Chapter 31

Around three Brian called the house to check in with Nick. Nick told him what had happened. "Oh my god, is she okay?" "Yah, she fell asleep on the couch, I'm going to wake her up soon and have her eat something. She's really scared, I'm going to stay here with her tonight. She's afraid he might come back and hurt her or Manda." "Maybe I better stay too, just to be safe." Brian said. "Brian, what's going on?" Manda asked in the background. "Shh, I'll tell you in a minute." "Okay, Nick we are going to stay here a bit longer, call me if you need anything." "I think we'll be fine Bri, but thanks. I'll see you guys later." When he hung up with Brian he called his mom and told her what happened. "Oh, Dear Nick can I help in anyway." "I think we'll be ok, but thanks. Look why I called is Amanda is really shaken up and I don't want to leave her alone tonight. Would it be all right if I stayed here?" "Of course sweetheart, I trust you, just be sure and check in with me tomorrow okay." "Okay mom, thanks, I Love You." "I love you too Nicky, now go be with your girlfriend." "Bye Mom," he said and hung up the phone.

Then he went back into the living room to check on Amanda. She was lying on the couch curled in a ball. He sat down in the chair and turned the TV on quietly. A little while later he heard soft moans coming from the couch. He looked up and Amanda was tossing and turning. "No, stopped leave me alone," she cried thrashing her arms. "Nick, help me," she sobbed. He ran to her side and tried to shake her awake. "No, get away from him, no don't hurt him, no stop, NICK," she screamed then she shot straight up in a cold sweat. Her eyes searched the room frantically and then she saw Nick. "Nick," she cried throwing her arm around his neck, "you're okay." "Of course I'm fine, you were just having a nightmare." "It was so real," she sobbed. "He came back and you were sleeping downstairs in the chair and I was in the bathroom. I came out and he was hitting you. You were on the ground and you weren't moving. Nick what have I dragged you into?" "What are you talking about?" "Nick, you may be in danger because of me. If you want to back out now I understand." "Are you crazy, I won't leave you. Amanda I love you and..." he stopped realizing what he just said. She looked at him with big eyes. He took her face in his hands, and told her gently, " I love you with everything in me and I won't ever let anyone hurt you. Now and Always, I will protect you from anything and everything." "Nick, until this moment I thought I would never hear those words and know that the person saying it truly meant it. But you changed that, I know from your eyes that you aren't lying and I hope you can see in mine that I'm not either when I say, I love you too." He pressed is lips gently to hers, "I will never leave you," he whispered.

Back at the beach Manda was still stressing out about her friend. "Brian, maybe we should go back." "Manda, they are fine. Nick is there with her and more than likely the guy won't come back." "I know I guess I'm just worried. I mean he was so mean to her when they dated. He was so violent and she was scared. She didn't know how to get out of the relationship, he threatened to kill her if she broke up with him." "Are you serious?" Manda nodded, "that's why I'm so glad she found Nick. I can tell there is nothing in this world that would make him want to hurt her." "Manda, Nick is my best friend, and I know that he would throw himself off a bridge to save her. He would never even consider raising a hand to her. He would go to any measure to protect her, just like I would for you." She stroked his cheek gently and smiled. " I love you."

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