“You have to tell me where we’re going Bruno!” Arissa pleaded with him on the way to the airport.
“You’ll see son enough, baby doll.” he said kissing her on the cheek while they waited to turn on to the highway.
“You drive me crazy, Bruno. Actually, no you drive me beyond crazy.”
“I think that’s why people get married, Riss. So they always have someone to drive crazy. It’s not about the sex, or the partnership, or the love. It’s just about knowing that there will always be someone there for you to drive absolutely crazy.” he laughed at her.
“Well, if I didn’t have those things I wouldn’t have married you.” she told him.
“What? Are you saying I’m only sex and love to you?” he asked her.
“Umm…yeah? The crazy part I could live without.”
“When you took that ring…” Bruno held her hand holding it up in the air. “You committed to my craziness. Foreveeer. Foreveeeer.” he joked.
“I don’t remember that being in my vows, boo.” she smiled.
“Then you have a bad memory, because the first thing you told me was, ‘I’ll be with you forever, even if you drive me crazy.’”
“Oh…you know what? I actually remember that now. And then you kissed me. And I forgot.” she laughed putting her hand down.
“I love you.” he told her.
“I love you too, Bruno.”
“London? It’s rainy and gross there. Why would you tell me to pack my bikini?” Arissa asked him looking at the e-ticket on his blackberry.
“Don’t be stupid, Arissa. It’s a connecting flight.” he punched her in the shoulder.
“Ouch. That hurt, a lot.”
He hugged her telling her he was sorry. “I’m sorry.” he said giving her puppy dog eyes.
“Oh stop it.” she said walking through the security line.
“We need to scan you ma’am…” a security guard said.
“oh…okay?” Arissa said looking back at Bruno.
“They better not be checking out your boobs, babe. Those are mine.” he squeezed her hand as she walked through the device. As she walked through the other side a familiar looking man handed her all her things. He smiled at her. Oh my god. What the flying fuck? Why would he be here?
“Oh…umm…thanks?” she questioned the man…Robert.
“Riss…we’re going to be late…come on…” Bruno said running up to her catching their death stares.
“Come on, baby doll. Come on…” he pulled her gently away from her ex.
“What the hell was that?” she asked him.
“Hell if I know. You’ll never see him again.” He felt her mood change as they continued to walk toward their gate.
“I don’t know if I want to go to this mysterious regal place now.” she said quietly. He stopped in the middle of the airport after she finished her statement.
“We don’t have to if you don’t want to…” he told her. “But I know you’ll like it….it’s somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. And it’s just you and me…” he said pointing to himself and then at him. As he said that she could feel everything disappear. They were the only two people in the room. The music was gone, all the other people were gone. It was just the two of them.
“I’ll go if you tell me where we’re going.”
“Then I guess we’re not going…” he turned around on his heels facing the other direction. “Let’s go home, sweetheart.”
“But if we go that way, we’ll see him again…” she started to think out loud. Bruno knew that was his only out. They would have to see him again and he wasn’t sure what he would do to him if he had to see Robert again. The first time he punched him he was just starting to fall in love with Arissa. He only knew bits and pieces of their past. The more he found out about her, and him, the more he just wanted the guy dead and buried.
“I need a final answer, Mrs. Hernandez…” he said glancing up at the big electronic clock.
“I want to…I want to…” she thought.
“You already got your 50/50, Arissa. I need an answer.” he told her.
“How much time do I have left?” she asked him as he turned back around facing her.
“10 seconds…” he held up his watching mentally counting down the seconds. “3 seconds…”
“Okay…” Arissa started.
“Your time is up, Riss.”
“Bruno…I still want to know where we’re going… you can’t keep secrets. I’ll get it out before we get to London…” she told him.
“Guess.” If she’s not going to give up then I mght as well play with her…he thought to himself.
“Hmmm….” she scratched her head thinking about it. “You said regal. And when I think regal I think of Kate Middleton…”
“Yeah?” he looked at her as she thought out loud.
“And Prince William…and they….they go to Africa a lot. But I…I mean we don’t have the shots to go to Africa. So…that’s not it. And we wouldn’t be going to London if we were going to Australia….am I right?”
“You’re hot.” he told her.
“Oh! I think I know…where did they go on their honeymoon, Brunz? I remember this…oh my gosh…okay…okay…it was something with an S…and it’s…the Seychelles?”
