Facing My Demons Ch. 03

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It was a Friday afternoon when I returned home to a hysterical Nikki. We had been together again for a little over 6 months and life was going well. But at that moment she was crying and cleaning furiously, something she did when she was depressed and angry. She was washing already clean dishes when I walked in the door so I knew something bad had happened.

I walked over to her to kiss her but she pushed me away.

“What’s wrong, baby?” I asked as I walked back to the living room so I could remove my business suit jacket.

“Why don’t you tell me?” She fired back as she threw my phone at me. I had accidentally left it at home that day. “You got a text message earlier from Jessica.”

As soon as she said Jessica, I knew I was in trouble. Not because I had done anything wrong but I knew what it looked like.

“…I’m sorry about last night, I couldn’t get away. Maybe next time…” Nikki was repeating the text messages on my phone out loud. “…I had a great time at dinner. I feel guilty about relaxing when we have so much to do… can you get away tomorrow I have some stuff I want to show you… I feel really bad about lying to Nikki. You should tell her about all of this. This is all too important to hide…”

“Nikki, I know what you think but you’re wrong. I can explain…” a dish came flying towards me.

I sighed. We were back to our old antics. She was jealous, although with good reason I’ll admit. The texts did sound bad but I thought we had gotten past all of that. Past the jealously, the anger and the fighting but obviously we hadn’t.

“Why does everyone always say that?” Nikki said as she looked me dead in the eye. “I can explain. I can explain. I can explain. How about you just get the fuck out?”

“I’m not going anywhere. We are going to talk about this. You’ve got it all wrong…” another dish came my way.

“Forget it. I knew you wouldn’t leave. I’ll go.” She ran upstairs quickly before returning down the stairs with an overnight bag in her hands. She had already packed it.”I’ll be back tomorrow night. Have your shit out by then.”

She stormed out of the house and I was left with tears streaming down my face. Why hadn’t I just told her the truth? I knew she hated Jessica. Jessica had been my assistant once upon a time and Nikki was jealous of her even then but I hadn’t done anything to warrant it. I had never had eyes for anyone but Nikki but she wouldn’t believe me. Jessica had eventually finished her law degree and was working as a real estate attorney, which was why I had been seeing her. It was late November and I was buying some property for Nikki for Christmas.

I didn’t sleep that night, I didn’t even bother going to bed. I just changed into a pair of shorts and a tank top and I cried my eyes out on the living room couch. There would be no reasoning with Nikki. She would never listen to anything I said. In her mind she already had all the proof she needed. The sun rose the next morning and then set again that night. I jumped when I hear Nikki’s keys opening the door. Nikki walked into the house with Roxy by her side. She had brought Roxy for backup. She didn’t want excuses, she wanted me out. Roxy was there to ensure that she got exactly that.

“Nikki, can I talk to you alone for a minute?” I said directly to Roxy. I didn’t want Roxy around, at all, and it way annoying to have her there. Nikki and I had things to work out.

“I’m sorry Tia. I’m not leaving, you are.” Roxy was remarkably cold. She thought I had cheated on Nikki, I guess she had reason in acting like that.

“I’m not asking you, Roxy. Get the hell out. Now!” I glared at her for a moment before Nikki told her she could leave.

“Do I get a chance to explain things or are you just going to assume that I have been fucking around?” I asked Nikki as she walked upstairs. I followed closely behind her. She pulled my suitcase from the closet and started shoving my clothes into it.

“Nikki, stop this.” I yelled as I tried to take the suitcase from her. I was shocked when Nikki backhanded me. Her knuckles crashed into my bottom lip. The taste of blood immediately filled my mouth. Metallic and sharp. It dripped down to my shirt.

“You can’t make this easy can you?” She started to cry.

She looked genuinely shocked to have hit me.

“I can’t deal with all of this. I left everything for you. I dropped everything I had because you promised you loved me. What was the point? Now I have nothing, again. I left her… Now I’m alone once again… because of you.” She wiped her face and went back to packing my shit.

I pulled my tank top off and used it to wipe at my busted lip. Then I walked over to Nikki and grabbed her face with one hand. She flinched. She thought I was going to hit her. I don’t know why. In all the years we had been together I had never hit her. I had thrown things and pushed off of me when SHE hit me but I had never struck her and she had just busted my lip open. But it was her words that casino siteleri had hurt me more. She regretted leaving Angela for me.

