A/N: my last chapter disappointed even me. Maybe ill find the time to rewrite sometime? That's not likely, but it's the thought that counts.. I guess. I'm hoping that this chapter will not be such an utter disaster.

There is cold milk soaking the front of my shirt.

"Miguel!" I shrieked angrily, digging my nails into his elbow—the elbow that bumped my arm and caused me to spill cold milk down the front of my shirt.

He yelped and jerked his arm away from my attacking nails, causing them to scrape him even more in the process. "What is your problem?!"

"Look at my freakin' shirt you jerk! Now I have to go change."

"I'm sorry! It was an accident, geez," he huffed.

My mood is not exceptionally… pleasant today. After getting home from the party—which I prefer not to think or speak about—we packed and loaded up to head to Abuelo's house. He's Dad's dad. The long drive didn't do much for my already dismal mood and now I'm a force to be reckoned with. I thought maybe a glass of milk would help relax me. Of course, I wanted to drink that glass of milk not wear it.

Antonio shot me a disapproving look. "Calm down and go change your shirt, Raquel."

Lips pressed together, I resisted the urge to glare at Antonio, knowing it would only bring me more trouble. Without a word or a glance at anyone else in the room, I headed toward the room I was staying in to find a shirt to change into. My cell phone was vibrating annoyingly in my pocket, just begging me to throw it out the window. I took it out of my pocket and chucked it onto the bed without checking to see who was calling.

I peeled off my wet shirt and dried my damp stomach with the dry back of the shirt. My nearest shirt was yanked over my head and the wet shirt thrown into the hamper. I sat down on the edge of the bed and let myself fall back.

My phone started vibrating again…

With a growl I flipped it open. "Yeah?"

"Way to answer your phone, prima."

"What do you want, Tito?"

"You are in such a bad mood, damn. Are you at Abuelo's?"

The loud music playing in the background from his end was driving me crazy. He was practically yelling just to speak to me. "Turn the damned music down and stop yelling!"

"Watch your mouth," Carlos warned as he walked by my room at that moment.

"Shut the hell up," I snarled at him.

"Get off the phone, now!" Carlos ordered, pointing angrily at me.

Tito snickered, "I'll text you."

I snapped my phone shut and sat up.

"What is wrong with you today? You don't usually use that kind of language."

"I didn't even say anything major," I grumbled at him.

Carlos leaned against the wall and tilted his head, staring me down with a slightly concerned/slightly irritated look. What was I supposed to tell him?

"I'm sorry. I think I just need a nap. I'll be okay."

"I sure hope so," he replied pushing away from the wall and reaching in to close my door. "Take that nap," he ordered.

Yo b.

Tito. I will castrate you.

OW! Ok ok sorry. I just wanted to tell u that im bringin ace with me to abuelos

Ur coming to abuelos?

Didn't I just say that?


My bad, my bad. Yeah I am.

And y did u feel the need to tell me ur bringing ace?

…I thought u would wanna know?

R u trying to hook us up?

Would I do that?

Listen tito, I don't care that ur bringing ace, but u better not play games with this. Im not even kidding.

Alright alright. We'll b there soon.


I don't need Ace issues right now, too. I really don't.


Waking up to obnoxious, incessant banging on my door was not my idea of a pleasant wake up call. Luckily for the person responsible for this racket, my nap had left me in a considerably better mood.

"Princesa, nappy time is over."

Ace is the one making all that noise on the other side of the door? Really?

"Why are you making so much noise?"

"I had to wake you up."

"Did that really require banging on the door? Why didn't you just come in and wake me up yourself? You know, gently, kindly…"

The door creaked open slowly and Ace stuck his head in. "I'm allowed in here?"

I didn't spare him a look. "Since when do you care what you're allowed to do? Don't you just do as you please?"

Ace leaned against the doorjamb and crossed his arms over his broad chest. "Is that how you see me?"

"Quit answering all of my questions with questions."

