When Nick and Ava reached the safety of their home, he brought her inside and everyone looked at them and saw that Ava’s entire face was covered in blood and that she’s been crying.
“Oh my god…what happened?” Tierja asked in surprise and fear was evident on her face.
“I found David beating her in a dark alley…” Nick answered and he lay her down on the couch before hurrying off to search for the first aid kit. Ava looked around worriedly while he was gone, and was instantly relieved when she didn’t see Jade in the room. She doesn’t want her to see her like this, she worries about her enough. When he returned with both the first aid kit and a blanket, he glanced at everybody else.
“Aje, did you already call Q?”
“No, my sister was missing I wasn’t sure there was even going to be a party tonight. I was prepared to have every police in Florida after David’s ass if you didn’t come back with her.”
“Good, because I’m staying here with her and the kids…you guys and girls go ahead and go to the party without me.”
“Are you sure? After what just happened I feel like I should be here, not running off to some party…” AJ hesitated and Nick opened his mouth to respond, only to have Ava beat him to it.
“Go Alex…I’ll be fine. Don’t let this spoil your night…” When Nick saw the protective look in AJ’s eyes and knew that Ava’s reassurances weren’t going to work, he spoke up.
“I will take care of her J…just go” he urged and half pleaded and he gave him a look making it very clear that he wants time alone with her. When he looked like he was still going to protest, Tierja gently placed her hand on his shoulder.
“Come on J-Man, you aren’t abandoning me and leaving me without a date tonight, are you? I will have to be forced to find someone else to keep me company if you go and do that…” she told him, and just as she hoped she saw a flash of jealousy in his eyes even though they never left his sister, who even in the state she is in, managed to smile a tiny bit. After a long moment, he heaved a sigh and turned his attention back on Nick who he pierced a warning glare on now, everything in his expression telling him that he better keep true to that statement he made earlier about taking care of her. If he comes home and finds his sister in an even more emotional mess than she is already in, and its Nick’s fault, he’s dead. When he felt that his threat was very clear, he leaned forward and planted a loving kiss on Ava’s cheek.
“Bye sweetie I will be home in a few hours. Jade and Zara are upstairs in your room, I didn’t want them down here around all of the stress. They were told that someone would come get them when it’s okay to come back down.”
“Kay, bye Alex…I’m sorry I made you late,” Ava replied and AJ shook his head.
“Don’t worry about such things, you’re much more important” He insisted sincerely before turning around and gently linking his arm with Tierja’s before steering her out of the house. Howie, Kevin, and Kathryn followed and after a quick but loving goodbye to Zara upstairs, Brian and Raven did too. As soon as the door was shut, Nick turned his utmost attention on Ava and after cleaning up her face he unzipped his bucs hoodie before sliding it off of her and taking a good look at her. When he saw the blood seeping through her white Good Charlotte tank top, he held her gaze, silently telling her to trust him as he brought his hands down and took the hem to her shirt before pulling it over her head so that she sat in her bra and jeans.
“Lay on your stomach sweetie,” He instructed gently and when she was doing just that, he proceeded to clean the cuts on her back created by a belt, both old and new with a wet wash cloth and some special ointment. Ava lay there quietly as he did; silently battling the urge to cry all over again from the intense emotions that his gentle and loving touch was awakening. He always has a way of making her feel taken care of, even when she doesn’t deserve it.
When he finished he leaned down and kissed the back of her neck softly before resting his forehead against hers and looking into her watery eyes. “Are you hungry? I bet the kids are…no one had time to fix them any dinner between worrying about you and then getting to the party” he questioned while idly sliding his fingers through her wet hair.
“Yes, very…I can make us all dinner if you want me to,” she suggested softly though he saw the nervous look in her eyes at even the thought of cooking for him. It’s no secret to anyone how David treated her whenever she tried to cook him something, which is completely bullshit since Ava’s always been an amazing cook. Denise taught her when she was very little.
“As much as I love your cooking sweetheart, I just want you to relax okay? You don’t cook in this house unless you absolutely want to and only then it has to be because you love doing so again, not because you want to please any of us.”
