Apr 9,2017 at 1:01 AM
It was Sage's turn to host game night with his friends. Normally I found some excuse not to go to their house, but it was at his house tonight. There was not an excuse in the world I could think of that would make me say no when Sage invited me to his house. He said, "Hey, babe. I know you don't normally want to hang out playing board games. But could you cook for me? I'll opt out of the lobster if you impress them."
I could still cook him lobster. And I still will, but tonight the grocery store calls. It's game night and I have to make something. I could impress with steak, but that's not game night food. So I'll make game night foods from scratch - pizza, wings, various other finger foods, but better than the restaurant and fast food joints.
The music in the grocery story was playing softly in the background. Nothing fancy but it had a decent beat and I couldn't help myself as I sorta danced through the aisle picking up all the things I needed to cook for Sage and his friends. I know I was getting a few stares and people would stop and watch.
The cart wasn't the best dance partner, but it would definitely do for now.
"This city," I muttered as I shook my head and looked away from the woman who was really a man selecting lemons by talking to them. Yes talking to them.
"What was that Alex?"
"Oh nothing baby," I said as we turned down the next aisle and strolled slowly along.
Ahead of us, a dude with blue tipped hair was dancing with his shopping cart and people had stopped to watch. He had moves and a decent body too. I cut my eyes to my girl who had come to a stop and was watching like everyone else, a smile tilting her lips.
"Hey," I protested and bumped her hip with mine and she looked up at me, unrepentant.
"What? I can't help it if he's there dancing," she said with a grin.
The crowd started to move and so did we, we were almost level with the dancing wonder when she said, "You could learn a thing or two from him Alex. He has some excellent moves."
I threw the last ingredient into my cart. The crowd was thinning. The center of attention. I always seemed to gather a crowd when I was being a dork as Jace would put it. Mia thought it was endearing, Jace not so much.
A couple was watching me, a cute couple. I grinned at them as she spoke to her friend, I heard perfectly what she said and when she walked past me I grabbed her hand with a smile, "Dance with me, Duckling."
I offered my hand to her friend, "You can join too."
"Sure I can, but I wont thanks," I declined with a half smile and crossed my arms over my chest. "You go ahead Duckling," I added needlessly as the blue haired boy started shaking it with my girl. Shaking it, grinding it.
I heard her say, "He really can dance, he just chooses not to." Then in her chatty way, she was telling him how we'd recently moved to the city and both found jobs at a club called Aspect.
She didn't mention her writing aspirations or that I wrote music but that was the real reason we were here. In the meantime, being a barback paid the bills and we competed to see who got the biggest tips each night too.
I watched them for one dance before I reached out and snagged her arm. "Time to go Duckling, say good bye to your friend."
She moved with every ounce of grace a woman should. I think I played a little too hard to make her boyfriend jealous. You don't move together with someone unless you are best buds, or you are sleeping together. And I honestly didn't think they were just friends. And working Aspect... I mumbled something about having not been clubbing in a while. Not for a few weeks. It wasn't Sage's thing and I tended to just want to hang with him, plus having a three-year-old kinda put a damper on things.
He reached out and grabbed her arm. I snickered at his use of my endearments. I had at least triggered a reaction from him. I watched them walk a short distance away admiring what I would have tried for. I almost wanted to, they were both making my mouth water, but I was cooking for my boy tonight and I was going to be bored out of my mind with the games. I hated them. But Sage and his friends had a good time.
"Being new and all, " I called out after them, "if you don't have anything going on. We are getting together with some friends - board games, food. And me... of course."
"Bye," she sighed and waved her fingers as I towed her a few steps away.
"You want to take him home?" I asked, my voice low and teasing.
She leaned against my shoulder and fanned herself as a blush spread over her cheeks. "I don't think I could handle you both. He's so pretty," she added, her voice soft and dreamy.
I didn't have to look back to agree with her. Dancing dude was my height but leanly muscled, his blue tipped hair had that casually messy styled look, while his manscaped stubble and eye liner drew attention to his lips and eyes.
Girls and boys would both call him eye candy, and he seemed fine with that.
"I think you'd handle him just fine if you wanted baby," I murmured as my hand squeezed her hip.
"You would too," she teased back and for a moment I could picture it. Her pressed between us, her lush curves a contrast to his harsher angles, her black hair with it's purple streaks blending with his blue tips as he leaned down to kiss her then my hand in his hair as I pulled his mouth to mine.
I swore under my breath and blinked the vision away as I shoved a hand through my short black hair, no doubt making it stick up all over the place.
She reached up and patted my clean shaven jaw. "It's been a while since we got our kink on baby but I don't think he's available to play with."
Before I could reply, his voice sounded from behind us. "Being new and all, if you don't have anything going on. We are getting together with some friends - board games, food. And me... of course."
I heard the we so it seemed she was right and the only games on offer were board games. Still, it could be a fun night. And we'd get to see this pretty boy again.
"Why not," I called back and with a soft squeal of glee Dee sauntered back to him.
"I'm Dee and that's Alex," she introduced with a head tilt in my direction. "When and where do you want us?"
I couldn't see her face but I'd bet my blue eyes, she was giving him her most innocent look, golden brown eyes wide and guileless.
He looked at me with a grin then back down and I didn't hear his reply but a minute later she was backing away from him, a piece of paper in hand. "See you soon Nox," she said sweetly then turned to me with a grin. "We have a couple of hours to kill, any ideas?"
"Oh one or two," I assured with one last look at Nox. "I hope he cooks as well as he dances, I think I'll have worked up an appetite."
I smirked as I listened to their conversation as they walked away from me. Maybe my offer was a little bit too much, but I couldn't take it back. Maybe they would say no. But I was wrong. He agreed without much pause. I smiled at her as she walked back. His blue eyes met with mine, his weren't the same color as Sage's.
She came over introducing them. Her smile made my fears melt away. They would at least be fun to look at while Sage and his friends did the geek thing. I wondered what they'd play this time.
I leaned down and whispered, "I'm Nox, Duckling. A pleasure." I took her hand and kissed the third knuckle on her. She walked back to Alex and I enjoyed the way she moved before I headed towards checkout. And ultimately home.
I sent Sage a text, "I invited a few people over. Hope you don't mind."
Sage's reply was almost instantaneous. "Never a problem unless you don't bring enough food."
Sage's house was a two story brown cornerstone house. It looked identical to every other house on the street, and in the neighborhood. His neighbors were both wolves which is why he bought the place. It felt safe to him. But I was normal today. No magic. Drake was already wearing his brown-eyed glamour.
The little man wrapped his arms around me and hugged him tight. Sage came into the entry way with a grin. "Did you make new friends love?"
I told him about the dancing with the girl and inviting them over. My love frowned at me and I reassured him. "I only intend to have someone to talk to."
"So you didn't want more?" He was upset.
I stopped inches from my love. "I looked, and I danced. But I won't do more. Why would I want to. I have everything I need and want in you."
Sage frowned, "You know what I'm afraid of."
I grabbed the star of his Captain America shirt and pulled him to me. "Love. I know. I want nothing more than you. How can I prove it?"
Sage chuckled softly as he marked my neck. I wanted to do more but my love left me hanging. So I headed to the kitchen with my groceries and started cooking. Sage got ready for game night and Drake played happily in the living room with his plethora of toy cars. Sage kept finding new ones. I think he enjoyed adding more and more unique cars to Drake's already massive collection. We'd gone back to his place three or four times to find missing ones he had to have. Thankfully the rent was paid for another two months. We'd almost cleaned out the whole place now.
