Chp 27:

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Nicolai:

I stare at him then at Tessa, she looks baffled. "What do you mean?" He rolls his eyes and takes another swig. "What do you think I mean? I mean I know where he is..." I lean against the wall and stare impassively at my brother. "Go on.", "His car was spotted at a rundown motel about fifteen minutes from here." , "So?" , Eli frowns. "Bro, we need to tell mom."

I inhale and pinch the bridge of my nose then exhale. "You won't be able to reach her-she's having the time of her life in California." Eli's eyebrow rises. "Excuse me?" , "She's fled. There's no use in trying to get a hold of her." He frowns and leans against my counters. "What do you mean she fled?"

I squint my eyes at him. "You know, run, take off, escape, das-", "You can stop being a smart ass, I know what flee means." I give him a smirk. "Just call the cops, h-", "Hello, Nicolai." I feel the blood in my face drain as I turn to look in my doorway. Standing tall is my dysfunctional father. Tessa takes several steps away from the door and stands behind me.

"What the hell are you doing here?" My voice becomes low and I feel every muscle in my body clench. "Elias didn't tell you?", I look at Elias who is looking at the ground, I walk toward my brother-he doesn't look at me as I take a step closer.

"Eli, care to explain?" He doesn't say a word. "Elias!", "What?", He looks at me finally, guilt and fear are written all over his face. "He doesn't have anything, Nick! He's got no home, little mon-" He raises his voice and points at Robert. I'm in shock.

"I don't give a damn. Who's side are you on?" Eli looks anywhere but my face. "Isn't it quite obvious, Nicolai?" , I don't know how to respond. "Your brother has come to terms, he knows that I never meant to cause any harm, that it was a big misunderstanding." Robert gives me a crooked smile.

"Elias do not tell me that you believe this bullshit?" He looks away. Damn. "Get out.", "What? Nick, no-" My hands bunch into fists. "Get the fuck out!" I look at my brother-"Just when I was beginning to believe that there was somebody I could depend on in this fucked up family, you go and prove me wrong." , "Nick, it's no-" , "Get out!" I yell.

"I'm disappointed in you, Nicolai.", "It's good to see you again, Tessa." I look at her, she's standing behind me-I watch as Eli follows Robert out the door, the sound of it slamming shut echoes through the house.

Aggression pulses through my body as I knock everything off of the counter top next to me, I watch as bowls, cups, and silverware hit the marble floor. "Nick stop!" Tessa screams. "Nick!" I breathe in an out heavily as I clutch the counter for support. My mind is racing as I am having a hard time comprehending what just happened. She places one hand on the lower part of my back, while the other hand rests closest to my shoulder.

Tessa:

I stand still. I can't move, I can't say anything because he was fragile-he was in a fragile state right now. What the hell was Eli doing? I was in shock, I was angry, and I was hurting for Nick. "I need-I need some air." He lets his grip go on the counter and takes a step back. "I-I need to leave, I'll be back." I want to stop him but I don't.

I nod and watch him leave the penthouse; slipping down into a chair I shake my head, what was this? What was going on? As I sit there-still, I hear a phone ringing, it was Nick's. Standing, I approach it and see that it's Eli calling. My eyes roll and I answer. "What do you want?" I snap. "Tessa, please-let me explain.", "You don't need to explain anything. You're taking sides." , "No, it's not like that. I'm-", "Eli, you should be ashamed of yourself, after everything that your brother has been through."

His end is silent. "After everything that he has done for you.", I am trying everything in my power to contain my anger towards him, towards this situation-but it was proving to be a lot harder than I expected. "I know.", "Then what the hell are you doing?" I scream. "I...I can't tell you." My lips purse, "Goodbye, Eli.", "Te-" Before I can let him finish, I hang up.

Nicolai:

I get outside, the cold air hits my face and I exhale. I begin on my way down the street, pushing through pedestrians- I find myself going to the park and sitting on a bench on a dirt path in the middle of the woods. The temperature was cold as I hang my head low and shut my eyes.