He shook his head in dismay. “Am I right? Am I right?” she shook his arms excitedly. “Come on, Bruno! Tell meeee!” she smiled at him letting go of his arms making a sad face. “Why aren’t you telling me? Was I right? Bruno! Stop! Quit being a jerrrkkk…” she whined.
“You were right. I knew I shouldn’t have married someone who went to college…using all that deductive reasoning and shit.”
“Woah! Deductive reasoning? That’s big…it was more process of elimination…” she responded. “The Seychelles? Really? Oh my god!” She screamed the last part so loud the people in front of them turned around. “Sorry…he got me all excited…” Arissa said quietly.
“Look at what you did. Now everyone knows where we’re going. We’re going to have stalkers…” he told her.
She punched him in the arm. “Brunz…quit freaking me out.”
“Oh…I’m sorry.” he replied remembering they were caught by the paparazzi several times since the fundraiser. “sweetheart, no one is going to see us.”
“You promise?” she asked him.
“Promise.” he reassured her with a kiss on the cheek.
Arissa woke up with a jolt of turbulence. “Oh shit.” she said to herself moving off of Bruno’s shoulder. The ding to put on their seatbelts went off. She grabbed her seatbelt quickly noticing Bruno was still sound asleep.
“Wake up, sleep head…” she whispered in his ear.
He didn’t open his eyes just moaned. “Whaat?”
“Put on your seatbelt, babe.” she reached over grabbing his seatbelt to put it on. He wrapped his arms around her kissing her head as she finished buckling his seatbelt.
“I love you, Arissa.”
“I love you too, sleeping beauty.” she said as he lifted his arms from her back.
She found the same spot she was in before laying on his shoulder.
“I can’t sleep, Bruno…” Arissa rolled over at 3 in the morning to see he wasn’t there.
“Brunnnooooo…” she got up wandering into the small living area in the resort hotel they were staying in.
“What are you doing?” she asked sitting next to him.
“Writing…” he said. “Listen to this…” he started singing some random lyrics.
“I don’t know…I need the whole thing. You know I can’t see the whole thing…” she said looking at him. She could see the disappointment in his eyes. “I’m sorry…” she said kissing him on the cheek. “I mean…it’s great. It’s fabulous. It’s amazing?”
“That’s what I want to hear!” he smiled.
“So do I just say that whenever you sing me something new?” she asked him closing her eyes. Maybe I am tired…
“Come here….” he told her putting down his laptop. She moved in close to him rubbing her legs against his. “You’re tired aren’t you, Riss?”
“A little…” she laughed. “But I can’t sleep.”
He ran his fingers through her hair humming something she didn’t recognize.
Arissa woke up covered with a blanket on the couch. She glanced at the clock 1:06 pm “Shittt.” she said under her breath.
She sat up yawning loudly as she stretched her arms. She turned her head around to see Bruno showered and dressed.
“Hurry up. There’s a beach waiting for us.” he told her.
“It’s my vacation. I can go slowly if I want to.” she shot him a dirty look. He was always moving. She had to take breaks. If it was up to her she would sleep for half the trip.
“It’s your choice pretty girl…but it’s 85 degrees, humid as shit and not a cloud in the sky...and it’s our beach. No one else will be there. ‘
“No one else?” she asked watching him come over to sit down next to her.
“No one…unless we need something from this fancy place.”
Bruno watched his wife walk down the beach in the green bikini he had suggested she pack. She wore bright blue Haviana flip flops showing off her bright red toes. She had her hair braided loosely wearing only lip gloss. Oh my god. She is so hot. She smiled at him shaking her body to no particular beat.
“You are the worst dancer in the world, Arissa.” he told her as she got closer to him.
“You signed up for it, Brunz.” she said wrapping her arms around his neck kissing him. “I better get a tan. I’m so white…” she said stretching out on a towel he brought for them.
“You will…”he said walking toward the water. She grabbed The Help from her bag watching him go toward the water.
“Riss…you have to come in with me.”
“Soon….I’m almost done with this…I promise. When I’m done.” he walked back to her picking up the book from her hands. “Don’t make me lose my spot…”
“page 54…you’ll be fine. Come onnn…” he grabbed her hand leading her out into the water. Before they could get into the water she stopped to kiss him.
“What was that for?” he asked her. She shrugged looking at him seductively. She wrapped her legs around his making sure he didn’t move. “I like this…” he whispered in her ear.
“I do too…” she smiled. He ran his fingers on her hips touching her bikini bottom. He stopped after touching her hips.
“Riss?” he looked at her concerned unwrapping her legs. “What is that?” he asked running his fingers against several scared lines on her hip.
