Chapter 3. A Beautiful Place
“Bohai, all the way from China, just for some guns? I’m impressed,” I said and smirked. I placed my sunglasses on top of my head and locked eyes with Bohai.
Bohai is the leader of the Chinese. Bohai dealt with the American charter, as well. The Chinese were a large and powerful gang, no doubt. After things went bad with the Mexican Cartel, we needed some new clients. Aria and I thought it would be best to stretch to new relations.
“America is a beautiful place,” Bohai said. “I enjoy vacationing here in California from time to time.”
Luis, Austin, and I stepped forward and handed them the duffel bags of guns. Bohai gave us a couple of duffel bags full of cash.
“Are they the same?” Bohai asked. “I was very fond of the last shipment.”
“They’re not the same. Before Carlos died, he switched to a new brand. It is a better brand,” I explained. “I’m sure that you will be satisfied.”
“Good enough for me,” Bohai said. “We will pick up the next shipment in a month if that is okay?”
“That is fine, but let me know what day in advance,” I told him.
Bohai nodded in agreement. Bohai and the three men he brought with him turned to leave.
I turned to face the boys. “I’m grabbing Aria, and we’re going to leave for the weekend.”
“Did you get the house?” Luis asked.
“Yes, and it’s ready,” I said. “The workers finished it last night.”
“Are you going to pop the question?” Benny teased.
The guys had no idea that I was planning to ask Aria to marry me, but they knew that I bought a beach house. Aria mentioned that she wanted a beach house a long time ago, so I bought a beach house. The house was located outside of city limits and far away from any other homes.
The fact that Benny had been only kidding but was right made me smile, and my smile gave away the answer.
“Holy shit,” Austin breathed. “You are, aren’t you?”
The boys all stopped and turned to face me. They all gave me a curious glance.
A chuckle escaped me. “You sure know how to ruin a surprise, Benny.”
“Woah,” Luis said and let out a low whistle.
“For real?” Joey asked.
“Are you sure?” Abel arched a brow.
“Look, I’m nervous as it is. Don’t say weird shit that is going to make me more anxious. One thing that keeps Aria and I’s relationship interesting is that I never know how she will react. We haven’t been together for an extremely long time, but we’re already about as married as we can get. We run things together. We have a son. Not to mention that we’re living together,” I explained.
“You have a point,” Austin said and nodded.
“Besides, I love her, and I don’t have any desire to be with anyone else or anywhere else,” I muttered. I hated telling people how I felt about anything. The only two people I usually showed any kind of emotion or affection towards were Aria and Angel.
“Don’t be nervous,” Benny said. “I strongly doubt that Aria would say no to you.”
“I agree,” Abel said.
“The problem is how are you going to stop Aria from figuring out what you’re doing? Aria seems to know you too well,” Luis said.
“She won’t think anything is up. She’ll think the beach house is the surprise,” I said. “That is why I chose to do it this way. She did notice that I have been weird lately. She asked me about it this morning.”
“Who is going to watch Angel, or are you taking him with?” Joey asked.
“We hired a nanny a couple of weeks ago,” I said. “Rosa is going to watch him.”
“Good luck,” the boys chorused.
“Thanks,” I muttered. I turned for my GTO. The sun started to set behind the hills.
The limousine waited outside the mansion. I parked the GTO in the garage and let the limo driver know that we would be ready soon.
Aria sat in the study at her desk doing paperwork. A lot of her job consisted of paperwork. Everything that took paperwork had to have her signature or mine. I helped her with it usually.
“Bebita,” I said.
Aria looked up at me. “Hey, how did it go?”
“It went fine. Are you about done?”
“Not even close.” Aria rolled her eyes and sighed. She chewed on the top of the pen as she gazed back down at her papers.
“Quit for the night. I’ll help you later. You need to go upstairs and get dressed. We’re leaving,” I said.
She looked up, her lips parted, and the pen fell from her hand. “Just us? Where are we going?”