The music was loud in the kitchen - my favorite dance tracks and like the grocery store I danced around making food to impress Sage's friends.
Close to the allotted time we made our way to the address Nox had given Dee which was only a couple of blocks from the apartment we were renting. We were a few minutes late because Dee hadn't wanted to appear over eager though I knew she was excited. My girl loved playing games and meeting new people so I really couldn't have planned our 'date night' better.
Me? Games were a bit boring but I could play along for a while or just watch and plan.
"I hope they like us," Dee whispered as we stepped up to the front door.
"What's not to like," I teased with a pat on her hip.
She turned to smooth my tshirt over my chest, rolling her eyes at the 'Bad decisions make good stories' slogan. "Let's just... behave?" she quirked an eyebrow and said hopefully.
"Babe! Aren't I always good?" I teased even as I slid my hands down to squeeze her jeans clad behind.
"Oh, always," she said dryly then turned back to the door.
I stepped back and shoved my hands into my pockets while we waited for the door to open. I tried to look as non-threatening as a six foot solidly muscled dude could look. Dee said my baby blue eyes were kind and I had a nice smile so I pasted that on. Dee was my ultimate accessory though. Half a foot shorter than me, softly curved in her pink unicorn tshirt and blue jeans, she looked harmless.
The door opened to reveal a grinning Nox with a bruise on his neck and I couldn't help but smirk since I had marked Dee in the same way. I couldn't wait to see who had staked that claim...
Most of the food was done, and I smelled like a cook after all that cooking. I grabbed a shower and pulled on one of Sage's t-shirts and a pair of shorts. There was a knock on the door as I came down the stairs. Sage looked up from his place on the floor playing cars with Drake. I wondered if we needed to work on Drake's glamour around humans. His golden hair was hardly normal, and his black skin was not your typical color either. At least we hadn't had to deal with scales yet.
I smiled at my love which he returned. I opened the door to find Alex and Dee standing in jeans and t-shirts. Dee had an almost matching bruise and I laughed as I stepped aside to let them in. "Why hello, there."
I let my new friends into Sage's living room where he lay on the floor on one side with Drake and pile of cars between the two of them. "Love, this is Alex and Dee." Sage stood up with a smile on his face and in his bright blue eyes. "Guys this is Sage. Our gracious host."
Drake ran up and curled his arms around me. I picked up the little man and hugged him. "And this is Drake."
A timer in Sage's kitchen went off. "I need to get that." I put the boy down
Sage smiled at the new comers Nox at least had good taste in his new friends. Sage was happy to see the mark on the girl's neck. He might have been worried like Sage was worried about Nox, but maybe the night wouldn't end up in a fight. Sage offered his hand to Alex with a smile. "Nox, has a habit of making new friends every where he goes." In the human world anyway, in his own he made more enemies than friends.
Part of his magic had to be charming humans. The door to the kitchen opened when Nox went through and the door swung behind him letting in all the smells of his cooking. Sage's stomach rumbled. "I don't think I can wait till the others get here. You hungry?" Sage asked his guests.
I shook hands with the tall dark and handsome Sage thinking that between him and Nox, Dee would be in man candy heaven. Then there was the kid with his stunning combination of hair and skin, deep soulful eyes and sweet smile. He probably had everyone wrapped around his little finger.
"I'm always hungry," Dee said with a grin. "And something smells delicious," she added and followed in Nox's footsteps.
That left me alone with Sage and a bit of tension. I wondered what Nox had told him about us to make him tense. Had Nox heard my comment about taking him home and relayed it? If so, was he angry about it, jealous?
"It does smell good," I said with a nod towards the kitchen. "Dee and I really appreciate the invitation tonight. We've only been in the city for a couple of weeks and it'd be nice to make some new friends."
I stressed the word friends, hoping Sage knew I meant just that. Sure the two men were gorgeous and would be fun to play with but at this stage making friends was more important to Dee and by extension me, than finding new people to have sex with.
I left Sage with my words and made my way to the kitchen, slipping my arms around Dee's waist and pulling her against me. Words were good but actions spoke louder. I would be the possessive Neanderthal tonight, make sure Sage, Nox and their friends knew Dee was mine.
It wasn't long before the others joined me in the kitchen. Drake was close on my heels and scrambling into his bar stool at the island. His plate from dinner sat empty minus the few crumbs and vegetables he hadn't eaten.
Dee walked in behind him with her pink unicorn shirt minus her beau. That was going to be an awkward situation for Sage. I kept my hearing to myself. I tried not to pry into Sage's affairs unless I absolutely had to. But they soon followed with Alex scooping up his girl to his side, as if the mark on her neck didn't say the same thing. Sage chuckled, "Alex, I don't think you need to worry about Dee." Sage looked at me with a twinkle in his eye that meant he was about to out me. "She has more to worry about if you ask me."
I stuck my tongue out at my boyfriend and watched his eyebrow raise in question. I promptly turned on my heel and grabbed the plate I'd fixed for him knowing he was hungry. I pushed dinner in front of him and pulled two more plates from the cabinets above the island in the middle of Sage's gorgeous kitchen. "There is normal food, chicken with a garlic white wine and a side salad with the same sauce on the stove. The food for later is over there - pizza, wings, other finger foods that his friends like to eat. Help yourself."
Drake piped up. "Ice-cream!"
I turned to my little dragon with a smile and saw Sage frowning at him. I grinned at my love, "He already ate." I pointed to his plate. "I won't anger the dinner gods in your house." Sage rolled his eyes as I set the bowl of ice-cream down in front of Drake. "After you are done, you will go to bed without a fuss. No hanging on Sasha or Alice or trying to hide behind Bryan thinking I won't move him, do you understand me?"
Drake nodded as he popped the vanilla ice-cream into his mouth.
Sage turned his attentions on his guests, "Nox tells me you are working at Aspect?"
"That's right," I answered Sage as Dee plated the food. "Mostly behind the bar but I've worked the door a few times."
"It's hard work but fun," Dee added as she placed a plate of food in front of me. "Alex and I compete for tips but he usually wins." She pouted up at me and I just shrugged.
Aspect was just one of those clubs where the patrons were open and friendly and I didn't mind flirting with the boys and the girls for tips whereas Dee was pretty much just into boys and it showed.
Nox and Sage were looking at me expectantly as I swallowed. I let my eyes linger on Nox as I said, "You know how it is, you put on a bit of eyeliner, a tight tshirt, fix your hair just right and everyone wants you. Some of them think if they tip you enough, they can have you."
Sage laughed. "Dee, you have your hands full, if he's anything like Nox."
There was a knock on the door and then the doorbell buzzed four times. Sage sighed. "Sasha's here."
I grinned. "I'll get it." I started for the door leading down the hall to the front door.
Sage put his hand in the middle of my chest to stop me. "Yeah. No. Last time you got the door you were half naked and nearly killed Alice with embarrassment. I don't want a repeat performance." Sage grabbed his plate and headed for the door.
I shrugged. "Suit yourself." I turned to our guests with a grin. "He thinks I deliberately embarrass him. It's not my fault that his friends showed up after my shower unannounced and he was still working."
