Hey guyz!!! Dn't wanna say 2 much here. Huge S/O 2 @TeamMinajPeru!!!! She helped a whoooooooooolllllllleeeee LOT!!!!! Lol, when I had questions she had answers ^_^ Thank you Temp!! And S/O 2 @MissMinaj341!!!! She helped me get thru writers block earlier!! I thank u all for reading!!! So happy I made it to chapter 20!! Major milestone!! Love you all, plz enjoy...
Nicki snuck up behind him at the dining room table where he sat. He was eating a plate of barbeque chicken wings. She placed her hands over his eyes with a smile on her face.
"Guess who..." She whispered in his ear.
"Mmm, let me see..... you sound like somebody I love.... smell good like her too...... your hands are soft jus like hers....... who could you be?"
Nicki kissed him on the cheek. "You gotta guess baby..."
"I don't know.... maybe you could help me out?"
"No. I'll pass."
"Haha, ard Onika. You can stop now. Lemme see you."
Nicki giggled and removed her hands. "How'd you guess?"
He turned his head to face her. "Cuz you play too much."
Nicki leaned in and began kissing him on the lips; tongue and all.
"Damn girl, you musta missed me today, huh?"
"Haha, maybe." She walked around the oval, maple dining room table.
"Mhm... so why you late? I thought I told you to be here before 5 o' clock? What time is it?"
Nicki looked at the watch on her wrist. "It's only 5:12 babe. I had to get the second bus. The first was too crowded." Nic hung her jacket over the back of one of the chairs and pulled it out to sit. She took her book bag off her shoulder and let it drop to the floor. The dining room was poorly lit with only two of the four upturned mini wall lamps working.
"You coulda squeezed ya skinny ass on. I gave you a certain time to be here and you show up late." He wiped his hands with a napkin and put both elbows on the table, folding his hands and glaring at her.
"Chill out Jarvis, damn. You act like you my father or some shit. I might as well move back in wit my family for awl'lat. Rehearsals jus ran a liddle late, thas it. So chill the fuck out."
"You and I both know you ain't goin no damn where. And you betta watch ya mouth how the fuck you talkin tuh me." He stood up. "I'ma go take my shower, wash my plate. It's more dishes in'na sink. Me and da boys leff it for you. Have fun." Jarvis started walking towards the narrow staircase.
Nicki looked at him like he just lost his mind. "Um, hold the fuck up, you will watch how you tawk to me. I'm not livin here to be ya fuckin maid. Wash ya own got damn dishes."
"Don't back talk me Onika." He said calmly while walking up the steps.
"You know what... I've had it with you Jarvis." She stood up. "You always think you runnin shit. I might only be seventeen, but you don't control me. I try so fuckin hard not tuh pop off on ya ass, but half the time you deserve it. No more holdin back. No more "good girlfriend." That role ain't me. I refuse to put up witchu and ya bullshit." Nicki grabbed her coat off the back of the chair. "I'll be back later. I need some air. And you bet not touch none of my shit. Or I will have Jelani come down here and handle ya ass."
Jarvis turned around, making his way back down the steps. "Fuck Jelani. I'll beat both y'all asses. You betta do what I told you 'fore I whip ya ass right now. Get in'ere and clean my kitchen."
"Excuse me?! I ain't cleanin shit! And you wouldn't dare touch me! I guarantee you that! You ain't that stupid!" Nicki pushed her chair in and put her jacket back on.
"Where the fuck you think you goin?"
"None of ya fuckin business!"
"Watch ya mouth." Jarvis walked over to her.
"You will stop tellin me what to do! I'm not ya child. You twenty-four, go make some of ya own!" Nicki walked towards the front door. Jarvis grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back in front of him. "Oh, so you touchin me now?! Get the fuck off!" Nicki jerked her arm away. He grabbed it again.
"Getcho ass in there and clean my kitchen. I am not one to raise my voice. I should only hafta tell you what to do once and I expect to get it done. Now after you finish with that, I want you to meet me upstairs... and lose the clothes."
"Fuck you think you are tawkin tuh me like dat?! And you expect me tuh give you some?! Fuck outta here wit dat shit B! Fuck you and them got damn dishes!!" She pulled away. Jarvis raised his hand to her for the first time and smacked her.
Nicki held her cheek in shock. "Aah!" She hissed. "What the fuck, Jarvis???" She cried in disbelief.
"Don't ever talk to me like that again. Now go in there. And do. What I told you. To do." He pointed his finger in her face.
Nicki couldn't believe he had just hit her. She looked him in the eyes, but all she saw was emptiness. His eyes were cold and unforgiving. "Why..." She squeaked. Nicki jogged to the front door and Jarvis watched her go, he knew she had to come back; she left her book bag. Nicki ran down his front steps and walked across the street to the bus stop with tears in her eyes. She sat down on the cold bench, shivering and wondering why the man she loved would ever raise his hand to hurt her. Nicki held her face in her hands. Minutes later, she heard a voice calling. It sounded far away.
Nicki listened for it again.
She started to feel warm all over. She blinked her eyes a few times and saw a blurred face staring down at her.
"Onika? Wake up please."
She felt a hand on her head as a thumb rubbed across her forehead.
"Come on Nika, get up."
Nicki rubbed her eyes and sat up on her elbows. She looked around and noticed she was lying on a railed bed in a white room. She heard faint beeping and saw an IV in her forearm. Safaree stood by her side.
"Hey? You back?" He pushed down the railing and sat down next to her, waiting for her to respond.
"Where are the kids?"
"Oh... am I.... am I ok?"
"Yea. You blacked out, but you're safe now. You're in the hospital. Megan called after she... after she found you."
Nicki reached up to feel her neck. She had a few welts and scratches on her from clawing at Jarvis's hand.
"He.... choked me Faree...." Nicki began to tear up.
Safaree saw this and pulled her close. "Come here." He held her, letting her cry into his chest as he rubbed her back.
