PUMPS makes Latina Book Club's best list of 2013!! Read the review, here!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Young G-Love

A young girl named Jessica was sitting in a park with her boyfriend.  She was a very pretty girl with long straight black hair, just like that of her mom, and her grandma before her.  She was only fifteen, and she was ditching school.  She didn’t care.  School was a waste of time for her, because at the center of her universe was her boyfriend, Chapo.  That was what they called him anyways.  He had a real name.

They sat on a table and bench in an empty park in their south Los Angeles neighborhood.  Off in the distance, there were some moms out with their kids, playing in the sandy playground.  Chapo sat on the table, drawing on Jessica’s backpack while she was wearing it, sitting on the bench below him.  He wouldn’t tell her what he was drawing.

He was seventeen years old, and had been going out with Jessica for six months.  He looked like a typical LA Latino gang member.  He had a closely-shaved head, a few tattoos, and he wore a football jersey.  He wasn’t an actual gang member, as in “jumped in” and sworn to one for life, but he also was no saint.  He was a tough kid, but only because he had to be, due to his older brother.  His older brother was a gangbanger, and at twenty-two years old, had already been in and out of jail a bunch of times.  He had always put pressure on Chapo to be down and “man up”.  Chapo went along with it, eagerly at first, but he really didn’t have his heart set on living that kind of life forever.  He was lost in between two worlds.

Despite his image and self-doubt, he was really a nice guy with a caring heart.  He had sparkling eyes, a great smile, and kind demeanor.  Most importantly, he cared a lot for Jessica and treated her like a princess.  They were starting to really love each other.  They dreamed together of some possible future together, far away from LA.  He understood everything about her heart and soul, and he knew her deepest thoughts and wishes.  He could read her thoughts better than he knew his own.  He was there for her, always and unconditionally, giving her everything she needed.

“What are you drawing?” she asked him.

“Nothing.  I’m writing something,” he answered back softly, as he focused on his work.

Jessie watched a mom with her son off in the distance.  The mom smiled as she pushed him gently on a swing.  “Do you think I’m gonna to be a good mom someday?”

“What?” Chapo sang out in his reply.  He was surprised, but he kept his concentration on what he was drawing.  “I don’t know.  I never thought about it.  I guess so.  You are nice, you are so pretty…”

“What does that have to do with being a good mom?” she asked, playfully annoyed.

He chuckled, this time looking up towards the park.  He noticed Jessie watching the mom across the park, and then he knew why she was asking.  “Well for one thing, nobody wants to have an ugly mom…” he joked again.

“You stupid!” she yelled back, elbowing him in the shin.

He chuckled again.  “Alright!  Alright!  Of course I think you will be a good mom.”


“Because,” he became serious, because he loved her and wanted to give her the answer she deserved.  He wanted to tell her what he really thought, to put her mind at east.  “You have such a big heart and you will love them a lot.  And that’s all children need, parents that love them a lot.”

“Yeah?  You really think I have a big heart?”

“Oh I know you have a big heart,” he replied smiling.  He went back to drawing.  “That’s not the only thing big…” he uttered under his breath.  She elbowed him again immediately.  “Ouch!” he replied, laughing.  “I’m just joking, baby girl!”

“You know, I‘m worried about you,” she said to him in a serious voice.

“I worry about you too,” he replied.

“Oh yeah?  Why are you worried about me?”

“Seriously?  I’m not.  But I sort of worry about you, with school and your family and stuff.  And I get jealous of the other boys at school that like you.”  

“Uh, whatever,” she sang out in reply.  “You know I don’t care about anybody but you.  I’m being serious.  I am worried about you.  Angel and his friends want to get you…”

“Meh!”  Chapo replied with a nonchalant smile, concentrating on his work.  “Don’t worry about that, baby.  Those fools ain’t gonna do shit.  Besides, me and Marcos are ready for them.  If they ever wanna try something, we’ll just blast em’.  I don’t want you to worry about me ok?”

Jessie remained quiet, fearful that things could get deadly serious.  Some fools from the nearby neighborhood had already promised to blast him, for no real reason other than his association with his brother’s gang.  

