Aftershocks Ch. 10: Choices


All Characters In This Story Are 18+ Years Old


Thursday, November 12, 1992

3:00 p.m., Rancho Mirage, CA


As Raúl Diego pulled the refrigerated meat van away from Jorge’s Carniceria, he smiled across the cab at his uncle, Juvenal Diego Flores, and said, “Gracias por venir, tío.” Then, reaching out his right hand, he gently touched the St. Christopher figurine glued to the S-1600’s dashboard and added, “And thanks, to you, too.” Speaking again to Juvenal, he remarked, “I like Fernando, and he is not lazy by any means, but with him along the deliveries are slower. He likes to flirt with the girls in the shops, and I think he may be in love with Luz!” Laughing aloud, he added, “Not that I blame him. That is some good looking granddaughter you have, there!”

Juvenal grunted, then said, “Pull over at the first phone booth you see, sobrino. I have to make a call.”

Raúl, already used to his laconic passenger’s gruff manner, accepted the response with aplomb. “Sure, tío, in fact, I see one just ahead by the Walgreen’s.” Aiming the International toward the drugstore, rather than the curb cut-out to Highway 111, he parked across two spaces near the blue-and-silver sidewalk kiosk.

In only a few minutes, Juvenal, holding a small notepad, was back in the cab. Tearing the top sheet loose, he handed it to Raúl, then instructed him, “Be at this address this evening at seven o’clock. Don’t lose it, and don’t be late!” Buckling his seat belt again, he put away the notebook and said, “¡Ahora, vamos al Cactus Chophouse en Palm Springs!”

Concerned and confused by the abrupt change in their planned trip home, Raúl screwed up his face and his courage. Half-challenging, but still respectful, he asked, “Cactus Chophouse? Palm Springs? I thought we were finished for the day. Did I miss an order? Why aren’t we going right back to Sonora?”

“You are finished for the day,” Juvenal answered cryptically. “I am not. I am meeting Eduardo for drinks to discuss some business with him, then we are going to that address I wrote for you. When you pick me up at seven, we will go home. You do not need to know any more, so do not ask.”

His uncle’s tone and manner brooked no argument, so Raúl silently re-started the truck and moved into traffic. A mile down the road, he risked another question. “Okay, no problem, tío, but what am I going to do with myself for four hours?”

Juvenal scoffed, “How should I know? Play pool, sleep in the truck, go to a movie… I do not care, but whatever you do, stop it in time to get to that address at seven.”

Wishing he knew more about what was up, but not wanting to push his luck with Juvenal’s wrath, Raúl gripped the steering wheel, stared straight ahead and exclaimed, “¡Bien bien! ¡Lo entiendo! ¡Estaré allí!” He hoped his exasperation did not show, or the eventual twelve-hour drive back to Hermosillo might be painfully tense.

Chattering much more gaily a hundred-and-fifteen miles to the west, thirty-eight-year-old Mariana Flores de Guerrero and her twenty-year-old daughter, Luz, were approaching Luz’ parked 1989 mustard-color Yugo GV. After five hours in the outlet stores at The Citadel in the City of Commerce, they were laden with packages and happily dead on their feet. Though cooler than outside in the direct sun, the motor-oil scented air in the parking structure hung heavily. While Mariana popped the hatchback to stow their several bags, Luz opened the little car’s other two doors to give its air conditioner a fighting chance to do its job when they got going.

As they headed north on Telegraph Road toward Atlantic Boulevard to catch The Five home, Mari reached past the floor-shifter, patted Luz’ knee and said, earnestly, “Gracias por venir de compras conmigo. ¡Me has alegrado el día!”

Luz replied, with a smile, “De nada, Mamá. It was lots of fun. And I’m sorry I didn’t consider how much the shopping trip would mean to you when you asked me at breakfast. I’m very glad, now, that we had such fun together. With our work schedules at the restaurant, it has been too long since we could just be alone and ourselves.”

“Yes, hija,” Mariana agreed. “Those were my very thoughts. Of course, now I will have lots of free time, but you will be back in the desert working again. So, today was doubly important for me.” With a departing pat, she folded her hands in her lap and sighed contentedly, “You are very dear. Thank you again.”

Luz was too embarrassed for words. Having discovered her beloved grandfather in bed with her mother last night, she wondered if her plan to say nothing was the right thing to do. “O, Dios,” she prayed. “Should I confess that I may be pregnant with Yayo’s child? ¡Ayudame por favor! What should I do?” Unconsciously lifting her small gold cross from between her breasts, she kissed it as she hoped for divine guidance.

