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Chapter 5. Safer With Witnesses

Someone shoulder checked me as Jesse, and I walked out of the gas station. I turned to see Ricky Rivera.

“Got a problem, Garcia?” Ricky spat.

“Not at all, but I’m guessing you do.” And I know why–a smirk played on my lips. “You really enjoy my sloppy seconds, don’t you?” I held the sandwich up that I just bought. “Want to share my sandwich too?”

“Oh, damn,” Jesse laughed.

Ricky scoffed and rolled his eyes. “If you’re talking about Mia, we both know that is bullshit. She’d never go for a loser like you.”

An innocent smile played on my lips. “Are you sure? See, I’m pretty sure the reason Mia agreed to date you was because I wasn’t trying to get with her. If I wanted her, I could have had her, and you know it. That pisses you off, doesn’t it?” I challenged.

“Even after Beth slept with me then slept with you, she tried crawling back to me. Is your dick that small? It didn’t impress Beth, so I imagine it won’t impress Mia either. As a matter of fact, before you, two were even a thing...” I trailed off. Lord knows that I shouldn’t say it, but I’m going to because I would love nothing more than to piss him off. “I already had Mia in my bed once. Who is to say I couldn’t again?”

His fist balled up, and he swung at me.

I dodged it smoothly. My fist balled up, and I punched him in the stomach.

He instantly collapsed to the ground and groaned in pain. He looked up at me, angrily, as he clutched his stomach.

“You mad, bro? Come on, Ricky, being second choice isn’t that bad,” I paused. “Your, uh, daddy, better start teaching you some better moves.” I shrugged with pursed lips. “What is that the tenth time you have attempted to hit me? You can’t even touch me.” I chuckled.

Jesse laughed and high-fived me. We strolled away from Ricky, still laughing as we climbed into the Corvette.

My parents were going to be gone for the weekend. My grandparents were gone too. Mom and Dad were taking all the kids to Hawaii.

A month had gone by since I saw Mia last. I avoided her any way that I could, but it wasn’t without some serious effort on my part. I wanted to see her. I missed her so badly.

Naturally, since nobody would be home for the entire weekend, Jesse and I were throwing a party. I turned eighteen a few days ago and hadn’t celebrated it yet. Mom wanted me to finish my senior year before she gave me the chair. School wasn’t going to start back up for another couple of months. Jesse was turning eighteen next week.

“What the fuck was that about, anyway?” Jesse asked.

“You got me,” I shrugged.

“Have you been seeing Mia?”

“No,” I denied quickly, too quickly.

Jesse gave me a disbelieving look. Jesse knew me too well. It was impossible to lie to him.

“Well, I gave her a ride home one night, but that was a month ago. I haven’t seen or spoken to her since.” Part of me wanted to be friends with Mia, but the other part of me knew that wouldn’t work. How could I be friends with a girl I was going crazy over?

We pulled into the garage and strolled into the house. Everyone was gone. We started rearranging the foyer. I didn’t want anything to get broken. My parents would notice, and they would kill us.

A few of our friends showed up an hour later and helped us set up the rest. The party was going to start soon. When things were set up, I decided to go upstairs and shower.


The party had outgrown my expectations. There were people all over my house. Some of them I knew, some were new faces. Jesse, Gage, Kenny, and I were sitting on a couch in the foyer. Holly, a girl from school, was walking past me. I caught her hand.

She looked down at me and smiled.

“Can I get a light?” I asked and put a cigarette in my mouth.

She gave me a small smile and bent over in front of me. She lit my cigarette and kissed my cheek before walking away.

“What was that about?” Gage arched a brow.

“She has a nice rack,” I chuckled. “Did you see that shirt she was wearing?” I let out a low whistle, and the boys guffawed. I’ve had more than enough to drink, but I didn’t stop. I was trying to forget her.

The alcohol only seemed to make the memory of her more vivid, though. I was checking out any girl that might hold a candle to her, but it was not working.


My head snapped up. I had grown so fond of that voice; I’d know it anywhere.

