Chapter 14. Hide And Seek
The waves crashed against the rocks of the cliff we were sitting on. The cliff wasn’t high from the water, but the water wasn’t deep enough to jump off of. The cliff only rose about fifteen feet above the water below.
Mia and I had walked up the sandy beach and climbed the rocks. It was getting late, but the sun wouldn’t set for another hour. It would go down over the ocean. Today it reached ninety degrees. It was so humid it made the smell of the saltwater stronger somehow.
Mia was sitting between my legs with her head rested against my chest. My eyes were more focused on her than anything else. To me, there was nothing more beautiful than her. We had somehow managed to keep us a secret.
A gay friend of mine, Cameron, agreed to pretend to date, Mia. As far as any of us could tell it was working. He would bring her to me, and her parents believed she was with him. We were nearing graduation.
Graduation was just six weeks away. Mia and I had been together now for nearly six months. Mia was now eighteen, just as I was. I wanted to buy her a car for her birthday, but she wouldn’t allow that. She did, however, buy herself a decent car.
The car was a Mazda. It was used. The Mazda she had was about four years old and had about forty thousand miles on it. The car was in great shape, though. The car was red, her favorite color. She still had some money after the fact too. We even went to prom together. The after-party was far better.
Six months may seem like a long time to people, but I don’t think a lifetime with her would even be enough to satisfy me. I wished life would never end, so I would never have to let go of her.
She played with a ring that was on my finger. “How old is this ring?” She asked thoughtfully.
“Old,” I said. “I’m not exactly sure, but I would assume around the seventeen-hundreds. My mom had it before me. Carlos had it before her. So on and so forth,” I explained.
“Whoever takes over the family business gets the ring?” She asked.
“Hmm,” she hummed.
Mia still had no idea about the secret. However, I was reaching that point of telling her. My parents even told me that maybe it was time. I was leaning more toward after graduation, though. I would take over after graduation.
Mom and Dad were so excited to retire that they already have a house bought, and their shit is packed. Mom was singing around and dancing the other night as she packed the last of their things. They have some clothes still in dressers, and that is about it.
Mom is leaving me the furniture. She is pretty stoked about buying new furniture and decorating her new mansion, which is pretty big. Their new place is only about eight miles from me and about four miles from Austin and Carly. My grandparents plan to move with them too.
Mia snuggled further into me. I grabbed her hand and played with the promise ring I had given her about a month ago. After everything and all this time I still hadn’t forced out the L-word. It had almost slipped a dozen times. I knew that it was true, but I was afraid of saying it. I was afraid that if I told her that I loved her that she might disappear.
I’ve always been so closed off to women, but not her. She somehow saw right through me. She knew there was something I was leaving out, but she was clueless as to what. It amazed me that she allowed it for so long. We don’t even fight over it.
“What happens after graduation?” Mia asked. She tilted her head up slightly to look up at me.
I stared back down at her for a long moment. I wasn’t sure that I had an answer to her question.
“Your dad has to find out eventually,” I murmured. I knitted my eyebrows together as worry creased my forehead.
There would be nothing easy about telling her dad, and we both knew that. She knew I wasn’t looking forward to that part. However, I saw no point in telling her dad until after I told her the truth. Mia very well might not want to be with me when she finds out, then we told him for nothing. I might as well save myself one fight.
“We should have told him by now, Angel,” Mia huffed.
Mia wanted to tell her dad when she turned eighteen. It was me who was against it. I pleaded for her to keep it from him, at least until after graduation. The truth was I didn’t want him ever to know. I wasn’t an idiot. I knew that it was impossible to hide it forever, but I wanted too. Some part of me was scared that if he knew, I would lose her. He would never settle for his daughter to be with me.
Mia told me that she planned to tell her parents that they had to accept me, or she would have nothing to do with them. I believe that she meant it. However, that only would give her father more reason to fuck my life up. She also had to accept what I was. Even though we were more serious now, that didn’t mean she would forgive me for lying to her.
“We will figure it out after graduation, mami, I promise.”
“I have a feeling you are going to chicken out,” she said and smirked.
“I’m not, Mia,” I said sternly.
She sighed and turned away from me.
That wasn’t okay with me. I grabbed her chin and forced her to look into my eyes. “I want to be with you,” I said. “I just want us to get out of school first. If he doesn’t take it too well, then you can just move in with me. Hell will break loose when he finds out Mia. I just want to do it at the right time. Just be patient, please,” I pleaded.
“Fine,” she mumbled.
I lowered my lips to hers and kept ahold of her chin as I pressed my lips softly to hers. It was difficult not to get carried away when kissing her. I broke the kiss, and a small smile formed on her lips as her eyes fluttered open.
After that, we were silent for a long time. I buried my face into her hair and inhaled the scent of her flowery smelling shampoo. The closer we got to graduation, the more I appreciated the time I spent with her, knowing I might not have her afterward.
We watched as the sun started to dance across the water. The sun was slowly setting, and the ocean glimmered. The sunlight danced across her beautiful face. A smile was embedded into her lips, and it was genuine. I was more focused on the way her eyes danced at the view than I was on the view itself. Mia and I regularly go out and about to see places, but I’m always far more intrigued by her. She has this way of getting so excited over the scenery, and I’m intrigued by her reaction.
My arms stayed tightly wound around her. We swayed back and forth to the music she had playing on her phone. The rhythm of the music matched perfectly with the crashing of the waves.
Mia yawned, breaking the smile that was on her face. I could tell she was growing tired.
She should be tired—I kept her up all night. “You ready to go, Mami?” I asked. The sun was all the way down now.
“No,” she muttered and yawned again.
