Authors: Sabrina Lacey
(Nicole’s Story - Part 4)
By Sabrina Lacey
Cover Image of “Nicole” © Ollyy
Cover Image of New York © Songquan Deng
Licensed through Shutterstock.com
© Sabrina Lacey
All Right Reserved
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and
incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a
fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual
events is purely coincidental.
No part of this book may be
reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by
any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,
without the express written permission of the publisher.
I call to him, “Michael!” but he’s too far
down Stuyvesant Street to hear me. Dodging faceless strangers, I break into a
sprint and desperately again cry out, “Michael!” I’m running as fast as I can
to the man who nearly broke me. This is the last thing I ever thought I’d be
doing. Michael knocks my confidence sideways. He always does. His energy is so
much stronger than mine it makes me feel weak. It’s like I’m looking for him to
tell me who I am. But he’s also like a drug, a drug that wakes me up and makes
me feel alive even though that feeling is acquired through pain. I need pain
now, because it’s my only option. I might as well be yelling
. That’s what I really want.
He turns around like he doesn’t believe it’s
really me calling his name. His dreadlocked friend looks at me, but
emotions are either nonexistent or
unreadable. Michael’s though, they’re written all over his face, as clear and
vibrantly as a lit up Billboard in Time Square. He’s shocked, his dark Spanish
features creased as he squints, his hands flowing out from his body as though
to receive me. His friend gives him a tap twice on the shoulder and leaves,
crossing the street to give Michael – to give
I stop just short of slamming into his arms.
My addiction wants me to run into them, but there’s a part of my heart that’s
! We stare at each other
as I gather my breath and intentions. He tilts his head, both agitated and
relieved. I feel the same way. What are my intentions? Now that I’m here, I
don’t know what to do. What can I say to him? What am I doing here?
Suddenly…irrationally… I wish my girlfriends would come get me. But I shove
that desperate desire down deep to the place everything my guardian angel is
screaming at me.
I’m sorry, Angel.
don’t want to be good or do the right thing.
“You waiting for me to say something?” He
runs his fingers through his long dark hair, sketching my lips with a slow
look. He’s confused. So am I.
“I don’t know,” I whisper, my eyes darting
from his eyes to his lips, and back again. I want to kiss and I want to slap
Michael surprises me with a jealous angry
growl. “So, where’s that guy? Why aren’t you with
Anger boils in my chest immediately. He
means Mark and I don’t want to hear it. “Excuse me? What guy?”
Incensed, his eyes darken as his nostrils
flare. “You know which one! Oh fuck me. Don’t look away, Nic. Just lay it all
out on the table. I’m not fucking around here!”
My eyes flash as I meet his again. “Are you
kidding me?” I’m being loud, but I can’t stop myself from yelling. How dare he
of all people tell me not to hide. I poke him hard in the chest. “You think you
have the right to grill me about anyone, when you were married and never told
me? Why don’t
lay it out on the
table, Michael? Because I lay it alllllll out now.” I sweep my hands out from
my body. “It’s alllllll out. Ever since you broke me, believe me, it is OUT
there! I’m not afraid of emotions anymore, so don’t play that old card with me!
Like I’m still that locked up girl who needs your guidance into the great big
world of feelings! I’m there! Believe me,
“Nic,” Michael says quietly, eyes darting
again hotly to my mouth.
“NO!” Every syllable I yell is a whip
cracking across his face. “You don’t get to say who I spend time with, and you
don’t get to say who I am and who I am not! And most of all – Michael!” I
roll his name off my tongue like it’s as appetizing as eating a pile of
maggots. “You do NOT get to say anything that has any connection to
!” I slam my hands hard against my
heart and glare at him. “You know why? Because you’re the one who tore it out
of my chest, threw it on broken glass, and
while nonchalantly smoking a fucking cigarette and drinking a glass
of fucking Syrah night after fucking night! That’s why!” I stare at his
silence. At the darkness surrounding his spirit. At the strong lines of his
high Spanish cheekbones. At his oh-so-bad-for-me lips, parted.
We reach for each other, slamming our mouths
together in a violent kiss. We make each other pay for the pain we’ve caused
with groping hands and feverish lashing tongues. Gasping against gasps, I grab
his head as we kiss, pushing my body against his pants. His hands squeeze me so
hard it hurts. I’m glad it hurts. I want it to. We are two people who were in a
cookie jar that the other was forced to stay out of. Two people who have always
wondered what that cookie would taste like, and who are starving for a really
Still Sitting Inside The Booth
I twist toward Jessica. “What just
Michael is deadly gorgeous. He literally
took my breath away when I first saw him. He looks like he should
painted… not be the painter. If I
could cast him in a film, I’d cast him as the devil who seduces the virgin but
you still love him even as she’s having his evil, devil baby. His sex appeal
makes my fourteen-day fling – sexy ass Jake Lombardi – look like a
girl. Not to mention Michael’s eyes strip your panties right off with just a
look. You could be a nun and if Michel looked at you, you’d scream,
stick it in!
But like Jake, he’s got all the ingredients
of A Big Mistake Cocktail. I don’t care if he left his wife. I mean, let’s
think about this – that woman must be devastated! Now is not the time;
this is all wrong! Everything in me says
is her guy
, that he’s The One.
Jess is staring after where she saw Nico
last, her mouth and eyes the shape of an
like someone suddenly came down from the heavens and whispered in her ear the
“Oh my God.”
