Life After Dark
Chapter 17

"Dawn Elyse Jensen, will you marry me?"

The words were spoken so softly that Dawn wasn’t even sure she'd heard him correctly. She stared at him in silence and in amazement. When he released her hand to open the box he held in the other, she knew her ears hadn't deceived her.

The diamond ring was beautiful. The cut was simple and the jewel shined in the dim lamp light. The band was made of gold and as Nikolas slid it on her finger, she found that it was a perfect fit.

"Nikky, I don't know what to say," she said as she looked from the ring that was on the third finger of her left hand to the love and hope she saw in Nikolas' eyes.

"Yes or no is the usual response," he said softly, trying to gauge the emotions that covered her face.

"But…why?" she asked.

"I just told you. Because I love you," Nikolas said, as moved to hold her hand.

"I know. You love me and I you, but… Why are you asking me to marry you?" she asked, with a frown. "Why now? Is it because I'm pregnant?"

"I'm asking now because of the pregnancy, but I've always intended to ask you eventually. The pregnancy sped things up a little bit," he said, as he moved to sit beside her on the sofa.

"Getting married because I'm pregnant… I don't think it's fair to the baby or necessary," Dawn said. Her eyes became bright with unshed tears as she continued. "I didn't become pregnant on purpose. I didn't plan for this to happen to entrap you. I thought you knew that."

"Hey, I know that," he said softly. When she began to cry, he pulled her into his arms. "I think the pregnancy is affecting your hearing. I never said any of that. I want to marry you because we love each other."

"Everyone's gonna think I became pregnant to trick you into marrying me. Your uncle will swear to it," she sniffled against his chest.

Nikolas moved away from her so that she could look into his eyes as he said, "I don’t give a damn what everyone else thinks and especially not my uncle. The only thing that matters to me is you and our unborn child. Call me traditional, but I want the three of us to be a family. In the eyes of God and man."

"I want that, too," she said, smiling through her tears.

"So, can I take that as a yes?" he asked.

"You bet your cute buns that's a yes!" she said, throwing herself into his arms.

Nikolas held her close against him as he breathed a sigh or relief. Soon, a hug wasn't enough for either of them and they moved to seal their decision with a loving, passionate kiss.


"Hey, what's up?"

"Dawn? What are you doing out here? Is something wrong? Have you gotten sicker?" Lucky asked as he jumped down from the boxcar to grasp her shoulders.

"Gosh, Lucky! Back off! I'm fine," she laughed.

"Hey, hey, hey! What are you two doing out there?"

"Hi, Lizzie. I didn’t see you in there. I thought you might be here. This is good. I can talk to you both at the same time," Dawn said.

Lizzie jumped down from the boxcar and asked, "What's going on?"

Dawn ran a nervous hand through her braids and said, "Well, I wanted to know if either of you would-"

"Hey! What’s that on your hand? Lucky, look at this. Now, that's what I call a piece of the rock," Lizzie said, as she held Dawn's hand up to the street light to get better look at her ring.

"What's going on, Dawn?" Lucky asked quietly.

"Nikolas and I are getting married and I would love it if you guys could come to the wedding," she said in a rush.

"Isn't this kind of sudden?" Lucky asked. "Wait a minute… Did the Prince get you pregnant?"

"Lucky!" Lizzie exclaimed, as she punched Lucky in his arm.

"Lizzie, it's okay. Lucky's right. I am pregnant. That's why I've been so sick. We found out today," Dawn said, taking her time to look both of them in the eyes.

"What? The Cassadines don’t believe in birth control? I guess that would explain his existence."


"Lucky, I'll ignore that comment. I know you and Nikolas have your problems, but if you ever make another comment like that about him again or our child, I won't be so forgiving," Dawn said, quietly. Her determined brown eyes never lost contact with his angry blue ones.

"But you're smarter than this, Dawn. You're way too good for him. Don't you see what he's trying to do?" Lucky asked.