Good day, or not, Mari had her own choices to make. She did not need a doctor, or home test kit, to know she was escorts in london pregnant. She had felt it, in her very soul, ten days ago when Dr. William Carter, her long lost father, lay naked on her; in her, with sweat breaking on his forehead as he ejaculated; when he cried out to her, ‘Come with DADDY!’

Mariana stared out the passenger window at the kaleidoscopic urban landscape shattered by whizzing vehicles fighting to enter or exit the central Los Angeles commuter river. She wondered, “Is this the day? The time? Is our mother-daughter bond strong enough to withstand Luz learning that her new grandfather is also the father of her unborn new brother or sister? Or should I lie, as I never have before this, and let her assume the child is Eduardo’s?”

Forty minutes later, Luz parked the Yugo in Carter’s driveway and the women, still in fretful quiet, toted the outlet store sacks into the big house. While Mari continued to her new bedroom, Luz poured herself a Coke in the kitchen. In a few minutes, Mari reappeared, barefoot in pink rubber flip-flops and wearing her vibrant purple-pink-green-and-blue floral print two-piece bathing suit. Seeing her daughter’s drink, she said, “That’s a great idea. Pour one for me and bring it out to the pool. Even if you did not bring a suit, we can sit on the wall and dabble our feet in the water!”

“Muy bien, Mamá. Estaré allí,” Luz answered as she pulled another can from the Amana side-by-side refrigerator/freezer.

Luz had not thought to bring any extra clothes with her excepting the sexy lingerie she had bought at the Copper Iguana expressly to show off to Yayo. In retrospect, it seemed to her odd, as well as humorous, that the see-through black underpants she had worn were first seen by his girlfriends at the ‘pajama party’ last night. Now, they were in her purse with her old white cotton pair. Leaving the dainty buttercream lace-and-netting bikini briefs boxed in tissue paper, she had put on her new high-cut scarlet satin panties today.

Aloud to her cat, who would need excellent hearing, since he was in her apartment in Palm Springs, Luz asked, “¿Debería, Pablo?” She clearly understood him to answer immediately, “Yes, mistress, you absolutely should. After all, the yard is fully fenced and there is, at the moment, only your mother to see you. But, maybe, if you are lucky, you will still be outside when your abuelo comes home!”

In the breakfast nook, Luz kicked off her white canvas slip-on Keds, then peeled down her tomato-red clam diggers and laid them over a pecan chair back. Reaching under her snowy V-neck T-shirt, she unhooked her cotton-and-lace underwired bra, pulled it off and out through her shirt sleeve, then draped it over her pants. Cokes in hand, she exited through the slider to the red brick patio and set the drinks on the round white-metal glass-topped table there. As she continued toward the pool’s shallow end, an impertinent breeze caught her T-shirt’s hem and lifted it to expose her scarlet satin panties’ narrow clinging crotch.

Fifty feet away, standing in waist-deep water, Mariana squinted with disbelief at her advancing daughter. With each step, Mari’s view angle became more acute and Luz’ scantily clad pudenda became more distinct between her smooth muscular dark thighs. When she reached the chrome handrail at the pool’s step-down entry point, she pirouetted with a flourish and said brightly, “¿Te gustan mis bragas, Mamá?”

Mari stare up at the high-cut leg-holes which reduced the underwear’s waistband to a mere half-inch elastic strip over Luz’ hipbones. The panties had a full seat, but that only accented how little material covered the girl’s abdomen four inches below her deeply indented navel. Shocked at the display, she answered, “That is why they are called, ‘underwear’, Luz! And, you are braless behind that T-shirt! What if Papá came home early and saw you wearing this outfit? Wouldn’t you be ashamed?”

Luz knew the answer her mother wanted to hear, but she did not provide it. Stepping into the water, she sank to her knees and up to her neck, then stood again. The soaked T-shirt hugged her breasts like translucent white paint while the soft red satin molded itself to her coño like a second skin. Flashing her teeth in a huge grin, she replied, “This yard is completely private, Mamá. There is only family here now, and later, too. I should not feel shame with family, should I?”

Mariana swallowed hard, but was unable to come up with a quick rejoinder. Meanwhile, Luz argued further, “Do not think Yayo does not know what a young woman looks like. We both know he makes love to Peri and Trish each night!” She had not intended to get so excited or carried away with her comments, but suddenly she heard herself saying, forcefully, “And you are a fine one to talk to me about shame, when Yayo spent all last night with you in your bed!”

Luz covered her indiscreet mouth and exclaimed through her fingers, “¡Oh Mamá! ¡Lo siento! No quise…”

Stunned, Escort in dubai as if physically slapped, Mari registered the apology, but waded forward, then wrapped up her daughter in a big hug, and said, “No, hija, you are right! I am the one who should be ashamed. And forgive me for saying otherwise!” Both women burst into tears.

