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 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 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.
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.
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…”
Continue reading “Kandy and Miguel #7: The Park, Part Three.”
“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.”
“Free hour is up! Give me money or get the fuck out!” Outside the restaurant’s upstairs office, Manny sighed and pounded his fist on the locked door to get Kandy and Miguel’s attention.
Without warning, the door swung open and Kandy slipped past Miguel’s cousin giggling as she galloped down the stairs. Turning slightly to watch her go, he noticed all those curls were no longer tied up in a ponytail but free, full, and flowing. A few seconds after, Miguel stepped up to the threshold of the door in his tank top and dress pants. The crisply ironed shirt and suit-matching tie from earlier were nowhere to be seen.
The five-foot-seven and rather stocky-looking half of the pair stared at his younger cousin while Miguel took the liberty of nicking a cigarette from the pack in Manny’s front shirt pocket poking out above his apron.
“You tall ass, lean ass, suave ass motherfucker.” Passing the half-torn matchbook to him, Manny watched as he lit up the cigarette.
Gesturing with the Marlboro, Miguel exhaled the smoke to the side. “Don’t tell Irma?”
Continue reading “Kandy and Miguel #5: The Park, Part One.”
Kandy found herself standing outside the private upstairs office listening to Miguel become more and more heated with the guy on the phone. She sighed and closed her eyes whilst resting her head against the door frame. Seeing him on top of her, her hands in his hair, the initial str– Stop it. I have no fucking idea who this guy is and I can’t wait to be under him? Getting worked the fuck out, yes. You’re a grown-ass woman and if you wanna f– He could be dangerous. He’s not going to hurt you. He could be dangerous for me in other ways.
She was over waiting and arguing with herself. Walking in abruptly, she paused just long enough to lock the door and then started fishing her phone out of her bag. Miguel immediately turned still, tempered his tone, and cleared his throat. The cursing in English and Spanish stopped as well. Smoothing down his dress shirt, he felt caught out for how out of pocket he was being. It was clear he was still stuck in the stage of trying to present the best image of himself to her rather than the most forthright. Not even the smallest acknowledgment of his presence was given by her as she walked through the office, in between him at the desk on her left and the couch on her right.
Continue reading “Kandy and Miguel #4: The Office.”
What is she doing? His dark gaze followed Kandy as she frustratedly yanked a cable out of a zipper pocket on her bag to plug into the aux port of the stereo system mounted in the far wall. She didn’t know if there were speakers in the other areas of the restaurant, but she couldn’t have cared less. A few taps to the illuminated screen of her phone later, the device was left with her bag and tennis shoes. Pitching the gum in the rubbish bin, she stepped barefoot up onto the cushion of the chair across from him before hopping off of it and onto the desk.
Flushed from the sensations, Kandy busied herself with her bag next to her feet all in an effort to avoid the waitress until she had collected herself. In contrast, Miguel sat quietly with his ankle on his knee except this time he was positioned a bit further under the table than he had been before. Knowing she was safely out of his sight, Kandy covered her face with her hand and did what she could to suppress the girlish laugh under the table. Did that actually happen? Yes Kandy, that actually happened.
As much as her brain wanted to indict her for her seemingly reckless behavior, Kandy kept returning to the feelings of familiarity and ease she experienced with Miguel. The emotionally unencumbered state he put her in reminded her of what life was like before certain events took place. He made her remember who she used to be, which was definitely causing a shift away from how she operated in what had become her ‘New Normal’. And operated was the correct word because it sure as hell wasn’t living.
“Sorry to interrupt again,” the waitress placed the three dishes down on the table, one for him and two for her. Nodding to his half-empty mug, “You want a top off?”
“Yea, thanks, Lydia.” Miguel cleared his throat while checking that his tie was straight.
Bringing over the carafe filled with fresh coffee, the waitress glanced over at Kandy, “What about your lady friend?”
“Can you bring Kandy some ice water?”
“The sun get to you, honey? You are a little red.”
Continue reading “Kandy and Miguel #3: The Restaurant, Part Two.”
Stepping closer, he handed the camera off to her. “Miguel.”
Taking it from him, she gestured with it before tucking it into her bag. “Thanks. Totally forgot it existed.” Biting her bottom lip, she could sense him watching her as she pocketed her keys.
“I wonder why that was, querida.” A slight tilt of his head caused a few of the longer layers of his dark hair to curve down around his cheekbones.
“Musta had my hands full with somethin’ more important.” When Kandy smiled up at him again he flashed her a sly half-grin.
