A Dash Of Him

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DASH Chapter 18

I took a deep breath as my body started to shiver. Duke's warm body wasn't cuddled within me. I opened my eyes to his side of the bed empty. I quickly sat up and glanced at the digital watch he had on top of his drawer, it's almost 2 in the afternoon. I stretched and yawned then I heard plates clacking from the kitchen and suddenly a whiff of beef invaded my nostrils. My stomach started growling like a lion.

I sat on the edge of the bed and rummaged with my hair. It was getting longer and shaggy. I need a damn haircut. I put my sneakers on and walked around his bedroom. It was neatly organized and had plenty of pictures of him and Emilio, some of his wedding, at the beach, and Disneyland. One picture caught my attention of him and Emilio. They were both younger, Emilio was in his football gear as his arm was around Duke. Duke's eyes were full of happiness and his smile was worth a million words. Then I noticed the 7 on Emilio's shirt.

"He was number 7. I was his lucky number 7," I heard his voice from behind me. I put the frame down and turned to him.

"I'm sorry. I was being nosy," he chuckled. I saw his eyes get glossy but he kept his handsome smile.

"It's ok. I need to learn to deal with his death. It's hard but day by day I know it will get better," his words came out so calm that even he made me feel at peace. It's going to take patience but I'm willing to work for him if he lets me.

I got close to him and lifted my finger to his warm cheeks. A whiff of burgers radiated from him. Now my stomach was growling. "If you let me I could take the pain away."

He gave me the tiniest smirk and it was adorable. His cheeks flushed red as he scratched the back of his neck. "Are friends supposed to make my heart thump loudly inside my chest?"

I chuckled as I caressed his cheek. "Duke, I think we are past being friends. I won't hurt you but I'll be patient and give you space."

"I'm going to kiss you now," he didn't say anything. His eyes dilated and he nodded. I slowly leaned down and our lips immediately fused. He wrapped his arms around my neck as I picked him up. He wrapped his legs around my waist. I sat on the edge of his bed while he sat on top of me. He deepened his kiss and now his hands were roaming through my hair. He groaned and that gave me a major hard-on. My hand grasped his perky ass and then I slid them inside his sweater. My hands roamed all through his back as our lips violently fought with one another.

He was sucking all the air from my lungs but bringing me back to life. My heart was pumping crimson blood through my veins. His tongue was injecting me with his sweet honey that I yearned for so long. He moved his hips and that made me bite his neck. He chuckled and pulled away. His lips were swollen like he was stung by a bee. I was the bee and he was my sweet honey. "Dash, please don't hurt me. I don't think I could survive another heartbreak."

"I won't, why do you say that?"

He gazed into my eyes as he studied me like he was trying to read me. He averted them quickly as I moved his chin to glimpse into those ocean blue eyes again. "Tell me?"

He got shy with me. "I've just heard hockey players are man whores?" I chuckled. I mean I know some players get around but I'm not like that, as a matter of fact, I rarely even dated. I had my sleeping spree with random guys but that was just me trying to forget the loss of my mother, even though I was half drunk.

"I'm not one. I like you. You're different. You know who I am and you're not trying hard to impress me. I like the little things you do," his mouth curved from the corner of his mouth. "Like this smirk you're doing," I pecked him on the corner of his mouth. He laughed and it was so easy on my ear. "And you're laugh makes my heart jump."

"I make you feel that way?" he asked as he wrapped his arms around my neck.

"Yeah, you do."

"How is the sunburn?"

My back wasn't aching anymore. It was still red but it didn't hurt too much. "I'm healed with your kisses."

He slowly rubbed his lips on mine and that ignited fireworks all over my body. My stomach growled as it interrupted our passionate moment. "I made hamburgers. Let's go eat and maybe we can go to the support group again," his eyes were more awake. He was trusting me and that's what I need.

"Yes I would like that," I bit his bottom lip. He slowly got off me and stretched his arm. I gently grabbed his soft hand as he lead me into the kitchen. He had a few burgers on the table, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and a bowl of salad. My mouth watered just seeing how delicious everything was placed on the steel table.

"Where did you learn how to cook like this?" I had to ask because the hamburgers were cooked to the right temperature and the salad had a tangy taste, it was probably the vinaigrette dressing.

"Emilio loved cooking so I learned from him and a lot from my mother as well," him saying mother made my heart fill with sadness but then I put on a brave face and swallow the knot in my throat.