After Jarvis left, Megan had came back downstairs. She saw Nicki lying still on the floor so she rushed over. She didn't see her chest rising and falling, Nic had stopped breathing. Megan tried to wake her up, but Nic was out. She searched Nic's pockets for her blackberry and called her uncle. Megan told him what she saw and he told SB. The guys cut their trip short and immediately drove back to LA. Safaree had told her to call 911 so she did. When the paramedics arrived, they transported Nicki to the nearest hospital. The cops showed up ten minutes after they left and asked the children what happened. Tyrone couldn't tell them much because all he saw was a man trying to force himself inside the house. Dee Dee was crying too hard for them to make out her side of the story. The police took the children down to the precinct for further questioning. Vincent went with them, he'd take them home from there.
*knock knock knock*
The room door squeaked open. "Can I come in?" A little old white lady wearing thick, round lenses with short and curled brunette hair asked, peeping in the room. She wore turquoise scrubs with a white lab coat over top. In her hand was a pen and clipboard. Safaree looked to his left at the opening door.
Nicki lifted her head up off of SB's chest. His white tee was stained with her tears. The woman walked over to them, and extended her hand with a smile.
"Good Morning sir. I'm Dr. Descartes. I'm the head physician on this floor. I oversee all incoming patients. And I'm pleased to say that Ms. Maraj has no serious injuries so she'll be able to leave in no time."
It was now 3:32am. When Nicki arrived to the hospital it was going on 9pm. Safaree didn't get there til 12am. By that time Nic was already in a room to herself. She wasn't breathing on her own so a respirator supplied her oxygen for her. It wasn't until later that night, around 2am, that Nic was able to breathe without it. Safaree filled out all the necessary paperwork for her and waited for her to wake up. She'd been gone for at least six hours when he decided to wake her up on his own.
"Thank you doc."
"Just doing my job." She smiled. "I'll be back with your release papers miss. Won't take me long so you'll be out of here in a jiff. I just need to remove your IV."
Nic looked down at it and held her arm out. The doctor carefully removed it and desposed of it properly. "Alright, be right back." She smiled then turned to leave, closing the door behind her. Nicki looked at Safaree and folded her arms into her chest.
"I don't wanna go home Faree, he knows where I live."
"Nic, you'll be fine. I promise. The cops are out there lookin for'm right now."
"But he said he'd be back. And how do you know there gonna find him?"
Safaree didn't say anything. He was lost for words, unsure of the system himself.
"Exactly... you don't know if they will. I can't go back to that house. Not by myself."
"Look.... maybe we could get the cops to watch the house? Will that make you feel safe?"
"No Safaree. I don't need to feel like a prisoner in my own home." Nicki started tearing up again. "Will you stay with me?"
"I mean... if that helps? I guess I could."
"Thank you." Nicki hugged him around the neck.
"You're welcome." They pulled away.
"Where's my phone?" She sniffled.
"Oh yea." Safaree pulled it out of his pocket and handed it to her. "Drake called you."
Nicki looked from her phone to him. "Did you answer?"
"Nah, he called way before I got here. You should call'm back. Let'm know what's up."
"No, no, no no no." Nicki shook her head. "I... I can't do that Safaree. I won't.... I can't.... No."
"What?" SB screwed his face up. "You hafta tell'm Nic. What's he gonna think when he sees you?" Nicki had a big scratch on her cheek and a mildly swollen top lip from when the door hit her in the face. The bridge of her nose was slightly bruised, turning a dark, purple color. Safaree didn't ask her how the scars got there although he wanted to know. "How's he gonna feel when he finds out you kept this from him?"
"Safaree please don't make me do this right now." Nicki handed him back her phone and laid back down with her back facing him.
"Don't shut him out Onika. I think he should know."
"But Safaree.... I.... I....." She tried not to cry. "I can't...... what's he gonna think of me? I let..... I let another man touch me."
"What?" This was news to Safaree. He hadn't gotten the complete story. As far as he knew, Jarvis barged in and choked her. That alone pissed him off when he found out. He'd calmed down since then, but now with new details surfacing, Safaree started to heat up again.
"What'chu mean he touched you?"
"I don't wanna talk about it Faree... there's no need to. This is all my fault anyway. I shouldn't've answered the door. I shoulda never volunteered to babysit. I jus fuck up everything."
"Stop it Onika. None of this is your fault. I don't want you blamin yaself for shit. That nigga had no right to put his hands on you. No right. No matter what you did, his crazy ass woulda found a way in."
"I know you're tryna help, but you're wrong Safaree. It is all my fault."
"Stop sayin that."
Just then, Dr. Descartes walked back in with Nic's release papers.
"Ok, whose signing?"
"I got it." Safaree took the clipboard.
"You can just sign down there by that X Mr. Maraj."
Safaree looked at her sideways. "No. It's Samuels. Mr. Samuels."
"Oh!" She giggled. "I'm sorry sir. I just assumed—"
"You good." He handed her back the clipboard.
"You're free to go. You can just leave the hospital gown on the bed, one of the nurses will get it." Descartes smiled and left the room.
"Where are my clothes?" Nicki sat up wiping her face.
Safaree got up and went across the room. Her clothes were in a purple transparent bag. He got it and handed it to her.
"You need my help or anything?"
Nicki turned her back to him. SB untied the three knots vertically aligned down her back.
"Yea. Thank you Faree."
"No problem. I'll jus be outside the door."
Nicki nodded her head and he stepped out. She stood up and took off the gown. She folded it and laid it on the bed. Nicki put her clothes back on from the previous day. She noticed a couple drops of dried blood on the front of her shirt. She took it off and turned it inside out to make it less noticeable, but you could still see it. Nicki unfolded the hospital gown and put it back on to cover it up. She noticed she didn't have any shoes, not even her slippers. Her feet were snuggled in grey hospital socks. Nicki walked to the door and opened it. She didn't see SB. She searched for him with her eyes. Nicki saw him getting off the elevator with a pair of Nike's. He jogged over to her out of breath.
"Where did you go?"
