DASH/DUKE Chapter 39
"Lucky, I've missed you so much. I'm so sorry for not telling you right away. I was afraid I would lose you and I did but I want us to start fresh without any secrets. I want to be with you forever," his lips trembled as I pulled him in and smashed my lips with his. The mariachi began to play music and everyone clapped again. Everything moved slowly. It was only Duke and me. I kissed him slowly. I wanted to savor his lips and never let him go. I could taste his salty tears but I didn't care I had my Lucky back. I'm never letting him go anymore.
He pulled away and waved at everyone. "You should thank your brother. He came and apologized. He brought me here and I also got to know him a bit better. He needs love and affection," Dash turned to his brother who was talking to Don. Kieran lifted his chin and smirked at us.
"Did he now. I think everyone planned this for us. Esmeralda told me how Emilio did this for you one night. She said if anyone takes Emilio's place it would be me. I love you, Duke. I'm never going to take Emilio's place. He was a great man. I wished I would've met him. This is for Emilio and a new beginning," I grabbed his hand and slowly put his promise ring. He jumped up and wrapped his arms around my neck.
"By the way. You look hot in this outfit. Any chance it's yours?" He whispered in my ear.
"Yes, it's mine. Esmeralda bought it for me. I'm not sure how she knew my size but it was a great gesture on her part."
"She's the sweetest but I want to take it off once we get home." He bit on his bottom lip.
"You want me to move in with you again?" I pinched his cheek.
"Yes, that's your home now, with me. I don't ever want to sleep by myself. I want you every day and night with me," he locked his lips once more with mine. The music played. I love this man and I can't wait to marry him.
"Alright, everyone. I made homemade tamales and empanadas. Let's go inside and celebrate new friendships and of course new beginnings," Esmeralda announced. She glanced at both of us and blew us a kiss. I averted my eyes to the sky and it was filled with thousands of bright stars. I saw one twinkle brightly. I knew it was Emilio. He was giving us his blessings. I glanced one more time at Duke. My Duke was back and I couldn't be happier.
"I love you, Lucky."
"I love you, too."
The mariachi followed us inside the house. They stayed for another hour and enjoyed the food Esmeralda made. We drank tequila and had a blast. This was one of the best nights of my entire life. I had friends and family by my side, nothing beats this.
I noticed Kieran was sitting by himself. Duke was laughing with the guys. Don had left early. He said he had an early flight and would be back in a couple of days but I knew something was up. I saw Kieran arguing with him in the kitchen. They stopped when I entered and now Kieran was sitting by himself.
"Hey, what's going on?" I tapped his leg.
"Dash, go enjoy yourself. You don't need to babysit me. I'm good," yeah he was good at faking how he felt but I know him better than he knows himself.
"Bullshit. Kai, I need you to be truthful with me, what's going on?" His eyes softened as he took a deep breath.
"I'm a fuck up, bro. I just can't seem to do anything right. I push people away and I don't mean to. It just happens," he was on a verge of tears.
"Is that what you and Don were fighting about in the kitchen?" I asked.
"Yeah. He's been trying to get to know me but I pull away. He's a great guy and I like him but I'm so fucked up right now that it isn't fair to him. But he keeps insisting. I'm so confused. I can't get over Vlad's death and to let someone else in here," he pointed at his heart. "It's hard," Kai reminds me of when I met Duke. He was broken. Kai just needs time and Don needs to be patient. I'll see if Duke can talk to Don.
I heard Duke laughing. I turned to where he was. He blew me a kiss and kept talking to Aiden. I turned back to Kai. "Kai, please get help, this isn't going to go away. I'll pay for it, you don't need to worry about money or anything. I just need you well and happy," I pulled him into a hug. He nodded.
"Thanks, bro. Now go and have fun with your man. I'm good. I'm going to get going. I promised the probation officer that I'll be home by midnight. I'll get an Uber."
"No, take my truck. I'll get a ride with Duke. Kai?" I pulled him into another hug and kissed his cheek. "I love you, bro. If you need money, don't hesitate to ask," he hugged me tightly.
"Thanks, bro. After this house arrest is over. I'm going to look for a job. I can't rely on you or dad. I need to start living and fix my fucked up life. But thanks for the offer. I love you too," he pulled away and handed him my truck keys. He said goodbye to everyone and left.
I pulled Duke away from everyone. "You've been laughing non-stop without me," I teased as I nibbled on his neck. These tight pants were making my hard-on ached.
"Shall we go home and take these pants off?" he smashed his lips with mine and laughed.