I took a sip of the sweet lemonade as he stood up and come behind me. He wrapped his arms around my neck and peck my neck. "I want to show you something," he whispered softly and quickly disappeared.

My phone pinged. I took it out of my pocket and saw a message from Jackson. Thank goodness I didn't lose any information from my old phone. I swiped open as my eyes widened. It was a picture of Duke and me entering an elevator. It showed our hands interlocked with each other with the caption "Who is this mystery guy Dash is with?" I heard Duke's feet shuffling back. I put my phone back inside my pocket as I took another sip from the lemonade.

He placed a photo album in front of me as he sat next to me. "These are photos of Emilio and me. I haven't seen them since he passed away," I saw his eyes get watery but he held a handsome smile. He was getting stronger at holding his sadness. "But I want to share them with you."

I opened the first page and it was the same photo of them that he had in his bedroom but a different pose. Emilio was kissing his cheek as he had the brightest smile on the field. "Emilio was a looker," he was, dark hair, tall, handsome, lean body, and mossy green eyes.

"Yeah, he was. He was everything but he was taken too soon," I heard his voice choked.

"Hey, you're doing so good," I squeezed his cheek as he chuckled. I went through a couple of pages and in every single picture they were so united. I could see the passion and love that radiated through the pictures. Duke's hand gently grasped mine. I grabbed the cup of lemonade and took another gulp. I flipped the page and my heart froze. Duke and Emilio took a picture with a red Mercedes. Duke had his arms around his neck as Emilio had a set of keys lifted in the air.

"Emilio always wanted a red Mercedes. So he finally got his dream car," I glanced over as tears were coming down. I swallowed hard. It's like lightning came down and stunned both of us. "That's the car he was in when he was in a car accident. It was at night he was coming home from work. He worked late," I started coughing as I stood up.

I coughed and coughed until I felt his hands on my back. "Are you ok?" Deep inside I wasn't because it would be a cruel joke if his husband was the one in the car accident. I don't remember if my brother knew who it was. I took deep breaths as he gently rubbed my back. I finally straightened up and cleared my throat.

"Yeah, I swallowed wrong," I lied, there was no way I was going to bring this up right now. I'll ask my brother when he calls me. I closed my eyes as a flashback came from that night. I remember seeing a guy with dark hair on the driver's side but his face was covered in blood.

I glanced at Duke's curious face but I quickly flashed him a charming smirk. "I'm ok. Shall we get going to this support group? I need to change into something less comfortable," I hope his husband wasn't part of the accident my brother caused. It would destroy Duke, guilt filled my heart. I needed answers but I'll wait. I don't need to find these answers right away but deep inside I wanted those answers.

"Yes. I think some of Emilio's clothes might fit you," he studied my body but I grabbed his hand as he lead me into his room. I changed into some fitted jeans and a nice polo. I saw a black beanie I like in his closet as he put it on my messy hair. "You look so cute," he pinched my nose and that's when I cupped his face. I locked my lips with him as he took a deep breath. "Thank you," I winked at him.

We passed the unorganized kitchen as he huffed. "I'll clean up when we get back."

The car ride was silent. My thoughts were scattered at what I found out. I hope to god Emilio wasn't the one in the car accident. I didn't even know that I had parked outside the support group. "Hey, you've been quiet ever since I showed you the photo album? Are you ok?"

I averted my eyes towards him. He had an adorable smile as he rested his head on the seat. His blue eyes studied me, trying to read me. "It's surreal what you had with Emilio. I can tell by the pictures, the love, and the passion you both had."

"You saw that huh? Everyone that knew us told us we were made for each other. Emilio loved me with all his heart and it even showed through pictures," his eyes averted downward. "But now it's only pictures," his words puncture through my heart. Fuck me.

I had to ask him. "Do you know who caused the accident?" He quickly glanced at me as his lips trembled.

"I don't know who he was but I was told by the cops and lawyer that he fled the scene but they later caught him. I'm not entirely sure of the story. I didn't want to know who the killer of my husband was. I just know he's in jail. I wish he got life-sentenced but he only got a couple of years. He took my husband from me and that I'll never forgive him, ever," I saw he swallowed hard. "I need fresh air," he got off as never-ending guilt swallowed me whole.

I don't think he has any more information about what happened which I'm glad but now I need answers. Little did I know the truth will eventually come out and it will hurt.

******

*When the truth comes out, who knows ;)*
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