Chapo tried to change the subject, “what about you and your mom?  Has she tried to talk to you lately?”  Jessie had her own problems.  Neglected by her mother and unaware of any father, she felt sorry for herself.  Although she didn’t quite understand it, she was carrying anger and resentment inside.

“No.  Hell no.  I still haven’t seen her since that one day a few weeks ago.”  Feeling bad for her, Chapo put his pen down beside him, and sat down next to her on the bench.  He looked into her beautiful eyes and hugged her tightly.  He gently kissed the tip of her nose.  She leaned into him, letting his comforting hug soothe her pain.  Jessie had her grandma and grandpa, both of whom loved her and cared for her.  They didn’t, however, understand her.  Chapo was the only person in her life that made her feel comfortable, loved, and understood.

“I love you baby doll.  You don’t need her.  You have me,” Chapo whispered into her ear, kissing her cheek.

“Do you promise?” she asked him.

“Yes I promise.  You have me forever,” he replied staring deeply into her eyes.  She knew he meant it.  She knew he was so in love and down for her that he would die for her.  She smiled and took off her backpack.  She looked at what he had been writing.  It read, “Jessie” heart “Chapo 4-Ever”.  She smiled at him.

They wasted anther hour at the park before they started getting hungry and decided to leave.  Jessie stuffed the feelings she had about the world outside of her and Chapo, back deep inside of her.  The volatile mix of stunning beauty, neglect, and self-pity, culminated together in the creation a rebellious teen that sought to seek the emotional attention she needed elsewhere.  Only God and time knew her future.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

SeX-Ray Vision

“The word is that you had a hand in personally taking down the LA Ninja.  That must feel like an exceptional accomplishment in comparison to most other cases in your career.”  The reporter from Los Angeles magazine exuded confidence, Detective Ryan Carter noted.  He had already made it clear that he wanted her.  He believed in direct innuendo, a phrase he’d coined years before that described the tactfully direct, but unspoken way of approaching a woman he was interested in.  He had a way of pulling off confidence and arrogance in a disarming way, and he knew it.  As much as power was an aphrodisiac, so was the underlying sensitivity that subtly signaled his skillfulness at being deeply intimate.  His gold hair, blue eyes and tanned LA skin helped too.  Altogether, he felt he had a power; a “sexth sense”, a vision of sorts, in the ability to peer directly into the heart of a woman and see what she really wanted.  He called it, sex-ray vision.

He’d been sneaking peeks of the hot reporter’s legs all afternoon.  It was unavoidable.  She was in a skirt, sitting across from him with her tanned, smooth legs crossed, shimmering like an oasis in a desert.  She was Latina too, and unmarried he figured since reporters had no reason to hide a wedding ring like a news anchor would.  She also had no visible tan line on her finger where one would be.  He’d get to those important details soon enough. 

He sipped from his pinot grigio before speaking.  “Well,” he said.  “Officially, the LAPD’s position is that I had direct involvement in the capture of the LA Ninja.  But the truth is…” he paused.  What was the truth, he wondered?  He decided to stay politically correct.  “The truth is that I was one of many in a team that worked together to bring him down.  Most notably, my partner, Detective Sergio Munoz, played a big part in it all.”

“People want to know how it is that a man of such unique and ancient skills like the ninja, could be so effective as he was at not only carrying on his crime spree, but also in evading police.  What is your take on that?” she asked.  She was all business, but she was smiling more as each moment passed.  He was even more into her now.  There was something so appealing about a woman that could balance out business and pleasure and maintain her professional composure when needed.  It seemed effortless for her, he noted.

“Well…Miss, is it?” he pushed.

“Yes,” she smiled, just a bit.  That was her sign back, ever so subtle.  He smiled and gazed into her eyes, holding it as his sign to her that he was into her too.  Game on, he thought to himself. 

“Yes, Miss Torres,” he said finally.  Back to business, he thought.  He knew he was purposeful, but he could also be professional too.  He was not just all dog all the time.  “You know I’ve thought a lot about that over the years that we were on the case of the LA Ninja.  Munoz used to…”

“Your partner,” she interjected.