“What?” I slam both hands impatiently on the
table. “What, Jess, what?”
But Jess is in a stupor. “Oh my God.”
Rolling my eyes, I slam the table again. “Oh
But still, she stares dully off into the
distance, muttering, “Oh my God!”
Exasperated, I grab my things and jump out
of the booth. “Don’t just sit there – let’s go stop her!”
Jess scoots quickly out, her legs sticking
to the seat repeatedly. “Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Dammit!”
“Well, you shouldn’t have worn a short skirt
without stockings when it’s almost winter! Hurry!” I shove my way through the
crowd with Jess scrambling to catch up, mumbling something about it being her
As soon as we’re outside, Jess shouts, “Oh
my God!” She grabs my arm, digging her nails into my skin like you do in a
movie theater when the killer is about to jump out from the silence.
About a hundred feet down Stuyvesant Street,
Nico is screaming like crazy at Michael. “That can’t be good.” But then they
suddenly lunge for each other. Some might call it ‘kissing,’ but it’s more like
they’re eating each other alive.
Jess dryly laughs. “That can’t be bad.”
I throw her hand off me. “Jessica!”
I’m stunned. “I was making a joke!”
Amber looks at me like she’s never seen
stupid up this close. “Yeah, because those are going
Ouch. My stomach twists hard. Both my best
friends are pissed as hell at me. It’s not my fault Nicole shot her tongue down
Michael’s throat. It’s not my fault she told Mark goodbye. She didn’t have to
do that! She could have gone off with him that night, if she really wanted to.
She’s a grown woman – she can do what she wants. She made the choice!
But I know I’m lying to myself.
I know this is really all my fault. I know I
didn’t give her a choice with Mark. Not really. And I may have acted – I
can’t say for sure – like a crazy child, but who wouldn’t do the same if
they saw their best friend with a man they’d had inside them less than two
months ago? That was not a recipe for rational behavior. Give me a fucking
break! Am I right?!!
I know all too well what Nicole is feeling
– she’s engulfed in desperate helplessness. I know it because I was
heart-shattered, too. I know exactly what it feels like to grab for
that will make the pain go away.
Hell, that’s how I met Mark! I was just lucky it was Mark on the other end of
that sex ad and not some psychopath.
But Nicole? Not so lucky. And all because of
me. Dammit! Confessing I know this is my fault… to Amber? Well that just ain’t
gonna happen. I bite my tongue and turn back just as Nicole breaks away from
the most primal kiss I’ve ever seen.
Without warning I shove him away from me,
hard. Both of us struggling to catch our breath, we stare at each other,
“Let’s get out of here,” Michael grunts.
Without waiting for an answer, he turns and hails a cab. “Taxi!”
My head turns. I can feel them watching us.
I lock eyes with Amber, then Jess. They’re watching from where they stand in
front of Ella’s door. They’re not happy. Who cares? They both have someone. I
get to try, don’t I?
This is all I have.
“C’mon,” Michael roughly takes my hand. He
throws a look in the direction of my glance and sees my girls staring at him.
“C’mon,” he says again. I hold their looks as Michael impatiently guides me
into the car like he’s afraid they’ll stop us. Like we have to hurry or it’ll
be too late and this chance will have passed him forever. I break eye contact
with Jess as I climb into the back seat. Michael closes the door and goes
around to get in the other side. He slides in and tells the driver the address
of his studio. My heart twists at the familiar numbers, numbers that used to
fuel my obsession. The cab jerks forward and my body sways. We drive by Amber
and Jess, but I don’t look at them. I dip my head away and into the nook of his
Some men smell good. Michael smells like
sex. I breathe him in deeply. After all this time, we’re finally going to have
sex. I close my eyes to defend myself against the barrage of guilt, confusion
and shame. My heart is beating so fast, it’s hurting. I want this. I want this.
I want this. I want this. I want this. I want this.
Why do I have to keep telling myself that…
As the cab passes us, I take a halting step
toward it. I almost yell,
But Nicole’s turned away and Michael’s silencing glare stops me
Amber’s tone is ice water splashing down my
spine. “You have to give Mark up.”
I swing around. “Hey! I don’t own him. This
isn’t my fault!”
Amber explodes. I jump back in surprise as
her arms fly around like a whacko’s. “Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?
YOU ARE UNBELIEVABLE!”
Survival instinct kicks in. I have to defend
myself. “This is so not my fault!”
Her eyes narrow into cloudy-blue, angry
little slits. “JESSICA! What part of
do you not understand?”
Her look is so superior that I want to wring
her pretty little neck. It doesn’t matter that she’s right! It doesn’t matter
right! It just
matters that I’m being attacked. If she weren’t attacking me, maybe we’d have a
conversation. “Amber – you know what? You’re not perfect. No matter how
much you may think you are, you’re not! And by the way, you’re doing that thing
where you say my whole name like you’re my mom. You’re not my mom! You’re not
mom, Amber! Why don’t you go
have a baby so you can have someone to treat like a child!” Okay…that sounded
stupid, even to me.
Amber plants her hands on her hips and
glares at me. “I am so sick of people pointing that whole-name-thing out. Don’t
try to deflect the blame so the focus comes off you! Let’s stay on point here,
and go over the facts.” She hits her two index fingers together as she counts.
“Fact number one! You could have had Mark, but you gave him up. Fact number
two! You can’t hold him hostage just because you don’t want to see him with one
of your best friends! Fact number three! You have a boyfriend!”