“In not going to hit you, Nikki. I love you and I never did anything wrong. I would never cheat on you but I can’t believe you just fucking said that.” I let her go and I walked over to my briefcase. I pulled out the title of the lake house I had just bought for her. The real estate agent’s name was on the document and on the page behind it was a letter from Jessica’s office stating that I had to take Nikki into the office so she could sign the title. I threw the papers at Nikki.

“Merry fucking Christmas.” I said before I went downstairs to clean myself up. Nikki had hit like me like a fucking truck. My lip was busted, bruised, and a bit swollen. Great, clients would love that.

I got a rag from the kitchen and used it to clean the blood that had dripped to my chest. Anyone would’ve thought that Nikki had hit me with a frying pan. I couldn’t help but let my mind wander back to the words Nikki had said to me. She basically said that she regretted leaving Angela for me. Tears fell from my eyes but they hurt like hell when they hit my lip so I stopped. What was the point? Nikki was right. I had forced her to get back with me. I had promised her all the pretty things in life and it wasn’t fair. She deserved better. We still had the same problems we had before. I was still a hot head and she was still jealous as all hell.

“Tia, I don’t know what to say.” Nikki muttered from the base of the stairs. She held the lake house papers in her hand. I was surprised she actually looked at them. I was surprised she didn’t just run them through a shredder.

I had nothing to say back to her. What would I say? ‘It’s okay that you hit and kicked me out and thought I was fucking some girl and told me you regretted leaving your ex.’ Instead of saying that, I said nothing. There was silence for a moment.

“I’m sorry.” Nikki whispered. I couldn’t help but laugh. She was sorry. That made everything better, right? Of course it didn’t. She had told me that once, that sorry doesn’t fix things. But what would I say to her. I had no answer for ‘I’m sorry’. Not when I still had the taste of my blood in my mouth.

“I’m going to bed.” I said as I headed upstairs. Since I was no longer the bad guy, finally, I decided on going to sleep. I entered the bedroom and stood motionless for a moment thinking about what to do next, not just at that instant but for the rest of my life. In my moment of hesitation Nikki entered.

“I don’t have the right words for you, Tia. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I regret what I said and there aren’t even words to express how much I want to take it back. I just need to know if you can forgive me.” Nikki said to me, even though my back was turned.

I turned to face her, a bit dramatically. “Do you know how you hurt me? It wasn’t by hitting me, hell you’ve hit me harder. You hurt me by not trusting me. I have never cheated on you. I’ve never kissed another girl or even looked at someone else while I was with you. Do you know why? It’s because I fall in love with you each day all over again. No one on this planet knows what’s in my heart except you ’cause you are only one in there. I don’t have a Roxy in my life. I never had an Angela or anything else. I just don’t get why you don’t trust me.”

My words were too fast and way too heated and I regretted it as soon as I said it. I should’ve said that I did forgive her and that I did love her but I couldn’t say those things, not yet.

“I know. I just got scared that you would be gone again.” That was all she had to say. I rolled my eyes and turned away from her. That excuse was getting old. In the back of my mind I knew it would always be the excuse but I wasn’t strong enough to leave her again. I needed her.

I saw my suitcase on the bed. My clothes were tossed in, and around it. Pictures of Nikki and I were also in it. She had already pulled down the pictures of us, that hurt. I pulled out the pictures slowly glancing at each one briefly. There was a Nikki and I at the beach. A picture of us scrunched in the backseat of her car, right before we… you know. Nikki’s favorite picture of us was also there. I remembered the moment in the picture as if it happened only that morning. It had been years ago. I had surprised Nikki with a weekend vacation to an amusement park. She had always wanted to go, so for her 22nd birthday we went. The last day we ended up leaving late because Nikki just had to ride every last ride in the damn park. She didn’t even stop to think that it was about a 4 hour drive back to. She also didn’t think about the fact that we were in my car and she couldn’t drive a stick. So we left the theme park at 10 and then Nikki got hungry and blah blah blah. In the end we got on the road at midnight but Nikki was still thrilled that she had been able to go. But back to the picture. Since I was angry, I wasn’t paying attention to Nikki slot oyna so when she grabbed my shoulders and got next to me for the picture I looked over at her and gave her my biggest you’re-a-pain-in-the-ass look. Snap went the camera and the moment was immortalized in film forever. Nikki cherished that picture like nothing else. I stung that she had thrown it in my luggage. I set the picture frame on the night stand then pulled on a new shirt from it. Then in a bout of frustration I tossed my suitcase roughly off the bed. Nikki watched me before walking over and grabbing my shoulders. Once I was facing her, she grabbed my chin with one of her delicate hands.

