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She was Bishop’s niece, hanging out with a couple girls from high school at the local nightclub when Angel Reyes, Coco Cruz, and Gilly Lopez come walking in with smug grins as their eyes land on their favorite subject matters.
Her curly hair falling over her shoulder, a glass in her hand of a bright green liquor. Her electric blue freshly manicured nails against the green liquor.
“Oh shit! Look at you, all pretty and angry.” Angel calls as the group saunters towards them. The chuckling of the three stooges resonates behind her. The two girls she’s with start to cackle as they bikers get to them. Rolling her eyes, she turns on her barstool to face the bar. The three jocks all chuckle, finding seats at the bar and ordering drinks. The lights dance off their body glitter and Angel can’t help but notice that her body glitter was smoothed along her collarbone and neck, the light refracting off it.
“You’re not old enough to be drinking, querida.” He hushes into her ear. Scoffing, she gives him a side glance.
“Right, and you are.” She rolls her eyes and averts her eyes back to the drink she swirls in front of her.
“No, but this is coke. What’s that?” He asks, pointing with a pinky to the drink her hand.
“Green apple martini, no tequila.” She nips, her eyes never leaving the sparkling drink.
“Aw c’mon baby. You didn’t come in here dressed like that to sit here.” He murmurs with a sexy smirk on his lips. She all but groans and turns slightly away from him. “If you don’t dance with me, I’m gonna make a scene.” He husks into her ear before he stands and offers her his hand.
“Angel Reyes, dance with one of them, they’d literally die to dance with you.” She groans, shoving his hand away. Looking over her shoulder a moment later, she finds that he’s disappeared and she smugly grins to herself. Finally. She chuckles, taking a drink. Of course she thought Angel Reyes was the hottest guy in school, everyone did. But him hitting on her and making a spectacle of her was something she hated. He always chose her to dote on, to torture.
“Miel!” Angel’s voice calls from the dance floor. With a shiver of embarrassment, her face heating. “Miiieeell!” He sing songs, his hands cupped around his mouth like a megaphone. “It’s my birthday!” He shouts.
“No it’s not!” She replies without ever turning around.
“But I still look good though!” He cheers, watching her shoulders shake a little as she chuckles.
“Yeah, hot tamale!” She rolls her eyes and spins on her barstool to face him.
“I bet you wanna dance with me!” He calls, beckoning her towards him with a smug look on his face.
“I bet I don’t!”
“I bet you won’t come out here!”
“I bet I won’t!”
“Aw come on I love you!” He yells, laughing.
“No you don’t!” She cackles, slapping her knee.
“You never know, I might!” He calls, watching as she doubles over from laughing.
“What? Can’t dance? Don’t have rhythm?” He comes dancing towards her, shimmying his shoulders. Rolling her eyes, she bites her bottom lip to hide the smile when a stranger steps up to her.
“You wanna dance?”
“No thanks.” She chuckles, waving him off as Angel continues his antics.
“You got a man? I don’t see him.” The stranger barks, trying to sound cool when she grabs her phone and spins around on the barstool to avoid the weirdo.
“Babygirl, put that phone down let’s go.” Angel laughs, putting her phone into his pocket and dragging her to the dance floor. Bishop walks into the nightclub to find the younger crew and his eyes land on Reyes and his niece, Miel. They’d been going to a dance class together, as Bishop had insisted he pay for a dance class and made Angel go because he trusted him. Angel runs up to the DJ who nods to Angel’s hushed words. As he runs back, he grabs her arm and gives her that smile.
“You ready, baby?” He murmurs, calling her by her pet name. He loved to dote on her, make her feel loved and put on a pedestal. Giving him her sweetest smile, he places a knee between her own as their song starts. Rolling her eyes, she giggles and Angel just grins. They were about to show the whole club a Hispanic dance and he was a little nervous.
“Angel, what if I mess up?” She mutters against his neck, her fingers curled around the nape.
“You won’t.” He promises, nodding to her. His I hand pressed into the small of her back, they start to move, swaying back and forth, their hips rolling together and apart like waves in the ocean. He swings her out, twirling her back against him. Twirling her back out, she taps her toes and sways her hips, her eyes never leaving her partner. As Angel spins her back against him, her back to his front. They swing their hips together in a few low circles, Angel’s hand flat against her tummy as they roll. Once fully straightened, he swings her out, her arm swinging open and then he twirls her fast back against him. Her hand once again on the back of his neck as they roll their bodies together.
Bishop watches on, mad and mesmerized. He never thought Reyes would actually do the dance class, he figured he’d skip out.
Angel swings her once more, her toes tapping, her hips swinging, as he slides across the open space between them. One big hand covers her abdomen and the other runs along the curve of her body starting at her thigh and moving upward. Tingles chase his butterfly touch as she raises an arm to extend his path. Intertwining their fingers, Bishop watches as they somehow magically twirl into their beginning stance, his knee between her thighs, their hips rolling together sensually as the song comes to an end Angel gives her a dip and her curls flow behind her. Bishop can’t help but clap slowly. He didn’t really know how to feel. On one hand, the dance was beautiful. On the other hand, his niece was getting handsy with Angel Reyes. And he was the last person he wanted his little preciosa with.