“Kay,” Ava responded softly, and he got up and went over to the fireplace and proceeded to make a warm fire in it when he noticed she was still freezing. When he finished he closed the safety screen and walked back over to her before kneeling down beside her and kissing her forehead affectionately. “You lay here and relax and I will make dinner – we’ll eat, spend time with the kids, and when they are in bed we’ll talk okay?” Ava nodded quietly and watched him as he disappeared inside the kitchen. She almost wants to get up and follow him; she’s missed hearing his voice so much. But she hasn’t seen Jade since she’s been back and knows that even though she was kept away from all of the stress, she is still going to be very worried. With that thought on her mind, she rubbed at her watery eyes and sat up before grabbing the blanket and wrapping it around her. When she was sure she was presentable for her daughter she got to her feet and walked upstairs to her room. When she got there, she pushed the door open and peered inside to see both girls playing with their dolls, though Jade was eyeing the door every once in a while watchfully. At the sight of her mommy, she suddenly looked very relieved.
“Mommy!” She exclaimed while getting to her feet and running toward her. Ava kneeled down and held her arms open just on time for the four year old to go flying into them and hug her very carefully. Ava enveloped her in her arms and hugged her back while kissing her forehead softly. “Are you okay mommy?”
“Mhm, Mommy is just fine baby. I’m even better now that I’m here holding you.”
“I love you mommy,” Jade spoke softly in her ear while snuggling into her and Ava hugged her a bit tighter.
“I love you too baby,” Ava responded while once again kissing her forehead. “Why don’t you two come downstairs and play so that I can see you okay? Nicky is making dinner.”
“Kay,” Jade replied and she pulled away from Ava and proceeded to help her best friend gather up all of their dolls and they followed Ava downstairs. As soon as they were down there, Ava went over to the fireplace, which is surrounded by a large wooden platform-like surface that comes out far enough that pillow cushions can be placed on them making sitting by the fire very comfortable and enjoyable. She sat down on one with her blanket still wrapped around her shoulders, and Jade went over and sat next to her wanting to be close to her mommy right now. Zara followed her lead and before Ava knew it, they were sitting there brushing their baby dolls’ hair and chatting amongst themselves.
By the time Nick came out of the kitchen an hour later he smiled softly at what he saw. Jade somehow ended up in Ava’s lap and while Ava fondly brushed out her shoulder length blonde hair, Jade sat with her baby doll in her lap and Zara sat in front of her with her baby doll in her lap and they too were brushing their hair. Ava noticed him there and caught his eye, she too smiling in amusement. After taking in the scene before him he walked over to them and leaned forward and kissed the top of her head before handing over a glass of ice cold Dr. Pepper.
“Thought you might be thirsty…dinner is almost done, should we eat right here by the fire?” Ava looked up at him and nodded.
“I’d like that. It’s nice and warm right here…is dinner something the kids might get all over?”
“Nah, I think they will be okay. I made them some Dino Nuggets and fries and you something special.” Ava looked up at him curiously and he smiled at her lovingly before turning around and going back into the kitchen. She eyed the kitchen door for a few moments before taking a sip of her drink and then sitting it down next to her. When her drink was situated, she continued to brush Jade’s hair and by the time Nick returned with two plates of chicken nuggets and fries, her hair was extra soft just the way she requested it.
“Alright kiddies, time to put the dolls down, dinner is done” Nick announced and when they did just that and Jade was placed on a cushion next to Ava instead of right in her lap Nick handed their food over and while they were eating that, he went back into the kitchen again, only to return a couple of minutes later with two plates of chicken parmesan with pasta. Something Ava had taught him how to make when she was eleven.
It’s always been one of his favorite meals for her to make and she knows it. When he handed hers over, she looked down at it for a long time in surprise and Nick sat down beside her and quietly watched her. When she looked up at him again her eyes were filled with tears but he knows that for the first time since he stopped talking to her, they aren’t unhappy ones. Nick reached over and tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear before kissing her forehead softly.
“You know how much I love your chicken parmesan baby…maybe someday down the road when you feel up to it, only when you feel up to it, you can make it for me again…for old time sakes.” Not really knowing what to say to his sweet gesture, Ava scooted closer to him and rested her head against his shoulder before proceeding to eat the delicious dinner he had surprised her with and he wrapped an arm around her before eating his as well.
He kept up a happy conversation for the kids while they all ate and when they finished, he brought out graham crackers, marshmallows and some sticks so that the kids could be supervised in making s’mores and by the time ten o’ clock rolled around, they were both sound asleep, Jade in Ava’s arms and Zara in Nick’s. When he knew they were all the way asleep, he reached out and slid his fingers into Ava’s hair in a loving way.
