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What is it to be in love truly? I mean sometimes we think we have it all figured out, like the butterflies in the pit of your stomach when you see that one person directing a beautiful smile towards you. That one person who you can run to when you are having a bad day. What that feeling should be called is "unknown" instead of "Love" because you honestly don't know the future state of your relationship or what the present feeling holds for you. I didn't know my high school sweetheart could leave such an emotional impact on me, I have yet to understand. I met Jason Echols in my sophomore year of South Valley High school in Las Vegas, Nevada he was every Cheerleaders dream guy and the city's golden boy with his short blonde hair, tall lanky frame, crystal blue eyes, chiseled face. I thought he was a good guy. I mean what did he see in a brace-faced, four-eyed, short and skinny me.? "Love at first sight" or "Meant to be" was the scenario I placed into my mind. When I turned eighteen, Jason and I got married, he was nineteen but of course, we needed the consent of his parents and my mother. His parents didn't see a reason why we shouldn't be married if we loved each other, my mother was a little more questionable; mom said I had my whole life ahead of me but after she saw how happy I was with him she agreed to the marriage. What the hell did I know I was young and stupid? We moved into our own home with the money of Jason's parents, Jason was born into money. Sad to say soon after we moved in our "dream" home I found out Jason was not the man I thought he was. We were only married for two years and five months. I was the one who ended it finally with an annulment granted in my favor.


"Kyla I'm so glad you came today, how are you", Laura, my therapist's sweet voice always comforted me because she was genuinely nice. There were times when I didn't want to talk to her because she took me back there, to that dark place. To the memory of that house of horror, where pieces of me were stolen. I only came to her because my mom suggested that it would do me some good, help with the pain. I moved back in with my mom, Tina, after I left Jason for good. I lost my two best friends Cassie and Melanie whom I met in middle school; because of his jealousy. I even stopped talking to my own mother. I wished my dad was still around to comfort me, he died on my second birthday and I don't remember how he even talks; honestly, I don't remember him at all but I'm thankful for the pictures and memories my mom shares with me. After the first beating, I swore I heard my dad talking to me in a dream, I had lost consciousness. I remember when the paramedics looked at me with such pity after I came too in the ambulance but I told them I deserved it, I provoked him. Jason convinced me that he was all I had and I believed everything. Honestly, no one can tell you how to feel or try to understand. Many people question why victims you stay and why not call for help, it's so easy to judge a home from the outside. Fear was my sanity in that situation. It was almost like an outer body experience, I felt sometimes I was floating. It's almost seven years and I can't get the replay to pause or delete.


"I'm good today but sometimes I shut down", I answered honestly. I looked around the office room disconnecting eye contact admiring Laura's pet Bird Igloo or was his name Iguru, he was ever so quiet today. She tells me his name every time I visited for sessions but I still forget his name but not on purpose.


"Are you still taking the antidepressants", I looked at her again. Why couldn't I be as pretty, sometimes I find myself thinking such thoughts? Laura had shoulder length blonde hair, brown eyes, a pointy nose, flawless milky skin, sometimes I wonder did she model back in her day. I never asked her though. She would know I was looking for a distraction to avoid going back to that dark place.


I smiled as I played with my fingers. "Of course I am. It's what keeps me in my happy place", I met her eyes again.


"I see. Are you communicating with your husband now?" she arched her eyebrow as she got more comfortable in her seat that sat across from the cozy couch I sat on. Her pantsuit never wrinkles I have to know her secret on her perfection.


My mind registered back to her question and I averted my eyes down to my clasped hands that sat in my lap. She softly sighed but I refused to meet her eyes again. She was referring to my now husband Miguel Santiago. I met Miguel at a restaurant I worked for temporally at the age of twenty-one, he was twenty-eight. He would come in every Friday night with an older man who I didn't know at the time was his father. He would order the same thing every time he came in; the steamed Vegetable noodles with Fried Sushi on the side along with black coffee no cream nor sugar. He ordered the same thing all the time so one day I assumed the usual, I knew it already.


"Thank you, sir, I'll have your order out to you as soon as possible", I said to Mario, Miguel's father.


