Wednesday, September 3, 2014
5th Street Gang Interview with Elizabeth Reyes Part 2
“Welcome back to Just Judy’s Jumbles live show part two. We are here at the 5th Street Gym in East LA. We have moved down to the arena area where the Friday night fights are held so that we have more space. Many from Elizabeth Reyes Street Team have joined our live audience tonight. Welcome, ladies.”
*Cheering, chanting and whistling from the audience*
I introduce the gang as they file in and the cheering unbelievably gets louder. I look around the room from the make-shift stage they created over the boxing ring. Some of the ladies in the audience look so overwhelmed and even look a little misty eyed. These guys do know how to fill a room with their presence.
“Sunday we had lightweight questions. Tonight...the heavyweight ones.”
I share a smile with Elizabeth as the gang groans and one of the guy's mumbles, “Lightweight my ass.”
I settle on the comfy stool again and don’t think about how nice the gang is. I have a job to do. I look out in the audience. “Team members, some questions were similar so we blended them together for the sake of time.”
I look at the gang. “We will interview one couple at a time. Let’s start off with Noah and Roni. Everyone knows the biggest conflict the two of you had to overcome was your age difference. Obviously, being you are happily married, you are over that now. Roni, fans are curious if it is ever still an issue? Do you ever worry that it might become one as you...both get older?”
Noah speaks up first. “I just want to say for the record I never had an issue with our age difference. I’ve been telling her since day one, age is nothing more than an illusion. Roni was the one who was a bit gun shy about the whole thing.” He squeezes her knee and smiles leaning over to peck her on the lips. “But I’ll let her tell you.”
“Yes.” She smiles sheepishly. “I just couldn’t get past the fact that he was so young at first,” she smiles sweetly at Noah. “But once I got to know him and how wise and mature beyond his years he was—”
“Yeah, real mature.” Abel chuckles. “Try playing mortal combat with him.”
*Laughter from the guys and audience*
“Well for the most part.” She eyes Abel then turns back to me. “About the important stuff anyway. Once I got past it I’ve never looked back. To be honest most of the time I forget there even is an age difference.”
*Awes and sighs*
I look at my tablet. What! Oh, thank you, fan, for the next question. What did I ever do to anyone on that street team? Sheesh. I smile and wonder if it looks more like Jaws than sweet little me. “I have a few personal questions about some other conflicts you two went through. Rita. She caused a bit of friction between you two, right?” I’m dead. Just bury me now. “This is a two part question. Roni, the team wants to know...what were your thoughts the moment Hector mentioned the incident with Rita at the pizza place?”
The guys all seem to squirm now as if it just dawned on them the kind of questions they were in for. Curse you, fans, for sending in these questions as I sit here in uncomfortable silence holding onto my tablet and feeling like the biggest jerk on the planet! For a moment I consider reminding the gang these questions were not my idea, but then Roni begins with her answer.
“Well back then nothing had happened between Noah and I.” She turned to Noah lifting a brow. “Nothing physical that is. But I thought we’d had a very special Thanksgiving—”
“I thought so too,” Noah says, caressing her leg and then gets hit with the stink eye of all stink eyes and he stops talking.
“Anyway.” She turns back to me and I can see that even after all these years, this is still a sore subject. “Back then I would’ve never admitted it. In fact, I was furious when we first left the place and I thought he was trying to get me to admit that it bothered me. But yes, I was upset—stunned maybe is the better word for it—but it wasn’t until I got home in the privacy of my own room that I realized just how upset I was.”
Noah stares at her helplessly but before he foolishly opens his mouth again I move on to the second part of the question.
“Secondly, this is for both Noah and Roni, since Rita is Gio’s cousin do you still see her? If so, what’s it like being around her for both of you?”
Noah is quick to take this one shaking his head adamantly. “No. As much as I think Rita is not the type to try and cause problems—”
“Ha!” Roni scoffs with a forced smile while rolling her eyes.
Oh, Noah, please stop while you’re ahead. I’m pretty sure Roni is likely envisioning that very incriminating photo Rita text him once upon a time when she knew Noah was already living with Roni. Noah glances at her then finishes his answer with a little less conviction. “Um no. Gio usually gives me a heads up if he knows she’s gonna be around so the answer to that is no we don’t see her anymore. At all.”
Roni is now staring straight ahead with that stubborn little brow nice and arched. Hmm, this went better for me than I thought. Okay, moving along.
