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Who’s ready for a teaser?
Set up: Alejandro is an older teen now who over the years has set the tone about his amiguita. Even his own best friend isn’t immune to his no bones about it attitude when it comes to this . . .
Alej was easily distracted by Cido, who was staring at Isa. She was out by the street, giggling with one of the paleta vendors, a young guy about their age who Alej didn’t recognize. The guy pulled out a paleta from his cart, handed it to her then, but shook his head and refused her money when she tried to pay him.
“Who’s that puto?” Cido once again touched on the very thing Alej was just wondering himself.
Only now he was wondering something else as well. He took his eyes off of Isa just to glance at Cido. “The fuck do you care?”
Cido shrugged as if catching himself. “Just wondering.”
Cido went back to cutting up onions as Alej continued to stare at him. He thought back to Cido’s annoyance about her spending Independence Day away and all the times Isa had laughed a little too much at his idiot friend’s jokes. Could it be that, because of that, Cido was feeling just as disappointed about her not being here to celebrate it with them as Alej had? Because of her age, and only because it was necessary to remain as respectful despite how intimate things had gotten between them, they weren’t out as a couple to anyone yet. But clearly, even her own mother had known for years Isa was his. Only now he wondered if maybe if Cido and infuriatingly even Isa needed reminders that this kind of shit, no matter how innocent, just wasn’t going to fly with him.
“Remember way back when I told you not to ever think of Isa in any other way than just a friend?”
Cido stopped chopping and glanced up at him. “Yeah?”
“That stands even more now. Only reason you should care if you see another guy flirting with her, is if it’s not me.” Removing his apron, Alej handed it to Cido “I’ll be back.”
“It was a quinceañera not a . . .”
The rest of what Cido had started to mumble went completely under the radar as Alej stopped in his tracks and turned around, feeling his brows furrow. “What did you say?”
For a moment, Alej thought Cido might take back whatever he’d begun to say because he didn’t even look up from the corn he was chucking. “¿Qué dijiste, guey?”
Finally looking up, Cida shrugged, and if Alej didn’t know any better, the guy was annoyed. “Just saying it wasn’t a wedding, dude. Her quinceañera. Just because—”
“This goes way back to before her quinceañera, and you know it.” Alej started back toward his friend, feeling every muscle in his body tense, but he was getting one thing straight right now. “You gotta problem with me saying she’s off limits to you for anything else than a friend, Cido?”
Wisely, his friend shook his head and went back to chucking. “No, I was just saying—”
“Good ’cause she is.” Alej was standing right in front of the table where Cido was working, glaring at him with a purpose. “And if I have to remind your ass again verbally or any other way, don’t think I won’t—every time.”
Looking up for a sec, Cido shrugged and the quick eyeroll wasn’t missed, but at least the idiot wasn’t stupid enough to keep pushing. Only because this was his good friend and Alej knew he could be a pendejo about a lot of stuff, Alej dropped it too. But he meant that last statement. Good friend or not, Alej hadn’t been willing to bend about this even before her birthday, but his feelings about this were even more fiery now.
Feeling even more flustered now than he had the first time he nearly walked out, Alej let his dad know he’d be right back. He walked out of the small kitchen. As soon as he came around the corner where he could see her still standing there chatting with the guy, he called out for her. She turned to him. The guy followed her gaze, and Alej stared him down as he walked toward them.
aaand now you get a better idea about where his sons got this attitude from. 😉