Angel

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Chapter 8. It Wasn't A Dream

“Angel?” I asked, confused. I looked past him up and down the hallway. I looked back into the dorm. Cecilia’s bed was still made and empty.

I pulled Angel into the dorm. I closed the door and locked it. I turned to face him.

“What’s wrong?” I was still disoriented from sleep deprivation.

“What makes you think something is wrong?” He arched an eyebrow. He stumbled slightly.

My lips pursed as I took in his state. “It’s three in the morning. You live over an hour away. You’re in my dorm...” I trailed off. “Are you drunk?”

“As a skunk,” he said. He chuckled and staggered.

I quickly reached for him before he could fall over. I fisted his shirt and pushed him down onto my bed.

“What are you doing here? Why are you driving drunk?” I asked.

“Don’t be angry at me, mami. I hate when you’re angry at me,” Angel mumbled as he stared up into my eyes.

I stood between his legs. The way that he was looking at me made my legs shake slightly. My pulse quickened. This isn’t real.

“I’m not,” I said softly.

He gripped onto my thighs and pulled me closer. His eyes swept over my body as he slid his hands up to my waist.

My black tank top slid up slightly, showing my bare stomach.

Angel did the last thing I expected. He pressed his lips to my stomach.

A gasp escaped me, and I stumbled back. Butterflies erupted in my stomach, flapping around wildly.

Angel sighed and bowed his head. He buried his face in his hands and rubbed his face fiercely.

“What the hell got into you?” I asked.

“Mostly bourbon,” he muttered.

I stayed still and silent for a long moment. My heart and lungs started to work double time. I wasn’t sure how much more I could take.

Angel rose to his feet. His gaze locked with mine as he took several steps toward me.

Without thinking about it, I backed up slowly. I was unsure of what he was doing. My back hit the wall. I swallowed hard and looked back at the wall then back at him.

He trapped me between the wall and his body. He pressed his hands to the wall on either side of my head. His chest rose and fell rapidly.

“I was sitting at a club with some friends. They were all joking around and trying to pick up women. I realized I didn’t even want to be there. I wanted to be at home with you, but you weren’t there,” he said softly. Mixed emotions clouded his eyes.

“If you wanted me there so bad, why did you let me leave?” I challenged.

“Pride, I guess, which I so don’t have when I’m drunk,” he said and shrugged.

“So, what? In the morning, I leave?”

“No,” he growled. He ran his hands through his hair. He slammed his hands back on the wall, which caused me to jump. “No, mami. No more leaving. I need you. I’m tired of walking through life without you. Life doesn’t mean anything when you’re not part of it. If there is any part of you that feels that way or if any part of you at all misses me or still loves me...” he trailed off. “Come home with me.”

My lips parted in shock. I had to remind myself to breathe. Angel’s words made my heart fall into my stomach. It was hard to remember how to speak.

“I-” I stopped and started over. “Angel, that is crazy. You’re drunk. If this is something you had said to me, sober, things might have been different. Maybe you should go home and sleep on it.”

“I’m not leaving without you,” he said sternly. “So if you want me to sleep on it...” he trailed off. He looked back at my bed. “I’m staying the night.”

The air escaped my lungs. My expression twisted into shock. “Uh, here?” I squeaked.

“Mhm,” he hummed. “Unless you’re worried your friends will find out?”

I rolled my eyes. “Have you seen you? I’m more worried about scaring them to death or peeling women off you in the morning.”

He licked his lips and smiled.

“You’re serious?” I asked.

“Dead serious,” he said.

“Fine, but don’t like kiss me or anything,” I grumbled and pushed past him.

“That’s no fun,” he muttered.

“You at least have to wait until you’re sober. I’m kicking you in the balls in the morning if you change your mind,” I warned.

“Mmm, yeah. I hate to burst your bubble, mami, but I want you as bad as you want me,” he teased.

“That ego...” I trailed off.

“You missed it.” He smirked as he crawled into the bed with me.

I giggled as I turned the light off.

The blanket suddenly disappeared. He climbed on top of me. He threw the blanket over the top of both of us.

“Angel, no!” I squealed. “I said, not tonight!” I laughed.

“This isn’t fair, mami. You kissed me when you were drunk!”

A giggle bursted out of me. “Okay, okay. You can have one.”

It was too dark to see, but I felt his hot breath fan across my face–his breath smelt like bourbon. His lips brushed mine for a moment.

“I love you,” he murmured. He pressed his lips to mine.

The kiss left me feeling drunk. It was as if there was enough bourbon on Angel’s lips to obliterate me. Love didn’t always come easy, but when it was real, it never went away.

I realized at that moment, no matter how angry I got at him–I would always love him. Everything he said earlier rung in my ears. I knew that I felt the same way that he said he felt. It was as if he could read my mind.

***

The sound of the door closing woke me in the morning. I squeezed my eyes tightly before letting them flutter open. I looked up to find Cecilia standing by the door.

“Wow, no wonder why you didn’t mind being alone last night,” she said.

At first, I was too disoriented to understand what she meant. Then I realized that my pillow was harder than usual. I looked down at my hand, which was on a chest.