“Looks like it’s your lucky day, Noah.” Most likely my lucky day. “The team had so many questions that we can’t ask all of them. Instead of putting you back in the hot seat, we’ll let Roni squirm.” I just told Noah I was going to make his wife uncomfortable and he’s hitting me with a look that has me squirming. And not in a hot sexual way either.
“Roni, Derek or Dean Kratz as Noah refers to him.” That brow isn’t so high all of a sudden and she appears a bit uncomfortable already. Good, I’m not alone. “First off, how surprised were both of you to find out this guy was both your ex and his dean? Second, honestly, Roni, did you ever even for a second consider the possibility that what he was saying about Noah was true?” Once again the crowd goes eerily quiet making me feel deserted.
Roni starts as Noah’s expression goes taut. “It shouldn’t have been such a shocker really. I knew what school Noah had attended and that Derek worked there. It just never occurred to me that they’d know each other but I guess I was surprised. And no I never believed all the things he said...” she stops when she sees Noah shaking his head and even rolls his eyes a bit. “I didn’t,” she says sounding a little annoyed. “I mean I didn’t think he was just pulling stuff out of the air so I had a feeling there was some truth to it.” Now Noah nods adamantly but he looks anything but pleased to be right. “But I always knew there had to be an explanation and there was.”
The tension is getting a bit thick and now and Noah speaks up. “All I’m gonna say is at first I couldn’t have been more shocked to find out Kratz was the Derek she’d told me about. But then it made sense that he was the same douche bag that walked out on her high and dry.”
He sits back as if that’s all he has to say about that. I’m almost afraid to ask the next question but I muster up the nerve.
“One final question because curious minds want to know. Roni, did you ever hear from him again?”
Noah turns to her, his expression still severe but curious. “No.” She shakes her head. “Not actually talked to him or anything.”
“What does that mean, not actually?” Noah asks sitting up.
Oh boy, let’s move on. “Thank you Noah and Roni.” I say quickly as they continue to talk in lowered voices.
“Next we have some questions for Hector and Charlee. Hector, this is for you. Maryely recalls you making a comment about liking your women with dark features. What changed your mind about that since you met and fell in love with Charlee?”
He smiles big obviously relieved because he thinks he got off easy compared to Noah. “I think that’s pretty self-explanatory,” he says reaching for her hand and kissing it. “She’s beautiful. Doesn’t matter what your type is, there’s no way anyone would be immune to falling for Charlee.”
*Loud awes and sighs and some giggling from audience*
Enjoy it Hector because things are about to go south for you. “We know you were hesitant to pursue Charlee because of your loyalty to Walter. How soon did you know you were attracted to her?”
“As far as attracted to her physically, almost immediately. I was loyal but I’m not blind.” He smiles big again. “But beyond that I think I began to get intrigued the night of the tournament when I got to be around her close up for a little longer.”
“Now for the hot seat question, Hector. Even though you knew you were interested in her, you still had every intention of taking not one...but two...” Feeling a bit daring, or being an idiot, I hold up two fingers to push the point home, “...of those wh—girls home the night you won the tournament. Can you explain that?”
*Loud murmuring in the audience*
The smile goes flat and I’m hit with that famous Ayala glare as Charlee sits back to wait for his answer. “I said I was attracted and intrigued by her at that point but I still wasn’t even considering trying for anything more. She was Walter’s to pine over and I was still a single guy.”
“Fair enough,” I say quickly, glancing down at my tablet as my stomach takes a dip. After that last question and the tension that rolled off of Hector, I can’t believe it. I’m starting to think Elizabeth really does not like me at all. Since Charlee is such a sweet good girl we couldn’t find a thing on her for the hot seat, Elizabeth decided we might have a little fun if we did the “Ignite Your Alpha” on Hector and make something up. Of course we let Charlee in on it and she was all for it. For my own safety we let Abel in on it as well. Now I’m the one on the receiving end of the younger Ayala glare daggers! I mentally pull on my big girl panties.
“Charlee,” I smile sweetly, “It’s your turn for the hot seat.” Hector looks like he’s ready to stand but Charlee settles her hand on his thigh. “We understand that you’ve been training with Nester a few times a week lately.” A few gasps and looks are passed and Hector’s brows immediately hit the roof.
He turns to Charlee and if looks could kill...holy moly. “You’re what?”
She pats his thigh again. “Just a couple times a week.” She looks back at me all innocently as if to say go on.