I could hear voices coming down the hall. I heard Sasha's chipper voice coming closer. Bryan and another male voice in the living room. I couldn't hear Alice but she was there somewhere. "Alex, Dee, I'd like you to meet Sasha." I said as she walked into the kitchen carrying Sages plate and eating it.
I sighed and turned to make Sage another plate since Sasha was eating his dinner. Sasha chirped. "Oh my god, Nox. This is awesome."
I rolled my eyes. "I know." I handed Sage another plate. "You didn't have to steal Sage's food, Sasha."
Alice came in from the living room. "I figured, since Nox..." She stopped once she saw someone else in the kitchen with us. She saw Alex and smiled then noticed Dee in her pink unicorn shirt but turned back to Alex. "Hi."
I laughed. "Down girl. You were saying."
She looked at me with a frown. "We could play Pictionary first something you might like, and Drake can play till it's bed time."
I shrugged. "I'm just here to cook."
Sage looked at Alex and Dee, "You two game? If you play he might join in."
I finished eating as a blonde woman came into the room but she was too busy devouring Nox's delicious food for a proper introduction. She was quickly followed by Sage who Nox was obviously determined to feed, then another blonde woman, her voice preceding her.
She broke off to eye fuck me and say "Hi" in a way that I'd heard many times before. Invitation, innuendo, what ever you wanted to call it, her voice was full of it. Judging by Nox's laughing reaction it was normal for her so I ignored it and stole a forkful of food from Dee's plate.
Since Sasha was eating I figured the talker was Alice, the one Nox had impressed with his near nudity and the way she was frowning at him... I couldn't tell if she was annoyed at him interrupting her or wishing his clothes away.
Nox shrugged and said, "I'm just here to cook."
What had they been saying? Something about Pictionary?
Sage looked over and asked, "You two game? If you play he might join in."
"Sure thing," Dee agreed quickly, her little people pleaser tendency showing.
I shrugged as Nox had and couldn't resist teasing, or as Dee would put it, being an ass hole. "Whatever Nox wants. I can do dishes, serve food, or play games. His choice."
I looked Alex up and down afterwards. Sage rolled his eyes as he put his arm around Dee. "Come on, then. Leave these two party poopers to the kitchen, you can be my partner unless these two decide to play." Sage grinned at me and stuck his tongue out at me. It wasn't my thing, but he started it. It was a quick walk those few steps between us, his arm still around Dee. I pulled him close by the star on his shirt. I loved this shirt - not as much as the Iron Man one, but this was one of my favorites. It fit him just right, not too big, not too small, but damn he looked good in it.
Normally he'd ask me to stick out my tongue again. I wasn't going to be so coy I was going to take what I wanted and planted a kiss on his lips hard and wet and the moment my lips touched his and he got over the initial shock that I was being so aggressive, I felt the blush rising in his skin. His blush was cute but he was mine and he relaxed into me, both hands against my chin before we finished.
When the kiss was done Sage was still blushing but he was staring at me dreamily. I loved that look in my love's eyes. I leaned my forehead against his and whispered, "I'll be good. I'm not going to promise no touching, but it won't go any farther."
Sage nodded his head unable to really say anything, he was still catching his breath. Sasha grabbed me by the ear and pulled me down close to her face. "Ow." I said but she didn't care as she started in on me. "If you hurt Sage I will kick you three ways to Sunday."
I grinned across at Sasha and stood up, my ear she still had a hold on brought her close to me as I looked down on her short little body and she gulped. "I wouldn't dream of hurting Sage."
Sasha stuck her tongue at me and I leaned down making Sasha scramble away. "No way. You aren't sucking me, into that ...." Her word made me grin and she blushed, her pale skin turning a rose color before she turned on her heel and took Sage and Dee by the hand and dragged them through the kitchen door into the living room, leaving me with Alex.
I turned with a grin to Alex, I gave him a very obvious once over - probably for the third or forth time since meeting him, but I didn't hide this time. I picked up the plates that had been left and put them in the dishwasher - the glories of modern technology and a boyfriend who's apartment had everything. "There really isn't much left to do, except take he food out there so they don't have to come in here."
I wrapped a long arm around Alex's shoulder and grinned. "Normally, I'd stay and hide in here, but you are far too tempting to be left alone with." He was tempting but Sage trusted me to behave myself and I would. Even being alone with Alex I could. The problem was, deep down I didn't want to behave. It was hard breaking years of habit, years of flirting with whoever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I love Sage. I so fucking love him. I can't live without him, well I could, but it would be hell. Never knowing a good nights rest again alone would kill me. I didn't want to risk it. I needed Sage and I would do anything to make sure he stayed mine - and that included letting a pretty number walk out my door.
I grinned at Alex. "We can watch and talk about them while they play childish games." I started for the plates of food my hand trailing along Alex's shoulder before coming back to my side and ultimately to pick up several of the plates. I used a little bit of air to help balance the plates, there were three left. "If you don't mind carrying those. I'd appreciate it." I nodded towards the three remaining and went into the living room and set the food down on the buffet table Sage had put a nice paper table cloth on.
They all sat around the coffee table and the drawing board they had set up and were starting the first round. Drake sat on the floor between the coffee table and the couch, which no one sat on playing with his cars. Apparently, no one wanted to look a couple, but that left it the only place for Alex and I to sit. Which was alright with me, I sat down and pulled the little man into my lap with a squawk. His little hands had two cars in it. I patted the seat next to me for Alex to sit. Drake grinned at him then turned to me. "Daddy, you gonna play? Draw!"
I watched the Sage and Alex show with a smirk and when the two of them kissed with Sage's arm still around her, Dee looked at me with a 'how hot is this!' look. I stuck my tongue out at her in offering but before she could react either way she was being dragged out of the room.
Then I was left alone with Nox but not for long. He said a few things which were nice for my ego but he seemed conflicted, his words not quite matching his body language. His eyes a little too interested, his hand lingering a moment too long.
Yet as I followed him into the other room with the food, I noted his eyes went straight to Sage and his shoulders slumped a little, like he couldn't relax until he could see his man. I remembered those early days with Dee so when I sat beside him I gave him a little space.
I slouched down on the beside him, taking in the picture he made with his son and I swore I saw a flash of gold in the kids eyes when he looked up at Nox and said, "Daddy, you gonna play? Draw!"
That elicited a chorus of pleas and demands for him to play from the others but Dee got a little more proactive, leaping up from her spot near Sage to walk over to us and hold out a hand to Nox. "Let's swap places, I'm a terrible artist."
I sighed and took Dee's hand and she helped me up from my seat, my little dragon had shimmied down and was racing towards the drawing board to grab me a pen. "Fine."
Bryan groaned. "This is hardly fair. The last time he played, they won."
Sasha laughed and nudged her grumpy boyfriend. "We can all guess. He's only playing till Drake goes to bed." Sasha looked up at the clock on Sage's mantle piece. "Which is about 30 minutes away.
I heard Bryan grumble under his breath, "Still not fair."
I chose to let the grumpy bear alone. Normally I wouldn't. Sage's sapphire blue eyes were watching me closely as I took the pen from the over eager boy. He handed me a stack of cards too.
Sage added, "Nox, the object of the game is for us to guess what it is, you don't have to draw every detail."
Alice laughed. "Yeah like last time you spent the entire time of your turn drawing one thing."
Sasha giggled. "I have that frog drawing on my fridge."
I groaned, "I'm not five. Why the hell'd you keep that?"
