Fandom: Harper's Island
Word Count: 2411
Ship(s)/Character(s): Nikki Bolton/Shane Pierce
Summary: His knuckles are red and raw from making contact with someone’s body; from making contact with someone’s face.
Notes: Mentions of violence and sex.
His knuckles are red and raw from making contact with someone’s body; from making contact with someone’s face. He flexes his hand and raps the damaged hand against the bar, leaning his tall frame against the old and scratched up wood, his forearms pressed against the lacquered surface. “Gimme a drink, Nick.”
He calls her that when he wants to get to her; he calls her that when he wants to see if he can get a rise out of her. He’s called her that since high school, when he used to lean against her locker next to Abby’s and they’d watch Jimmy whispering to Abby like they were sharing some big secret.
They’re sickening, ain’t they Nick? he would say. They’re sweet enough to give me fucking cavities.
It was the most they would talk then. This is the most they talk now.
“Didn’t mess your hand up in my parking lot, did you?” Her voice is calm; her tone is even but this wouldn’t be the first time he beat the crap out of someone in the parking lot of her bar; wouldn’t be the first time he beat the shit out of someone in her bar either. She’s called the sheriff’s department on him more times than she can count on both hands; had sent him off with the police so he could cool off in a holding cell so many times that she’s surprised that he doesn’t have a reserved cell.
“Nah,” he replies easily, an almost cocky smile curling up the corner of his mouth; his face shifting easily into amusement. She can’t call anyone on him this time; can’t send him to the place drunks all go to sober up that smells like piss and vomit no matter how many times they clean that place up. “Got into it down at the docks. Gonna give me that drink now?”
She doesn’t ask who he fought; he doesn’t offer up the information.
She slides a glass to him across the bar.
He makes his way over to where Jimmy is waiting by the pool tables, drink in hand.
The cocky smile never leaves his face.
Kelly hates to be in the bar when he’s there. At first she refused to come into it, when they had first broken up. After showing up there a couple of times and slipping into the bathroom to cover her bruises up she had tried to avoid the place altogether.
But now that she’s back there, now that she’s finally found the inner strength to show back up there- where else is there to really hang out on the island?- he always seems to find a way to get to her. Nikki watches from behind the bar as he goes up behind her and bends down to her height, whispering something into her ear that makes the damaged girl stiffen; his body shakes with almost unexplainable laughter at the sight of her fear and her discomfort.
“You ever gonna leave her alone?” she asks him when he finally comes over for a drink, eyes never leaving the bar as she wipes it down with the rag she keeps behind it. “It’s really fucking childish.”
“Why do you even care what I do?” he asks her.
“She’s my friend,” she tells him even though she shouldn’t have to; even though he knows that Kelly always came to her when things got really bad; even though he knows that she was the one encouraging Kelly to press charges and send him away. “You know,” she says after a moment as she looks up at him. “You kept bitching at Jimmy to get over Abby when she left. Maybe you should take your own advice and let Kelly go.”
“Not the same,” he tells her evenly. “Not even fucking close.” Abby had left the island; Kelly had left him. She’s there and he’s there. She didn’t jump ship and never show her face again.
“Not as different as you think it is, Shane.”
“If you really believe that Nick then you ain’t as smart as you think you are.” He drums his knuckles against the bar. “Gimme a fucking drink. If I want your advice I’ll ask for it. And then I’ll swallow my riffle for stooping that low.”
She gives him his drink.
He doesn’t speak to her for the rest of the night; he sends Jimmy over to get drinks when either of them needs them.
She hates closing up; hates having to clean up the mess that people tend to make of the bar. She gathers the glasses and brings them to the kitchen so she can wash them before opening up in the morning; she wipes down the bar and picks up the garbage people tend to leave lying about; she turns off the lights and heads outside, turning around and locking the door behind her.
“You ain’t afraid of nothin’, are you Nick?” He’s behind her, right behind her. She can feel the heat of his body close to hers, can feel his breath as he bends down to speak to her. His breath smells sour like whiskey and beer mixed together. His body smells like fish.
“I know everyone on the island,” she tells him, clicking the lock into place. Her keys go back into her pocket as she turns to face him, his face close to hers, his body bent at the waist so he’s more at her level. “Who am I supposed to be afraid of?” she asks him. “You?”
“Maybe,” he says evenly. “Maybe ya should be afraid of me, Nick.”
“Well, I’m not.” He’s twice her height, outweighs her by over fifty pounds. He’s temperamental and violent and has this hairline trigger and she knows somewhere inside of her that he could hurt her without a second thought; knows somewhere inside of her that out of everyone on the island she could possibly be afraid of it would be him that she should be afraid of. “If you were going to hurt me Shane, you would have done it a long time ago.”
“Maybe,” he concedes. She’s certainly pissed him off a good deal in the years they’ve known each other; she’s certainly gotten on his bad side, made him clench his fists and made his nostrils flare. And there were times when he thought about wrapping his big hands around her pale, pale neck and squeezing down; thought about shaking her and putting the same fear in her eyes he used to see there when his hand would go flying in Kelly’s direction; thought about shaking this tough girl to her very core and watching the layers of bravado peel away like layers of an onion into his hands.
“If you’re trying to scare me right now it isn’t going to work,” she tells him. There’s something akin to defiance in her voice; a rush of courage coursing through her veins. She’s never one to back down; she’s never been one to let a man shake her and she isn’t about to let him be the first one to do that to her. She would never give him the satisfaction.
