DASH/DUKE Chapter 38
Now misery has company. I tossed and turned in my bed without getting enough sleep. My mind wanders about what Duke is doing. Is he good? Is he suffering? I wouldn't know because I've called a million times until his phone number went dead and my texts messages bounced back. I even emailed him and it bounced back as well. He didn't want anything to do with me. I sat on the couch in the lounge room and took out the black velvet box I was going to give to him. It wasn't a wedding ring but a promise ring. I would've promised to love him and eventually marry him but the boat sailed long ago. Was I giving up? No, but the clock is ticking and the days are flying by.
Aiden, Caleb, Matthew, and Mason have been trying to get me to go out to distract myself but all I've been wanting to do burying myself in bed or the couch. I'd stay hours on the couch just staring at the white ceiling. Or I'll be in my room looking out the window wondering if Duke would ever forgive me. I've tried not to cry but fuck, I was about to crack.
I wanted my Duke to be by my side. I wanted his body rubbing against mine. I wanted his lips slowly devouring my mouth. I wanted our tongues to fight for dominance. I wanted our hearts to be one. I just wanted my Lucky with me.
I took a deep breath and stared at the silver ring. I engraved Lucky and Dash inside the ring. It gleamed every time I turned it and that's when my eyes began to swell. "Hey," I heard Kieran's voice. I wiped my eyes and put the box inside my sweatpants.
"Hey," I didn't want to talk but I needed someone.
Kieran sat next to me and put his arm around my shoulders. "Dash, bro. You need to drive to his job and tell him you love him. I know he loves you. He's hurt and lost. He doesn't hate you. He's probably going through the same agony you are. He lost the love of his life. I take the blame for that," I glanced at him as guilt filled his eyes but he looked better.
"I know. I'm giving him time but two weeks is killing me. What should I do? What do I say?" I was lost myself. I betrayed and lied to him. All this could've been avoided but I was looking out for Kieran. He's my brother and I love him to no end. I know he fucked up and it's eating at him every day but he's paid for it with jail time and much more. He lost two people he cared for. I think karma has taught him a lesson. But what about me? I'm here trying not to fall apart.
"Dash, you're the most genuine person I know. Tell him how you feel, from here," he touched the top of my chest. "From your heart, bro. Nothing beats the love of Dash," we both chuckled. "You're a great brother. Go get your man back," he kissed my cheek. "Love you, bro. I hate seeing you so miserable, that's my job," I smirked and pushed him off me.
"You need to get out of your head," I scoffed. He averted his eyes from me. "I mean it, Kai. Get out of your head. Yes, you fucked up but guilt isn't the answer. Hang out with, Don. He's been trying to get to know you but you keep pushing him away. He seems like a great guy and a damn popular athlete," I gently pushed his shoulder. He glanced at me as I wiggled my eyebrows.
He chuckled. "I don't think he wants a fuck up like me. I've done stuff like I shouldn't have. I owe people...," my phone started to ring. I glanced at the screen and it was a number I didn't recognize.
"Hold that thought," I answered. "Hello?"
"Good afternoon, Dash. It's Esmeralda. I hope it's ok that I'm calling you. I kind of tricked Duke into giving me your number. Can we talk? I think I know how you can get Duke back? Can we meet at a coffee shop like an hour from now?"
"Yes, of course. Text me where and I'll be there. I'll do anything," my heart pumped with happiness. My hands trembled and my eyes swelled with tears. I needed my Lucky back. I hanged up and glanced at Kai. He was dressed in a nice black long sleeve shirt and fitted blue jeans. "Where are you going? Aren't you on house arrest?" I joked.
"Yeah. I called my probation officer and told them I'll be out for two hours. I need fresh air and do some errands. I'll be back. Don't worry about me," his guilt was all over his dark gray eyes. I hated seeing my brother like this but I know he's strong and he'll get over it. I need to talk to Don. Maybe he can bring my brother back. I'm not sure but all I know is I needed my brother to be happy. He's half done with building his 1968 Mustang. He's been living day and night in the garage with the help of my dad. I don't know much about building cars. I just know how to glide on ice.
