Kandy and Miguel #9: The Park, Part Five.

Kandy sat back from him and folded her arms across her stomach. If he went by the change in her position alone, Miguel might have thought she was upset about his prying. But when he looked at her face, he was met with the sunniest of smiles. It wasn’t one of those artificial masks of a smile to hide her upset either. This was genuine and the complete opposite of what she had displayed just a few minutes ago when trying to wrap the rather cruel behavior of her grandmother, Amina, up in a civilized-looking box. Had she been anyone else, he would have assumed she was about to make some smart-ass joke at his expense over his rant earlier against the unchecked greed and influence of organized religions. Instead, his head tilted to the side as he tried to guess what the girl who avoided giving definitive answers about her own culture and beliefs thought of what he said.

“Sandy was right. Zo would have loved you. She really would have. The shit you two would be talkin’ about…” 

It wasn’t at all what he expected, though it was a nice sentiment to hear, which made him more curious about the woman who raised her and what she taught Kandy in the short time she was in his little witch’s life. “She was Cuban?”

Kandy nodded. “Catholic, too. Though towards the end she got closer to the Pentecostal side of things.” He frowned over the last part and she rubbed his chest again. “When you’re dyin’, you’ll give time to anybody preachin’ about healin’, I think.”

“Did it come between you?”

“We got to a place where I made the decision not to let it.” She smiled at her Scorpio’s tender tone he used when asking such a sensitive question. “I knew it wouldn’t be forever.”

Reaching up to caress the side of her face, Miguel leaned forward and kissed her forehead. “So, we’d be scrappin’ at the dinner table, huh?”

Continue reading “Kandy and Miguel #9: The Park, Part Five.”

Kandy and Miguel #8: The Park, Part Four.

“Kandajha.”

Kandy eased to the side just far enough to rest her brow bone against his cheekbone. Closing her eyes, she softly touched the opposite side of Miguel’s face holding him there with her. Stronger than any other time that afternoon, he was able to feel a level of trepidation on her side of things that was enough to concern him and not just because she seemed to amplify the sensitivity of his gifts. While he considered classifying what she was feeling as a fear to likely be an overstatement, he also felt that it would be dismissive to label it as just a worry. Whatever it was, she was actively struggling against it in her thoughts.

She could tell by the way he whispered her name that he knew something had invaded her mood and occupied her attention. “Miggy, I — I need this to be healthy and I’m not sure I know what that looks like. Bein’ dependent on you fo—”

With a simple hug, keeping her against his chest, Miguel stopped her from finishing her statement. “Wantin’ a hug or somebody to listen don’t make you dependent, co-dependent, or any other kinda dependent, querida.

Miguel wondered to himself how much the gaslighting was contributing to her waves of reluctance when it came to sharing how she felt. While she couldn’t hide it from him, she still was able to avoid admitting or voicing all the things he saw in her eyes when she looked at him and now, apparently, that he could sense when they were up close and personal. 

Continue reading “Kandy and Miguel #8: The Park, Part Four.”

Kandy and Miguel #7: The Park, Part Three.

Kandy watched as Miguel avoided her eyes before resting his head back against the cement to stare at the sky. Was that a hint of color she detected on his cheeks? Terribly curious, she managed to raise up just enough to get a proper look at his handsome face. He was indeed blushing.

“Does Miguel have a breeding kink?” Kandy smiled at him, letting her head tilt off to the side causing him to eventually laugh showcasing his dimples. 

“You’re wild as fuck, querida.” 

“This is one of those times when I wanna say it.”

“That makes you wanna tell me you love me?” A dark brow perked.

Papi!”

His espresso-colored gaze rolled down to find her sitting there in his lap sporting a big old Cheshire Cat grin. Much to his dismay, she had noticed the slight tint coloring his skin and he grumbled a little. Relaxing on her pink hibiscus blanket with her, Miguel returned to squeezing and rubbing her denim-covered rear with the hope that she’d get distracted.

Pa-pi.”

Eventually, that coy sing-song tone she used got him to grin again and lift his brows, “What, Kandajha?”

“You know it’s about a lot more than what you do to me, Miguel. You know there’s a whole list of reasons why I feel what I feel for you.” Wrapping her fingers around the hem of his tank top, she toyed with the grey cotton whilst biting her bottom lip. “But why can’t I be in love with my Papi also because he makes me ache for him and…” 

“And?”

Continue reading “Kandy and Miguel #7: The Park, Part Three.”

Kandy and Miguel #6: The Park, Part Two.

“What’s the other one?”

“The other situation with the mirror?”

Miguel knew she understood what he was referring to, but indulged her by nodding rather than correcting her for trying to stall for time. With a slow pull of air in through her nose, Kandy rubbed between her collar bones for a moment whilst still holding his gaze.

If he was going to stare at her, she was going to stare right back. There had been times when Kandy wondered if perhaps Miguel had his own special little talents. If they were anything like hers, he had played it off very well that the information either was easily sussed out like she had just done or instead hadn’t registered or resonated with him at all. Considering the situation they currently found themselves in, she reasoned it would be better to wait for a time when he was less defensive to ask him directly about it. What he did with food was beyond just culinary skill and absolutely counted as a gift in the kitchen. But the more time went on, the more Kandy felt like her aloof and alluring Scorpio was keeping a few things from her.

“Tell me, conejita.”

Yea, Kandajha, tell him. You wanna run your mouth to him about all the things you happily would let him do to you — tell this grown-ass man what some of those things are.

