Chapter 40

Nikolas stood on the dock long after the launch had departed. His mind was on Dawn, as it often was lately. He never thought one person could be a mixture of so many wonderful contradictions. Quiet and reflective. Funny and bright. Sensual seductress. In all those things, she was always true to herself.

As he walked to Wyndemere, he decided that he wanted her to be in his life. He knew Stefan had some reservations about their budding relationship, but he felt a connection with Dawn that he had never felt with anyone else before. He trusted her and he knew that she trusted him.

Something happened between them in the catacombs. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but he felt it. Whenever he held her in his arms, whether she was awake of asleep, he felt like he was home. He laughed when he thought about it, but he sobered when he realized how accurate the word was in reference to how he felt when they were together. She teased, excited, and tantalized him, but she also gave him a feeling of security. Oh, yes, he thought, no matter what Stefan said, he would not stop seeing her.

As he went into the library, Nikolas was determined to reveal part of his revelation to his uncle. Stefan needed to understand that whether he wanted to acknowledge it or not, Nikolas was no longer a child. He was old enough to make his own decisions on who will and will not be a part of life.

With his mind firmly made up, Nikolas entered the library and was surprised to find someone other than his uncle there.

“Where’s Uncle?”

“Well, good afternoon to you, too,” Alexis replied, wiping her eyeglasses.

“I’m sorry, Alexis. I thought I would find Uncle here. How are you?” he asked, pouring himself a glass of iced tea.

“Your Uncle’s not here. He’s at the hospital. And I’m fine. Thanks for asking. And yourself?” she asked, putting her glasses back on.

“I’m good,” Nikolas replied, distracted, as he sipped the tea.

Alexis looked up from her paperwork and watched him as he began to pace the floor. He was bothered by something. Could it be the Jensen girl, she wondered.

“Is everything okay? You can talk to me if you want. I'm a pretty good listener,” Alexis offered. She removed her eyeglasses and watched him as processed her offer. She and Nikolas weren’t as close as they were before Katherine Bell entered their lives. She hoped that during the trial all of that would change and Nikolas would come to trust her again.

Nikolas sighed. Should he confide in her about Dawn or would she side with Stefan? He wasn’t sure if discussing his feelings about Dawn with Alexis was the right course of action to take.

“Nikolas? Does this have anything to do with Dawn Jensen?” she asked quietly. When Nikolas looked at her in surprise, she had her answer. This had everything to do with Dawn. Oh, boy, she thought.


“From what Elizabeth told me, I’m with you, man. But this isn’t the right way,” Lucky said, as he moved to sit on the curb next to Elizabeth.

“Why not?” Tommy asked, irritated. He shouldn’t have told them anything, he berated himself.

“Because you don’t know these guys. It wouldn’t be safe to get guns from people you don’t know,” Lucky replied.

“Why wouldn’t it be safe?” Tommy asked, as he moved to sit on the other side of Lizzie.

“Yeah, why? What difference does it make where he gets the guns from? From what Tommy has said, the place is like a fortress. We won’t be able to walk in and walk right back out,” Lizzie said, confused by Lucky’s opposition to Tommy’s suggestion.

“It makes a difference because we don’t know anything about these guys. What they’ve done with the guns…who they know…or whether or not they’ll talk. We need to make a deal with someone we know,” Lucky said with conviction.

“I don’t know anyone,” Tommy said, as Lizzie nodded in agreement.

“I do. Jason Morgan,” Lucky replied.

“The Jason Morgan? Do you really know him?” Lizzie asked incredulously.

“Who is he?” Tommy asked.

“He runs the mob, and yes, I do know him,” Lucky answered.

“What’s a mob?” Tommy asked.

Lucky started to laugh, but stopped when Lizzie elbowed him. Hard.

“The mob is like a group of people who control businesses and people by threatening bodily harm,” Lizzie answered.

“Oh, Elizabeth,” Lucky replied, shaking his head.

“What? That’s exactly what the mob does,” she said, indignantly.

Tommy watched and listened to their interchange. They really knew each other, he surmised. He laughed. So this is how people his age interacted with each other. If so, he could get used to that.

“Okay, I think I understand. But will he help?” Tommy asked.

“There’s only one way to find out,” Lucky said as he stood. He reached down for Lizzie’s hand to help her to her feet. Once she was standing, she reached for Tommy’s hand to help him to his feet. After they were all standing, Lizzie and Tommy followed Lucky as he led them to Jason’s penthouse.


Gina followed Shorty as he led her down the dank corridor. He hadn’t said anything to her since they left the cave area. She was nervous about where he was taking her, but she knew better than to ask. The guards didn’t like to be questioned. About anything.

When they reached their destination, Shorty stopped. Opening the door, he roughly shoved her into the room. She fell onto her knees and before she could stand, she heard the door slam shut and the lock click into place.

Gina was scared to look up. She hadn’t been summoned in quite a while and she didn’t like the idea of being summoned now. She kept her head lowered for a few minutes more until she heard a small whimper.

The sound was so low and pained that Gina looked up without thinking of her own fear. What she saw made her angrier than she had been in a long time. In that moment she decided that whatever plan Keesha came up with, she would be in on it, too.

She rose from the floor and quickly went to Simone who was huddled in the fetal position in the middle of the room. Simone’s clothing was in shreds and she was covered in bruises. Her eyes were glazed, as she whimpered softly in her delirium.

Gina reached for the medical supplies which had so conveniently been left beside Simone. She dipped a cloth into the bucket of water which was also beside Simone and gently dabbed at her bloody face. Her heart broke when Simone winced and shied away from her touch.

She spoke to Simone in soothing tones, reassuring her that she was okay. She told her that no one would hurt her. She said that she was there and that she would protect her. As she comforted Simone's soul with words, Gina's hands attempted to heal Simone's battered body.

When Gina had cleaned and dressed Simone's wounds as best she could, she gathered her into her arms and slowly rocked her back and forth. She softly sung to her the same song Simone had comforted her with so long ago.

'Jeremiah was a bullfrog
He was a good friend of…

"…mine," Simone whispered in unison with Gina.

Gina immediately stopped singing when she heard Simone's voice. She looked down at her dear friend and began to cry tears of join when she saw that Simone was lucid. Simone was alive and her eyes told Gina that her spirit had not been broken. They had won this battle, and in time, they would win the war.

Chapter 41

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