“This isn’t the route to my house,” she panicked and glared at the road ahead.
“You’ve hit the nail on the head, Gab,” I exclaimed as we curved around yet another curb. The moment she confirmed the answer to my question, I instantly knew what to do, so I selected another route.
And my mind wouldn’t stop chattering.
Did Gabriella get charged for it? How is she not in Juvenile if she had? Was this some rich people’s trick to bribe the court? Wait, I’m one. But that’s just screwed. Should I even be careful around her!?
She shifted in her seat and sat up straight, full-on glowering at me. “You aren’t kidnapping me, are you?”
“What if I am?” I grinned at the road ahead. The questions in my mind dispersed like blowing hard on flour.
“Stop being cocky, Evander. I had just revealed that I killed someone. Did you think this little act will faze me?” she tested coldly. I peeked stealthily to look at her face, which resembled a furnace on a freezing December morning. Damn, Ivan had a point with the mood issue. I haven’t seen her smile all night. “Look, I don’t know what the fuck you’re up to, but what I do know is that I need a good night’s sleep! I can’t believe you’re depriving me of it after saving your friends.”
I listened as she released her rants. I had to laugh internally. She kept going on and wondered when her lungs would give out. That made me muse a bit.
She nearly made me skid across the road, which was thankfully empty at this hour, when she grabbed the arm closest to her, and it happened to be on the stick. Gabriella claimed that I had pissed her off with my quietness.
“Calm down, woman! I’m not going to bloody murder you or whatever dark things you’re thinking in that wild head of yours. We’re going for a late-night drive to clear our heads,” my body exhaled when I managed to drive the vehicle back to a steady pace. “Anyways, don’t you do it again, Gab. You’re going to get us killed—literally. Don’t blame it on me if there appears to be severe damages on your car.”
“Well, that would’ve never happened if you had just answered me! And I’d positively blame it on you, asshole. Where the hell are you even taking us in my car? For fuck’s sake, it’s the dead of the freakin’ night!”
“I’m aware. It’s why I’m taking us to a place you probably haven’t been before.” I reached for her hand and placed it on my lap as I interlaced our fingers to hold it in place. Surprisingly she didn’t fight back. “I’m going buy a kit to stitch up that nasty wound of yours. Does it still sting?”
“A-Are you serious? You don’t have to do that! I have maids in my house for that work, and even then, I don’t need anyone’s assistance. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.” Since there wasn’t much light out here, I bet her face grew red as I felt her hand become warm.
“It’s the least I could do,” I stated, glancing at her.
Gabriella sunk back to the comfort of her jacket and tightened it around her with a huff. “Tsk, stubborn ass.” She lifted her free hand to rub her eyes groggily and stifled a yawn. Something in me just wanted to wrap her around my arms and comfort her when I learned that someone died by her hands. Who knows how many more.
Killing wasn’t easy for anyone in the right mind. Unfortunately, I got too curious, and without a mere warning, my mouth moved. I was amazed Gabriella hadn’t slapped me upon the sensitive question. I would have scorned anyone who’d question whether I was a qualified murderer or a psychopath.
I should be on guard, but instead, I was being drawn deeper into her world. The person next to me is supposedly a killer.
A comparatively calm one. Gabriella made it seem like it was no big deal.
Perhaps it’s the fact that she might’ve exterminated several people in the past? She was in the wrong society, and then there’s the possibility of her immune to it. I mean, ordinary characters would be traumatized if they were in that position.
And I was going to prove my assumptions as soon as we reached our destination.
“We are going to rehabilitate,” I spoke out.
“What for?” she asked.
“The fact that your parents knew about the person you killed is not typical. We are going to reestablish that in your system.”
“To be honest with you, my parents found out because...I killed them right in front of their eyes.”
I nearly bumped into the rear of the vehicle in front. In a flash, I delivered a timid face that met with a neutral expression.
“I did it to save my family,” she explained, short but impactful.
“How heroic?” My mind rapidly went back to the times I first met her versus the present. It went in a flutter, and I never thought she could surprise me further. Shit. What have I gotten myself in?
My adam’s apple bobbed as I experimented with the waters. There was this question I was bugging to empty. “Would it be alright if I asked you what happened?”
She gave me a blithe smile. It was the most genuine of the day. “You already asked two. However, I might...but I also might not. It’s not a topic to suit this nice weather.”
