Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The beginning

Kathy shook her head and rolled her eyes. The ultrasound wasn’t able to tell them the sex of the baby but she didn’t need a machine to tell her she was going to give Nick a son.
“You’re doing great Kathy. I see a mass of black hair.” Kathy squeezed Nick’s hands until he thought they were going to break. "I’m so proud of you baby,” he said brushing back the sweat soaked hair from her face. You‘ll have to explain to our daughter why she‘s named Nick Junior.”
“Once more Kathy. It’s … a boy! You were right,” Dr. Larson said smiling. Kathy laid back onto the bed tears streamed down her face. Tears of joy and tears of relief.
“I knew you could do it, Kathy,” he said wiping the tears from her cheeks.
“Why isn’t he crying,” Kathy said struggling to sit up. “Is he alright?”
“Do you want to cut the cord dad? It looks like mom won the bet you got yourself a boy. I don’t know how you waited to find out. I’m not one for surprises,” Dr. Larson said.
Nick rose and walked to the foot of the bed. He cut the cord that had bound mother and son for the last nine months. The child was now a flesh and blood part of Nick’s world. The baby opened his eyes, looked at his father and screamed at the top of his lungs.
“Nick has that effect on people,” Kathy said, crying happy tears.
“I don’t think we’ll have any trouble knowing when he wants something,” Nick said proudly.
“Here you two can hold him for a minute. Dad, you look like you could use a cup of coffee. We need to get him ready for his debut. The paparazzi have been sniffing around.”
An angry look flashed across Nick’s face. “They’ll get a picture of him if and when were ready. Nobody comes near him.” Nick took the baby in his arms, he was so small, so fragile. He laid their child in Kathy‘s arms.
“Look what you did,” Nick said smiling.
“Look what we did,” Kathy chided. “He’s so beautiful Nick and so…” Nick and Kathy quickly counted fingers and toes.
“Perfect, just like his mother.” Nick leaned over and kissed her. “I knew you could do it.”
“Nick, I’m a mess don’t look at me.”
“You have never looked more beautiful to me.”
“Okay you two I’m going to start crying in a minute,” Dr. Larson said sniffing. She’d never seen two people more in love or devoted to each other and knew that devotion would be showered on their child.
“I’ll let Jack know then I’ll be right back.” He bent over and kissed her again.
Nick walked out and headed for the waiting room. Rose jumped to her feet a look of apprehension on her face. “Well…” Rose said.
“It’s a boy and they’re both doing fine.” Rose threw her arms around Nick and kissed his cheek. Tom slapped him on the back and shook his hand. “Brody just grew by one,” Tom said proudly hugging Rose. “We better hit the road honey, It’s almost dawn.”
“I didn’t realize it was that late,” Nick said shaking his head. “Thanks for being here. It means a lot to us. Here I got a picture of him on the phone.”
“ Look at all the hair. He’s just beautiful. We’re so thrilled for the two of you. Call us when you bring him home.”
“You bet,” Nick said.
“Well how does it feel dad?” Jack said throwing his arms around Nick. “You look like hell.”
“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. Lets go find some coffee.” The two men headed for the elevator and the cafeteria. “Great it doesn’t open for another hour.” Nick pushed the button on the machine and watched as the various plastic wrapped food items spun past. Nick settled on a Danish and chocolate mini doughnuts for Kathy. “Don’t look at me like that I’d eat the wrapper right about now.” Nick sat down at a table and Jack brought him coffee.
“Let me see that son of yours,” Jack said holding his hand out for the cell phone. “Just don’t screw this up like I did Nick. They always have to come first.”
“I know Jack.” Nick mumbled his mouth full of Danish. “I don’t want to be gone too long. I guess the paparazzi are on the loose. I don’t want them bothering Kathy and the baby.”
“You mean Nick junior?” Jack teased.
“She said I get to name the next one. Let’s head up and I‘ll introduce him to his uncle Jack.”
“The next one,” Jack said looking at Nick out of the corner of his eye. “I never thought I’d see the day Kathy would settle down.”