“Right.  He used to say that any jagov with a penis could make a baby, but it takes a real man to raise a child.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

Carter laughed.  “Munoz always said things that didn’t make any sense.”


“Sorry, I was just trying to be funny,” he replied.  She didn’t laugh.  “Well I guess what I’m saying is that in today’s society, a person with the skills of an ancient warrior like a ninja, or samurai, or even a knight for that matter, could be very effective.”  She relaxed a bit more, content that he could get back on point.  Carter felt a bit more challenged that she was going to hold a serious line through the interview.  “I think that skillset just enhances the abilities that one possesses to begin with.”

“For example,” he went on.  “I’m a detective right?  And I have a gun and training on how to solve crimes using a lot of tools such as physical, forensic evidence, and the ability to read people and build psychological profiles.  However, if I added the tool of how to cloak myself, and how to use projectiles, fashion weapons, and use my hands to be a lethal weapon, I’d be far more efficient and powerful.  I think a good scenario is one where the gangs that terrorize our community not only had guns, as they do today, but were also capable of espionage and skilled martial arts ability.  How crazy would that be?”

She smiled.  “Yes, that is a terrible scenario to imagine.”

He laughed too and sipped from his wine.  “Anyways, that would never happen.  The gangsters are too stupid and drug addicted to ever summon the discipline to study such things.”

“That’s a jaded perspective.  Is that a result of the job?”

“I guess so.  If you’ve locked up as many idiots as I have, it tends to be depressing.  I would have to say, in that sense, chasing the LA Ninja was somewhat refreshing.”

“Please do expand on that, if you would?”

“Well, let’s face it.  We are talking about a guy that was only guilty of one thing; and that’s taking out assholes.  He never went after any cops or any of the good citizens of LA!”  Carter raised his voice.

She pressed him.  “It was reported that he was responsible for the murder of several gang members as well innocent youths in LA.”

“Ha!” Carter exclaimed.  He finished his glass of wine and regained his calm composure by thinking of her legs again.  He told himself to stay on point.  “Miss Torres, I am well aware of what the LAPD has reported out about the LA Ninja.  The truth is, we’d have to go way off the record if I were to tell you the real story.”

“On the record, are you just saying that he was a vigilante?”

“On the record, I’m saying that the LAPD has made the streets safer by capturing the LA Ninja.  I think that the notoriety that has come with it is something I try to keep subdued so that it does not become a distraction for me in conducting my job.”

“That’s great,” she said with a smile.  “I will use that.  I can see that you feel very passionate about this case.  I can see that you have a lot more to say, and I’m guessing that I can’t go on the record with any of it.”

Carter poured another glass of wine and sat back in his oversized chair.  “Sorry,” he said, simply, as he sipped. 

“Well,” she said, pushing a button on her digital recorder and putting down her notepad.  “I’d really like to hear more.  Maybe you could take me to dinner and tell me all about it?”

Carter smiled.  Hell yeah that would work, he thought.  “Yeah,” he said loosening his grin.  “I think we can do that.”

As they readied themselves to go out to dinner and whatever else, there was something that Carter had not been aware of.  The reporter had her own secret that was way off the record.  She already knew who Carter was, and she was in search of Detective Munoz and the real LA Ninja, because she too, was a ninja.  Carter was in for a long night of sodium pentothal soup with a nightcap of torture.  And who knows, Angelica Torres thought to herself, maybe she’d let his sexy ass pickle her peaches?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Parking Lot Cheaters

Thomas sat in his car.  He was early, and the cool night air crept through the windows, buzzing his ears constantly.  He was too nervous to think to roll up the windows though.  His eyes darted around constantly.  He calculated possible questions and answers for his reason to be at this particular shopping market across town, far away from where he worked, played, and lived.

