Chapter 13. Lose-Lose Situation
Mia had snuck out early before I woke up. Everyone was awake and, in the kitchen, when I sauntered in.
Mia and I had barely slept the night before, just as I promised her that we wouldn’t.
My parents were staring at me knowingly as I approached the coffee pot. I knew that if my parents didn’t say something stupid, it would be Jesse.
“Break the bed last night?” Jesse guffawed.
I kept my back turned away from him as I poured my coffee and raised my hand to flip him off, without looking at him.
The gesture only made Jesse laugh harder.
Dad and Papa both joined in.
Mom stayed silent. My mom likes to think of me as her innocent baby boy still, even though we both know that isn’t the case.
My grandma Tammy scoffed. I didn’t have to look at Grandma to know that she was shaking her head in disapproval.
“I’m going to assume Mia spent the night,” Adelina said.
“It amazes me, considering her dad just raided the place. You must have some serious charisma,” Jesse said with a smirk.
I stared back at him in irritation. “Okay, great. I had sex last night. Can we change the fucking subject?”
Mom chuckled at that.
Dad was doubling over in laughter.
Papa had a proud smile on his face.
Grandma looked like she was going to be sick.
“We are leaving for Ireland tonight,” Mom announced. This was news to me.
“What? For how long?” I asked, confused.
“We don’t even know ourselves yet. There are some issues we would like to clear up with the Irish. There is also a restaurant and two hotels going up in Ireland,” Mom said.
“Great. Don’t forget to come home in one piece,” I sighed.
“We usually do,” Dad smirked.
I snorted and gave him a disbelieving look. There have been times that they went on trips and didn’t come back. My dad went missing back when I was ten, and we didn’t find him until over a year later. Dad had no memory for a really long time.
“I said, usually,” Dad laughed.
Something dawned on me. “Hold up. Weren’t you guys supposed to make some runs tomorrow and go to New York for the opening of the new clothing line?” I asked as I gestured between them.
Mom and Dad both pursed their lips and tilted their heads.
I knew it! They don’t even have to say it. “Seriously?” I groaned.
They both nodded.
“You will do the trip to Chicago, and the trip to Texas. The rest of it is covered. Grandma and Grandpa are dealing with New York,” Mom explained.
“Great,” I muttered then looked at Jesse.
Jesse’s eyes widened, and he pointed a finger at his chest.
“Whatever plans you had for the weekend, fucking cancel them. If I’m going, I’m taking your ass with me,” I told him.
“I can just imagine you saying that to me on our way to hell when we die, too,” Jesse chuckled.
“What am I taking? I can’t drive semis yet,” I pointed out.
“The U-Haul,” Dad chuckled.
“You bought a fucking U-Haul?” I asked in disbelief.
“Yep,” Dad smiled.
“Of course, you did,” I muttered.
“Luckily, they are smaller loads, so it should all fit,” Dad said and chuckled.
“Should,” I grunted. “Great.”
By ten o’clock that evening, everyone was gone. Jesse and I already had the U-Haul ready for Chicago tomorrow. I wanted to leave early. We were planning to take turns driving and sleeping. It was a thirty-hour drive, but I was hoping to do it in twenty-four. It would take at least two days. Tomorrow was Friday, so we would be skipping a day of school. I would almost rather go to school. I suggested we start flying the guns, but mom and dad don’t like the risk.
“Your ass better be back by five,” I said. I wanted to leave by five in the morning.
“Yeah, yeah. Chill man, I’ll be here,” Jesse promised. Jesse wanted to see Emily. Jesse grabbed the keys to my Corvette and headed out to the garage.
I laid down on the couch and grabbed the remote. I flipped through channels but couldn’t find anything good to watch. In frustration, I turned the TV off and threw the remote down. I rubbed my face fiercely with my hands as I thought about the long drive.
“Someone is cranky.” A high voice interrupted my thoughts.