"Wait aren't you going to take my order", his deep baritone voice asked me so calmly, his eyes were in such confusion he reminded me of a child who was told "no" for the first time. It was very comical.


"The steamed vegetable noodles with Fried Sushi along with a black coffee no sugar nor cream right?", I asked nervously my palms sweaty all of a sudden actually I was getting hot all of a sudden as in my black button down and pants were too much at the moment.


His Father gave a deep chuckle causing Miguel to give him a questionable glance. "Did I miss something", he looked from his father to Kyla.


Kyla places her small notepad on her chest and took a soft breath out. "Oh, I just thought you might want to order that always do", she was babbling and she knew it she just hoped he didn't notice.


"We come here every Friday, she is our waitress often. Maybe if you weren't going on and on about the business you could notice a pretty girl when she's in front of you Miguel", his father was joking with his son, chuckling the whole time. Kyla looked around the dimmed restaurant and blushed a deep shade of red at the comment. She hoped they didn't have an audience that wouldn't be good, she didn't need her co-workers seeking gossip. Kyla wondered what he did for a living, he was always in fancy suits or suit jackets along with dark denim jeans. That may be because of the upscale restaurant itself although his father often came dressed casually in denim jeans and a nice top.


Miguel looked at her again this time with a dimpled smile. "I apologize. Yes, I would love the usual. Thank you."


Kyla quickly picked up the two menus and went away quickly before she turned red as a tomato.


A smile came unto my lips at the memory that was hardly ever there. "I'm trying to communicate more with him, he knows I care about him", I said as I answered her question finally. I looked back into her eyes as she nodded slowly as in understanding.



"You're still putting a wall in between you two. You care about him but you haven't fallen in love with him completely because you're still allowing Jason to have that control over you. Kyla you can't allow him to do this to you", I let Laura's voice echo and linger until I just shut it off.


I smiled with my mouth closed. "I guess same time tomorrow right", I answered and she closed her eyes softly before nodding in agreement.


I got into the black tinted escapade quickly as soon as he pulled into a closer parking spot, smiling at Miguel as soon as I buckled my seatbelt. He waited until I was settled in my seat before pulling out of the parking lot of my therapist office. Our car rides were quite at times especially after my therapy sessions I guess because I blew up on Miguel one afternoon when he asked me if I was okay, it was his first time dropping me off. I had stopped taking my antidepressants a little after we got married hoping this new fresh marriage would somehow give me amnesia of the first one. Miguel and I were married for three years now well almost three years. We dated for a year and a few months. I was hesitant with everything about the dating world again just because I didn't know what to expect. One day Miguel and I got into a small argument when we were in his car it may have been something small, our first argument. I remember looking over at him and him giving me an angry look, I just burst out into tears trying to unlock the door to jump out of the car. That's how afraid I was at that moment I just knew a blow was coming soon, he was going to hit me. He pulled over trying to calm me down his voice no longer angry but concerned at how frightened I was. I must have cried in his arms for over an hour. He never questioned anything that night but I remember him giving me space I needed.


"Grocery store right?" he asked as we came to a stop at a red light. I turned my eyes away from the window only to be met with my husband's deep chocolate brown eyes, he was asking not telling. I sometimes felt bad to ask him for things still, even though I feel a little bit of alive with him. Instead of answering, I nodded with a quick "hmmph". I still felt his eyes on me, he's always staring when he thinks I don't notice.

Even in this August Summer heat I sometimes wear cardigans for that little warmth for cold places like grocery stores, they are always freezing. I quickly got a basket with Miguel right by my side, people often stared at us a lot. Probably wondering if I was of age considering my small size and height were as Miguel is tall bulky muscular build. Once an elderly woman told Miguel his daughter was so beautiful and someone even asked if I was a foreign exchange student because of my Japanese features neverminding my honey brown skin. I guess my bronze skin tone left them wondering. He quickly and politely took care of that. It honestly gets annoying and insulting which he can tell by my facial expressions.


"Hey, can you run to aisle three for me I forgot the ranch dressing and the Louisiana hot sauce", I turned to look up at my husband who was watching the surroundings as always, my protector.


