Nick and Lilac

By: Marian Tee

He caught sight of Lilac turning toward the stairs, disappearing completely from view in a second. Something primal inside him wanted to command her to come back, but he managed to reel the urge in.

“What the fuck does someone in the SAC do?” Nick muttered.

Why the fuck are you even thinking about it, Jilly wanted to ask. But she didn’t. She wasn’t ready to hear the answer.

“Nick.” She planted herself in front him. “You can’t---” Her voice faltered at the look in his eyes. He had never looked at her that way.

Mine, those cold blue eyes said. Don’t fucking mess with what’s mine.

Jilly bit her lip. “Nick, she’s not for someone like you…she doesn’t even date. She’s a nice girl, the real thing.”

Nick was quiet. Jilly was beginning to panic when he said flatly, “I know that.”

But he still wasn’t going to give up on the idea of pursuing Lilac. She tried another tactic. “It’s not right to go after her when…” The moment the words were out, she knew it was a mistake. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled. She had no right to bring up Karla. Even her fiancé Ephraim didn’t have a clue as to what had really caused the breakup. All they knew was it had wounded Nick and made him harder, colder.

More silence, tinged with bitter fury, and then Nick spoke again. “I’ll do my best not to go after her, Jilly. But if we meet again…” Nick murmured something in Greek, making Jilly wince as she understood him perfectly. Learning the language had been the only way Jilly was able to win over her future and very traditional mother-in-law.

He who submits to fate without complaint is wise.

What the hell did that even mean? Jilly glared at Nick. Ephraim was also often like this, answering a straight-out question with some deeper-than-heck quote when all she wanted was a yes or no. “Nick, please just---”

But he was already walking away, surrounded once more by his security detail, drawing the gazes of every woman after him – even those whose hearts he had already crushed. From afar, Jilly heard his phone ring and saw Nick answer the call. The way he spoke in Greek, the way he talked about billion-dollar deals like they were nothing but child’s play to him, told Jilly that Nick Christakos was already in another world. In his mind, Lilac York’s fate was already sealed.

Jilly’s head started to ache.

Greek gods could really be the worst thing to happen to women on earth.

The Second Encounter

Hearts beat fast

Colors and promises

How to be brave

How can I love when I’m afraid?

Lilac hummed along as Christina Perri sang in her ears and she started highlighting phrases from the University of Minnesota-Duluth paper she had printed from the Internet.

People who stuttered (PWS)…share some similar traits…not as outgoing as they normally would be…unwilling to express anger…depression…guilt…speech is out of their control…

She moved to another printout, an Arizona Western College essay on daydreams, and applied her marker to it as well.

Two of the most common daydream plots…the conquering hero…and the suffering martyr…

Daydreaming typically serves as a positive function.

Lilac flipped to the next blank page on her notebook, preferring to write her first drafts the old fashioned way.

This student proposes to utilize her daydreams and struggles with PWS as research to supplement plot development for a work of fiction.

She leaned back to re-read what she had written. She added a few more paragraphs for the introduction before closing her notebook and reaching for her iPad next. In the background, Christina Perri continued to sing, soothing her ears and never failing to help Lilac internalize.

Time stands still

Beauty in all she is

I will be brave

I will not let anything

take away

what’s standing in front of me.

Lilac started tapping on the iPad’s keyboard.

Lilia was an earl’s daughter as well as a well-traveled bluestocking. Her first Season has so far been a disaster.

She wrote and wrote until Christina Perri had sung her song about six times and her alarm went off, signaling the end of her last class, which Professor Flynn had told her to use for library research.

On her way out, Lilac bumped into what felt like a sexy hard wall of pectoral muscles. Lilac looked up, fully intending to apologize – and found herself trapped, again.

She stumbled on her First Step of her First Waltz during her First Appearance at Almack’s.

If not for the duke’s quick reflexes, it might also have been her First Scandal and he would have been embroiled in it as well. But before she could even panic, he had already twirled her around and swept them across the dance floor.

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