"I love it when you laugh. Let's enjoy a few more minutes and then we say goodbye," he gave me a million pecks before we went back with everyone else. Finally, no more aches and pains, just Duke and I. We start our life one step at a time.
I was sitting at the lunch table from my high school. The sun was high and the puffy white clouds were scattered throughout the sky. The birds chirp as the cool breeze grazed my skin. It was only me, the school wasn't in session and it was so peaceful.
My heart began to thump inside my chest and my hands tingled. I glanced to my right and there he was. His emerald eyes glowed like gems and he had a beautiful halo around his body. "Hey, My Lucky Number 7," his voice echoed like an angel. He stood there with his high school jacket on, his black jeans, and his white V-cut T-shirt.
"Emilio?" my words choked in my throat. My eyes got watery and my heart ached. "Is it really you?" I stood up and walked slowly towards him, hoping he didn't disappear. But he didn't. He had his beautiful smile. He was so damn handsome, it hurt just to see him.
"Yes, it's really me. You're dreaming. I'm in your subconscious. I came to say goodbye," he kept his bright smile but his eyes started to swell with tears.
"I don't want to say goodbye," He was face to face with me. I lifted my arm and cupped his cheek. He closed his eyes and gently moved his cheek on my hand. "Will you come back, at least in my dreams?"
He opened his eyes as they swirled with gold and green. A tear came down his cheek. "Maybe. I'm not sure. Baby, you need to let me go. I love you so much and I know we never got to say goodbye so now it's our chance," his lips trembled. I was about to lose it but I kept calm.
"Emilio, I love you and you'll always have a place in my heart but now I have Dash. He holds a place there now," my words were choppy but he understood. His eyes smiled as he cupped my face.
"I know. I've been watching for a while. He's a great guy. Make him happy as you did me. I was taken too soon from you but life happens. Forgive, Kieran, he will need a lot of support," he squeezed my cheek. "My lucky number 7. I'll always be deep inside your heart but now I must go," he pulled away. He slowly leaned down and gave me one last kiss. It was gentle and simple but it engraved everything we lived together. Our time in high school, college, our wedding, vacations, and of course our love.
He pulled away and gave me his warming smile. "I love you, Emilio. Until we meet again," he held my hand as he slowly disappeared. His eyes glowed and one last drop of tear came down his cheek.
"Goodbye, my lucky number 7," his voice echoed and now he was gone. But my heart was at peace. I swallowed the knot in my throat as I touched my lips.
I slowly opened my eyes. I glanced at my digital watch on top of my drawer and it was 5 in the morning. Dash's hands pulled me closer to him. My heart wasn't aching and my wounds were healed. I grabbed Dash's hand as I kissed his knuckles. He groaned. "Lucky, why are you awake so early?"
"I said goodbye to, Emilio," I said softly.
He pulled me closer and kissed my neck. "How do you feel?" he whispered on the shell of my ear.
"I feel at peace. I got to say goodbye to him."
He pecked my neck one more time. "I'm glad," and then he fell asleep again. I closed my eyes and had the best sleep. Dash was my new life. My new beginning. A new chapter has begun and it's all with, Dash.
*8 MONTHS LATER*
Dash was flying in from Texas. He was out of town for two weeks and I couldn't live another day without him. It was Christmas Eve and he was going to be off for the next two weeks until he started playing again. Everyone was at his parent's house. Esmeralda and Brian were cooking up a storm in the kitchen. My parents were coming tomorrow because they got stuck in New York, the snow got violent so their flight was canceled. Henry and Kieran were in the lounge room watching television. We were just waiting for Dash to get home. I offered to pick him up but he said he's bringing some of the boys with him. So it's going to be a full house.
The authentic Mexican food filled the house with warmth. Esmeralda made sweet, chicken, and beef tamales. She also made hot champurrado, it's chocolate-based atole, it's warm and thick because of the maíz. My stomach growled of how hungry I was but I was anxious for Dash to get here.
I went upstairs to Dash's room to get his present when I heard a door open. It was Kieran's room. I slowly walked out and noticed his door was left ajar. Kieran was off house arrest. He's been good for the last 8 months that all charges were dropped and he was free from house arrest. But I still noticed a sadness in his eyes. He still was guilty of everything, Emilio's and Vlad's death. He's on and off with Don. I invited Don but he said he was done chasing after Kieran. I took a deep breath and went inside his room.
"Hey," I said. He was standing by his dressing holding a frame. His room was dark but he had his lamp on.
"Hey," I could hear sadness from one word. "I miss her, Duke. I miss him. This pain is too much," I finally heard him break down. I walked over and pulled him into a hug.
