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Chapter 17. Selfish

“Hey, Mia,” Mom said with a smile.

“Hi,” Mia said.

“Where were you?” Dad asked with a knowing smile.

“We had to talk,” I said simply.

“Hmm,” Dad hummed. His expression was full of doubt.

“Come on,” I said to Mia and pulled her away from my parents before she could give it away.

We walked over to the dance floor. I spun her around and pulled her into me. I kept one hand on her waist and her other hand in mine.

“This is the most formal graduation party I have ever seen,” Mia said as she gazed around.

“Yeah, well, it happens when you’re rich. People expect certain things from you. Anyway, it’s also to celebrate me taking over.”

“So, almost like a retirement party for your parents?”

“Sort of,” I said as I stared down at her.

She avoided my gaze. Her eyes stopped on something. She knitted her eyebrows. “Um...” Mia trailed off.

“What?” I started to look, but she pressed her lips quickly to mine and pulled back.

“Nothing,” she squeaked.

I looked up and saw Jesse and Adelina kissing near the steps.

Mia grew tense. “Angel,” she murmured.

My gaze locked with hers, and I smiled. “I already know, Mia.”

“When did that happen?”

“Recently. I kind of knew Adelina liked Jesse. They never acted on it partly because of me and partly because of Emily,” I explained.

“Oh, are you okay with it then?”

“Yeah, I’m fine with it. They’re happy it seems like. Anyway, Jesse knows if he hurts her, I will kill him.”

Mia giggled so hard she snorted. “Should have known there was a catch.”

When the song ended, my mom approached Mia and me. “Angel, you need to sort of make a speech.”

“Sure,” I muttered. I pecked Mia on the cheek and turned for the stage that Dad and I set up for the band.

The band member handed me the microphone. When I looked out over the crowd, I found Mia.

Mia smiled at me and blew me a kiss.

“Hello, everyone. I want to thank all of you for coming out tonight. As many of you know, I turned eighteen and just graduated high school. However, the main reason we got together tonight was to announce that I would be taking over my mother’s business. I have been taught properly between my parents on how to run things. I know it may seem a bit soon, but my mother started when she was eighteen, and she felt that there was no reason I couldn’t do the same. We all want you to know we appreciate your business and those of you who work for us. You all work very hard. I will work as hard as I can to run things as well as my parents did before me. Enjoy the rest of the party,” I said as cheerfully as I could manage.

Everyone clapped, and some whistled. I headed off stage to find Mia. My parents were introducing Mia to some of our workers. I walked up behind her and wrapped my arms around her waist.

Mia looked up at me and smiled. “Good speech,”

“Thanks, mami,” I murmured. I looked up to my parents and spoke louder. “I’m bailing,” I announced.

Mom and Dad both laughed.

“Have fun,” Dad said and gestured for us to leave as if we were excused.

“What?” Mia asked, confused.

I didn’t answer Mia as I pulled her upstairs to my bedroom. Once we were in my bedroom, I closed the door and turned around to face her. I wiggled my eyebrows at her.

“You can’t be serious,” she giggled.

“I figured you didn’t want to go home yet, and I did not want to stay down there,” I said. I didn’t bring her up here to do anything.

“I’m not going home at all tonight,” Mia said. She walked to my closet.

I sauntered over to my bed and stripped down to my boxers. I climbed into the bed and turned on the television. The bed shifted. I turned my head to see Mia crawling across the bed in nothing but one of my T-shirts. I licked my lips and puckered them as she got closer.

She laughed at my reaction but made no attempt to kiss me.

I tapped my lips with my pointer finger leaving them puckered.

She sighed and pressed her lips to mine. She giggled when I wrapped a hand around the back of her neck, pressing my lips harder to hers.

“Angel!” She squealed as I flipped us and placed myself between her legs.

“Woohoo, mami, louder!” I growled playfully as I threw the blankets over the top of us.


It had been a week since I took over, and everything was going smoothly. Mia was pushing at me more now to tell her father, but first, I had to tell Mia. I was planning to tell her tonight when I got home. I had to fly to New York City three days ago.

When the plane landed, I was exhausted. It was faster than driving but still exhausting. I grabbed my bags and headed out of the airport. One of my drivers was there with a limousine.

“Hello, Mr. Garcia,” he said politely. He was a new driver.

“Rob,” I started. “You can call me, Angel.”

“Yes, sir,” Rob said. “I mean, Angel.”

“Right,” I smiled.

He opened the door for me, and I slid into the car. I hated when people waited on me hand and foot or called me, sir, or by my last name. I was not superior to them, or at least I didn’t feel that way. My parents always treated their workers like family, and I do it no differently.

Once we were back to the mansion, I headed upstairs. I showered, changed, and unpacked my things. I headed downstairs to the study. The study was the way I left it. I walked over to my desk and sat down to do paperwork.

My parents took care of most of it while I was gone, but I hate to fall behind. When you fall behind on paperwork, it is far messier.

The study door opened. It was Mom, Dad, and Benny.

“Uh, what’s going on?”

“We have a problem,” Mom said.


“Six of our warehouses were burned to the ground,” Dad explained.

“What?!” I shouted. “How? When?”

“Last night, but we think we know who,” Benny said. Benny sat his laptop down in front of me. I watched as he played a video of someone coming out of the warehouse.

A figure came into view. It was difficult to see. Benny zoomed in. The man was turned away from the camera. Benny zoomed in closer. On the man’s left arm was a symbol for the Mexican Mafia.

“Mexican Mafia,” I sneered.

“Yeah,” Dad huffed.

