Lourdes looked at her seriously. "This is my life," she said,
"So this is where he lives." Lita said. "Shit, nice
Lourdes wasn't focused. "Shit." She whispered to
"What?" Lita asked looking around. "What's
"You see that car right there." Lourdes
"That one?" Lita asked pointing. "What about
"Looks like one of Alex's." Lourdes
is he doing
"Are you sure you still want to go in?"
"I've got to." Lourdes said.
Lourdes exhaled slowly. She turned and smiled at Lita. "It's
not a problem. Pretty sure it has nothing to do with me." She
leaned over and gave her a hug. "Call you
"Yeah much." Lita said softly as Lourdes exited the
Lourdes knocked on Gabriel's door after Lita had drove off.
She had absolutely no idea what she was doing here. She wasn't
ready to confront him. She didn't really want to see him. Her
only mission was to run foul play between him
Alexsander opened the door. He didn't look happy to see her.
In fact, he looked upset, maybe even pissed
Lourdes took a step back thrown off guard. She knew that was
his car, but she still wasn't prepared to see him. "What are you
doing here?" She asked.
"Hi I'm Alex, Gabriel's friend." He said
Lourdes let out a nervous laugh.
Alex looked quickly over his shoulder, then turned back to
Lourdes. "I tried calling you." He spoke
"Not here." Lourdes whispered, stepping
"We really need to talk." He said.
"Not here." She whispered again.
"Gabe needs to tell you something." He
"If this is about-"
"It's not." He said, not letting her finish her sentence.
"Just don't leave without making sure that he tells you
"I don't know what you're talking about." Lourdes
"Eh mate," Gabe called from somewhere in the back, "was that
"Yes!" Alex said over his shoulder, then turned back to
Lourdes. He spoke quickly. "I have to fly home to L.A. we're
starting production for season 3. But I still want you to call me
as soon as you finish with Gabe."
"Your working so close to the holiday?" She whined. "I
thought it would be at least after
He shook his head. "I'll be back in time for Emma and Thomas'
Lourdes silently nodded her head. Alex kissed her on the
cheek. "Late'rs." He said pulling his keys out of his
"Yeah, late'rs." Lourdes repeated. She watched Alex's tall
frame disappear into the night as she closed the door behind him.
Lourdes turned around and forced a smile as she caught a glimpse
of Gabriel as he stepped into the hallway.
"There she is." He said walking up and giving her a hug.
"How's my best girl?"
"Just dandy." Lourdes said. "What's up with you and
Gabriel took a step back. "Nothing, why, what did he
"Nothing." Lourdes said, looking at him strangely. "Did
"Of course not." He said turning away from her. He put his
hand up to his face and rubbed his chin. Lourdes tossed her
things down on the sofa and turned towards him. "What's new?" She
"Loads." He said. "For starters, how come you never told me
that Alex broke up with Celia?"
"Good morning!" Lourdes said to the boys as she sat on a bar
stool at the counter of Pride Diner. "How are we
"Fucking great." Albear said. "More coffee!" He called out to
"Somebody must have been out to the wee hours of the
morning." Lourdes sang.
"Well good for him." Albear said bitterly. "I was pulling an
all nighter for work."
laughed. "It's not as much fun as pulling an all nighter
Tyler and Corey snickered.
Lourdes smiled, putting her hand on Alby's shoulder. "Don't
worry," she said, "the case your working on is almost over, then
you'll be free to just fall apart."
"Who says anything about falling apart?" Albear asked. "I'm
going to fuck til I drop."
"Yeah, I'm sure that's what she meant." Tyler
They all laughed. Everyone except
"Oh excuse me." Lourdes said as her phone rang. She moved
away from the counter. "Which phone is that?" Corey
"Looks like the booty phone to me." Albear smiled perking up
and showing some interest.
Lourdes could hear the boys laughing as she walked away.
"Hello?" She said.
"It's me." Alexsander said.
"Hey." Lourdes said. "What's up?"
"You never called."
"I know I got busy."
"Doing what?" He demanded.
"I had some things to take care of."
"What did you and Gabriel talk about?" He
"Nothing?!" He asked.
"Not really." Lourdes said.
"I don't fucking believe this!" He said on the other end of
"What's wrong?" Lourdes asked concerned.
"Call him now." Alex said.
