Aurelio & Ximena
Aurelio had leaned his backside against the edge of a table next to the one Chanel and Julie had assumed their rightful positions upon.
The name was fitting for her and earned a small nod from the now silent observer, he wouldn’t be forgetting that name, nor the face associated with it She was cute. Aurelio’s attention was pulled to his right as the number two suspect for Yessi’ poor mood called out to him.
“Oh, thank god just who I needed to see"
An eyebrow raised in curiosity at that statement, and as his brown eyes analyzed her face he thought he could faintly see a peculiar shadow underneath the almost perfect attempt to hide the mark. God, I hope I’m wrong.
“While it’s all very nice to see you all here again in such short notice, I need to borrow Aurelio for a bit. Of course, if that’s okay with the rest of you. I’ll have him back to you in a jiffy”
The fake smile mirrored by Chanel was enough encouragement for the boy to get Ximena out of there sooner than later. Aurelio gave a short wave to the three girls as he pushed off from the table, “I’ll catch up with you two later and it was nice meeting you Stella.”
Aurelio led Ximena away from the bustling courtyard and to the growing vacancy of the hallways between the auditorium and entrance of the building. When he was sure they wouldn’t be bothered by anything he turned to her with narrowed eyes, the shadow was harder to see now in the artificial light of the hallway.
“Does the reason you need me pertain to what the fuck happened to your face or am I going to have to save that question for later?”
The tension building was quite high, but it was all deserved after the antics Ximena was up to prior to the events of homecoming. While she was sure Chanel had a disdain for her, Ximena simply did not feel the same. She had a deep respect for her as a worthy rival and a connoisseur of both fashion and music. If the two ever worked to a peaceful amnesty then they would have more than enough connections pooled between them to raise their personal statuses. Of course, however, the idea would seem like signing your soul to the devil. It might be, well then again there was no telling what the sly minx was up to and if she always needed something to gain.
As not to linger she hoped Aurelio would pry her away, so Chanel wouldn’t be reserved to slapping her across the face like a certain boy just two evenings ago. As always it was nice to see her other half in Julie also present. The new girl Stella was someone she hadn’t accounted for but her little birds would sing her secrets soon enough. Just in the nick of time Aurelio pulled her away and sent his regards to the trio of lovely predators.
Aurelio led her through turns and corners quite quickly and forceful she almost broke a heel; not even able to get more than a stuttering word in. His face changed, this wasn’t the same Aurelio she had known when they were kids nor the one she met prior to the bruise on her face. Something changed or maybe he changed, Ximena only hoped than both Astor’s weren’t ready to leave a decade of friendship behind.
“It’s nice to see you to Reli. Was that the new piece of ass you were thirsting for back there?” she tried to say in attempts of playing off the serious aura radiating off the two of them. It failed, she didn’t really care about Stella or Aurelio’s intentions with her. Being weak was something she never wanted to show outside of the confines of her room. Her fake laugh grew into a silence that felt like it lasted hours when it had only been a few seconds. Her head heavy like lead, fell to the ground with her eyes plastered to her feet. The sides of her heels rubbed together releasing a sound of plastic friction, he hands clasped together hoping to provide some kind of strength to lead from.
“Y..Ye..Yeah, it does. It’s just….I don’t know what happened Aurelio, I really really fucked up and I just- I don’t know! I didn’t even know she liked him. You know I wouldn’t do something like that on purpose I wouldn’t hurt you guys. No se que paso, it all happened so fast. That night at the party and then this.” She was rambling, hopefully, Aurelio stopped the girl before she turned into a Spanglish novella.
The hardness in his eyes melted as they saw the uncertainty in her own, the deflecting question preceding her rambling was easily ignored as he tried to make sense of the mess that spilled from her lips. The quivering of her bottom lip, the transfer of weight between her hips and the trembling of her hands were so unlike the Ximena the public was allowed to see, Aurelio knew whatever had happened was serious.
“Xi, take a deep breath,” his voice was low as he stepped toward the girl entering her space and placed gentle hands on either side of her face, “Look at me Ximena, you know I got you, but you’re going to have make sense of what’s going on. Tell me again, but slow down, you’re okay.”
The silence was finally broken, thank god. There was something soothing about his voice, it was new and foreign but not unwelcome. The sweet scent of cologne snuck up her nose, had he moved closer or was she imaging it? Her eyes raising from her feet now found the tips of his own shoes, he had entered her space. Loosing up her hands she drew in small breaths of air, exhaling every three seconds. Suddenly her chest wasn’t so tight and her heart wasn’t in her throat.
The sudden shock of his hands startled her, jolting her face in his hands. With one more deep breath, she did as he asked and looked at him. She recognized these eyes, his soft brown pupils, she wanted to pull away but was trapped inside them. While his eyes were as he remembered everything else around him was different. He was a man now, at least more of a man than the last time she saw him. When did he get so muscular and rugged. It’s like she always knew, but she never accepted it until now.
“I don’t know where to start Reli. Déjame pensaré” the beginning was always the best she thought, “okay well you know that guy Santiago? Well, he held a party a few months ago like that project X movie on steroids. Pues, this was when he and that April girl were on the outs. Entonces...well...we used each other” she paused “and well I didn’t know Yessi and him had a thing. I was in LA and you guys were in Korea. So I told her and well you know the rest” a weight was lifted off her shoulders, but her hands found themselves on the sides of his shirt gripping tightly.
The chuckle that left his lips was mostly out of relief, and a little bit of disbelief. The information Ximena just shared shed a lot of light on the morning and explained away his questions about his sister’s, more than usual, piss-poor attitude from earlier. Aurelio released his reassuring hold on the girl’s face and wrapped his arms around her shoulders pulling her in for a hug as he let a more audible laugh escape his chest.
Good god, the woes of women were over his head.
“So what? You think Ass is going to stay mad at you forever? Nah, you know she’s not like that. My annoying ass sister might be a little more than hotheaded and irrational in the worst times, but she loves you Ximena, she’ll come around after she realizes how stupid she’s being. Then you two can do whatever weird lover shit y’all do and be as good as new.”
Aurelio had pulled away from the hug to look over the girl with a wide grin on his face, he brushed a lock of her hair behind her ear,” Astraia would never turn her back on you, she’s just on edge right now because she made some choices that she’s probably regretting. Not that that excuses her punching you, but if you want to get her back for that let me know and I’ll hold her down for you.”
His hands went from her face to a full embrace, enveloping her whole. Her body went from tense and rigid to limp and relaxed. She hadn’t been able to relax like this since, before her fight with Yessi, it was...nice. And while she could have stayed like that for the rest of the day, she knew they couldn’t. Ximena and Aurelio could never be more than what they started out as, friends. For now, she would milk this moment while it lasted.
“I don’t know Aurelio, I’ve never seen her this mad! You should have seen her, it was like I was no one to her in that instant” her head rested against his chest “I hope so I really do miss her, I don’t know how I made it while you guys were away.” She laughed at his remark burying her face into him mumbling, “Sounds to me like you’re just jealous.”
And just like that, the hug was over when he pulled away to look at the once disheveled girl. Yet he still pressed on with his delicate touch. “I know I know I wish I could help her, but I don’t think she wants to speak to me right now” a soft pout appeared on her face. “I would take you up on that offer, but I’d probably break a nail. I have another idea, let’s just say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”