Luz blubbered, “No, Mamá, don’t be ashamed.” Clinging to her mother, she felt as if she was ten years old again and had to confess her naughtiness to make things right. “I have not been honest with you. I think I may be pregnant and, if so, Humberto is not the father. Yayo is!”

Mariana shook her head as the last words blitzed her mind. “¿Qué? ¿Tú? ¿Hiciste el amor con tu abuelo? ¿Y estas embarazada?” Not wanting her own outburst mistaken as a scold, she kissed Luz and squeezed her tighter as she soothed, “No te preocupes. Everything will be alright. I love you. We both love Papá and he loves us in all ways.” Then, sweeping her arm toward the house, she added, “And yes, he loves his girlfriends, too.”

Leading Luz up the pool steps as she talked, Mari continued, “But we must not be jealous of Peri or Trish, or interfere. Remember, we are blood of his blood. Always we will be closer to his heart. And Papá knows this, too.” At the umbrella table, she pointed significantly to the empty chairs and said, “Sit. Drink. I must tell you my news, too.”

When Eduardo Guerrero entered The Cactus Chophouse’ lounge area at a few minutes past four, Juvenal was already waiting at the bar with two double-shot glasses. Waving his son-in-law over, he said, “Buen momento, Eduardo, nuestros tequilas fueron derramados.” Rising from his leatherette stool, he indicated a booth in the room’s dark far corner and said, “Let’s go over there. Brink your drink.”

As they settled onto the banquet bench, Eduardo’s curiosity was stronger than his patience. Tossing back his double tequila, he slapped the shot glass onto the table top and demanded, more than asked, “So, suegro, what is this all about? What’s so important that you came back from Mexico after twenty years hiding out from your wife? You want to say to Mari that you’re sorry, maybe? For not being there when her daughter was born? When her mother died?”

Juvenal grinned, but the deep shadows hid his expression from view, even across the table. “No, Eduardo. Not to her.” He pushed the second drink across the Formica and said, “Here, these were both for you, from me. It was really you who I want to speak to.” Then, lying, he added in a low conspiratorial voice, “I am… not well. I have a premonition that Death is very close. Today is a day to make amends.”

Eduardo was very impressed by his father-in-law’s sincere and abject tone. He drank down the offering and pushed the empty glass aside, next to the first, as he answered, “Well, it is never too late for such things. At least, that is what the priests tell us. I am sorry to hear this news. Tell me more so that I may know what to say to Mari and to Luz.”

Juvenal nodded agreement and said, “Esta bien, pero no aqui.” Sliding off the seat and standing up, he asked, “I have taken a room at a motel for this purpose. Please drive me there and stay awhile with me. If I am right and the end comes, I want you to be near. ¿Por favor?”

Eduardo was deeply moved by the request. He thought, as he processed the odd situation, “If this tough son-of-a-bitch is begging a favor from me, he must be in a really bad way.” Standing also, he tucked his right arm around Juvenal’s shoulders and slurred, “Bueno, vamos entonces, viejo.” Then, catching himself weaving, he half-crossed his eyes and exclaimed, “I must have gotten up too fast. Or else that añejo was very strong.”

Juvenal quickly transitioned from being the one held to being the holder. Guiding his woozy yerno through the lounge, he said softly, “No te preocupes. When we get to the motel, you can lay down and rest for a little.” Then he chuckled, “But, give me your keys. It looks like I should be the one who drives, amigo!”

Twenty minutes later, Juvenal pulled Eduardo’s sleek black Mercedes coupe into the San Jacinto View Motor Court’s parking lot. His semi-conscious passenger, held upright by the cross-chest safety belt, slumped with a blank open stare against the door. He paid no attention as Juvenal pawed through his sports jacket’s inside pocket for his wallet, then left the car and walked into the motel office. A bored gangly young man, sitting behind the counter reading a comic book, barely lifted his head to ask, “Ya wanna room, mister?”

“Hello,” replied Juvenal pleasantly. “I think I already have one. My name is Eduardo Guerrero and I called this afternoon? I think maybe it was you that I spoke with. You have a room with a Jacuzzi, I think you said.”

“Oh, yeah, I remember now,” the kid said, putting down his magazine and rummaging through some loose papers on the counter. “Number Eleven, at the end of the other row.” He snickered, Dubai Escorts “Pop calls it the ‘bridal suite’ ’cause it’s gotta king bed and it’s the only cabin with a Jacuzzi.” He peered past the curtains into the westering sun at the parked 1991 SL 300 but its heavily tinted widows prevented him seeing anyone. Continuing his little joke, he pried, “You gotta bride out there with you, mister? I can take a picture of you carrying her across the threshold, if you want.”