A chuckle escaped me. “Come on. You’re tired.”
Mia had stayed with me last night. Mia told her parents she was staying with Emily. Emily and Mia both came to the mansion last night. Emily stayed in Jesse’s bedroom all night, and Mia stayed in mine. Mia and I only got like four hours of sleep. We stayed up all night watching movies–among other things.
Mia unwillingly rose to her feet, and I stood after her. We climbed down the rocks and headed up the sandy beach hand in hand. We reached the jeep and climbed in. Mia laid her head back as I backed out of the parking spot.
She wasn’t planning to go back home for a few more hours. I watched as headlights from other cars danced across her face. She let her eyes close. She was definitely exhausted.
By the time we reached the mansion, she was fast asleep. I parked the jeep in the garage.
“Mia,” I said and shook her slightly. I noticed that Mia is impossible to wake when she is really tired. I climbed out of the jeep and sauntered over to the passenger side. I was ready to go back to sleep too. I pulled her from the jeep and carried her bridal style through the house.
I carried her up the staircase and down the hall to my room. The blankets were still pulled back from when we had crawled out of it a few hours before. I laid her in the bed and pulled off her shoes.
I threw my shirt off and kicked my shoes off before I crawled into bed beside her. She rolled over, away from me. I slid closer to her and buried my face into the crook of her neck. I wrapped an arm around her and pulled her against my chest.
She let out a soft sigh. It was hard to close my eyes. All I wanted to do was watch her. I forced my eyes shut and quickly fell asleep too.
Mia leaned over and pressed her lips to mine. She started to break the kiss, but I quickly wrapped a hand around the back of her neck. I pressed my lips hard against hers. Her lips parted, and a soft moan escaped her.
I deepened the kiss. I shouldn’t be kissing her like this in her driveway, but I knew both of her parents were gone. She tangled her fingers into my hair and pulled it slightly.
By the time we broke apart, we were both breathless. I wanted to follow her into the house, but I fought against the urge.
“Bye,” she murmured.
“Bye, baby,” I said softly.
Mia climbed out of the jeep. I watched her as I backed out of the driveway. I was about halfway up her block when I noticed her father’s car coming toward me.
“Fuck!” I hissed under my breath.
Ademar knew all my vehicles by this point. Ademar’s gaze locked with mine. I kept my expression blank. Ademar was nothing less than livid. He sped past me after that, and I sped forward. The image of his angry face embedded itself into my head. I quickly picked my phone up and called Mia.
“Hello?” She asked, confused.
“Your dad is almost home. He saw me, Mia.”
Mia sighed. “Maybe it is just time to come clean, Angel.”
“No,” I growled. “Just deny it. Go crawl in your bed and pretend to be asleep. If he wakes you tell him, you don’t feel good.”
“Alright, whatever,” she huffed.
The line went dead before I could speak again. I looked at my phone and groaned in irritation. I threw my phone onto the dash.
Great, now she is pissed at me. An angry girlfriend is not a good thing at all. Maybe Mia is right. Perhaps it is time to tell the truth. I debated the scenarios in my head the rest of the way home. I imagined how he would react and what he would do. When I thought about how Mia would react, I cringed and gripped the steering wheel tighter.
When I got home, I headed straight for the study. Dad was sitting at Mom’s desk.
“Uh, where is mom?” I asked.
Dad looked up from the large old oak desk. “She is upstairs lying down with Andrea,” Dad said. “What’s up with you?”
There was no reason to lie to him. My dad could always see right through me. “Ademar saw me half a block from his house,” I muttered.
“Did he see Mia get out of your jeep?”
“I don’t think so,” I said. I sat down on the couch across from my dad.
“Then don’t worry about it,” Dad said and shrugged. “Maybe it’s time to tell the truth. He can’t do much, Angel. Mia is eighteen now.”
“I don’t even know how Mia is going to take it, Dad,” I muttered. “He can harass me for the rest of my fucking life. Look at what he has already done. I will tell Mia after graduation. I’ll tell her after the party. Then after that, she can decide if she wants to stay with me and come clean to her dad.”
There will be a party the weekend after graduation. This party is to celebrate me becoming the new leader. For those people who don’t know about the ‘Latin King’ part, it is just a graduation party and celebration of me taking over my parents’ business.
My mother had the same party when she signed over as the leader. The party was like a coronation. Mom, Dad, and I also celebrate our birthdays. Mom and Dad referred to these parties as balls. I told them ‘ball’ is too old of a word. However, it is such a formal party that; that is what it is. These parties consist of a band, dancing, and very expensive champagne, wine, and whiskey.
Back in the day, these things used to be a little different. The parties have gotten a little more modern. I have to typically celebrate my birthday, and the birthday of the child it will go to. I would also celebrate my wife’s birthday. The other party is the day that the Latin King’s was created. The Latin King’s go way farther back than most people realize. It was started before the declaration of independence even.
I was dreading the talk I had to have with Mia after this party. Mia knew about the party, and she planned to attend it with me.
“You do whatever you have to do, boy,” Dad said.
Mom came in just then with Andrea. “She won’t sleep. I think she wants you,” Mom said. Andrea was crying.
She handed Andrea to my dad. Andrea grew silent; the second Mom placed her in Dad’s arms. She was growing like a weed. Andrea was already crawling, and this little girl could crawl fast. She’d be walking soon.
I quietly made my escape from the study. Don’t get me wrong; I was happy that my parents cared about what happened between Mia and me. However, it was infuriating to have to explain myself all the time. I didn’t want to admit how much Mia meant to me, though I was sure they already knew. I had to admit that even I was tired of playing hide and seek with Ademar.