Miguel looked into the basket then back at his beautiful wife. She looked beautiful as always, her face free of makeup and her long black hair pulled away from her face. Every time he looked at her she takes his breath away, it was as if he was staring at her for the first time. "You sure we need it", he asked calmly. He knew she was a ranch and hot sauce freak with her fries, popcorn, and chicken. When they were dating he often joked when they were dating that she had weird appetites due to her desire for tons of junk foods but he would keep everything overly stocked in his cabinets.


"Please. I'm almost done I just need tissue and paper towels", she gave him a smile now. He still gave her an unsure look before he glanced at their surroundings, there were only two people on the aisle.


Miguel nodded taking his hands out his jeans. "Please stay right here baby", he did not like leaving her out of his sight when they were out in public. He didn't trust anyone who came within a ten feet radius of her, they still lived in the suburbs of Las Vegas, Nevada.


Feeling slight impatient Kyla moved forward as Miguel left for the condiment aisle, she picked up a few spices, cake mix and saw no harm in moving over to the next aisle beside Miguel would find her eventually. Miguel didn't go grocery shopping just because sometimes he would buy things in the wrong size or things the wrong period. Miguel hurried with the two items making his way back to the aisle his beautiful wife waited patiently or so he thought. He almost flipped when he saw she was not waiting for him, he wasn't being cautious without reason hell that fucker Jason was still breathing so he was still a threat to Kyla. He almost called her cell until he met her as she turned the corner, the basket almost running into him.


"I decided to hurry and get these two out the way to speed up time", Kyla almost laughed at his expression, he was worried as always.


He placed the two items in the basket. "It's okay. I figured anyway", as long as she was safe that was all that mattered.


"Ready?" she asked after she looked over her basket.


"Yeah after you", he quickly glanced around the store before nodding.


Kayla had made spicy chicken Enchiladas and chocolate cake for dinner with the help of Mario, he talked her through the process of the enchiladas. She wanted to get the perfect homemade recipe Miguel was used to. She wasn't a chef in the kitchen preferring to eat out but it was important for a wife to feed her husband. Even if he said he loved every single meal she attempted to succeed, everything still had to be perfect. Which it was considering he ate the whole pan of extra enchiladas, such an appetite he had.


"That was amazing", Miguel had come over to the sink placing a glass cup in the dishwater. Kayla smiled up at him smirking when he stood behind her wrapping his arms around her waist embracing her from behind. She saw their reflection in the window that sat above the sink, in front of her. Miguel had to bend in order to snuggle his face in the crook of her neck which he kissed softly now.


"Hey mister I am doing my wifely duties right now, a clean house makes a happy wife", she giggled causing him to chuckle in her neck.


"A happy wife makes a happy husband", he always said sweet things like that to her.


She said nothing for a minute, looking out the window into their backyard. Miguel actually bought this house before they got married telling her that she would be his wife one day. She never thought about it honestly, the idea of marriage made her cringe. This house was two stories three bedrooms, four bathrooms, entertainment room, dining room, kitchen, and seating room. The house was such family home she fell in love with it right away, Miguel even allowed her to paint each color of the rooms, picked out the furniture and arrange it all how she liked.


"I love you", he kissed her temple as if he were savoring it.


She heard him but she just couldn't bring herself to say it out loud. "I know", she whispered as she let the dishwater go down the drain. She remembered when he first told her he loved her it was at a city fair, she was so happy she jumped up and kissed him. She went upstairs after all the dishes were clean and dried, Miguel stayed downstairs to check the windows, doors and set the alarm. A routine he felt was necessary for securing the feelings of Kyla. Just as she came out of the bathroom dressed in only her fluffy white towel that was wrapped around her small frame Miguel was taking off his shirt, he had such a sculpted naturally tanned body, showcasing those Aztec roots. His chest and his back were marked with inked tattoos mostly tribal tattoos and old meaningful tattoos.


Miguel cleared his throat. "Already showered?" he asked with clear lust in those eyes of his.