Sasha laughed, "Because it would piss you off." She grinned at me, "Because it was the best damned frog I'd ever seen. I call him George."
Sage asked, "You hug him and squeeze him too?"
Sasha snorted and smacked Sage. "Shut up!" Which prompted their playful banter to turn into a small wrestling match with Sasha losing dramatically as Sage wrapped her up in his long arms and crossed her arms in front of her while she sat on his lap.
I rolled my eyes. "And you worry about me." I poked at Sage.
Sage grinned. "Dude, you do worse than this with Jace."
"I do not wrestle around with Jace." I said as I knelt down at the drawing board with the first card . Drake danced behind me.
Sage countered, "No you just kiss him to get into clubs."
I turned around and pointed my finger at Sage with a smile. "That was not my fault. The bouncer remembered me from my birthday. And he wanted a repeat performance. We got in 30 minutes soon than we would have."
Sasha stood up suddenly, "You went to Aspect without me?" She turned to Sage. "I see how I rate." She stopped back to her seat and winked at Alex and Dee as she passed them on the couch. She sat down with her arms crossed.
I rolled my eyes. "Ms Drama queen." I turned back to the board and said, "Are you now ready to play this silly game?"
Everyone said yes, but I turned to Alex and grinned, "If I have to play, you have to play."
I started with the first one. I started drawing cartoonish trees, and then went into the beginnings of a swing set with a slide. I drew stick figure people and Sage laughed. "You took me literally didn't you."
"Play?" I looked at Dee with mild panic. I didn't know how to play this game. "Do we just yell out answers or...?"
Dee didn't answer, she was staring intently at Nox's drawing and chewing on her lower lip. I looked around and everyone was watching him and he was loving the attention.
I grinned at Alex's panic. We were so not built for these things. Drake shouted, "Park!" I nodded and flipped the page.
Sasha giggled. "Such a neat freak!"
I rolled my eyes and Drake wrapped his tiny arms around my neck and I had to reach around and hold him with one hand lest he choke me. I looked at the next card and started drawing a bunch of rectangles in a row and a few along the sides.
Alice shouted "Rail road tracks."
The guy next to her patted her knee and said, "Good one babe."
I continued to draw and wondered what he thought he was getting into when Alice suggested game night with her friends. I drew dots on each rectangle, each one touching the other had the same number of dots. I may not play games but I wasn't an idiot.
Bryan called out seconds before Sasha, "Dominos."
I nodded and moved on. Drake giggled in my ear, but I knew he was getting tired. I glanced up at the clock and checked the time. I hauled the little dragon over him shoulder and he curled around me, wrapping his arms and legs around my chest and laid his head on my shoulder.
Sasha and Alice, both awwed at the sight. I continued with my drawing. I wasn't sure how to go about it. I flipped back to my park scene and started drawing a rectangle, with the an arrow pointing at the box. Sage asked, "Rectangle?" He was confused and I think my flipping back confused everyone else too. I started drawing the same exact picture in the rectangle that was set in the park scene, except on a much smaller scale. Maybe they would get this.
Sage laughed. "Picture." I waved my hand for him to keep going. "Um...Photograph, polaroid?"
I stood up with Drake nestled in my arms.
Alice giggled, "He's so graceful." Sasha joined her sister in the giggling. I dropped Drake in Sage's arms and Sage picked up the little dragon and hugged him.
"I'm going to put him to bed. Why don't you play something more adult like. At least show Alex and Dee you can pretend to be human adults."
Alice's friend, "We can play poker. That adult enough for you?"
I shrugged. "Doesn't matter to me, I don't know any of these games anyway."
Sage handed the little dragon back to me, his glamour was gone and he was blinking orange eyes at me. "So tired little man." I held him close but I was pretty sure he blinked orange eyes at Alex and Dee - hopefully neither were looking. But in case they had I smiled at Alex, "You want to see the rest of Sage's house?" If he had questions he could ask them away from the others. I had a feeling there was more to him than human. Sage's friends didn't need to know about my world.
Drake's little fingers played with the blue fringe at my right temple and he traced the tattoo there absently as he did when he was tired. His soft fingers gentle against my skin. He comforted me as much as I comforted him. I headed for the hall and the stairs to deliver my baby boy to his bed in Sage's house. He enjoyed spending the nights here in his own bed - his own room - his own space.
Okay, that time the kid's eyes were definitely not brown but orange but I didn't think Dee had noticed. Cute kid, I thought at her and got just a hum of agreement, no surprise or comment so she hadn't noticed.
My eyes lifted to Nox who was smiling at me as he offered me a tour. "You want to see the rest of Sage's house?"
I nodded and told Dee to stay put then pressed a hard kiss to her lips before I stood up to trail after Nox, wondering why he really wanted me alone. Yeah, I have a dirty mind, filthy even, but I was pretty sure Nox was committed to Sage and it was that flash of orange eyes he wanted to talk about.
I wasn't sure if the kiss had been for my benefit or something else. I thought we'd cleared up the I wasn't going to go after her but it was a sweet gesture. Drake clung to me and pressed his face into my neck. He knew he'd lost it. I rubbed his back and told him it was okay.
At the top of the stairs out of the human hearing range I said, "They don't know. I would appreciate you not saying anything to anyone."
I pointed to the bathroom. "Upstairs bathroom. This is a spare room. " I opened the door and flipped on the light. Then walked to the next door on that side of the hall. "This is Drake's room. "
I stealed my self against the chaos that I knew was Drake's room. We hadn't cleaned up and I knew there were cars everywhere along with his clothes. But when I opened the door and flipped on the light I had been wrong. Cars floated on bonds of air and clothes were being hung up.
I pulled Drake from me to look at my little dragon and tried not to frown, but I knew I failed. "No be mad. I cleaned for you."
"I'm not mad. " I tried to sound reassuring, "it's just we have company. " I looked up to the door whereally I knew I'd find Alex.
I kissed my little dragon good night, tucked him in and left him with a big smile on his face. "Love you little man."
"Wuv you too, Daddy."
I shut his door and walked over to Sage's and opened the door. "Go ahead and ask," I said to Alex. I knew if he didn't have questions before he would now.
Ah, where to start? The gold/orange eyes, the floating toys and clothes, my own abilities? No, the kiss.
"First," I leaned against the door jamb as Nox waked deeper into the room. "I kissed Dee because I wanted to and because your little blonde friend keeps looking at me." I didn't wait for Nox to reply despite the look on his face. "And second I am a little telepathic but no I didn't read your mind, that question was written all over your face. And third... well maybe I should just let you tell me what you want me to know? Is the kid, Drake," I amended. "Is he telekinetic or..." I shrugged. "Though what's going on with his eyes? Is he okay?"
Nox smirked at his assessment of Alice. She was a handful on a good day. Thankfully not calling her had made her mad at me. I didn't get hit on too often.
Telepathic huh? Haven't met one of them yet. I grinned at him. "I don't care if you read my mind. I'm an open book. I pretty much say what I'm thinking anyway." I sat down at the foot of Sage's four poster bed and smiled. The navy bedspread was new to go with the blue sheets he'd bought for me. I was beginning to think blue was becoming a favorite of mine. I looked at Alex lounging against the door frame and smiled innocently. "Though be careful how deep you go in there. There is some pretty dark shit in there." There was no telling what demons he'd find.
As to Drake....I sighed. "Well since you are a path I'm not really breaking any laws so the truth..."