I sat up quickly in shock.
Mia stood in the doorframe across from me, staring at me. “Hi,” she said. A deep blush crept into her cheeks.
“Uh, hi?” I arched a brow.
She wandered over to me. She was wearing tight jeans and a crop top. I couldn’t help but watch her as she walked toward me. The outfit Mia was wearing had my mouth watering. I had to wipe my thumb across my lips to be sure I wasn’t drooling.
“Is everyone gone?” She asked. “It’s quiet.”
“Yeah, my parents and grandparents went on business trips. They usually take the younger ones with. Jesse went to see Emily. The workers have the weekend off. I have to leave tomorrow,” I said simply.
“For what?” Mia asked, confused.
I moved over so she could sit down. We faced each other, sitting sideways on the couch.
“A business trip, too,” I said and shrugged.
“You do that?”
“I have to. I’m taking it over after graduation,” I pointed out.
“Oh, wow,” she murmured. “Must be chaotic.”
“At times,” I agreed.
“Can I ask you something? M-maybe I should have asked a long time ago,” she murmured. The nervousness in her voice was tangible. She fidgeted with a strand of her hair, not looking at me.
My breathing hitched. “What?”
“Is there any truth at all to what my father said? Please don’t lie to me.” Her eyes pleaded with mine.
This was not a conversation I was prepared to have with her yet. The question took me by surprise, considering what we had spent the night before doing. Some part of me didn’t want to lie to her. But how could I tell her? I wasn’t sure if I could trust her with something like that.
“Angel.” She brought me back to reality. I had been lost in thought.
“No,” I said and shook my head. “Why would you even ask me that, Mia? It’s absolutely fucking crazy. Everyone knows that Latin Kings is just some street gang. They’re not rich.”
“You don’t look so sure,” she said sharply. “If I ever find out that you lied to me...” Mia trailed off. “I can handle a lot of things, but lying isn’t one of them. I won’t lie to you or hide things from you.”
Her words made my stomach turn chaotically. If I lie to her, I will lose her, but if I tell her the truth, I will lose her. I’ll lose her regardless. I’m fucked, regardless.
“I’m not lying,” I murmured.
She seemed to accept it but still looked unsure. She leaned into me and kissed me fervently. She climbed slowly into my lap and tangled her fingers in my hair.
The kiss was so deep and intense; I broke it. I felt beyond guilty for lying to her. It was like she struck a match and lit my heart on fire.
She stared at me, confused, I had to say something. I haven’t been very chatty since she walked in, and considering we just had sex last night, that probably makes my silence intensify.
“Baby, I’m tired. I have to get up and leave at five in the morning,” I murmured.
Lord knows that I didn’t want her to leave. I wanted her to stay. I wanted to repeat last night’s events. This girl did such bad things to me.
“Okay,” she mumbled. “Call me when you get back?”
“Yeah, mami, I will,” I promised.
She smiled and pecked me on the lips. She climbed off my lap and walked out without another word.
I stared after her and groaned. My heart was pounding so hard against my ribs; I wondered if it would explode. All this stress, I was sure to have a heart attack by thirty-five.
“Damn it,” I growled when I heard the front door shut. I threw myself back down onto the couch and buried my face in the cushion. I screamed into the cushion. Why can’t I just be happy? Was that too fucking much to ask? Why can’t I have my cake and eat it too?
“This is bullshit,” I said as I jumped to my feet. I trudged up the stairs and to my room. I slammed the door shut and stripped down to my boxers. I climbed into bed and buried my face in the pillow.
“Jess,” I said and shook his arm. His bedroom was so dark it was hard to even see him.
He groaned and sat up. He rubbed his eyes tiredly and widened them. “You suck, bro,” he muttered.
“Man, I warned you,” I laughed.
I headed downstairs while he got dressed. Everything we needed was in the U-haul. I started the coffee pot and poured coffee into two to-go cups.