"Yeah, just finished", she watched as he headed to the bed to get to the bathroom, he never closed the door which she was okay with. She looked at their bedroom door to check if the door was locked which it was. Hearing the shower run Kyla dropped her towel heading to the walk-in closet they shared. She found a pair of cotton mini shorts and an oversized black tee to sleep in. Walking back into the bathroom to brush her teeth she got the backside of Miguel in the shower, almost choking on her toothpaste. The steam on the glass showers was teasing her, she couldn't get one clear glance of him in the shower, and she was acting like such a kid. Miguel was all man, not the lanky big bad coward, there she goes comparing the two. She didn't even remember when she and Miguel last had sex, when they were in the honeymoon stage they were at it constantly, but they were married for three years now so should it be spicier. Kyla quickly finished brushing her teeth and decided to remove her dry clothes, tiptoed to the shower door quietly opening the door. His back was still turned as the water came directly down on his chest. Their shower was so big at least five people could fit inside. She pressed her body to his back encircling her arms around his waist, hearing him exhale urged her to place a soft kiss on his back. Miguel turned around to look down at Kyla, cupping her face gently placing a kiss on her lips. "You are so damn beautiful", he made sure to look into her eyes. He sometimes just liked looking at her not having to say a word. Miguel was as different from Jason as night is to day, once Miguel had found out about the abuse she suffered in a previous marriage he saw red. He vowed that if he ever saw him he would kill him which is why Kyla was afraid if the two men would meet face to face. She didn't want to lose Miguel to prison or death.


"You're pretty amazing yourself Mr. Santiago. Aren't you going to wash my back", I turned around smiling at the daze held in his eyes. I can't believe he's still with me sometimes I know he's being careful with the things he says in hopes I won't melt down at him. That first argument two years ago was our last. Why did he love me so much?


She felt Miguel's big hand on her waist the other hand held a washcloth, moving over her back. It stopped once it reached the curve of her back, she heard his deep breathing but his hands continued on the upward path back to her shoulders. He never went further unless she agreed even though sometimes she wanted him to go there.


"Okay under the waterfall you go", he picked her up so her legs were wrapped around his waist, her back to the running water. He always was so delicate with her. Laughing as the warm water came on her back she titled her head back arching so the water would get on her face, of course, Miguel keeps a firm hold of her.


Miguel smiled watching his wife have fun with the water the best part of it all was to see her smile. "Baby careful I need your head attached", he joked as she tried to bend further. The sight of her small playful breast only a few licks away was unbearable to watch, he would not make intimate advantages unless she was okay with it. People would probably question that but they didn't know she was abused at such an early point of adulthood, he was just really protective of her feelings. She, of course, had to take medication to deal with the inner thoughts, the pain, and the memories. Jason Echols was a dead man walking if you'd ask Miguel. What kind of man could beat something so beautiful? And seeing how young they both were was baffling to Miguel. In his opinion, that's just as worse because he would continue to do that with the next woman to come. Miguel always thought Jason must have had some sort of lookout guardian Angel for them not to have crossed paths in this city. Miguel even tried asking around but got nothing, he even had altercations with the many people who were convinced his wife was a lunatic. Asshole had convinced people around that Kyla was mentally unstable, guess Daddy's money did it all for his little" Prince-Sass". Miguel had money but wasn't born into it. He has a past life before becoming a "regular guy", but that was long ago. When Kyla would ask about his life growing up he promised her that was only the past.


Kyla stared into his eyes, as he smirked obviously enjoying the view, considering the bold step she had on her mind; so she went for it. She locked her hands around his neck, locked her legs around his waist so that he could understand how much she wanted him right now. Feeling his hardened length on her backside caused her to lick her lips and leaning forward to kiss him. The kiss was hesitant on his part until she bit and sucked his bottom lip. The water was still running, hotter now, as Miguel held her back up on the nearest wall. His kisses were so hungry traveling on her throat, her face and her lips again.


"Bed now", she mumbled before he captured her lips again. Miguel carefully exited the shower and gently placed her own their King sized, his kisses traveling down the valley of her breast to her belly. He always placed tender kisses there as insinuating that he wanted a baby, they never talked about having children. It wasn't that she didn't want to be a mother, it's just such a huge commitment.


