2014
International Latino Book Award
Best Novel - Romance - Just A Kiss

 

 

 

Newest Release Just a Kiss
Just a Kiss

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Listen to the music from the story

A year after being held captive by a dangerous stalker, Celina Gonzalez
decides to reclaim her life. With the help of her girlfriends and a business partner, Celina makes her own “Doomsday List,” everything she wants to do before The End, because the date is approaching -- December 21, 2012.

Little by little, fulfilling wishes from her doomsday list, Celina begins to enjoy life again, until one of her wishes -- to kiss a handsome stranger -- that gets her into a heap of trouble, and puts her in danger again.
With that fated kiss, Celina bewitches Pancho Guerrero, a former Navy SEAL just returned home to McAllen, Texas. He may have been ready to settle down at home, but his cousin, a high-ranking Mexican drug cartel leader, has other plans for him and his special ops training.

Pancho unwillingly gets caught between this angel and the devil when the cartel kidnaps Celina, as she falls to the mercy of one of the most ambitious and ruthless drug cartels, as they use her to make Pancho do a dirty deed for them.

Will Celina make it to 12-21-12?

 

Chapter 1

 

To the club

 

Celina revved the engine to her high-performance muscle car, parking next to the Mustang that was racing her moments ago. She lowered the volume to the song that was playing by AC/DC, “Highway to Hell.”

“When are you going to stop driving like a young teenager in this car?” Valeria pulled out her cosmetic bag from her oversized purse.

“I’m just having a little fun. And besides, he started wanting to race me back at that light.” She threw her head back against the leather seat, reeling in the moment.

“You know that kid can’t beat you in this car… so why do you even give them a chance and let them think that they can?”

“They think because I’m a girl, that I can’t drive this car. That’s why.” She looked right at her.

“And who gives a shit!” She looked inside the beauty bag and pulled out a lipstick. “You’re going to get a ticket here, and one that you’ll have to pay for! We don’t know anyone in this town that can get rid of it for you. This is not Laredo!”

She looked out her window. Yeah, yeah, Valeria. If Valeria could only remember that she hadn’t driven her car like that in a very long while, and doing so right now felt so fuckin’ good. She took a deep breath and watched the guy who had just raced her get out of his car. He came around to open the passenger door. She eyed his butt through the tight-fitting jeans he wore, and glanced at his white shirt which, was slightly open. She peeked to get a glance at his muscular chest. He turned to look into her car, and she flashed him a big smile. He smiled a sexy smile back at her, but then Celina felt the eyes of death on her. She got a mean girl stare from another girl, who stepped out of the guy’s Mustang.

Celina laughed.

“What’s so funny?” asked Valeria, looking around with wonder, waving the lipstick around in her hand.

“I just got the mean girl stare.” She glanced at her rearview mirror, watching the couple walk away.

“Why?”

“’Cause she caught me checking out her man.”

Valeria puckered her lips and nodded her head. “Is that so? Oh my goodness! Are you trying to tell me that the Celina that I once knew is back?” She transferred a small wallet into an evening purse.

Celina gave her a sly smile. “Not sure, but my eyes have been wandering around lately.”

“Praise the Lord!” Valeria threw her hands up. “Maybe time has finally cured my girl.”

Celina gripped the gearstick, slowly moving her hand up and down, feeling the hardness of it, waiting for Valeria to finish up with her last-minute cosmetic touchups. I hope Valeria’s right about that. Maybe I am cured, after lying out in the hot, blazing sun, sipping margaritas and watching hardbodies after hardbodies, out on the beach. For some reason, I am feeling more receptive being around men. The look in their eyes, the smell of their manly cologne… have aroused my senses lately like you have no idea, when they hadn’t anymore. My eyes have been constantly rotating in every direction, drinking in certain male anatomy parts. And the thought of one just holding me has been on my mind lately. I’m still scared, but at least I know that I want that again, when I thought I would never.    

Celina and her friend, Valeria, had attended a hair show in South Padre Island earlier that day; actually, they had been there the past three days and were told about a new rock club that was rocking the Texas valley in McAllen. It wasn’t Friday night, but Thursday night, and it showed potential with a line waiting to go into the club.

Stepping out of the car, Valeria said, “Girl, you know that if this place is hot, we are going to have to stay the night.” She slammed the car door shut.

When they came around the corner, Celina paused to look at the building. “Look at that big ass electric guitar hanging front the top of the entrance.” The guitar was lit up with blue ghost flames and with the name of the club in bright orange.

“Talking about ass.” She tugged on her tight skirt. “How's my ass look?” she asked, with her gaze zooming in on a handsome man.
            “Shut the hell up! I don't want to see your ass. You know your ass is big and could cover up a full moon.” Celina replied, running her fingers through her long hair as she walked toward the club entrance.
            “Jealous as always,” Valeria said, hitting her with her evening purse.
            “Yeah, right. I got a fine ass too. It's just not oversized.” She let out a loud laugh.
            “Well, for your information, I have gotten several complements when I've backed up my fine ass in the bedroom,” sang Valeria, as they waited in line. She slapped her hand on her butt, and then pointed in the air with her French acrylic tips.

