Chapter 7

“He would never hurt anyone. He was a gentle giant,” Coco was telling the cameras.

In no time this girl had gone back to the dorms, changed into a dramatic high fashion Yves St. Laurent gown with emerald diamonds. She was crying at the entrance of Royal palace where the King's Guard had assembled. They said they had assembled to keep us safe but for hours we'd spent time being interrogated by Armando. Luckily for me Armando was a friend, at least I thought he was and he seemed to take it easy on me as opposed to the others.

“That guy was a big ass bully, that's what he was,” Milan states.

Coco isn't close enough to hear what he says. She's too distracted by the flash of the cameras anyway. Milan might be right but there is a time and a place to say those kind of things.

What's more annoying than Milan being in his shitty ass mood is Raul checking him, “Baby, c`mon. Not now.”

Milan rolls his eyes and goes down in his seat a little more.

Coco's interview is finally done and Geneva is the only one nice enough to bring her down from her podium. Geneva continues to rub her back until Coco shoos her off with her hand clearly no longer interested in being comfort her time of need. Coco was close to Sextus. I wasn't sure what their relationship was but I was sure that he protected her. I don't think Geneva lacked compassion but the amount of compassion she was showing for the cameras just didn't add up to when the cameras went away.

Armando walks into the room we are kept in. It's a closed off room that he says is secured in the palace. I know better. The room is laced with cameras trying to see if anyone is acting strange or nervous or gives themselves up.

“Is everyone ok?”

I nod, “Where is Nero?”

I'm concerned with him because he was taken away as soon as Sextus was declared dead and when they said it was an assassination attempt.

“The prince is being kept away...until we determine his safety,” Armando explains before crossing his arms, “The rest of you are free to go to your dorm rooms but the prince won't return until he we assure his safety.”

“His safety from who---us?” Milan asks.

“That's ridiculous. Who the fuck would do this?” Raul asks mimicking his boyfriend's sense of confusion about the whole situation.

It's Coco who stands up at that moment I can feel the anger in. She adjusts her long black gloves and her elegant gown before giving us a stare that lets us know that at the end of the day...she is a vampire and she's very dangerous.

“The AB says he thinks that it's one of you,” she explains, “I agree with him.. I'll find out who it is and you're going to wish you got the Final death instead of Sextus.”

With her threat Coco dramatically walks out of the room leaving the room in a cold violent anger. Her brown skin is dark with intent. The awkwardness that she leaves behind causes the rest of us just to look at each other awkwardless still searching for answers. It was scary. One day one of us were here and the next day we are receiving the Final death. There was no coming back from that for an immortal. I didn't even know it was possible for vampires to be poisoned. There was so much that I didn't know about this situation.

“It could have been any of us,” Milan states at that moment, “Where is our safety? Hell...I could have drank out of that glass. But what are we doing? Protecting the spoiled prince again who gets what he wants. I'm sick of that bullshit.”

Milan storms out of the room at that moment and it's not long before just as I expect Raul is chasing behind him like a lost fucking puppy. The others soon clear out of the room after them.

I am going to follow the rest of the class but Armando pulls me off to the side. He keeps me away from his guards and just holds me there.

“Are you really going to be ok?” he asks me.

I shrug, “I just seen someone die. Like not vampire die---but really die. I don't know.”

“This world is dangerous,” he explains to me, “Milan was right when he said it could have been any of you. The Royal family...they are targeted. You do realize that. This isn't the first assassination attempt.”

“You've stopped them before?”

“Yes but this is closer to home. You are right. It may be someone from Class O,” Armando explains, “I'm struggling to keep that away from the king because it may cause unnecessary actions to be taken...”

“Actions like what?”

“Like all of you being killed,” Armando responds, “You have to be careful what you say and do in Eden. You don't understand the laws here. You don't understand the culture. It would have been easy for the king to just get rid of all of you for even the possibility that one of you might be a threat to his heir. You do realize that right?”

The thought of it is scary. I wasn't even thinking when I told people that. Clearly I can see from Coco's anger and her threat that this threat was probably going to do more harm than good.

“Why do you do that?” I ask.