What if she asks me why I’m here?  “I came to this store because my friend from work told me they have a special fish that I’ve been looking for.”  What if she asks me what fish?  Shit, that won’t do.  I don’t know anything about fish.  Neither does she, I can bullshit her.  But what if she pulls my card and makes me go in the store with her to show her what fish?  Shit.  Think of something else.  What am I thinking?  She trusts me.  She thinks I’m at the gym.  I am way across town.  She would never show up here.  Relax, breath.

Thomas took a deep breath, but he felt nervous, just the same.  He knew he was fucking up.  He shouldn’t be there and his thoughts were a mess.  He thought about Amber.  He pictured her, looking at him seductively, the way she always did.  He pictured her smiling eyes and he grunted.  He wanted to taste her.  She was so hot for him.  He would be kissing her sweet lips and running his hand over her body in minutes.  He tried not to get hard.

He looked at himself in the rearview mirror.  It was already pointed at him.  He ran his fingers around his mouth, clearing any moisture, and then he looked at his teeth.  His breath was fresh.  He was satisfied.  He looked at the rose on the seat.  He glanced at the time.  6:45.  Amber would be there soon.

He thought about what he was doing there again.  There was no chance of getting caught by his wife.  He felt bad about it, guilty.  He wished that he could tell her about it and that she would be ok with it.  He wished that he could just have girlfriends on the side and not have to hide it.  He could not say no to Amber.  She was hot, and she wanted him.  There was nothing he could do about it, except be with her.  He wondered when he would finally get to fuck her.  She said soon.  She said…just then, he spotted Amber’s car.

He watched the silver Honda maneuver and then pull up to next to his.  He found her face with his eyes and then they shared a look.  They smiled at each other as she put it in park.  His nervousness floated away without notice.  He made his way over to her side of the car as she made her way out.  He was nervous again.

“Hi,” he said.  She was still fumbling to get out of the car.

“Oh my god, it’s so hard to get of my car sometimes,” she said and then laughed. 

“I know!” he agreed, almost unconsciously, with a laugh.  They were finally face to face.  She smiled at him. 

“Hey,” she said.  He was glad to finally have her full attention.

“Hey,” he answered.  “I’m glad you made it.  I missed you.”

She let out a chuckle.  “You missed me only after a few hours?”  She smiled, teasingly.  He smiled back.  She was so hot.  He moved closer to her and put his hands on her thin waist.  He pulled her in, and her scent blasted him and filled him with lust.

“Yeah, I missed you,” he whispered.  “You drive me crazy.  You’re all I ever think about,” he said, and then he kissed her.  He leaned into her and he felt her body brushing against him.  He slowly moved his hands along her waist to her lower back, and then he moved his right hand over her tight ass.  He hardened instantly as they continued to taste each other.  He was in bliss, and then they pulled apart, moments later.

“I can’t wait until we can really be together,” he said.  He wanted to know when they would finally fuck.

“Well, you could have come by last weekend when I asked you to,” she said.  There was no way he could have done that, she knew.  He knew that she was poking at him, displeased that he would not leave his wife on a Saturday to see her. 

“You know I couldn’t do that, Amber,” he said, pleading for her to understand. 

“Couldn’t?  Or wouldn’t?” she asked.  She dropped her smile, subtly inching back from him.  “Is she more important than me?  Why does she get your weekends?  Am I just your weekday thing?”

“No, no,” he pleaded, pulling her closer again.  “Are you crazy?  I am so crazy for you.  I can’t stand her.  We haven’t touched each other in months.  She doesn’t love me, and she…look, it’s just not that easy.  I promise, soon, maybe this weekend I can swing by your place.”

“Really?” she asked, smiling again.  “What will you tell her?”

“I will tell her I’m going out on guys night, and I will take you to dinner and then we can go to your place and we can,”

“We can what?” she cut him off.  “You wanna make love to me?” she teased.  She grabbed his crotch.  “You wanna fuck me?” she teased again, narrowing her eyes seductively.

“Yeah, baby,” he whispered.  “Why do we have to wait?” he begged.  “Can we go to your place right now?” he begged.

“No,” she laughed, rubbing his crotch, still, softly with one finger.

