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Sweet Heart

 

“Honey, I’m home!” Nikolaos called as he closed the door to the apartment. He could hear nothing, at all and that was weird because usually when he got home from work, Ryleigh would be home, blasting music, watching movies, cooking, doing something. It would never be this quiet. “Ryleigh? You home?”

He dropped his car keys on the side table and walked down the hall, knocking gently on her bedroom door before pushing it open and entering. She was on her bed, sleeping peacefully.

He frowned, noticing that something was off about her. He walked slowly to his best friend’s bed and sat on the side, stroking her soft cheek.

Ryleigh and him met at a party, at the time he needed a roommate and his friend told her that she was looking for a home since she was leaving her parents’ house. He spoke to her, they clicked and here they were, a year later. Ryleigh was African-American, where as he was Greek, well his parents were, he was born in NYC but always visited Greece.

Ryleigh had amazing long wavey black hair, with big light brown eyes with her beautiful soft and flawless brown skin. She wasn’t that tall, not tall compared to him, she was about five’five and he was six’one. Nikolaos had pretty soft bronze hair with his amazing emerald eyes and that sexy tonned body that he worked on to look good

His beautiful Ryleigh never was the type to cry, unless something really bothered her. Usually, she brushed things off, put her beautiful smile on her face and went about her day.

Although they looked absolutely different, they had almost everything in common. Same taste in music, in movies, in food, in books, in entertainment, color. His eyes looked over her small petite body, saw nothing different but when they landed on her face, he saw she had been crying. His beautiful Ryleigh never was the type to cry, unless something really bothered her. Usually, she brushed things off, put her beautiful smile on her face and went about her day.

When he had spoken to her earlier in the day, she sounded perfectly fine, he could tell the different between her being fine and bothered. So something must have happened after they hung up, but what?
He frowned and bent to kiss her forehead before standing up. He walked out of her bedroom, closing the door gently before he went to shower and change into a pair of sweats. He was shirtless when he walked out his bedroom. He liked feeling comfortable and Ryleigh and him never had a problem being comfortable around each other.


Today was a Friday and it was tradition to order take out, so he did. He knew that Ryleigh couldn’t have ordered anything, she probably came home straight to sleep. So he ordered and waited for it. An hour later, he had the food but couldn’t eat without Ryleigh. So he stood up from the sofa and made a move to the hallway but only to bump into Ryleigh. She looked exhausted but when she saw him, her eyes widened and her lips parted. They tood where they were at, a quite long distance between them as they stared at each other.

Ryleigh hadn’t noticed he was home, she didn’t think he’d be home anytime soon. Fridays he usually stayed late at work but today wasn’t one of those days obviously. She thought she’d be well cleaned up before he got home but she was wrong.

“Ryleigh,” he whispered. Oh the sound of her best friend’s voice. “Ryleigh, what happened?” She closed her eyes, remembering the phone call.

“Nikolaos,” her voice broke as she spoke his name.

He closed the distance between them, grabbing her face in his big hands softly. “What? What happened?”

“My brother,” she exploded into fresh tears. She thought she was done crying but obviously not. “My brother, he was killed!” Nikolaos’ eyes widened and he pulled her against him, holding her shaking body to him as she sobbed. “They killed him! They killed him!”

“My brother,” she exploded into fresh tears. She thought she was done crying but obviously not. “My brother, he was killed!” Nikolaos’ eyes widened and he pulled her against him, holding her shaking body to him as she sobbed. “They killed him! They killed him!”

“Who?” he asked softly. “How do you know? Who told you?”

“My mom, she called me at work and she told me he had been killed in the morning, there was a robbery at the gas station and he got shot, my baby brother!” Nikolaos picked her up and walked to the sofa, sitting down with her on his lap. He didn’t know what to say so he didn’t say anything. He just held her tightly and buried his face in her soft hair. She smelled of her strawberry shampoo and he couldn’t help smiling.

Ryleigh and her younger brother had been very close. They told each other everything, literally, everything. He was only a year younger than her, so they were practically twins.

“Ry, you should eat something,” he broke the silence with his soft voice. “I think you need to eat.”

“No, she’s trying to control my life again and I’m not going to let her,” she leaned into him. “Let’s go home Niko. I only need you and that takeout to feel better.” He chuckled and nodded.

“No Niko, I’m not hungry,” she pulled back and looked up at his pretty green eyes. He raised his hand and wiped her tears away. “I have to go to my parent’s house.”