"I'm sitting down to breakfast." Lourdes
"You two have things that you need to talk
"Well whatever it is, you obviously know, so why don't you
just tell me. How bad can it be?"
There was a long silence on the other end of the line. "Do
you love him?" He asked.
What the fuck? That came out of nowhere. And yet, it seemed
to be the question on every bodies mind. "Fine." Lourdes said.
"I'm hanging up and calling him now."
"Lourdes?" Alex said.
"Yeah?" Lourdes said putting the phone back up to her
"Never mind," he said, "call me later."
"Yeah, later." Lourdes said hanging up. She dialed Gabriel's
number. 1, 2, 3 rings and voice mail. "Can't say I didn't try."
She mumbled to herself. Lourdes turned and walked back over to
"Well hello there! Long time no see." Emma said, as she and
Thomas both gave Lourdes a hug at the same time. Emma had her
long blonde hair in wavy curls and she was in a dark green party
dress. It was a nice look for her. Lourdes wasn't a fan of her
penciled eyebrows, but she still looked elegant. Thomas was very
conservative like always. Dark Brooks Brothers suit, with a green
tie to match Emma's dress. "Nice tie," Lourdes said tugging on it
softly, "and of course you look fabulous." She said to
"What no hug for me?" Gabriel asked as he followed in behind
Lourdes. He was slightly less conservative. His thick brown hair
was a mess and his normally clean shaven face was sprouting a
full on beard. He wore a white polo shirt and dark blue
"Good to see you man." Thomas said shaking Gabriel's
"Come on in." Emma ignored Gabriel, taking a hold of Lourdes'
arm and led her inside. The house was decorated beautifully. A
small tree was near the fireplace, twinkling white lights
everywhere and Christmas music was playing
"Alright I think you know everybody," Emma said, "hey guys,
the last guest have arrived!"
Lourdes looked around the room, waving at everybody. "Smells
great." Lourdes said to Emma.
"Yeah about that," Emma smiled, "I could really use your
opinion on something. Can I pick your brain for a
"Sure." Lourdes said, smiling at Gabe and Thomas and giving
them a quick wave as they headed for the kitchen. Lourdes paused
for a moment and slowed down as they walked past Alexsander
talking with some friends. He gave her a half smile. She gave him
one back but kept moving. Once they reached the kitchen, Emma
closed the door behind them.
"Everything looks great." Lourdes said. "What's the
"For starters," Emma said, "I am so sorry about Stacy. I had
Lourdes paused. "What is it that you think you know?" She
"Stacy told me about...Gabriel."
"And she told me that you ambushed her while she was
"She did?" Lourdes repeated.
"She says that the whole thing between she and Gabriel was an
accident and it just happened."
Lourdes said with disbelief. "Do you believe that?" Emma said nothing, which of
course meant no. "How long have you known?" Lourdes
"Not long, I swear." Emma said putting one hand over her
heart and the other one in the air.
"Does Thomas know?" Lourdes asked.
Emma shrugged her shoulders. "He's my husband." She spoke
softly, which of course meant yes.
"Does everybody know?" Lourdes
"I don't know." Emma said.
"Great," Lourdes mumbled, "now I'm going to have to go
through the night being everybody's hot
"They're probably gossiping about me right now. They must
think I'm an idiot for showing up with him."
"Why did you?" Emma asked.
shook her head. "I don't know, I guess I still haven't given him
the chance to tell his side of the
"If I would have known this whole time that Stacy was angling
back towards him, I would have kept her at a greater distance."
"Well...it's not always under our control
and Gabe is as much to blame as she is."
it was best that she didn't come tonight, in the interest of all
"Great." Lourdes said. "Thanks for
Emma forced a smile. "So you and Gabe, you haven't....talked
"Not really." Lourdes said. "He's so busy with work, I'm so
busy the other half of the time. I'm just giving us some space
until I work out how I feel about all of
"Wow," she replied, "you're really being a trooper about all
"If I want to keep it together, then I don't have a
"Wow Lourdes, that's really evolved of you, but what about
the other thing? I would be so mad, I don't think I could get
"What other thing?" Lourdes asked
"You know, the whole thing with the..."