"You're so beautiful", he whispered before spreading her thighs. The first lick was always so slow and toes curling. He took his time always as if he were enjoying himself. She closed her eyes as her hands searched his head, massaging it. He was groaning at the acceptance of her opening more to him, he always took his time with this passion. She didn't remember closing her eyes dozing off after two releases, she felt him kissing her eyelids eventually waking her. Her hair was still damp and the spot of the bed was wet so obviously not long. Only Miguel could bring on her peaceful sleep, everything about him was sensual.


Smiling at his adoring facial expression he gave her fills her heart with warmth. "I like the scuff", she placed her hand on his cheek. Miguel had grown his facial hair which at first she hated but now it was starting to grow on her.


Kissing her hand he answered. "It leaves tomorrow"


Looking down at their bodies she noticed he was still at attention. "I guess we better have fun with it then", she gave him a peck on the lips as her free hand grabbed a hold of his thick length guiding it towards her warm center.


Kyla woke to the smell of Cinnamon pancakes, bacon and other mouthwatering aromas that made her stomach roar in approval. Miguel was an excellent cook which one of his hidden talents that he revealed unexpectedly to her. On one of their many dates they had a game night at his condo at the time, she introduced him to the Gold Fish card game. They actually talked about a lot that night, Miguel actually opened up about his mother, Catalina, who passed away when he was ten years old. That was something they had in common, two deceased parents. The bedroom curtains were open thank God, unlike most people who disliked a little sunlight in the mornings, the Sun actually soothe her in the morning. She got out of bed going into the closet in search for some comfy clothes to join her man downstairs.


"Yeah, she's sleeping right now. You can still join us I know she'd love that", she heard Miguel clearly on the phone with someone with his back turned, focused on the stove. She tiptoes into the kitchen as if trying not to disturb him but bumped into the scale that sat beside the fridge. Crying out as her toe collided with the glass scale Miguel quickly turned around.


"I'm sorry I was trying not to disturb you", she was jumping around on one leg cradling her toe.


Miguel was in front of her in a heartbeat phone still in hand. "Tina we'll see you soon. Yeah she just stumped her toe, clumsy she is", he chuckled as he rushed Tina off the phone.


"Its fine see I can walk, it's just a toe", Kyla said walking around Miguel who was right behind her on her heels.


"Baby let me take a look"


"I said I was fucking fine Miguel!" Kyla's outburst halted his reach for her. She didn't mean to sound like a bitch but it was just her being clumsy. His eyebrows rose as a look of shock came to his face, so maybe today isn't her day.


Miguel cleared his throat grabbing two glass plates filled with sausage, egg, pancakes and even fruit on the side; he placed the plate on the bar counter. "Breakfast is ready", his voice was deeper with a hint of frustration.

She wanted to apologize to him, kiss him a little harder maybe she would. She watched his fast-paced agitated movement to the fridge and back to the counter. He grabbed two glasses and filled each with orange juice, handling her a full glass.


"Thank you. So everything looks good and smells good", she took a seat on the bar stool looking down at her mouthwatering food. Miguel watched her cut her pancakes eagerly stuffing a fork full in her mouth. She told him when they were dating that Cinnamon pancakes were a favorite of hers as a child even telling him he was almost better than her mother's.


As if on Qu the doorbell rang, that might be her mother right now. Miguel went to open the door, instead of expecting to hear the voice of her mother she heard a voice that slowed down the beating of her heart.


"Excuse me can I help you", Miguel was being so defensive, which was often for new voices.


"I'm sorry I was looking for someone, Kyla Santiago. Does she live here?" her voice was still the same. Kayla looked back at towards the door from her seat but could only see part of Miguel's large frame blocking the woman on the other side.


"I'm her husband, who are you", Miguel was looking at the woman expecting an ambush.


Kayla tiptoe to the front door opening it wider so she could be visible to the other person on the other side. She felt Miguel trying to place her behind him but she would not allow it. She didn't know how to feel once she saw her face, she finally released a breath she had held in.


"Mrs. Echols what are you doing here. How did you know where I live", Kyla was surprised at her own tone, stronger than Janice Echols remembered she was sure. The last conversation the two had was years ago in the courtroom, she remembered Mrs.Echols said something about her breaking her son's heart. She'd known that it was the other way around.


