A/N: This is a longer chapter, let me know what you think of it! Every review is appreciated!
As with everything in his life, Nico knew this wouldn't come easy.
Just as Nico was about to tell Dani exactly what and how much he felt, his phone started vibrating in his pocket.
Dani sighed from inside his embrace, "Go on, pick it up. I know you want to. God knows what calamity might befall u if you don't"
Although Dani was vocally giving Nico permission to let go of her, her body language didn't change. Her hands were still on his chest and she made no attempt to move away from his embrace.
"I know that you are an extraordinary woman but today you astound me."
"And why is that Mr. Careles?"
"Firstly, there is no fear in your eyes. I haven't ever been with a woman who wasn't a tiny bit afraid or apprehensive about me" said Nico
"Even Gabrielle, despite all her poise and dangerous aura, was wary of me"
"Ok, rule number 1 Mr. Careles, we are never going to talk about your previous, um, liaisons"
Chuckling at the tough look on Dani's face, Nico glanced at the caller ID flashing on his phone.
It was Gabrielle.
From the look on Dani's face, it was clear she had seen it too.
"Aren't you going to answer?" asked Dani tentatively. For a second Nico glanced at his phone and the back to Dani.
"Not tonight Doctor, Gabrielle can wait. I was some pressing engagements" Nico smirked as he brought Dani closer to him.
The wonderful moment was broken by the sharp tone of Nico's phone receiving a message.
Force of habit made him look at his phone again but he also did not miss the slightly chagrined expression that appeared on Dani's face.
"I apologise Doctor, but I will just check this text and we can continue...this"
"Ok ok. I know, it must be something important. I'm right here though" said Dani as she smiled slightly.
She decided that she liked being the reason Nico Careles was distracted. She knew this sight was not a common occurrence at all. She discreetly studied the fine features which made Nico Careles and extremely attractive man. What attracted Dani the most was his protective aura and how ready he was to take care of her. She would like that. She would like someone to take care of her. Especially if said someone was the man currently holding her.
Dani mentally sighed at the interruption but didn't mind. She knew it was his job and part of the reason she liked him was that he was always there for other people when they needed him. "Like he was there for me, tonight" thought Dani.
Nico smiled at Dani, release her from his arms and looked at the text.
From: Gabrielle PitmanJuliette has OD'd. I need you. Please.
The world was spinning around him. Nico felt like the wind had been knocked out of him as he tried to steady himself by holding on to one of the chairs in Dani's kitchen. This couldn't be happening. His mind started running through all the possibilities and he didn't like what he saw. He was sure Juliette was safe and ok. Marshall had told him, infact he had promised him.
Dani immediately put both her hands in each of arms to steady him. She was scared; she had never ever seen him like this. Never seen him out of control. It must have to do with the text he got.
"Nico! Is everything ok? Is everyone safe? Is it TK again? Was someone shot again? Answer me, Nico you're scaring me, Nico. Please"
That word brought him out of his stupor as he passed his phone to Dani, his face stony and expressionless, so she could read the text he had just received.
Dani grew wide-eyed as she took his phone and read the text. She knew how much Juliette meant to Nico, even if she wasn't his biological daughter, he would never stop being her dad.
"Oh my gawd Nico! That's terrible! Are you ok? Please Nico, you have to be strong now. For Juliette, you need to be there for her. Go please!"
3 years ago:
"Mr. Careles, I just got word from the detail you put on Ms. Pitman"
"What did they say, Carl?"
"Well they said that she wanted to give you, uh, a message."
"Oh. What message?"
"Ahem, I'm quoting directly, 'Hey Nico, if you don't want me knowing about the security detail you have following me, maybe you should make them less conspicuous, and if you want to actually protect me, you should be here yourself.' that's all, Mr. Careles"
"Thank you, Carl"
"Nico! Nico! Can you hear me? Are you ok?"
"I should have been there; I should have been protecting her. This is my fault. How could I have let this happen?" Nico's voice clearly strained from the tension and pain.
Dani saw the anguish and regret clearly visible in his eyes, and decided she had to go into therapist mode in order to make sure Nico was fit to function.
"You listen to me, Nico Careles, this is NOT your fault. You are not to blame yourself here. You could neither have predicted this nor prevented Juliette from doing this. You have protected her amply. What you actually need to do now is to go make sure she is ok. The only way for you to quell your regret is to be with her right now. Remember my words Nico, you are not at fault. And don't you dare try giving me a dollar today."
With Dani's words ringing in his ears, Nico stood up and regained his composure. His immovable façade had slipped slightly but he has ok with it because he knew he could trust Dani.
"Thank you Dr. Santino, for the kind word and the honesty. I will contact you later. Our conversation here is not finished." said Nico calmly, as he slowly moved away from her and towards her door.
Although slightly hurt because they were back to professional last name basis, Dani caught his arm as he started to walk away. "Nico" whispered Dani
"Yes, Dr. Santino?" said Nico as he turned around. Quick as flash, she grabbed him in a hug. It took Nico a second to regain his footing as he raised his arms to hug her back.
"It's going to be ok, Nico, she's going to be ok." whispered Dani with a sob stuck in her throat.
"I hope so, Dani, I hope so." sighed Nico as he rubbed his hand on her back. The physical feeling of her hugging him and her assurance that everything was going to be ok, gave him strength. The strength to face whatever was out there tonight.
Dani broke the hug and said, "Now go, and take care of Juliette. And promise me one thing. Nico."
"You'll take of yourself too and you'll come back to me. Safe and whole." said Dani with a worried look on her face.
"I haven't been whole for a long time now, Dani." he said while making his way to the door and finally exiting.
"Goodbye, Nico. Take care." she whispered for no one as he had already left.
Dani was terrified for him. She knew how much he cared for Juliette. To him, Juliette, was his daughter. No matter what biology said.
Dani prayed that he would strength to fix this.
She prayed for the man with anguish and pain in his eyes.
She prayed for her Nico.
What did you think? Did you like it? What will Nico do? How is Juliette? Find out in the next chapter! Till then, keep reading and reviewing :D