Nikolas breathed a sigh of relief as he entered his bedroom. The ride from the police station to the docks had been quiet, as well as, the ride on the launch to Wyndemere. As he said his good-bye and made plans to meet with Dawn the next day, he had a strong feeling that his Uncle would voice his opinion on the matter. So far nothing had been said. Perhaps, nothing will, Nikolas thought.
He adjusted the water on the shower and stepped between the glass the doors. Standing directly underneath the water, he allowed the steady flow to soothe his aching body. He didn't realize it until now, but he was tired. The use of Tai Chi on his assailant didn't drain him, but his worry for Dawn did.
Amazing, he thought. He had known her for only a matter of days, yet he didn’t think he could imagine life without her. Wondering about what those men were doing to her had taken a serious toll him. He was more than relieved when Dawn told them that neither of them had laid a hand on her. Thank God, she didn't have to suffer the same as Lizzie, Nikolas thought.
Nikolas stepped from the shower, turned off the gushing water, and reached for his towel. After toweling himself dry, he quickly put on shorts and a tee shirt. He turned off the lights in the bathroom and in the bedroom. He went to his bed, closed his eyes, and leaned against the pillows as his mind drifted back to the night before. He smiled as he remembered the laughter and the dance he and Dawn had shared. He was on the last delicious memory of their passionate kisses when he heard his door open and close shut.
"Uncle," he said, eyes still closed firmly shut.
"Nikolas, we need to talk," Stefan began. He too had taken the time to dress for bed. He wore black silk pajamas which were covered by his black dressing gown.
"Uncle, I'm tired. Can't it wait?" Nikolas asked, opening his eyes to stare at the ceiling. He knew what Stefan wanted to discuss, but Nikolas didn't want to discuss anything. His mind was already made up.
"No, it can't. I heard you make arrangements to meet Miss Jensen tomorrow. This is unacceptable. Tomorrow morning, you will call her and cancel those arrangements."
Nikolas was surprised by Stefan's words and turned to face him. He found Stefan's eyes to be unreadable as he tried to access what his reasons for the cancellation might be. Finding no reasons, he simply said, "No."
"This is not a request," Stefan said, as the muscles his jaw flexed.
"Is it an order, Uncle?" Nikolas asked. "If so, it is one I can not and will not obey."
"You hardly know this girl," Stefan began.
"I know enough," he said quietly.
"Do you know about the musician she spent time with?"
"You didn't waste any time, did you? I knew her how long and you had her investigated all ready. Unbelievable," Nikolas replied. "And yes, I do know about him. What's next?"
"Nikolas, being flippant doesn't suit you," Stefan replied quietly. He wanted the best for Nikolas. He wasn't sure if Miss Jensen was it.
"But what suits you, Uncle? Just last night, you offered her sanctuary and a short twenty-four hours later, you're demanding that I never see her again. Why?"
"I want the best for you…"
"How do you know she isn't? What if I'm not the best for her? Maybe we should…Dawn and I…discover these things on our own," Nikolas answered, rubbing the back of his neck, careful of the knot that had formed. He was tired and he wanted to dream of Dawn. He didn’t want to argue with his uncle.
"I can see that you are tired. I'll leave you to rest now, but we will discuss this further in the morning," Stefan said as he left the room.
Nikolas sighed as the door closed. That's what you think, he thought as he lost consciousness and dreamed of Dawn.
"Mmm," she moaned. His kisses tasted as sweet as honey and his hands were velvety soft as he gently caressed her body. As he pulled her against his hard chest, her hands moved down his solid back to rest on his firm bottom.
"Oh, Dawn," Nikolas sighed. He trailed tiny kisses on her neck. His lips found the spot he wanted and he kissed and suckled her tender flesh, making sure to leave his mark there. His lips moved on and soon, her earlobe was in his mouth. His tongue drove her crazy with its constant motion.
She longed to taste him again and feel his tongue on hers. She moved her head to gently release her ear and turned to receive more kisses. She smiled as she anticipated the dizzy look of passion she would find in his eyes. Opening her eyes to see him, she froze in horror when she saw Wayne's face staring back at her. Then, she began to scream loudly.
Dawn felt his hands pulling on her shoulders, shaking her and she fought. Her arms flailed out as she tried to defend herself. The soreness of her right arm didn’t matter as she swung out. She had to make him stop.
"Dawn!" the voice said. It sounded like her mother, but she knew it was Wayne trying to trick her into submitting.
"NO!" she screamed. "Leave me alone!!"
But he wouldn't leave her alone. He kept pulling on her and saying her name. She opened her eyes to find a weapon and she was surprised to see her mother and Dawn holding her. She looked around for Wayne, but he was nowhere in sight.
"Honey, it's okay. It was all a dream," Carrie told her daughter. She sat beside her on the bed and gathered her in her arms as she gently rocked her back and forth.
"It was just a dream." Carrie turned to Dara and asked, "Would you get her a glass of water and a new night shirt. This one is soaked through."
Dara nodded and quietly left the room. She had wondered if there was more to Dawn's story than what she had told them. Now, she was certain there was. First thing in the morning, she and Dawn were having a talk, she decided. If she was sexually assaulted, Dara wanted to make sure she got the help she needed as soon as possible.
As Dara retrieved the water and the nightshirt, Carrie continued to rock Dawn gently in her arms. Dawn relaxed against her and willed herself to calm down. When her heart rate decreased, she said, "I was just having a nightmare, Mama."
"I know, baby. I know. Everything's okay now. You're here with me and your sister. No one can hurt you now," Carrie whispered.
"I know, Mama," Dawn moved from her mother's arms to look into her eyes. "It was just a dream, Mama. I'm okay."
As Dara entered the room, Dawn jumped. Her sudden movement did not go unnoticed by Dara or Carrie. Both looked at each other and silently decided to remain quiet. They would discuss 'her dream' with her tomorrow.
"Here's some water."
Dawn took the water from Dara, and swallowed most of the water in one sip. She didn't realize how thirsty she was until she put the glass to her lips.
"I see you're still a guzzler," Dara smiled as she watched her sister.
"Always," Dawn answered as she handed her the empty the glass. She took the nightshirt Dara offered her in trade. She held it up and looked at the picture of Kenny from South Park and laughed.
"I don’t know why you're laughing. You gave it to me," Dara replied with a smirk.