Armando looks at me. He squints his eyes, “Do what?”

“Protect me.”

Armando shrugs, “Isn't that what the Captain of the King's Guard does. He protects the people of Eden.”

“But you don't even give Geneva two looks.”

Armando shrugs, “Why would I?”

I shake my head and laugh at him, “Guys are so clueless. That girl has been trying to get your attention forever.”

Armando still seems relatively clueless but when it clicks to him he lets out a slow, “Oh. Pretty girl. She is but I just don't have time for her right now.”

I shake my head, “Ok. Maybe you should open up a little more. There's more to life then just your job.”

He laughs, “Like what?”

“Like love.”

He takes a really deep breath as though not knowing what to say but Armando's face shakes and he turns into his normal self, “I'm capable of love. But it takes time for me. Besides there are other things I can focus on besides a love struck lil girl. Other things like you.”

My heart skips a beat when Armando says that. I just cross my arms and attempt to feel my body numb up.

“Listen Milan and Nero have been driving me up a wall.”

I”m trying to warn Armando. I'm trying to push him away.

“Nero is dangerous to be around. And Milan. Honestly how much do you know about Milan?” Armando asks me.

“He disappeared about 2 years ago.”

“Really because I checked his file and it says that he only turned into a vampire completely a year ago. Where was he for that other year?”

“You don't think Milan had anything to do with it?”

Armando shrugs.

“No I know he doesn't have anything to do with it. For sure. Still. I need you to watch out. Not everything is as they appear in Class Zero. Listen. Just stay safe and honestly stay away from these dangerous guys,” Armando tells me.

There is something about Armando's warning that sends a shiver up my spine. There is much more going on in Class Zero than I can even be aware of.

Nero doesn't return to class that week or the week after that. Two weeks later and I still can't get him off my mind. Every time I ask Armando about him he just tells me that they want to make sure the Prince is safe. My mind wanders. I can't believe that at this point I'm actually starting to miss Nero. And as I start to miss Nero I realize my performance in my classes are beginning to drop.

“F...” I say, “I'm got an F in the last two Combat exams.”

We are in homeroom. Armando has just handed out our report cards. The first couple of weeks of school has gone extremely fast and I'm already flunking the first quarter. I'm talking to Geneva. I'm not surprised that she has nearly all perfect scores in all her classes.

“You got a C in Vampire history,” Geneva tells me at that moment, “That's not so bad...right?”

I know she's just trying to make me feel good. Lucca and Camilla are even doing better than I am and they aren't even trying. They give me weak smiles when they see my report card.

“No one cares about grades anyway,” Camilla assured me, “Who cares if you place in the King's guard when one day you'll end up marrying the king?”

“I'm not marrying Nero,” I respond.

It's hard not to hold back how harsh I sound. They all still think Nero and I are actually a couple. Camilla, Lucca and Geneva all give me an interested look as though wondering why I sound so passionate about it. I want to take it back but I honestly don't even care at that moment.

It's Lucca who puts a hand on my shoulder, “You are Armando's favorite.”

Geneva is quiet. She looks on at me. I can see a slight wince of jealousy in her eyes.

Camilla seems to agree with Lucca almost immediately, “Exactly. Even if you don't marry a king...the captain of the King's guard is not a bad thing. You are going to be good regardless.”

Lucca smiles, “Right. Why even try?”

I can see Geneva is hurt and honestly this isn't the first time Camilla or Lucca brought up Armando. The only thing is Geneva wasn't always around us when she did. They've been hanging out with me more and more. It wasn't by choice. I'd rather be with Geneva any day but Camilla and Lucca follow me around hoping that this friendship thing will actually happen.

Geneva's reaction to Lucca and Camilla is clear. She rolls her eyes and says, “Right. Why even try to do anything? You can just be the worst and you'll still get by. Everyone wants to be with you...or be around you.”

“Geneva that's dumb as fuck...”

I don't get a chance to argue my point with her. Geneva is halfway across the room and leaving. I look at her wondering why the fuck the girl who was nicest to me when I first came here is actually now being shady as fuck.

