“Look, Nikolas, I know you’re hurting, and I’m sorry, dear boy, but to take it out on everyone who’s trying to help you is not the answer.”
Nikolas gave Dominique a long, measuring look and then sighed. “I owe you my life on more than one occasion, Dominique, but for this one thing. I. Do. Not. Want company.” His voice was hard as flint. Until he was back on track, someone would hit close to home by targeting anyone close to him. Could it get any worse?
“You just want to mope and feel sorry for yourself, is that it?” His ex-Master said. He straightened and shook his head. “I don’t know why, boy, but when it comes to you I’m not sure whether to trust my own instincts. But I do know this one thing. You are not the man I knew.”
Nikolas fumed within, but he remained calm and cool as he turned back to face Ashton. “And you! I wish to be left alone. Doesn’t anyone get this? It would be best if you left. And do not bother coming again. I’m not much for this idle conversation right now.”
“Your attitude stinks, but that is just the same old you.” Hands held high, Ashton surrendered. “My work is done here. I’ll just leave you to attend to my friend. In lieu of fighting with you or listening to you spew lengthy lectures that you know I’m not going to listen to anyway, I’ll just be leaving.” Ashton shrugged his shoulders with a mischievous smirk plastered on his face. “I’ll call you, Kyler.” He winked down at his friend, walking out with fingers crossed. “Damn I sure hope I’m not making the biggest mistake of my life.”
“Hey what…but… U can’t just leave me here! Kyle sputtered.
It ripped into Nikolas’s gut to hear Ashton saying this to him. He had considered Ashton his most trusted ally in his team, a confidant. Trust was something that didn’t come easy. It was earned, not given freely.
“Excuuuse me!” the shorter man huffed. “Big guy! Yeah, you. Hurt man down here. Some undivided attention would be nice.”
Nikolas looked down at the young man and felt the nice brick wall he’d built around his heart long ago beginning to crack. The guy was actually pouting. His lower lip pushed out and everything. Jesus, even his eyes were sad.
Nikolas felt a surge of sensation, both physical and emotional, and was completely lost to this man in a space of a single heartbeat. Nikolas groaned and closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, he hoped the alluring man would be gone, but he was still rooted to the same chair he’d sat him in.