“I’m going with you,” he nodded. She hugged him tightly before getting off his lap to go back into her bedroom. She hadn’t taken off her jeans and her white t-shirt. She just put on her blue converse and grabbed her coat. Nikolaos was already waiting for her, fully dressed with his peacoat on. He grabbed his keys and grabbed her hand, knowing she needed comfort.

The drive to her parents’ house was quiet. Neither said anything. He would quickly glimpse at her, to see her struggling, trying to hold her tears in. He frowned and parked, getting out to go open the door for her.

Together they walked into the building and took the elevator to the top floor, the penthouse. One of the reasons why she left home was because her parents thought they could control Ryleigh’s life with money.

The elevator opened into the living room and she saw a lot of her cousins, aunts, uncles, her grandparents and her parents in the living room, crying, consoling one another. They all looked up, crying louder when they saw Ryleigh. She went to sit between her parents, hugging them tightly. Niko stood off to the side, keeping his eyes on Ryleigh. He didn’t want to leave her alone and he wouldn’t.

“Why did you bring him?” her mother snapped at Ryleigh, glaring at Nikolaos. “He is not part of this family, he just broke our family more apart!”

“Mom!” Ryleigh cried. “Nikolaos is my best friend, he’s here because he cares about me! How dare you say that?”

“Care? He’ll get you pregnant and leave you stranded like a dog!” her mother snapped at Ryleigh. “Open your eyes!”

“My eyes are open,” Ryleigh looked at Nikolaos who was angry as hell, wanting to curse the lady out in his native language but instead held his tongue. “If you cannot accept Niko as my best friend, then him and I will both leave.”

He struggled to wake up before he noticed it wasn’t in his dream, it was Ryleigh. His eyes shot open and he saw her sitting on the bed, screaming her heart out. He sat up against the headboard and pulled her back until she was in his arms. She cried and cried, he just stood shut and soothed her.

“Ryleigh,” Nikolaos shook his head. “No, I’ll go, stay with your family, you need them.”

“No!” she stood up when he did. “I’m going with you.”

“Ryleigh!” her mother stood up as well. “I cannot lose both of my children in one day.”

“So apologize to Niko and we’ll stay,” Ryleigh looked at her mother. “Apologize to him!” Her mother raised her chin stubbornly and looked away. “Fine.” Ryleigh grabbed Niko’s hand and pulled him into the elevator. “Goodnight.” As soon as the elevator doors closed, Nikolaos turned to her.

“You didn’t have to do that, I could have waited downstairs for you,” he stroked her cheek.

“No, she’s trying to control my life again and I’m not going to let her,” she leaned into him. “Let’s go home Niko. I only need you and that takeout to feel better.” He chuckled and nodded.

After take out and a nice shower, they both rested on the sofa, staring at the TV in silence. His arms were wrapped tightly around her and she snuggled into him, hearing his heartbeat. “I miss him,” she whispered.

“I know you do,” he looked up at the ceiling. “I’m positive he misses you too.” She started to cry again and he frown, holding her tightly. “Cry it all out, I won’t let go of you.” She sobbed and sobbed and before she knew it, she was asleep. His eyes looked down at her and he wiped her tears away before he picked her up and took her to her room. He rested her on the bed and moved to go to his room but she stopped him.

“Niko, stay,” she whispered. “Come back.” He breathed in, turned off the lights, closed the door before turning back to her. He got on the bed and she wrapped herself around him. He held her small body to him and breathed in her scent, that slowly put him to sleep.

Nikolaos was deep into his sleep when he heard screaming. He struggled to wake up before he noticed it wasn’t in his dream, it was Ryleigh. His eyes shot open and he saw her sitting on the bed, screaming her heart out. He sat up against the headboard and pulled her back until she was in his arms. She cried and cried, he just stood shut and soothed her.

Late into the night, she had fallen asleep. He took the chance to go back to sleep.

In the morning, he woke up to find her gone. He sat up, waiting to hear the shower running but nothing. He stood up, walked out, hoping to hear cooking or something but nope.

He then found her laying on the sofa, asleep, with tears still slipping down her eyes.

His poor Ryleigh. He wish he could take the hurt from her, he’d do anything to be the one in pain and not her. What could he do? What could he do to make her better?!? He couldn’t stand to see his roommate and best friend in pain. Theos! He had to think of something!

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