“It’s a surprise.”
Aria sighed. “I hate surprises.”
“You’re going to like this one. Wear something pretty.” A smirk spread across my face.
Aria looked at me suspiciously, but she was clueless. “What about Angel?”
“Rosa will watch him,” I said.
Aria shrugged. “Okay.”
Aria went upstairs to get dressed, and I went to find Rosa.
Rosa stood in the kitchen with Angel in her arms. She had a bottle in the microwave.
“Rosa,” I said.
Rosa turned and smiled at me. “Yes, sir?”
“Ace,” I corrected.
“Ace,” Rosa repeated and smiled.
“Aria and I are heading out. You have both of our cellphone numbers. Andersen will know where to find us as well. Do you need anything else?” I asked.
“No, sir,” Rosa said. Rosa pursed her lips and tilted her head. “I meant Ace.”
I chuckled. I reached for Angel. “I’m sure that Aria would like to kiss him goodbye.”
“Of course,” Rosa said.
It was hard to believe that Angel already turned eight weeks old. Time passed by quickly. Angel already cooed and giggled like crazy, especially at Aria. Angel was a mama’s boy.
Aria came down to the foyer. She wore a long tight white dress. The dress had a slit up to her right thigh. She had her hair piled on top of her head in a bun and wore light makeup.
My lips parted slightly. The dress had to be new because I had never seen her in it before. Wow. A low whistle escaped me. She looked like an Angel. I never realized how good white looked on her.
Aria giggled. “Do you approve?” Aria gave me a skeptical look.
Oh, boy, do I. I licked my lips. Wait. Damn it. I bit my lip. She knew that we were going somewhere private because usually, I would have told her to change. The dress was a bit revealing but not too extreme. She wore it on purpose to see my reaction.
“We must not be going out in public,” Aria said.
I threw my head back and laughed. Luis was right. Aria knew me too well. It was a miracle that I kept the beach house a secret. “I’m not telling you anything, bebita.” I pecked Angel on the forehead.
Aria hovered over him and kissed his nose, cheek, and forehead. “I love you, baby,” Aria murmured to Angel.
Angel cooed at her.
“I’ll be right back,” I said. I took Angel back to Rosa.
Aria waited for me by the front door. “What vehicle are we taking?”
I opened the door and gestured for her to go ahead of me. Aria stepped out onto the front porch and noticed the limousine. She stopped and tilted her head.
“A limo?” Aria looked back at me. Curiosity burned in her eyes.
“Yes, ma’am,” I said. I grabbed her hand in mine, and we walked down the steps together.
The limousine driver opened the door for us. Aria slid in first, and I climbed in after her. The driver closed the door behind us.
Aria stared out the window and watched the city flash by. She kept her hand in mine. Her expression stayed blank, but from time to time, her expression would become thoughtful.
“Ace, it’s been half an hour,” Aria muttered.
“Mhm,” I hummed.
“Where are we going?” Aria whined.
“We’re. . . close,” I said and smirked.
Aria huffed and rolled her eyes. “How close?”
“Twenty minutes or so,” I said and chuckled.
Aria sighed and reached for the button that closed the window that divided us from the driver. The window was black, and it couldn’t be seen through. Aria climbed into my lap and fixed her dress so she could straddle me.
“What are you doing?” I murmured.
“Passing the time.” Aria’s warm breath fanned across my face, and her lips crashed against mine.
There was no space left between our bodies. My lips moved fervently against hers. Her lips felt so good against mine that it took everything I had to break the kiss.
Aria knitted her eyebrows together. “What’s wrong?” Her lip jutted out into a pout.
I chuckled. I hated when she looked at me that way. Every time she pouted, it made me want to give her what she wanted. As if I needed another excuse to want to tear the dress off of her.
“Be patient, bebita. I’m not ready to wear your lipstick yet. We can save that part for later,” I said and smirked.
