~ Conflicting Emotions ~
"When you said dinner…this isn't what I envisioned," Dawn said. Her
eyes were wide as she stared at the elaborate layout. To her surprise, Nikolas had
converted the first floor conference room into a romantic, candlelit sanctuary for
two. White, pink and red roses adorned the table. Dawn moved away from the door
and took a deep breath as she reached the table. The heady scent of the roses warred
with the delicious aroma of herb roasted chicken, garlic mashed potatoes and small
variety of perfectly sautéed vegetables. Her hand flew to her stomach as it grumbled
in appreciation. With a soft laugh, she turned towards her host. "I don't
know what to say."
Nikolas beamed. His hand reached for hers. "Your
stomach said it for you," he said with a grin. "Let's eat."
didn't need to be told twice. Nikolas held out the chair for her and she promptly
sat down. Her brown eyes danced as Nikolas grabbed a plate and began to serve her.
She never knew how much she'd enjoy being taken care of. As Nikolas set her full
plate before her with a flourish, she realized that she could get used to this.
"Thank you," she murmured.
"It was my pleasure," he warmly
assured her. He began to prepare his plate. With his attention divided between
her and their meal, he began to speak. "I wasn't sure if you'd like this.
I hope that the Grille won't disappoint."
Dawn set her fork down with
a frown creasing her brow. "You mean you didn't slave over a hot stove? Well,
I guess I'm not as hungry as I thought I was!"
"Oh, you just sit
yourself down, Dr. Jensen," he said as she moved to rise from her chair. Gesturing
with his forefinger, he stared at her until she had followed his bidding. "Your
patients are important. I couldn't run the risk of you succumbing to food poisoning,
now could I?"
Dawn laughed. "Thank you for your thoughtfulness.
What was I thinking?"
"You were teasing me. As usual," he
responded. He set his plate down on the table and then reached for a bottle of chilled
sparkling apple cider. He poured them each of glass. As he handed a glass to Dawn,
their fingers touched. He offered her a smile that caused her to tingle all over.
Their gaze held until Nikolas bent down to cover her lips with his.
later, the kiss ended. Their dinner was now lukewarm and neither cared. Nikolas
sat beside her as close as humanly possible considering the bulkiness of the conference
room chairs. Dawn shifted in her chair to get a better look at him. He blushed
under her scrutiny.
"Is there something stuck in my teeth?" he asked,
reaching for his glass.
"No," she said as she shook her head.
you aware that it's impolite to stare?" he countered, teasing her.
cocked an eyebrow as her initial response. "I guess you should know."
saw me?" he asked, his voice husky and his cheeks now burgundy.
times," she admitted. "But it's okay," she added in a conspiratorial
whisper, "because I'm guilty, too."
"I'll say!" he said.
He laughed as her eyes widened in surprise. "I am no stranger to female attention,
Dr. Jensen. Especially when the female is someone who has captivated me so."
she repeated. Focusing on her dinner, she spoke in a conversational tone. "I
suppose European women are captivating…"
"I'm not…um…" He frowned
as he searched for the words. "I'm not giving you a line. I'm sure that most
men my age wouldn't use that word, but in all honesty, I cannot think of another
one that could aptly describe what you've done to me."
done anything to you," she mumbled. Slightly embarrassed, she scooted her chair
an inch or two away from him. Too confused to eat, she drew lines in the mashed
potatoes with her fork.
"Did I say something wrong?" he asked.
He lifted her chin so that they could make eye contact. "You should tell me
if I did. I don't want there to be any more misunderstandings between us."
tugged her chin free. Sitting back in the chair, she continued to look at him.
"You didn't say anything wrong. I don't want any misunderstandings either.
It's just that… Well, most guys don't use the words that you use unless they're
angling for a roll in the hay. Nikolas, you're not like any guy I've ever known
before. You're gonna take some getting used to."
He drew in a long breath
before he spoke again. "I see."
"I didn't mean that in a bad
way," she said when she could sense him withdrawing from her. "You have
a different way about you. I'm not saying that it's bad or good. Actually, I think
it's sweet…and charming. This dinner you set up… You make me feel special."
are special," he said, his eyes holding hers. "I didn't do this to seduce
you. I did this because you deserve it. And because I wanted you to know that I
meant what I said. I want to start over. I want-"
The PA system drowned
out the remainder of Nikolas' heartfelt confession. Dawn's name was called and in
a flash, she was on her feet and heading for the door. Before she left, she said,
"Thank you for tonight."
Stone sat up straight in bed.
He couldn't sleep. The penthouse was dark and quiet. He missed the echo of footsteps
in the hall, the constant buzzing of the lights and the faint voices that drifted
in his room and kept him company. And most of all he missed Keesha. He never knew
when she would visit and somehow, he knew that she wouldn't visit him that night.
The realization made him ache deep within his chest.
Moving quietly, he swung
his legs off the bed. His feet sunk into the plush carpet and he flexed his toes,
enjoying the sensation. The new feelings distracted him for a moment, but as the
minutes passed, his thoughts drifted back to Keesha. Visions of her sunny smile
came to mind. The imagines helped, but they also made the ache worse. Unable to
sit still any longer, he rose from the bed and padded out of the room.
was cautious as he moved around his new surroundings. Quietly, he slipped down the
staircase to the first floor of the penthouse. He turned from the living area and
went to the terrace doors. He turned the knob and pushed. The doors opened and
the cold night air rushed in. He took a deep, cleansing breath.
view is beautiful, isn't it?"