Hector is still glaring at her but then slowly turns his glare to me with a look that dares me to go on. I can literally feel the F-bomb in his “go on.”
I swallow hard then clear my throat. “Yeah, it surprised us too,” I go on quickly turning back to Charlee. “We know you told the girls that there is a lot of humorous banter that goes on between the two of you while stretching each other out, but be honest here—”
“Wait, wait.” Hector is at the edge of his seat now and his muscles seem to swell. “Back the f*bleep!* up. You’re kidding me, right?” He glances around unsure, almost if he knows we have to be punking him. There’s just no way this could be true. His confused glare stops at Charlee. “Stretching each other out? When the f*bleep!* was this? Where was I?”
Charlee does a great job of continuing the innocent act and patting his thigh as if there’s nothing to be upset about. “Just a few times when the kick boxing class was full.”
She turns back to me and I’m literally frozen in place because Hector is on his feet now. “Where’s Nester? Is he here?”
“Sit down,” Abel says tugging at Hector’s arm. “You can talk to him after the show.”
“Oh he better believe he’ll be hearing from me,” Hector says taking a seat then turning back to Charlee. “I don’t know that I’ll be doing much talking either. Stretching each other out?” he asks again then turns to me as if he still can’t believe it and peers at me, brows completely furrowed.
“Are you f*bleep!*ing serious right now?”
I lean forward unable to take Hector’s glare anymore and stare into Charlee’s eyes instead. “Obviously, your husband isn’t thrilled about this and I have to ask another question, hon. Have you never once felt like it was flirting as you str...etch..ed with him?”
“Someone get him in here,” Hector demands through his teeth, standing up again before Charlee can answer.
I throw my shaky hands in the air and laugh nervously. “Got you, we’re just messing with you, Hector.” I send a glare of my own Elizabeth’s way for setting me up with that one.
*Audience goes from nervous laughter to clapping in relief*
“Your wife is just so good,” I explain, smiling as Hector continues to glare at me. “We couldn’t come up with a single thing to get you riled up about. Elizabeth,” I emphasize her name then point her way, “thought it would be funny to throw in a fake scenario.”
Hector glances at Elizabeth but he’s still not smiling then turns to Charlee. “Why Nestor?
I decide it’s best to ignore Hector.
“Time to move on. Next we have some questions for Abel and Nellie.” I smile for real this time after glancing at the questions. “The first questions come from Shannon who must be a bit of a voyeur.”
*Chuckles from the audience*
“When and where was your hottest sex ever? And, how did you both feel when you found out you were going to be parents?”
Nellie’s face flushes instantly and the giggles all around help alleviate some of the tension brought on by our previous intense Charlee question. I relax, not realizing how tense I was.
Abel smirks scratching his five o’clock shadow and glances at Nellie as if to say you wanna take the first question or should I? She motions with her chin letting him go first.
“Hottest? Damn,” he says with an even bigger smile. “We’ve had a lot but I think maybe because it was the first time ever and I’d been imagining what it’d be like for so long it’ll always be the most memorable. I’ll have to go with that first time in the ice vending room on the cruise, although pulling over on the side of the road on the way to Vegas was pretty significant too.” Able hugs Nellie and she blushes and shakes her head.
*Gasps and laughter then cheers and whistles erupt*
“Nellie!” Roni pretends to be shocked. “The ice vending room? Side of the road?”
“Oh, don’t you start,” Nellie says laughing. “I have plenty I could share about you two.”
Roni pretends to zip her lips as Nellie quickly answers the follow-up question. “We love being parents by the way.” She laughs then adds, “Next question. Please!”
“Abel, many of the readers are curious as to when you knew you were feeling more for Nellie? After Gio and Bianca got together you referred to your truck as Old Nellie during a dinner at Noah’s house, and once again after Hector and Charlee got together. Remember that?”
The guys laugh and Hector, who thank goodness seems to have snapped out of his tense mood, answers first. “He thought he was fooling us. I knew way back when Noah had that dinner to announce he was getting married and having a kid. She looked so different all of a sudden and this guy...” He laughs pointing at Abel, “...is so obvious.”
“Hey,” Abel says reaching out for Nellie’s hand. “She asked me not you.” He turns back to me with that big heart melting smile. “But that’s about right. I’d noticed the change even before that night but that’s probably the first time I really noticed. After that I was a goner. Each time I saw her it only got worse.”
