Chapter 44

The two hours didnít pass fast enough for Nikolas. He tried studying his lessons, reviewing the Cassadine European holdings, and practicing Tai Chi, but none of them could hold his attention. His mind kept drifting back to Dawn and his eyes kept looking at the clock.

Not able to stand the waiting any longer, Nikolas decided that he had to do something. He thought a walk on the dock would quell his anticipation, but before he knew it, he found himself on the launch. On impulse, he decided that he would surprise Dawn at the dock at Port Charles and together, they would ride back over to Spoon Island. He could hardly wait to see her face when she saw him waiting for her. Correction. He could hardly wait to see her. Period.

Nikolas sat on the bench and gazed at the water. His mind was a million miles away, as he planned what he and Dawn would do when they reached the Island. He nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard footsteps on the landing above him. The two hour wait was finally over, he thought to himself, a huge smile on his face.

"Hi, Nikolas."

Nikolas frowned when he heard the voice. The footsteps didnít belong to Dawn. They belonged to someone else. He tried to hide his disappointment as he said, "Hi, Robin."

"Are you waiting for the launch?" she asked.

"Not exactly. What brings you down here?" he asked, as she reached him.

"Actually, I was on my way to see you. I had some extra time and I thought I'd see how you were doing," she said as she sat beside him.

"Oh," he said with a frown.

"Jason had some business to attend to and well, to be honest, we haven't exactly been getting along," she said, not registering the look on Nikolas' face.

"That's too bad," Nikolas replied. He liked Robin as friend, and he cared about her. But at this moment, the last thing he wanted to think about was her and Jason.

"I think so. Lately, it seems like no matter what I say or do, I make him angry. Nikolas, I donít know what to do anymore. I could really use a friend right now," she said, pleadingly.

"Have you discussed this with Jason?" he asked, he didnít want to consider what she meant by her last sentence and he chose to ignore it.

"I'm scared to. I donít really want to talk about this here. Would you like to have dinner with me?" she asked. Nikolas was a good listener. He always paid attention to her and she could use a little attention right now.

~*~

Dawn glanced at her watch as she hurried to the dock. The shopping spree had taken longer than she had anticipated, and she hated being late.

She and Carrie had a fun time together. Dawn couldnít remember ever having so much fun with her mother. They went into quite a few shops and discovered that their tastes were similar. They laughed and teased each other as they tried on clothes and shoes. She couldnít have asked for a better way to spend two hours, unless it was with Nickie, she thought, grinning to herself.

She felt a closeness to her mother that she never felt before. Her father's constant badgering and her mother's lack of intervention had prevented Dawn from trusting her mother. She loved her, but she held part of her heart back from her. She was never really sure if her mother felt the same as her father, and chose to keep her feelings to herself. After overhearing her conversation with Dara and spending 'quality' time with her, she knew that wasnít the case. She looked forward to spending time with her and building a new relationship with her.

As Dawn neared the docks, she slowed down her pace. She took a deep breath and looked at her reflection in the flower shop's window. Her mother had bought her quite a few new outfits and she decided to wear one for her date with Nikolas.

The short lavender dress fit her perfectly. The cut in the front dipped enough to show part of her ample cleavage without revealing too much and the cut in the back was high enough to cover her bruises. The spaghetti straps looked good against her dark brown shoulders. The skirt was loose and stopped at mid-thigh, showing off her well-toned legs. Her sandals were the same lavender color as her dress and her toes were accented with the same color nail polish. Her braids hung down to frame her face. All in all, she was pleased. She hoped Nikolas would be pleased as well.

The boy in the flower shop watched her as she appraised herself. He liked what he saw and he couldnít stop grinning. Feeling his eyes on her, she looked into the shop and saw him. Slightly embarrassed, she decided to play it off and went into the shop.

"Hi," he said, wiping his hands on his smock. His blonde bangs fell into his eyes, and he absently pushed them back.

"Hi, I'd like to purchase some flowers," she said.

"Sure," he said, smiling. He moved from around the counter to stand close to her. "Do you see anything you like?"

His closeness bothered her and she stepped away from him. Looking around the shop, her eyes stopped on her favorite flowers. She wanted to buy something for Nikolas but she wasnít sure if Gerbera daisies would suit him. The roses were appealing, but she wondered how he would feel about those as well. Unable to make a decision, she sighed.

"You seem to be having a hard time. Maybe I can help you," he offered, moving to stand closer to her again.

"That won't be necessary," she said, moving away from him. She made a decision and indicated to him which flowers she wanted. Her feelings for Nikolas were real, and what better way for her to show him than with roses? There were other ways, she thought, but now wasnít the time to think about them. She smiled to herself as she thought of how fun the other ways could be.

"Whoever he is, he's one lucky guy," the guy said, after wrapping the flowers into a simple arrangement. He then rang up the sale. "That will be ten dollars."

"I'm the lucky one," she said, opening her lavender purse to get the money. She handed him a ten dollar bill and took the roses from him. Leaving the flower shop, she headed toward the dock.

When she reached the top of the steps which led down to the dock area, she was surprised by what she saw. Nikolas was there, but he was not alone. The girl from Kelly's was there, too, and she was touching him. Dawn wondered what was going on and she was more than determined to find out as she made her way down the steps.

~*~

"What do you really know about her? Don't you think you're moving too fast?" Robin asked, her small hand on his shoulder as they stood in the middle of the dock.

"No, Robin, I'm not. I think it's nice that you care, but this really isnít any of your business," he said, removing her hand from his shoulder. He gave it a slight squeeze for emphasis and quickly released it.

"Did you know that she's a runaway? I saw her picture in the paper. That's why she seemed familiar to me," she said, determined to make Nikolas see reason.

"She's not 'a runaway.' All of that's been cleared up. Besides, none of that matters anyway," Nikolas replied. He was growing weary of Robin's questions and he wished she'd leave before Dawn arrived. He didnít want her to put a damper on their evening together before it really started.

"I think it does matter. You donít know what she did to survive on the stree-" Robin stopped abruptly when she noticed that they were no longer alone.

Nikolas noticed her expression and turned to see what silenced her. The look on his face changed from annoyance to happiness and desire as he watched Dawn walk down the steps to join him and Robin on the dock. She carried roses and was wearing the most amazing dress. She was stunning.

Without another thought of Robin and her warnings, he moved to the steps and waited at the bottom as Dawn came down the remaining steps. When she reached him, he pulled her into a tender embrace. He released the breath he had been holding as her arms went around him. To hell with Robin, Uncle, or whoever, Nikolas thought, he was exactly where he wanted to be and with the person he wanted to be with. This was right because holding her against him felt too good to be wrong.

Chapter 45

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