Chapter 10. Always Right
It had been several weeks since I started my training. Everything between Angel and I was going smoothly. I agreed to do the training, mostly to ease his mind.
Of course, I knew it would be safer for me as well. Aria was teaching me when Angel didn’t have time. According to Aria, my training was almost complete. She said as long as I did well with the rest, it would be over in a week.
Even though I was happy that it was almost over, I was beginning to wonder what I would do with myself afterward. College seemed like the right thing to do.
It would take a few years, but I was set on becoming a lawyer. I would love to help people, but I also knew lawyers often made good money. It was something my dad wanted me to do. However, how could I be a lawyer when I was with a criminal?
Angel had also taught me how to do his paperwork and how everything was done. It seemed like he was always trying to keep me busy, but I didn’t know why.
I threw the door open to the study. Angel wasn’t in here, but the phone was ringing. I raced over to the phone to get to it on time.
“Hello?” I asked.
“Is Angel around?”
“He’s out at the moment. Can I help you?”
“Who am I speaking with?” The deep voice asked curiously.
“Mia,” I said. Would he know who I was? I spoke to a few of the men that Angel dealt guns to.
“Ah, yes, Mia,” he said. “My name is Hector. I do believe I had a shipment to pick up tonight. Tell Angel something has come up, and we will have to set it at a later date.”
“Yes, of course. I’ll let him know when he gets back,” I said politely.
“Thank you, sweetheart,” he said, and the line went dead.
I lowered the phone back onto the receiver. I had spoken to Hector before. There were many cartels, mafias, and street gangs that Angel dealt with. The guns brought him a lot of money.
“Hey, mami,” Angel’s voice came from behind me.
I spun around in surprise. “Oh, hey. Hey, what the hell happened to you?” I asked as I quickly ran to him.
He watched me as I raised up his shirt. There was blood all over his abdomen. “I had a problem with the Mexican Mafia,” he said. “They were trying to steal the guns that were meant for 18th street gang. Stitch me?”
“Sure,” I sighed. I grabbed Angel’s hand and pulled him from the study. With as much as I have to stitch Angel, I should just take medical school.
When we got upstairs to our room, we went to the bathroom. I grabbed the first aid kit and pulled out the things I needed to stitch him up.
“Why are they always after you?” I asked.
“They’re called rivals for a reason, mami,” he said. “My parents fought with them for years, and my grandparents before them.”
“Oh, by the way, Hector called. He can’t do the pickup tonight. Something came up. He said to have you call and set up a different time,” I told him.
He sighed, “Okay.”
When I was finished stitching him up, I cleaned the blood off of him. I put things away while he took off his shirt and threw it in the garbage.
“You know, I’ve been thinking,” I started.
“Oh? About what?”
“I think I’m going to go back to school.”
“For what?” He asked, surprised.
“Well, I started law school, but I think it would be stupid to continue with that. I’m sort of with a criminal, and that doesn’t make much sense. I thought maybe I could follow in my mom’s footsteps instead. You always need me to stitch you up. I could go to medical school. It’s not too late to change degrees,” I explained.
“You do just fine at stitching me up without a medical degree, mami,” he argued. “I don’t want you in school. I want you home with me where you are safe.”
“Come on, Angel. I can’t just sit here and do nothing,” I whined.
“You always find something to do here, Mia. Don’t even give me that shit. You can’t sit still for more than five minutes unless you are reading a book.”
“But I get bored,” I grumbled.
“How could you be bored? You live in a fucking mansion. You have a bar, a pool, a big closet. That closet is so damn big and full you shouldn’t ever have to wear the same thing twice. There is even a theater and a bowling alley.”
“I don’t want to sit and do nothing all the time, Angel. I’m going back to school. It’s my choice.”
“It’s a stupid fucking choice, mami. You’re going to get hurt, I know it!”
“You don’t know that!”
He stormed out of the bathroom. I followed him out into the bedroom. He slammed our bedroom door shut behind him.
I groaned in frustration and threw myself down onto the bed. I ran my fingers through my hair and stared up at the ceiling. Why does he have to be like this? I hate fighting with him.
Angel and I hadn’t spoken since our argument earlier. I knew he was having a family get together today, though. I didn’t want everyone to know we were fighting. I hated it when people knew my business. I got dressed and headed downstairs.
I hated putting a fake smile on my face and pretending everything was okay. I also didn’t want to upset Angel even more.
“Lorenzo?” I asked. “Where is everyone?”
“They’re all out on the patio, miss,” he said.
When I got outside, I heard Aria speak. “Where is Mia?”
“Upstairs. I don’t think she is feeling well,” Angel said.
“Actually, I’m feeling better,” I said. My voice came out a bit sharp.
They all looked at me as I approached them. They all seemed oblivious to my attitude.
I bent over Angel and pecked him on the lips. I pressed my lips harder than necessary to his lips to let him know I was still upset. When I pulled back, I gave him a fake smile. I turned and sat down beside him.
Angel watched me as I took my seat. He sighed and rolled his eyes.
“Mia,” Aria smiled. “School is starting soon. Will you be going back?”
Funny, she should ask. “No, actually, Angel and I talked about it. I’m going to be his little assistant,” I said and smiled at her. I turned to look at Angel and batted my eyelashes innocently.
Angel clenched his jaw. “Nothing wrong with that, mami. You could learn so much,” Angel said through gritted teeth.