Mia was standing in front of me. She wasn't even dolled up compared to the other girls here. She was wearing an oversized off the shoulder grey sweater and a pair of blue shorts. There was some cleavage showing but not nearly as much as Holly. Yet, I was more excited to see Mia’s cleavage.

Mia’s arms were folded over her chest, pushing her boobs up slightly. As if I needed another excuse to look at them. Damn, those are nice. I want to squeeze them. My throat was suddenly dry, like as if I was dehydrated. It was challenging to keep my cool around her when I was sober, let alone drunk.

“Hey, gorgeous,” I smirked.

“Can we talk?”

This isn’t good–I thought to myself.

She looked like she wanted to kick me in the nuts.

“Sure, babe, have a seat.” I patted the empty spot next to me.

“Alone,” she hissed.

“Something tells me I’m safer with witnesses,” I teased.

The boys threw their heads back and laughed.

She didn’t think I was funny. She glared down at me. “Angel,” she growled and placed her hands on her hips. She gave me an expectant look.

I sighed but stood up.

She grabbed my hand in hers and pulled me toward the stairs. She looked back at me and glowered.

Everyone was staring at us in wonder. Their heads were obviously in the gutter.

As she pulled me down the empty hall to my room, I decided to take my chances. “You do realize everyone that saw us come up here thinks I’m about to get laid, right? Though, I’m sure it is far from your intentions,” I chuckled. “What are you going to do when your boyfriend finds out you were in my room again? You don’t even have the excuse of being drunk this time.”

She threw my door open and pulled me inside, then slammed it shut. She turned to face me angrily.

I stumbled up against the wall and waited for her to lay into me. I had a good idea of what this was about.

“You told Ricky I had sex with you!” Mia shrieked.

My expression became filled with fake shock. “I never,” I gasped dramatically, placing a hand to my chest.

She gritted her teeth. She looked like she was ready to kick my ass, and in my condition, she probably could.

I chuckled darkly. I raised the bottle of beer to my lips and sipped it slowly as she stared me down.

“You bastard,” she growled. She pressed her fingers to her temples as if to push her thoughts out.

“How did you know that my parents weren’t married when they had me?” I asked and chuckled.

“You’re not funny, Angel!”

“I’m fucking hilarious. Ask anyone,” I said and gave her an innocent smile.

“Why did you do that?” she asked and stepped forward.

“Because I’m an asshole. Ask anyone,” I laughed. My voice sounded careless, but I was far from feeling careless. I cared about her. I didn’t want to hurt her.

She closed the distance between us. She raised her hand and let it fly forward. It was a hard slap across the face.

My head whipped to the side. It stung, but I barely felt it over the alcohol. I turned my head back slowly to look at her. I probably deserved that.

“I didn’t say that we had sex. Ricky just... interpreted it that way. How is that my fault? Tell Ricky to stop assuming things; it makes him look like an ass.”

“What exactly did you say?”

“The truth. I just simply said that I had already had you in my bed once. You did sleep in bed with me,” I said and chuckled. “I also told him that second choice wasn’t that bad.”

She stared at me in disbelief and placed her hands back on her hips. “What the hell are you talking about?”

My gaze locked with hers as I stalked toward her.

Her lips parted in surprise. Her chest rose and fell rapidly.

I backed her into the wall. I placed both of my hands on either side of her head. My face lowered to hers.

“You know what I’m talking about,” I murmured. My lips hovered less than an inch from hers. “I mean, really, what is the point?”

“The point of what?” She squeaked. Her gaze fell to my lips.

“What is the point in being with, Ricky?” I asked.

Her gaze flickered back to mine in confusion.

“We both know he doesn’t make you feel the way I make you feel,” I murmured. My fingers trailed lightly across her jawline. My legs were pressed against hers. I could feel her legs start to shake.

“Angel.” Her voice came out in almost a pleading way.

I could see it in her eyes. Some part of her wanted me to kiss her, and some part of her didn’t. Every part of me wanted her lips on mine.

“He doesn’t deserve you, Mia,” I murmured.

She looked away from me and grimaced. “Just stop,” she said breathlessly.

