ambrose drove us to a little cantina on the outside of town. there is no place in the world like baja. the actual city of baja is an industrial hub, with giant resorts framing the coastal part of town, but once you left the city limits, it was rustic and rural, and just beyond that were spurts of little villages, ravaged by poverty, which is where we were doing most of our goodwill work.
the cantina was all open, you could smell the ocean from our table. we talked and drank and laughed until the restaurant asked us to leave so they could close.
then we drove off to a rustic house that i had seen so many times before. the terra-cotta roof, the plaster front, and the giant windows. it was ambrose's parents' house. his mom had passed away about eight years ago, and his dad was off living with his sister as he recovered from a heart attack.
"i thought we could have some coffee and talk," he said smoothly.
ambrose walked around and opened my car door. he walked ahead of me and unlocked the door. i followed him in as he turned on the lights.
we stood, face-to-face, in the dim light of the kitchen. "you," he whispered, "are so beautiful." he pushed the hair out of my eyes. "your eyes, they are as blue as the ocean."
ambrose had always been unbearably cheesy, but it was so sweet, and his accent was so delicious, that i didn't care. i reached up and kissed his lips. he kissed back, and then pulled away. "come with me," he whispered.
he took my hand and led me to his bedroom. the last time i was here, there were posters of sports illustrated swimsuit models and soccer players on the wall and he had rocket ship sheets on his bed, but now, the walls were painted a deep red with gorgeous, black and white artwork on the walls. his sheets were a grey satin, with a black comforter.
in one smooth movement, ambrose shut the door and swooped his hand into my hair, continuing our kiss. i wrapped one leg around his waist, and he lifted me up and walked us over to the bed. my body wasn't throbbing, my heart wasn't pacing, like it did with charlie. this didn't have that exciting adrenaline rush, it just felt like it was a normal thing. it felt... right.
ambrose's hand slid under my shirt, resting gently on my sides, just above my hips. his lips laid gently on mine. "can i-" he started.
i bit my lip, "uh, i need to tell you something." i said, nervously. awkwardly, i began to tell him about charlie passing on me, and my premarital virginity.
when i finished, it took him a second to respond. he grinned, with a fire in his eyes that i'd never seen from him before. "i know ways around that," he said, dangerously, and then he began kissing my neck.
* * *
the next morning was the first day of our service projects. charlie, arabella, and d.j. were all scheduled to work on a few maintenance projects at an orphanage in one of the villages. being arabella's aide for the trip, i was forced to tag along. lynette, however, was serving as isabel's age, making shawn the aide for both charlie and d.j.
the five of us were crowded into a mini-van with no air-conditioning as we traveled down the dirt road into the village. the orphanage was a run-down building at the end of the road. there were giant trees surrounding it, with a playground that had been build on our last trip there.
we all piled out of the van, and the heat became five times more intense than it was in the van.
"i'll never complain about calabasas again," arabella said as she swept her hair up into a big, bouncy ponytail.
"hola!" a beautiful, middle-age woman chirped as she came out to meet us. "your highness, your highness, your highness," she smiled as she greeted the royals. "my name is maria, i am the director of st. nicholas' home for children. i know you only have a few hours here, so we can make the most of it." she explained that we would be painting a few nurseries, the boys had some plumbing to fix, and afterward, we had time to play with some of the kids, if we wanted.
YOU ARE READING
"oh, and, ladies, may i be the first to say, happy birthday," she said as she stood on the center of the stage. the girls around the auditorium, but i only cringed. of course my birthday would fall on loyalty weekend. what idiot came up with the...