I paused not really knowing where to start. "Drake is perfectly healthy for a half dragon. The eyes are his natural color. His glamour fell cause he was tired. But I guess that didn't stop him from bending air to clean his room. It's usually an exercise in control but we didn't get to it for obvious reasons. He's only been with me a short time and already knows most of my triggers." Either Drake was that good at picking things up, or I was horrible at hiding it.
Blue sheets... half dragon (I didn't think they existed)... triggers. Again, where to start? I pushed a hand through my hair then rubbed it over my mouth, trying not to grin too hard at the image Nox was projecting of Sage on those sheets.
"I wont go rifling through your thoughts, an interesting as they may be, and I try to ignore what everyone is projecting. I am..." I hesitated to say this but Nox telling me about Drake was big show of trust on his part. Either that, or he had his own special talents and was willing to use them on me if need be.
"I'm not just a path. I can travel and interact with others. Some people call me a dream walker."
Nox went still at my words, his face had his usual grin but the air felt suddenly heavy. Time for a subject change? "I um, wow, a half dragon? I bet that's a story!"
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! I did my best not to fidget and move from my seat on the bed. I knew Alex wasn't going to hurt me. He wasn't Garrett. He didn't fuck with kids heads. I had to believe that or run away in fucking fear and I don't fucking run from from my fears.
Alex changed the subject back to Drake but I had to say something first. I smiled. I knew it was faked but I had lots of practice at it. "Knowing..." I paused it didn't matter not really. I couldn’t stop him if I wanted to.
"Yeah. But not really. His mom is a dragon and exposed herself to some humans. We brought her in with Drake and his father. He went to the human authorities for robbing banks and she was sentenced to death for the exposure. I promised her I'd look after Drake personally."
It was lucky I was leaning against the door jamb as the wave of fear that hit me from Nox would have knocked me on my ass otherwise.
"Holy fuck," I breathed and threw up a wall even as the wave ebbed.
Nox smiled and said something I couldn't hear as I tried to filter through the images that had hit me. Bloody sheets, steaming water, open wounds that healed instantly. What the fuck?
The ringing in my ears faded in time for me to hear something about bank robbery and Nox promising to look after Drake.
"That's ah." My voice hoarse I paused to clear my throat. "That's really noble of you Nox. Drake is lucky to have you."
I looked at the brown eyed boy lounging on the bed, trying to look as if he hadn't just freaked out and considered letting him pretend. But he'd fed me, entertained me, trusted me with a secret. The least I could do was help him.
"I don't know if you're aware that you project pretty strongly Nox? I can help you with that if you wanted, teach you to shield your thoughts a little."
I dropped the pretense, he was reading me as easily as Sage could, whether it was his ability or his sensitivity to thoughts, or just I was starting to suck at hiding my feelings it didn't really matter. I laid back on the bed and grabbed Sage's pillow and buried my face. The sweet smell of jasmine and lavender calmed my being. I took several more deep breathes and cleared my mind.
I sat back up with the pillow in my lap and I smiled at Alex. "I'm sorry about that. You just happen to be one of my triggers." I didn't want to know what I sent him, but it probably needed a little explaining. But I didn't want to reveal my secrets to a stranger, he could read my thoughts. He could see the demons lurking if he even touched the surface. The pain and the fear were right there sitting on top of everything. I could control what I sent out. It was partially why I learned yoga, why all Venatori learn to clear their minds. We can't hunt paths if they know we are coming, or what we are doing. Paths aren't human if they reveal to other humans their gifts.
It's one thing to make a fortune on it pretending to be a charlatan. Or a magician. But to tell someone that they could do something and the wrong person found out. Death was just as immediate for them as it was for a dragon like Naomi.
I closed my eyes, "I'm not worried about what gets out. It's what gets in that I'm afraid of. I'll watch my feelings around you, I don't need to overwhelm you with it. I am sorry I lost control."
I was a trigger? I was guessing he didn't mean my dark hair and blue eyes reminding him of Sage. Nope, trigger was bad. I frowned and thought back over his words but one thing stood out.
"What makes you think it's a one way street? Why do you seem to believe you can control what you send but not what you receive?"
The fact was, finding someone who could naturally receive wasn't easy (but that's another story), unless you built a bond or a bridge some called it, and usually that required physical touch, a certain level of trust or intimacy. The down side was, if that's what had happened to Nox, if someone had a bridge into his mind? Breaking that bridge could break his mind if the tethers went too deep.
How did you tell someone that you, your people, how you were raised, what your belief system was that you wouldn't have let them survive. Dream walkers weren't permitted to live under most circumstances. They were dangerous. Much like how the Dragons kill half human children of the dragon's or Cesari. I frowned at my own thoughts.
Truth of the matter is I knew very little about paths, or dreamwalkers, or really any supernatural creature out there. We learned what others learned before us so we could hunt and kill them. We didn't learn how to treat the victims of their crimes. We didn't delve into the workings of things. The fact that Garrett was a dreamwalker was a little known fact. As in no one knew, and no one would believe you if they told them. There is no way there would be a living dreamwalker among the Venatori. Garrett either manifested late, or extremely early so he knew what he was and how to hide it. Either way no one knew.
Alex had been watching me from the doorway the whole time while I worked through shit in my head. I smiled at him, it was weak and more to put him at ease with what I was about to say than to feign being friendly or happy. "We don't typically let dream walkers live." I hurried through the next part, "But I'm not like others. If Drake isn't proof of that matter, then chances of us getting along after this will be pretty low. My people, don't let dreamwalkers live. Too dangerous and we don't get to know the things you can do. If I knew of a way to keep the nightmares away don't you think I would?"
This little tour of Sage's house had turned into quite the experience. Nox's uncomfortable smile coupled with his words let me know how much he didn't like some aspects of the world he lived in.
"Well fuck Nox." I huffed out a low laugh as I crossed the room to sit beside him on the bed. "That's a hell of a thing to say to a man. You suck at first dates," I joked and bumped my shoulder against his. My feet were on the floor and I leaned forward to rest my elbows on my knees, clasped my hands between my legs and kept my gaze on my hands, knowing some things were easier said without eye contact.
"I don't know who your people are but if they kill a person for their ability and send nightmares to people like you, I'm sort of happy about that. You trusted me with the truth about Drake and yeah, he's proof of a lot of things here. So, If you'll let me, I can show you how to keep the nightmares away."
I turned my head enough to get a glimpse of Nox and he looked like hell. Part hope, part fear, and all bravado as he gave a careless shrug. I met his eyes for a moment before looking back at my hands, trying to reassure him but the truth would be in the doing anyway.
"Try to relax and it will work best if we're touching," I said as I relaxed, my eyes closing as I shifted so our legs were touching. "This is sort of how I met Dee." I kept my voice low and soothing as I dropped my own shields enough to step out and look around. I purposely didn't look at Nox immediately, wanting to give him time to relax, I looked around to where I knew she was, my baby, my lodestone. She showed as an island on this plane, surrounded by tranquil blue waters. The edge of sandy beach I could glimpse outside of her shield was a pale pink letting me know she was having fun.
The others were there too, Drake a glowing gold egg that I couldn't help but notice, with tendrils almost like ivy wrapped around him and flowing outwards. Hearing Nox's breathing even out I followed the tendril from Drake, knowing exactly where it would lead.