Aria sighed and climbed off my lap. She kept her hand in mine and stared back out the window.
After about twenty minutes, the vehicle rolled to a stop.
“We’re here?” Aria’s eyes lit up with excitement.
“Yes,” I said.
Our door opened up.
I rose out of the limousine and put my hand out for Aria.
Aria placed her hand in mine and got out of the car. As soon as she took in the sight of the beach house, she gasped.
The driver and I chuckled at her reaction.
“Come on,” I said. I pulled her forward.
The limousine disappeared up the driveway.
It wasn’t the first time I had been to the beach house, but I knew Aria needed to take it all in.
The house had so many windows that it practically looked like it was made of glass. It was a very modern house and was built several months ago. It had been on the market for a while and didn’t have any previous owners. It was three stories tall.
“You bought a beach house?” Aria choked out. She turned to face me. “Why? We have a mansion.”
“I know, but I thought we could use a getaway place. We live in the mansion. Our workers live in the mansion. We work in the mansion. Privacy is pretty close to impossible at the mansion. I thought you would be happy. You said before that you would love to have a beach house. There aren’t even neighbors anywhere nearby,” I explained.
Aria smiled. “I love it, Ace. It’s perfect. I can’t believe you remember that.”
“Come on. I’ll show you around,” I said. I pulled her toward the house.
Aria stopped inside the front door and gazed around in wonder. “Wow, it is so bright in here.”
The downstairs was an open concept. The house was completely furnished. It had eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms. There was a basement that was set up as a recreational area.
After I showed Aria around, we went out to the patio. There was a table for two. Dinner was on the table, and there was a waiter. He offered us some wine. I thanked him and dismissed him.
The house was close enough to the beach that we heard the waves rolling off the rocks. Aria stared out at the ocean as we ate.
“It’s beautiful here. Are we staying here tonight?” Aria wondered.
“For the weekend,” I corrected. “You work so hard all the time. You deserve a break.”
Aria smiled. “Sounds good to me.”
When we were finished eating, we went upstairs. I pulled Aria out to the balcony. The view of the ocean was unbelievable from our bedroom.
Aria peered over the balcony and smiled. The sand looked silver beneath the moonlight. The dark waves crashed against the shore. Aria placed her hands on the railing of the balcony.
“It’s unbelievable,” Aria said. She turned around and smiled at me. “I love it so much.” Aria threw her arms around my neck and smashed her lips against mine.
My original plan was to ask her at dinner, but I chickened out. The velvet box in the pocket of my jeans felt like it weighed a hundred pounds.
Aria broke the kiss and stared at me, confused. “What’s wrong?”
My fingers tightened on her waist, and my hands shook. I wasn’t the nervous type at all. I didn’t even know what nervousness or jealousy felt like until I met Aria. Aria knew me so well that it seemed as if she could sense my fear.
“I—” I stopped. Damn, what the hell was I supposed to say? I thought it over for hours, days even. I knew exactly what I wanted to say, and suddenly I drew a blank.
Aria smiled and pressed her lips to mine again. Her lips burned mine like a raging fever. I knew that men couldn’t hit menopause, but that is what it felt like. The hot flashes were unbearable. I wasn’t sure if it was my nerves or from her body being so tightly pressed to mine.
It has to be now, you idiot, or you will have to plan to ask her some other way, and you aren’t that creative! I grabbed her face between my hands and pulled out of the kiss again.
Aria stared at me, confused.
“Okay, I have to get this out before I can’t,” I muttered. My chest rose and fell heavily against hers.
Aria arched a brow. “Spit it out, Ace. What?”
“Did I mention you look beautiful?”
Aria snickered. “You’re procrastinating telling me something, and you don’t usually do that unless it is bad news or a surprise. Did something happen?”
I sighed and shook my head. “It’s not bad. Well, it might be. I suppose it depends on how you take it,” I muttered and grimaced.
