A Dash Of Him

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DUKE Chapter 6

The meeting was over and to be honest I was between overwhelmed and relieved. So many people have lost loved ones and they seem pretty "normal" until those words of pain come out. There was a guy named Andrew, he lost his wife and daughter in a car accident. He was in a wheelchair because his right leg was paralyzed. I never would've thought a muscular man like him would cry so hard. His pain radiated onto everyone but we all sympathized with him.

I would do glances at Dash as he would to me. My fingers tingle every time our eyes would meet. His glacial blue eyes pulled me in just like Emilio did when he was alive. But when he rubbed my back all the nerves in my body jolted up. My stomach swirled with warmth and my heart jolted with excitement. I haven't felt that since Emilio passed away but I know he was just consoling me.

The room emptied and Dash helped Abby put all the chairs on the wall. "Duke, please come more often. It seems like you need it," I tried to give her a tiny smirk but it wouldn't come out. I saw Dash coming towards us so I wanted to make a quick escape. I'm not in the mood to talk to anyone.

"Thank you, I'll see when I come back from vacation," I hugged her and bolted before Dash got any closer. I quickly walked to my black Mercedes then I heard footsteps running towards me. I pivoted myself and there he was coming towards me. God, he was tall. His clothes hugged all the good parts of his body. He caught his breath and gave me a tiny smirk. He had a dimple.

"Hey!" He was catching his breath. "I'm honestly not this forward but would you like to grab a cup of coffee or lunch," his voice was deep but gentle. It made the hairs on my arm stand up. What was this? My guilt was taking over. I felt like I was cheating on Emilio.

"That's very nice of you but I'm not feeling very well," I lied. I didn't want to talk to anyone. I wanted to go home and bury myself in my huge house. But then my stomach growled. Loudly.

He chuckled and glanced at my starving stomach. "I think your stomach says otherwise," now he displayed a set of pearly white teeth and damn his dimple. "Come on, I'm not asking you to marry me. I could use a friend right now," his words tugged on my heart but I refused to let him in, even though it was hard to deny how damn handsome he was.

As much as I was denying myself. I was hungry so a late lunch couldn't hurt, right? "Where do you have in mind? The corner of his mouth lifted and that dimple appeared again. I hope this wasn't a bad idea.

"I'll drive," he got closer and closed my car door. "I'll bring you back so don't worry," I got a whiff of a warm, musky scent of his cologne. An electric bolt went down my spine as I gazed at this giant man in front of me. I noticed his Adam's Apple moving and a bit of scruff growing around his neck area.

He pulled away and walked toward a black truck. I pressed the button to lock my car. I stopped and studied his truck. It wasn't like Emilio's truck but it brought back memories. Dash stopped while his eyes softened. "You ok?"

I didn't want to be like this with such a nice guy but I felt my lips tremble. I was on the verge of breaking down but I held the knot in my throat from erupting. "Yeah, your truck just brings memories of my husband."

"Would you like to drive instead?" He asked without any judgment.

I shook my head. "No, it's fine."

He opened the door for me and gave me a sweet smile. I got in and took in the fresh leather scent of his seats. His cologne lingered in his car and for some reason, I was at ease. The pain in my heart subsided. I noticed he had a picture of an older lady in front of his dashboard. She was beautiful. I could see the resemblance; she had blonde hair and pearly blue eyes. I could see where he got his smile from. He hopped in as his truck moved.

"Is that you mom?" I asked. His eyes softened.

"Yeah," he said under his breath. "She was my best friend," his voice sounded defeated, just like mines.

He backed up and drove out of the parking lot. He looked both ways and slowly got out. It's like he was being careful not to be seen. We stood quiet as country music played softly on his radio. He drove carefully which one kind of surprising. His persona struck me as fast and wild.

I looked outside the streets and they were familiar. A nostalgic memory came to mind and then I saw him go into a restaurant. I froze into my seat and my heart stopped for a bit. It was a Mexican restaurant Emilio and I would frequent. Dash parked his truck but I was fidgeting with my fingers. A tear came down. I felt his big hands on my shoulder.

"Hey, you ok?" his voice with concern. I nodded but I lied. It brought painful images of being together and how he loved to dance. He was quite the dancer. "You are not ok. Hey man, you can talk to me."

I finally glanced up at him and absorbed his handsome face. His jawline was chiseled to perfection and I loved his scruff. His blue eyes glistened with tiny orbs. He reminded me so much of Emilio. "I use to come here with my husband," it's all I could say before I choked up.

"Shit, we can go somewhere else if you want?"

My stomach growled. "I'm pretty hungry and I need to start dealing with his loss. I need to accept he is gone and move on with my life."

"I know it's difficult but at least you're saying it and that's the first step with accepting loss," his words healed a tiny part of me. "Let's go eat something before I faint," I chuckled. I wiped my eyes and we finally got out of his truck.

We got seated immediately by a good-looking waiter. His eyes wouldn't stop scanning Dash's body. "Welcome to Baja Mexican Grill and Bar, can I start you with anything to drink?" He asked Dash and completely ignoring me.