“Let me see your lip.” She said as she got even closer to me, closing the space between our bodies. I softly shook my head out of her grasp. I wasn’t angry but there was nothing wrong with my lip, except the fact that she had busted it open and it was bleeding into my mouth. “Tia, come on. I’m worried about you.”

I let her grab me again, for nothing more than because I loved her. She tilted my head a bit so she could see better.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you like this.” She went to kiss me but I dodged it. Her lips landed on my cheek.

“Too bad that’s the least of my injuries.” I said softly before climbing into bed. She got in after me. I wanted to stop her, to tell her to go to another room, but I couldn’t. My mind couldn’t force my heart to make her leave.

“I know what I did was stupid. Incredibly stupid. Monumentally, astronomically and unequivocally stupid but I need you to know that I love you and I never meant to hurt you, any part of you. I just thought that you had… It hurt me so bad inside that I… I don’t know what I was doing. I’m so sorry, baby.” she rubbed at my ribs while trying to kiss me again. I pulled away then turned to face her.

“It doesn’t matter, Nikki. I just need you to get past your jealousy issues so we can move on. I had to ruin my Christmas present for you just so you would believe that I wasn’t fucking someone else. You didn’t even give me a chance to explain. What if I wouldn’t have had those papers with me? You would’ve booted my ass out the door is what would’ve happened.” I was just getting into my rant when I noticed tears sparkle in Nikki’s eyes. Her tears stopped me dead in my tracks. I rested my head back and sighed.

“I’m sorry. There isn’t anything else to say. I’m sorry. It’s just that thinking of you with anyone else kills me…”

“The thought of cheating on you sickens me. I would rather be hit by a bus, honestly. Now that I have you, I don’t want to let you go. There is no one on this planet that I love as much as I love you, no one worth losing you for. Why can’t you believe me? I don’t know how else to prove it.” I tried to wipe my tears but Nikki grabbed my hand. She then leaned forward and kissed them away.

“Everyone falls in love with you, Tia. Everyone woman you walk by falls to her knees and every man would kiss your feet if you asked. Sometimes I think you’ll wake up and realize there are people around with a lot less baggage than us.” Nikki said without taking her lips off of me. “I love you, baby.”

She kissed at my cheek again and I finally gave up. I didn’t want to fight. I actually hated fighting with Nikki. She was all I ever wanted but the pain in my lip snapped me back to reality.

“What’s wrong, baby?” Nikki asked as she moved her kisses down to my throat. I tried to pull away but there was nowhere to go. She continued to lick, kiss and bite at my neck.

“What’s wrong is that when I hit some RANDOM person who practically assaults you, you don’t talk to me for two days almost but when you hit ME you want everything to be better now. It really isn’t fair. I apologized ever way I could and you didn’t even let me kiss you.” I pushed her off of me and turned so my back was to her.

I heard a sigh behind me and I felt Nikki’s cool fingers slide the back of my shirt up a bit. She ran her slender fingers along my exposed skin.

“I was dying for you to touch me then. I wanted you to throw me on the bed and ravage me. I basically wanted you to remind me about how much I love you. I was going crazy for your touch. I want to remind you, Tia. I love you.”

Nikki leaned down and kissed the base of my spine, sending shivers through my body. She continued to push my shirt up and kiss along my back. I sat up and pulled my shirt back down.

“We can’t ever fight like this again, Nikki.” I warned her. Even if I had been to blame, we couldn’t hit each other. It would only be a matter of time before things got worse if we did. “If we can’t talk about things then we don’t have a relationship. I understand just how shady those text messages seemed but you should’ve talked to me first…”

“I know.”

“Let me finish.” I said firmly but not angrily. “I don’t want to be without you but we can’t do this. It’s crazy. You busted open my fucking lip. I won’t be able to work for a week. canlı casino siteleri No client wants a lawyer to represent them in a case that looks like she just got out of the ring with Ali.”

