Angel

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Chapter 12. You Weren't Supposed To See That

The last couple of months, I was spending a lot of time with Angel’s sister Adelina. Adelina was around often because Jesse was her boyfriend. It still amazed me that Angel was okay with it.

I hadn’t spent much time around Arianna, which was Adelina’s twin. They looked just alike. According to Adelina, they were very different. Adelina was more outgoing and was blunter.

Arianna was dating some guy from San Diego that she met at a party. She was spending most of her time driving back and forth to see him. His name was Blake. Adelina said that Ace hated Blake.

Adelina wanted to work with Angel when she finished high school. She was on her senior year. Adelina was told the truth about the Latin Kings. She was surprised but accepted it easily because she grew up in it. She said she always knew there was something strange about the family.

The annual ball was coming up. It was to celebrate how long the Latin Kings had been together. The entire family would be here, along with many of their associates.

Angel was gone again, as he usually was. Sometimes he was gone for weeks at a time, and I missed him like crazy. He had only been gone for three days this time, but I still missed him. He wouldn’t get home until ten o’clock.

I trudged up the stairs and to our room. I grabbed one of my satin lingerie pieces and the matching robe. I went into the bathroom and stripped down to shower.

After I climbed out, I got dressed and went back to the bedroom. I stepped outside onto the balcony. There was a blunt I rolled in the ashtray, but my lighter was gone. I went back into the bedroom and looked in a couple of drawers.

Maybe there is one in Angel’s coat pocket. I grabbed his trench coat that was slung over one of the chairs. He often had two or three lighters in this coat because it was the one he wore the most.

My hand wrapped around a small square object. I pulled it out to see what it was. What the hell? It was a small blue velvet box.

My hands shook violently as I opened it. Inside was a set of wedding rings. The engagement ring had a big diamond in the middle and two smaller diamonds on each side of the big one. Both rings were gold. The wedding band had many small diamonds halfway around the band.

“Hey, mami,” Angel’s voice came from behind me.

I jumped and spun around. I spun so fast the satin robe spun around me. I was still holding the open velvet box.

His lips parted in shock when he saw what I was holding. “Oh, shit,” he breathed.

I didn’t have many awkward moments with Angel, but this was definitely one of them. I stared at him wide-eyed.

“W-what is this?” I stammered.

He swallowed hard and looked away. He didn’t speak.

“Angel–”

“You weren’t supposed to see that, mami,” he said. His gaze locked with mine.

“Why?” I squeaked.

He closed the distance between us. He stared down at the ring as he spoke. “You weren’t supposed to see it until the annual ball. Only you would ruin something like that.” He chuckled under his breath and shook his head. He looked back into my eyes.

I swallowed hard. “You were going to ask me to marry you?”

“You seem so surprised,” he said.

“Well, I kind of am. Don’t you think it’s a bit rushed? We haven’t even been back together for a year yet. What about your family? They’re going to think it’s crazy. What about college. What about–”

Angel grabbed my face between his hands. “After everything we have been through, I don’t think it’s rushed at all. It doesn’t matter how long we have been together. My feelings for you aren’t going to change with time. I know what I want. It’s what I have always wanted. I want you, mami. My family knows how I feel about you, and I don’t think they’d be the least bit surprised. You will finish school. Getting married doesn’t mean you have to quit school.”

Angel took a deep breath before continuing. “I love you more than anything, that is never going to change. Even if you don’t want to get married, it won’t change. You kind of ruined the element of surprise, but I guess since you’re holding it, I might as well ask the right way,” he said. He got down on one knee.

Tears started to flood my cheeks as he took the box from me. My hand continued to shake.

“Mia Marie Martinez, will you marry me?”

I nodded because I couldn’t speak. I smiled widely because I was happy. I wanted to marry him, and just like him, I would never want anyone else.

He slid the engagement ring onto my finger and rose to his feet. He wrapped one arm around my waist and knotted one hand into my hair. He pressed his lips to mine.

My fingers tangled into his hair, and I molded my body to his. I wasn’t sure what people would think, but I didn’t care. I always figured I would do things in order. It was always what my parents wanted me to do.

I thought I would finish college, build a career, get married, and have kids. However, my life has been unpredictable since I met Angel. But I knew that without Angel, it wouldn’t be a life at all. It didn’t matter how we did things because we were stronger together than apart.

***

“Well, what do you think?” Adelina asked as she held up a poofy royal blue dress.

“It’s a bit much?” I arched a brow. “I’m not going to prom. It’s not my birthday,” I said.

“Well, tough. Angel picked it out, and he said it was what you have to wear. Mine is pink and looks much like this. I’m pretty sure my sister’s dress is yellow. My mom’s is black.”

“And they are all ball gowns?”

“Yes,” she said and nodded.

“It’s not that I don’t like it. I just think it’s a bit over the top,” I said and shrugged.

She snorted. “Wait until you get a load of the jewelry, he bought you. The hairdresser will be here in fifteen minutes, so go get this on while I go get mine on.”

A hairdresser was coming to do Adelina and I’s hair. I took the ball gown from her and headed to the bathroom.

After I got it on, I zipped it up in the back as far as I could. I opened the door to see if Adelina was back in the room.

“Hey, can you zip me up?” I asked her.

She was in a pink ball gown as she said she would be. “Yeah,” she said. She came into the bathroom and zipped me up.

I turned to face the mirror. I couldn’t deny that royal blue was a nice color on me. My skin was dark, and the blue complimented it. The dress was strapless. The bust to the waist was tight and sparkly. From the waist down was poofy and layered. You wouldn’t be able to see my feet with or without the heels because it was so long.

Adelina handed me a long velvet blue box.