“Don't mind her. She's just jealous. The guy she's obsessed with is obsessed with you,” Lucca laughs at that moment.

Camilla leans in close, “That's a lot of man too by the way. Look he's even staring at you right now. God he's sexy. I don't know how you haven't sucked the skin off his dick by now. We wouldn't blame you. Not Lucca and I...”

Lucca laughs, “Hell nawl. We are your real friends. While the prince is away...Santos should play...”

She taps me a little bit on my shoulder. I'm trying not to let them influence me. I just know Lucca and Camilla are bad news but they are right. Armando is staring at me from across the room. He is trying to hide it but he isn't doing a good job. He is really fucking handsome too. I have to admit it. He looks buff. His curly hair is the only soft thing about his masculine structured head. When he gets up I hear Lucca and Camilla break out into laughter.

They get real quiet when Armando walks up to me and says really bluntly, “Meet me here. Tonight.”


“Of course...alone,” he explains.

My heart skips a beat as Armando walks away. Lucca and Camilla are laughing again. This time they are laughing harder than they usually do. I can feel my heart racing wondering what the fuck Armando wants to meet with me tonight in a classroom for. I don't understand why but right now I know that my heart can't handle any sort of romance after Milan.

That's when I see Armando stare at me one more time. His dark eyes. He has this protective nature about him. He is that knight in shining armor. He is beyond attractive.

Could I open myself up to something more?


The rest of the day in class goes pretty much the same as it always goes. I suck. I suck ass. I'm the worst in class and the only thing that is saving grace it the fact that people think I'm the person who the prince is falling for. Otherwise no one would care about me. I knew I would be bad at things but I didn't think it was going to be this serious. I knew the vampires with O Type blood were special but they are blowing away from me.

Raul on the other hand is top of the class in Combat and the Art of Killing. There is no one even close save Geneva and Nero but Nero isn't even around. If he was around I feel like he was the only one who could give Raul a real fight. Lucca and Camilla float somewhere in the middle, doing what they need to get by because I have no doubt they plan on entering vampire society as socialites. Coco hardly tries probably because her father is the dean of the school but when she does try she seems to do really well. Milan sometimes is really good and sometimes is just completely awful.

Then there's me. Completely at the bottom.

“You're horrible,” Milan tells me, “You do realize you're going to flunk out of school if you keep performing like that.”

He's followed me into the locker room after combat. I am not surprised he was watching me. I'm wouldn't be surprised if he already heard some gossip about the fact that I was failing Combat. I don't put it past Lucca and Camilla. They gossip like the old Dominican ladies that sell empanadas outside of the projects back home.

“You heard I'm failing?” I ask Milan, “Huh?

We are in the locker room alone. I came in early because I figured the sooner I get out of my sweaty clothes the better. I'm surprised Milan actually follows me to the locker room and decides to speaks to me. Sometimes he stares at me. Sometimes he doesn't. It's what Milan is good for. You never know what you get with him.

“Geneva told me.”

Figures. I roll my eyes at the thought. Geneva is really upset about this whole Armando thing. It pisses me off that she is going around telling people what I got on my report card.

“Didn't you get the memo? I'm Armando's favorite and the I'm the prince's boyfriend. I have a fall back plan.”

“You been spending too much time with Lucca and Camilla,” he responds.

“Relax. I was being sarcastic.”

I take off my shirt and throw it on the ground. It's drenched with sweat and ripped up a little bit from taking a beating out on the sparring floor. I need to be careful with the clothes I do have. I don't have much money to buy new ones and the Prince hasn't been around to help me.

“I don't like that shit,” Milan responds, “I don't like you...around Armando and Nero.”

I can almost laugh at Milan.

“You're joking right. Weren't you supposed to break up with my old best friend? Do you think I like that?” I ask.

Milan seems lost for words, “Listen. It's complicated ok. I tried. I'm trying.”

“No it ain't. It's simple,” I respond, “You cheated on me. You chose him.”

“I would never cheat---” he stops before catching himself and fixing his words, “It's just complicated ok. I just need time. And I need you to wait for me.”

“I don't understand you Milan. I really don't get it.”