I would end up without a week’s paycheck, one week’s very sizeable paycheck. Money wasn’t tight, by any stretch, but less money in my pocket put an even worse taste in my mouth.

“We could go on vacation for a few days. It could be just what we need.” Nikki offered as she rubbed at my sides. I could see the regret in her eyes. She had always been the calmer one of us, which always made her little tantrums all the more shocking. I sighed again and rested back against the head board.

“Whatever.” I said finally. We needed to work on a few things in our relationship and I wanted to do it away from Roxy, Nikki’s family, my family and the rest of the town in general. “The lake house is already furnished and I have the keys. If you really want to go then fine. I’ll call my dad in the morning and tell him I am taking the week off. I’m sure he’ll love that.”

I was glad I was a partner at the firm. I brought in enough clients to do whatever the hell I wanted in that office. Most of my clients were old men who liked showing up to court with a hot young attorney who happened to be really smart.

“Thanks baby.” Nikki leaned forward and kissed my lips. It hurt like hell so I pulled back. She kissed at my neck and even snaked her white-hot tongue out against my skin. I withdrew once more.

“Not tonight, Nikki.” I said, more depressed than angry.

I couldn’t believe my life. She hit me. My little Nikki had broken my lip open. I was astonished. It wasn’t the first time it had happened to me by any means, hell even Roxy had busted my lip a few times, but that didn’t take away from the fact that it hurt so much more since it was Nikki who had done it. I was certain she hadn’t meant to. But I did give her credit for her dramatics. I hadn’t ever been backhanded before. It sucked but I understood why she did it. She simply hit me when she was hurting. She had been hurting inside so she wanted to make me hurt too. Shit, my lip didn’t even hurt that bad anymore, as long as she didn’t touch it. It was the principle of the matter that bothered me. It was her words that hurt. I didn’t even let her words settle in my mind all the way, I would have to deal with that soon enough and I didn’t want to start crying again.

I lay back down in the bed and Nikki stripped down to her panties quickly before joining me. She faced me in the bed, something she rarely did. Usually she slept with her back against my chest curled up in a ball. She looked into my eyes and placed her hand and on my face. Her thumb rested on my cheek and her fingers trailed across my neck.

“I love you so much.” She whispered as she kissed at my cheekbones, nose, eyes and forehead. It was loving, not sexual. I let out a deep breath and took her face in my hands.

“I love you too, Nikki. Now go to bed, we’ll talk about things tomorrow.” I kissed her forehead, ignoring the stinging on my lip.

Nikki never rolled over that night, like she usually did. I think she was afraid of being alone. She spent the night holding my hand, keeping me from turning my back to her, not that I would’ve anyway. She fell asleep first, although I could tell she hadn’t wanted to. She looked at me with sad eyes until I could see her drowsiness in her face. Reluctantly she shut her eyes and succumbed to her exhaustion. I watched her sleep for a while and I was overcome by both sadness and regret. I shouldn’t have hidden Jessica from Nikki. I could’ve come up with a million excuses to explain working with Jessica that would’ve both eased suspicion and alleviated tension. Jessica and I were, after all, in similar professions. I had also behaved inappropriately. I knew Nikki had been jealous of Jessica and taking her out to dinner after we had worked together was probably inappropriate, as were the text messages she had sent me. But then again, we were old friends. Why couldn’t I take her out to dinner or send her a text?… I knew the answer to that. It was because I had hid it from Nikki, and not just because of the lake house. I knew Nikki wouldn’t have approved so I kept it secret, using the secrecy of my purchase to validate it in my mind.

Right before I fell asleep I noticed that Nikki was no longer holding my hand, she was sleeping. Our hands were just lightly trapped together but I didn’t want to let her go. That was partly because I didn’t want her to wake up disappointed that I had let her go but a more basic and much more self-centered part didn’t want to let go because I liked holding her. I liked touching her and I liked that she wanted to touch me. So when I fell asleep my hand was still locked with Nikki’s.

I didn’t wake up the next morning. I was woken up, which didn’t exactly thrill me. I was sleeping somewhat peacefully when I felt a chilly hand rubbing my exposed leg. Nikki and I were in the same spot we had been when we had fallen asleep in, except the hand that had been holding mine was currently rubbing my leg. I looked at Nikki and she smiled before kissing my cheek for the billionth time.

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