"Quit asking so many questions," he retorted with a smirk.

That smirk is too… too… he just shouldn't smirk. For the sake of my health, of course. Ace and I haven't exactly been talking since our little adventure a while ago. It wasn't because I didn't want to talk him, but something more along the lines of I couldn't bring myself to talk to him. Embarrassed was a mild way of describing my feelings about that night and following morning.

"Why did you decide to come along anyway? Don't you have your own family to spend Christmas with?"

"What did I just say about questions?"

"Will you please answer something I ask?"

Ace laughed and shook his head. "I haven't decided yet whether I want to do that or not."

"You're impossible," I muttered as I pushed the blankets away and got off the bed. Way to be obvious, Ace. 'Cause I totally couldn't feel his eyes lock in on me as I walked across the room to grab a brush to run through my messy hair. "Stop staring, Ace."

"But I'm just doing as I please. Staring at you pleases me. A lot."

"Shut up."

"Raquel? Raquel, are you awake? Mom said to—" Miguel stopped when he saw Ace standing in the doorway to my room. His eyes darted to me and narrowed. "What's going on?"

"Ace just came to tell me that Tito wanted to see me whenever I could get in there."

"Yeah, no need to be so hostile. I was just leaving." Ace brushed by Miguel, knocking their shoulders together as he did.

"I don't believe a word of that," Miguel snapped when he was gone. "Mom said to get up 'cause she doesn't want you awake all night."

I rolled my eyes. "I don't really care what she wants. Tell her I'm awake. I'm going to Tito's room. Don't tell her that."

"Tell her this, don't tell her that, who do you think I am?"

"Someone who doesn't want me to tell her all the things I know about you."

He didn't give me the satisfaction of taking my bait; he just left. I followed his lead in leaving the room and skipped down the hall to where I assumed Tito and Ace were staying. Yes, I skipped. I'm in a better mood, what can I say.

"No, listen, you have to tell him."

I paused before knocking on the door. Ace sounded pretty upset.

"You can't keep lying to him like this, it isn't right! I'm tired of it. I shouldn't have to be the adult here, grow up! José has to know. He's been living in a lie his whole life, how do you think he's gonna react? That's why you should've told him years ago! If you don't tell him, I will. Yes, I will and you know it! I don't care what you want! You don't run me. You may think that, but I don't give a damn. The hell did I just say?!"

"Ace, just hang up," Tito cut in. "Leave it, man. Hang up."

An interesting development to say the least. What was the deal with José and Ace? I know they're cousins, but who was Ace arguing with about him? Ace called a gruff "come in" when I knocked on the door a few seconds later.

"Hi," Tito said to me without actually looking at me. He had his eyes trained on Ace. A look I didn't understand glinted in those brown eyes.

Ace was staring back with just as much intensity. Talk about a silent battle. I cleared my throat once, twice. Tito and Ace finally broke their stare and turned to me simultaneously. I flinched.

"Sorry, prima. Here. Come sit with me." Tito patted the bed beside him and smiled at me.

I padded over and dropped onto the bed, immediately relaxing into Tito's side when he draped an arm around me. "When did you decide you were coming here?" I asked.

"When Abuelo called me and told me that I'd better be here," he replied with a laugh.

"Oh, yeah. Good reason."

Ace slumped onto his bed and moaned pitifully. Tito and I glanced at each other with identical looks of boredom.

"Hey, stop bein' a princesa and suck it up, man."

"Shut up, Tito," Ace groaned. He rolled over to face the wall.

Tito rolled his eyes, stretched, and got off the bed. "I'm hungry," he announced as he casually walked out the door. He thought I didn't notice, but I saw the sly look he tossed me as he closed the door behind him. Oh, I am going to kill him if I get the chance!



"What's wrong?"


"Mentiroso. (1)"

He flopped over onto his back and let his head fall to the side so he was gazing at me. "Just some stuff with familia."

"Is it José?"

Ace nodded.

