This Isn't You, Baby(66)

By: K Webster

She sniffles and lets out a huff.


“He said he’s too busy for a relationship. That if he fucked me that’s all it would be. A fuck.” A tear races down her cheek. “I told him I would take whatever I could get.”

I cringe at how desperate that must have sounded. “What did he say?”

“He told me no. When I started to cry, he kissed me. God, he kisses so good. And then he got me off again. Afterward, we fell asleep wrapped up in each other’s arms.”

Her fingers are trembling as she attempts to open a packet of sugar to add to her coffee. I reach over and take it from her hands. Once I’ve torn the packet open and dumped it into the steaming liquid, I regard her once more.

“It seems like progress, Vee.”

She gives me a sour look. “He friend zoned me. Fucked me with his perfect fingers and then friend zoned me.”

I make a mental note to call Oscar and have a man to man talk with him. Vee’s too sweet for him to string along. If he doesn’t like her, then he needs to move on. Fingering her in her bedroom not once but twice is confusing the poor girl and leading her on.

“Duvan did just up and leave with Brie. And Esteban is missing. Do you think he actually is busy helping his father?”

She shrugs and swallows. “Maybe.”

“Maybe you just need to take a step back. If he’s busy, you’ll never have his full attention,” I tell her gently.

Her green eyes burn with fury and her nostrils flare. “Our fathers are business partners. He and I could be partners too. I could help him.”

I’m already shaking my head. “You do not need to be fucking involved in that cartel shit, Vee.”

Her gaze loses its fiery edge. “I was born into it. I’m already involved. He just needs to wake up and realize how great we could be together.”

I pull my baseball cap off and run my fingers through my hair before giving her a tired look. “Have you ever thought that maybe you two aren’t good together?”

She frowns. “Nope.”

I ignore the roiling of my stomach. The syrupy scent that hangs heavy in the air isn’t helping my hangover at all. “Promise me something,” I say finally and then regard her with a serious stare. “If he doesn’t make a move by the end of the summer, promise me you’ll get out there and date again.”

Her brows furl together as she ponders my words. Finally, she lets out a huff. “Fine, I promise.”

I roll my eyes because I don’t believe her one single bit. “You’re not just lying to me, Vee. You’re lying to yourself.”

Her nose turns pink as she wobbles out her words. “Lying to myself is the only way I’ve managed to keep my heart intact.”

Two months on Margarita Island

“Tell me a story, tigress.”

We’re lying on a blanket under an umbrella being lazy today. After a week of visiting with my mother’s cousin, I’m exhausted. It was nice meeting Louisa, and she was so great to me, but the constant reminiscing only depressed me. I found most stories funny about their childhood. However, every single one of them reminded me of the fact that she’s gone. It doesn’t hurt any less after three years.

“What kind of story?” I question as I curl against his bare chest. The artwork on his sculpted torso is fascinating. I’ve spent hours just tracing my finger along the different curves of each design. Moments like those, we can go forever without speaking but so much is spoken silently.

Duvan gets me.

Deep down, he knows me better than I know myself.

“One that makes you happy, mi amor,” he murmurs, his fingers brushing over mine on his chest.

I settle in the crook of his warm arm and let out a sigh. Closing my eyes, I think back to a time I truly was happy and carefree.

“Daddy,” I say as I dig my small shovel into the sand. “I want a sister. Constance from school has three sisters. I just want one. Nobody wants to play with me.”

He chuckles and looks off into the distance of the beach. Daddy always looks in the same direction. Like he’s waiting for someone to come see him. “Your momma is busy fixing hurt people all the time at the hospital. She doesn’t have time for another baby.”

“I’m not a baby,” I pout.

Daddy pulls the shovel from my hand and helps me square away the sides of the castle we’re making. “You’re my baby. Always will be.”

“I’m seven, Daddy,” I tell him with a huff. “I want to be your big girl.”

He brings a sandy finger to my chin and lifts it so we’re staring at one another. My daddy is strong and fearless like the dragon in my storybook. I’m the princess and Mommy is the queen. “You’re my Brie baby. Still a big kid but still my little girl.”