Kandy was cute in her ponytail and brightly colored tennis shoes, seeming so sweet and unassuming as she stood there. It was quite the opposite from the siren who could’ve had him driving into the rocks earlier. She had trouble written all over her. The good kind though, the kind Miguel was beginning to realize he missed. A distracted pass of his skeleton tattooed hand down his jaw to his ink-covered neck ended with another apprehensive straightening of his tie. Though he was incredibly handsome in his businessman threads, Kandy had to wonder if he felt like the striped fabric was strangling him with how buttoned-up he was. For Miguel, the way she was looking at him was like an unspoken invitation to come play if he wanted.
Continue reading “Kandy and Miguel #2: The Restaurant, Part One.”
The tail end of Kendrick Lamar’s Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe was tumbling out of the stereo of the lilac Jeep Wrangler as it followed the graceful arc of the Clearwater Memorial Causeway that runs from downtown Clearwater straight out to the white sand coast on the Gulf of Mexico. An immediate downshifting followed now that the driver was face to face with a mental backup on the bridge. Both lanes were beginning to stack up on the westbound side and barely any traffic was coming from the beach. The open-top, no windows, and no doors lifestyle was solely enjoyable when in motion. The idea of being stuck out under the hot sun was not Kandy’s idea of fun and she could feel herself burning already.
Inching her way up, she took her spot behind a tattered burgundy and tan Expedition and next to a white mid 90s Mercedes Benz S600 sedan that looked like it had just been cut out of a Vacpack. The paint was well kept. No scratches, haziness, or swirls from where she was sitting. The headlamps were clear and bright. Even the stock non-polished wheels looked brand new. Really the only modification to it she could spot was the rather dark limo tint.
“A little crazy from the start…” The opening vocals of Slow Burn by Jaira Burns began to play, pulling her attention away from the Benz. Reaching into the ashtray, she pulled out a lighter she kept stashed for emergencies like these while lifting her denim-clad hips to fish something out of a front pocket. There was a struggle to reach something in those rather tight short shorts. Her very tight and very short shorts. It might’ve been October, but it was still hot as hell in Tampa Bay and whatever was left of the strawberry milkshake from Steak n Shake was already turning into a pink pool inside the styrofoam cup in the console holder. Finally, the neatly rolled joint was retrieved and placed between her lips, which happened to be glossed in a color that matched the body of the Jeep and the lenses of her heart-shaped sunglasses.
Miguel’s brown eyes quickly ran through the same rotation they had done for the last four minutes. First, the black and steel encased SLR wristwatch by Tag Heuer on his left wrist, then to the clock dial in the gauge cluster, before lastly ending with a flash of his iPhone’s lock screen. This was quite possibly an ominous sign from the heavens above. He was sure he was going to be late. If it wasn’t the accident on the other side, then it would be from not being able to find a parking spot down by the pier.
Continue reading “Kandy and Miguel #1: The Bridge”
This series of stories about Kandy and Miguel has been a true delight to create and develop. They best fit under the Slice of Life category, meaning that they aren’t about extraordinary plots or ridiculous adventures. Instead, it follows two characters who happen to meet in a pre-Covid world. No masks, no infection rates, no polarizing politics. Like many out there, I miss life before Covid and this couple with their somewhat serendipitous circumstances allow me to visit a time when magic and chemistry between two people could easily be felt.
Just like real people, there are real conversations and confrontations that can (and do!) get out of control. There is no Fade to Black in real life. And accordingly, their vocabulary, their actions, the sensations, the imagery all will reflect the adult nature of the subjects and situations they navigate together. Life does not have a movie rating. They’re going to say and do what they’re going to say and do.
Each posting is one of the stories cut like an episode to make reading easier and improve flow. All the posts will be linked together so that readers can keep track of the episodes they’ve already enjoyed. Not every entry into Kandy and Miguel’s story will include a sexually explicit scene. But they’re two people in love developing intimacy. It’s going to happen. Often. The evolving power dynamic between them is an important theme and this is explored extensively during acts of physical intimacy.
So, my advice is not to read this at work or around family or any awkward place that might put the reader in a less than comfortable position once finished, if one can make it that far in one sitting. Feel free to scroll past the paragraphs of the two of them entangled together or skip dialogue that happens to feature words that still get censored on television. But, be aware that there are important details and character development woven into this material.
Where there was specific music I listened to that inspired certain scenes, I have made it a point to try and include a playlist either via Spotify or YouTube at the end of each post.
Kandy and Miguel #1: The Bridge.
Kandy and Miguel #2: The Restaurant, Part One.
Kandy and Miguel #3: The Restaurant, Part Two.
Kandy and Miguel #4: The Office.
Kandy and Miguel #5: The Park, Part One.
Kandy and Miguel #6: The Park, Part Two.
Kandy and Miguel #7: The Park, Part Three.
Kandy and Miguel #8: The Park, Part Four.
Kandy and Miguel #9: The Park, Part Five.
Kandy and Miguel #10: The Park, Part Six.