"I didn't come here for this, Lucky. I came here to ask you and Lizzie to stand up for me at my wedding. I wanted to ask Liz to be my maid of honor and for you to give me away, but if you can't get past your petty feelings for Nikolas then forget I came by," Dawn said. She turned to go back.

"Dawn, wait!"

Dawn stopped and turned to face to Lizzie. Lizzie grabbed her hand, "I can't speak for Lucky, but I will be there for you. You're my girl, of course, I wouldn't let you down."

Lizzie pulled Dawn into a hug and Dawn whispered, "Thanks, Liz."

"Is this a private party or can anybody join?" Lucky asked, as the young women ended their embrace. "I was out of line before and I apologize. If you still want me, I'd love to stand up for you, too."

"Do you promise not to start World War 3 at my wedding?" she asked, deadly serious.

"I promise," Lucky said.

"Okay," Dawn said with a smile.

Lucky pulled her into a hug and when it was over, he asked, "So, when's the wedding?"


"Hi, Tommy," Nikolas said, as he lightly tapped on Simone's door.

"Hi. I wasn't expecting to see you so soon. Is everything okay? How's Dawn?" Tommy asked, rising from his seated position on Simone's bed.

"That's what I wanted to talk to you about. I'd rather we didn’t disturb your mother, though. By the way, how is she doing?" Nikolas asked.

"She's been in and out of consciousness most of the day. Doctor Quartermaine and Grandmother reviewed her chart with me. She should recover, but it won't be easy. She'll need a lot of care and therapy, but eventually, she should be okay," Tommy said, as he closed the door behind him.

"Mind if we go outside?" Nikolas asked.

"Not at all."

They rode the elevator in silence as they went to the ground floor. Tommy followed Nikolas as he led him to the Katherine Bell Gardens which had been erected in her memory by Stefan and Nikolas. Nikolas sat on one of the benches and Tommy sat beside him.

"Were they able to give you the results today?" Tommy asked.

"Yeah, we got them. They came back positive. She's pregnant."

"Is she okay?" Tommy asked, the concern evident in his voice.

"She's getting there."

"Are you?"

Nikolas looked at him and smiled, "I'm getting there, too. This came as a surprise, but I'm not upset about it. I love Dawn and I love our unborn child, too."

"I think your child will be very fortunate to have you and Dawn as parents," Tommy said quietly.

"Thanks," Nikolas said.

"What are you two going to do? Her mother comes back tomorrow, right? I'm sure she won't be too happy about it. And what about your uncle? Have you told him?"

"Her mother is due to come back tomorrow afternoon, as well as, her sister. I haven't told my uncle," Nikolas said, as he looked at the fountain that stood in the garden.

"When do you plan to tell them?" Tommy asked.

"Tomorrow…after we get married."

"You're getting married? Tomorrow?" Tommy asked, surprised.

"Yeah. Actually, that's what I came to talk to you about. I wanted to ask you to be my best man."

"What's a best man?"

"He stands up for the groom. He's there for him and stands beside him during the ceremony," Nikolas said. "You're one of my closest friends and it would mean a lot to me, and to Dawn, if you say yes. I know that since your mother is better now, you may not be able to and I'll completely underst-"

"I'll do it," Tommy said. He and Nikolas stood. Tommy laughed as Nikolas shook his hand in a hearty handshake.

"When and where?" Tommy asked.

"At midnight. The wedding will take place on my boat, The Aphrodite. This is where the boat is docked," Nikolas said, handing Tommy a piece of paper.

"How were you able to arrange this so quickly? Don't you need permission or something?" Tommy asked, as he slipped the paper into his pocket.

"When you have money, certain rules don’t always apply," Nikolas said.

"I guess that's true," Tommy said. "Should I wear anything in particular?"

"Don’t worry. Everything will be provided. Just show up," Nikolas said.

"I'll be there," Tommy said. "Um, Nikolas….would it be okay if Gina comes?"

"Sure. The more the merrier. Just make sure she doesn’t say anything. We don’t want anyone to find out until after it's over."

"Don’t worry. We won't tell a soul."

Chapter 18

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