“I still love you. Plain and simple,” Milan tells me.

He's looking me up and down. At that moment I realize I'm in my underwear. I really didn't even notice that I'd taken so many clothes off. I was just trying to get out of the sweaty things. Now that I'm in my underwear though Milan is looking at me up and down. His eyes are studying my body.

I roll my eyes, “Stop while you can boy.”

“You will one day. I promise. Just don't do anything stupid. Don't do anything you can't take back with Armando or Nero. Promise me.”

He's looking in his eyes. For a moment I see that old Milan from back then. I'm so confused. Why is he doing this to me? Why come some days he's so warm and inviting? Other days he acts as though I barely exist. I don't understand why Milan is spending so much time really attempting to fuck with my head every chance he gets.

That's when Lucca walks into the lockers. He's followed closely by Raul. Raul is staring at us from across the locker room. It isn't hard to see that Raul is bothered.

Great first Coco, then Geneva and now Raul.

How many other people were going to be pissed that the guys they were interested in were also interested in me?

And the fucked up thing? I belonged to no one.

“You better go back your boyfriend. He looks like he's a little upset.”

Milan stares at me for a second and leans in to me. He isn't even trying to hide it even though he sees Raul watching. Milan kisses me on my cheek. His kiss lingers. His soft lips press up against my cheek and I hate that I love the feeling so much. I hate that my heart can't stop beating when Milan's lips press up against my cheek.

He leans into my ear at that moment, “Wait for me.”

At that moment he does something that I don't expect. Milan licks my ear. He licks the rim of my ear slow and steady sending shivers down my spine. He used to do it all the time back in the day. He used to trace my earlobe with his ears. For a second I'm brought back to that place. I remember the times we had. I remember the way that Milan used to make me feel.

Milan turns at that moment. I expect him to stop by his boyfriend and say something to him but Milan doesn't. He walks straight out of the locker room.

Raul storms over to me, “What was that about?”

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me. What was that about?”

I laugh at the thought of Raul thinking I owe him an explanation. I don't even give him the time of day. There is no bone in my body that wants me to give him the time of day.

“Lucca you ready?” I ask ignoring the fuck out of Raul.

“Sure am...” Lucca laughs.

At that moment I have to admit I feel powerful. Sure I didn't want Milan. I didn't know if I wanted Armando. I was trying my hardest not to want Nero. It didn't matter. These men had an attraction to me and there was something so powerful about that. There was something so pleasing about it.

I spend the rest of the day with Lucca and Camilla. They are getting me ready for my meeting with Armando later on that night. The others are in the common area. It's clear there has become sort of a separation. Geneva, Coco and Raul want nothing to do with me. They are avoiding me like the plague. It works out because Lucca and Camilla can't get enough of me. I don't have anything to wear but luckily Lucca has some old clothing packed from before he gained 40 pounds of muscle.

“A blazer. You don't think that's a bit much?” I ask.

“Armando is the King's guard. Do you know how many girls want to date him?” Camilla ask me.

“This isn't a date.”

Lucca winks at me strongly, “Of course not. We are just testing the waters.”

“We?” I ask.

“Listen Nero may not come back,” Camilla explains, “We have to stick together. Armando has connections. You get good with Armando and all three of us will benefit.”

I look at them and honestly ask Camilla, “So you are using me.”

“Yes,” Camilla responds bluntly.

She's always been more harsh. It's Lucca who walks up to me and puts his hands on my shoulders, “No. Not in the way you are thinking. Camilla and I can help you. We help you. You help us. We all get ahead. And we have to make sure that we play the game. Eden is all about politics. There are winners and there are losers.”

“I'm not here to win. This isn't a game to me,” I respond.

“Have you ever had your heart broken?” Lucca asks me, “Like really broken?”

The question comes into my ear and for a moment it lingers. God yes. I've had my heart broken. I've had my heart broken by Milan.

“No,” I lie too afraid to reveal myself to them.

“You will one day and it'll hurt,” Lucca responds.