"I forgot I left these in the car." He held up her shoes. "I went and picked'm up from ya house earlier when I noticed you didn't have anything on ya feet."
"Oh..." She took them. "Thanks. And tell me before you leave next time, ok?"
Nicki put her shoes on and closed the door behind her. The floor they were on was completely quiet and still. All they heard were moniters going and all kinds of beeping. The only lights on were mounted over the door frames of all the patients' rooms. The nurses station was dark and vacant. There was only one nurse pushing a food cart. No one else. Nic and SB walked to the elevator and rode it down. Safaree drove them to her house and parked his car in her driveway. He unbuckled his seat belt and went to exit. Nicki sat there staring at the front of her house.
"My bedroom light's on...." She answered, never taking her eyes off of her home.
Safaree looked at the house then back at Nicki.
"I know Nic. I turned it on when I got ya sneakers."
Nicki looked at him then unbuckled her seat belt.
"Where was he when you got here?"
"Gone. You're fine Onika, come on." Safaree got out and walked over to her side of the car. He helped her out then they went inside. Safaree turned on the alarm system and walked Nic up to her room, she insisted he do that. Nicki took the gown off and SB saw the blood on her shirt. He had the urge to ask her about it, but he didn't want to upset her or himself so he let it go for the moment.
"I'm goin to go take a shower."
"Ard. I'ma go 'head back downstairs. I'm gettin kinda tired."
"You goin to bed already?"
"It's 5am Nic. I think I need to." He half smiled. "I'll be on the couch."
"Oh. Ok.... your phone's on right?"
"Yes. It is. Now go shower, you're safe."
Nicki sighed and turned her head away from him. Safaree looked at her once more before he shut the door. He walked downstairs and into the living room, kicking his shoes off near the sofa. He plopped down onto it and lie back, placing a couch pillow over his face. Safaree heard the shower running then his cell phone started to blast My Watch. He took it out of his baggy, jean pocket and answered.
"Um, no? This is Vincent nigga."
SB looked at the caller ID on his iPhone. "Oh, my bad son. What's good?"
"Me and the kids jus gettin to the house. How is she?"
"Not good B." He removed the pillow from his face. "That muhfucka messed her up pretty bad. Got her all paranoid and shit. I swear to you, and I don't swear, but I'ma beat the shit outta dat nigga if I see'm again. His ass is so dead."
"Damn. Jus know I gotcha back. Not that you need me, I've seen what'chu can do. He use'ta be real cool... now nigga wanna be all psycho and shit."
"I'ont know 'bout all dat. I ain't never liked his crazy ass. Like, what kinda man are you to put ya hands on a woman?"
"A fuckin punk. Ain't no need for none of dat bullshit. They needa hurry up and find his ass. Send'm right back to Rikers. Let him know what it feels like to get beat on."
"They ain't got'm yet?!" Safaree sat up.
"Naw. Not yet. They don't have everything they need."
"Fuck you mean???"
"They still need Nika's side of the story."
"They won't get it."
"She ain't talkin. She hasn't even told me anything so I doubt she open up to dem donut eatin ass pigs."
"I think she will. Specially if it's to help find him. It may calm her nerves to get it all out. She don't needa bottle dat shit up. Ain't healthy."
"I know what'chu mean man."
"Yea... well I was jus callin to check on her. I'm about to lay down."
"Ard B." Safaree yawned.
"Don'tchu go to sleep nigga. Listen out for the door. The cops should be there soon."
"Fuck outta here. Them dumbasses shoulda came up the hospital to ask all dem damn questions. I'm tired so I'm takin my ass to sleep. They prolly won't be here til later anyway."
"Whatever man. Keep her safe."
"I got it. BC-1 out."
Safaree hung up the phone and laid back down, putting the pillow back over his face and his phone in one of his size fourteens.
Nicki stepped out of the shower. She wrapped herself in her bath towel and walked over to the mirror. She took her hand and wiped until she could see herself clearly. Nicki stood there examining her face. She lifted her hand to feel the top of her upper lip. The swelling minimized, but only a little. She turned her head to see the mark Jarvis's ring left on her cheek. It was a little above her left dimple and about the size of a pinky finger. Nicki closed her eyes and turned away from the mirror biting her lip. She went into her room and dried off, lotioned up, then found something to put on. Nicki walked out of her room with her blackberry in her hand. She wore a big tee shirt and a pair of ankle socks. Her hair was plaited into two big braids; one resting on the tops of each shoulder. She went downstairs and walked over to the couch. Leaning over the back of it, Nicki removed the pillow from SB's face.
"Are you sleeping Faree?"
His eyes were closed. Nicki plucked his nose and he frowned while fanning her hand away. Safaree turned toward the coffee table. Nicki sighed and threw the pillow back down on him. She went in the kitchen and brewed her a cup of Chamomile tea. Nicki sat at her kitchen table playing with the tea bag. She held her head up with her fist as her elbow rested on the table. Lifting the bag in and out of the tea, Nic noticed her phone lighting up. Drake's name blinked across the screen. Nicki hesitated to answer it. Would he ask why she didn't pick up when he called earlier? Would he ask how the rest of her day went? Would Drake hear the secret in her voice and ask what's wrong? Nicki didn't bother finding out. She silenced her phone and turned it over. She placed the wet tea bag in the saucer and began sipping. Nic knew he'd call again. Would she answer it then? Would she tell him about Jarvis? Nicki pushed all these thoughts to the back of her mind. She didn't want to think about them. She sat the mug down and stirred in another teaspoon of sugar. Nicki watched as the tea whirlpooled inside her pink and black Diva mug. She listened as her spoon tinkered against the sides. While the liquid stirred, so did her mind.
*knock knock knock*
Nicki stood there with her arms folded into her chest, trying to stay warm. She was waiting for the door to open and when it did, it immediately closed again. Nicki rolled her eyes and knocked once more. This time someone different answered.
"Hey... sorry about that. I guess Safaree's still mad at you... why you here this late?" Vincent looked at his watch. It was 7pm and dark out.