“Please, we don’t even have to do it all the way.  Maybe you can just use your hands or suck it a bit,” he begged.

“No,” she said, pulling her hand back.  “You have to be a good boy and wait.  You can wait, can’t you?”  He sighed like a baby and pulled back from her.

“If I have to,” he added, giving up his fight.  He could hardly stand her teasing.  He desperately needed her. 

“Is that your phone buzzing?” she asked.  Damn, he thought.  He turned and looked at his passenger seat.  He knew it was Cynthia, his wife.  He saw the rose, though, and opened the door to get it.  “Is that her?  Do you have to run home to her now?  I wish you’d run to get your phone every time I call you.”

“No, it’s not her,” he lied, turning off the ringer while he got the rose.  He gave the flower to her.

“Awe,” she whined.  “Thank you, baby,” she said, bringing the rose to her nose.  He glanced around the parking lot.  People had been coming and going into and out of the supermarket.  He hadn’t been paying attention, but he assumed that nobody had noticed him.  She leaned in to kiss him again.

“Do you like the rose?” he asked.

“Yes, they’re my favorite,” she smiled.  She put her arms around him.  “Your wife doesn’t notice when you go home smelling of me?”

“No,” he said.  “She never gets close enough to notice,” he lied.  He would have to change clothes and wash the crap out of his hands, if she only knew. 

“Does she have big tits like mine?” she asked, putting his hand on her voluptuous breast.

“No,” he lied.  His wife was at least the same size.

“Does she blow you good?” she asked.

“No,” he said.  “She doesn’t blow me at all,” he added, telling the truth this time.

“Well, you just wait then, baby.”  She ran her finger down his chest.  “I will blow you better than she ever has.  You won’t ever wanna go back to her,” she added.  He grunted slightly.  “Thomas?”

“Yeah, mija?”

“Do you love me?”

Friday, January 25, 2013

Carlos Meets Alexis

“Another Belvedere and tonic, ma’am?”

“Ma’am?”  Alexis seethed, drunkenly.  “Do I look old enough to be a ma’am?  How about not ruining my day and call me miss, ok?”  The surprised bartender froze in silence, unsure of whether or not the young, beautiful Latina whom he’d been serving drinks to all afternoon, was joking. 

“I am truly sorry, miss,” he uttered apologetically.  It was only his first week there, and he hadn’t caught a break yet.  “I didn’t…” Alexis abruptly cut him off.

“Never mind and just keep the drinks coming,” she scoffed coldly.  She could feel the eyes of the few other patrons on her, but she didn’t care.  The bartender had been out of line, and that was a fact, she thought.  Alexis felt drunker.  The Xanax was charging through her as well, pulling her into a spinning state of confusion.  She tried to keep it together. 

She refocused her eyes onto her computer screen as a new email popped into her inbox.  She was watching a conversation between Violetta and Juan Carlos.  She was hoping that they would figure things out with the shoe designs and get on the same page, but she felt that she would have to intervene soon. 

“Your drink, miss,” the bartender politely said as he placed her drink down.  He smiled, but did not make full eye contact.  She felt bad for snapping at him, but then shrugged it off.  Too late now.  She promised to leave him a good tip for putting up with her.  She sipped from her drink and took a piece of ice into her mouth. 

Alexis hated plane delays.  If it weren’t for the American Airlines first class lounge she would have gone back to the office hours ago.  She felt herself sobering up slightly.  ‘Mind over matter’ she repeated to herself.  She looked behind her into the lounge.  There were only a few other patrons, all of them minding their own business.  She couldn’t wait to get on the plane.  She turned back towards the bar and looked at the clock.  She still had two hours to kill.  That was going to get her to New York by five in the morning, New York time.  She sighed.  She heard the chime of a new message coming in and her eyes snapped to her laptop.

Violetta was out of control.  Alexis’ temper flared just then as she read the words from her overly dramatic, super high-maintenance, but all important client.  Alexis hit the ‘reply to all’ button and took a deep breath.  She typed out her email with a fury.


