Francisca seemed to be in a deep conversation with the woman while my so called future husband sat there like the Statue of Liberty chewing and scanning.
I examined the pizza as it entered and left his mouth. My brains rewinding the moment in slow motion whilst my thoughts took me places that only an imaginative illustrator could bare. Having had enough I bent down to his height.
"Stop staring at me." I started.
"Well I saw you staring right back at me." He continued.
"You look like you are about to have me for dinner not that pizza."
"Is that an Invitation?" The nerves of this guys.
"More like stop or I'll pop those brown eyes of yours from their assigned position." I threatened.
"I just enjoy inspecting you." He claimed.
"Ugh! Fuck You!" I muttered as we still spoke in hush tones.
"Is that an insult or a to-do list?" He told me.
"Idiota finish your pizza and leave."
"Is that how you treat your customers Camilla. You serve them desserts later not kick them out sì?"
"Hey gorgeous." A country harsh type of vocal called out for my attention.
"You still here Jeff?" I began.
"Never left. Still as beautiful as ever Camilla eh?" My high school colleague complimented me aka my senior ex-boyfriend.
"I guess so." I laughed and took his order. This man was a jock and one of the nastiest people in school. Personality wise and treating people. He always failed to get my scrutiny and after dating him I came to know more about his ways. I never liked him after that even tho he was a threat and mentally abusive.
Alejandro's jaw was clenching and it freaked me out. He was mad. But why?
Minutes passed and Jeff spent most of it reminding me of the so called good school days.
I went around the corner and passed Jeff with the others to give him his food. His hands ran up to my ass and grabbed a handful. I removed his dirty palms off of me and tried to release myself. I was like a dog chained to an immortal leash.
"Don't you miss me Camilla?" He reached out for my neck.
"Jeff stop it." I still fighting him.
A fist came in contact with his face in aggression. I looked up to see Alejandro with stormy eyes.
"You do not touch what is mine." He told a bloody broken nose Jeff.
However knowing Jeff he wouldn't let this go. There was no fear no invitational smile in his eyes. He stood back up and hit Alejandro's cheek. The impact was alarming. Each one of them now was heavily stained with wounds. Mateo just sat back and shook his head.
A sudden gush of pain jolted out of Jeff's mouth. He was weak now and after firing punches. A few people noticed and that is when they stopped. Some show fear others unreadable expressions.
I managed to calm them down before my grandparent emerge from the kitchen and everyone seemed to avoid the flaw situation.
I separated the two men and silently thanked Alejandro. Not before I turned and slapped Jeff hardly on his face.
I went to the kitchen with a need to leave the place now.
I took my apron off and wished my grandparents I'd see them again soon.
I departed the restaurant with the bell jingling behind. Before I could open my car a firm grip on my arm came in contact with my skin as I briskly removed my gun to turn. A sight of Alejandro was consolation.
"Relax woman what's up with you and guns?"
"You must be forgetting who I am! What do you want Alejandro?" I exhaled.
"This." Was the last thing he said before in instant his lips collided with mine in strike. I tried to fight back the urge to kiss him but no I wanted this too. He kissed me so fiercely. His mouth diverged with mine in a curious berry delight. I let out a soft moan to my embarrassment and he laughed in between pecks of kisses, pulling me closer to him confirming that I could feel his hot length against my attire.
My eyes widened but quickly shut when he roamed my neck, with his tongue. Hands gripped my bottoms and carried me to rest on the bonnet of my vehicle. A few more sneaky kisses here and there he eventually rested his face on my chest and his breath was rapid. His action was confusing but I shrugged it off. Sometimes it's good not to ask.
I with no clue why I ever withdrew from his kisses and why do I still want more of his taste on my verge?
"Camilla." He whispered slowly prolonging each letter.
"Shhh!" I shushed him while my finger went to coat seal his lips. Something inside me was advising me that he wasn't adequate. We stood there in hush like oblivious public lovers...only difference is that we weren't. It wasn't long before I heard a bullet fire in rapid succession and the blood was all over me now.