Him and Camilla exchange looks. There is this knowing look. There is this look of anger. I've seen that look before. I've had that look before. It's the same look I had when my best friend was caught sleeping with the man I loved. Yes...I knew their looks.

And for the first time I realize Camilla and Lucca may be just like me. They may be hurt people wanting to find another meaning to life besides love and fairy tales.

“And you'll realize vampires don't fall in love. By our nature---we are blood, sucking vampires,” Camilla explains as bluntly and straight to the point as she always is.

The two compliment each other. Lucca is graceful as he explains the situation but Camilla is sharp and forceful as she makes sure I get the point. Lucca fixes my tie at that moment. I won't admit it out loud but she's right. I have been hurt before and I knew something had changed then. That boy who was so in love with love slowly died. Now here I was with two of the most popular vampires in Eden and right before my eyes I was changing.

Geneva told me to promise not to change.

What happens when you have to change though? What happens when someone kills the human you are and so you have no choice but to animal.

Lucca crosses his arms at that moment, “Raul's boyfriend is whispering to you every chance he gets, Armando goes out of his way to treat you special and Nero...well Nero hasn't given anyone else in Eden as much attention as he's given you.”

“They want to fuck you,” Camilla explains as though I didn't get the point when Lucca said it, “From here to the moon. All of them. They want to slay your ass like you did something to them.”

Lucca smiles, “Thanks Camilla. Thanks for that imagery.”

“You're welcome.”

Lucca points at my reflection in the mirror,“Vampires aren't supposed to have reflections. Isn't that what the humans say? Well we do. And look at you. You have options. It's time to figure out which one is the best one.”

I look in the mirror. Camilla and Lucca are staring at me from behind.

“Good job Lucca,” Camilla offers her friend.

I want to thank Lucca as well but I'm not sure if she's thanking him for fixing me up or if she's thanking me for being so clever with his speech. For a minute I hardly recognize myself. I look more like Lucca than I do myself. I look like some suave ass playboy who can pull anyone in the world he wanted to.

“Where'd Santos go?” I laugh.

“You're a vampire now,” Lucca explained, “There are two types of vampires. The types that hide in the shadows and the type that own the night.”

Camilla stares at me, “Which one are you going to be?”

The question was more than what they were asking me. Was I going to be the victim who got cheated on and cried and died? Or was I going to go out there and take what belonged to me. I was tired of being the weakest one in the class. I was tired of being the ugly AB that didn't fit in with the Os. I wanted to be something more and for the first time it seems like I saw that.

Camilla and Lucca brought that person out of me.

And I hardly recognized him.

“I am the type to own...everything.”

“Go out there then. Get Nero. Get Milan. Get Armando. Get everything that belongs to you.”

“Is that what you plan on doing?” Geneva states.

Coco looks over at us, “I told you he was in on it. I overheard Dumb and Dumber talking about him meeting up with Armando later.”

Geneva, Raul and Coco have walked into the room. I can feel the drama they bring with them at that moment. It's interesting to see that the three of them are actually around all based off one common thread that they had in common. They didn't like me.

“Haters band together, Santos,” Camilla states, “That's what they do. ”

Geneva laughs, “I'm far from a hater Camilla.”

“Really. Because I have a source in the media that says the three of you just got paid 1500 hundred dollars to do a tell all interview about Nero and Santos. Supposedly are going to expose this stupid ass theory that the two of you aren't really together.”

Camilla crosses her arms.

My heart races.

I look at Geneva and Raul. Honestly I would have expected something like that from fucked up ass Coco but I honestly just thought they weren't that kind of person. I guess I was wrong. Camilla and Lucca were the two people who I thought were the shadiest but they were the ones that weren't trying to sell me out to the media.

“Is this true?” I ask.


They don't say anything.

It's clear of their guilt. I'm beyond shocked.

Camilla shakes her head, “Like we said. In this world, there are winners and losers. And when the losers start losing...they get desperate.”

“Loser? Me? Bitch. I made you! Literally. My family paid to get your ass done before you became a vampire so that you can have that fucking shape!” Coco replies with this irrational irateness.