"V... I... I need somewhere to stay tonight..."
Nicki looked up at him. Her eyes were begging him to let her stay. "Vincent please? Jus tonight? You know Lauren's still out of town and Candi's not answering her phone. I have no other options and I'm not goin back home, I can't."
"You and Jarvis have another argument?" He asked like he knew she'd say yes.
Nicki pressed her lips together and squeezed her eyes shut. Tears were forming and she didn't want Vincent to see. She sniffled and a weep escaped her lips.
"Sorry.... I ain't mean t—"
"He hit me...."
Vincent screwed his face up. "He what?!"
Nicki quickly covered her face. Vincent snatched her hands down. "What did you jus say Onika?!"
"Jarvis... he hit me. We were arguing and he told me to clean the kitchen I told'm no I cursed him out and he smacked me across the face!" Nicki's words were running together. It all came out fast in one breath as she cried.
"Hell no." Vincent shook his head with flared nostrils. He put his arm around Nic's shoulder and pulled her into the house. "Sit on the couch, I'll be back...."
Nicki looked at him as he ascended the staircase on her left. "Where are you going??"
Vincent quickly came back downstairs with his Timbalands on. "He live near Brooklyn right?" He asked, putting on his lengthy black tee.
"Don't do anything Vince!!! Please?!?! I don't want him to know I told you!!"
"Fuck you mean?! He hit you Onika! I'm not lettin'at shit go!"
"But you have to!! I... I still love'm. I jus... he jus gets me so mad sometimes. It's normal, couples argue... I don't want you to hurt him. Please, don't go over there Vincent."
"What??????" He squinted at her in disbelief, craning his neck forward to make sure he heard her correctly.
"It only happened once. I don't think he'll do it again... I prolly jus made him angry. I should've kept my mouth shut. It's my fault ok?"
"No." Vincent shook his head while putting his coat on. "It's not your fault. That nigga needa learn to keep his hands to himself."
"Don't go!!" She cried.
Vincent saw the plea in her eyes. He huffed and ran his hand over his face. "Can I jus go talk to'm?"
Vincent gave in. "Fine Onika. I won't go. But if I see his ass on the street, I'ma start some shit jus so I can beat his ass."
"I won't hurt'm too bad." He took off his coat and threw it on the couch. "Wait til I tell S." He started walking toward his basement door.
"NO! You can't!! I don't give a damn how mad you are, you will NOT tell Faree!!"
"Yea ard..." He pulled the door open.
Nicki's eyes grew big. Safaree was standing there zipping up his coat. He had a scowl on his face and he looked beyond heated. He pulled on his navy blue skully and gloves.
"Let's go...." SB brushed passed Nicki causing her to step back a little. He didn't look at her, not once. Vincent focused on Nicki then Safaree. He shut his basement door and ran over to get his coat.
Nicki slowly turned around facing the front door. "Faree.... please, you don't—"
"LET'S GO VINCENT!" Safaree opened the door and stepped out onto the porch.
"I'm comin nigga! Damn." He made his way to the door then looked back at Nicki. "Lock the door." He stepped out.
Nicki walked over to the entrance. She watched the two walk down Vincent's driveway.
Vincent nodded his head....
Nicki watched as her tea swirled about in her cup. She went to taste it, but it was cold. She sat the teaspoon on the saucer and stood up with her cup. Walking over to the microwave, Nicki's phone received a text message. She placed the beverage in the mic, turning it on, and went to check the blackberry.
[Hey babe, ur prolly still sleep so jus call me bak when u wake up. I have good news :) Love you]
Nicki just stared at the screen. To reply or not to reply? That's the question. Her answer? Nicki sighed and placed the phone back on the table. The microwave dinged so she went to go get her tea. Sitting down at the table, Nicki waited for it to cool off. When it did, she sipped slowly. She sat in the kitchen for a good three hours, sipping and reheating and daydreaming. Nicki picked up her phone and discovered yet another missed call from Drake. She got up to put her empty mug in the sink and heard footsteps heading toward the kitchen. Nicki looked back and saw a sleepy SB with his phone in hand. He was rubbing his eyes and yawning. He walked over to Nic and stood beside her.
"So you gon tell me why you not answerin ya phone?"
Nicki looked away from him and began to run dish water. "I can't talk to him right now Safaree..."
"Why? He's worried about you. He called me askin if anything was up cuz you haven't been answerin his calls. He thought he might'a made you mad or sum'n. I told'm you'd call back."
Nicki turned the water off. "Why would you do that Safaree?! Thas NOT ya place! Jus please stay the hell outta my business! If I wanted your help I would've asked for it!"
"You can't keep avoidin him Onika! He hasn't done shit to you! You will call him back! You can't jus repress this shit. I know it hurts, but you will not bottle it up. It's not good to jus keep everything inside. I don't care if you don't wanna tell me all that happened, I know enough to understand how you're feelin. But you hafta tell somebody and that somebody is Drake. He's ya boyfriend. He deserves to know. And if you don't let it out, it's jus gonna eat at'chu. So tell'm, don't jus leave him out in the dark like you did me..."
Nicki teared up. "I can't Faree... it's too much. It's so embarrassing... how could I let that happen to me? I'm strong right? How could he jus overpower me so easily? I fought back with all I had and he jus.... he jus grabbed me up... It was so easy for him to do.... It was like nothing I was doing to stop him worked..... I felt so weak Safaree....."
Nicki put her hands up to her face and cried. SB wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into a hug. He rubbed her back allowing her to shed her tears.
"I tried so hard to get him off me and I'm the one who ended up with the scars. It's not fair.... he slapped me like it was nothin. Like I didn't even matter. Like I wasn't a woman." She cried.
Safaree listened intently. He didn't know he hit her. SB squeezed his arms tighter around Nicki. "I'm sorry that happened Nic."