"What about him?"

"Stop being nosy."

I huffed and walked over to his bed. "Just tell me," I pleaded as I sat down on the edge near his hip.

"It's complicated."

"So explain it."

He dragged a hand down his face and sighed at the ceiling. "You won't leave me alone will you?"


"Didn't think so." He crossed his arms behind his head and stared at the ceiling for about a minute before he spoke again. "José… José is my brother."

Hold up. Pause! Rewind! Play!

"Say what?"

"My brother. He's my brother. Six months younger than me. His father… my father."

"How…?" I asked, dumbfounded.

Ace shrugged tiredly. "My dad got my mom and his mom pregnant around the same time. He was engaged to my mom, but he was in love with Linda, José's mom. When my mother found out, she broke the engagement and told him to be with the one he loved. Except, Linda hadn't known he was engaged. She didn't know about me either, until after I was born. They didn't want José to know. Don't ask me why. I've been telling my father for years that José needs to know. They can't keep lying to him. My dad wants me to tell him. I'm not the jerk-off who slept with two women and got both of them pregnant. It's not my place to tell José. It's his."

I didn't really know what to say to Ace. Just by listening to him, I could tell he was really having a hard time with it. "You don't like having to lie to José do you?"

"I hate it."

"I'm sorry, Ace." The words sounded stupid to me, but Ace smiled and accepted my sentiments. Next thing I knew, I was lying across his chest, hugging him.

Beneath me, Ace's body tensed up. I closed my eyes and pushed my arms under his back so they were trapped between him and the bed. My heart was racing. I jumped slightly when his arms came around my waist and pressed me closer to him. With my ear against his chest, I could hear his heart beginning to beat faster.

"Raquel," he whispered.

Without opening my eyes, I answered him. "What is it?"

Instead of replying, Ace sat up and reversed our positions. I gasped when my back hit the bed. Ace hovered above me, eyes unreadable, mouth open slightly as he breathed silently. My hands gripped the comforter tightly as I waited for Ace to move, to speak, to… something.

Well I got my something.

Ace's lips surprised against mine surprised the heck out of me. It was a good few seconds before I even began to really realize what was happening. Ace pulled back slightly and breathed on my mouth. "Help me out here," he said before kissing me again. It's not like I don't know how to kiss. I got some practice with Javier, but with Ace… somehow it was like he had to teach me how to kiss all over again.

My hands seemed to have a mind of their own as they pushed Ace's shirt up his chest and explored his abs slowly. Did I ever mention that Ace has the body of a Greek god? Ace has the body of a Greek god. As I explored his abs and chest, Ace took the chance to slide his tongue along my bottom lip. My nails dug into his abs when I jumped in surprise. Ace hissed into my mouth, yet I don't think it was a bad hiss.

Things get foggy after that. I remember the kisses becoming more heated. I remember my face flaming in embarrassment when I moaned under his touch. Then it stopped. Ace stopped kissing me and rolled over so he was no longer on top of me. His fingers laced with mine and he leaned over to speak into my ear.


I quivered at the feeling of his hot breath and the sound of his husky voice. "Yes?"

"You wanna be my girl?"

The stupid smile on my face refused to go away. I'll admit it, I've never actually been able to get Ace out of my head since I met him. Secretly, he's all I think about. Sure, I was mad at him for a bit there, but it didn't change the way I feel about him. The thought of being his girlfriend…

"Yeah," I laughed.

"Why are you laughing?" he whined.

I turned over so I was facing him and placed my hand against his cheek. "Because I'm happy."

His face relaxed into a smile and he leaned closer to kiss me again. "Good." Before he could pull away I pressed my lips back against his to ensure that our kiss wouldn't end. He smiled into the kiss and pulled me closer. Thoughts of him consumed. Every thought focused on Ace. Well, all except one. Because in the back of my mind I couldn't push away that nagging little thought of let the trouble begin.

Mentiroso: liar (male)