“Not tryin’ to scare ya, Nick,” he tells her, his breath warm on her face, that sour smell stinging her nose. “Not tryin’ to fight with you either,” he tells her. “Not tonight,” he says. “I don’t wanna fight tonight.”
“You’re drunk,” she tells him unnecessarily. “I’m gonna go inside and call Jimmy. See if he can drive you home.” For some reason she can’t understand the idea of him getting into an accident on the way home makes her stomach clench; the idea of shattered glass covered in his blood upsets her and she reasons its because she’s known him her whole life; reasons that as much as she can hate him sometimes she doesn’t want to see him end up in the hospital, doesn’t want to worry that if she had cut him off sooner he’d be alright.
“He’s probably asleep,” he tells her. “Don’t wake him up, Nick,” he requests. “You don’t want me to drive then you can drive me. It ain’t like I live that far. I promise not to hurt ya, Nick. I told you: I don’t wanna fight.”
They don’t talk the whole ride to his house. She turns on the radio, hums along quietly to one of the songs. He joins in subconsciously, his eyes closed, his head resting against the seat like he could fall asleep right there, like the simple motion of the car could lull him into blissful dreams.
He doesn’t get out when she stops the car; she doesn’t try to make him move at first.
“We’re at your house,” she tells him after what seems like forever, looking at the scraps of metal and random junk lying around his yard. His yard makes him look crazier than he is; his yard makes him look like some kind of a hermit who sits on the porch with a shotgun.
She thinks maybe he’ll become that one day.
“Okay,” he replies. His eyes don’t open. He doesn’t move.
“That means you should go inside.”
“I know.” His eyes don’t open. He doesn’t move.
“Come on.” Her keys return to her pocket; she moves out of the car; she opens his door and wraps her hand around his arm even though she knows she can’t lift him.
He doesn’t make her.
He lets her act like she’s lifting him up; lets her lead him to the door; lets her take his keys out of his hand like he can’t unlock the door on his own.
“You should get some sleep,” she tells him as she leads him into his house. She tosses his keys on the table, lets go of his arm, turns towards the door to leave him in his unorganized house on his own.
“Don’t want to sleep,” he tells her. He pushes the door closed with one shove of his hand.
She turns to look at him.
He watches her; she watches him.
“Don’t really think sleep is gonna do much for me right now, Nick,” he tells her.
“Sleep always help,” she argues.
“Not always.” He watches her; she watches him.
He backs her up against the door; she moves willingly, her head tilting up so she can meet his eyes. She looks so small when he’s that close; looks so easy to shove and break and bruise. He can actually imagine the bruises he could cause rising up along the pale skin of her arms, of her neck. “Sleep only helps when you’re tired, Nick,” he tells her. His face is close to hers again. His breath is still sour; his breath is still warm against her skin. “And I ain’t tired.”
He reaches up, brushes some of her hair away from her face. His touch is surprisingly gentle.
He watches her; she watches him.
She knows what this is about. So does he.
“I don’t like you,” she tells him unnecessarily. It’s a given. They’re not friends; they’ve never liked each other.
“I don’t like ya either, Nick,” he assures her. “Not like that.” His calloused fingers brush against the side of her face; his calloused fingers brush against her lips. “You don’t gotta like me,” he tells her. “And I don’t gotta like you.”
“You just wanna use me. You just don’t want to be alone tonight.”
“So use me back,” he tells her.
They somehow make it to his room. His mouth is against hers, the contact firm, the taste of his tongue tangy and sour with stale beer and stale whiskey. His fingers are on her skin.
He tosses her shirt somewhere across the room.
Her back hits the mattress with more force than either intended. She undoes his pants; he tugs her jeans down over her hips. She kicks them off; he follows the denim with the removal of her thin cotton panties. His skin is rough against hers; his stubble scratches her cheek when he turns his head.
There’s no gentleness when he enters her. His mouth swallows any sound she might make. Her hips move with his; her nails dig into his back; her legs hook around his body. The bed creaks and groans; the moon paints them in pale light through the window and for a moment she thinks there’s something beautiful about this violent man; he thinks there’s something undeniably beautiful about this spitfire little blonde.
She climaxes biting on her tongue against the urge to cry out his name. He rides it out, reaches his own climax with a grunt.
He rolls onto his side so he doesn’t collapse on her; so he doesn’t crush her under the weight of his body.
He doesn’t say anything to her; she doesn’t say anything to him.
He doesn’t ask her to stay and she doesn’t ask if she can. She just stays and he just lets hers.
She’s gone when he gets up in the morning; gone before the alarm goes off and he has to get up and go down to the docks.
He calls Jimmy go pick him up; tells him he got a ride home; tells him he’ll pick up his truck when they go to the bar that night. He doesn’t tell him who gave him the ride; Jimmy doesn’t ask. He just brings him down to the docks; they just go out on his boat. He doesn’t mention Nikki; doesn’t mention the way she looked moving beneath him; doesn’t mention that she tasted like unsweetened chocolate, bitter but addictive.
He barely looks at her when he gets to the bar that night; she barely looks at him.
He shoots pool with Jimmy; she serves the patrons.
He heads over to the jukebox. He drops a coin in. He hits the buttons he needs to choose a song.
She looks up when the song they hummed in her car last night fills the bar.
Her eyes meet his, lingers a little longer than necessary.
The edge of his mouth curls up into that cocky smile again.
She thinks that next time she just might stay until he wakes up; might just give him a ride to the docks or to his truck if he has the day off.
She doesn’t doubt that there will be a next time.