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Gio (5th Street #2)

By:Elizabeth Reyes

iently that way. He's working on getting everything in there now."

Gio remembered Abel telling them how his little brother had always been smart and talented that way. He said if the kid ever stopped messing around, he might actually do something with that talent.

"Anyway, so Felix is talking about remodeling this place and putting some big bucks into it. He really wants to give back."

Gio's eyes opened wide. "That would be awesome!"

Jack turned to Gio. "That's why I need you to go and get yourself all better. This place is gonna be all of yours soon and I need you to be here one-hundred percent, both physically and emotionally. But there's something else I wanted to run by you." Gio nodded, waiting silently for Jack to go on. "Your name is already on the title of 5th Street. I added you years ago."




Gio's eyes opened wide. Jack had made comments in the past about how someday he'd pass 5th Street on to him but he had no idea he was already on the title.

"I wanna add Noah, Abel and Hector's names too, but I wanted to make sure you were okay with that."

Gio couldn't believe Jack would even have to ask. "Of course it's okay. They put in just as much work around here as I do. But Jack, I don't … I don't know what to say."

"Just say you'll always work as hard as you do now to keep this place running smoothly. This place is my life and I'm trusting you boys with it." Jack stood. Gio walked over to him and hugged him.

"You have my word."

Jack smiled. "I knew I would, son. Just do me a favor. Don't tell them anything yet. I wanna get their names on the title first. And keep to yourself the fact that your name was the only one I added at first." He pressed his lips together. "You were just the first one I got close to. But now I love you all the same. They don't need to know about that."

Gio promised not to say anything and with that their guy talk was over and Jack left him with a lot to think about. Gio always knew in his heart that someday he and the guys would be running things. Jack, who had no family of his own, always treated them like family and he'd been a father figure to all of them. For the first time in weeks, Gio felt excited again.

CHAPTER 2

Nana and her mother stared at Bianca as she got off the phone. She hadn't been able to wipe the silly smile off her face fast enough.

"Was that who I think it was?" Nana asked.

Bianca gave in, nodding. Ever since the past summer, she'd been seeing the Felix Sanchez, current welterweight boxing champion of the world. She didn't know a thing about boxing but everyone, especially in her neighborhood, knew about Felix. She'd gone to high school with him and he became the local hero when he started winning fight after fight. Then he'd won the championship over a year ago. He was now known worldwide and she was dating him.

Although she admitted him being famous and insanely rich was part of the intrigue, she'd actually had a crush on the guy way back in high school. She hadn't seen him in person since she graduated, but last summer when she came up to Big Bear after her grandfather's death she ran into him. She'd been surprised he remembered her. One thing led to another and they began seeing each other.

A first she had her doubts about it working out. She even reasoned that it would be okay if it didn't. She knew he lived a busy life that was much different from her small town life in Big Bear.

Another reason for her doubts was his fame. Boxers weren't usually the target of the stalkarazzis but because of Felix's age and looks-the fact that he'd been linked with quite a few young Hollywood A-listers, and because his upcoming fight was so highly anticipated, he'd now become just as much of a target as a movie star.

Bianca had never been one to follow the tabloids but ever since she'd gotten involved with Felix she couldn't help but get sucked into them. Especially when they talked about him being seen with a new girl-this after he'd assured her their relationship was an exclusive one.

She'd been doing her best not to buy into the hype and made up drama, which Felix said, was all it was. One particular incident last year was when she saw a photo of him and Shana Thompson, the current women's figure skating champion, said to be the front-runner in this year's Olympics. It was the week he'd had a photo shoot for Sports Illustrated's Hottest Young Athletes layout. They were caught in a compromising pose where they apparently were on a date sitting in a very cozy restaurant booth in New York. In one of the photos it appeared as if they were about to kiss. It made Bianca crazy. They'd only been intimate for a few weeks when the photo surfaced and she'd lost it.

Days after letting him have it and telling him she was done with him, the same photo resurfaced only this time Shana's boyfriend and Felix's publicist Andy were also there. The other photo had been doctored. They took the most damning picture of them when they'd leaned in to say something to each other and cropped everything and everyone else out. Just like Felix explained, it wasn't just a restaurant it was also a blues club and the music was really loud. She felt terrible, especially because Felix had tried in vain to explain to her that that's what the paparazzi did to sell stories and word was beginning to get out about his mystery Big Bear girlfriend.

Neither her grandmother nor her mother were crazy about her dating a celebrity, especially one known to be such a womanizer, so of course they were concerned when they saw how upset all the tabloid stories made Bianca. But once the truth was out about the photo they actually convinced her to call Felix and apologize. They also made her promise she'd stop reading the stupid tabloids. More than anything they hated to see her hurt and her mother said it was a better idea if she just followed her heart instead of the gos

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