You are Doing it Again Nikita Mirzani 4

Zack crossed his arms over his chest. “I wanted to be the only one to show her everything she wanted to experience.”

“Then you shouldn’t have sent her away. I’m trying to be understanding and see your side of things, but I happen to know and like Ryder. He’s a wonderful…”

Zack slammed his fist against the edge of the desk. “I don’t want to hear about how great a Dom he is, Xander!”

“Shut the fuck up and listen, you bastard.” Xander rose from his desk to lean over it, his nostrils flaring with anger. Zack realized he may have actually pushed his friend too far. He kept silent until Xander took a deep breath before he continued.

“Now as I was saying, he’s been a wonderful friend to me and ultimately Riley Reid. He was there for her when you weren’t. He’s the friend who called me the night that my baby sister went off the deep end.”

Zack clenched his jaw and mentally counted to ten. He couldn’t help but hear the accusation in Xander’s voice. Arguing with him wasn’t getting them anywhere. Releasing his breath he strove for calmness before replying. “What exactly are you accusing me of? You think I had anything to do with what she did or didn’t do out there? All I did was let her go.”

Xander sank back down into his chair. “I thought I understood your reasoning when you let her go. Not to mention, I swore to you I’d never get involved or takes sides between you and her, but it was damned hard not to when I get a two in the morning call from the man I asked to keep an eye on her telling me that he found her at the Golden Lotus.”

Zack paled as he recognized the name. It was one of the most extreme clubs in L.A. They didn’t have set rules or safe words from what he’d heard. He’d specifically warned Nikita Mirzani to stay away from that particular club before she’d left. “Fuck! I told her not to go near that place.”

“Either my sister didn’t know what she was getting into or she did it to spite you. My guess would be the later.”

“Damn her!”

“It gets worse, Zack. Ryder found her tied to a St Andrew’s cross being caned. From what he told me, she had used her safe word but the man caning her refused to stop. She was barely conscious when he finally took her off the cross.”

Zack paled. “Jesus Christ! Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because having you rush to her side would’ve only made it worse for her when you left again.”

Zack had a sinking feeling in his stomach. “If I’d had known, I wouldn’t have ever left her again. I didn’t want her to endanger her life, Xander, you got to believe me…” He closed his eyes against the burn of tears. “Please tell me she recovered from it.”

“Yes, she recovered from the cuts and bruises…but that’s all. She’s changed. I just hope you’re not expecting to her to fall back in her previous role in your life. She went through pure hell trying to exorcize you out of her system. Whether she did or not, I don’t know. Although you and I are going to come to blows if it happens again, friendship or not.”

Zack stilled. “So what am I supposed to do? Forget her? Forget about the missing part of me? I’m telling you right now I can’t do it.”

Xander nodded. “You really fucked up when you let her go, didn’t you? I can’t stop you from approaching her, but I going to ask that if she’s not willing to rebuild your relationship, you let her go - whether you want to or not.”

Clenching his jaw, Zack tried to subdue the urge to slug his best friend in the mouth. His friend knew how hard it had been for him to let Nikita Mirzani go in the first place and it went against the very fiber of his being to not reclaim her now that she was coming home. “She’s mine.”

“She was until you choose to let her go. You can’t expect for her to come to your side like a well-trained dog. It’s not going to happen. Despite your best intentions, she took it hard. If Ryder hadn’t been there, I don’t know where she would’ve ended up.”

“And I’ll thank him for that when I meet him.” He rubbed his hand over his face before looking at Xander once more. “Damn if I don’t know how to royally fuck my life up. I was trying to do the right thing. But all I know is that I’ve missed her like hell since she’s been gone. The prickly attitude she’s given me on her short trips homes hasn’t helped. All I’ve wanted to do is say screw it, then bend her over my knee before reclaiming what is mine without regards to her age.”

Xander looked sympathetic. “I know this hasn’t been easy for either of you. If you weren’t such a hard-headed bastard, you wouldn’t be in this position now. You should’ve never forced her to go, and she should’ve knocked you upside the head for even suggesting it. You were perfect together. But it did happen and now I have a friend who still wants my baby sister and a sister who’s changed - but not for the better I’m afraid.”

Silence grew in the room as Zack struggled with how to respond. He knew he’d fucked up royally not even a week after she’d flown out to L.A., but he had stayed true to his own personal code despite the pain and void of her absence in his life.

“Here.”

Dragging his eyes to the outstretched piece of paper Xander was holding in his hand.

“Take it.”

“You’re giving it to me? Even after what happened…” He couldn’t believe that Xander was doing. If it had been Hillary, he’d have beaten the hell out of Xander.