Chapter 18
The Boxcar


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The Cottage
    "Hey we're here," Nikolas said, holding the door so Zander, Emily, and Elizabeth could go in. He expected Autumn to be on the couch but when he walked into the living room he saw his brother sitting on the chair. Nikolas could tell that he had been crying. Elizabeth walked over to him and gave him a hug. "What happened Lucky, where is Autumn?" Nikolas asked, panic creeping into his voice. "Did they find her again, where is she?" he continued.
    "Calm down Nikolas, Autumn is upstairs, I sort of upset her, I'm sorry," Lucky said. "What happened?" Elizabeth asked as Nikolas glanced towards the stairs. "I helped her lay down on the couch, then I told her that I could bring her upstairs if she wanted to rest after what had happened...I didn't mean to remind her of the rape, but she told me that it wasn't my fault, or yours Nikolas, that we couldn't get there fast enough, she...she...said that we shouldn't blame ourselves for not being able to help again. Then she blamed herself for the attack." Lucky said, fresh tears streaming down his face.
    Zander and Emily spoke up, "Maybe this isn't the best time for a get together? We can go do something and maybe come back." Emily said. "No she needs to have people around, I am going to go upstairs and get her," Nikolas said climbing the stairs two at a time. "I know all about blaming myself, maybe I should talk to her a little," Elizabeth said. "Maybe that's a good idea," Lucky said hugging Elizabeth closer to him. He wondered if they would ever fully recover from this intrusion into their lives, just when things were starting to go right for everyone.
    "Autumn, honey, I am home." Nikolas said quietly as he entered her room. I was half asleep and all I heard was the Autumn Honey part. Instantly I was back in my little room in the run down house in LA. Daddies Tom and Steve were in the room again and they wouldn't leave me alone. I fought this time and heard him groan as my nails scraped across his arm. Nikolas winced in pain and gently shook me to try to wake me from the nightmare I was obviously having. I just fought harder and succeded in hitting him in the eye before I finally woke up. "Nikolas, is that you?" I asked. "It's me, it's okay you were just having a bad dream." he said calmly. "Did I hurt you Nikolas?" I asked, looking at the scratches on his arm. "It's okay Autumn," he said hugging me gently. "I want the bad memories to just go away," I said putting my head on his chest and sniffling back the tears that were running down my face. "Everyone is downstairs would you like to come down so you don't have to be alone?" Nikolas asked. "Maybe for a little while, I need to apologize to Lucky," I said.
    Nikolas carried me downstairs, even though I could have done them myself with the railing and his arm for balance, but he wouldn't let me even try. Lucky came over and I quickly and quietly apologized for my outburst earlier. He just gave me a hug and then sent Elizabeth to tell me that if I needed to talk that she was there for me, and understood what I was going through. Zander and Emily were uncomfortable, so they left pretty quickly afterwards. On her way out Emily invited me to dinner at the mansion for the next evening along with Nikolas, Lucky, Elizabeth, and Zander. We laughed about Edward letting the deviant into the house.
    Lucky and Elizabeth also had to get back to Kelly's because Elizabeth had to open tomorrow morning bright and early at 8am. Nikolas carried me upstairs to go to sleep, but after 2 hours and at least six nightmares I couldn't go to sleep. Nikolas came running into my room after the latest nightmare, pausing in the doorway so he didn't scare me. His bare chest shone in the moonlight. "Is there anything you need Autumn?" he asked. "Can..can you just stay with me tonight?" I asked. He lay down next to me in bed holding me to keep away all the demons and watched as I finally fell asleep.

Chapter 19