"We all have natural shields and some are stronger than others. People like me can beak through those shields or sneak under or draw you out from behind yours to play. But it takes practise, training if you will." I wasn't going to tell Nox all of my secrets but this was a story I knew by heart and could tell while I examined his shields which were unusual to say the least. "Not too long ago I was captured by a group who wanted to use me to control a certain politician. Now mind control is possible but it's hard work so it's not something us 'paths aspire to. They isolated myself and a friend who was captured purely because he was with me at the time, fuck his luck hey?" I laughed a little at the memory of that time. Joel had been a trooper and ultimately had saved my ass.
"This group knew a little about my abilities, but they didn't know I was a walker. I was able to reach out for help and we got away as you can see. But that made me realise I had gotten lazy. I was a 'path for fuck's sake! How had someone snuck up on me?"
I kept talking, telling how I'd travelled around practising on the unassuming public, peeking into minds, on occasion stomping through and damaging people because there were some sick fucks out there who deserved to die. Then I found Dee who was impenetrable and I was beyond curious about her so I tracked her down, contrived to meet her, and proceeded to fall in love with her.
"Luckily she liked me too," I said wryly as I sat and stared at Nox. Not the real Nox, the dog's breakfast of his... I hesitated to call it a shield as it was more like a sieve. I'd already walked around the orb so I knew the dull murky colour was universal. Stepping over the three threads had been unexpected and I'd nearly tripped over one, a deep red toned wire thin one. The green one I had seen many times before, it represented Nox's connections to other people. It was the one that connected to Drake and there were a few really strong 'branches' on it and many many more thin threads. Nox was obviously loved by many.
But it was the third one that had me sitting and staring. It wasn't altogether unexpected given his comments but fuck me, it was bigger and stronger than anything I'd ever seen before. It was black which was bad to start with, it had a dull oily sheen and most disturbing of all, it was pulsing, like it was alive.
I was pretty sure that the thing was bleeding into Nox's shield, stopping it from solidifying and making it that horrible murky tone instead of a bright glowing one like Drake's. Time to give Nox the bad news.
I opened my eyes and stood up, breaking contact with Nox. I walked back to the doorway and re-assumed my leaning stance. I wasn't sure how he was going to react so wanted to give him some space.
"You have shit shields Nox and you have... someone or something feeding of you. I've seen bridges before and they usually have like a keystone, a way to break it down or disable it but this... this is something different. I'd say its been there for years and breaking it or even trying to, could break you."
I wasn't sure I wanted Alex touching me. Or what to think about all this. I thought I had an open mind about stuff like this. But my fear was paralyzing when it came to Garrett. But I kept reminding myself, this blue eyed man was not Garrett. He was only trying to help. His leg pressed next to mine, oddly enough it was comforting in it's own way.
And then nothing happened. Which I guess was a good thing. I calmed myself and let my own senses go. I watched Alex as he did whatever he was doing. His pattern changed, almost like it was in two separate places.
When he emerged from his dream like state, he relayed the news. It didn't surprise me none that my shields were much like my life - a piece of shit. I sighed, "Well the nightmares have been here since I was six so that's 17 years that makes sense. But honestly, I don't think you can break me any further than I already am."
I smiled at him standing across the way. "But I don't think we should try anything alone, Sage and Dee should be here just in case things go bad." And knowing my luck shit would go bad. "Maybe after game night is over. We should get back down before they worry."
I went down the stairs ahead of Nox and had to fight the urge to just grab Dee and run. Nox seemed like a nice guy, his friends seemed nice, normal even. But that black thread, that wasn't nice or normal and I wasn't sure I wanted to get involved with whatever was on the other end of it.
The others were engaged in whatever game they were playing around the coffee table so I retook my seat on the couch beside Dee. I slouched down, crossed my arms over my chest and tilted my head back. I let my eyes almost close as I drifted into a meditative state, aware of my surroundings but not engaged with them. I felt Dee looking at me and smiled a little as I sent a wave of love to her island so she'd know I was okay. Her shield flashed brightly, glowing as the wave hit it and I wondered...
Maybe that was it? Flood Nox with positive energy/emotion? No, that would only be a temporary fix. The black thread had to go. Maybe I could just pull it out? Damage was a risk but Nox seemed willing to try. Was I though? What would touching that thing feel like? If it was feeding from Nox would it try to feed from me too?
A big part of me didn't want to take the risk but I knew I couldn't leave Nox the way he was if I could help at all...
I followed Alex downstairs on auto pilot. I had come to terms with my life, did I want to make any changes to it? No nightmares? Was it worth it. Right now, I just wanted .... no I needed to just give everything up and exist. I could feel my breathing changing into that panicked state. My heart was beating faster and the panic attack would take hold. But I kept it together.
Alex sat next to Dee on the couch and I smiled. I didn't feel safe knowing there was something doing me harm intentionally or unintentionally. Sage looked up at me as I towered above his from, his smile faded when he looked up at my faked smile. He didn't say anything just waited for me to move. I gave him a soft smile and leaned down to kiss his forehead.
They were playing some sort of card game. Maybe it was poker I couldn't tell. I didn't know the rules, but there was food and they'd broken out the beer. I walked into the kitchen and pulled out two beers and grabbed my notebook from the draw. It was a small sketchbook Sage kept there so I could draw my dreams without carrying my book back and forth. And Sage refused to let me keep it under my pillow like I did in my own bed. He'd actually removed that one too and it had a new home inside the drawer of my nightstand. He claimed the bad juju didn't need to be in our bed. Maybe that was part of the reason for better nights sleep.
I set a beer in front of Alex and smiled. I sat down on the floor in front of Sage, sliding my left shoulder under his knee so I could lay slightly on his thigh. He hummed softly as I wrapped my arm around his leg and kissed softly before I took a sip from my own beer. They hadn't been in the fridge long so I added a little cold with my ability and the same with Alex's. No one would notice but Alex, and maybe Sage who was used to me using the elements for everyday things.
I started flipping through each of the pages in the notebook. Sasha tried to steal a peak but I pulled the notebook to my chest when she leaned over. "Oh let me see."
Sage shook his head. "Those are his private thoughts, no one but his therapist see it."
"But I want to see his drawings." Sasha whined.
"Maybe later." I said softly as I pulled the pencil from the spiral and started sketching what Alex had told me about the things around me. I let my imagination run, but I had to get the images out of my head. Or there would be little sleep for a while, even in the safety of my love's bed.
I heard Sage turning the conversation away from me. "So, Dee." He said with that lovely voice of his and that great smile. "You are our guest here, what game would you like to play? I think Mike here is the only one who is enjoying the game of poker."
Did I just imagine the bottle in my hand getting colder? I took a sip of the lukewarm brew except it was icy cold. Now that was a handy skill to have.
"I'm fine here watching," Dee replied to Sage's offer. "Plus I ate too much of Nox's amazing snacks so I don't think I actually can move."
I went back to pondering Nox's problem as conversation and laughter filled the air around me. Curious to see if his shield was affected by his environment I stepped out into the mental plane again and sure enough there was a change. His shield was riddled with blue veins and they were growing, bleeding together. But it wasn't from the happy vibes floating around, it was from the man he was sitting so close to. It looked like Sage was trying to cover Nox, protect him. Interesting.
I grinned at Dee's response, neither of them really felt in the game needs. Sage picked up on it as well because he said, "I suppose next time we should do something these three like - game night doesn't seem like a big hit for them. " Sage suggested, "There's a Karaoke bar around the corner that's pretty good."
