Angel

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Chapter 4. Pie and Wine

“Um, I think you gave me the wrong address,” Cecilia said through the phone.

“What do you mean?” I asked, confused.

“I’m in front of this huge mansion. It has a big fountain in the front,” she said.

My lips mashed in a thin line as I tried not to laugh.

Angel gave me a questioning look. “What is it?”

I held up a finger for him to wait as I stood up. I headed out of the study down the long hallway.

Andersen beat me to the door and opened it for me.

“Thank you, Andersen,” I said politely.

Andersen gave me a curt nod as I walked out the front door.

Cecilia’s car was in the driveway. Through her windshield, I could see her gaping at me. “You’re kidding?” Cecilia gasped.

I shook my head as I looked in her direction with a smile on my face. “Come on,” I said.

She shut her car off and climbed out. She looked warily at me. She popped her trunk and grabbed a duffel bag out. She headed up the stairs of the mansion.

I spun around and opened the door. “I guess I should have warned you.”

“You think?” Cecilia snorted. “Damn, sexy and rich. What are the odds?” She teased. “And you left him because...” Cecilia trailed off, giving me a questioning look.

“Don’t judge me. You had to be there to understand,” I explained.

She chuckled at the defensiveness in my tone. She walked further into the foyer and gasped. “Holy shit,” she murmured.

“I know,” I said. “That’s what I said the first time I saw it.”

Angel came barreling down the hallway. He looked worried. His phone was up to his ear. He was listening intently to the person on the other end of the line.

“I’ll be there in a few minutes,” Angel said sharply. Angel hung the phone up, and he was just a couple of feet away from me. “I have to go.”

“Is everything okay?”

“Yeah,” he huffed. “We’ll talk later.”

“Okay,” I said. I wasn’t going to argue. I knew he couldn’t talk about it in front of Cecilia. I noticed that Angel made no effort to hide things from me. If I asked him a question, he gave me an honest answer. I learned a lot about the Latin Kings in the week I have been back.

Angel leaned in and pecked me on the cheek.

“See you later,” I said.

“See you later,” he said. “Cecilia,” he greeted her.

Cecilia gave him a small smile.

When the door closed behind Angel, I turned to face Cecilia.

Cecilia stared back at me, surprised. “What was that?” She asked, gesturing to the door Angel walked out of.

“Come on, I’ll show you around,” I said.

“It doesn’t matter how many times you show me around I will get lost. This damn house is bigger than the college,” Cecilia said.

A giggle escaped me, and I nodded in agreement. “I know.”

“So, are you two back together?” Cecilia asked as we wandered over to the kitchen.

“No,” I sighed. “I kissed him the other night, though.”

“What? Why? What about Zayden?” Cecilia asked.

I snorted. “What about Zayden, Cecilia? We were never together. That was the first date, and there was no guarantee I would have agreed to a second. I don’t like Zayden that way.”

“Maybe you should at least call Zayden and tell him that. He’s under the impression you two still have a chance, Mia,” Cecilia said. “Wow, this is like every chef’s dream,” she added as we walked into the kitchen.

“I’ll call him,” I muttered. I showed her every room downstairs, and then we headed upstairs.

“So, are you and Angel going to work it out?” Cecilia pressed.

“It’s hard to say. I kind of doubt it. Some part of me wishes we could rewind and do things over. Maybe things would have been different. It hurt him when I left. It hurt me too. I’m not sure either of us could handle it if it didn’t work out again,” I explained. “I was drunk. I shouldn’t have kissed him.”

“I think if you two care about each other that much, it’s worth a second chance,” she said. “Are you just friends?”

“Not exactly,” I said and sighed.

“But not together?”

“No.”

“So what are you?”

“Nothing,” I huffed.

“Why did he kiss your cheek then?”

“I don’t know, Cecilia!”

***

After I showed her around the upstairs, we headed down to the kitchen. Cecilia and I both loved to cook, and we loved food.

I grabbed a bottle of wine from the wine cellar downstairs and came back to the kitchen.

“Ooh, fancy,” Cecilia smirked.

“I know,” I said and chuckled. “This place is better stocked than any bar in Los Angeles.”

“Wow,” she breathed.

I grabbed two wine glasses from the cupboard as Cecilia opened the bottle.

“So, this guy is what eighteen or nineteen? How does he own this place?” Cecilia asked as she poured wine into the glasses.

“Well, it sort of runs in the family. The oldest child or something winds up, taking over the family business at eighteen. They get the house and the companies.”

“So, Angel’s firstborn will get all of this?” Cecilia asked.

“It’s tradition, so yeah, basically. His parents ran it together and retired after he graduated high school. I think they still help him or something, though.”

We agreed to make a blueberry pie for dessert. We found steaks in the fridge. We placed the steaks in the oven and finished up the pie.

“There has to be a catch. He seems to perfect. Is he good in bed?” Cecilia arched a brow.

“Oh my god, Cecilia!”

“What? I’m just curious. No guy is rich, sexy, good in bed, and kind. What is the deal?”

A giggle bursted out of me. I grabbed a handful of blueberries and smacked her in the face with it.

She gasped and stared at me in shock for a moment. She moved past me quickly to grab the berries. I squealed and ran around the other island. She whipped the berries at me, and I giggled. She missed and hit the wall behind me.

We both grabbed a can of whip cream and sprayed it at each other. We laughed hysterically as we looked each other over. We were filled with whipped cream and blueberries. The walls and floors were covered in blueberries and whipped cream too.

“I think we better put the wine away,” I giggled.

“What in the fuck are you two doing to my kitchen?”