How did we end up here? I was beginning to question the term family, how is it that I could be related to these people? Tessa was right. I'm not like that. Oh shit, Tessa. I stand and begin to walk back the way I had arrived. After about ten more minutes I reach home.

"Mr. Piercy." Says Camilla, the receptionist in the lobby of my building- I give her a slight nod and take the elevator up to my floor. Unlocking the door I see Tessa spin around and rush up towards me, her arms consume me, her head resting against my chest-it was in that moment that I realized that I do have a family and it was her.

Holding her in the front entryway of my penthouse, we don't move. "Tessa." She pulls away and looks up at me. "Can you make me a promise?", her head nods. Every emotion was flooding me, why was this happening. Why couldn't things in life come easy for once? Why couldn't they just come without the bad and leave only the good? "Can you promise me that you'll stay? You're honestly all that I have left." I knew I sounded damn lame, sue me. I really had no one but her.

Her arms stay wrapped around my waist but she faces me. "Nick, I promise you-I won't ever leave." In the beginning...she was the one asking me to stay, she was asking me to never leave-the tables sure had turned.

The sound of an alarm going off broke our gaze. I look up to see my phone screen lit up. Checking it; it reads that I have a meeting at noon today. Shit. "We should...probably get ready." I nod as we both head upstairs. Throwing clothes onto the floor of my closet; I fish for something to wear, she appears behind me in a tight fitting gray dress, black high heel boots that went passed her knee and she had her hair down.

I scan her and slowly stand up. "Will you be...okay?" Her tone is soft, I nod. "I'll be fine. It'll pass." She gives me a questionable look over and bites down on her bottom lip. "Call me...if you need me." , "I always need you." The look on her face softens and she kisses my lips, "I'll be fine. I want you to call me if he or Eli tries anything." My tone is stern. "I don't want to treat this lightly, Tessa...I know what you said, about me being strong." , "About me-not letting my past get to me...but I can't promise that, especially when it's coming back to haunt me." Her face falls and she holds my hand.

"I know, but that was then and this is now, you can beat it.", her hands travel up my body as she buttons up my white collared shirt. I button the cuffs and do my tie. "How the hell is it that I used to have such a strong dislike for you? I was stupid." She laughs. "Because we got under each other's skin, I mean how could I not-you were kind of rude, Mr. Piercy." Her tone is undeniably mocking as we walk down the stairs and grab our car keys; heading for the elevators.

I smirk "And you had quite an attitude, Miss Erickson.", she looks at me surprised. "I'm glad that you're feeling better." , "I am too. In other news, in denial are we?", "No, I have to agree with you, though I thought you liked my "attitude" " Oh she provided me with so much amusement and I had no clue why.

"I do." She leans forward into me, I kiss her, leaning my forehead against hers. "Thank you.", "You're welcome."

We part ways; about fifteen minutes later-I finally reach my office. "Mr. Piercy, they are waiting for you in the conference room.", "Thank you. Scarlett." I walk down the tiled floors to the spacious conference room. "Mr. Piercy, thank you for agreeing to meet with us." I shake the hands of two of my clients, Mr. Prentice and Mr. Miller.

We sit down and begin to discuss deals, but in the back of my mind; thoughts of the confrontation earlier this morning flood back into my memories. Unfortunate thoughts that I wished could disappear. I was calmer now, but I was still livid. I was confused and angry, I wanted answers but I didn't know where to begin.

Where do I begin?

~*~

Thank you for reading! I'm still revising and still figuring out where this story is going. For now what I'm writing and posting is me just seeing where this story is going and me seeing where I want to take Nick and Tessa.

I hope you're so far enjoying and I hope at some point soon I can get it revised and published so you can see or I guess read....lol so much more about the two of them and all of the others!

Thanks! A new chapter will be up next Friday.

~ Kiana :)

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