If nobody caught on that we were irritated with each other before, they knew now.
“I’m sure you are right. You always are, aren’t you?”
“Usually,” he said and narrowed his eyes.
“Hmm,” I hummed and looked away. I rolled my eyes and scooted forward. “Where is Arizona?” I asked Austin.
“She has the flu. She didn’t want to get anyone else sick,” Austin said.
“Oh, of course. Has she been sick a while?”
“Actually, she has had it for a few days.”
“Oh, maybe she should see a doctor,” I said and looked pointedly at Angel.
He nudged his knee into my thigh. “Knock it off,” he mouthed silently to me.
I shrugged one shoulder and flipped my hair over my other shoulder. I placed my elbow on the table and cupped my cheek with my hand.
“Are you two fighting?” Benny asked.
Angel and I both looked over at Benny.
Bailey elbowed Benny in the ribs and glared at him.
Ace cleared his throat and looked away awkwardly.
Alana and Aiden started to laugh.
“Excuse me,” I said. I rose to my feet quickly and stormed away from the table. When I came out here, I meant to behave myself, but he is maddening!
I bolted up the stairs. I slammed the bedroom door shut. I ran my hands through my hair in irritation.
A moment later, the door swung open and slammed shut.
I spun around to face Angel.
Angel looked absolutely livid. “Did you seriously come downstairs just to start shit with me in front of my family?”
“Me? Listen to you. Who the hell do you think you are, huh? Why is it that I come back here, and you suddenly think you control me?” I shrieked.
“I’m not fucking controlling you. I’m trying to keep you safe, but you know what? Go back to school, Mia! I don’t even give a shit anymore! I’m done fighting with you!” He spun around, threw the door open and slammed it shut.
If he thinks this conversation is over, he is sorely mistaking! I raced out the door after him. “This conversation isn’t over!” I roared as I followed him down into the foyer.
“It is fucking over. Go back to school, Mia, and when you get hurt, I’m not going to waste my breath by saying that I told you so. The last time we had this argument, I was right!”
“So, what am I supposed to do? Are you just going to wrap me up in a bubble, Angel? I thought keeping me safe was the point of the training. I can take care of my fucking self.”
“Right.” He snorted and laughed. “You do a fine job at it, Mia.”
“Fuck you!” I turned and grabbed my keys.
“What the fuck are you doing?!”
I spun back around, and that is when I noticed his family, but I was too angry to care at this point. God knows how long they had been standing there.
“Leaving!” I didn’t know where I was going, but I needed to get away from him.
“Because that is what you’re good at, isn’t it, mami? Every time we get into a spat that is your first choice. Leave, Mia. But don’t even think about coming back this time! I’m tired of these games with you!”
“What in the hell is going on with you two?” Aria asked.
We both turned to face the others. They were all staring at us.
“Wow,” Benny said and chuckled. “Déjà vu anyone? It’s like reliving Ace and Aria.”
“Shut up, Benny!” Everyone yelled.
“Sorry,” Benny muttered.
“Mia, come talk to me,” Aria said softly.
“And you come with me,” Ace growled. Ace pulled Angel’s ear and tugged him away from us toward the kitchen.
It’s hard to believe anyone could hurt Angel or pull him around like that. Ace, however, could, and he was the same size if not bigger than Angel.
Angel groaned in pain as he trotted beside his dad.
I sighed and followed after Aria.
Aria opened the study door and gestured for me to walk past her. She turned and closed the door behind me. She turned to face me.
“Look, Aria, I’m sorry. I know that you and Ace must be angry with me for hurting him in the past,” I said. “He’s just–”
“Stubborn?” Aria arched a brow.
“Yeah,” I breathed.
“I know he is. It’s always his way or no way at all. Of course, you know you are like that too?” Her bluntness took me by surprise.
“Um...” I trailed off.
“Sit down,” Aria gestured toward the couch. Aria went over to the small table and poured us a drink.
She came back over and handed me a glass of bourbon. She sat down beside me and held her cup. She stared at the glass as she spoke. “Ace and I fought too, a lot. We were both so stubborn. It was pretty hard to find common ground, but it is there.”
“I agreed to take the training Aria. I told him I wanted to go back to school, and he told me I couldn’t. Don’t you think that is a little–”
“It is,” she chuckled. “His father is that way too. I took over the chair, and I was technically Ace’s boss, but you would never have known it. Ace was always overly protective of me.”
I sighed. “Because he cares.” I looked up at her.
“And he loves you,” Aria said. She pushed her knee against mine. “I don’t think anyone would love you as much as Angel does. I don’t think it is worth leaving over, Mia. Do you love him?”
“Yes, I do,” I said.
“Can you imagine being with anyone else?”
“If you love each other you will get through anything,” Aria said.
I knew that Aria was right. I leaned over and hugged her tightly.
“You’re right,” I said as I pulled back. “He was right about one thing. I need to stop resorting to leaving. I would miss him so much. I don’t want to leave, and leaving won’t get my point across.”
“Sometimes, to get it through his head, you just need to go do it,” Aria said.
“Okay, I think that is what I’ll do.”
“Good,” Aria said. She rose to her feet and headed out of the study.
I stayed on the couch and sipped my bourbon as I thought about what Aria said. I didn’t want to lose Angel over school, but I didn’t want him to worry about me all the time.
The door to the study opened. I turned to see who came in. My eyes locked with Angel’s. He looked sad and worried, but not angry.