She looks like she's about to attack Camilla but I don't think Camilla even seems to notice her. Literally Camilla and Lucca are barely acknowledging them. Lucca hasn't taken his eyes off of his work. By his work---I meant me. He keeps dusting off my blazer.

“You are a has-been,” Camilla instructs Coco with the most patronizing glare, “The rest of you have never been. Even in class O there are ranks.”

“Lucca get your attack dog before I slap the shit out of her,” Coco warns.

“Room and opportunity bitch,” Camilla responds.

For a moment I think it's going to happen. Coco is angry and I have to admit I'm cheering for Camilla. Coco has been a bitch to me since I came here. Now all of a sudden the people who were all up under her ass didn't really care about her anymore. The same boy that she was bullying when I first got here was the same one that just so happened to take her fucking place.

Lucca walks over into the middle of the room always the politician with his smooth words and handsome looks, “Listen. Why all the hostility from you guys?

“This isn't you Santos,” Raul explains.

“Says the man who stole my boyfriend?” I ask.

Everyone looks at Raul at that moment. I don't know why it comes out at this moment but I'm tired of keeping their embarrassing fucking secret for them.

Raul laughs, “I knew it all came down to this.”

“What's he talking about?” Coco asks.

“Raul why not explain to them the type of person you really are?” I ask shaking my head, “Why not explain to them how I was with Milan for years and you stole him from me. Why not explain to them that you were my best friend.”

“Or I can tell them how you nearly killed us that night?”

“Him?” Coco laughs, “He can barely even spar in Combat Training.”

There is was. The rage. My eyes get dark all of a sudden and then it comes. I haven't felt the rage for so long but there is something there. I don't know how I move so fast but I'm incredibly fast. Before I know it I'm behind Coco.

“How the---”

She doesn't get the words out before I kick at the back of her knees hard and make her bust her ass on the floor without even trying. I don't know where it came from but I know that there is something else. There is something that I haven't tapped into.

And my warning is something that I make sure all three of them understand, “You don't want to make me mad.”


I meet Armando late that night.

I'm excited. There is a thrill in my blood when I meet up with him in the room. I can't help but to look him up and down when I see him. Fuck this man is sexy as fuck. There is something so romantic about the fact that I'm meeting my homeroom teacher after class. You would never be able to tell he is my homeroom teacher though. He looks my age. When I see him he is wearing a black tank top. It's the most relaxed I've seen him. The tank top has a deep V that reveals his strong chest. He has on some faded blue jeans. Those muscles of Armando are serious. His tan light brown skin defines every single curve of his biceps. This man has had a serious life and he's had to put in work. As I approach him the moon that creeps into the classroom reflects in his eyes. Armando never smiles. It's almost like he's lost the ability to change his face up into a smile. I don't mind. Some people look sexier with serious faces and Armando was one of them. A smile would ruin his cold, handsome exterior.

“You're in a good mood.”

“You should have seen me a minute ago Armando,” I respond, “Some of the other members in Class O hav been fucking assholes to me and I just scared he fuck out of them.”


He looks at me curiously.

“I'm not sure. I just seemed fast. Strong.”

Armando nods at that moment, “Good. I was beginning to get worried Santos. You were starting to look...weak.”

I know what he's talking about. I shake my head. The lights in the room are dark and I can't help but to lean over the desk. Armando is crossing his muscular arms as he watches me.

“Is this why you brought me here?” I ask, “For guidance?”

“Yeah. I didn't want to embarrass you but there are dangers. We have reason to believe that the rogues have found a way in...”

“To Eden?”

He nods, “Yes. Into Class O even.”

Shit. All of a sudden shit seems to be getting real here. If everyone else was scared of the rogues then they had a reason to be. Someone was trying to kill Nero. What if one of my classmates was a traitor to Eden.

I flush red, “Why are you telling me this?”

Armando takes a step forward, “Because I need you to train harder. I need you to be able to protect yourself. I...I worry about you all the time.”

Why is my heart fluttering at that moment? Geneva would kill me if she knew.

Why the fuck am I thinking about Geneva?