Arissa pushed his hands off her waist. “Stop!” she yelled at him. “Stop! Just stop….” she screamed again starting to turn around to walk away from him. He grabbed her by the waist forcefully.
“Oww. That hurt.” she answered.
“I’m not sorry this time, Arissa.” he moved in toward her. “What is going on, sweetheart?” his overpowering concern he showed in pulling her forward subsided as he touch her gently. “You have to tell me.”
“No, I don’t have to tell you, Bruno. You don’t listen to me anymore. You have no idea what’s going on in my head right now. You never did.” she responded not turning around to speak to him.
“Riss…at least try to tell me. I hate seeing you hurt, baby doll. It’s the worst feeling in the world seeing you hurt…” he brushed his finger across her shoulder comforting her. She shook her head no. “Please, Arissa.” he heard her start to cry. What is going on? How did I not see this? He thought to himself. “Arissa…no secrets.”
“It’s obviously not a secret, Bruno. You know what I did.” she answered sarcastically letting go of his hand walking back up the beach. He ran in front of her stopping her in her tracks. He looked her in her bright green eyes with tears coming down her cheek.
“I don’t deserve you. You don’t deserve this, Bruno. I’m a fucking mess. I can’t stand it anymore.”
“What are you talking about?” he asked shocked at her revelation.
“You just picked me because I was convenient. Because I was there. Not because I’m the one Bruno. There’s someone prettier, more talented, more everything. I can’t give you those things.” she confessed her insecurities to him. Do I tell her the same things I always do? That she’s beautiful, amazing, nothing would change that? Or do I tell her something else? It’s obvious the things I’m telling her aren’t working. He hugged her tightly not saying a word. They stood there for several minutes while she cried on him. “I’m sorry, Bruno…” she said pulling away from him.
“I love you Arissa – every single piece of you. “ He stopped trying to find the right words to say to her. “Don’t ever tell yourself those things, darling..please. You are the one for me. With your wavy crinkly hair, your uneven legs, your freckles on your side…” he touched the places he was talking about as he spoke to her. “Your horrible dancing, your absolutely horrendous singing voice…”
“Hey! It’s not that bad!” she laughed at him.
“Your laugh…your cries…” he wiped the tears from her cheek. “You have to stop letting people get to you, Arissa. None of them know you the way I do. I loved you 30 pounds ago.”
“But…” she started to say something.
“You have to stop, Arissa. I’m here for you. No matter when or what is going on. I will drop everything for you, even if you just need to tell me that your hair looks good. Or bad, or you want to shave it off because it won’t straighten the right way…” He touched her waist again trying to open her up. “And that…why would you even try to do that? Arissa….please…stop.”
“It made everything go away.” she whispered. He lowered his head to listen to her. “Not eating, running, running…and running….and food…and babies…the babies…Bruno…I don’t know.” she looked up at him.
“I don’t care about that…Arissa. I don’t care…”
“But you do! Bruno…you care. Don’t try to comfort me by telling me things you don’t believe in…” she moved away from him.
“Riss…I would never lie to you. Is that really where all this is coming from?”
“I don’t know….” she admitted. “The way we were before the earthquake so safe…I got used to it…and now it’s changed…changed because I said something to your sister when I was in the hospital.”
“Arissa…things are still safe. No one will ever hurt you. Nothing will ever hurt you. You’re…” he stopped himself from saying she was doing that to himself. He remembered a conversation he had with one of Arissa’s friends, Rachel, who was an LPC. She told him never, ever, never to blame her for the things she was doing. There was a reason for her the things she was doing. It was his job as her husband to find those reasons and to make them better. “Nothing will ever hurt you.”
“Bruno….” she looked at him with her green eyes shaded with red from crying. “How do you make things better for me by just being there?”
He laughed at her comment. “It’s my job, Mrs. Mars. It’s in my job description. Husband, make your wife happy when she’s sad.”
He led her to where they were sitting on the beach. “Now, tell me everything. I want to know what you’re thinking right now. And this morning…and last night. Everything, Riss.”
“”Bruno…” she started to talk. “It’s all stupid. I know all the things you said to me. But it’s just hard …still…even more than a year later…for me to know it. It’s not you. It’s me. I just don’t know….I don’t know what I have to do…I don’t know if it has to do with Robert, or Andy, or anyone in my past. I just can’t understand it all. I don’t understand myself.”