Stone started. He hadn't considered that
he would not be alone. Frowning, he responded to Sonny with a slight nod.
all the lights?" Sonny asked, indicating with a sweeping gesture of his hand
after he moved from the shadows to stand beside Stone. "There's no better view
in all of Port Charles. You always liked it."
"Yeah," Sonny said. He looked away from the
night sky to fixate Stone with a stare.
Stone shifted uncomfortably. People
were always staring at him, and he hated it. He left the open door and headed for
the staircase. Sonny called out to him, stopping him before he disappeared to his
Taking a deep breath, Stone moved to face
Sonny. He wished again that he could have stayed at the hospital. He didn't like
"This has gotta be weird for you, right?" Sonny asked.
"That quack Jones said that everything is new for you. I've been thinking
how it would feel…to wake up and not know anything or anyone."
know Keesha," Stone said. "It's not like how Jones says. I'm not stupid."
didn't say you were," the other man told him. "I have my doubts about
Jones. With a little rest and some time, you'll be back like you were before."
Stone repeated. "With rest?"
"Sure," Sonny said, nodding
his head. "Robin and I fully intend to give you what those pompous bastards
at GH couldn't. You'll remember everything, and you and Robin will be like you were
"Me and Robin…"
"Yeah, she'll be over
in the morning. Don't worry. I'll give you two some breathing room so that you
can get reacquainted. You'll be just like you were before. You'll see."
patted Stone's shoulder as he moved past him up the staircase. Stone's mind was
in such turmoil that he didn't acknowledge Sonny's affectionate gesture. Tomorrow,
Robin would be there. He knew from Sonny's tone of voice that her appearance was
supposed to be a good thing. But for Stone, it was the opposite. The ache in his
chest grew, making him dread the dawning of the next day.
was a madhouse. A three-car pileup had everyone bustling. The medical staff was
intent on saving as many lives as possible. Personal concerns were pushed aside
as Keesha and Jason worked together to do their duty.
"How is she doing
over there?" Jason asked, nodding his head toward the adjoining room. He instructed
the duty nurse to prepare the injection as he waited for Keesha to fill him in.
doing okay," she told him after a quick glance at their friend who was hard
at work on saving one of the crash's victims. "It looks like Frank is sticking
around to help."
"Good," he said. "It's nice to know
that he can do something more than yell."
"He's not that bad,"
she said. "The break was clean," she said, in regards to their patient.
"Need help in setting it?"
"Of course," Jason said.
"I'll hold him down. You can push it in."
Keesha did the task as
quickly as possible. The young teenager groaned, but didn't fight them. After he
was taken care of, the doctors gave the nurses further instructions and moved on
to help the other patients.
An elderly woman lay on a gurney in the hallway
and they went to assist her. She complained of chest pains and Keesha began an initial
evaluation. Knowing that Keesha was more than capable, Jason left her to see if
he could offer his assistance elsewhere. He promptly returned when he learned that
all of the patients were being assisted.
"What happened?" he asked
when he saw that the patient had fainted.
"She passed out," Keesha
told him. "She doesn't have a history of heart ailments. I think all the excitement
frightened her. I think we should hold her for observation just in case though."
call," he said. He was silent as Keesha jotted down her recommendation on the
chart. She slipped the clipboard on the end of the gurney and stepped aside as the
orderlies wheeled the lady away. "This is a night that I won't soon forget,"
he commented as he followed Keesha to the nurse's station.
she told him. Pausing, she stood still and looked at him. "One minute, it
was just a normal night and then in a split second, this place was like that show…ER."
Burgess and Benton have a lot in common. No one barks out orders like those two,"
Jason said with a smile.
"Yeah, but I wouldn't let her hear that if I
They laughed softly at the small joke. The moment lingered
as the laughter died and silence surrounded them. Jason reached for her hand. "We
haven't laughed together in a long time."
"No, we haven't,"
Keesha agreed, her eyes on their joined hands.
"It felt good, didn't
She slowly raised her eyes to look up at him. "Yeah."
this is what we needed," he said, taking a step closer to her.
she asked with a frown.
"Time together…working together to remind us
how good we are. Together. I had almost forgotten," he said in a hoarse whisper.
she began. "Everything has been so weird."
"It doesn't have
to stay that way," he said. "We love each other too much to let a few
weeks of weirdness to break us apart." His fingertips lightly grazed her full
cheeks. "Nothing has ever felt as good as being with you. Working side by
side has made me realize just how impossible it is for me to just give up on us."
were ready to give up?" she asked, surprised by his admission.
he told her. "But not anymore. I love you. I want to spend the rest of my
life with you and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen."
don't know what to say…"
"Say that you'll come home with me and
that you'll give us another chance…"
Hypnotized by him, Keesha couldn't
speak. Jason took her silence for consent and sealed his words with a kiss. Keesha
responded by parting her lips. His tongue probed her mouth, leaving her dizzy and
longing…and more confused than ever. If Jason could still make her feel this way,
why was she so affected by Stone Cates?
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