"Nick, look at me! What is wrong? Talk to me, please!", I cry, holding his face between my palms. We gaze at each other , my face plastered with concern, his eyes glazed over with repressed sadness. He looks down to hide a warm tear rolling down his cheek, but it doesn't escape my attentions. I lift his face and gently caress his cheek to wipe away the tear. Then more begin to fall, sobs racking his underweight, beaten body. I pull him closer and hug him tightly into my chest, Nick snuggling as if he can't get too close and seeking comfort from the heat emanating off of my body. I snuggle back, murmuring sweet nothings to him in the hope of quelling his pain. We sit like this for awhile until his sobbing subsides to quiet murmurs and sniffles. I gently prise his tightly clutched fists from my shirt and again tilt his head so I can see his sodden eyes. "It's ok, Nick. I love you." I whisper. "Please tell me who's hurt you so badly. I can't stand to see you like this anymore." A ripple of light seems pass across his thin, starved face and he visibly considers my proposal, opening his lips ajar to answer me question, but he soon think twice and closes his mouth tightly looking down once again with an exhausted sigh
"I-it doesn't matter, Blade. I have to go. I'll be home just after you, I promise. There's something I need to take care of."
"Well what is it? You need any help with it?" I ask, now forming desperate excuses just to be around him. For the past three months, Nick has been avoiding contact with me like the plague. He has become so distant from me. I miss him so much. I miss his voice, his laugh, his smile, which are things he hasn't shown in a long time. I can't take much more of the secrecy and the spontaneous disappearances. Its gone on too long. He looks up to one of the windows above us, his eyes widening, accompanied with what looks like a gentle flutter of fear that suddenly forms in his gaze.
"No, its ok, I'll be fine on my own. Don't wait up for me." Without another word, he turns and heads back for the main building, leaving me standing dumfounded in the middle of the sidewalk. Another thing that has become strange: he never waits around to say goodbye. I miss that as he would always kiss me as if he would never see me again, as if it was our last moment to savour each others presence. I glance up to the window, the edge of the blind flitting down. Someone had been standing there moments before, but what, or who put him on edge? I don't understand. For a moment I contemplate following him just to find out what the hell is going on; to see if I can't get some answers to the mysteries behind his sudden change in behaviour, but upon reviewing the quick-amounting odds, I decide against it, for Nicks benefit. If it's something important then he will tell me in his own time and so I best give him some space. I don't think I'd get far anyway. I'm not to good with the whole mission impossible stuff, and it makes it even more impossible when Nick is the one I happen to be wanting to follow. It's as if he already knows what I'm thinking, and will be high on his guard. He will somehow find me out every time I go to steal his dessert from the fridge. Every, single, time. And with that, I turn around and head for the car. I have to get home before Nick.
Once I get inside and well out of Blades sight, I slow my pace from a fast walk to a cautiously slow step. I can't stop the trembling in my limbs and clenching my fists together shortly becomes a futile attempt in quelling it. I don't look back. What's the point? An open door just a tease. All I want to do is run as far and as fast as I can from this place. I want to run back to Blade and leap into his arms while smothering him with kisses, then drop down in front of him and pour away everything. All of my fears ,concerns and worries. This hallway seems to stretch away in front of me, making my journey longer and my steps shorter as I gaze blankly into the ever distant void of hallways and the bustle of people in the process of rushing home from work. I wish I could join them and go with Blade, but he's probably already on his way home and I have to stay, like it or not. Before I could keep track of where I was going I ram straight into someone walking the other way, sending us both crashing to the floor, the impact causing an expression of alarm to erupt from both our throats. A little dazed, I get to my feet and wrench my gaze to the man now splayed over the floor, covered in paper and folders from an open case. If it weren't happening to me, this whole scenario now playing out in front of me would have been quite comical to witness. This thought sends copious amounts of blood rushing to my face, warming it to a bright red and all too visible colour. "Shit, I am so sorry! A-Are you ok?" I move a loose page away from his face revealing his identity and the humour elevates a tad.