“Rissy…” he touched her hand comforting her. “I don’t want you to feel that way. I’m not Bruno Mars to you. I’m Peter Gene Hernandez, son to Peter Hernandez and Bernadette Bayot. I am a middle child who loves his sisters and brother and nieces and nephews. But, most of all, baby girl…I love you more than anything. Anything.” He looked at her concerned, trying to get inside her head.
“I know you are. You were only Bruno Mars to me the first time we met. I knew who you were. I understood that. But you are Bruno Mars to so many other people. And it’s hard to…hard to…I don’t know. I can’t find the right words.” she stretched her legs out digging them into the white sand trying to find the right thing to say.
“Sometimes you don’t need to say anything Arissa. I already know. I already know. And you know that I am yours. There’s no one out there in the world that I want by my side that doesn’t look, sound, act, or drive me crazy like you do.”
She smiled still looking down at the sand. She ran her fingers through the sand drawing something.
He stretched over her body to look at what she was drawing.
I ♥ U.
He laid on her leg writing next to her.
I ♥ U More.
“You can’t Bruno…” she said watching him finish.
“You have no idea, Riss.” he said flipping over sitting up taking her in his arms kissing her. It made her tingle more than she had since the earthquake. He felt her back get tense the same way it did the first time they were in Las Vegas. “Arissa….stop. Just stop thinking.” he said running his fingers through her hair. He kissed her again laying her on the towel they were sitting on.
“Really B?” she asked him.
“You only live once, sweetheart.” he said lifting her head to untie her bikini top. He threw it off to the side of the towel kissing her chest.
“Bruno..it’s going to blow away….”
“Shut up, Riss.” he looked up at her with a ridiculous smile. He ran his fingers on her hips to her stomach making her laugh.
“It’s not my fault if you I hurt you…” she told him laughing at his touch. He moved down slowly touching her hips. He stopped looking at the scares she had on her left hip. She has to stop. I know this won’t fix it…but….oh my god. She does something crazy to me. He felt her legs tense up as he worked his way around her body. She wrapped her feet around the back of his knees careful not to scream. She flipped him over carefully as he finished touching her everywhere. Why hello there, sexy…he thought as she sat on top of him driving him crazy. He let her kiss him all over before he took over again holding her tightly moving on top of her. “Oh Bruno…oh….Oh my…” she moaned as he moved all over her again. “Oh….Brunnnoooo.” she continued. That turns me on soo much. He thought looking at her again. She smiled back at him grabbing his hair to kiss him. “You’re the best.” she told him letting go of his hair.
“No. No one compares to you, Riss…no one…” he said bending down to kiss her.
Arissa put on her swimming suit after he kissed her. “Bruno…that was the craziest thing I’ve ever done in my life.” she said wrapping her arms around his neck.
“You haven’t lived until you have sex on the beach, babe.”
“Of course you’ve had sex on the beach before. God.” she rolled her eyes at his experience.
“But no sex on the beach will ever compare to sex on the beach with you, Arissa.” he winked at her standing up with his trunks on.
“Do you ever stop?” she asked looking up at him.
“No. I never do. You’re stuck with a husband who tells you you’re amazing, every single day.” he told her lifting her up. She wrapped her legs around him kissing him again.
“Where are we going?” she asked as he started walking with her in his arms.
“Somewhere out of this world, baby doll. Out of this world.” he answered carrying her back into the house they were staying in.
“Again?” she asked.
“Until I can’t do it anymore…and that’s…that’s a long time.” he licked his lips flirting with her as he put her down kissing all over her neck.
"I'm going to die." she responded to his kisses.
"Why?" he asked her suddenly slightly concerned by her response.
"It won't be a bad way to go. Cause of death - too much sex with Bruno Mars." she told him. He laughed uncontrollably at her response.
“You…oh my god.” he said looking into her eyes. “I love you.” he said returning to her neck.
“Holy crap…” Arissa whispered squinting her eyes in the bright sunlight. It’s only 6:30…She rolled over pulling the blanket from Bruno to cover her head.
“Hey…that was mean.” he said quietly taking some of the blanket back. She pulled it away from him again making sure to cover her head sliding down below her pillow so she was just on the mattress. Bruno turned sliding underneath the blanket watching her close her eyes to go back to sleep. He wrapped his arms around her kissing her head. “Good morning, Riss.”
“I don’t want to get up yet.” she said with her eyes closed.
“We don’t have to.” he said not moving his arms from around her.
“Good, because I’m not moving from here until I have to pee.” Arissa told him.
A few hours later she felt Bruno moves her arms from around her.