Jesse trudged into the kitchen.
“Did you go to the bathroom?” I asked.
“Yes, Dad,” he said. His voice was thick with sarcasm.
“Shut up,” I muttered. “Fucking hate these trips.”
We headed out to the U-haul, which we left out front. I drove first. I was so high-strung that I could probably drive all the way there.
“How’s it going with, Mia?” Jesse asked.
“I don’t even want to think about that right now, Jesse,” I said sternly.
His eyes widened in surprise. “That good, huh? What the hell, Angel? You two were good the other night,” he chuckled.
“I was obliterated the other night, man. What happened shouldn’t have. If I had been sober, it probably wouldn’t have. She came to the house last night and outright asked me if what her dad was accusing me of was true,” I explained.
Jesse was my best friend. I told Jesse almost everything, but it was hard to even talk about Mia without getting worked up, whether it was good or bad.
“What did you tell her?” Jesse asked.
“What do you think? She told me not to lie to her, and I lied straight to her face. If she finds out the truth, it’ll be over. Or I just end it, and she never finds out.”
“You care about her, right?” He asked.
“Obviously,” I sighed.
“Then, just tell her the fucking truth!”
“It’s not that fucking simple, Jesse!”
“It’s simple. You made it complicated from the moment you decided to lie straight to her face.”
“She wouldn’t want to be with me even if I told her the truth. What girl wants to date a Latin King? Not just any Latin King but the fucking prince of Latin Kings!”
Jesse shrugged. “Your mom accepted it all. Why can’t Mia? She’s tough.”
“I’m done talking about it,” I muttered.
Jesse rolled his eyes and leaned forward to turn up the radio. What scared me was for a moment I considered giving it up just to be with Mia, but how could I disappoint my family like that?
After that, we drove in silence. We occasionally stopped to get something to eat and use the bathroom. We were going to make it by seven in the morning. We were dropping a load at the warehouse. They knew what time we’d be there.
It was ten o’clock by the time I let Jesse drive. Jess had already had a nap. I leaned back in the seat as he pulled away from the gas station. I checked my phone and noticed Mia had texted me. When I got home, I planned to see her. It was stupid, of course, but I had to see her. She was like that drug I couldn’t stop taking.
Mia: I really hope to see you when you get home. I miss you.
Me: I miss you too, Mami. I’ll see you when I get back, I promise.
She didn’t respond after that, and I let myself drift off to sleep.
A sudden jolt woke me up. “Angel! We got company!” Jesse boomed.
I sat up quickly, and my eyes widened as I felt the second jolt. I leaned forward to look out the mirror. A set of bright headlights blinded me.
“What the fuck?” I growled. The dash read three in the morning. I grabbed a 45 mm out of the glove compartment. “Keep driving,” I said. I rolled the window down. I aimed at the passenger side tire of the vehicle, even though I could barely see the body of the vehicle. I pulled the trigger, hoping I wouldn’t miss it. The van swerved.
Jesse looked in his mirror.
The lights disappeared.
“They just rolled down the ditch,” Jesse said in shock. “Should we go back and see who it was?”
I looked to see if there were any other vehicles, but there wasn’t. “No,” I grumbled. “I don’t even give a fuck who it was. I’m going back to sleep.”
I closed my eyes. Every once in a while, on a trip, we had to deal with other gangs trying to steal our load. This was the reason for having two people: a driver and a shooter. I fell back asleep quickly, exhausted.
We managed to make it home by ten in the morning on Sunday. I was far too tired to see Mia. I didn’t even tell her I was back. I knew she had to work tonight. I planned to pick her up when her shift ended.
Jesse and I both headed up to our rooms, too exhausted to think about anything but sleep.
After I showered, I climbed into bed in just a pair of boxers. I passed out the second my head hit the pillow.
Some part of me knew it was a dream, but I sure as hell didn’t want to wake up. It was at some beach house I had never been to.