“I’m going to go put them in your bed okay?” he whispered and Ava nodded quietly. Nick got to his feet carefully with Zara’s head rested on one shoulder and he gathered Jade into his arms managing not to wake either of them up before carrying them upstairs. By the time he returned a few moments later he found Ava right where he left her except the lights are now all turned out downstairs.
She has her legs hugged close to her chest, her chin rested on her knee, and her blanket around her shoulders as she still sat there in only her bra and jeans and she was just quietly gazing into the fire. He stood there admiring how beautiful she is for a few moments before going over and sitting on a cushion in front of her. She looked up at him and he gently grabbed the sides of her blanket and wrapped it more around her before resting his forehead against hers and looking into her eyes.
“How are you feeling?” he asked while placing his hand to her bruised cheek and gently caressing it.
“Better,” she answered softly. “I really missed the sound of your voice…”
“I’m sorry honey, I’ve been such a terrible friend this past week…you were only telling me how you feel it didn’t give me any right to yell at you and then ignore you for so long…you aren’t a bitch. You could never ever be considered one and I’m sorry honey, please forgive me.”
“No Nicky you have every right to be mad at me. I’ve done so many horrible things that you shouldn’t ever forgive me for…” She informed, wanting so much to cry. “I never wanted to hurt you. The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt you Nicky…you’re my best friend in the entire world…the one person besides my brother that I can turn to for everything and you always make me so happy…”
“And I want to continue making you happy; I want to spend the rest of my life trying to make you happy. I want to be here for you always because I love you. But I can’t just be friends with you honey, I want more than that. I need more than that. I can’t bear the pain of not being yours anymore I can’t handle always being second place in your heart…it hurts too much. I would love you ten times better than any of the boyfriends you’ve had in the past. I would never even dream of hurting you or Jade and I could prove it to you if you will just give me a chance…”
“It’s going to take time Nicky; you’re going to have to be patient with me. I’ve been through so much, please just give me that much. I couldn’t bear it if you ignored me again…I’ve missed you so much…” she begged as tears roll down her cheek.
“I’m never going to ignore you again baby, I promise. You will never be forced to go without hearing my voice ever again.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer to her and he slid his around her waist. “I’ve decided that I’m going to love you no matter what you say. I understand that you are scared, and I’m going to respect that, but I’m not taking back how I feel and I’m not going to pretend that we’re just friends anymore either. You can take all the time you need to feel safe again, and I will work with you on that, but I’m going to love you in the meantime.”
“I have a confession to make…I need to tell you this before you make that promise, because after you hear this you might not want to love me anymore…” she told him softly.
“What’s wrong?” she looked down and he watched a tear glide down her face and drip from her chin. He placed his forefinger and thumb to her chin and tilted it up so she is looking into his sincere blue eyes that she loves so much and he delicately caressed her cheek with his finger. “Honey, tell me,” he persisted gently.
“Nicky please don’t hate me after this…I don’t think I can handle any more pain. I will lose control…you really have no idea how much I will lose control…”
“I could never hate you,” he reassured her as he gently caressed her cheek.
“You won’t be mad at me either?”
“I love you baby and nothing you tell me is going to change that. We’re best friends, you can tell me anything.”
“The reason David nearly killed me the night I told him I was pregnant, the reason why he hates Jade so much and wasn’t there for her in the hospital is because she isn’t really his daughter…” Nick gazed at Ava feeling utterly confused.
“…Whose daughter is she then?”
“She’s yours…you’re her real daddy.” Nick stared at her for a long moment in shock. He is not sure he had heard her right. After a long moment when the words sunk in, he finally spoke up.
“Are you serious?” he whispered. It was all he could do not to break down and cry tears of joy upon hearing this news.
“Yes I am very serious…she’s yours. We had sex when I was sixteen and a month later I became pregnant with your baby. David knew right away that she was yours because he and I never slept together until after she was born when he forced me to. So he yelled at me and told me I made a big mistake and gave me the worst beating I’ve ever experienced. He threatened that if I told you he would kill Jade so I never did. I kept it secret from everyone, including Alex. I told Tierja earlier today and that’s what we were fighting about. She was telling me that I need to tell you because you deserve to know but I was refusing because I was scared of putting our baby’s life in danger. Please don’t be mad at me…I didn’t have a choice,” Ava explained the entire story while crying.