“Oh god, it wasn’t a dream,” I breathed. I looked up at his beautiful face.

He was still fast asleep. He looked so peaceful that I didn’t want to wake him yet.

I looked back at Cecilia and put a finger to my lips to hush her. I slowly climbed out of bed so I wouldn’t wake him.

“Let’s go get some coffee,” I said. I grabbed my phone in case he woke up and called. I didn’t even care that I was still in pajamas or that my hair was a mess.

As soon as we got into the hallway, Cecilia spoke. “Oh my god, he stayed here. A boy was in your bed. It’s like the coolest thing I have seen you do,” she said and giggled.

“Oh my god, Cecilia,” I gasped. “You knew I slept with him!”

“And honey, I don’t blame you,” she said.

“We didn’t have sex,” I said.

“So, what happened?”

“He was drunk, and he came over. He said he wanted me back, and I told him we would talk about it when he was sober. I refused to go home with him, so he stayed the night.”

“And?” She emphasized the word.

“And he might have said that he loved me. Okay? That’s all, scouts honor,” I said.

We reached the coffee shop and grabbed three coffees. Cecilia decided to go to Amanda and Kayla’s dorm room to give Angel and me some privacy.

Cecilia was hoping I would go with Angel instead of going back to Texas because I wouldn’t be as far. Cecilia was a little too excited, and it made it hard for me not to get my hopes up.

Angel was still asleep when I got back to the dorm room. I placed the coffee cups on the table. I climbed onto the bed and shook him slightly.

His eyes fluttered open slowly, at first, then they shot wide open. “Woah.”

“Coffee?” I asked. I tilted my head to the side.

His eyes swept over my body before meeting my eyes again. “Holy shit, it wasn’t a dream,” he murmured. He groaned and ran his hand down his face as he sat up.

I climbed off the bed and grabbed the coffee from the small table. When I turned around, Angel was sitting at the edge of my bed. I offered him the cup of coffee with raised eyebrows.

I really didn’t know what to say to him at this point. I was waiting for him to reach in, grab my heart, pull it from my chest, throw it on the ground, and stomp on it.

He took the cup from me but didn’t look at me. “Thanks,” he murmured. He rubbed his eyes tiredly.

I perched myself up onto the small two-person table that was in front of the window. I sipped my coffee. My stomach turned at the thought of Angel telling me that he didn’t mean any of it.

“How long have you been awake?” Angel asked.

“Not long, like thirty minutes,” I muttered.

“Oh,” he said. “How long is it going to take you to pack your stuff?”

The coffee cup slipped through my fingers and fell to the floor. The lid popped off the to-go cup and splashed across the linoleum.

“Shit,” I breathed. I looked up at Angel in shock.

Angel looked at the coffee cup with pursed lips, then looked back at me. Angel rose to his feet. He grabbed a piece of paper towel and cleaned up my mess while I stared at him in a daze. He threw the towel away and stepped between my legs.

“You know, from the look on your face, I’m guessing you thought I was going to change my mind.” He gripped my chin and forced me to look at him.

“M-maybe a little,” I stuttered.

“I meant what I said,” he murmured. He lowered his lips to mine and kissed me softly.

We broke apart breathlessly.

“I wish I never left the first time,” I said.

“Me too, but it doesn’t matter anymore. Just come home with me, mami,” Angel said.

A smile spread across my lips, and I nodded. I scooted off the table and moved around him. I grabbed my duffel bag out from under my bed. I opened my dresser drawers.

Angel started grabbing my clothes and stuffing them in the bag.

There wasn’t that much to grab. The furniture belonged to the dorm room. I grabbed my blanket and bathroom necessities.

By the time I was done, I had three bags. Angel carried two of the three.

Halfway down the hallway, I stopped Angel. “Let me say goodbye to Cecilia,” I said.

“Sure,” he said. He took the other bag from me.

I handed him my car keys. I knocked on the door as Angel disappeared down the hallway.

Amanda opened the door.

“Hey,” I said.

“Hey,” she said and let me into the room. Amanda’s roommate was gone.

Cecilia was sitting at their table. “How’d it go?”

“Good, um, I’m headed out. I just wanted to say goodbye,” I said.

Cecilia stood up and crossed the room. She embraced me tightly for a moment, then let me go. “Call me, or I’ll hunt you down,” she teased.

“You know I will.” I rolled my eyes.

“Good, see you,” she said.

“See you,” I said. I left the dorm room and hurried down the hallway.

Angel was putting my bags in my car. He looked up at me and smiled. “Ready?”

“Ready,” I said. I leaned into Angel and kissed him fervently.

When we broke apart, I slid into my car, and he walked back to his. I followed Angel out of the parking lot.

I would miss my friends here, but not nearly as much as I missed Angel. I would have to call my grandmother now and tell her I wasn’t coming home. It was going to be hard. My grandma was excited about my return.

However, this was about where I belonged. I belonged in Los Angeles with Angel, and I couldn’t wait to get home. I never realized that a person could feel like home until I met him, and I hadn’t been home in so long.

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