JC cannot make the requested changes that you desire, as he’s already stated.  We simply cannot make the glass bows stick to the leather material of the shoe without majorly altering the design. Our factories assure us that we can get the same look and style by using the acrylic bows, and we can save 6$USD per unit that way. We are wasting a lot of time going back and forth over this. We cannot risk missing the shipment dates. Are you on board with this? Yes or No.


Alexis sat back, pleased with herself.  She reached for her drink and noticed a man sitting a few seats over from her.  She hadn’t noticed him walk up.  She looked at him and he stared at her with a friendly smile.  He was Latino, and he looked very tall.  He had a handsome, but masculine face, with a strong jawline and kind eyes.  He already had a drink.  She couldn’t believe that she’d spaced out so bad. 

She turned back to her email, but she couldn’t focus.  She sent it anyways and then opened a web browser to check her personal email.  She thought about the strange Latino though.  She’d seen Latinos in the first class lounges and had even heard conversations in Spanish, but he seemed very different, but not like he didn’t belong. 

Alexis clicked through the pages to get to her inbox, but all the while she thought of this tall, dark, handsome man.  She had no new email, which was no surprise to her.  She wondered if the Latino was a banker or lawyer.  Alexis thought of the stranger again, and she let out a subtle chuckle under her breath.  ‘Yuck, I hate Latino men,’ she thought to herself.  ‘Why am I obsessing?  Am I drunk?’  She reached for her drink.  It was half done.

“Can I buy you another?” the Latino asked in a deep, smooth, tone.  Alexis peeked at him from the side with a sarcastic look.  He then laughed at himself.  “Sorry, I’m seriously not trying to pick you up.  I’m just here killing time, and I…never mind.  I’m sorry to have interrupted you.”

Alexis chuckled slightly.  How pathetic, she thought.  “Sure, it’s your money,” she blurted out.  She immediately regretted saying that, but agreed to go with it.  The stranger laughed again, clearly embarrassed, and ordered another drink and a refill for Alexis.  Alexis got a better look at him and determined that he was cuter than she first thought, probably in his early thirties, and from his clean cut look and expensive suit, definitely a professional. 

“I’m Carlos, by the way.  It’s nice to be here with you.”

“Thanks.  And, thanks for the drink,” she answered.  She checked her iPhone just then.  It was important for her to let him know that he wasn’t shit to her, because he wasn’t.  She was aware of her own disposition.  She was aware that she was a beautiful Latina that made her own six-figure income and dated global men of power and prestige.  She was well aware of her effect on men, and it had been shaping her personality for years. 

“Yeah, of course.  Anytime,” he said politely.  He checked his phone as well.  “I’m on my way to New York.  For a conference.  It’s been a while since I’ve been there, so I’m kinda looking forward to it.  How about you?”

“I’m on my way to Paris,” Alexis replied without looking up.  The bartender brought her drink over without saying a word.  She cut her eyes at him.  She couldn’t help feeling anger towards him.  She knew it was for no particularly good reason, but she couldn’t help feeling that way.  He had just rubbed her the wrong way, and now the feeling just stuck, and got worse, even, with the alcohol.

Carlos took a sip.  “Paris?  Wow, that’s amazing.  I’ve always wanted to go there, well, really, my wife’s always wanted to go, but it seems cool.”  Alexis’ eyes darted to Carlos’ hand and she spotted the wedding band.  She regretted that she hadn’t caught it sooner.  She had been trying to train herself to look for the ring right away when meeting a guy, but it was not yet happening.  Not like it mattered, she thought.

“Are you a model or something?” he asked before taking another sip of his drink.

“Are you fucking joking me?” she sassed rudely.  He spit part of his drink up as he laughed.

He looked at her, wondering if she was serious.  “Are you being serious?” he asked.  “I’m sorry if I offended you.  You are smoking hot, and you are flying first class, I just thought you might be.  I mean, you for sure could be.”

She eased a smiled.  “Thanks.  But no.  I’m not a model.”  She could see the bartender peering up at Carlos, obviously eavesdropping.  It annoyed her.  She decided to be nicer to Carlos, just to annoy the bartender.  “I’m going to Paris because I work in the footwear industry.  I travel a lot to keep the products running on time and to design.”

