The Cece & Juan Vignettes: Chapter Thirteen - Mother's Daughter




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Chapter 13 – Mother’s Daughter

Cece POV

18 years old …

Mumbai

The hammock rocked back in forth in a breeze that smelled like paradise. Cece wasn’t making it move, but she didn’t feel unsafe either, considering Juan had her wrapped tight in his arms while he foot on the ground did the work of keeping them moving. The trees blocked most of the bright afternoon son from her line of view, and the heat was just delicious enough to keep her in that tiny white bikini she knew Juan loved to hate, and hated to love.
Everybody looked her way when she wore that.
Even him.
“When we get back,” she started to say.
“Hmm?”
His hum echoed in her ear, making her smile.
“I don’t think I’m returning to college,” Cece said.
Juan’s arm flexed around her a bit, but he didn’t miss a beat in swinging the hammock nor did he give her any sign of how he felt about that statement. “Well, let’s be honest, babe, you haven’t really spent much time at college at all this last semester. I’m not sure what you’re still trying to do with that but—”
“I got bored,” she admitted. “I wanted to try normal. I tried to explain it to Naz, because he tried to call me out like I was just doing college to do it, I guess. He didn’t get it—but he’s got no interest in being normal. He’s always been anything but.”
“First, does your brother even have normal people struggles, because … I don’t think he does. I’m not surprised he didn’t get it, Cece.”
“Yeah.”
Secondly,” he said, nipping her shoulder with his teasing teeth, “how did normal work out for you?”
“Like shit.”
She laughed.
So did he.
“Everybody let me keep pretending, though,” she said in a sigh, “no matter how long I was going to keep it up, it seemed.”
“Pretend what?”
Cece shrugged, enjoying Juan’s hard lines and warmth that never seemed to be quite close enough … even like this. She would always want more of him—that was a promise. “I guess, that I wasn’t my mother’s daughter.”
Silence saturated the beach.
Juan broke it first when he asked, “But did you ever think you weren’t?”
“Not once.”
“Then what did it matter what anyone else might have thought?”
Cece laughed under her breath. “I guess it didn’t.”
His teeth nipped her shoulder again. Promising and fun at the same time. “Exactly.”
“Hmm.”
“Roll over,” he demanded.
She did, rocking the hammock dangerously at the same time. He took that chance to steal a kiss from her, but she didn’t mind in the least. Especially not when he tasted like that and kissed her the way he did. Hungry and possessive and pleased.
It drove her crazy.
Only he could do that.
“You know,” he murmured against her lips, “you were never normal, Cece.”
“Oh, no?”
He shrugged, smirking.
God.
She loved that look on him.
Too damn much.
“No,” he said again, “because you can’t be normal. Not when you’re already exceptional.”
And just like that.
Poof.
There went her heart.
But frankly?
He’d already taken it long ago.
Nothing and no one on earth could or would ever be Juan to Cece.
Facts were facts.

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