Celina closed her eyes for a moment, shook her head, and then her shoulders when that mental image flashed before her, and said, “Please, enough with the horror stories. That’s T.M.I.”
            The line advanced. “What’s T.M.I.?” Valeria looked and wrinkled her forehead.

Helllloooo. Too. Much. Information,” she replied, waving her hand in front of Valeria’s face.

 “Girl, there's lots of men who like curvy women of generous size and proportions,” said Valeria, pushing up her cleavage.

At the front of the line, they found themselves looking up at a very large man, who greeted them. “Hello, ladies.”

Valeria's expression quickly changed upon hearing his voice. “Hello to you too, papi.” She flashed her teeth and batted her eyelashes at him.

The guy at the door stamped their hand and licked his lips at Valeria.

The girls walked through the club doors, Valeria looking back and winking while she whispered in Celina's ear, “You see, he likes curvy women, and oh, how I'd love to have his mouth up in my coco-puff licking it up like a melting Popsicle.”

Celina threw her shoulders back and shouted, looking up at the ceiling, “Please, no more, God. Tell her to stop!”

Valeria laughed loud, as if someone was tickling her feet.

Celina stood looking around in amazement, walking further into the Blue Rock Night Club, as bright blue neon lights swirled on the walls, and moving beams flashed a colored light show on the ceiling.

Valeria pointed up at enormous props hanging over the main dance floor. “Look at the fog!” she said, shouting over the deafening beat.

“Yes, I see the fog coming out of them,” she replied, in reference to the props, but was more interested in spotting the guy who was driving that Mustang. She was hoping to get a better look at him and his date.

The girls climbed to the top level and looked down at the main dance floor filled with people dancing and having a good time. The vibrant laser lights, with astonishing colors, lit up the place. The special effects allowed you to see the people, yet still gave a cozy effect.

Ten minutes later, they sat at a table, sipping on their first margaritas and taking a look around.

“Look at those skinny girls near the bar, dancing up on those platforms. I'd like to get up there and shake my booty too.” Valeria held her drink in air, looking over the rim.

“Honey, I think those girls are paid dancers. I don't think just anybody can go up there.” Celina shot Valeria a sideways glance and released her breath.

“Hey, girl, I…” Valeria protested, and she continued to babble on about her curvy figure, but Celina couldn’t hear her anymore. Suddenly she was awestruck. By a man. He was sitting just below the stairs, on the first level. Madre mía! Mira nomas. ¿Qué cosas, tan hermosas! Her heart was actually skipping beats.

Where did he come from? Was he there all this time and I didn't see him until now? Oh my God, he is sexy. She had never had such an immediate attraction to any other man before, but her endorphins were going haywire with what she saw.

The song, “American Woman,” by The Guess Who, began to play. Valeria shouted over the loud music, “This is a nice club.” She then continued to scope the energetic crowd on the dance floor, with a big smile on her face as she hummed along, swaying her head back and forth to the rhythm.  She then began to sing, “American woman....” She then turned to look at Celina.  “What's wrong? Why aren't you singing? That's our song, girl!” She elbowed Celina.

Celina looked a little lost; she was mesmerized—her eyes focused on the man who was now sitting alone at the table. 

Valeria placed her hand on Celina's arm and shook it, “What's wrong Cel?”

 

 

Chapter 2

 The kiss

 

Was her vision this good, or was she seeing things? Because, from where she was sitting, she could see that his square jaw was covered with at least one day's growth of beard, maybe two. And his oversized Adam’s apple was looking so salacious every time he took a sip from his drink.    

Celina smiled. “You see that guy over there, the one with the light grey shirt and black sports coat? I think he's the one.”

“The one for what?” Valeria’s eyes rounded, in complete puzzlement. Conversations with Celina could be guessing games at times, when she didn't give too much information.

“For my bucket list. You know, to kiss a handsome stranger.  He's the one Val, just look at him. He's got my name written all over him.”

Valeria turned to look at the guy, again. “Yes, you’re right, he's your type, and he's cute too.  Do you have the card with you?”

Of course she had the card. She had been carrying that little piece of paper for the last six months, since the first day they wrote their list and thinking she'd never use it. To walk up and kiss a handsome stranger without his permission was one of her dream wishes on her doomsday list.

Celina opened her purse, “I sure do… never leave home without it… but you do know that after I kiss him, we're going to have to leave.” She batted her eyelids with her long and full fake eyelashes.

Leave! We just got here. Are you sure you can't wait ‘til later?” Valeria asked, with a frown pinching her brows. “The music is great and they’re playing one of our favorites, girlfriend.” She took a deep breath, “You mean, not even for another drink!”