"He fuckin violated me Faree! He... he.... he put.... he put his hand up my shirt and he jus.... oh God..." Nicki was still crying. Safaree felt her wrap her arms around him, her face still pressed to his chest. "He acted like I was still his.... do you know how scary that is??? What if he comes back? What'll happen then? He knows I live here now. I can't stay... I need to leave Safaree."
"They'll get'm soon Nicki. But where are you gonna go?"
She looked up at him with puffy eyes. "You keep sayin that, but you don't know. And I'm goin to my apartment downtown... I'm not stayin here."
Nicki let him go causing him to do the same. She started to walk away, but SB grabbed her by the wrist. "But you barely have any furniture there. There's like one couch and a tv. I'm not lettin you live like that."
Nicki looked at her wrist and effortlessly pulled away. "I'll get more stuff... I have no choice." She shrugged and walked upstairs to her room to pack some clothes. Safaree had forgotten to tell her she couldn't leave yet because the police were on their way to get her side of the story, three hours late, but still on their way. He ran up after her and saw her folding clothes into a suitcase. She glanced at him and continued what she was doing.
"You can't go yet."
"And why not?" Nicki stopped and looked at him, holding onto the top of her suitcase.
"Because the p—" SB was cut off by a knock at the door.
Nicki's eyes widened. "That's him Safaree..." Her heart started to race as her stomach twisted in knots.
"No it's not, I bet it's the cops. Thas what I was tryna tell you." Safaree turned to leave her room.
Nicki dropped the lid of her suitcase and went after him. "NO! Don't open the door! Please Safaree, please don't open the door! Please?!!" She grabbed his arm, pulling him away from the staircase.
"I know you're still on edge, but I'm here. If it's him, don't expect him to make it out of this house alive. If it's not, it's the cops." He started toward the staircase again.
"NO! Faree stop it!! I'm begging you!! Please don't answer that door!!" Nicki had the saddest look in her eyes.
Safaree saw them pleading with him, but he ignored them. He removed himself from the tight grip Nicki had around his arm and headed downstairs.
"No... please..." She tried once more to get him to stop. He kept going. "Why are you doing this to me Faree?" She whined.
When he reached the very bottom, he heard them knock again, harder this time. Nicki was at the top of the staircase freaking out. Safaree went to the door.
"Who is it?"
"Uuh, we're looking to speak with a miss Onika Maraj? I'm Officer Talley. I'm with my partner Officer... Officer Joe."
SB yelled up to Nicki, "See Nic? It's jus the cops! Come downstairs please!" He opened the door and standing before him were two men. One a little taller than himself and the other small, but taller than Nicki. Safaree let them in.
"Good morning officers. Y'all can have a seat in the living room, she'll be down in a minute." Safaree shut the door back and locked it. He turned the alarm system back on and went upstairs to get Nicki.
"Come on. They waitin for you." SB held out his hand. She took it and he began leading her down the steps.
"Faree wait. I need to put some pants on." Nicki let his hand go and he watched her run back up the steps to her room. She came back to him wearing a long pair of loose fitting pajama pants. She took his hand again and they made their way to the living room. The tall officer, Talley, was sitting down on the couch. The smaller one, Officer Joe, was standing in front of the television. They looked Nic's way when she and SB made their entrance. Officer Talley stood up with his hand out, he removed his hat.
"Morning ma'am. I'm Officer Talley."
Nicki shook his hand. "Hi officer." She glanced over at the frail rookie. He walked over to her with a smile. He seemed really nervous and just plain awkward. "H-hi ma'am. I'm Officer Joe." He held out his hand and Nicki shook it, trying to return the smile as genuinely as possible. She was nervous as well.
"Nice to meet you..." Nicki looked over her shoulder at Safaree who was standing behind her. "Now what?" She whispered. He motioned her to have a seat.
"I'll be in the kitchen if you need me." He turned to go, but Nicki quickly grabbed his fingers.
"No, stay with me." She turned her head around and pulled him over to the lazy boy with her. She sat down and he sat on the arm of the recliner. The two policemen sat across from them on the ivory colored sofa. Talley pulled folded documents out of his pocket. He signaled Joe to hand him a pen. The rookie did so.
"So tell me... what happened?"
"Where should I start?"
"Well first off, how do you know the suspect? Was he a stranger? Old enemy?"
Nicki looked down at her hands balled up in her lap. "He's an ex...."
"How long ago was this?" Talley scribbled something on one of the papers and slid them over to Officer Joe.
"About... nine years? I met'm when I was seventeen."
"How old was he?"
"Twenty-four..... I know there's a lot wrong with that, but.... I was young. I thought I was in love. Age didn't matter at the time."
"Oh, I see.... so you know this guy really well?"
"Unfortunately I do."
Officer Joe was writing down everything. Nicki looked over at him then back to Officer Talley.
"Okay. I think we have enough background info on this guy. So tell me what happened last night."
Nicki explained everything to them in detail. Tears were far from invisible. They streamed down her face, but that's all. She wasn't hysterical. She wasn't sobbing. Her tears were just there. Safaree sat by her trying to stay calm. He was really pissed. When the cops finished, they let Nicki know they'd do all they could to catch him. They promised they'd work faster after finding out he was a New York native. They were afraid he'd flee back home, but they didn't tell Nicki that. She felt a little relieved, but only a little. Nicki still wanted to stay at her apartment in downtown LA. She went to her room after the officers left and continued packing. She cleared out her bathroom's linen closet and mirror. Nicki changed her shirt into something smaller that hugged her torso, she kept on the loose pj pants. Safaree helped her load everything into her Bentley. They went back inside and emptied the fridge and cabinets. SB loaded the food into his car, he'd follow behind her car as they drove.
When they reached the apartment, the two brought everything in and began putting the food away.
"Can you put this up there for me Faree? I can't reach it." She asked, standing on her tippy toes trying to put her cereal on top of the fridge. Safaree stopped sweeping the floor and helped her. He ended up putting all four boxes on top of the fridge. Nicki put the rest of the food away while Safaree cleaned around her. When she finished, Nicki started to hang up her clothes in her bedroom closet. She then went to go clean the bathroom while Safaree rewashed the few dishes she packed. When he finished, he cleaned the windows then she vacuumed the floors. After the apartment was spotless, the both plopped on the only piece of furniture there... the couch.