“I’m not mad at you, I’m just thankful that you told me. This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me…all I ever wanted was for you and Jade to be mine…and knowing the truth makes me so happy. I love you both so much and nothing can change that,” he replied while pulling Ava into his lap so she was straddling him with the blanket still wrapped around her shoulders. She rested her head against his shoulder and he sat there gently rubbing her back. As soon as she calmed down she looked up at him.
“I’m scared Nicky…what if David finds out I told you? He will kill our baby if he does…”
“No he won’t, I won’t let him anywhere near you or Jade ever again. He’ll have to get through me first and I am going to do what I should’ve done the moment you moved in with us. I’m filing a restraining order on him and he won’t even be allowed in the same neighborhood as you without getting arrested. Okay?” Ava nodded quietly. He stared into her eyes for a couple of moments and then cradled her face in his hands before leaning forward and brushing his lips lightly over hers. He felt her stiffen but after a moment she eventually returned it. When he pulled away he looked into her eyes and tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. “When are we going to tell her? I want to go upstairs and wake her up.”
“No, don’t you dare wake her up she’ll be grumpy. We’ll tell her first thing in the morning.”
“Kay,” he replied before leaning forward once more and grazing his lips lightly over Ava’s only briefly before shifting so that she is lying underneath him cocooned in the blanket and his arms. “Thank you,” He told her while rubbing his nose over hers affectionately and she gazed up at him curiously.
“For giving birth to my beautiful little girl…I didn’t thank you then, so I’m thanking you now.”
“You being there was the best thank-you I could get. Having you in the delivery room holding my hand and reassuring me through it all, watching you hold her, you telling me that she was the most precious gift god could ever give was the best thank you ever. If you couldn’t know she was yours I at least wanted you there going through all of the steps a father would go through anyway. I made sure you didn’t miss out on anything in her life.”
“Jade is the most precious gift…and he gave her to both of us.” He told her and upon seeing her eyes tear up from his sincere words, he leaned down and placed delicate kisses on her lips before bringing them down to her neck. When he found the spot between her neck and shoulder that he discovered he likes four years ago, he lightly nibbled knowing exactly what reaction it would cause.
Ava’s eyes rolled to the back of her head in pleasure and she tilted her head back, all thoughts in her mind gone. While he was concentrating on kissing her neck, he brought his hands down to her jeans and fumbled with the button and zipper.
When he had them open he pulled them down and tossed them aside before bringing his lips down slowly over the valley of her breasts to her stomach, being sure to place delicate kisses over every little cut and bruise that has been inflicted on her. When he covered every inch of her, he cradled her face in his hands before looking into her watery eyes, handling her with such care that she knows she can only get from him.
“You’re beautiful,” he told her softly before bringing his lips down on hers and kissing her. “Let me love you baby, please? Let me show you how beautiful I think you are…how wanted you are.”
“Nicky, I’m scared.”
“Of what baby? I’m not going to hurt you.”
“You say that now,” she responded softly and he gently brushed away her tears before sliding his arms around her and cupping her bottom in his hands. He rested his forehead against hers and continued to look into her eyes making sure she sees nothing but love in them. “But some day down the road I’m going to end up doing something stupid and make you angry and want to hate me. They always end up hating me. I’m not worthy of being anyone’s girlfriend.”
“That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” Nick insisted while hugging her closer to him. “Those fuckers who treated you like shit in the past weren’t worthy of being your boyfriend because that’s exactly what they were - boys. They don’t know just how special you are.”
“And you do?” Ava asked softly.
“Sweetheart I knew just how lucky I was the very moment I laid eyes on you at thirteen years old that wonderful day on the tour bus. It was the best day of my life. You are the queen of my world and you always will be” Nick informed and her eyes fluttered closed as he lightly kissed them. “None of those relationships in the past worked out because your heart was meant for me. You belong to me Ava, and you’re all I’ve ever wanted. Believe me; I’m going to treasure you for the rest of my life.”
“I want to believe you…” Ava whispered as he pressed her body closer to him possessively, his hands still cupping her bottom and he made a trail of feathery light kisses from her closed eyelids down to the tip of her nose until he reached her lips and claimed them for his own.
