Nick and Lilac

By: Marian Tee

Ten men, all of them holding him down---

A glass bottle shoved into his ass---

Karla screaming that she had called 911---

The doctor unable to meet his eyes as he said there were no wounds, nothing to eventually remind him that he was a six-foot-plus man who had almost been raped by a gang of drug junkies for hire.

Nick put down the glass with a curse, knowing if he didn’t he would end up crushing it with his bare hands.

“Do you want her back?” Jason forced himself to ask. Because if his brother did want the bitch back, he would do everything he could to return Karla to Nick, never mind what he privately thought of the bitch.

“I just want to forget,” Nick said bitterly.

“You were sixteen,” Jason gritted out.

Nick didn’t answer.

A part of Jason understood his brother’s pain. Even though he had been lucky enough to have Sylvia raise him, their Greek bloodline had been too powerful to ignore. It was an intrinsic part of them, and words like pride and honor had shaped them from the very beginning. For a Greek man to endure what Nick had suffered---

“There was nothing goddamn shameful about what happened – when you went looking for them alone, you nearly killed them. You beat them up so bad you would have killed them if our bodyguards hadn’t caught up with---”

“But they still did what they did and she saved me!” Nick growled.

“Saving you doesn’t mean she’s right for you. She was just at the right place and time---”

“DON’T. Don’t fucking talk about it like that. Don’t belittle what she did for me.” Nick struggled to control his emotions, unable to explain to Jason just how much Karla meant to him. With every night she spent with him, every instance their eyes met and hers didn’t hold judgment – he felt like he was able to rebuild himself again piece by piece. But with Karla gone, it was as if he had been ripped open once more.

Jason’s fists clenched with impotent fury, wishing he could turn back time and suffer for Nick. But he couldn’t and the only thing he could do now was force Nick to see the truth. “You may hate me for saying this, brother, but she was not the right girl for you.”

Nick didn’t speak.

“I know because you deserve someone better than her. And someday, another girl will make you realize that and you’ll thank the heavens you didn’t end up married to Karla.”

Nick suddenly threw his glass on the ground, and it splintered into pieces, leaving a trail of colored liquid on the cold marble floor.

“All I want is to fucking forget what happened,” Nick bit out viciously. “But now that she’s gone---”

“Now that she’s gone, you can finally find someone who truly loves you,” Jason finished fiercely. “She was never good enough for you. Never will be and I’m going to fucking pray to all the gods that one day you’ll see for yourself that it’s true…before it’s too late.”

It’s often just enough to be with someone. I don’t need to touch them. Not even talk.

A feeling passes between you both. You’re not alone.

~ Marilyn Monroe ~

With thee conversing I forget all time, all seasons and their change, all please alike.

~ John Milton ~

Talk low, talk slow and don’t say too much.

~ John Wayne ~

The First Encounter

Present Time

An imaginary light bulb lit up in Jilly Crawford’s brain when she saw the girl approaching from the opposite direction, a faraway expression on her exquisite face.

Gotcha! Her childhood friend Lilac York was the quintessential daydreamer, more often with her nose in a book than without. She was also the perfect way for Jilly to get back at the gorgeous 23-year-old billionaire beside her --- also known as the current pain in Jilly’s ass.

“Hey, Lilac! Hi!” Jilly stopped dead in her tracks, forcing the tall, dark-haired Greek god next to her to do the same. Most other students around them did, too, since Jilly was giving them a free pass to gaze leisurely at one of the best-looking men on campus.

She watched Lilac stumble to a stop and then freeze, and Jilly knew the other girl was already of two minds about doing a 180 to escape her.

Sorry, Lilac, but I need you to bring down this arrogant asshole a peg or two.

Uncaring of all the curious looks that were sent her way, she yelled more loudly, “Lilac!” She was the freaking Phi Kappa Sorority President of Christopoulos University. As far as Jilly was concerned, that gave her the right to make noise wherever and whenever she wanted.

“Lilac! Yoo-hoo! It’s been so long! I’ve got someone here I want you to meet.” Jaws dropped at the way she was unashamedly talking about the university’s most infamous playboy, whose exploits went beyond their official paper as it headlined tabloids and blind columns in society pages.

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