Automatically, my eagerness had gotten the worse of me, but I absentmindedly agreed; granted she’ll actually tell me. I tried to absorb this ominous conversation and decided it’d be better to lay this off for now.
“I’d rather prefer you not ask anything,” she added inaudibly.
“Are you sleep drunk?” I chuckled, clutching the hand around mine but received no response. She hadn’t wavered her fingers, so that meant Gabriella was out cold.
The air was slightly chilly, so I turned on her heating system, waiting for it to warm us. Then, I squeezed her hand, finding it more than appealing; Gabriella had petite hands.
It was a mad night.
But two things hadn’t occurred: One, Troy hadn’t been as confident when confronted by Anthony, and two, I, wasn’t needed much. It was a little strange, but I could live with it.
The car was to drive towards the coast. But to get there, we had to pass through the heart of the city.
“I haven’t an inkling to where you’re taking me and my property since you refuse to tell, big man, barring you better make sure you take both us safely to whatever destination you had in mind,” Gabriella muttered under closed eyelids. I quivered at the mellowness of her voice.
I pinched her hand teasingly, which was surprisingly rough for a girl, causing her to awake. Well, not that rough, but its smoothness just isn’t that present. “And by both, it means my Jaguar and I. ¹Me oyes?”
I blinked at her in surprise,” You can speak Spanish?”
“I know Spanish.”
“How?” I asked as a smile broke through my lips. Finally, we had something in common.
She shrugged as she tried to tug her hand under mine, but I denied her wish. “You know,” she said lethargically, eyeing the hand on her steering wheel. “I like a man who can drive confidently.”
“Are you complimenting, or is that full mockery I hear?” I chuckled loudly, prompting her to frown.
“Full mockery,” she grumbled even farther into her jacket, which muffled her voice. “I don’t joke around.”
“²Te escucho alto y claro, Senora,”
“Now, what’s this?” she cocked an eyebrow.
“What do you mean?” I asked, playing the clueless. She gave a deadpanned face, and that’s when I decided to pull out the card.
“Aren’t you tired of hearing titles since yesterday, let alone another? I’m practically full of em! You seemingly haven’t gotten that much sleep, so I’m concluding your behavior now is the cause of it.”
Damn right. But I wasn’t losing this chance to know more about her. My stubborn mind refuses to bring her home like we originally planned. Speaking of that, I better text Troy to pick me up later than expected.
Using my free hand, I quickly scooped out my phone from my pants since we halted for the signal light to turn green. Texting, I updated Troy and dropped my phone right into a cup holder. I didn’t want to be caught for using my phone while driving.
Oh, I kept forgetting - this isn’t my car.
“Hello? Earth to the driver?” Gabriella yelled, waving her hand across my face just as the lights shouted for me to get on.
“Please move your hand away, Gab. I can’t see!”
“³Bueno, that’s more like you.” Contented, she pulled away. “Don’t call me that. I already have enough names to last a lifetime.”
“Then would you rather I call you Gabzilla?” I tried to contain my amusement but failed and exploded.
“What the fuck for bitch!?” she bickered.
“Well, you are a somewhat terrifying girl and didn’t like it when I joke. You have to choose, Senora or the latter,” I smirked as we sped through a tunnel of trees. I could make out Central Park from here. She secretly smiled, assuming I won’t notice.
“None, this isn’t fair,” she whined, unconsciously tugging her hand out of mine, but I snatched it before she could retract it back. Her face turned dark. “Let my hand go.”
“But we’ve been holding hands for nearly 30 minutes.”
“I don’t do skinship,” she replied firmly.
“Neither do I, but your hand is pretty warm, and I’m freezing.” Gabriella gave me a pointed look and turned off her A/C. “Better?”
“Before I answer that. Can we have a conversation in Spanish?”
“Then, you haven’t acknowledged my question earlier. How did you learn Spanish?” I asked and spotted a gas station where we could stop and buy snacks for our mini trip ahead as there was a 24/7 store.
Her tank’s almost empty as well.
“Ever heard of the Philippines?” she asked bluntly.
I nodded my head, not knowing where this was going. “I’ve been there twice.”
“Well, the Spaniards had colonized the country some centuries ago. It began when explorer Ferdinand Magellan came to the islands in 1521 and claimed it as a colony for the Spanish Empire,” she explained as her face scrunched up. I felt like I was in History class. “The Philippines eventually fought back after being locked under for 300 years during the Spanish-American War.”
