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.