Chapter 42

Nikolas felt a sense of relief after his discussion with Alexis. He had forgotten how easy she was to talk to. Before he realized what was happening, he had told her almost everything.

He told her that Dawn made him feel like he had a purpose, a reason to be, something he had never really felt before. He told her that Dawn made him feel alive. She was unlike any girl he had ever known before and he wanted to spend as much time with her as possible.

After Alexis left for her emergency at the courthouse, he worried that he might have said too much. He didn't want her to disclose his feelings about Dawn to Stefan. He wanted to have the discussion with Stefan himself. Then, he remembered the look in her eyes while they were talking. She seemed to know exactly how he felt and he became reassured that she would not speak out of turn.

Talking about Dawn to someone else helped him realize how much he wanted from her, but it also made him realize that he didn't know how much she wanted from him. He wanted a relationship with her. A real relationship. As he punched in the seven digits to call her, he hoped she wanted the same.

"Hello," came the breathless voice.

"Hi, may I speak with Dawn," Nikolas said.

"Speaking. Nickie?"

"Speaking," he laughed. Her voice was the sweetest sound against his ear and he found himself laughing for no reason other than because he was happy to hear her.

"Long time no hear," she said with a laugh. "Did you have a good lunch?"

"Lunch was good. How about you? Did lunch with your family go okay?" he asked, his voice full of concern.

"We had a nice lunch. Dara was in full force," she said.

"Was that good or bad?"

"Neither, really. In her way, she was showing me that she cared," Dawn replied.

"Was your father there?" he asked.

"Nope, and he won't be. Ever," she said.

"Did something happen? Do you want to talk about it?"

"Not over the phone. Maybe later?" she asked.

"Later. How about now? Would you like to go for a drive or maybe horseback riding?" he asked. He hoped she would say yes. The short time they had been apart was far too long.

"I can't right now," she said quietly.

"Oh, well maybe sometime. Whenever," he answered, trying to keep the disappointment out of his voice.

"Would two hours be too soon? My mom and I are going shopping. We could get together after she and I are done," she offered.

"Two hours? Hmm…I'm not sure if that will work for me," he replied, teasing her.

"Oh," she replied, unable to keep the disappointment out of her voice. Nikolas heard it and began to feel guilty for teasing her.

"Two hours will be fine. I'll come by Dara's two hours from now."

"What happened? I thought two hours weren't good for you," she said.

Uh-oh, Nikolas thought. He'd better think fast to get out of this.

"Um…" he began.

"Um. Yeah, I got your 'um.' You didn't have anything to do. You were trying to give me a hard time. Admit it," she said, laughing.

"Well…yeah," he said with a laugh.

"Hmm…wait until you see what happens to people who try to give me a hard time," she said teasingly, with a promise of more to come later.

"I can hardly wait," he said in a husky voice.

"Me either," she said wistfully. "I have an idea. Instead of you picking me up, I could meet you at Wyndemere. We could go for a walk along the shore again."

"That sounds good to me," he answered. As they said their good-byes and hung up, Nikolas found himself wishing that the two hours would go by quickly.


Juan loved the feel of a hot shower. The fresh scent of the soap revitalized him, as well as, washed his transgressions away. He had loved the feel of Simone under him, but the smell of her on his body could be his undoing.

Satisfied that all traces of her was washed away, he stepped from the shower. He quickly toweled himself dry. Dropping the wet towel on the floor, he left the bathroom and went into the bedroom.

"All better?" asked the feminine voice.

Juan showed no surprise at the sound of his visitor. He simply turned and smiled at her as he poured himself a shot of whiskey.

"I asked you a question," she purred as she lowered herself onto the chaise, her eyes appreciating the vision before her.

Juan poured another drink for her. Carrying both glasses, he moved to sit, facing her, on the lounge.

"Sí, querida, I am all better. Now, that you are here," he replied. He placed their drinks onto the side table and leaned toward her to claim her lips in sensual, lingering kiss.

As he ended the kiss, he looked into her eyes which were wild with passion. Satisfied with his work, he grabbed his glass and swallowed its contents.

She licked her still tingling lips and watched him. He had a wildness about him that begged for her to tame him. She knew she could not and dared not try. He was as obsessive about control as she and there were certain boundaries one dared not cross.

"You were with Simone," she said, not asking, merely stating the obvious.

"Ah, mi amor, you are jealous. You have no reason to be," he replied with a teasing smile. He did not want her to know of his time with Simone. She would not understand and her knowledge would only complicate things.

She decided to let the topic of Simone be. She knew he would not answer her truthfully, yet, she wanted to make sure that he was aware that she was no one's fool. She would see that Simone was dealt with later.

"How are things? How is the newcomer? She was rather loud on her first night here. Has she been tamed?" she asked, her hand trailing lightly up his hard, muscled thighs.

He grabbed her hand and placed it on its destination. As he moved to cover her body, he asked, "You speak of work when we could be doing other things?"

As her hand began to stroke him, he sighed and said, "Ah, Tracy, now you are beginning to see things my way."

Chapter 43

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