“She’s going to make a great mother. If she’s as passionate about this as she is everything else. The poor kid will never be out of her sight.” Nick and Jack walked into the room. Kathy sat on the bed holding Nick Jr. in her arms.
“How you doing Kath?” Jack asked.
“I’m so happy Jack. I don’t ever remember being this happy. He’s so incredible. Do want to hold him?” she asked.
“Come here to uncle, Jack,” he said scooping Nick Jr. up in his arms. “You certainly are an arm full.”
“Eight pounds three ounces. He‘s so beautiful.” Kathy’s face glowed with pride.
“Definitely not your typical homely baby. You two did good.”
“I almost forgot,” Nick said handing Kathy a package of chocolate covered donuts. “The cafeteria was closed it was the only chocolate left in the machine.”
“Thanks Nicky. I don’t know what I want more food or sleep.” She yawned as she ripped open the package.
“You three need some alone time and I need some sleep. I’ll see you three tomorrow.”
Jack bent over and kissed Kathy on the cheek. “I couldn’t be more proud if you were my own daughter.”
“Thanks Jack,” she said her eyes filled with tears. Where was her own father during this momentous event. Absent as always. Maybe she thought things would be different with her expecting his first grandchild but she had heard nothing from him since she told him about the baby.
“Later Jack,” Nick said waving little Nicky‘s arm at him. Jack shook his head and rolled his eyes.
Nick turned back to Kathy her eyes were closed she was asleep. “It’s just you and me kid,” he whispered. He walked over to the window and stared at the sunrise. The new life in his arms greeting the new day, the first day of his life. The fear and uncertainty Kathy must have felt washed over him. He like her had no one to guide him in this new chapter of his life. They were starting off together in unfamiliar and uncharted territory. There was no margin for error with this precious little being depending on them making the right decisions. He bent his head down and kissed his sons cheek. That hole, that emptiness that had followed him around for the last thirty years had finally been filled. He now knew what it was like to be complete. Little Nicky blinked his eyes and yawned. “I think you’ve earned a nap you’ve had a big day.” Nick laid him down and covered him with a blanket. Kathy was still sleeping peacefully so he sat down in the chair and closed his eyes.

Kathy turned off the water after cleaning the mess Nicky made at lunch time. He had managed to get more food on the floor than in his mouth. She was glad to start him on solids he was always hungry. Demanding like his father but in a way that made her want to give. There were no sounds coming from the living room so she peeked around the corner. She found Nick on the floor with Nicky sleeping soundly on his chest. Kathy smiled and grabbed the camera. She took several pictures and then stared at her two men, he was his father’s son. His hair was growing in dark and thick and he had his father’s devilish dimple. She had never seen a more devoted father they were inseparable.
“You want to grab him mom or I’m going to have to spend the night down here.”
She bent over and gently picked him up. Nick grunted as he rose from the floor.
“He’s a handful I don’t know what we’re going to do when he starts walking.”
He took Nicky from Kathy’s arms and carried him upstairs to the crib. They’d left it in the master suite with them; neither wanting him out of their sight. In one swift move he gently threw Kathy onto the bed; pouncing on her like a cat on it’s helpless prey.
“When were you going to tell me about the movie? Am I going to have to tickle it out of you.”
“You know I’ll scream and then we’ll wake him up. How did you find out?” She whispered glaring at him.
“It’s my job to know things.”
“I guess I was a little embarrassed they want me to come out and read for the part. Can you imagine?”
“No one’s seen you in almost two years, baby.”
“They just want to make sure I’m not fat after the baby. Am I fat Nick?”
Nick rolled his eye. She wasn’t bony like before she was soft and curvy and he loved her new body.
“No, baby you’re built for comfort.”
“Am I a car or what?”
He ran his hands down her body. “You’re like the Ferrari, sleek, hot and always a wild ride.” He kissed her and felt the familiar passion stir.
“Maybe we should go down stairs and take a test drive. It’s been a while.
“Are we talking about sex or the car?”
“I don’t know. Let’s just hurry before he wakes up.”
Kathy grabbed the baby monitor and they held hands as they headed down the stairs.