“Oh, boy,” I muttered. I took the box from her and opened it. “Holy shit!” I dropped the box.

Adelina quickly caught it. “Okay, allow me.”

It was an infinity necklace with a bunch of diamonds and a huge sapphire in the center. “I can’t wear that. What if I break it? It looks expensive.”

Adelina rolled her eyes. “It probably was. If I had to guess, I would say around twenty thousand just for the necklace.”

I stared at her in horror and stepped away.

“You have to wear it, Mia. He would be pissed if you didn’t. He bought it just for you. That kind of money is pocket change to Angel, relax,” she insisted.

I slowly turned around and held my breath as Adelina clasped the necklace around my neck. It was a heavy gaudy thing.

There was a set of earrings and a bracelet that matched the necklace. The heels were six-inch, royal blue, and toeless.

“I’m going to die in these,” I said as I stared at them.

“The hairdresser is here,” Adelina said and walked back into my bathroom.

The bathroom was practically the size of a salon or spa. It was easier to have him come to us.

***

My hair was half up and half down. It was curled with fake blue flowers weaving through my hair.

Adelina’s hair was mostly up with a few curly black strands twirling down.

“The party has started. We better head down,” Adelina said.

Nobody knew yet that Angel and I were engaged. I kept the ring off when his family or our friends were around. We agreed to announce it during the party since he already asked, and I already said yes.

Angel currently had my engagement ring. He planned to put it back on my finger after the announcement.

Aria was in the hallway, walking toward us. “Oh, girls, you’re ready,” Aria said, sounding relieved. “We were wondering when you would be down.”

We all three headed back down the stairs. The foyer was filled with party lights and music. There was a stage between the double staircase. Angel was around in a tux. Everyone was dressed formally, so at least I wouldn’t be an outcast.

Many couples were dancing, and there were a lot of different waiters and waitresses. When I got downstairs, a waiter offered me a glass of champagne. We all three took a glass and thanked him.

We walked over to where Angel was. Ace, Jesse, and some others were with him. They were all drinking too.

When I approached, Angel turned to look at me. Angel’s eyes widened and swept over me.

I smiled. “Hi.”

“Hi,” he breathed. He lowered his lips to mine and kissed me softly. “You look beautiful.”

“Thank you,” I murmured. I wanted to tell him he looked sexy as hell in his tux, but I figured it wasn’t appropriate for the crowd to hear.

Angel led me to where others were dancing. Ace and Aria followed after us.

Angel spun me around at the same time that Ace spun Aria. Angel kept one of my hands in his and one arm around my waist.

“I’m nervous. Maybe we should wait to tell people, Angel. We should have told your parents before anyone.”

“It’s easier to tell everyone at once, mami,” he insisted. “I have to make a speech shortly. I’ll do it then.” He pulled the ring from his pocket and slid it on my finger while nobody was watching.

When the song ended, Angel headed toward the stage. I grabbed a glass of wine this time. Champagne wasn’t my favorite. I slammed the glass of wine and took another before the waiter could even move.

He stared at me, stunned. It wasn’t typical behavior for a rich person, I guess. Well, if he only knew this family wasn’t exactly typical.

“Hello, everyone. Thanks for coming out tonight. This is the 250th annual ball to celebrate the Perez family,” Angel said.

I pursed my lips. Wow, they were together since before the declaration of independence. Almost everyone that was here was aware of who they were, and there were a lot of them.

Everyone clapped their hands and whistled, as Angel raised his glass.

“I’m really proud to be a part of this. It has been a long and hard year. They say the first year is the hardest in this industry, and that is true. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my parents and my right-hand Jesse. However, my parents have been helping me less in the past couple of months. My fiancé Mia has been helping me with much of it.”

My eyes widened in shock at the way he announced it. I looked over to the left, and his family was standing there, staring at me in shock too. I slammed the rest of my wine. A waiter approached me and refilled my glass.

“Come up here, Mia,” Angel said.

Everyone made a path for me to get through. My steps were measured. It wasn’t easy to walk in the heels because my legs were shaking. My heart raced against my ribs. My eyes locked with Angels as I climbed the three steps up to the stage.

His relaxed gaze made me relax slightly. He outstretched his arm toward me. When I got closer, he wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me into his side.

“The date is set for the wedding. We will be sending out invitations. I want to thank all of you for helping keep this family going. To many more years,” he said as he raised his glass.

The crowd raised their glasses and chorused, “To many more years.” Everyone clapped and whistled.

Angel and I both took a drink with the rest of the crowd. Angel turned to face me and pressed his lips to mine.

It was hard to keep in mind that the kiss had to be appropriate for the crowd. I wanted to get lost in him, and the alcohol I consumed was making the desire stranger.

We made our way off stage and received many ‘congratulations’ from people. When we finally reached the Perez and Garcia family, I bit down on my lip nervously. Would they accept us?

Aria was the first one to bounce forward. Her eyes held nothing but excitement. “I’m so happy for you, baby,” she said to Angel. She kissed his cheek and turned to hug me.

The others all started stepping forward, embracing us and congratulating us. Adelina and Jesse were smiling like lunatics.

The music started up again. Angel pulled me to the dance floor. We danced around the others easily. His gaze never left mine.

“I love you,” he said.

“I love you,” I said and smiled. I stood on my toes and smashed my lips to his. I didn’t even care about the crowd anymore. I had way too much alcohol to care.

All that I could think about was that I was his and he was mine. It felt like the kiss could make the ground shake or burn down an entire city.

What Angel and I had was powerful, and I knew it from the start. I would get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend, and not many people got to say that.

I don’t believe many people in the world have a love like mine and Angel’s. I think most people can spend their entire life looking for it and not find it. But I found it, and I would never let it go.

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