"Would you like to order first?" Dash pointed his eyes at me. The waiter wasn't so happy but deep inside I had a smirk formed.

"I'll take a water," the waiter scribbled something on his notepad and then turned his back to me again. Ok, this is awkward.

"And for you?" He asked Dash, his voice much more pleasant with him.

"I'll take a cola for now and can you give us a minute. We aren't ready to order."

"Of course, just signal me when you're ready," he turned around and glared at me.

I widen my eyes and studied the menu. "Don't pay attention to him. I know what to do when he comes back," he winked at me. "Just go with the flow, ok?" His confidence was overwhelming but it made me feel safe.

"Ok," I faintly smiled back at him. I kept studying the menu. Emilio would always order tacos and a side of beans and red rice. It was delicious.

"So you came here with your hmm—husband?" it was weird hearing "husband". Am I widowed? I'm not sure how to react to that.

"Yeah, he was half Mexican so he loved Mexican food."

"It seems like you two were inseparable."

"We were very close. I remember when we barely got our house. We wanted to celebrate so he brought me here for drinks and dinner," it felt like it was just yesterday we were here...

********

*3 YEARS AGO*

Life was great with Emilio. We both had a steady career. We recently got married and life was just perfect. He was working with his parents in the investment company and I had just got hired at Kaleidoscope Marketing Corps. We just bought a house together and we wanted to celebrate. He brought me to an authentic Mexican restaurant which he heard great reviews from.

We were in a corner so we could have a bit of privacy. The lights were dim and there was a white candle lit in the middle of the table. The whiff of authentic Mexican food filled the air. He sat across from me as his emerald eyes blazed in my direction. "I'm the luckiest man on earth," he reached his hand over and gripped mine. His thumb caressed the top of mine.

"No, I'm the luckiest man on earth," my heart jolted with excitement. His smile melted me and his dimple added to the heat. His chest was slightly showing through the black long sleeve shirt he was wearing and his hair was neatly combed back. I was the luckiest man on earth.

He stood up and leaned across the table. His lip dragged slowly against mine. Every time he kissed me I fell in love with him more and more. Every touch he gave me brought me to life. He was my potion to life and I was his.

"Que hermosos (How beautiful)," the waitress came by and dropped off some water. "And what can I get you handsome boys?" her Spanish accent was beautiful and her smile was contagious.

All of a sudden the jukebox started playing a Spanish dancing song. Emilio loved dancing and his eyebrows shot you. "No, I'm not doing it," I knew what was coming. He started moving his shoulders and body.

"Yes, handsome, work that body," the waitress cheered him on.

He got up and grabbed my hand. "Baby, please dance with me just for a minute or two," he pouted his lips while he moved his hips. The waitress gave us some time. I noticed the mini dance floor. I stood up with he kept dancing.

"You're lucky I love you," I joked. We finally got to the dance floor and he pulled me closer to him.

"Just move with me," he knew I couldn't dance if my life depended on it but with him, I'll do anything. He moved one leg to the right and then two to the left. His hips swerve so smoothly that it was hard to move like him. He laughed and kissed my neck. "Fuck, I love you so much, baby. I'm glad I talked to you in senior year and I'm glad you're my husband," the song finished and he stopped. His cheeks were a rosy red and his lips were right in front of me. He leaned in and wrapped his lips with mine. "I love you until death do us part."

********

*PRESENT DAY*

Death did do us part and now he was gone.

"I'm sorry he's gone," Dash gave me his sympathetic eyes. Then the jukebox started playing a Spanish dancing song. I couldn't help but chuckle. "Does this remind you of him?" He had a handsome smirk.

He got up and took out his hand. "Baila con migo (dance with me)," my eyes widen, he knew Spanish. His words were a bit more broken but they came out perfectly. "I learned Spanish throughout high school and college," he winked at me. He was seriously surprising me.

I grabbed his hand and we went to the dance floor. The restaurant had a few customers but they were scattered throughout the walls away from our view. I stood there and then he grabbed my waist. "Tell me if you don't feel comfortable doing this, ok?"

"Ok."

He pulled me closer and I got a more potent whiff of his musky cologne. His hard body pressed against mine. I placed my head on his chest and just got lost in his warmth but I didn't want to scare him. "Just move with me," he began to move just like Emilio. I followed his rhythm. After some time I got the hang of it with practice from Emilio.

The song finally finished and he pulled away. "You did well," his pearly white teeth were displayed.

"Thanks, you were good," my hands tingling and my heart was beating erratically.

"Your drinks are on the table," the waiter appeared on the side. He glared at me and shot me with his eyes.

"Hey, baby. I'm going to go use the restroom. I'll be right back," he leaned in and kissed me on the cheek. His lips were so soft and moist. An electric volt went down my spine and my legs we weak. The waiter stomped away and he laughed.

"I knew that would get him off my back," he chuckled but I was still stunned by his kiss. I'm not sure what this is but my heart no longer feels so empty anymore.
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