I groaned, "It's better than game night I suppose. At least there is music and booze." Not that I drank a lot but watching drunken people was always fun.
I looked over to Alex to see his reaction to the suggestion. Sitting with Sage he was less scary. He wasn't scary at all, he was still the same guy I'd have loved to have gone home with if things were different. It was funny how one little piece of information changed my perception of him.
In my distraction, Alice reached over and grabbed my sketchbook and scrambled away faster than I could grab. My initial reaction was to reach out with air and rip it from her, but a hand on my shoulder stayed my reaction. I looked up Sage who was frowning at Alice. I could see the anger rising in my beloved path, the lights flickered a little with his anger but they soon righted themselves as he calmed his anger.
His loss of control was just as dangerous as mine. Exploding electronics was bad for Sage's business. He Stood up and stepped over my body and stalked over to Alice as she flipped through the pages, her smile fading as she saw each dark drawing. She noticed Sage coming towards her and backed up. Her back hit the fireplace and she looked panicked. I couldn't imagine the anger she saw on her friends face. He was always so happy, so calm and peaceful and I could feel his anger wafting from him.
Alice handed Sage the notebook. "I didn't know."
Sage took the drawings from her and turned to Sasha, "I think it's time for you guys to go." His smile returned when he looked on his friend and gave her a big hug. It stabilized his anger. "We'll get together and do something next week."
I didn't move but Bryan was already herding Alice and Mike were were whispering their complaints to him as Sasha and Sage said good-bye. Before Alex and Dee could depart Sage smiled at them. "You stay for a bit? I have a question." Sasha laughed as she left. It made me wonder what she thought was going to happen.
After Sage had seen his friends out the door the air in the apartment suddenly felt cooler. I let myself go limp on the floor and relaxed. Being normal was exhausting.
Sage rolled his eyes. "What happened up stairs?" He asked Alex. "He's never that clingy in front of my friends. And before you say ask him, I'm asking you because you won't sugar coat it so I won't worry."
I wasn't hiding anymore. Alex knew enough, Dee would know everything I was sure of it. I needed to vent a little energy. I went with no destructive powers and started juggling balls of each of the elements in front of me. It wasn't so much as juggling as the small balls rotated in the air above me and in patterns. I let the power flow through into them and out of me. I hated hiding what I was.
I watched... something float in the air in front of Nox as I considered Sage's question. I could feel Dee tense up beside me at the show of power but Nox was so relaxed and Sage's non-reaction reassured her everything was fine.
"Um..." I looked up at Sage's intent stare. "Not much. I just took a look at your boyfriend's inner glow and found out it's not so glowy."
"You did what?" Dee's head snapped towards me as she glared at me. She was big on privacy and me poking around in other people's head was something that got her revved up.
"Relax babe," I said as I slid my hand under her hair to grip her nape. "I just looked at his shields which are shit by the way," I looked back at Sage wondering how much, if anything he knew about this stuff and decided to go with a simple explanation.
"Everyone has a shield around their mental energy, it keeps your thoughts and emotions from getting out and stops other people's getting in. Well that's the theory anyway. We also are linked to other people at these levels. I guess you could call them bonds of love." I smiled as I felt Dee's approval through our own bond. "So I can see these shields and bonds and if I wanted to, I could get past the shields to see..." I broke off because it was plain rude to poke around in someone's head uninvited. "Well, everything. But I don't," I rushed to add. "I do pick up on strong thoughts and emotions and Nox was projecting pretty hard so I offered to help with his shields."
I looked down at Nox waiting for him to jump in but he didn't so I went on. "Turns out his shield is corrupted and fixing it, well I'm not sure it's possible. But, when you two are together, your shield... well it's almost like it's compensating for his or trying to heal his. The easies fix would be for you two to stay attached at the hip." I grinned as Nox reacted to that.
I watched Sage looking like a fish out of water. This world was so new to him and he sat down with a overwhelmed look. I curled back up around his leg when he sat down and he ran his fingers through my hair.
I felt better after the energy expenditure. And I let the balls pop out of existence as Alex said the easiest fix was to stay attached to Sage. I grinned at him but I didn't get a chance to say anything cause Sage chuckled, "See, just another reason for you to move in."
I looked up from my spot on the floor at him with a smile. "I told you, it's not that easy. I already spend the weekends here with you. I can move my things here, but the paperwork takes months to process. And I already did it."
Sage shoved my shoulder, "Why didn't you tell me?"
I grinned at him. "I wanted it to be surprise."
"So move in." He grinned at me, "That way Alex won't have to do anything drastic."
Sage smiled at Alex, "But that's not why he was clingy. That wouldn't make him afraid and needy." He looked down at me. "What set you off?"
I sighed. "Alex is technically a dream walker"
Sage frowned. "You alright now?"
I nodded. "I'm better. And he's still cute, so yeah I'm alright."
I took the sketchbook from Sage and flipped to the last drawing. "This what you saw?" I got up and walked the book over to Alex. It was rough, but from what I was told, this was what I saw. I sat down on the arm of the couch next to Alex. Sage came over and stood over me to look at the drawing I'd handed Alex.
Sage chuckled mostly to himself, "I kinda lied when I said only his therapist gets to look at it. I've seen all of them, so has Dorian, but it's mostly for him to get the shit out of his head so he can move on with his day. But I didn't think he wanted Sasha to see the images."
We all looked at the grim image Nox had drawn. I heard Dee gasp and she burrowed into my side.
"You're not going to try to touch that are you?" she sounded horrified and she leaned forward to see Nox. "No offence Nox, I just don't want Alex hurt."
"Well at first I thought I'd blast it with positive energy but." I pictured the way it seemed to pulse. "I kind of think it's feeding from Nox so doing that... well it might break the bond or it might feed whatever is on the other end of it or worst of all it will draw it here."
Dee nodded and I could tell she was thinking. She had actually researched what I did a lot more than I ever had. I just did it.
"We could be dealing with a succubus but they usually feed off pleasure so." She looked from Nox to Sage and made her eyebrows dance. "If that were the case it would get stronger when you two were together. Did it, that thing react when they were together?"
I thought about it and shook my head. "No but, when we were upstairs it was..." I made a fist and squeezed and released a few times. I looked at Sage and Nox and asked, "Is there anything in your world that would do that? Feed from your fear?"
I sighed. "Vampires can feed from fear. But their kiss is in Florida with Sal. He keeps a tight reign on his line. I'd have to hit the books to check other creatures. They aren't my area of expertise."
I didn't like the idea that something was feeding on me. It was disconcerting. "I don't want to feed this thing. What do you suggest?"
"Right, vampires," I sighed and shook my head. That would be the red thread. "You keep strange company Nox. Present company excluded," I added with a smile for Sage.
"If it feeds off fear just don't be afraid?" I offered glibly to stall for time because I was already doing it.
I had my hands on, or rather inside the link, as when I'd tried to grab it I'd sunk it. There was a solid link there though but as I'd feared it was stuck tight. I stood up and shook my hands and the clumps of black that had stayed with me flew back to the thread.
I blinked and refocused on Nox. "I suggest I cut that mother fucker off, quite literally. I just yanked on it and you didn't react so I don't think you'll feel much but if I do, whoever put it there is going to know. Your choice. Dee and I can leave you to discuss it if you want?"