Cecilia and I both spun around to come face to face with Angel.

Angel was staring around the kitchen in shock.

Cecilia handed me the blueberry pie.

I looked down at the pie and ambled toward Angel with it.

He watched me curiously.

I quickly brought the pie up to his face. The pie covered his face, and the pan dropped.

“It’s blueberry, babe, your favorite!” I said through a fit of giggles.

“Alright, you two clean this up now. You two are grounded from the kitchen,” Angel muttered. Angel grabbed a paper towel and wiped some of the blueberries off his face. Angel was never the type to be so serious.

His attitude caught me off guard.

I sighed and turned to face Cecilia. “Let’s clean this up.”

“Okay,” she murmured. “He’s kind of pissed, huh?”

“He probably just had a bad day,” I told her. “He tends to be in a better mood when he isn’t working. I know he’s going to be busy the next few days. I should have known better.”

“Dry sense of humor?” Cecilia asked.

“Angel?” I snorted and shook my head. “God, no. Angel is the funniest guy I have ever met.”

“Could have fooled me,” Cecilia said and rolled her eyes. She cleaned the walls as I cleaned the floor. When we were finished, so were the potatoes and steaks.

“I’m going to go take this to him,” I said. “You can carry ours to the living room. There is a bunch of movie choices in there.”

“Okay,” Cecilia said. She grabbed our plates and headed off to the living room.

The study door was open. Angel was on the phone with someone.

“It’s a total loss,” Angel said. “Just talk to the insurance company.”

As I placed the plate down on his desk, he said goodbye to who he was talking to and hung up.

I spun around to leave the study.

“What is this?” Angel asked.

I stopped and turned back to him. “Dinner,” I said and shrugged. “I told Rosa I wanted to make dinner tonight.”

“Okay...” he trailed off. “Uh, thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” I turned to leave again.

“Mia?”

“Yeah?” I asked as I turned back around.

“I’m sorry for snapping earlier,” he said. His gaze locked with mine.

“No, it’s fine. We shouldn’t have made such a big mess. The wine got the best of us,” I said.

“No, really. I don’t care about the kitchen. It shouldn’t have mattered. I knew it would get cleaned up. It’s been a shitty day.”

My curiosity got the best of me. I wandered over to him. “What happened?” I asked.

Angel turned his chair toward me and stood up. He towered over me and looked down at me. He shook his head. “One of my night clubs burned to the ground. It was one that my grandpa built about twenty years ago. It was the most popular club in Los Angeles. Everyone is wondering what happened. The media is all over it, the cops, and fire department.”

“Oh my god. How?”

Angel moved away from me. He gazed through a set of books on a shelf that was just above his head. “The fire department is investigating it. My guess is it was intentional. Nobody was hurt, which is good. I just hate when shit gets burned down or blown up, it makes the cops and others suspicious.”

“But they won’t find out...” I trailed off.

“No way,” Angel said and shook his head as he grabbed a book. He didn’t look at all concerned.

“I’m sorry,” I murmured.

“It’ll be fine,” he said. He looked down at me. “You should go. Your friend is probably wondering where you are.”

“Mhm,” I hummed. I stood on my toes and pecked his cheek. “Let me know if you need anything,” I said.

As I walked away, I could have sworn that I heard Angel say, “I need you.” However, I wasn’t sure, and there was no way I was going to question it. I knew that if that was what he said, he did not mean for me to hear it.

***

Angel was in and out of the mansion for a few days as he said he would be. One of the nights, he didn’t get back until four in the morning. He had woken me up. He apologized for waking me and told me to go back to sleep.

I had to deal with some officers who came to inform me of my parents being dead. Luckily, they came while Cecilia was still asleep. It was easier than I thought it would be to seem devastated and lie to the cops. I told them I came to stay with my boyfriend for a few weeks. Angel and I had our stories straight. Angel told me they would come looking for me eventually. The cops knew Angel and my father. So, they knew where to find me.

Tonight, was Cecilia’s last night at the mansion. We were planning to watch movies. It was already nine o’clock.

Angel strolled into the living room. “Hey, I have to go out for a bit. I’ll be back later tonight,” he said.

“Okay, see you,” I said.

Cecilia looked at me with a devious expression when she heard the front door close.

“What?” I asked, confused.

“Let’s go out. Come on. I want to see a night club here or something. We have been in the mansion all week,” she grumbled.

“Cecilia,” I hissed. “We can’t. We’re not even of age.”

“Well, if we pick the right place, the guy might just let us slip by,” she smirked.

I knew where this was going. Cecilia can be seductive when she wants to. She uses her looks to get past the guards at clubs, and it works. I sat there and thought about it.

“Oh, come on,” she groaned.

“It’s just...” I trailed off. “I’m not supposed to go anywhere. I told you Angel is trying to keep me safe.”

“Ugh! From what?!” Cecilia shouted as she stood up and threw her arms in the air.

“I can’t explain it,” I murmured. “Fine. You know what? One night couldn’t hurt,” I said louder. I stood up and stomped off to the foyer. There was no way of explaining it without actually telling her the truth or at least some of it, and Angel doesn’t want me to.

Cecilia was clapping excitedly as she followed me upstairs. “Yes!”

Some part of me was screaming inside to be a good girl and listen to Angel. Some other part of me wanted to go out and have a good time. I had been stuck in this place for two weeks or so, and I needed to get out.

Even if it was only for a few hours, a few hours couldn’t hurt, right? Maybe, Angel won’t find out. If he does and sees that I make it home okay, perhaps, he won’t be as strict about me going out once in a while.

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