"I know how it feels. I was there two years ago and you know what helped?"
"What?" He cried into my neck.
"Love, Dash opened that again for me. I thought I would never love again but Dash was patient and so loving. Let someone in here," I pulled away and touched his chest.
"I don't know-how," his voice cracked. Those gray eyes of his swirled with so much pain and guilt that it gave me a flashback of how lost I was 2 years ago.
"Yes, you do. You have his number so call him. Don is a great guy and a great friend. He might be busy but I'm pretty sure you two can work it out. Don is also trying to figure out who he is. Help him," I pulled him into a hug.
"Is everything ok in here?" I heard Dash's voice and quickly turned around. He flicked the lights on as I ran towards him. I jumped on him and devoured his lips.
"Baby," I couldn't keep my hands off him. His hair was longer and he had grown out his beard. Damn, he looked sexy.
"I should be gone more often if I'm going to get received like this," He smiled as I kissed him vigorously.
"Ahem," I heard Kieran clear his voice as he chuckled. "I'll let you two get settled in."
"Kai, get your ass here and join us in a group hug," Dash pulled Kieran into a hug. We all laughed. "Love both of you. Let's go downstairs and celebrate."
We joined everyone downstairs. The house was full of laughter and warmth. Caleb, Mason, Matthew, Aiden, and Kieran joked around in a little group. The parents were in the kitchen bringing out the food. Dash and I sat on the couch. "Lucky, I missed you so much during these two weeks. Video chatting isn't the same," I pecked him on the lips.
"I know. I miss your body and everything else," I bit the bottom of my lip and winked.
"Mmm, I can't wait to go home," he nibbled on my neck.
Life was perfect in every single way. Dash brought me back to life when I was in the deepest hole. He made my heart pump again as my veins woke up the dormant love that I thought I lost. Dash held a part of my heart. He was my everything and I couldn't be happier.
We ate and were all gathered around the lounge room. We held hot champurrado in our cups as everyone waited for me to give Dash his present. "I hope you like this, babe," I handed him a black box that was decorated with an elaborate red ribbon.
His smile beamed like that sun. He tore the paper and quickly opened the box. He studied the book that was placed inside. He took it out and showed it to everyone. "You published it!" his excitement radiated to everyone.
"Yeah I did," he picked me up and pecked me. I finally published my book inspired by Dash. A Dash Of Him. "Open it and see what it says," he turned to the first page and read.
"Dash, two years ago you met a broken soul. I never thought I would love someone as pure as you. I had given up and wanted to join, Emilio. But you brought me back to life. A dash of you is all I needed to wake me up again. You are my knight and shining armor. The only other person that holds a piece of my heart. Thank you for being just a wonderful boyfriend, friend, and lover.
Your one and only,
Duke Michelson aka Lucky"
I heard someone sniffle as we all turned. It was Aiden crying. "What? That some romantic hallmark movie scene," we all laughed.
"Lucky, this is the best present anyone has given me. Thank you for being in my life. I have a surprise for you as well," he went into his pockets and kneeled in front of me. My eyes widen as he took out another black velvet box. He opened it but it wasn't a ring. It was a set of keys. "Lucky, Duke. Move-in with me. I bought us a house. Move-in with me," his blue eyes glowed like bioluminescence waves.
"Yes, I'll move in with you," I nearly jumped. Everyone cheered and clapped but then I noticed Kieran walking towards the door. He pointed towards the entrance and mouthed Dons name. I nodded and averted back to Dash but now he was holding a ring out. My lips parted and my heart thumped inside my chest.
"Marry me. I want the whole room to know how much I love you. I want you to be my husband until we grow old. I don't want anyone else but you. Would you make me the happiest man on earth and marry me?" A tear fell down my cheek. I glanced at everyone who had a smile on their face. Esmeralda held her hands over her mouth.
"Yes, I want to be your husband," Dash put the ring on my finger. He got up and pulled me into a hug.
"I'm never letting go. You'll always have me," he whispered in the shell of my ear.
"Till death do us part," I whispered into his ear as well.
"Always and forever."
Everyone cheered and came over to congratulate us. Kieran walked in with Don. Don waved at us and everything was complete. I glanced at the star on top of the Christmas tree, it was bright with a tiny halo around it then it suddenly disappeared. My heart jumped and my fingers tingled. Emilio was here. I glanced at Dash who hugged Esmeralda and then Matthew. His blue eyes then aligned with mine. He was mine forever.
And that's all I needed.
Dash Of Him.
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