"Safaree?" She yawned. "I need to go to IKEA. This apartment is bare."
"You really do..."
"You have your laptop right?"
"Yea. It's in the car."
"You should go get it. I'll shop online. I'm too tired to go anywhere." Nicki yawned again.
"A'ight. I'll be back."
"Thank you Faree. Lock the door on ya way out."
"I'm only goin to the car."
"Lock it Safaree."
He stepped out. Nicki heard the key twisting. She got up to go see if it was locked and it was. She laid back down on the couch, on her tummy, and turned on the tv. All she got was static as she flipped through the channels.
"Shit..... I need cable...." She turned the television off and sat the remote on the carpeted floor. Nicki closed her eyes and made herself comfortable. She was about to fall asleep when her phone rang. Nicki groaned and went to go get it out of the kitchen. Safaree came back in with his MacBook. He sat on the couch and turned it on. Nicki picked her phone up off the counter and looked at the name. Her throat tightened. Safaree went in the kitchen to let her know the internet was up. He saw her staring at her phone.
Nicki looked back at him.
"You gotta do it sometime. I'll leave if that helps you?"
The phone went silent. "It stopped ringing..."
"No." Safaree sat the laptop on the counter and walked over to her. He took the phone and dialed Drake's number.
"NO!" Nicki snatched it back, hanging it up. "You can't force me to tell him. I'll.... I'll call when I'm ready."
"No you won't. You jus puttin it off."
Nicki knew he was right. She didn't want to call Drake back anytime soon. But she knew she had too. Nicki was beginning to understand it was unfair to keep this from him. She looked at Safaree with a sigh. Nicki held up her blackberry and hesitantly dialed Drake's number. She held the phone up to her ear as she bit her lip. She was extremely nervous.
"I'll be in the living room." Safaree grabbed his MacBook. Nicki nodded her head and he stepped out. The phone rang for what seemed like hours, but it was only a few seconds. The anticipation of hearing his voice in her ear made her heart beat speed up. She could feel the vessel thudding through her body.
Nicki took a deep breath. "H-hey Drake.... It's..... it's me....."
"I know..... did I do something wrong? You haven't been returning my calls...... I uuh.... I tex'd you earlier. You prolly didn't get it though."
"No... I got it.... and you did nothing wrong."
"Oh. Well what's up? You don't sound like you. Are you upset?"
Nicki breathed out slowly. "No baby..." She started to tear up. "I jus.... I jus.... I need to see you please. I can't tell you over the phone."
"Onika? Baby, are you crying? Talk to me."
"Aubrey?" She wheezed and the tears poured down her face. "I have to see you. I don't want you to find out this way. I'm sorry I didn't pick up earlier. I... I wasn't trying to avoid you, I really wasn't."
"Don't apologize to me for not pickin up. It's okay, really. And I'm on my way. At LAX now. That's why I called. I wanted you to know I had two days off. That's my good news. I should be there in thirty minutes. Calm down baby."
"You're.... you're here?"
"Left around midnight. I wanted to surprise you."
"Aubrey? Please know that I love you.... I.... I always will. I'm at my apartment downtown. I'll tell you why when you get here."
"I love you too baby. I don't know why you're so upset, but please try to calm down? I don't like it when my baby cries and I'm not there to comfort her. Ill be there as soon as I can. Jus tex me directions. I'll hurry."
"Ok. Drive safe Drake."
"Ard love, see you in a bit. Love you."
"Love you too."
Nicki hung up and wiped her tears. She texted him directions and sat her phone one the counter, leaving the kitchen and walking into the living room with SB.
"How'd it go?" He asked looking up from his laptop.
"He's on his way."
"So you told'm?"
Nicki looked down then back up avoiding eye contact. Safaree knew what that meant. He disappointedly looked away from her, back down at his mac, and cleared his throat.
"Don't do that Safaree. I'm gonna tell'm when he gets here. I told'm so..."
Safaree looked back up. "I'm glad you did. Maybe now you can breathe a little easier. I'ont like to see you all upset like this Nika. You know that."
"Yea.... I know...." Nicki walked over to the couch. "Scoot over."
SB did so. Nicki put her feet up on the sofa and looked over at his laptop. "What's that?"
"IKEA." He turned the computer out so she could see.
"Oh yea... did you see anything I might like?"
"Not yet." SB scrolled down the page.
"Wait, what about that one?" Nicki was pointing to a jet black, king bed. The headboard was made of bars and it sat up high, about a foot or two off the floor. Nicki would have to jump just to crawl into it. It was draped with a purple bed set and had black matching dressers and nightstands. Nicki would choose another color for the bed set though. Maybe a magenta or rose. At the foot of the bed was the footboard. It was made of bars as well and was much shorter than the headboard, but rose a slight five inches above the mattress. Nicki wanted that bed. She placed her order for it then searched for sheets, drapes, and a comforter to go with. She decided on magenta. When she had her bedroom together, Nicki searched for living room furniture. The couch she had already was a gift from a company other than IKEA. It was leather and black. Nicki just needed two more that resembled it. A medium sized one and one for a single person to sit. After she found them, Nicki shopped for a kitchen table and chairs. She ordered those then looked for magenta drapes and curtains, a modern glass coffee table and a few paintings and nic-nacs for decoration. Nicki then searched for a bathroom set, black and magenta were her colors of choice. SB called them lame, but she thought they were simply sophisticated. Nicki had everything shipped express so they'd arrive fast. Her bedroom furniture were the only items ready so she'd get them the same day. Everything else would be arriving the next day. When she finished her online shopping, Safaree closed his MacBook and turned on the tv. He looked at Nicki when all he got was static. She shrugged and he turned it off, opening his computer again. SB ordered Verizon FiOS for her and even searched for a flatscreen, desktop. He picked out the desk it'd sit on and the swivel chair to go with it. When all was done, Safaree decided to go up on the rooftop, the door to that was in the kitchen. There was a pool up there and what looked like a wet bar. It was empty, but he'd soon fix that. SB went to the edge of the roof and looked out over LA. It was now 11am and the city was just waking up. He could feel the 87° sun beaming down on him so he went back inside to the cool AC before he melted to death. Nicki was standing near one of the windows in the living room with her arms folded. She was watching all the citizens scramble about. They looked really small all the way up from the penthouse.