“Then let me make a believer out of you,” He told her between kisses and when he pulled away, he looked into her eyes. Completely transfixed by the blue eyes that she’s always loved as they stared into hers with so much love and emotion in them, all Ava could do was nod.
Nick once again brought his lips down onto hers and kissed her and when she cradled his face in her hands and kissed him back, instant butterflies consumed him. While he was kissing her, she brought her hands down to the hem of his shirt and brought it up wanting him to be just as naked she is. He pulled away from his kisses just long enough for her to pull it over his head before claiming her lips once more and she tossed the shirt to the side before bringing her hands to his skin and lightly caressing it.
Nick slid his hands around from her bottom to her legs and gently wrapped them around him before bringing his hands up to her bra and unclasping it from behind before sliding it down her shoulders until her breasts were uncovered. He brought his mouth down to her right nipple and sucked gently at first until he heard her soft whimpers and felt her tangle her fingers through his hair and he bit down a little and sucked harder.
After paying thorough attention to each one, his fingertips danced over her bare skin tenderly until they reached her panties. He grabbed the waist band and slid them down her legs and tossed them aside before leaning down and kissing her inner thigh, moving up until he reached her entrance and he slid his tongue over her, making her squirm slightly underneath him and whimper in obvious pleasure. He buried his face into her and began to completely devour her, making her arch her back and cry out. When he knew he was driving her completely crazy with want and need at this point, he pulled back.
“Nicky,” She whimpered impatiently and he smirked slightly, before proceeding to remove his boxers before devouring her mouth with his own and she wound her arms around his neck and kissed him back. “Please. Nicky please, I want – I need…” she pleaded between kisses.
“What baby? Tell me,” he encouraged, and she felt his already aroused and ready to go shaft at her entrance, deliberately teasing. “Tell me what you want.”
“You - inside me – please!” she cried out and he instantly obeyed pushing himself into her, making her gasp in pleasure. He gently grabbed her legs and once again wrapped them around him before beginning his slow romantic thrusts in and out of her and she kept her arms wrapped tightly around his neck as she moved with him.
He brought his lips down onto hers and kissed her, pouring all of his love into it before trailing his kisses down to her neck and lightly suckling on it while toying with her nipples with his fingers making her throw her head back and moan.
“Nicky please…faster. You have to go faster,” She pleaded while gently tangling her fingers in his hair and dragging his mouth up to hers and she kissed him while he slid his hands down over her body, gripped her hips, and obeyed her pounding into her hard and she met his pace with each thrust while trailing her kisses up to his ear and lightly nipping on his lobe and kissing his skin behind it, making him groan and thrust deeper.
She knows exactly which buttons to push so well that it’s almost as if four years hasn’t passed since they were last together like this. While keeping up his furious pace, Nick rested his forehead against hers, looked into her eyes, and slowly slid his hand down over her slick skin over her one leg that she has hooked around him and between her inner thighs until he found what he wanted.
With his shaft still buried deep inside her moving in and out, he dipped his fingers into her knowing exactly which buttons to push too and she cried out as he pushed her into an earth shattering climax and after only a couple of more deep thrusts he followed after her. Ava threw her head back in exhaustion breathing heavily. Her eyes were fixed on the fire in the fireplace still going strong, demonstrating the burning emotions inside her that she was currently experiencing. Nick bent down and kissed her forehead, her lips, and then the front of her neck with his arms wrapped tightly around her holding her to him.
“God Ava, I love you” he murmured into the crook of her neck as he had his face buried in it. When he had his emotions under control and was sure he wasn’t going to cry, he rested his forehead against hers searching for her eyes and finding them and discovering she wasn’t having as much luck as he was in not crying. He rained loving kisses down on them, causing her to close them and tighten her arms around him. He rolled them over so that she was lying on top of him comfortably with her blanket still wrapped around her. “You’re so beautiful and amazing and you fit so perfectly in my arms.” He told her, holding her closer against his chest. “You are mine and I am never letting you go.”
Ava rested her head against his shoulder and nestled into him while he held her protectively and even a little possessively. When he kissed her forehead affectionately a safe feeling rushed over her and she found herself holding him to that statement. No matter how scared and fragile David has made her, Nick seems to make it all go away as long as he is holding her.