“Okay, but how does that relate to you?” I queried, and she gave me a look like I was stupid. Did our conversation earlier about her crime just turn by 360 degrees? Because if not, then I am one.
“I came from the Philippines,” she said as a matter of fact.
My eyes widened. “Oh...who-ah! That’s...umm I-I’m-”
“Wasn’t expecting it?” she smirked.
“Well, your appearance isn’t like the ones I er- saw,” I managed to speak out. Hell to the fuck. She looks nothing like her origin, and do Filipinos even inherit blue eyes?
Gabriella seemed to see my distraught face and chuckled. “My Dad’s from the Philippines, but my Mom’s a different story. I got most of her genes. From the two sets of grandparents that I have, only one came from Europe. I grew in a family that had Spanish ancestors. My mom’s parents are both biracial. And we come from a long line of disaster- if you want me to continue.”
“Heck yeah,” I replied enthusiastically. The night had began to turn out better — I believe.
We finally made it into the well-lit gas station, and I drove in to fill the car up.
“Gasoline Premium,” she muttered to the guy by her window. She then turned to look straight into my eyes. Her sapphire ones seemed sharp under the white light. To be more specific, she seemed animated, and I suspected because she started talking about herself...her other self, from a more different angle.
“Is this going to take long?” she asked, referring to our late-night drive.
“Not unless we speed up a little,”
“Better not give my baby a scratch, or you’ll experience my wrath,” she warned, and I surrendered with my hands held high, finally letting her go.
“You could tell me more about you’re origin once we hit the road again. For now, we are going to grab a few snacks.” At the mention of food, Gabriella rebounded from her seat with shining eyes.
“You’re letting me eat them— for free?” she asked, childishly as she attempted to display puppy eyes. I missed to add that it probably wouldn’t have worked, but she made me nod my head as if by magic, and she squealed like the girl she is. I noticed her resilient interior slowly lowering the more we spent time together. “Can we grab some burgers?”
“At this time?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
“There’s one directly in front of us,” she pointed towards a little café, tucked away in a corner between the convenience store and a mechanics workshop.
I groaned. “My money’s the one at stake.”
“You dragged me out here, Evander.” her voice suddenly flipped.
I sighed. I nearly forgot the terrors of bringing a girl with you when the plan was to have a simple picnic.
“Alright,” I caved in. “But not without milkshakes.”
“Thanks!” she cooed out, and for the nth time that day, I was in for a shock as she encircled her arms around my neck. Damn, if girls were absolutely in zest with their food, then guys should consider this every time they ask a one out.
“Gab, you’re killing me,” I choked out, and she freed me. “Shit, you have a strong grip.”
“Sorry, I’m just hungry,” she laughed.
I simpered,” So you don’t like skinship, but you’re into hugs.”
“Yes, and heck never. I only did it out of sheer embarrassment since I don’t like it when people buy for me,” she honestly responded and observed as a crimson wave engulfed her face.
God, it was driving me balmy again!
I shifted in my seat and brought my body closer to her until my orbs bored into hers. Her face plastered with confusion as I caught her off guard and grabbed a handful of her auburn. She smelled oddly of musk, but her hair - it was enveloped in Vanilla.
The closer I came to the scent that I started to become familiar with, the more I wanted to breathe in the smell from its source. The source, however, persisted push herself away until her side was against the door.
My hips moved as far as the seat belt allowed me until I could smell the Black licorice of her breath.
“Fuck,” I cursed when she licked her lips, it was full and plump. I leaned in closer until Gabriella realized she was trapped. I held her captivating glazed stare and could see that she was gazing to mine. She took a sharp breath as her lips slowly dipped closer. I could almost taste its deliciousness! Only a few more inches-
“Shit,” she whined more to herself.
I immediately withdrew and pulled my shirt down. Somehow, Gabriella managed to sneak and tug onto it but didn’t dare continue as the gas guy tapped again.
Gabriella’s face was the epicenter of annoyment but was not abashed at being caught when she rolled her window down to pay. Had she anticipated for it too?
I suddenly felt bad for leading her on.
She didn’t talk to me when she grabbed her change. Instead, she pretended to be interested in her surroundings. Good. Because I had a sheepish face on and didn’t want Gabriella to see it.
Wonted silence took over as I moved the stick and rotated the car out of there.
Well, that was an extensive wait to fill the tank.
¹Me oyes? - You hear?
²Te escucho alto y claro, Senora - I hear you loud and clear, Senora
³Bueno - Good