I sigh along with everyone else in the room as he leans in to kiss his sweetheart. Gathering myself, I get back to the questions. Uh oh.
“These gals like to put you in the hot seat, Abel. Way back when, your mom expressed having reservations about Noah and an older woman. How did she feel about you and ol...Nellie?”
He squirms a bit but Nellie smirks so I think he’ll be okay. “I’ll admit at first I thought my mom was right. I thought the age thing would be a big deal but like Noah and Roni said, once I fell for her I didn’t even think about it. It’s a total non-issue. And that slip,” he said with a silly grin,“about Old Nellie was really a slip of the tongue. I felt like an idiot. Luckily, she let me off the hook.”
“Nellie, the fans are going to let you join Abel in the hot seat. First, Sam had some pretty amazing eyes and you did let him kiss you goodnight. Were you ever attracted to Sam?”
The famous Ayala jaw locks and the grin is suddenly gone as Nellie clears her throat. “First of all, it was just a peck. A dry peck,” she emphasizes and I feel for her because the jaw on Abel is really working now. “And no, at that point I was so overwhelmingly consumed with my feelings about what was happening between Abel and I there was no way I could feel any attraction to anyone else.”
“Don’t leave that hot seat just yet, Nellie, there is more. Sam took you back to his hotel room. Two single adults with no ties, remember? Truth time. If you hadn’t received a call from your mom about your nephew in the emergency room do you think something would’ve happened between the two of you? Maybe even had hoped it would?” I ignore the growls coming from Abel’s direction and wait for her answer.
“Like I said,” she says sitting up a little straighter, “I remember that time in my life very clearly. I was tormented by what was happening to my heart and whether or not I should continue with what me and Abel were doing. The no strings attached thing and as much as I would’ve liked to,” she turns to Abel with a raised brow then back at me, “have feelings or even be tempted to be with someone else because it might’ve made it easier, it just wasn’t happening. So long answer short no. Absolutely not.”
“Nellie, just a few more questions for you from Emily. How is your sister doing and do the two of you have any kind of relationship? Also, do you ever talk to your ex-husband?”
“Things are much better between me and my sister. My nephew Gus has bonded us and she’s really grown as a person. As for my ex-husband,” she gives Abel a guarded side glance and clears her voice, “I’ve run into him a few times while at my parent’s or sister’s house.”
This has Abel sitting up and peering at her as if this is news to him.
“But only because he just so happened to be picking up or dropping off Gus when I’ve been there.”
“Thank you, Nellie. Now I have some open questions to any and all of you before we finish up with Gio and Bianca.” Oh, we’ll finish with them all right. Could be a career end for me...due to death. Mine. “Felix Sanchez is a mystery to many people. A mystery many would like an insight into. You guys have known him before and after his success. What can you tell some of these fans,” I wave my hand across the droves of women sitting in the audience, “about Felix?”
“He’s gotten a lot bigger,” Abel says.
Hector, whose mood has lightened up, chuckles. “Yeah, no shit. He’s as big if not bigger than Abel now.”
*Whistles, giggling and sighs from the crowd*
“Interesting,” I say nodding. “Obviously that makes his fans happy.”
“We know Felix has quite the reputation as a ladies man.” Man whore “If he finds his true love, do you really think he won’t screw it up again like he’s done in the past?”
“Oh he won’t be screwing up,” Nellie says with a sly smile.
Once again Hector is a little too amused by this. “I admit I fell pretty hard for Charlee. Same as Noah did for Roni and this one,” he nudged Abel, “did for Nellie but Felix—” This time Abel nudges him and gives him a “you’re saying too much” look. Hector quickly concedes nodding. “Um, I’ll just say Felix ain’t screwing this up and leave it at that.”
“Okay,” I look out at the fans raising my brows in curious amusement. “How about this then? The fans like some good alpha male moments. Would you say they’ll be pleased with his story when they hear it?”
Again they all exchange knowing glances but Abel speaks up first this time. “Felix has the whole world watching his every move and he knows this, so he has to be extra careful what he says or does. But sometimes certain situations escalate and alpha moments can’t be helped no matter what. That’s all we’re gonna say about that too,” Abel says in a warning tone.
Since it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting much more out of the gang about Felix, I turn to our last couple and they look at me with, what? A touch of unease? Good, maybe they won’t notice that I’m trembling a bit. We need to dig deeper to find our answer. Who is Felix Sanchez? Since Gio horned in on Felix’s territory and nabbed Bianca...well, it could get even more uncomfortable than earlier. Is that even possible? Yes. They’ve been noticeably quiet and the fact that they were left for last is sinking in at this point.