“Fucking pricks,” I growled. “Did they take the guns?”

“Yep,” Benny said.

“Of course,” I snorted. “Alright, we’ll meet on Monday to decide how to deal with this. Keep a close eye on the camera’s Benny. I can’t deal with this shit tonight. Mia is coming tonight.”

“Okay, baby,” Mom said.

“Sounds good,” Benny agreed.

They headed out of the study. I threw my pen down in frustration. I rested my elbows on the desk and buried my face in my hands.

It was beginning to grow dark. I had sent a text to Mia earlier to let her know that I was home, but she hadn’t responded yet. I decided to try to call her.

The phone rang endlessly then went to voicemail. “What the fuck?” I muttered and hung up. I leaned back in my seat.

After several minutes I went back to my paperwork. It was getting hard to keep my eyes open as the hours passed. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t have much paperwork left, but I would finish it in the morning. I decided to send Mia one last text.

Me: Forget coming tonight, mami. It’s late, just come tomorrow or something.

Just as I was about to the door of the study, it swung open. Mia dashed into the study, breathless with tear-stained cheeks. Her cheeks were a deep red. She looked horrified.

I stumbled back in shock. “M-Mia? What is it?”

She threw her arms around my neck and sobbed into my chest.

I rubbed her back gently. “Mia, what is going on?” I asked worriedly.

She pulled back from me. “T-these men, they t-took my parents. They were coming after me too, but I got away. I don’t know what the hell is going on, Angel!” Mia shook violently from her uncontrollable sobs.

“W-woah, what?”

“I don’t know who they were,” she said.

What she was saying made my head spin chaotically. “Um. . .”

I pulled her out of the study down the hallway. I set up the alarm. I spun around, and Andersen was there staring at me alarmed.

“Is everything okay?” Andersen asked.

“Andersen, make sure all entrances to the mansion are locked down.”

“Of course,” he said.

Once upstairs, Mia sat down on the edge of my bed. I handed her a bottle of water. She took it and drank half of it.

“Mia, is there like anything at all that you can tell me about these men? Were there faces covered? Did you see any tattoos? How tall were they? Ethnicity?”

“Um,” she stopped. She thought about it for several moments before she answered. “One of the men had his sleeves rolled up. He had an odd symbol on his arm.”

“Can you remember what it looks like?”

She stood up and grabbed a piece of paper and pen.

I stood beside her as she drew the tattoo that she saw.

When Mia stepped away, my lips parted in surprise.

Mia took in my expression. “Do you know it? Should we call a cop?”

“Um, yeah, I know it. No, we shouldn’t,” I said.

“What, why not?” She asked, confused.

“Can you give me five minutes?” I asked her.

“Sure,” she muttered.

I took off down to the study. I sat down at my desk and dialed my mom’s number. It rang a few times as I bounced my leg impatiently.

“Hello?” Mom asked.

“Now we have a bigger fucking problem,” I muttered.

“What is it, baby?” Mom asked.

“If Dad is around, put me on speaker. You both need to hear this,” I said.

“Okay, we can both hear you,” Mom said.

“Mia’s parents were kidnapped. They’re after Mia too.”

“Holy shit,” Dad hissed. “Do you know who?”

“The Mexican Mafia,” I sneered.

“Jesus,” Mom paused. “Wait, you don’t think this is tied to the warehouses?”

“I think it is a damn good possibility. I mean, what the fuck are the odds? The warehouses burn down, and the next night, Mia’s parents are kidnapped.”

“Good point,” Dad agreed.

“Have you told her?” Mom asked.

“No,” I said.

“Wait, how do you know it was the Mexican Mafia?” Dad asked.

“Mia drew a tattoo just like the one on the guy’s arm from the camera,” I explained.

“It’s time you tell her Angel,” Mom said in a stern voice.

“I know,” I growled. My heartfelt like it weighed a thousand pounds. What if Mia’s parents were taken because of me? I would never forgive myself for that, no matter how much I hate Ademar. I don’t want Mia to lose her parents because of me.

“Go tell her. We will be over shortly,” Dad said.

“Get everyone you can. We have to get Ademar and Mary back,” I said sharply.

“We will, son,” Mom said softly.

I hung the phone up and threw it across the study. My heart raced against my ribs. I gripped onto the desk. “Fuck!” I shouted. I gripped onto the desk as adrenaline pumped through me.

The desk flipped over three feet from where it usually was. I gripped onto my hair and pulled it roughly as I stared at the mess I just created in my office.

Mia’s gasp made my head snap up. I stared at her for a long moment.

“My parents are coming,” I muttered. I sauntered over to the sofa and sat down. I buried my face in my hands.

Mia’s hands gripped my shoulders. “What is it, babe?” Mia murmured.

I shook her hold off and got to my feet as guilt spread through my veins like fire, burning me. I stared down at Mia with a disgusted expression. I knew she would destroy me, and this was the moment right here. Just the thought of losing her made me sick to my stomach.

“Mia, there is something...” I trailed off and looked away. I couldn’t look at her as I spoke. “There is something I need to tell you.” My voice was barely audible. I wasn’t even sure if she heard me. I looked down at her when she didn’t answer.

“Uh, okay? Can’t it wait, Angel? I need to find my parents,” she pleaded.

“No, mami,” I snorted and rolled my eyes. “I need to tell you now because it might have to do with your parents’ kidnapping.”

“W-what?” She choked and grew tense.

I wanted to run for the door. I had been selfish not to tell Mia. I kept it from her for my own benefit. I didn’t want to lose her. How could I admit this to her now without falling apart in front of her?

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