Read Online Books/Novels:
Keeping Her Under the Mistletoe
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
A Novelette from USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR M. ROBINSON
Three loved couples.
Martinez & Lexi: El Diablo
Noah & Skyler: Lost Boy
Aiden & Bailey: Title TBA soon
|Books by Author:|
Martinez & Lexi
“Bye, Mom! Bye, Dad!” Adriana whizzed past the living room, going toward the front door.
“Not so fast, peladita,” Martinez ordered from behind her, knowing she hated that he still called her a little girl.
Stopping dead in her tracks, she subtly sighed in annoyance, murmuring something under her breath. If I noticed it then Martinez sure as hell did too. She had her father’s short fuse, and the older she got, the harder it was for her to control it. It didn’t help that he guarded her like a rabid dog. Ready to rip anyone who crossed her path to shreds, with his bare teeth if he had to. Not thinking twice about it.
Adriana knew it too. She turned to face him, looked him in the eyes, and smiled sweetly. Fully aware if she didn’t, he’d just demand that she did.
Now don’t get me wrong, Alejandro was an amazing father. Our kids adored him as much as he adored them. But at the end of the day, you couldn’t teach an old dog new tricks. He still had every bit of El Diablo inside of him, and when it came to our daughter that side arose more often than not. His enemies may have thought he was dead, though his demons were still very much alive and present on the daily. He merely thought he was protecting her when, in fact, he wasn’t doing anything more than pushing her away.
Martinez was suffocating Adriana, and there wasn’t much I could do about it. Other than try to intervene as best as I could.
“Yes, Papi?” she angelically replied, biting her tongue.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“Oh, didn’t Mom tell you? Just out with some friends.”
“Alejandro,” I coaxed, loud enough for him to hear.
He ignored me. “What friends, Adriana?”
“Just some friends from school.”
“Why does that matter? You never ask Cruz if he’s hanging out with just guy friends. You never ask Cruz anything.”
Wrong answer, baby girl.
The way Martinez was toward Crucifixio, our son, compared to Adriana was like night and day. Maybe it was the symbolism behind Cruz’s name, his mother’s cross that I never took off. Alejandro thought he was already protected, when the truth was he was raising another man just like him. Which terrified me in more ways than one.
Martinez simply responded with what he always did, “Your brother’s a man.”
“But he’s a year younger than me, and I’m still a peladita?”
“Adriana,” I warned, closing my book and standing. Her tone needed to change if she was going to get anywhere with her father.
“If you haven’t noticed I’m sixteen, almost seventeen. Why can’t you trust me like Mom does?”
Alejandro remained calm, placing his hands in the pockets of his slacks. Eyeing her with the same intense glare I hated and loved.
“Trust is earned.”
“And what have I done not to have your trust? You barely let me out of your sight. I was homeschooled up until a year ago, but Cruz has been going to school since he could walk. How is that fair?”
“I never said life was fair, Adriana. Everything I do is to protect you.”
“Protect me from what? You’re not El Diablo anymore, remember?”
“Who do you think you’re talking to, peladita?”
“You! You’re standing right in front of me, are you not?”
He stepped toward her, and I stepped in front of him. Gently setting my hands on his solid, muscular chest, placing myself in the line of fire. He cocked his head to the side and narrowed his dark, soulless eyes at me. His jaw clenched so tightly I thought it was going to snap off.
“Just let her breathe,” I whispered low enough so she couldn’t hear me.
“Playing Devil’s advocate, I see.”
“Alejandro… all you’re doing is pushing her away. Please. I don’t want to lose our daughter. Do you understand me?” I asserted in the same tone.
If he felt anything toward what I said, he didn’t show it. Once again remaining the snake in the grass, prepared to strike at any given moment.
And, of course, Adriana pushed his buttons by adding, “What exactly do you think you’re protecting me from? Me falling in love with a man just like you? Because I could think of worse things I could do.”
I instantly shut my eyes, feeling her response in the depths of my core.
“Mom is happy with you. So why couldn’t I be with someone like you?”
Martinez didn’t hesitate at shifting his venomous scowl toward her, threatening, “Because I’d put a bullet in between his goddamn eyes.”
Making Adriana and I both jerk back from the reality of his warning.
“You wouldn’t dare,” she breathed out.
“Don’t knock on the Devil’s door, Adriana, and expect him not to answer,” repeating the same words he once said to me.
I shuddered. “Stop it. She’s just testing you.”
“No, she’s baiting me.” The next thing I knew, he stepped past me and was in her face, gripping onto her chin. “You listen to me, I will only say this once. Don’t follow your mother’s mistakes because, sweetheart, if you do, I promise I’ll make him pay for them.”