“Maybe we can take a nap when were done,” Kathy whispered.
“Sounds good to me.”
Kathy sighed and snuggled into his arms. She was more happy with her family and life than she ever could have dreamed possible.
“What about another baby next year?”
“Only if we can have a daughter as beautiful as it’s mother. You know me. I am always ready, willing and able to do my part.”
“You are such an animal,” she giggled.
“But that’s what you love about me, baby. Why don’t you set this movie thing up and we’ll all go out. Uncle Jack wont believe how much he’s grown. You can tell me anything and I’ll support you in anything you want to do. I don’t ever want you to doubt that I want you to be happy.”
She smiled. “I am Nick. I am.” She pulled him down on top of her and they made love until they collapsed, blissfully sated

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nick wasn’t sure which emotion was more overwhelming shame or guilt for his part in her corruption. This woman who had been sharing his bed and his life for the last 6 months had been a 16 year old girl. Today she turned 17. Emotions swirled in his mind. She was nearly half his age they had shared everything for these last few months, from Wild Turkey to an insatiable lust for each other. He’d never been so enraptured by a woman before or so perfectly in tune. They always knew what the other needed or was feeling and for the first time he knew he was in love.
“I’m sorry I never asked when your birthday was.”
“That’s okay,” she said smiling. She threw her arms around him and kissed him. He wanted to pull away but couldn’t.
“I’ve got to hit the store we’re out of whiskey. Can’t have a birthday party without that.” What was he saying she wasn’t even old enough to drink. He’d seen a crystal figurine of an angel in a local shop and had thought of her. He had to acknowledge her birthday no matter how disturbing he found it. It would make a nice birthday gift and memento. In his heart he knew their affair had to end. But a piece of him would always love his Angel. There would be two hearts broken when this affair ended.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Nick woke blinking trying to focus his eyes. Every part of his body ached and throbbed. Angel was snuggled up against him. She sucked in her breath when he touched the bruises on her wrists. He was all too familiar with the marks handcuffs left behind.
“I don’t listen,” she said lowering her eyes.
“Bastard.” Nick brought her wrist up to his lips and kissed it.”
“Have you been doing this along time?” she asked
“Too long,” Nick replied.
The day was spent with Carlos, coke, booze and more coke. There was no faking it like he had so many times before. Carlos watched Nick like a hawk. Nick tested the coke and got the color he wanted.
Screw Ramos Carlos thought he would kill this asshole and take the money and the drugs, make it look like the gringo double crossed him. Angel would make a nice diversion.
“Pure, eh,”
“Righteously pure.” Nick nodded the buzz already told him that.
“We decided to call you Tre in honor of the three men you killed. My cousin wasn‘t so upset he was cheating on her so his days were numbered anyway.”
Nick didn’t need a nickname to remind him of what he’d done. He looked at the girl perched on the ottoman and thought about the night before. He’d have to make sure she escaped the mess that was to come. These guys were heavily armed and it would no doubt be a blood bath. He was wondering how he was going to survive this, now he had to worry about her.
“I want you to have her. I see the way you two look at each other.”
“No, I meant no disrespect Carlos, lo siento.”
Angel hurried to his side and crouched at his feet like a puppy. He felt her body shaking as she leaned against his leg.
“She’s very beautiful but I’m bored with her if you don’t want her I’ll sell her. I’m sure she’ll bring a fine price. Consider her a gift in honor of our deal.”
Things were going from bad to worse in Nick’s mind. Nick pulled her head up gently by the hair her eyes were wide with fear.
“I hope you haven’t beaten the life out of her I like my women with some fight in them.”
“Why do you think she has so many bruises. You enjoy, hasta manana”
“What the hell am I going to do with you?” He said looking down at her. She crawled into the big leather chair with him.
“That’s what I was afraid of,” he whispered.
Angel unbuttoned his shirt, the wound at his side had been weeping.
“I should change that,” she said.
“Later.” Nick carried her into the bedroom. What he was about to do was stupid and wrong but sometimes what the mind wants takes a back seat to what the body demands.
