Ch. 14 Brothers

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Juice listened to Angela point out different places that were a part of her childhood as they drove through Oakland. It was strange to see the city he'd only known as "Mayan Territory" through her eyes. Her face was all lit up and beautiful, excited to point out different things to him. Her old street, her high school, her favorite places to eat, and the cemetery where her father was buried. He recognized that place. She'd brought him there once to 'meet' her father. He loved that memory. Loved that she'd trusted him enough to let him more into her world, to give him a glimpse of her past. It was one of the few memories he had with her that wasn't tainted by the club. No cuts, no bikes, hell, he'd even worn a hat. It was just the two of them acting like a totally normal couple in a cemetery of all places.

"You love this place, don't you?" Juice asked, reaching out to grab her hand.

A soft blush colored her cheeks as she ducked her head. "Nah. I just love the memories I have here," she answered, moving her fingers between his and squeezing his hand when they passed Alvarez's warehouse, a frown turning down the corners of her mouth. "Well, some of them."

He brought her hand to his lips, kissing her knuckles as he pulled into Alvarez's house. He was already dreading spending another night in Esai's room surrounded by old memories. "What do you think about getting a hotel somewhere?"

"Think our shadow would have a problem with that," she said, looking into the rearview mirror at Lino. "As would the rest of these guys."

Juice grimaced at the sight of the motorcycles lining the sidewalk in front of the Alvarez house. "I hate this."

Angela leaned over to kiss his cheek. "I know. But they're keepin' us safe," she pointed out, pushing open the door. "C'mon, let's go."

As soon as she got out of the car, a wolf whistle broke through the quiet night before slow clapping joined it. Juice watched an oily haired Mayan move to greet her, giving her a hug that lasted a little too long. "That's Angel," Lino stated, opening Evie's door and carefully taking the sleeping girl out of her carseat. "See the hair cut? Fancy, huh?"

Juice raised an eyebrow, taking in the guy with the plaid Pendleton and cut. His hair was long in the middle and shaved on the sides. "Fake ass mowhawk if you ask me," he muttered, taking Evie from his arms. "Least I had a real one."

"No you didn't. You were missin' the spikes," Lino commented, gesturing to his head.

"Shut up," he said, shaking his head at him.

He nodded his 'hello' to the rest of the Mayans, shaking their hands as best as he could with Evie asleep in his arms. After meeting them all, he quickly excused himself from the group to put Evie to bed. Angela offered to go in with him, but he told her it was fine if she stayed to catch up with them for a bit. Of course, he made sure to give her a good, long kiss and a quick swat on the ass before he left to show them who she belonged to first. He carried Evie up the stairs and to Tessa's room, not at all surprised she didn't wake up on the way over; she was a heavy sleeper like him. He could just make out the Tessa's light eyes as she peered at them from where she was sitting on the top bunk. Juice lay Evie down in the lower bunk, tucking her in and kissing her forehead. He straightened, giving Tessa a small smile. "How you doin', T?" he asked the littlest Alvarez.

She sniffled a bit, wiping at her eyes. He wondered if she'd been crying long. "I miss Mami. She used to tuck me in and gimme a kiss. Soli said I was too high and she couldn't reach because her feet hurt."

He cringed; he couldn't blame Soli for not wanting to scale the bunk bed ladder in her pregnant state, but poor little Tessa didn't understand that. "Well, I don't have that problem. You want me to tuck you in, sweetheart?" he asked her. At her nod, he climbed the first two rungs so he could reach her then tucked her in, kissing her forehead the same way he did to his own daughter. "Good night, princess."

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