She didn't get a chance to finish as Thomas and Gabe walked
in. "The parties out there you two," Thomas pointed behind him,
while pushing up his glasses on his face, "no more
Lourdes and Emma smiled as they headed out of the kitchen. It
was as if they knew what they were talking about and wanted to
put an end to it quickly. "So finish what you were saying." She
whispered to Emma, but there was no chance, the boys were at
their heels. "Later." Emma said quietly as they reached the other
Lourdes took a deep breath, regrouping herself, and tried to
focus on the party. There was nobody that she really felt like
socializing with. Especially now. She wondered what Albear and
the boys were up to? First task, getting a
"Oh you read my mind." Lourdes smiled as Gabe walked up to
her with a glass of wine.
"You look like you could use one." He said. "Who are all of
these awful people?" He asked jokingly.
"Um, I believe they're your friends."
He snorted. "If you say so."
Lourdes looked at him. She thought he was kidding, but he
wasn't smiling. Maybe it was the fact that Stacy wasn't here.
"Something wrong?" She asked.
"No." He said, shaking his head and standing closer to her.
"Been a long day." He wrapped his arm around her waist and kissed
her on the cheek.
"You wanna go somewhere quiet and talk about it?" Lourdes
asked. She had given him every opportunity to own up to the whole
Stacy thing, but he dodged her at every
"No," he said, "let's just try and enjoy the
"Well that shouldn't be a problem." Lourdes said taking a big
gulp of her wine.
"Oh hey!" Gabriel said putting his hand up and waving at
somebody Lourdes didn't recognize. He took his arm from around
her waist and grabbed her free hand. "Come on," he said, "lets go
and say hi."
"Nah, you go ahead." Lourdes said. "I just want to chill for
"Alright then." He smiled at her, kissing her hand, then
letting go and walking away.
Lourdes took another big gulp. She was going to have to make
the most of this party, Emma had been looking forward to it for
months. Lourdes had even helped her plan out the special holiday
menu. She had to remember that tonight wasn't about
"Hey Sexy." Alexsander said walking up and kissing her on the
"Hey," she smiled, touching his wrist lightly when his kissed
her, "alright then?"
"Yes of course." He smiled. Lourdes looked him over quickly.
His hair was combed back very suave. Black sweater and pants,
black shoes, and the beginning stubble for a beard. He was five
o'clock shadow sexy. She should probably say something, he was
watching her with those blue eyes.
"I have a bone to pick with you." She
"Don't you always?" He smiled with those perfect white teeth.
"So have at it." He said. "What I do now?"
"Later," she said, "this is probably not the right
He turned fully towards her. "So you talked to Gabriel then?"
He asked, serious for a moment.
"As a matter of fact, I did."
"So he told you?"
"Told me what?" She asked.
Alex smiled nervously. "What exactly were you going to say?"
"You put me in a fucking awkward position." She
"Me?" He asked.
"Yes," she said, "why didn't you ever tell Gabe that you
broke up with Celia?"
looked around the room. "This, is what you want to talk
Lourdes tossed her head to the side and raised her eyebrows.
"For the record, it looks bad when you tell your buds girl, but
"Okay yeah, I get it." He said slightly smiling. "I'm sorry,
I'll deal with that later."
"Why did you not tell him?" Lourdes asked
He turned and looked at her seriously. "You know why." He
Lourdes felt her heart skip a beat. Yeah, she knew why. She
was just checking.
"You look great by the way," he said. "That's a beautiful
"What this old thing?" Lourdes replied with sarcasm. She
pulled out the a-line cut of her long black, flowing, Balenciaga
dress. She had been dying for a place to wear it. The minute she
saw it, she fell in love with it. Even if it did cost her a
"I hardly recognized you," he said, "you look so
"It's just the hair." Lourdes smiled. But it was more than
that. She was super glammed up. Her hair was long and straight
with classic bangs swept to the side. False eyelashes, dark red
lipstick, smokey black eyes. She even traded in her flashy
costume jewelry for a small, classic, diamond tennis bracelet.
She needed nothing else, the dress said it
"I really like this." Alex said, pulling on one of the back
straps that was twisted and knotted in an artsy design. He let go
of the strap and ran two cold fingers down the bare part of her
back. Lourdes got shivers, what the hell was he doing? "What do
you call that?" He asked leaning in closer, "why don't you ever
dress like this for me?"
Lourdes coolly took a small step away. They were standing too
close and he shouldn't be touching her, as much as she wanted him
to. "I seem to remember you saying something to the effect of,
you don't like all the glitz and glamour." She
"Well I lied." He smiled back.