“Jesus,” Nick groaned sinking back onto bed. He touched his side and his hand came back red with blood. “It’s all your fault,” Nick said jokingly.
Angel hurried to the bathroom for a towel and pressed it to his side. She jumped back as he reached out for her. She sat at the corner of the bed quivering.
Nick grabbed her wrist and pulled her close. “Let’s get one thing straight. I don’t hit women, never have never will.” He stroked her gently. “What happened can never happen again. Being distracted now could get us killed. Do you understand me?”
Angel nodded. “I’m sorry I didn’t please you.” She hung her head and pulled away.
“Angel, you were very, very good. It’s just…complicated.” Nick stroked her face trying to reassure her. He wasn’t thinking clearly and wanted to kick himself for getting involved with her. She could either be an asset to him or a liability.
Nick could tell by the look in his eyes Carlos was doing a double cross. Nick’s instincts told him this was going to end badly and they were usually right. Carlos grinned as he pulled the gun from his waist band.
“This time I won’t miss,”
Nick’s heart thundered in his ears.
“I hope you enjoyed her as much as I’m going to enjoy killing you. When I’m done with you our little Angel she’s going to wish she was dead.”
Carlos was close enough to take out but Nick didn’t think he could do it without getting shot. Carlos had seen Nick in action and would no doubt be expecting it. Angel walked out of the bedroom distracting Carlos long enough for Nick to make his move. Nick kicked the gun from his hand it slid across the tile floor and landed not to far from Angel. Carlos pulled out a knife he had sheathed on his belt he slashed out at Nick and the tip of his blade sliced Nick’s cheek. The two men mad a lunge for the gun but Angel got to it first. She held it with two hands trying to steady her shaking hands. Nick thought if she fired now it could hit either one of them.
“Angel, chica you don’t want to hurt Carlos,” he said slowly inching his way towards her.
“Stay away I heard what you said.”
“I wasn’t serious. I’d never hurt my Angel.” He moved his hands apart in a non threatening gesture. Nick moved in on Carlos hoping to disarm him before someone died. Carlos turned and lunged at Nick. The gun shot echoed in the room and Carlos slumped to the floor. Things had just gone from bad to worse any hopes of reasoning with Carlos died with him. 18 months of undercover work shot to hell. Tears streamed down Angels face and the shaking got worse. She raised the gun back up as Nick approached her.
“Give me the gun Angel honey we don’t have much time. If they heard it they‘ll be here soon.” Nick took another step forward and put his hand on her gun, Angel let it slip from her grasp. He took her by the shoulders and shook her. “Listen you didn’t do this, I did. If they think you did it they’ll kill you. If I killed him it was a drug deal gone bad and maybe I’ll get through this. Do you understand?”
Angel nodded, what had she done? She had killed to protect this man.
Nick scrambled for paper and pen he wrote and address and fished keys from his pocket. “You wait until dark and get out of here. If you can’t get to my car head to the highway. You stay at this address until someone comes for you.” He put his father’s cross around her neck. “They’ll know what this means if I don’t get out of this.” Nick felt his luck had run out maybe it would bring her good luck now and she would escape this life with Carlos. She touched the bloody cut on his cheek her eyes wide with fear.
“Go now hide and don’t come out no matter what you hear.” Her life had gone from bad dream to nightmare. She’d escaped her abusive father only to become Carlos’ sex slave, now she had killed a man she wasn’t sure if her life was worth saving. All she knew was she didn’t want this man to die. Nick took her and kissed in a way that sent shivers down to her toes.
“Please, go. I‘ll come for you if I can,” he whispered.
Angel heard the shouts of Carlos’ men as she ran out the back door and knew he was going to die.
Nick threw the gun on the floor when the men ran through the guest house door and raised in hands. They checked Carlos on the floor and found he was dead. One of them hit Nick with the rifle butt and the lights went out.
Angel watched from the garage as they dragged him into the main house. She couldn’t tell if he was alive or dead. She looked down at his blood on her hands and she cried until she had no tears left. She headed for the highway at nightfall and prayed he’d come for her.