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The proposition, p.9
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       The Proposition, p.9

           Jessica Schlafer
 

  Chapter 8

  I ran up the stairs, put my new things away and headed back down to meet Paul. He had a guard waiting to drive us to a small, out of the way Italian restaurant. Paul led me inside, to a back table, and sat down across from me. He seemed to know the people here and they immediately brought us a bottle of wine.

  After about 10 minutes, Nick rolled in. I didn't realize it until I saw him, but I really missed him throughout the day.

  "Hey, guys," he said, sitting beside me.

 

  "Hey, Nick," I said, trying not to sound too excited.

  "You're late," Paul mumbled, not even looking up from his menu.

  Nick squeezed my hand under the table and smiled. My phone beeped and I read "I MISSED U," from Nick.

  I smiled and quickly responded, "I MISSED U 2. :)"

  He smiled and put his phone away, "What's good here, Paul?"

  "Anything with red sauce, they make the most amazing sauce."

  I laughed, "Anything with red sauce? Geez, whatever will I choose? Eeny, meeny, miney..."

  "All right, smart ass," Paul said. "But, really, if you covered a shoe in their sauce, I think I'd eat it and like it." Nick and I both laughed. "Laugh now, you'll see!"

  "Well, I'm a simple girl, I just want spaghetti, then. I'll get the full effect of the red sauce," I said.

  The waitress came to take our orders, I ordered the spaghetti, Nick ordered the chicken parm, and Paul ordered eggplant parm. We made small talk for a bit before the conversation turned to the trip to Seattle.

  "You should both be ready to roll at six tomorrow," Paul said.

  "Should I be dressed for the dinner?" I asked.

  "Yes, you're flying, so the minute you land, you'll be going in," he said. "Just keep your eyes open to what's going on around you. I'll have a team outside, if there are any problems."

  "Who'll be there?" Nick asked.

  "Diego, Gabe, Bill, and John."

  "Good," Nick said.

  T1he food was brought to the table and we enjoyed a wonderful meal.

  Oh my God! Paul was totally right about the sauce.

  At the end of the meal, we walked outside, Paul said, "Nick, why don't you take Abby? I have some things to handle."

  "All right man," they shook hands.

  "Abby, thank you for a lovely dinner, as always. I'll see you tomorrow," he kissed my cheek and walked to his car.

  I followed Nick to his car and climbed into the front seat.

  "What did you do today?" I blurted out.

  "I had to have a little discussion with Dmitry."

  "Oh," I was remembering how violent Nick's job tended to be. His black eye was mostly gone, but his knuckles were still bruised.

  "You don't like that," he said, as more of a statement than a question.

  "I've never been around so much violence before."

  "I had a discussion with Dmitry, nothing more, Abby."

  "Oh, okay."

  "You don't sound convinced," he said.

  "I am, I promise."

  We drove to his house and the same car was sitting outside.

  "Fuck," Nick said, storming off toward the car.

  I stood beside Nick's car, in his driveway. I saw the two men in the car step out immediately as Nick stormed toward them. Luckily, they were far enough away that I couldn't hear what they were saying. I did hear that they were shouting, though.

  After just a few minutes, the other men got into the car and drove off. Nick walked back toward me and went inside. I quickly followed him and closed the door behind me.

  Nick rushed toward me and started kissing me, catching me off guard. His hands were in my hair, down my back, lifting me up and holding me against him. I wrapped my legs around him and he stumbled back to the couch, falling down with me on top of him. He pulled back and lifted my shirt over my head, revealing a pink bra.

  “Oh, my,” he breathed.

  We resumed kissing while I fooled with the buttons on his shirt.

  Of all the days to not wear a tee shirt!

  I finally got all the buttons and pushed his shirt off his shoulders. I felt him respond to my touch as I explored his body. He did the same with mine, eventually under the cups of my bra.

  I sucked in a deep breath, “Nick,” I whimpered.

  Suddenly, he pulled back. “What are we doing?”

  “Huh?” I asked, eloquently.

  “Abby, I’m so sorry, I can’t do this.”

  I covered myself up with my hands until I found my shirt. I couldn’t help myself and I felt tears come to my eyes.

  “I know I’m only here to do a job and you guys are paying me, but you can’t keep doing this to me,” I said.

  “You don’t know how badly I want to…”

  “Don’t. Please,” I said, putting my shirt back on, trying to regain some dignity. “I’m pretty sure I’m stuck here for the night, so can we please not talk about it again tonight. I just want to go to sleep.”

  “I understand, Abby. I’m so…”

  “Sorry, right?,” I interrupted. “Please, Nick. I just want to go to sleep.”

 

  “Okay.”

  “I’m gonna sleep on the couch.”

  “Abby, no.”

  “Yes. It’s your house, I’m a guest. I’ll sleep on the couch.”

  Nick nodded and went into the bedroom and came right back out with pillows and blankets. “Do you think you’ll need anything more?”

  “I think this’ll be fine,” I said, holding my knees to my chest in the oversized chair.

  He stood beside the couch for too long before he finally went into the bedroom and closed the door. I didn’t move from the chair for a few minutes and I could still hear Nick in the bedroom moving around.

  I stood, silently shaking. Angry with myself for doing the same thing, again. I refuse to get swept up!

  I finally took my pants off and made myself a bed on the couch, curled up and went immediately to sleep.

  I woke in the middle of the night to a loud crash. I groped blindly in the dark for my glasses, fearing that someone was standing over me, ready to kill me.

  “Abby,” I heard Nick loudly whisper. “Stay on the couch, I’m coming to you.”

  I felt Nick crawl onto the couch beside me, he put his arms around me to comfort me, I was terrified and shaking like crazy.

  “What was that, Nick?”

  “I don’t know, it was out back. Stay right here.”

  “No!” I shrieked, louder than I expected.

  “Shhh, Abby, it’s okay. I have a gun and my phone. You’ll be able to see me.”

  “Please let me come with you,” I begged.

  “Okay, stay right behind me, then.”

  I pressed myself as close to Nick’s back as I could without getting into his boxers with him. As we walked to the back door, we heard more crashes, and with each one, I jumped and squeaked.

  “Shhh,” Nick said each time.

 

  We finally arrived at the back door, Nick whispered, “I’m gonna flip on the light and open the back door quickly. Stay back.”

  I nodded. Nick counted on his fingers, one, two, three, and then he flipped on the light and threw open the door, scaring a family of raccoons, who went off running through the darkness. Nick’s garbage cans were knocked over and there was garbage strewn all over the yard.

  I couldn’t help myself, I laughed out loud. I laughed so hard that I had to hold my side. Nick stood watching me laugh for a long time.

  “You were gonna shoot a family of raccoons! Bahahahahahaha!”

 

  “I’m glad you think it’s funny, Abby.”

  “Oh, Nick, I was terrified. I thought I was about to be robbed again. When I woke up I had no idea where I was. I thought I was in Boston.”

  “Robbed again? How many times have you been robbed?”

  “Um,” I counted on my fingers, “Six times.
But only three were at gun point!”

  “Fuck, Abby. I don’t think you need to go back to Boston at all.”

  “It wasn’t all bad in Boston, Nick.” I was finally able to pull myself back together. “Where are your garbage bags? We’d better get this cleaned up before another family of something else comes back to feast.”

  We spent about an hour picking up the garbage in the back yard. I was gagging on some of the nastier bits. The smell was what must have attracted the raccoons. When we were finished, I washed up and helped myself to one of Nick’s tee shirts to wear to bed.

  “Abby, will you please come to bed with me?”

  I only nodded and followed him to the bedroom. We laid in bed together while we fell asleep.

 
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