“Where are you going?” she asked him.
“Just stay there…unless you have to pee.”
“I don’t…” she said opening her eyes to watch where he was going.
Bruno danced into the bathroom shaking his big hair every step he took.
“Oh god…Bruno…I lied…hurry uppp…I gotta peeeee.” Arissa yelled a few seconds later as she heard him brush his teeth. “Come onnn..don’t be mean to m….”
“My lady…” he opened the door holding it for her.
“I hate you.” she said kissing him on the cheek running into the bathroom. She brushed her teeth while she put her hair up in a ponytail. She walked out the door catching his eye when she walked out the door.
“Rissy…” he started as she followed his hand to the bed. “I’m…” she knew what he was going to say. She stopped him from talking kissing him. “That….” he told her.
“I got you.” she smiled at him.
“Where are we going? Actually…don’t answer that because you’re not going to tell me anyway…” Arissa complained that afternoon. “You’ll seeee.” she mocked him lovingly.
“What? You will.” he said smiling at her through his sunglasses.
“Ugggh. Bruno. You know I’d get excited if you told me where we were going before. I don’t think there’s anything here I wouldn’t want to do….except that…” she pointed to the sign for bungee jumping. He started to laugh at her reaction to the sign. Too bad. That’s what we’re doing. He thought to himself.
“Brunz…” she got a little scared. “Is that where we’re going? Bruno! Nooo! I can’t do that. That’s too much.”
“I’m jumping with you.” he told her.
“Okay…I might have said I wouldn’t do it…” she answered. “But I think I can…I think I can do it.” she psyched herself up. “If you can perform in front of a hundred thousand people I can jump off a cliff.”
“That’s the spirit!” he exclaimed.
“But if the thing snaps and I fall to myself I’ll tell St. Peter is was your fault.”
“And I’ll say a little prayer asking him to let you in.” he answered.
“What?!” Arissa answered his sarcasm.
“Yeah…because you’re going to go first.” he told her driving down a dirt road.
“No way! Not even.” she yelled at him.
“Okay, maybe not. But it was funny to see your reaction.” he laughed at her stopping the car to get her out. “Let’s do this.” he said in a serious tone.
“Okay. Let’s do this.” she repeated. Oh my god. I’m going to die. Today.
They received all the instructions and signed all the release forms. To get to the small bridge where they were going to jump they had to hike up a high hill. Bruno walked behind Arissa who was awkwardly trying to follow the guide through the rocks and brush. “Stop staring at my butt, Bruno. That’s gross.” Arissa turned around to flirt with him.
“It’s my butt. I’ll do whatever the hell I want to with it.” he answered her walking up next to her.
“Then walk in front of me so I can look at your butt.” she replied.
“I don’t want you to faint before we get up there, Riss. “ Arissa squeezed him laughing at his response.
“Okay…here we are…” the misplaced English tour guide pointed toward a ladder for them to walk up.
“Shhh…if you say anything to me I’ll freak out…” she told him.
“Okay…” he answered following behind her.
The guide strapped Bruno into the restraint.
“You look hot.” Arissa said pulling her phone out of her pocket snapping a picture of him making a silly face.
“When don’t I look hot?” he asked her.
“Okay, Mr. Mars. Jump. I want to hear you freak out.” she told him holding the camera up. “And this is going on youtube.”
“Then I better make it really good.” he said dancing over to the edge.
“On the count of three Bruno…” the guide told him.
Arissa held her phone up watching his feet leave the edge. He let out a big scream that made her laugh so hard she could hardly breathe. “Oh shit.” she gasped watching the cord bounce several times before someone grabbed him to get him out of the restraint.
“Are you ready?” the guide asked her.
“I should have gone first. This is scary as shit.” Arissa told him.
“You’ll love it.” the guide told her wrapping the cords around her. When he finished she glanced over the edge where the water was rushing. “Oh my god.” She looked over to see Bruno with his phone up.
“Youtube!” he yelled at her. She shook her head.
“I deserve that…” she said to herself.
“On the count of three, Arissa.” the guide told her as he started to count.
She felt her feet slip from the edge with the wind rushing through her ears. She screamed the loudest she had ever screamed as she hurled to the ground. As she slowed down all she could here was Bruno laughing at her. Another guide undid her restraint. She was still shaking.
“Take a picture of her, bro.” Bruno leaned over to the guide who was going to lead them back to the car. He snapped the picture as Arissa jumped on top of Bruno kissing him.
“That was amazing.” she smiled at him as he held her up.