"Hey Lopez, going somewhere?" Damn it Mike.
"I bet you did that on purpose, didn't you?" I chuckle gently, a smile flaring on my lips. I offer a hand to help him out of the chaotic mess of paper and desk stationary scattered all over the floor. He takes it, heaving himself up with a grunt from the effort.
"No! Why would someone like me do something so terrible like that?" I raise an eyebrow at him. As if he or I need to answer that question. Mike Newland: Our development executive and one hell of a practical joker. On many occasions he has been fired for his pranks that had gone too far such as the memorable one he pulled on the boss as he waltzed in through an open door, not expecting the cleverly devised mechanism on the door which, as he kicked a wire at his feet, released a pie straight into his face. He was not happy at all and Mike got one serious talking to. Of course they re-hired him. No one in their right mind would ever just simply cast out Mike from a job. He's an incredibly hard working man with a level of tenacity that bridges inspirational, or just plain stupid if a woman is involved. His fun-loving and bubbly personality makes him the life of the party at gigs thrown by the crew and they even enlist his help with setting everything up sometimes although, despite his job role, he has been forbidden from placing the invites. Probably due to the fact that he wouldn't invite any of the other superior members of the film crew. He despises most of them because of their intolerance towards his definition of a laugh. Nor will they allow him to run the food stalls. No more said.
We look at each other and chuckle. "Nah, not this time Nick. I wouldn't do that to you." I drop down to the floor and begin to pick up the dishevelled paperwork, when a hand is gently placed over my shoulder. "Don't bother about that, I'll do it. You seem like you need to be somewhere." I look over at him as if he'd just slapped me.
" How the hell did you know that?"
"Oh, come on, Nick. Someone as vigilant as you getting knocked flying by an on coming person, clearly in your line of sight? Something has to be important for you to not notice something so obvious." He kneels down next to me and continues the work I started and caused in the first place.
"Thank you" I mumble seemingly to myself. I pat his shoulder a couple of times before marching towards the stairs. "See you 'round!"
"Yeah?" I turn back to face him.
"Watch out for the banisters. They're notorious for getting in the way!" Piss taker. I smile without another word and plod up the stairs in an almost tired fashion, the smile falling away from my face as soon as my back is turned, the quick-lived escape from reality collapsing to dust in my mind and all zealous thoughts disintegrate into nothing. It gets harder to place one foot in front of the other, my throat clenching uncomfortably. I reach the door and hesitantly raise a trembling hand to knock, bringing it forward, my knuckles rapping quickly and cautiously. As if my exact time of arrival had been known, the door clicks open and my breath hitches in my throat. I step inside, glancing each way, thoroughly checking each corner, ever so diligently edging my way further inside. I jump, letting out a shaky, terrified whimper while my heart audibly pounds away at my ribcage when the door slams behind me and a key turns in the lock.
((( I stand there for a moment, trembling like a leaf, unable to move. I wait for it; a punch, a kick to my back, but it never comes. In its place is an impenetrable silence that slices through my sanity. I start to hyperventilate, panic beginning to set in as I slowly turn around.
"You're late. Why?" I shrink back as he approaches, my gaze lowers to the floor. "...I-I was-"
"Talking to Blade, by any chance?" His stern gaze never wavers, as I dare to glance up. There is something more within his flaming green eyes, something sinister that chills me to the bone. A rage that seems to run as deep as his now scarlet red face. My trembling increases and I slink back ever so slowly until my back hits a nearby wall and I flinch, all the while, he gets closer to me until I can feel his rancid breath on my face. "I told you, you're not to go anywhere near him while you're here, unless you're working. So what part of that didn't you understand?" He clenches a trembling fist down by his side and pulls it back to throw a punch. I finch back and drop to the floor against the wall, covering my face to hide from his violent anger. A new, seemingly calm yet tense aura fills the room as he drops quietly down to my side.