“Wow, “ Carlos replied.  “Beautiful and smart.  That sounds like interesting work.  You go to a lot of fashion shows and stuff like that?”

Alexis grinned slightly.  “Yeah.  I go to all the major shows.”

“That sounds exciting.  Do you know famous people?” he asked.  Alexis chuckled again and sipped her drink.  She unconsciously flashed her gorgeous smile and momentarily became carried away with her own flattery.  Carlos stared back at her in awe.  She didn’t answer him.

“Tell me, Carlos.  Does your wife mind you buying women drinks and telling them that they’re beautiful and smart?”  She smirked at him and then a serious look came over him.  He suddenly became a lot more tense and then he stared at his drink pensively.

“Yeah.  I’m pretty sure she’d mind if she knew,” he finally answered.  He downed the rest of his drink and signaled for the bartender.  “Two more,” he said quickly.  He turned to face Alexis.  She watched him curiously, wondering what load of bullshit he would toss out.  She wondered if it be, ‘we’re getting a divorce’ or ‘she’s cheating on me’ or possibly, ‘she’s dead’, which was one she’d actually heard before.

“You know…I really love her.  Or used to anyways,” he went on.  Alexis rolled her eyes slightly.  “Things have been changing lately.  She’s gotten back into her career, which is great -I love that.  She’s passionate about it.  So much has changed though.  She is different.  She won’t talk to me –like really talk to me.  We used to be so close.  I have been trying to reach her, but she is not responding to anything I do.  I took her to the place we first met.  A restaurant over by UCLA, and it was just like…I don’t know.  She wouldn’t get off her iPhone!” he said, raising his voice.  They both sipped from their fresh drinks. 

He went on, “I took her to on vacation to Lake Tahoe, about four months ago and she literally needed to leave after the first night to go back to work.  She has been spending so much time working for those guys.  She refused to go to Cabo when I offered.”  He drank again.  “We used to fucking love that place!” he said, raising his voice again.  He then chuckled and looked at Alexis, smiling with regret.  “I’m sorry for unloading all this on you,” he laughed again.  “You’re so beautiful, and I don’t even know your name, and I…” he laughed again and drank from his drink.  “I’m sure you pictured your evening listening to some jerk go on about his marital problems.”

Alexis laughed.  She felt bad for him.  He seemed to be speaking in honesty, but she didn’t quite buy it.  All guys were dogs and cheaters, after all.  “It’s ok.  I don’t mind hearing about it actually.  It’s kind of interesting.  You know, married life and all,” she smiled wryly and took a drink. 

He went on after a chuckle.  “Yeah, it’s a trip alright.  Maybe we got married too young.  Maybe we’re growing apart.  Maybe we are falling out of love.  She is getting farther away from me.  I am losing her and I’m not sure if we can ever get back to where we were.  This trip is more than just about business for me.  I guess it’s hard to be married to someone with such strong career.”  He looked at Alexis, helplessly staring into her beautiful eyes.  “I guess anyone you would be with would have the same problem.  I couldn’t handle being with someone like you!”

Alexis laughed.  “Nice!  Why not?” she asked curiously. 

“No, no!  I don’t mean it that way.  You are gorgeous and obviously smart!  But your career seems like too much.  Are you kidding me?  A beautiful woman, travelling the world, mixing with famous people in the fashion business?  I’m sure you come into contact with handsome, famous, rich men all the time.  That would drive me nuts!  Plus, I’d never see you.  I guess I’m selfish that way.  I guess I need someone who will be there for me –to give me her time and attention.”

She laughed.  “A man being selfish?  Wow, there’s a newsflash!”  He laughed too.  “You think that’s funny?  You should get a load of our friend the bartender over here,” she went on.  “He thinks I’m old enough to be calling ma’am!  Hey bartender!  This is your ma’amager speaking!  Can we get a few drinks over here?”  Carlos burst out into laughter, and then they both laughed joyously.