Chp 32:

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Nicolai:

We finish our lunch, nobody spoke until we stood up to leave. "Kirst...I hate the thought of you quitting your job just because of some rude-" Kirsten cuts Tessa off and speaks.

"You don't understand, neither of you would." I frown. "Then explain it to us, please." Tessa says. "Kirsten, how do you expect us to understand and help you, if you won't even tell us what the problem is?" I say as I watch Kirsten spin a gold ring that she has on her index finger-around and around, looking at the ground.

"Why can't we just say that I want a new job and leave it at that?" Tessa tilts her head as she stares intently at her sister. "Because Kirsten, that is not how life works." Tessa looks at me as if she's motioning for me to say something to Kirsten. I clear my throat.

"Kirsten, I want to hire you but I need an explanation for your departure from your job. Without an explanation-I can't hire you." She looks upset as she twists her fingers together and nods. "I just don't get along with Sophie." Tessa rubs her temples.

"Yes, that much we both gathered. Why won't you tell us?" She says nothing. "Dammit, Kirsten. I have had an extremely tiring last few days...hell last few months." Her head shoots up to look at Tessa. "What do your problems have to do with me?"

"I have had to deal with a crazy ex-boyfriend, Nick's delusional alcoholic father, stressful work assignments, and not to mention two of the worst people I have ever come to know are in town for I don't know what reason." Tessa looks exasperated as she places her hands on her hips and gives Kirsten a disapproving look.

"I need to go. I forgot that I need to call somebody back, about something." Before either of us can stop Kirsten from walking off, she pushes through pedestrians and disappears into the busy sidewalks of New York City.

Tess sighs and runs her right hand through her hair. "She will tell you when she's ready.", "And how long before that happens?" I grip her hand and we walk towards my car. "Sometimes I worry about her." I look to my right at her once in the car. "That's understandable.", "Is it? Should I really be worried about my twenty-two year old sister?"

"It took me five years until I stopped worrying about Eli." She looks at me shocked as we sit stuck in traffic as usual. "You were worried about Eli?", I chuckle. "I know, it's hard to believe...but yes." , "Can I ask why?", I nod. "I think that as a sibling it's our job, no matter how much we dislike it-we will always worry about our siblings. It's normal."

"What was it that got you to stop worrying about him?", "He did. I realized that he was an adult and that he was fully capable of handling things on his own." I tap my finger on the top of the steering wheel. "Give her time." I say softly. She nods.

"Where are we going?", "To the mall.", I hear a laugh escape from her. "Does something amuse you?" She tugs lightly on the ends of her hair and looks at the dashboard smiling. We get to the parking garage of the mall and enter the seven story building.

"I haven't been here in so long." She says looking around. "Really? Where do you shop?" She rolls her eyes. "I don't have much time to shop anymore- but when I do, the mall near your building or online."

I tip back my head and nod. "I still don't see the point in online shopping." I say as we stand and wait for the elevator. She snickers. "Okay...grandpa." My eyes shoot to her face and I cross my arms in front of my chest. The door opens up and people pour out with purses and shopping bags on their arms.

We enter, while a few other people climb on. "You never did tell me, why exactly are we here?" Tess asks quietly in my ear. "I just thought that you could use a little...retail therapy." I say shrugging. She raises a brow.

"Wow, I'm impressed." I roll my eyes and I run my hand up and down her back, eyeing her as I begin to grin wickedly. We get off and walk hand in hand through the mall, it wasn't as crowded as I had originally anticipated.

This was the perfect excuse for me to be able to figure out the types of things that she wanted for her birthday. "Nick? Nick Piercy?" I turn around at the mention of my name. Standing behind us is a guy in his mid to late twenties. He approaches us. He's got dark hair, slight facial hair, and brown eyes.

"Wyatt?" I'm shocked. He laughs and shakes my hand. "I thought that was you. Damn, it's been too long. You haven't changed a bit, man.", I shake his head. "I could say the same to you." His eyes advert to the left side of my body as he looks at Tessa.

She stands with her hands behind her back, she looked innocent. I found it cute. "Oh, I apologize-this is my girlfriend, Tessa." Wyatt extends his hand and Tessa smiles. "It's nice to meet you, Tessa.", "It's nice to meet you as well." As I look back at Wyatt I notice something secured to his waist. It was a gun.

I find myself gripping Tessa's hand. He must have noticed me tense-because he looks from me to his gun. "Oh. Sorry about that." He says pulling his jacket to cover it up. "Why do you have a gun?" I ask. He laughs and he flashes us a badge. "I work for the NYPD Special Forces Unite. I'm a detective." He says with a smile.

Yet again I'm surprised. "That's great, man. Congrats.", He smiles "Thank you." Before either of us can say another word, the sound of his phone ringing catches my attention, "This is Peterson. Uh-huh. Okay, I'm on my way." He slips his iPhone back into his pants pocket and looks us over. "I'm sorry about this, I've got to go. It was good seeing you again, Nick." I nod and we shake hands.

I watch as Wyatt walks off and I look over at Tessa. "How do the two of you know each other?" She asks as we begin to walk through the mall again. "We went to college together. I haven't seen him since we graduated." She nods.

Tessa:

As we walk I think about our recent exchange with Nick's old friend. I'm oddly curious about this Wyatt guy and I have no clue why. There was something about him, I couldn't figure out what it was. "You alright?" Nick asks. I nod.

Getting to one of the stores; we walk in and I instantly find a shirt. "Can I help you find something?" A blonde haired, blue eyed guy asks me. I get a strange feeling from him as he stands a bit too close. "Uh, no I think that I'm fine. Thank you." He nods and gives me a cocky grin.

"Alright, let me know if I can help with anything...anything at all." I swallow hard and take a step back then walk away, quickening my pace-I walk towards the front of the store where I see Nick standing, his left hand stuffed into his pocket and his right hand scrolling through his phone.

"You okay? You look like you've seen a ghost." Concern is written on his face. "Yes, I'm alright. Could we go?" He looks past me and then back at me, assessing my face. "Sure, sure. Let's go baby."

I hang the shirt back up and we leave, I find myself looking over my shoulder-I was far too paranoid now. Nick and I visit three more stores until we leave and go back to the parking garage. Once in the elevator I rest my head back against the wall. The day wasn't even over yet and I was feeling oddly uncomfortable.

"What's the matter?", "I think I have bad luck." Nick looks utterly amused, I tilt my head. "Don't laugh at me...I mean it." He covers his hand over his mouth to suppress his smirk and nods. "Okay, go on...why do you think that?", "Think about it...everything bad keeps happening to me...I mean it's never ending. I attract bad vibes everywhere I go."

He wraps his arm around my shoulder and kisses my neck lightly. "I think you're reading into things too much.", "No, Nick...I mean it." I pout and cross my arms. "I won't take that." His voice is low and husky.

I crease my brow "What?" He pulls me against his body and snakes his arm around my waist. "Don't frown, it's too sexy and I can't do anything to you while we're in public." My eyes widen in absolute shock at his statement.

"I mean it, don't do that." He squeezes my face with his right hand and tilts my head up to look at his intense and seductive green-gray eyes. I was so in love with those eyes. I sigh and smile. "Fine." He smirks and nods. "Good, now come...let's get home. I have a surprise for you."

Oh boy. Surprises...I wasn't keen on them. Oh Nick what do you have planned?

~*~

I'm so sorry for the super late update! I've had a crazy week but I hope you enjoy! :)

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