Juvenal shook his head. “No, no bride. Just me. But I have been driving all day and the bubbles will feel good.” He pushed Eduardo’s VISA card across to the boy and said, “Just the one night, thank you.”

“Okay, then, Mr. Guerrero,” the youth replied, as he returned the card. “Just sign the charge slip and put your license number down on the registration card.” He grinned apologetically, “Don’t get much traffic her on a Thursday night, but rules are rules.” Anxious to get back to ‘Darkhawk’ to see what Captain America and Daredevil would do next, he took back the filled in forms without a second glance.

Minutes later, Juvenal helped Eduardo into Number Eleven and led him to the big bed. Eduardo, uncomprehending, watched as Juvenal swiftly drew the room curtains closed at all windows and then set a white vinyl Aeromexico flight bag on the built-in writing desk. The next thing he knew, his father-in-law was pulling him up from the mattress, leading him to the desk and seating him in the straight chair there. He did not understand why he was so groggy, but he knew he would rather lie down than sit up.

Standing behind Eduardo, and bracing him in the chair by his shoulder points, Juvenal said evenly, “Remember you agreed amends are never to late? I need you to write an apology to Mariana and Luz for me. You know them better than I do, so you will know better what to say.” He lightly slapped Eduardo’s lax right cheek to keep him alert, then went on, “Use your own words, but say something like, ‘I am very sorry for the hurt I have caused you. Please forgive me.’ “

Eduardo groaned. He tried to question why his suegro could not simply say the words himself, but his throat seemed dry and paralyzed. He looked at the blank motel stationery sheet before him as he felt a pen being placed in his right hand. Reflexively, he gripped the instrument and moved it to the paper.

“That’s right, yerno,” Juvenal praised quietly. “Go on, now. Write me a nice note that they will understand and appreciate.”

Woozily wanting only to lay down again and sleep off his bizarre drunkeness, Eduardo began writing. His loose loopy script looked familiar to him, as the words appeared magically under the ballpoint, but his hand did not feel like his own. He bit his tongue and tried to concentrate. Hoping his father-in-law would now put him back on the bed, he stabbed a period at the apology’s last line and dropped the pen.

Juvenal seized the unsigned document and read it aloud, “Querida Mari y Luz, lamento mucho el dolor que te he causado. Por favor perdoname.” Smiling, he patted Eduardo’s left cheek and complimented, “Perfecto. Mis palabras exactamente.” Then, quick as a terrier on a rat, he inverted Eduardo’s sports coat collar and stretched it over the chair’s back.

Eduardo’s mind set off self-defense alarms, but even if his arms had not been effectively bound by his pulled-down jacket sleeves, his gross motor control was insufficient to react. Juvenal, scarily calm, advised him, “That is only to prevent you falling to the floor, while I take away your shoes and trousers, amigo.” Then he pivoted his son-in-law and the chair as a unit to face the motel room door.

Dropping to one knee, Juvenal efficiently removed Eduardo’s Italian tassel-loafers and tailored brown wool slacks. Then, rising, he left him sitting professionally dressed in his white shirt and tie above the waist, but wearing only his Jockey briefs and burnt umber silk knee socks below. While Juvenal moved to the closet to hang Eduardo’s pants, he spoke casually over his shoulder, “You may have forgotten, if ever you knew, that after amends, comes penance.”

Returning to the desk, Juvenal removed a cotton rope from his flight bag and improved the bindings on Eduardo such that his calves and ankles were secured to the chair legs while tight coils held his torso to its back. “We have a couple of hours to spend together. As the drugs I put in your tequila wear off, you will want to yell out, but I cannot allow this.”

Wadding up a washcloth from the bathroom, Juvenal stuffed the terry ball into Eduardo’s slack mouth then taped it over with silver duct tape over from a roll in his vinyl satchel. Next he pulled out and held up for inspection a shiny chrome Burdizzo. Eduardo’s eyes saucered as he guessed what was about to occur. Putting the emasculator tool aside on the desk, Juvenal pulled his victim’s briefs down to his knees.

Juvenal could not help but laugh out loud at the squat red-topped prick that nestled on Eduardo’s overlarge testicles. He clapped a hand heavily onto his son-in-law’s shoulder and said mirthfully, “I must tell you, yerno, as a maricón with more than forty-five years experience, I have seen many men’s carajos, but yours is unique!”

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