Mia stood before me in just a black satin robe. I licked my lips at the sight of her. She was absolutely beautiful. The dream was strange; she felt different somehow. I was different too.
My eyes swept across her body. My gaze stopped on something shiny on her left hand. My lips parted in shock. On her third finger was a set of wedding rings.
The robe dropped to her feet.
“I love you, Mami,” I murmured. Wait–what? No, I don’t... Do I?
“I love you too,” she said. She crawled on top of me and smashed her lips to mine.
My phone vibrated on the stand and pulled me from the dream. I sat up in shock and gasped. “Holy fuck.” I blinked several times.
I groaned and grabbed my phone. “What?”
“You better lose that tone, boy,” Dad snapped.
“Oh, shit. Sorry, Dad. I didn’t look at the caller ID,” I said tiredly.
“Are you sleeping?” He asked.
“Did you make it to Chicago, okay?”
“Yeah, we’re good,” I said. “We’re home.”
“Good, talk to you later,” he said.
“Yeah,” I yawned and hung the phone up. According to my clock, I slept for eleven hours. “Fuck,” I groaned. It was already nine o’clock. Mia would be off work in an hour. I climbed off my bed and got dressed. I was still dazed from the strange dream.
I decided to take my Dodge Challenger. I sped toward the city. When I reached the diner, I parked out back. I sat on the hood and lit a cigarette as I waited for her to come out.
Halfway through the cigarette, Mia came out of the back door. She didn’t notice me right away. Mia’s head was down, and she looked lost in thought. She grabbed out her phone.
I waited for her to see me. My phone vibrated, and I chuckled. It was too quiet for her to hear.
“Hi, mami,” I said in a louder voice.
She looked confused. Her head snapped up, and her gaze locked with mine. She smiled and hung up the phone.
“Hi,” she said as she closed the distance between us. She threw her arms around my neck and stood up on her toes. She pressed her lips to mine.
I groaned instantly.
She broke the kiss and giggled at my reaction. She pecked me on the lips and moved away from me. She wandered over to the passenger’s side as I slid into the driver’s side.
“Where are we going?” She asked after several minutes.
I knew I couldn’t take her home with me. Her dad would be home early in the morning to check on her.
“You’ll see,” I chuckled.
She rolled her eyes in irritation. Mia hated surprises, but I loved her reactions. We took a bunch of old paved roads. By the time we reached our destination, she was practically bouncing out of her seat.
“Seriously?” Mia gasped. “How the hell do you find these places?”
“I get high and go on adventures,” I chuckled. I pulled a blunt out of my cigarette pack and waved it at her. “Want some of my weed?” I asked in a playful voice.
She pursed her lips to think about it.
“I already know the other thing you want, mami. I’ll be happy to give it to you, but let’s enjoy the view first,” I teased.
She hissed and smacked me hard in the chest. “You’re such a dick.”
“You like my dick,” I guffawed as I exhaled.
She took the blunt from me and hit it. I stared at her in awe as smoke rolled out of her mouth, filling the car. She stared back in irritation at my shitty jokes. She handed it back to me and had it half gone.
I chuckled and smoked the rest of it as we stared out over Los Angeles. It was quiet up here, and the city below looked amazing.
As soon as I put the blunt out in the ashtray, Mia crawled onto my lap. She smashed her lips to mine.
The kiss was needy. The desire was equally as strong as the guilt was at this point. I wanted to push her away and pull her close at the same time. I knew there was no way this could last. I had to either take my chances and come clean or break it off with her. I cringed at the thought of losing her and pressed her tighter to me. It seemed like a lose-lose situation. Maybe I should just enjoy her while I have her.
The windows fogged up in the car, and I pulled her into the backseat. I placed her beneath me and broke the kiss.
Our clothes were gone in a matter of seconds. I stared down at her as I placed the condom on my hard cock.
“You’re perfect, mami,” I murmured.