The S Word

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It feels like we have been running for months now. Always rushing from one thing to the other, while none of them conclude. I explained to Layla that Jia was going to have surgery, I told her what hospital Jia had been getting her consults, and when my stubborn best friend finally decided to call, Jia was crying.

Scared to face this alone, not to have the woman she loves by her side. Of course, that was enough for Layla to forget everything and run to the hospital by herself. And as we approach the elevator doors and then press the number, Alexander and I finally have a few seconds to rest.

He glances at me; despite everything, the man I love still casts me a smile. One that can make me easily forget where we are and circle my arms around his waist, resting my chin on his chest and losing myself in his eyes. Those deep loving eyes make me feel ever so special.

“Thank you,” I whisper, reaching for his lips.


“Being yourself,” I reply. “Being mine, being here.”

His fingers slide through my hair, resting on the back of my head, pulling our lips close enough, hovering them before speaking to my parted mouth, which is waiting for his touch.

“Yours, I like to hear that.”

Alexander’s lips close on mine. Sweetly while we share a kiss, that is suddenly interrupted as the elevator comes to a stop, and we walk hand in hand towards the rooms. I don’t want to intrude or stop anything. Layla has only been here for a few more minutes than me, and I want to make sure they speak before I can talk to Jia.

I spot Layla’s caramel hair; her back turned to the door. She is bent over the bed; her body shakes while sobs leave her chest. They talked; she is hugging Jia while the latter pats my best friend’s back. She sees us, motioning for us to approach, and with a soft peck on Layla’s cheek, one that I catch the way my best friend’s body relaxes, she whispers something to her ear.

Layla turns, smiling kindly at me. The type of smile that says everything she wants me to know. We don’t need words; years of this friendship led into this; I know she is thanking me. I also know when she is scolding me, wanting me dead, or just trying to embarrass my ass.

All of those three happen quite often, especially if Alexander is around.

“Good to see you, Dr,” she says, then stopping. “I’m sorry I forgot- I-”

“It’s fine,” I reply, patting her arm. “You are in good hands with Dr. Bolton.”

Layla snorts, making the three of us turn our attention to her before she rolls her eyes.

“Who can take someone seriously with that last name?”

Alexander and I sit in the waiting room while Layla paces. She already drank two coffees, three bottles of water, and it was a struggle not to let her go for another hot drink with caffeine. It’s already hard to handle her like this; if she drinks any more coffee, I’m afraid she will start running around hyped on the stuff.

“It’s been hours,” she whines, and I roll my eyes silently.

“It’s a big surgery,” Alexander assures her. 

His hand rests on my leg as I read a book, and he mindlessly scrolls on his phone. 

“I know, but I’m worried.”

“Layla, if they don’t come here to give us any news, it’s a good thing.”

My words seem to be ignored as she drops on the seat across from us and puffs a breath. Alexander takes his eyes away from the cellphone staring at our friend and chuckling before resuming to typing on the device.

We stay like this for a while longer, me reading, Layla being hard to calm down, and Alexander on his phone.

Seriously, what is he doing? Is he having a meeting via texting?

I avoid to peek at the thing, I trust him, but when I don’t seem able to stay still on my seat, he glances at me.

“What’s wrong?”

“Please tell me you’re watching porn, and that’s the only reason why you have been on your phone for the last two hours.”

He laughs at my words, but that doesn’t ease my curiosity as I try not to show him how it’s annoying me. 

“It’s not porn,” he says, putting the phone in his pocket and turning to me. Alexander’s eyes borrow mine as he leans closer, and my breathing get’s stuck on my throat. Every time he acts like this, overpowering me, especially in public, does things to my body. “You will see soon.”

My brow rises before he pecks my lips and pulls away. A man approaches us, calling for Jia’s family. Knowing Jia’s situation, my heart breaks at the name, and the three of us stand up. We are her family, its broken, it’s weird, but we are here for her.

“How did it go, Dr? How is she?” Layla shoots tons of questions, and the surgeon raises his hands in an attempt to calm her down.

He’s still young, probably a little older than me, with almond eyes, thick black hair, and thin lips. But there’s softness in his stare, and that’s what makes me breathe in relief.