“No, I can’t wait, because… what if he leaves and I miss my chance?” she told her, pulling out her lip gloss from her silver evening purse.

“But I wanted to have another piña-cola, with a pink umbrella this time, look like that one over there,” she pointed to a waiter who had one on his tray.

 Celina glanced at the waiter's tray but didn't really pay any attention to the drinks he carried, much less the pink umbrella Valeria wanted. In a moment like this one, she couldn't care less who was around her and what they had to offer. She needed to get up and do this before she changed her mind. She felt a flutter in her chest, looking once again at the heartthrob she was about to approach. She rubbed her lips together, making a loud smacking sound, and put the tube of lip gloss away.
            “Sorry, so get ready, because here I go. Wish me luck, girl.” She waved to Valeria as she walked away.

Celina's heart began to beat faster, as she walked towards the table where the stranger sat. As she got closer, she could see his face and she wondered if she could do it.  She continued walking, swaying her hips, moving the fabric of her sexy red halter dress to the rhythm of “American Woman” that continued to play.  A few feet away from him, the stranger looked up when he saw her approaching, and his eyes locked with hers. In that moment, time stood still, and it was only them in the room. In a matter of seconds, Celina reached his table, threw her arm around his neck, looked right into his eyes, and then she kissed his lips.  Her kisses were soft and sweet but soon turned to hot, passionate ones.

The handsome stranger had placed his arms around her waist, bringing her in closer, and he matched her kisses, opening his mouth wider, slipping his tongue into her mouth. He deepened the kiss and used his tongue to drive her as wild as she was driving him.

 After a few seconds, she pulled from the heated kiss, looked at his square jaw line and split chin, then met his eyes.

He smiled at her, with gleaming eyes and a heaving chest.

She quickly went for her purse, pulled out a small card, and handed it to him.  She looked into his eyes one more time, then turned around and left quickly, finding Valeria at the table and grabbing her by the hand.

“So how did it go? I saw you kissing the shit out of him.” She began to laugh loudly. “Oh my God, Celina! I can't believe you did it.”

 “Me too. It's time to leave.  Now… move it.”

Celina ran in her thin, spiky, black high heels, with Valeria following behind in her less-dainty heels through the nightclub, pushing people out of the way, headed straight to the front door and out to the parking lot. 


 

Chapter 3

 

Where did she go?

 

The stranger followed and eventually made his way through the crowd and out to the sidewalk, but the girls were nowhere to be found.

Que pasa? What’s going on?” asked his cousin, who had run out behind him.

“I don’t know. Did you tell that girl in the red dress to come up and kiss me?” he turned to look at him with a demanding look. He knew his cousin would do anything to get what he wanted from him.

He chuckled, “No, of course not. Why would I do that?”
            He shook his head. “You know why. Tu sabes! Well, at least tell me this… do you know her?” His breathing was hard.

He looked right back at him and said, “Hell, no, I’ve never seen her at the club. Believe me, I would have remembered her.” He then mumbled, to himself, “Dios mio, she's beautiful.”

The stranger stood on the sidewalk looking at the card Celina had put into his hands.

“What’s that you’re reading?” he asked, walking up to him.

 He shrugged his shoulders, and read it aloud, “Thank you, for making my wish come true, which was, to kiss a handsome stranger.”

“Is that it? No name or phone number?” he asked, taking the card from his fingers. “Hey…” he turned to one of the security guards at the door and said, “go and see if you can print a picture off the security camera of those girls that just ran out of here, especially the one in the red dress.”

In that moment, tires screeched from the side parking lot of the nightclub with a loud roar of a high-performance engine reversing out.

“Hey, look,” said the stranger. “It’s them.”

Celina then put the car in first gear, stepped on the accelerator and popped the clutch, smoking the rear tires. The tires screeched loudly, and the engine roared when the car exited the parking lot and passed the front of the club.

“Is that a Camaro?” asked the cousin.

“Yeah, it’s a 1968 y tiene cojones,” said the stranger, looking at the mystery girl who had just given him the kiss of his lifetime.

Celina waved, smiling a sexy smile at him as she drove passed him.

“Nice ride, and who would’ve thought a girl would drive a muscle car like that? It’s just too much horsepower for a chica. Did you hear the engine, ese?”

“A muscle car driven by a very interesting woman… but who is she, dude? I need to find her,” he said, looking down the street. He was hoping she would turn around, but her tail lights disappeared into the darkness of the night.

“Did you see the license plate numbers?” asked the cousin, with great interest.

“No, I was too busy looking at her. Man, she’s beautiful,” he muttered, standing with his hands on his hips, in a complete daze and breathing hard. She caught me off guard and left me with a woody behind my zipper. I have never had to run with a hard-on before. She excited me… is it the fact that I haven't been with a woman in months? Or is this woman special? I need to find out, I want more of her.

“Don’t worry, with a car like that, she won’t be hard to find.” Assured the cousin, vowing to himself to find her.

 

 

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