The Hot Zone

Chapter 28


After trashing the bedroom at the Club, Zander returned to Sonny's. He said nothing to anyone. He simply climbed the stairs, went into his room and locked the door behind him. No one bothered him for a while. But later the next day, Carly knocked on the door.


"Zander...can I come in?"


He thought about telling her no. But then he made himself get up and open the door. He even managed to thank her for the tray of food she brought him. Zander wasn't hungry though, and watched her set it on the dresser top. "I'm not good company," Zander told her.


Carly nodded. "Yeah...I know. But...I thought maybe you'd want to talk."

"I don't."


"Is there anything I can do?" As she asked, Carly pressed one hand to his face.

Zander didn't think, he simply reacted. He buried his fingers in Carly's hair and kissed her. He felt her respond and then they were tearing each other's clothes off. Zander lifted Carly onto the bed once she was naked. He laid her out then moved between her legs, opening her slick folds with his fingers then licking her before nipping at her nub of nerves. He brought her to a screaming orgasm then positioned himself to enter her. As he thrust into her wet heat, Zander bent his head to kiss Carly. He didn't want to think about this. This wasn't even about his own pleasure. It was all about giving pleasure to Carly because *he* wanted to. Because *she* would appreciate it for what it was. It was sex but it wasn't paid for. When Carly exploded again, Zander followed her over the abyss, then they came together in a tangle of arms and legs. Zander felt Carly combing her fingers through his hair. "I'm sorry," he whispered.


Carly kissed away his tears. "Don't be. I'm not. You're good for me, Zander."


"That's pretty funny." He got his emotions under control and managed a smile. "Thank you, for being my friend." Zander kissed her then slid out of bed. "I'm gonna go shower. I'm going out."


"Want some company?"

Zander shook his head, then went in search of clothes. He found jeans, boxer-briefs, socks and a tee shirt then headed into the bathroom. He stood beneath the shower spray until the water ran cold. Then he finished getting ready and when he opened the bathroom door, Carly was gone. Zander was relieved. He grabbed his wallet and his keys and headed for the door.


* * * * *


Zander went to Jake’s and made a hundred dollars playing pool. He kissed a pretty blonde and almost had sex with her but changed his mind. When she went to the ladies' room, Zander slipped out the door. He made his way to the docks and stood looking out at the water. A part of him was tempted to jump in and start swimming. Footsteps sounded behind him and Zander stiffened. He didn't have to turn around to know who was standing there. He could feel him.




"Hey, Nikolas." Zander responded, without turning around.


Nikolas moved to stand beside him. "How are you?"

Zander felt compelled to be honest. "I don't know." He didn't miss the pain that glimmered in Nikolas' eyes. Pain he had put there.


"You look beautiful," Nikolas whispered.


"Only you would say that," Zander replied, choking on a bitter laugh.


Nikolas shook his head. "You are beautiful, Zander. you have any idea how much I miss you?"


Zander felt himself start shaking. "D-don't...don't do that," he begged.


"I can't help loving you, Zander," Nikolas replied. "And I won't apologize for it."


"You shouldn't love me. You shouldn't.." Zander broke off as tears slid down his face.


Nikolas closed the distance between them, reaching out to brush the pad of his thumb over Zander's cheek, then he let his palm press against his face. "We love who we love," he breathed.

Zander said nothing, he couldn't speak. He could feel Nikolas' love wrapping around him like a warm blanket. But he didn't deserve it. He just stood there, watching Nikolas watching him. He stiffened as Nikolas pulled him into a hug, fighting him. But only for a moment. Zander didn't have any fight left in him. He found himself clinging to Nikolas, letting him support his weight as his knees buckled. He felt Nikolas rocking him and whispering softly in his ear to soothe him as tears rolled endlessly down his face.


* * * * *


Sonny was going over some business papers with Jason, when Alexis was announced. He gestured for Jason to let her in, then focused his attention back on his work until the thump of her briefcase on the table startled him. Sonny looked up at Alexis and he was a little put out to see that she was in full Cassadine mode again. "Something I can do for you?" he asked.


Alexis smirked. "No. You've done more than enough, Sonny. I just came here to inform you that I know what you did to Zander. I know everything. How you blackmailed him into dancing for you and then into whoring himself out, by terrifying him with death threats against me and my baby."

"I never threatened to hurt you, Alexis."

" used Sorel's threats and then Roscoe's threats. Nice work." Alexis' tone could have frozen lava. "What really amazes me is how you sold him to that sonofabitch, Arroyo. That...that I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around. And the stuff with his father.."


Sonny shook his head. "I had no control over that."

Alexis snorted. "But you did have control over Zander and when he was finally free of it all, you pulled him back here with more threats. Is he a good fuck, by the way?"


"What the hell!" Sonny was stunned. There was no way in hell that Alexis could know any of this unless someone had told her. Sonny knew Zander wouldn't have said a word, which left only one other person who knew everything. Sonny shook his head as he turned to glare at Jason. "You told her." It was a statement, not a question.


"Everything," Jason conceded.


Sonny couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Why? Why would you do that? You betrayed me."

Jason didn't blink as he held Sonny's gaze. "It's not about betrayal. You forced me to make a choice, so I did."

"You chose Zander?"



Rising to his feet, Sonny confronted the one man he thought he could trust, without question, in all things. "Why?" He had to know. He had to understand this.


Jason almost smiled. "Because it was the right thing to do," he said softly, then he turned and walked away.


Sonny watched him walk out the door then turned back to Alexis. "So you know. It changes nothing."


"It changes everything," Alexis drawled. "You have no idea how much this cost you, Sonny. And you never will. But know this. If you ever come anywhere near Zander again...I will destroy you. And you won't see it coming." With that she picked up her briefcase, turned on her heel, and strode out the door.


"Fuck!" Sonny hissed, as he sat back down. And for the first time in a long time, he felt truly alone.


* * * * *


Nikolas watched Zander sleep. After letting Zander cry himself into exhaustion on the docks, Nikolas had brought him home, to Wyndemere, where he belonged. Zander hadn't said a word. He had simply done whatever Nikolas asked him to do. That frightened him a little. It was as if the fire in Zander, his passion in all things, had burned out. Nikolas wanted the fire back. He had put Zander to bed, not bothering to do anything but pull his boots off before letting him stretch out on the covers. Then Nikolas had covered him with a blanket before stretching out beside him. That had been almost two hours ago and Nikolas was content to simply look at him. He had meant it when he called Zander beautiful. And in sleep he possessed a heartbreaking innocence that Nikolas felt compelled to protect. "I love you, Zander," he whispered, as he smoothed the dark hair back then leaned in to brush a kiss to his lips. Zander didn't stir. Nikolas smiled then finally let his own eyes drift closed. Zander was home again, and now Nikolas could finally sleep.



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