"Yeah, ya' hypocrite." Lourdes mumbled into her glass of
He leaned in close again. "Your perfumes different. Something
"Yeah, it was a gift."
"A Christmas present?" He asked. "From
Lourdes said nothing.
"Not even the holiday." He said
"Don't fret," she smiled, "it was more like a stocking
"Right." He said, even more agitated.
Lourdes thought she heard a hint of jealousy in his
"So is this all for Gabriel? Or did you wear this dress for
me?" He asked.
It was true, Gabriel always liked her dressed up, no matter
what occasion, but Alex always preferred her more down to earth.
However, the only person that she was dressed up for tonight, was
Lourdes put her glass of wine down and spoke quietly. "Are
you drunk?" She asked.
Alex grinned. "No." He said shaking his
"Well you're acting very inappropriate, let's just tone it
"Tone it down to what?" He asked.
"First of all, you kissed me hello, when we agreed to no
"I always kiss you hello." He protested.
"Now your touching me and checking me out and there's people
all around." She whispered.
"You are being paranoid," he said still grinning, "nobodies
Lourdes looked around. Nobody was watching them. Nobody but
"Did you two talk or not?" He asked.
"Talk about what?" She exclaimed. "What is it, that all of
you know, that I don't?"
"Who's all of you?" He asked.
Lourdes looked around the room. Gabe was still talking to his
friend. "I think Emma knows something also." She
Alex looked over at Gabriel. "I don't fucking believe this!"
He said, putting his hand to his head.
"I wish you would just tell me what is going on." She
"I can't." He said. "I promised I would give it some
"Give what some time?" She asked. But he had gone silent on
"I gotta go." Lourdes said. She wasn't up for causing any
kind of scene, not at Emma's party.
Lourdes turned slightly.
"You never answered my question."
"Exactly what question was that?" She asked. "You have so
"When we talked on the phone. I'm still waiting on a yes or
"Hey you two." Thomas came walking up. Lourdes breathed a
sigh of relief, saved by the bell. "We're going to sneak outside
for a pre-dinner glow," he held up a bowl, "you wanna
"Yes." Alex said, turning to walk off. He motioned with his
head for Lourdes to follow them, but she waved him
What a fucking nightmare. She couldn't be at Alex's side,
And she couldn't be at Gabriel's side, because
Emma came gliding up to her. "Do you want to help me set the
dining room table?"
"Yes please." Lourdes said relieved. They made their way to
the dining room, but there wasn't much to be done. It was all set
up perfectly. Dinner plates, glasses, silverware,
napkins...Lourdes looked up confused. Emma was standing on the
opposite side of the table, looking like she was going to
"Em," she said, "what's wrong, you look really, really
Emma exhaled nervously. "This is, so not my place..." She
trailed off. "And the last thing I wanna to do is bring this up
here and now...and the last thing I want to do is ruin this
evening...but I feel partially responsible."
"What is it?" Lourdes asked.
don't know how to say this." Emma shook her head. "And I can't
believe that I'm the one who has to do
"So just say it." Lourdes begged. She was taken aback a
little. She had never seen Emma upset.
"As if this situation wasn't bad enough," Emma said referring
to Gabriel and Stacy, "I think that maybe you should go and get
yourself checked out."
Lourdes looked around, there was nobody in earshot of them.
Did she say what she think she just said? "What?" She asked. Emma
rushed around the table and came close to her. She grabbed
Lourdes' hand. "I think you should go to the doctor and get
tested." She whispered. "For an STD."
"What the fuck?" Lourdes said. "Are you telling me
"You think or you know?"
"I know." Emma said.
"How can you be so sure?"
"Stacy." Emma whispered.
Lourdes looked into Emma's blue eyes, trying to grasp what
she was saying to her.
"So, you're telling me...that Stacy gave something to Gabe
and Gabe gave something to me?"
Emma nodded her head slowly.
"And what would that be? Specifically?" Lourdes asked.
"Something that can be cured right?"
"Oh god!" Emma nodded hear head furiously. "Oh yes, I'm so
sorry! Yes of course it's something that can be fixed. No I
didn't mean that it was..."
"That's okay, you don't have to say it." Lourdes
acknowledged. "As long as it's not..."
"Gonorrhea." Emma whispered.