He stood up as I grabbed his hand. "Kai, I love you, man. Be careful and don't do anything stupid."
He nodded and saw his eyes get watery. "Hey, I'm sorry for everything. I'm going to make everything right. I just need time," I let his hand go as he walked towards the door. I heard the door shut. Please, god, help my brother heal and find happiness. He deserves it.
It's been two lonely weeks without Dash. I've cried so much in my bed that the ocean had a competition with my tears. My heart ached and my body was broken in every way. Why did I like making myself miserable, when the person who loves me is a call away? The person whose lips made my heart jump again. The person whose touch mended my heart. The person who was patient with me when he could've just given up and gone on with his life. Dash saved me from the agony that I buried myself in and now I'm back to square one.
I snuck one of his white t-shirts into my drawer before he left. I wanted another piece of him before who walked out of my life. I slept with the jersey he gave me and clenched his t-shirt in my chest at night. It had his masculine smell with a mixture of spice and leather. I missed Dash just like I miss Emilio. Dash lied to me and I'm willing to forgive him but my heart is beyond broken. I needed to find myself again but I was afraid of loving again. My heart has coated itself into a glass heart. It's safe right now but at night I was so lonely. I needed Dash's lips on my neck. I needed his skin melting into mine. I needed him to make love to me and mend my broken body. I needed Dash whether I avoided him or not. He didn't do anything wrong. He was trying to protect his brother. I have no siblings so I wouldn't know the brotherly love they have.
I feel so bad about the way I left Kieran. My rage took over and I never want to feel so much anger. If I had the chance I would've killed Kieran but what would that have helped? I would've landed in jail and locked up.
My thoughts were still hazy after I remembered everything. Me driving off the highway. Me thinking Emilio was alive inside Dash. It was a complete mess. I probably looked like a crazy person but Dash was by my side, every day. Dash was the one for me but I'm afraid to look at him in the eyes. My heart is conflicted and my mind wants to run away, far, far from here.
I took a deep breath and stared at my broken laptop. The screen was chipped but it still worked. I didn't know how badly I had thrashed the office until Sabrina showed me pictures, like I said I never want to feel that rage, ever. Sabrina said she can buy me a new one but this laptop has so many memories, including my manuscript, A Dash Of Him. I haven't emailed my editor but I think I'm going to change some scenes.
I heard a light knock on my door. "Come in," the door opened and it was the last person I expected to walk in here.
"Hmm, he said he wanted to speak to you. He insisted," Sabrina's eyes softened. Kieran stood there with glossy eyes and his hands in his pockets.
"It's fine, Sabrina," she glanced at Kieran and walked out. The door locked and I stood up.
"Before you right hook me. I need a few words," he held his hands up and his words choked. I simply walked up to him and noticed some features that he had like Dash. He had the same symmetrical nose, the same full lips, blonde messy hair, and silver eyes. His eyes got glossy as his lips trembled. Then he did the unexpected. He fell on his knees and hugged my legs. "Please forgive me. I beg you. I never meant to kill, Emilio. I was mad that life took my mother. I wanted to kill myself. I wasn't the perfect son like Dash. Please, Duke. Forgive me," I stared at the door as warm tears came down my cheeks. I gently raked my fingers through his wavy hair.
I swallowed the knot in my throat and kneeled with Kieran. I cupped his face as he cried loudly into my hands. "Kieran, I accept your apology. I don't hate you. I'm shocked at how everything came to play. I don't have the heart to hate anyone. It was an accident. I get it. I'll always miss Emilio but I have another man I love," he picked up his face and aligned those galactic gray eyes with mine. "I have Dash. I love him so much but my heart is conflicted with everything that has happened. He lied to me and I understand why. He loves you. The love of a brother. I never met someone so pure as Dash, other than Emilio. I just don't know how to approach him," I pulled him into a hug as we both cried for a few minutes.
We finally stood up as he wiped his tears. "I think I could help with that. He's busy right now. Do you think you can get out of work early so I can go home and check in? I'm still on house arrest and I have," he glanced at his watch. "45 minutes to get home," he even had the same smile as Dash but his eyes still swirled with guilt.