“Ace—” Aria whined.
“Okay, I’m sorry,” I said and chuckled. “I’ve spent days thinking about this, and suddenly I’m at a loss for words, which doesn’t happen to me very often. When it does happen, it is usually your fault.”
Aria chuckled. “Is it?”
“Yeah,” I said. “There are like a million things that I should be saying right now, but I suck at this type of stuff.”
Aria pursed her lips and waited for the rest. Her chest rose and fell heavily from anticipation.
“One of the many things that fascinate me about you is your reactions are never what I expect, and right now, I have no idea what to expect. So, I’m just going to ask. . .” I trailed off. I kept one of her hands in mine and pulled the small box from my pocket. I knelt on one knee and opened the box. “Aria Marie Perez, will you marry me?”
Aria’s eyes widened in shock, and she swallowed hard. Her jaw dropped, and she threw a hand over her mouth. “What? Oh my god.” Aria’s hand fell from her mouth. Both of her hands shook violently. Tears fell from her eyes. “Yes, of course,” Aria choked through tears.
“Damn, for real?” I arched a brow.
Aria giggled and nodded.
I stood up and placed the diamond ring on her third left finger.
Aria grabbed my face between her hands and smashed her lips to mine. Her body molded to mine. She pushed me back into the bedroom.
All of the nervousness washed away, and desire took its place. I had been dying to get her out of the dress from the moment that she changed into it.
Aria trailed her lips down my neck while I untied her dress. The dress fell to the floor at her feet. My gaze swept over her body.
Aria’s hand burned against my skin as she lifted my t-shirt off. Aria’s forehead rested against mine, and her hot breath tickled my face and made my insides smolder.
We stripped down to nothing as we stumbled back to the California King bed that was in the middle of the room. Aria started to slip one of her heels off.
“Leave those on.” I gripped her thighs, lifted her, and carried her the rest of the way to the bed. Her legs snaked around my waist.
Our breathing was ragged by the time that I got her to the edge of the bed. My fingers tangled into her hair, and I bit down on her lip.
Aria moaned and pressed her warm body harder to mine. She broke the kiss and arched her head back slightly. “Fuck me now,” Aria demanded.
“Rough?” I smirked.
“Rough,” Aria repeated breathlessly.
I gripped a fistful of her hair, spun her around, and forced her to bend over the mattress. She grabbed onto the blankets and kept her heels planted on the floor.
Without warning, my hard-throbbing cock filled her.
A loud moan escaped her, and a deep throaty groan came from me. Most of the time, we didn’t start out soft and slow. We were fast and rough. Her ass bounced against me, and I licked my lips.
My hands fell to her hips, and I dug my fingernails into her skin. I took one hand off her hip and smacked her on the ass.
“Mm, papi,” Aria moaned. “Spank me again.”
I slapped her on the ass a second time.
Aria put a hand to her wet folds and rubbed her clit. Her hips moved in circles and matched my thrusts.
I slowed and stopped as I watched her push her ass against me and move her hips. “Fuck me,” I groaned. I gripped onto the bed frame with one hand and squeezed her ass with the other.
Aria’s walls tightened around my cock. She moaned and pulled the blankets off the bed. Her legs shook, and her movements became sloppy.
I bit hard down on my lip and tried like hell not to release with her. It felt impossible to hold it back — a tight knot formed in my stomach.
Aria finished her orgasm. I pulled out of her and exploded. A groan escaped me, and my body shuddered as I released.
Aria turned around and smiled at me. Her eyes drooped slightly. Aria was almost always exhausted or hungry afterward.
I chuckled. “You look like you might fall asleep standing, bebita.”
“I’m tired,” Aria murmured.
“Me too,” I agreed.
Aria kicked her heels off. I lifted her and carried her onto the bed. I pulled the blankets back onto the bed and covered us. It didn’t take either of us long to fall asleep — like most nights I dreamt of Aria.