“Jaiden is fine,” he says calmly. “She is recovering now but will be in the bedroom in about an hour or two. I suggest you go to eat something, and then you can see her.”

The man turns around, his dark hair swaying as he moves, and I decide to call for him.

“Dr?” He turns around to face me with an intrigued gaze. “It’s Jia now.”

“Right,” he says, winking, and my boyfriend groans before pulling me closer.

We manage to convince Layla to eat something before letting her see Jia. She is still sleeping, and it’s a long recovery, so I suggest to Alexander that we both leave and come back tomorrow. It’s when we are walking to his car that I grow curious again.

“So,” I say, and he grins at me, knowing where this is headed. “What is this thing I will know soon?”

Alexander shrugs, opening the car door for me to enter and not letting the stupid smile on his face fade away. It’s annoying, actually. How can he still be smiling after all of this? Yes, Jia is better, she and Layla are back together, and that’s great.

But the idea of being unemployed, again, is scary. I started my channel because of that, and let’s face it, it’s not like I can go back to it. I bet that if I so dare to open a live, I will receive three sets of questions: worried, horny, and angry.

Alexander drives, managing to avoid the rush hour traffic and still smiling as he does so. We are going to my place to grab a few more clothes, all the while in silence.

“Ok, but really, what the hell is it?”

He chuckles at my question, giving a small squeeze on my leg as we approach the building, but no sound comes from his lips. I’m starting to get annoyed. Not because of him smiling, which helps me escape all the problems we have been facing; I’m getting annoyed because he isn’t telling me what’s going on.

The last time he did this, we ended at a sex party; a girl can only hope.

When we reach my floor, he stops in front of the door and turns to face me. The stupid grin on his face is making me either want to slap it out of him or kiss him till it fades.

The second one, probably.

“Wait a minute, ” he says, pecking my forehead and coming behind me. His warm arms circle me and pull me close before he whispers at my ear. “Open the door.”

I grunt, annoyed, gaining a slap on my ass but open the door as he says. On top of my kitchen table sits a red box, not too big, it almost seems like a shoebox, but it’s no brand I know. He watches me with eager eyes as I walk to open the thing and quirk a brow to him.

“How did you managed to put this in here?”

“I asked the building supervisor, ” he replies as if it was nothing.

My fingers lift the top of the box, and I eagerly take the paper away to notice a set of photos. Our photos, the one I took from him, and he took from me on one of our first nights together. I lift them to become mesmerized by how perfect they are, and a brochure falls.

Frowning at it, my fingers pick it up, catching as he bites his lower lip, watching me. When I read the paper, my eyes widen in amazement.

“We’re going?”

“You are finally going to see Tyler,” he says, and I throw my arms around him.

He twirls me around, kissing my lips tenderly, but it doesn’t last long. Hands start to roam, clothes start to go off, and we walk to my bedroom. He knows when to squeeze when to bite, and especially my boyfriend knows what needs to be done to have me ready. It’s then that another box catches my attention, and as I am so excited to open it, thinking it’s some new kink, that I don’t even catch Alexander’s frown.

“What is this?”

He doesn’t reply, so I glance over my shoulder while lifting the box lid.

“I don’t know.”

When my eyes meet the interior of the black box, my stomach twitches, realizing it’s not from him. Nervous and slowly, I turn my head feeling Alexander’s presence behind me.

We both see it.

Pictures of us walking around the streets, from the building in front of mine, from my office window. All of them from me, one alone, other with Alexander, and even a few with Layla. There’s one that catches my attention, and even Alexander tries to stop me from seeing it fully.

“Nicole, don’t.”

But it’s too late; I lift the picture and see my eyes and mouth scribbled by something until the white part of the paper appears. It’s a picture of Alexander and me lying on my bed, cuddling. His arms around my waist and his face buried on my neck.

It would be a pretty photo; if it weren’t for the part where my face is mutilated.


I turn to face Alexander, who crouches in front of me. His gaze holds mine for a few seconds, and he rests his hand against my cheek. 

“Let’s go. Pack whatever you need for the week; we will go visit Tyler tomorrow morning.”

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