"You good Nic?"
Safaree asked walking toward her. She looked back and nodded her head. Nicki laid her hand upon the clear glass and stared down at the lives happening beneath her. A smile began to form on her face.
"You know Faree," She spoke without looking at him. "I don't know, but I feel safer here.... Like no one can get me." She glanced over to the right where he was now standing, looking at LA with her. She then looked back out of the window. "It's like I'm all the way up here... in the clouds.... and nobody has a clue where to find me. It's so peaceful... so calming...."
Safaree was in the moment with her. "Ha, I guess you right. It does feel different bein up here." He looked over at her and saw the smile on her face. "You see a lot of beautiful things." He smiled to himself and looked back out of the window. "I'll be back ok? I feel like drivin... you'll be good by yaself right?"
"Yea.... I will."
Nicki stood there with both hands resting on the glass. SB grabbed his keys and walked to the door.
"Lock it Safaree." She said without looking.
"Got it. See you later Nic."
With that, he left. A few seconds later, Nicki heard the key twisting in the lock. She looked over at her couch and noticed he left his laptop. She went to go get it to hand it to him. Nicki heard the door open and began walking toward it.
"I figured you'd be ba—"
Nicki gasped and her eyes grew wide when she saw who was at the the door. She dropped the MacBook on the floor.
"Baby?!" She ran over to him and threw her arms around his neck, not giving him the opportunity to shut the door yet. Drake hugged her tight, slightly lifting her off the floor. Nicki wrapped her legs around his waist until he let go.
"Oh my God I missed you so much." Nicki grabbed his face and pulled him in for a kiss. She pecked his lips multiple times with tiny French kisses. When Drake was able to breathe, he smiled and shut the door.
"I missed you too baby."
"How'd you get a key?"
"Safaree. I caught'm just as he was about to leave." Drake's smile faded when he saw Nicki's scars.
"What happened to ya face?" He asked with furrowed brows.
Nicki reached up to touch her cheek. "Oh...."
Drake examined her and noticed the welts and scratches on her neck followed by the bruise on her nose. "Onika? What the hell happened???"
"That's what I need to tell you...." She pressed her lips together and took his hand. Nicki led him into the living room and they both sat on the couch.
"What's up baby?" Drake asked, scooting closer to her. Nicki sighed and tried to get her words in order. While she did that, he lifted his hand and placed it under her chin, raising it up. His eyes wandered from welt to welt; scratch to scratch. Drake softly ran his fingers over her wounds. "Who did this to you?" He looked up at her, tears were pooling in her eyes.
"Drake..... a few hours after I got off the phone with you yesterday.... I got a knock at the door...."
Drake took his fingers away from her neck. Nicki lowered her chin and a few tears fell. He grabbed both of her hands in his and listened.
"I went to answer it....... I should've asked who it was before I opened it.... but I didn't......" Nicki sniffled and looked down at the backs of her hands, which Drake was caressing with his thumbs. He never took his eyes off of her.
"Who was it?"
"My ex..... Jarvis..... I never told you about him because it hurt too much.... I didn't wanna relive all the pain he caused me....." Nicki took a deep breath. "He use'ta hit me....."
Drake's eyes widened. He couldn't fathom any man laying his hands on a woman. And on Nicki? No, he didn't want to believe it. He looked for comforting words to say, but nothing came to mind.
"He was so controlling..... he never wanted me to hang out with my friends...... I was seventeen at the time..... he always shouted orders at me and expected me to get them done like I was his kid......"
"How old was he?"
"Twenty-four..... I loved him though..... that's why I didn't leave...... he gave me a place to stay...... food to eat...... he made sure I had everything I needed....... but that's still no excuse..... I shouldn't have let'm put his hands on me..... I was so stupid......"
"Nicki? I'm.... I'm sorry baby. I'm sorry you had to go through that. It pisses me off to know anything like that ever happened to you. And you were young and naive, not stupid."
"It's fine Aubrey... really. I'm past that chapter in my life.... I was until he showed up at my house... everything came back to me all at once..... I tried closing the door, but he barged in..... the door hit me in the face...... that's how I got this...." Nicki touched the bridge of her nose. "My nose started bleeding...... I ran for the steps trying to get away from him, but he snatched me by my hair....." Nicki sniffled and touched one of her plaits. "I screamed telling him to get off, but he wouldn't...... he wiped the blood from my nose with his shirt...... I asked'm how he found me and he told me...... I scratched him and he slapped me........ that's how I got this......" Nicki touched the scar on her face. "I fell and when I got back up I swung at him a few times with an umbrella...... he broke it then tackled me into the wall...... it hurt so bad Aubrey...... his shoulder felt like it'd go right through me....... I hit'm in the back to get'm off, but then he grabbed me by the neck......" Nicki touched her neck. "I tried hard to peel his hand off........ I even tried to pull my body away, but he had me....... pinned to the wall......... his grip got tighter and I could barely breath.......... he....... he..... he started kissing me on my cheek and I pulled away as best I could....... I didn't want him anywhere near me........"
Drake had the meanest look on his face. His adrenaline pumped through his veins and he was ready to whoop ass. He had heard enough to want to murder this dude three times over. But there was more, Nicki spoke up again.
"He put his hand up my shirt...... and he...... he..... he fondled me....." Nicki broke down. She covered her face and started sobbing. "I'm sorry Aubrey! Oh my God, I'm sorry! I tried to stop him, I did!"