Stalking forward, he grabs her hand and starts out of the club.
“Wait, Uncle Obi, what’s wrong?” She cries, pulling her hand from his tight grip.
“You and Reyes been practicing that dance a lot, pequeno?” He hisses, dragging her completely out of the club. She didn’t dare disrespect him in a public place but she was outraged.
“You made me go, and you made him go with me!” She groans, waving a hand to the sweet boy who had followed them outside.
“Okay, well. It’s over now. No more dance. No more Reyes. Go get on the bike.” He jabs a finger to the motorcycle at once.
“Hey, baby! Your phone!” He shouts, running to her. Gripping her in a quick hug he hands her the cell phone before Bishop grabs Angel’s kutte and tosses him away.
“Baby? Want to tell me what’s up with that?” Bishop nips, glaring at her.
“It’s just a nickname, Bish—“ The grown older man swings on his prospect, his fist connecting with his cheekbone with a sick crack and blood pulls to the surface.
“Jesus Uncle Obi! He didn’t do anything!”
”He spoke without being asked!”
“He was just explaining to you!”
“I asked you.” His voice was low and threatening, chewed through clenched jaw.
“I’m sorry. Angel, are you okay?” She whispers to him. He only nods as he gets up, wobbling inside. She climbs on the bike without another word.
Once they get to Bishop’s, she storms through the door and slams it in his face.
“Miel!” He yells, grabbing her door handle before she slams that too.
“What!” She screams back.
“Where did the nickname come from?” He asks calmly.
“Angel calls me that at school. Some guys were picking on me and Angel came up and called me baby to get ‘em away from me.” She snips, crossing her arms over her chest.
“I see, so it’s just a nickname then?” He asks, sitting on the end of her bed and spinning a ring around his finger.
“Yep. Angel could’ve told you that though. If you hadn’t fucking decked him.” She snarls, glaring at him sideways as she flops on the disc chair in the corner of the room. “You didn’t direct the question, by the way. He had every right to answer.”
“Yeah, I know. I’m sorry I suck at this uncle-dad thing.”
“It’s okay, uncle Obi. I know you’re trying. But you sent Angel with me, and we’re actually good friends. So what if we date? Would it be so bad? He got into a fist fight because a guy at school grabbed my butt.” She snorts, getting up and sitting next to her defeated and now quizzical uncle.
“Yep. He also hung some kid by his underwear on the flagpole when he snapped my thong.” She smiles, glancing at her uncle to find him smiling a little proudly.
“Really.” He shakes his head as he chuckles. “Reyes really do that for you?” He asks, looking up from twisting his ring.
“Si, he likes me, tio. And I like him. I just don’t want to tell him, ya know?” She asks as he pulls her into his side.
“Yeah, your dad would be so much better at this stuff. He could match make and give the best advice.” He smiles, ruffling her curls.
“Nah, you give the best advice, tio.” She giggles, hugging him and leaning them back to look at the painting Bishop paid Taza to do. He painted a beautiful sunset on her ceiling when she was a baby and she’d loved sunsets ever since.
“Thank you, Miel.” He chuckles, resting his arms behind his head.
“Do you think my dad would like Angel?” She asks as she mimics him, bumping his elbow with hers. He side eyes her as he raises a brow at her before looking back to the ceiling and taking a deep breath.
“Si.” He nods, sitting up and heading for the door. “Miel? Te amo, pequena.” He nods, shutting the door and heading to the living room for a beer and a moment to himself.
The next morning, Saturday morning, she heads to the yard early. Around seven-thirty to be exact. She had breakfast for Angel and Ez, ready to see Angel. Nerves suddenly wash over her as she hears Angel’s bike pull into the yard and shut off.
“Angel!” She cheers, rushing to greet him. His eyes scan the yard for Bishop before he greets her with a warm hug.
“He didn’t ream you too hard I hope.” He chuckles, sitting on the bench on the porch and snagging the bag from her hands and digging their sandwiches out. Her fingers dance over the bruise on his cheek. “It’s okay, baby.” He murmurs, patting her knee and handing her the warm sandwich.
“I’m sorry Angel.” She whispers, leaning on his shoulder.
“It’s okay. You okay?” He asks, patting her knee. Bishop creeps up, watching the two on the front porch. He watches on as Angel wraps one arm around her shoulders and hugs her before eating his sandwich. Every other second or so his eyes would flick to her and he’d smile so very slightly.
“Hey Angel?” Bishop calls and Angel looks up. Fear fills him, but he stays put right next to her, hip to hip. His hand reaches across her lap and rests on her knee and he gives Bishop a dark look. “Be gentle, yeah?” He asks with a chuckle before disappearing.
“You talked to him.” He chuckles, turning to face her and grabbing her face in his hands. Chuckling at the butter at the corner of her lips, he swipes it away with his thumb and leans close.
“I love you, baby.” She whispers, letting him kiss her.
“I love you too, thanks for talking to Bishop.” He smiles, gripping her in a warm hug against his chest.