"Mrs.Echols I'm going to have to ask you to remove yourself from my property", Miguel was blocking Kyla from view now.


"I have nothing to discuss with you, only Kyla", Janice looked Miguel up and down clearly unbothered by Miguel's threatening tone. Kyla couldn't believe that Janice had the nerve to show up as if nothing had ever happened as if Jason hadn't put her through hell. This woman was no saint either she was a Devil in Prada with her blonde hair pulled back from her injected face into a tight ponytail, she wore Red lipstick matching her red button down. Her crisp white pantsuit was free of any damage just as her perfect face.


"It's okay I'll be fine", Kyla turned to look at Miguel who was second guessing leaving her alone with this woman. He kissed her on her forehead and told her to just yell at him even if he would be in the kitchen.


Janice twisted smile appeared on her plastic face. Kyla couldn't believe that she wanted to be like her back then, she couldn't believe she wanted her life. "Just a moment is all I ask, how are you", Janice voice could have fooled her, no it did fool her once.


"Mrs.Echols with all due respect you don't care exactly how I feel let's just please stop pretending now", this backbone she now gained, she wished she had it back then.


"Kyla you must have misunderstood, you were once my daughter in law. I cared for you very much", she was such an actress.


"If you cared about me you would have helped me instead you assured me I was a bad wife, a bad person", she had to keep her voice down, she didn't want her neighbors to overhear and come to investigate. Especially the older couple next door.


"Kyla let's not pretend that you were the victim, my son loved you and you left him all alone. He needed you and you walked away with your tail tucked between your ass", Janice's words were menacing.


"How did you even find out where I live. I have a restraining order against your son", Kyla was curious but she bet she had a pretty good idea.


Janice chuckled softly. "I am not my son Kyla and besides I think you know how I got a hold of your address. Did you forget my husband is Sheriff, there's a lot I could find out about you if I wanted? I just simply wanted to talk to you and catch up", her tone was chirpy and fake.


Kyla tucked her hair behind her ears then pulled her cardigan closer, she had a feeling Lewis Echols had something to do with this. He bends to Janice's every need to make her happy. "Mrs.Echols you have to understand that I have left the past in the past and talking to you brings up feelings I'm not ready to dig up yet"


Janice smirked and switched her designer bag to her other arm. "Oh dear so am I which is why I personally wanted to invite you to a party I am throwing. To letting the past remain there"


Kyla was about to answer when she saw her mother's Toyota Camry hybrid pull up in her driveway. Judging by how quickly her mother exited the car, Kyla knew these two would have words. Her mother was very protective, especially after what the Echols did to her daughter.


Janice turned to smile at the familiar face. "Tina, you look stunning as usual"


"Kyla I'll handle this go inside", Tina's face made no room to argue.


"Breakfast will be waiting", Tina watched her daughter go inside before turning the focus back to Janice.


"Tina darling I think we can say we're friends you and I don't you think so", Janice smirked, her perfectly arched eyebrows rising.


"Not even close"


Janice took a step closer to Tina. "Well we should be after all you were screwing my husband"


"Seriously that was years ago, Janice these false assumptions are a little insulting and seems like you aren't doing your wifely duties. Besides, you and that son of yours will pay for what you did to my daughter, it's been seven years. Why now show up?" Tina was on the verge of handling things her old ways a past she kept from her daughter.


"I'm having a party please do come with your lovely family I wouldn't want you to miss it, ciao", with that Janice turned on her heels heading to her car.


Tina waited until the sight of Janice's car was long gone before going to her daughter's home, she would have to talk with Lewis about his wife. Yeah, she and Lewis were having an affair but that ended two years ago. Lewis Echols was her true love from high school and Janice knew how they felt about one another before she said yes to marriage. Janice and Tina were once best friends long ago. She didn't want her daughter to go through the same heartbreak she did but nothing prepared them for Jason, he was every inch like his mother. He was Evil.


"So what was that about", Miguel asked his wife and Tina, Kyla looked at her mother searching for an answer.



"I will handle that.", that was all Tina said after fixing her a plate of breakfast, ignoring the curious gaze of Kyla.

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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.