No me hagas repetir la pregunta, conejita.” As playful as the cadence in his speech might have been on the surface, it was understood that it really was more of a warning. He wanted to know and she was going to enlighten him one way or another.

Continue reading “Kandy and Miguel #6: The Park, Part Two.”

Back to Red: Part Two

**Be sure to read both the Prologue and Part One in this series.**

Anzhelina sighed. “They’re gonna kill you, Sandy.”

Cassandra remained quiet as she stared at her now folded hands. With some reluctance she pulled her arms back just enough to separate her fingers from each other and examine her slender digits. A flex of her joints and all ten curled like claws before they were relaxed back into a natural position with a slight curve in their pose.

“Just for saying that, they’re gonna kill you and then Cicero.”

Nothing.

“And then me and then Asher and then probably Kand–”

“I don’t intend on telling them.” A quicker tighter clenching of her grip formed fists for a few seconds before she released them and looked over at her half-sister, “Do you?”

Up went those ash brows, the blonde was quite surprised that Sandra managed to ask the question. This was the woman who didn’t dare ask for help or admissions of loyalty from anyone. The potential refusals or silence itself would have been too much for her. Yet here she was in her kitchen asking her sibling to finally pick a side. And to do so convincingly. A remarkable shift.

“Gray said they may be considering doing a deal with Sandulf.” Angie’s hands ran through her own hair to smooth down some of the sections before she retied her bob into a short ponytail. “You know what that means for me and for Asher.”

Continue reading “Back to Red: Part Two”

Back to Red: Part One

Please click here (Back to Red: Prologue) to read the first post in this series. Part Two has been posted.

And here Cassandra was, laying on her kitchen floor staring at a clump of dog hair she had somehow missed whenever the last time was that she had swept. What have you done, Cassandra? What have you done? It wasn’t Zoraida’s voice that she heard echoing within her thoughts, but rather her own.

Giving Cassandra a moment to collect herself, Anzhelina folded in the blade of her knife and tucked it back into its hiding place. Satisfied that she had put her sister in the right frame of mind to receive the message, the blonde stepped forward and began snapping her fingers in front of Sandra’s face.

“Hey, hey! Focus.” Angie’s tone was indifferent to the writhing going on underneath her.

It hurt a lot less than Sandra expected. However, it did surprise her that the assault had such an impact on her breathing. Her chest was left feeling as if it was hydrolocked like one of the many poor souls who foolishly forged ahead on a flooded Bayshore Boulevard. The risk of danger had looked deceptively minimal. Was she bleeding into her chest cavity? Was the increase in fluid preventing air from filling and expanding her lungs? Is that what was happening? Thunk-thunk, thunkthunkthunk. The arrhythmia pounded against the inside of her ribs and triggered a half cough seizing her lungs again as she struggled still to breathe. Could blood be pouring out of her that quickly? Maybe she was already in shock. Her arms felt so heavy, like lead really. The buzzing tingle that swept over her shoulders, down those languid limbs, and ended in her fingertips almost made it feel like there had been an assault on her nervous system. She had to question whether she had any control whatsoever over them, yet somehow she managed to pull them in tighter around her midsection.

Continue reading “Back to Red: Part One”

Back to Red: Prologue

For the next part of this series, please click here (Back to Red: Part One).

Grey. eyes lazily opened allowing Tuesday’s mid-morning sun to sear through the sliver of Sandra’s retinas that her eyelids had reluctantly exposed. A grumble was muffled as she turned her features into the musty, but still technically clean pillow that had been kept warm by the side of her face. Sweet relief washed over her as darkness flooded her sight. Light was the enemy at this point, but it hadn’t always been. In fact, the way the light blossomed into a healthy glow through the open white-painted Plantation shutters within the room was one of the reasons why she had purchased the Hyde Park bungalow in South Tampa. Above was the soft strumming of the large ceiling fan accompanied by the intermittent clink of its pull chain dancing against its frosted glass light fixtures shaped like lilies. Still, her body nagged at her.

Wearing a pair of lightweight cotton drawstring pyjama pants and her favourite oversized University of Miami t-shirt, she managed to find the perfect temperature for the bed sheet to be pulled up around her shoulders. With the air conditioning set to seventy-two and the fan going, anything exposed was frosty whilst everything under cover remained slightly toasty. Maybe if she just lay there quietly for a few minutes her body would relent as she drifted back off to sleep. Turning her face so that her cheek could cuddle into the pillow, a lighter shade of darkness now pressed into her covered vision. With her left arm and leg tossed across a large U-shaped pillow that was as long as she was tall, Sandra gripped the comfy cushion and waited for rest to retake her.

The pressure and pains in her lower abdomen persisted and the brunette sighed frustratedly. Sandra had to go to the bathroom. She wasn’t about to lay in her own piss as this would’ve ruined the very lovely mattress that had been serving up cloud nine relaxation for the last few weeks. It was the most plush of jail cells this side of a padded room. The house was silent and still all but for the ceiling fan and the circulating air via the handler hidden in a closet on another floor. She had missed the pleasant melodies of the morning birds hopping along their branches in the massive Oak tree planted just outside in the front yard. Even in the state she was in, the pleasantness of the birds’ songs was still able to touch her heart as her headboard shared a wall with them. Sometimes this was a welcomed moment of brightness. On other days, like this one, she was relieved to have not heard them at all. Something so sweet and free as birds proved to be too painful in certain moments.

Continue reading “Back to Red: Prologue”