At that moment I can just think about what Camilla and Lucca were telling me. I can have it all. There was no limit. I can own it all. I look at Armando and realize at that very moment that yes... I do want him. I really wanted him. I mean ever since I got here this guy had protected me. He was strong. He was loyal. He was smart. And he as fuck. Sure...I was hurt with Milan but there was no reason that I should let that effect me for the rest of my life. Then there was my awkward relationship with Nero. What if they never let Nero back in Class O? They were protecting him and for good reason. Someone wanted to kill him. I'd probably never see Nero again.

But Armando he was right here. He had always been right here...for me.

I should be able to take what I wanted.

And Armando was definitely something worth having.

“You worry about me?” I ask him.

I am close to him at that moment. He doesn't skip a beat. He doesn't back away. I can tell he seems nervous about something and honestly I like it. It seems like he has something he really wants to let off my chest and for a moment I'm struggling not to let myself fall for Armando right here and right now.

“Every second of the day...I worry about you,” Armando explains to me, “And from the moment I saw you I realized...I'll never stop worrying about you. I'll never stop caring.”

His lips sparkle as he just licked them before he started talking. I can't stop staring at them. They are juicy, pink and as he talks his perfect row of white teeth peek through.

That's when I do it.

I don't know what comes over me but I take that chance. I lean in at that moment and I kiss Armando. I kiss him as hard as I can.

The door opens and I hear people walk in as we are kissing. My eyes turn to see that it's Raul, Coco and Geneva. What's worse is who they are with.

It's NERO!

“I told you he was up to no good,” Coco laughs.

I don't know what to think. My face is flushed with embarrassment. What's even more embarrassing is the fact that Armando has flinged himself off me and is now wiping his mouth as though the most disgusting thing in the world just happened.

Nero is the only one at that moment who isn't partially amused by Armando's disgust, “I came back a few minutes ago. Asked where you were and...”

Nero stops talking. There is something that looks like he's hurt by. It's obvious to tell what it is. He walks out of the room at that moment. No. He just doesn't walk out of the room. He runs.

I want to call back out to him. I want to stop him. I don't. I let him leave.

“Looks like you can't get everything you want after all,” Coco tells me.

Geneva and Raul seem amused. They genuinely are staring at me as though they are happy to see Armando so disgusted. They LITERALLY plotted against me to bring Nero here so that he can catch me with Armando.

And they succeeded.

They got their payback.

I can feel myself getting angry again. I want to hurt them. I want to hurt them so bad.

“What's wrong with his eyes?” Raul is stating, “They are...they are turning black...”

“GET OUT!” Armando barks at them at that moment.

It happens just in time. I don't know what was going to happen if Armando didn't scream at them to get out at that moment. The three of them leave the room. Fucking traitors. That's all they were. They were fucking jealous fucking traitors.

And I feel defeated.

So much for the confidence booster from Camilla and Lucca.

I was back on the bottom. Again.

That confidence shit didn't even last 24 hours. Armando wasn't wiping his mouth anymore but he was still turned all the way off by the fact that I kissed him.

We sit there in silence for a moment. He may be trying to let me calm down but I'm not calm. I'm just fucking embarrassed. First Nero walks in on me kissing Armando and next Armando shows his clear lack of interest. I feel worse than Geneva did. I feel like shit.

“Am I really that repulsive to you?” I ask when I'm alone with Armando again.

I think for a moment I know how Geneva felt before. Armando doesn't just reject someone. He completely rejects them.

“You aren't repulsive.”

I laugh, “Don't bullshit me bra.”

Armando shakes his head, “You don't know. You have no idea. What---are you like attracted to me? Me? Are you serious? This is sick.”

“I should leave.”

“No wait. You don't get it,” Armando explained, “It's not you. You are everything to me. Don't you get that?”

I'm so confused. I'm so lost. Armando is looking at me and I don't understand the words that are coming out of his mouth. Then I see emotion from Armando that I never thought I'd see. The handsome strong Captain is emotional.

Matter of fact he looks like he is on the brink of tears.

“You don't want to be with me, but you think I'm everything to you,” I repeat before shaking my head in confusion, “I don't get it.”

Armando shatters my world at that moment, “Santos. You're my son.”

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