Drake pulled her into his chest. "It's not your fault Onika. Stop apologizin for somethin you didn't do. You didn't ask for this."
"But it is my fault! I tried to stop'm! I wanted to, but I couldn't and I really wanted to! I tried so haaard!!! I failed Aubrey!"
"Nicki stop! I'm not gonna listen to blame yourself okay?!" He held her out in front of him. "You didn't ask for any of this shit!! You hear me?! It happened to you! Not the other way around! You're not at fault here baby. Please stop blaming yourself." He hugged her again and she continued to cry into his chest.
"Did you at least call the police?"
Nicki lifted up and started wiping her face. "Megan did. One of the kids I was babysitting.... He choked me out and she found me. I remember waking up in the hospital..... after that I went home. The cops came to talk to me about the situation and when they left, me and Faree came here. I couldn't stay there because...... because I didn't feel safe...... and Jarvis said he'd be back so I had to leave....."
"I'm not gonna let him run you out of your own house."
"What's done is done. And besides, I feel better here.... much better here.... I'm safe here Aubrey."
Drake looked at her as she wiped her face. "I can't argue wit that.... I jus want you to be ok Onika. As long as you're safe and well, I can be too." He hugged her. "Don't worry babe, I'm sure the cops will get'm."
"I hope so."
They held each other for a minutes in silence until Drake pulled away. He looked at her face again. "Come on." He took her by the hand and found his way to the bathroom. "Where are your washcloths?" Nicki pointed to the linen closet behind him. He opened it and took one out. Nicki stood beside him as he wet it in the sink. She watched trying to figure out what he was doing and why. Drake wrung out the cloth and spread it out over his palm.
"What are you doing?"
"Close your eyes."
Nicki did. Drake began to wipe her face for her. He cleared away any remnants of tears and carefully brushed over her scars. "You have cocoa butter right?"
"I should." Nicki checked behind the mirror and searched for it. When she found it, she handed it to him. Drake pulled the top off of the stick of Palmer's and rolled it up like chapstick. He rubbed a little off the top and gently massaged it onto Nicki's cheek. She winced from the pressure causing him to lighten up. He then tended to the scratches on her neck and the bruise on her nose.
"I'll do this for you every four hours or so. I heard you're s'posed to use it three to four times a day for bruises and stuff." Drake closed the cap and put the cocoa butter back behind the mirror.
Nicki took his hand and showed him around her empty apartment. She let him know about all the furniture she bought and where it would go. Nic then led him to the roof and showed him Los Angeles through her eyes. They spent a large amount of time up there sightseeing. Drake got too hot so they went back inside. He playfully collapsed on the couch, taking up the whole thing. Nicki walked over and patted his leg so he'd move over. He looked at her and spread out more.
"So you're not gonna share with me?"
"Fine..." Nicki sat on the floor next to him and the couch. She was facing the tv when she felt something move over her head. Drake's legs were now at her sides.
"Umm......?" Nicki tilted her head back and looked up at him. "What are you about to do?"
Drake's face hovered over hers and he kissed her upside down. "Nothing." He lifted up and began to unplait her hair.
Nicki sat there in silence as he ran his fingers through her hair. Her butt started to hurt so he asked if she wanted to sit on the couch. She got up and laid down on her stomach, resting her head in his lap. Drake could tell she was about to fall asleep so he stroked her hair until she did.
When Nicki woke up four hours later, she was on the couch alone. She smelled something cooking in the kitchen so she got up to go check it out. Drake was standing at the stove talking to SB, who was putting stuff in the fridge. They looked her way when she walked in.
"Hey sleepy head." Drake smiled, putting the lid on the pot of chicken and shrimp alfredo. He turned off the oven and took the garlic bread sticks out of the warmer.
"Hey baby. You made dinner?"
"Yup." He took off the oven mits and sat them on the counter.
Nicki smiled and looked over at SB. "Hey Faree. When did you get back?"
"Wuddup Nic. I got here like an hour ago. I'm not stayin long. Considerin I helped ya boyfrien out, I'ma grab a plate before I leave." He closed the fridge and Drake side eyed him.
"If you call burning a pot of water helping, then sure, you helped."
"Aye man, I forgot I was s'posed to be boiling water. Common mistake for a coon to make."
Nicki laughed at them. "You guys are a trip. Thank you both."
"No problem Nic." Safaree said while making his plate to go. He wrapped it up and grabbed his A&W Rootbeer off the counter. "I'm out."
"Bye Faree. Thank you for everything."
He closed and locked the door behind him. Nicki turned to Drake. "Did he really burn water?"
"Yea," Drake chuckled. "He was tryna get his laptop to turn on. I ain't tell'm you was the one who dropped it."
"Oh. Right...... well where were you Mr.Chef?"
"In your room."
Nicki suspiciously turned around and hurried to her bedroom. Her face lit up when she saw what was in it. Her bed was put together and made up. The drapes were up and the dressers and nightstands were where she told him she wanted them. Nicki ran back into the kitchen.
"I LOVE YOU! Oh my God thank you so much Aubrey!" She hugged him tight.
"You're welcome baby. IKEA delivered it while you were asleep. I thought them bein here would wake you, but you were knocked out."
"Have I ever told you I love you?"
"Well I love you."
Drake smiled. "Come on silly, let's eat before this food gets cold."
Nicki let him go and he made their plates. They went into the living room and sat on the couch. Drake turned on the television. Static was the only thing on. He turned it back off. "You uuh, call the cable people yet?"
"Faree did it. They'll be here tomorrow."
The two said grace and ate their dinner. When they finished, Drake washed the dishes. Nicki put the food away and they both headed into her brand new bedroom.
I apologize if Drake's responses seemed robotic or just plain predictable. I've never experienced situations like this personally so idk how that conversation should've went. PLEASE COMMENT BARBZ & BOYZ!! LOVE YOU LOTS!!! MUUUUAAAHHH!!!! ★ Oh! Thnx for last chapters comments, most I've ever gotten ^_^ Tank u!