Nicolas, book 2 of Ryder

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FOURTEEN

As I sit here now for three days. Beside her bed in the hospital. I’m angry with myself for not begging her to come home with me. Everyone in Jason’s team was pretty much far enough away when the pickup SUV exploded. Aurora was the first one off the jet with her bodyguard they had made their way to the vehicle. She has a broken rib and a concussion. Her body has lots of bruises and she is in a foul mood. She won’t speak to me, but I refuse to leave her side.

“Aurora, baby girl. Please eat.”

“Nick, go home.”

“I’m not, I already told you.”

“I’m alive and I’m not your problem. Go home.” I just shook my head at her.

“First of all, you are my problem. It doesn’t matter if we’re fucking or not.” She just turned her head away from me. I never meant to hurt her. At least I didn’t want to. I’m fucked up and make some dumb decisions sometimes.

“I’m an asshole okay?” She just looked at me. I moved closer to her. “When are you going to forgive me?”

“Your forgiven, now you can go.” I rolled my eyes and she was upsetting me.

“I’ll go when I’m good and ready.” She moved the back of her bed up so she could sit up some. Has she held the side of her body.

“Look Nick I get it. I understand why you don’t want more than sex from me. I know you have more important things going on and you don’t have time for me and our relationship, but I can’t accept that I’m only sex to you. That’s not what I’m looking for. It’s best if I just stay here in California and you go home. I can’t be what you are looking for. I can’t be a way for you to pass the time. I’m sorry Nick, but I’m not that woman to play hot and cold with.” Her words cut me like a knife that I, made her feel that way. Why can’t I just man up and tell her how I feel and mean it?

“I’m sorry Aurora.” Was the only words I could get to come out. I was mad at myself for not just telling her that I loved her. I knew I did, I just didn’t know how to say it. Or to even show it for that matter.

“I know you are Nick. That’s why I’m giving you the easy way out. I forgive you and I will still stand by you and help find her, but that’s all I can give you.” The thought of never touching her again. Sent fire throughout my body. The thought of someone else touching her. Sent me to a dark place and I had to leave her room. I needed to cool off and get my head straight before I blew. Ethan approach me as I closed her door.

“How is she?” He asked me. I looked over at him.

“What’s the update on who did this?”

“The cameras showed two men walking away from the cars before the jet showed up. Only we can’t get a good look at their faces. Two drivers and no witnesses.”

“Do you think this has anything to do with my sister?”

“We don’t know Nicolas. At least we don’t know yet.” We both heard a soft voice beside us.

“Excuse me?” Ethan and I both turned to see this small beautiful woman looking up at us with her big blue eyes. “I’m looking for Aurora. I think this is her room?”

“And you are?” I asked with my arms crossed. Ethan stood there with a huge grin on his face. I rolled my eyes.

“I’m sorry, my name is Stephanie and Aurora is my best friend.” I looked her up and down for a moment. Jason came walking up to us.

“Stephanie, Aurora will be happy to see you.” I took a step away from her door. Stephanie smiled at me and Jason and her walked into Aurora’s room.

“Yeah, that’s mine,” Ethan announced. I wanted to punch him.

“Off-limits.” I simply said.

“What? You have to be kidding me.”

“Aurora hates me enough right now. You are not screwing over her best friend.”

“Who said anything about screwing over anyone. What if I just want to get to know her?” I cocked my head at him.

“No.”

“Your no fun boss,” Ethen said and walked off. My head was spinning and I was tired. There were too many things going on at once and I just needed sleep. I could feel a headache coming. I walked into the waiting room and took a seat. I must have fallen asleep, for how long I don’t know. I sat up and rubbed my face.

“It’s about time. You really should head back and get your rest.” I turned my now pissed-off self in his Direction.

“What the fuck are you doing here?” I snapped.

“Is that any way to talk to your father?” My father Ryder Dankworth sat in the seat next to me. It was taking everything inside of me not to jump on him.

“I have no father. Now, what are you doing here?”

“I’m here to make sure you don’t fuck up again.”

“I fucked up? What the hell are you talking about?”

“This is not the place son. Let’s head back to Jason’s place and talk?”

“I’m not going anywhere with you old man.”

“This old man will still kick your fucking ass. Now do as your told.”

“Your Authority means nothing to me.”

“Nicolas, I’m not fucking playing games with you right now. Go do want you need to do with Aurora and meet us back at the house in an hour. You want your sister back? Then I suggest you move your stubborn ass.” He snapped and walked out of the waiting room. What the fuck? I said to myself. I got up and walked over to Aurora’s room and walked in. She was softly sleeping. Her friend Stephanie was still with her.

“Are you going to be here with her for a while?” I asked.

“I can stay longer if you want. I’ve been here for about four hours.” Fuck I was out for a while.

“If you can’t stay I’ll understand. I just don’t want to leave her alone and I have shit to take care of.” She nodded at me and I slipped out. I needed to find out why my father was here. I took the car back to Jason’s place. Ethan rode with me.

“Hey, are you good?”

“Not even a little.”

“Let him talk and find out what he is doing here before you lose your mind.” I nodded and kept my eyes out the window. We pulled up and headed inside. I found my father in the living room. There were men everywhere that I didn’t recognize. I had to admit my father looked good. He didn’t look like the depressed man that walked out on me. He was fit and dressed nice. He looked like the father I grew up with. Even in his fifties, he looked good. I took a deep breath and walked in. He saw me and smiled. I walked to the bar and poured myself a whiskey. I never drank hard liquor, but for some reason, I knew I was going to need it.

I took a seat on the couch. “Talk,” I said and he nodded at me. Ethan stayed close to me. I knew he was waiting for me to lose my shit so he could stop me.

“I know you believe that I betrayed you and your sister when I walked out, and at first you were right to. Your mother was my whole world. I had never loved anyone as much as I loved her, but our story was doomed from the start. I am just grateful for the good years that we did get. She was my queen.” I could see the pain on my father’s face. It was hard listening to his words. I felt like socks was going to go through all the bad things your mother had been through. At the time I didn’t know how to stop it. My choice to leave was a weak one. You have every right to hate me for walking out. I just couldn’t take the pain anymore. Once I was gone and living away from you. I had tried to take my own life a few times. Only I was never successful. I turned to drugs and alcohol, but I don’t know what happened. One night I was so angry I pulled myself up and started to search for your sister. My whole pathetic life was devoted to finding her, and I did. I found her.” My mouth fell open and I just stared at him.

“When? When did you find her?”

“About three years ago.” Shocked spread across my face.

“Three years? Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you get her back!” I was angry now and I felt Ethan’s hand touch my shoulder.

“Let me finish son.” I sat back trying to control my breathing. “You found her too.” I cocked my head at him. “If I had gone in guns blazing. I more than likely would have gotten her killed. The situation that she is in is different than what we thought. She is completely brainwashed and believes we had her taken on purpose. She will not trust us in any way shape or form.” I felt confused and in disbelief. “In the pictures, you were given of her. Did she look like a prisoner?”

“No, I was confused by that, but it was her?”

“Yes, it was her. Only now they got wind of you and they moved again.” I knew there was so much more to this story.

“Was it them that attack Jason and Aurora?” My father nodded his head.

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