"I think I can, how did you get here?" I asked.
"Uber and I got stuck in traffic," he scratched the back of his neck. I went into my pockets and took out my car keys.
"You can drive. I drive like a grandma," we both chuckled and that was the start of our relationship.
Sabrina permitted me to leave early. We talked on the way to his house. He told me his life in prison and how he fell in love with a man, Vlad. I noticed a tear come down his cheek when he said his name. He likes building cars and riding motorcycles. I laughed at some of his jokes but there was something that was haunting him. He would have a blank stare when we were at a stop sign. Poor guy has some trauma he needs to get through.
He checked in with his probation officer. I walked around as I heard him asking the probation officer something. I didn't want to hover so I admired some pictures on the wall of Dash and Kieran. One picture made me chuckle, they both had no front teeth and held a five-dollar bill. There was another picture of them eating ice cream at the beach with their parents. They were happy just like I was before all this. Life changes in a blink of an eye. We lose people we love but we also gain love again. I want my love back.
"My probation officer gave me the night off which is perfect. I gave them the address I'll be at," he glanced at the photos and his eyes softened. "I miss her so much, Duke. I was a rebellious teen and adult. I want her to be proud of me but I made choices that are going to affect my future," tears came down his cheeks. "But let's not worry about that right now. I'm getting you and Dash back. Let's go," he gave me a perfect smirk. I glanced one more time at the family portraits and we left.
Kieran treated me to an early dinner. The sun was almost set as the night sky took over. We ate at a local diner and talked some more. He told me he went to college and took some mechanic classes but never finished. He's planning on returning. "I just need to fix some stuff in my life. I need to work and pay off some debt I owe," he took a deep breath and glanced at his watch. His eyes widen. "Shit we have to go," he paid for our burgers and drinks as he drove me to a familiar street.
"Kieran, what are we doing outside of Emilio's house?" He had a mischievous smirk on his face.
"Do you trust me?" He asked.
I nodded. "Yes."
"Go to Emilio's room and wait there, you'll see," I glanced at the house that brought so many memories. The first time I met Emilio's parents, the first night he gave me his jersey, the nights I spent over as he held me close to him, and all those nights he told me he loved me.
I remembered one night. We came to his house for the weekend. It was during college. I fell asleep in his bed and was woken up by a serenade. The mariachi band was playing. I went towards the window and Emilio had a mariachi band playing as he held a red rose. He wasn't singing but his actions were louder than words.
Serenades were typically done from a man to a woman. It was a romantic performance to their lover, especially in Latin cultures. My heart melted and I knew I wanted to be with Emilio forever. But life took him away and now I was a lonely widow.
Kieran stayed in the car. I was curious about what was going on. The lights were off in the house but Kieran said the door was open. I walked in as flashbacks came pouring back in my mind. I closed the door and slowly walked through the calming silence. I heard Emilio's whispers, every "I love you's" haunted the walls but my heart thumped inside my heart. I walked upstairs and pushed the door to his room. My lips trembled as I saw his room was the same as in high school. The moonlight gleamed inside as Emilio's silhouette appeared. "My Lucky number 7," then his body disappeared but this time it didn't hurt. I slowly walked in as the floor creaked then I heard a guitar play, then a violin, and then a flute.
I slowly let the music guide me to the window. My heart thumped with every beat and my hands tingled with every step I took. I opened the window and I saw Dash surrounded by a mariachi band. He wore the same black outfit, it's called a charro, and a sombrero. He held a red and white rose.
Then I saw Esmeralda, Emilio's dad, my parents, Kieran, Don, and some of Dash's teammates in the background. My heart exploded and I couldn't hold my tears. He kneeled and took out a black velvet box. The mariachi stopped playing as I noticed Dash's eyes were watery. He took off his sombrero.
"Lucky, please forgive me. I can't live my life without you," he opened the black velvet box. "Please accept this promise ring. I'll never leave you and I hope to marry you one day," his blue eyes glowed like the moon.
Was I ready to marry again?
I opened my mouth...