“Gio, Bianca. We have some questions that will have you both in the hot seat. At least you can be there together, right?” No one finds me too funny right now. Neither do I. “Who better to tell us more about Felix than the two of you? Gio, you had helped him train at his own private getaway in Big Bear. Bianca, you know him more intimately than anyone else in this room. I assume anyway.” I glance around seeing if any of the other wives are looking guilty. Nope. Just angry. At me. What else is new? The audience just looks wistful.
Gio’s green eyes aren’t quite as sexy when the heat they are sending out is anger. Bianca is looking a bit tense too. Her lips are pinched tightly together and she has taken a defensive pose by wrapping her arms across her chest.
“Bianca, obviously Felix was not your soul mate, otherwise Gio wouldn’t have had a fighting chance with you. That said, it seems that Gio and Felix have been able to move on past the betrayal and if I recall, Felix even admits to some of the blame, right?” A slight nod from Bianca. “The readers still have some questions for the both of you.”
“Gio. Do you think that Felix’s downfall has anything to do with you and Bianca?”
Here comes the death glares and yet something inside of me ignites. I’m feeling ready to take on the world and some very big, handsome, and angry looking men. I’m fairly sure Elizabeth will stop anyone from really hurting me. Then again, I just finished beta reading Tangled for her and this woman loves the drama so, who knows?
“Nobody but Felix’s closest friends and family know the real truth behind his downfall. So I’m not at liberty to share that with you, but I can assure you it had nothing to do with me or Bianca. Felix is actually godfather to our son.” The look on his face is a smug one and I gotta say this is quite a surprise. “That’s how far we’ve come.”
“That’s great to hear.” I look around and everyone else is as surprised as I am. “Gio. Shannon,” make sure the blame goes where it belongs, “would like to know something. Since you got together with Bianca because she cheated on Felix...does it scare you she might cheat on you too? Does it worry you that she might lie to you without hesitation? She lied and cheated with Felix, why should you trust her?”
“No,” he says glaring at me and apparently he’s not going to offer more on that.
“Well, there you go, Shannon.” I say more as a reminder to Gio that these are not my questions. Aha, I notice a woman slinking down in her seat. I give her a glare of my own as that must be Shannon.
Yikes! Another one? “Gio, Maryely wants to dig the knife in a bit deeper with her question. Do you ever feel like Felix still has feelings for Bianca?” I can see what Gio would do with said knife if he had it right now. Ouch.
“We’re married now with a kid,” he says very matter of fact. “He baptized our son and that’s all been water under the bridge for years. We actually have a very special bond. The three of us. So, no.”
“Bianca, Felix has reached the ultimate height in fame. At this point in his career it’s very clear he’s not only a very sought after famous boxer, he’s also reached sex symbol status. Hordes of women would give anything for a chance with him.” And hordes of women have had their chance with him.
*Cheering in whistling breaks out*
I wait for it to quiet down a bit then continue. “You gave him up. Can you say with all honesty that you have zero regrets about that?”
To my surprise she sits up and smiles. “I’m glad you asked that because I was just waiting for the chance to clarify something. The moment I fell for Gio, I knew Felix wasn’t the one for me. I’ve never once doubted my decision. Did we go about it the wrong way? Maybe. But things like falling in love just happen. It couldn’t be helped. I think Gio can attest to this also that we actually did try to fight it. But it just hit us so hard and so fast before we knew it was already happening. But yes, as far as having zero regrets about giving him up, I can say with complete honestly, I don’t. He wasn’t my soul mate and I wasn’t his.” She grins suddenly. “I can’t say much but I can tell you right now, I think in hindsight Felix knows this is how it was meant to be, otherwise, he might’ve missed out on meeting the girl who just might turn out to be his true soul mate. And that would’ve been a real shame.” She winks at the young self-defense instructor we met the other day in the audience.
Hmm. Okay...I notice everyone watching me and smile. “I’m glad for all of you that it seems to have worked out for the best. I’m looking forward to meeting Felix. I have a feeling he may surprise me. Stay tuned as the cover and official blurb for Felix’s story will be revealed September 10th. And hopefully more of him will be revealed after that.” I blush thinking that could be taken wrong. Especially with Elizabeth chuckling behind me.