“Hmm,” I hummed as I lowered my lips down to her jawline.

She gasped as I brushed my lips against her jaw.

“Why? Afraid you’ll like me more?”

She shoved me away from her with a grunt.

I stumbled back and gritted my teeth. My gaze didn’t leave hers.

“You are such a manipulative, egotistical, asshole,” she sneered. “Stay away from me.”

She was going to find out for herself what kind of guy Ricky was. It was only a matter of time.

I wanted to rush after her. I wanted to warn her, but some things are best learned by seeing rather than hearing.


“What happened with Mia the other night? She came back down, and you didn’t,” Jesse wondered.

I poured a cup of coffee for him and myself. “We got into an argument.” I shrugged and slid him the cup. I leaned against the counter across from the kitchen island.


“Ricky told her what I said.” I chuckled.

Jesse shook his head. “How did I know that was going to bite you in the ass?”

“Everything bites me in the ass,” I muttered. “She has no clue what he is like.”

“She’ll find out,” Jesse chuckled.

“Some part of me feels like I owe it to her to warn her. The other part of me figures she won’t listen to me. She seems like the type to have to make her own mistakes. Anyway, enough about that. We have to get the house cleaned up, then I’ve got some paperwork to do.”

“Does your mom realize you can forge her name?”

“I’ve been doing it since the first grade, she knows,” I chuckled.

When I was in first grade, I got in trouble, and mom refused to sign a permission slip for me to go on a field trip. My punishment was I couldn’t go on the field trip, but I really wanted to go, so I forged her name. I got away with it, but when I didn’t get home until six o’clock, she knew, and she was mad. She used this to her own advantage as I grew older. She would instruct me to do her paperwork when she was gone.


We managed to get the house cleaned up. It was nearly five o’clock. Jesse was sprawled out on the dark red velvet couch reading a book, while I sat at the desk.

“Is it weird to sit there, knowing one day it is going to be yours?” Jesse wondered.

“Not really, I’m used to it. At first, it was,” I admitted.

The phone on the desk started ringing.

I grabbed it without looking at the caller ID. “Hello?” I asked.

“Who is this?” A deep voice asked.

“Angel,” I said.

“Ah, yes. Young Angel. Is your mother around?”

“Who is this?”

“Anatoly,” he said.

Ah, right. The Russian leader. “My mother isn’t available. Can I help you?” I asked as I tapped my pen impatiently on the desk.

“Well,” he paused for a moment. “I wasn’t happy with the artillery that I received last. Your mother told me she would replace it.”

“Okay, let me call her. I’ll see what I can do.”

“The sooner, the better,” he insisted.

“Okay, goodbye,” I said.

“Goodbye,” he muttered, and the line went dead.

“Anatoly? Russian, right?” Jesse asked.

“He’s such a fuckhead. I don’t know why mom puts up with him,” I muttered. “He is one that I don’t look forward to having to deal with.” I dialed my mom’s cellphone number. It only rang twice.

“Hello?” She asked.

“Hey, Mom, sorry to bug you, but Anatoly just called. He’s pissed. He said he didn’t like the artillery you gave him last, and you were going to switch it out. What do you want me to do?” I asked.

“Ugh,” she grunted. “Damn it, baby. I’m sorry. I totally forgot. You’re going to have to make the drop. Take Jesse with you. Maybe you should take your uncle, too,” she said thoughtfully.

“Don’t worry, mom, I got it. I’m not going to bug Austin right now.”

“Are you sure?” Mom asked worriedly.

“Yeah, it’ll be fine,” I promised.

“Take one of the vans.”

“Sounds good.”

“Love you,” she said.

“Love you too.” I hung up with my mom and dialed Anatoly’s number.

“Hello?” He answered.

“Anatoly, I can make that drop for you today if you want?”

“Sure, sounds good, be there by nine,” he demanded—the bossy tone kind of pissed me off.

“Sure,” I said sharply and hung up the phone.

“When?” Jesse asked. Jesse had never been on a run before. This would be a new experience for him.

“Nine,” I said.

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