Sage shook his head. "There is no need for you to leave. There is no discussion needed." I looked up at my love and took a deep breath. I knew he'd already made his decision. His hand on my shoulder squeezed tightly and I leaned my head on it and nuzzled it and let him make the decision. It was part of why I loved him. He knew what I needed, when I needed it. "We should fortify whatever room we do this in. If it comes while everyone is preoccupied then we don't want to be taken by surprise." Sage looked at me, "Should you call Ant?"
"Ant can't. He is in Italy with his mother. He's likely asleep."
"He'll come if you call. He always does."
I shook my head. "I don't want to owe him this favor, Sage."
"Then I'll owe him."
"NO, fucking way." I said. "He will not touch you."
Sage smiled. "I can take care of my self."
I shook my head. "No Sage. We can do this ourselves. We don't need to involve Ant."
I erected a wall of air around us and took Sage's hand, "What do we need to do?"
I felt the air shift and figured Nox had done something to protect us. I hoped it would be enough.
"Nothing except relax." I smiled confidently as I placed my hand on Dee's leg and squeezed gently. She placed her hand over mine and i didn't have to look to know she was smiling at Nox and Sage too.
"You got this babe," she whispered to me and I let my eyes close.
I looked down at my hand and saw it was sparkling as Dee sent me the energy I would need. I closed my hand as if I was gripping a sword and those sparkles swirled and grew to form the weapon I needed.
Nox's orb was a few feet away, Sage's right beside him, the blue bleeding in again. And there was... gold? Tiny flakes of it. Drake?
There was a lot at stake here. Nox's sanity. Sage's heart. Drake's safety. I hoped this worked, for all their sakes!
I raised the sword over my head. "Here goes nothing"
It went through like a hot knife through butter and the black thing just disappeared. Talk about anti-climatic.
"It's done," I said as I opened my eyes.
I didn't know what to expect. Hell, I believed Alex. I understood I didn't know everything. I opened myself to the world around me. I could see that Dee was different too, though how I wasn't sure. Alex had said she was impenetrable. Whatever that meant. I tried to relax, which was much easier with Sage calmly rubbing my shoulder. His hand never moved from the location he had it. I wouldn't relax right away if he inched lower, and he knew it. He knew my triggers almost as well as I did.
I saw Alex's pattern split, two different places at the same time. I couldn't explain it. Hell I couldn't explain what I saw probably anymore than he could to me. There was a sudden jolt of rage before Alex said "It's done." A blur of night bounced off the wall of air and then slipped up the stairs as quickly as it had come. I wasn't sure I'd even seen it.
But there was a scream. A child, my child... The air barrier was no bar to my will. I could see the look of confusion on Sage's face. Had he not heard the scream. I slashed through the wall with ease. Practice makes perfect. No rogue magnus would match me. I made sure of it. I would be the best no matter what anyone thought of my use of the power. I wasn't going to go down without a fight.
I took the stairs three at a time and was bursting through Drakes bedroom door and flipping on the light. There was a deafening screech. And a blinding light, but I didn't need to see to know where Drake was and ultimately that thing. I flung air at the creature and wrenched it away from Drake's sleeping form. He hadn't screamed, he was still soundly asleep in his bed.
But I had heard it. I knew it without a doubt in my mind. I had heard my boy scream. The creature hung in the air. It's tiny black hands around the invisible strand of air I had around it's neck. It's feet kicking as it tried to screech but it couldn't breathe. Drake was still sleep as I snapped the things neck and wrapped it in a ball of air before I pulled it into two peices then burnt it's dying body.
Killing with the power was hard on my body. I dropped to my knees but I watched as the flames engulfed the creature. There was nothing but it until it was nothing but ash. I floated the ball of ash to the garbage can in the corner only moments before I had to sit down or fall completely over. The life I'd taken with the power sucked power from me, the life force demanding payment for the deeds done... But I didn't care. Drake was safe and it didn't matter what happened to me.
There was nothing normal about Nox. And in Nox's world he was still strange. His birth, his life, his family. Nothing every made sense to Sage. Sage was part of this world, yet he was so foreign in it, even Alex seemed to know more about it than he did. His own life was a fucked up mess, but in comparison Sage felt inadequate to handle the majority if Nox's life. But here he was stuck in the middle of more messes than he could think of.
Shields and bonds. Cutting and touching and things he couldn't even begin to fathom and yet Nox took it with a grain of salt and believed it all. No questions. Nox knew this world, Sage trusted him with his life.
But when Nox ran from the room, Sage couldn't help but wonder if his boy had gone mad. If Nox had finally lost it. Sage followed closely behind. He knew that the others had come too, but he was certain everyone was just as confused as he was.
When Sage hit the landing it was hard to see, but then it was gone in an instant and Nox stood with is hands extended like he'd just separated to people from fighting. Drake lay on the bed sleeping, even with the light on and whatever flash he'd seen. There was a dark black thing. It oozed and shifted like a shadow that had taken form.
Everything happened so fast. The thing ripped violently in two. Blood splatter against invisible walls and ran down the sides before everything inside the invisible barrier burst into flame. There was no scream of pain as it burnt. Sage could feel the heat from the flames by the door.
Drake stirred and Sage sat down next to the sleeping boy and pulled him into his lap. Sage had no idea what was going on, but he knew whatever it was had tried to hurt Drake. Nox stopped it. He was killing with his power. Sage watched his love and held on to the boy in his lap watching the strength ebb from Nox as he fell to his knees. His power was demanding. The last time Nox had killed he'd spent the majority of a day in bed and eating to make up for it. Not that his life had let him recover, The Dragon had ripped apart his life in the next day and Nox was still recovering from it. Still bore the invisible scars of the torment he faced. And now, more scars on top of the many Sage knew about. Sage was afraid to know what else lie in the depths of Nox's heart and soul. But Sage was determined to protect him from whatever he could.
Sage crawled over to Nox with Drake nestled in his arms and Nox collapsed into his arms the moment he touched his boyfriend. Sage whispered, "What the fuck was that?"
"Ugh!" My head flew back against the couch as something exploded into the room. Something very angry. I shifted my eyes to Dee but she was unaffected, watching Nox to see what was happening to him. Then there was a scream and a blur of movement that I realised was Nox.
"It's here," I whispered as I staggered to my feet and followed Sage and Dee up the stairs then I sort of wished I'd stayed downstairs. Nox had his hands extended and before him was a creature, literally out of nightmares.
I was vaguely aware of Sage going to Drake who was still miraculously asleep but I couldn't look away from that thing as it reached it's finger like tendrils towards it's neck and then rent into two and exploded into flames. All contained in a sphere that I knew without looking was Nox's doing.
I watched it burn into nothing then Nox collapsed to the floor and Sage, with Drake held securely to him, crawled over and they leaned against each other.
"Holy fuck," I breathed as I felt Dee's arms come around me.
"Alex, what was that?" she whispered almost at the same instant Sage did.
I couldn't resist quoting a little Shakespeare that seemed particularly apt right now. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Dee shot me a warning look and I said something I never thought to say aloud. "That my friends, was a Nightmare."
"That thing was feeding on Nox's fear?" Sage asked. I was barely aware they'd come with me. I could feel my power ebbing away. I was drained.
I sighed. "Nightmares do more than feed on fear. The make it." I looked up at Alex and smiled. "Thank you." I grinned at him. "I'd kiss you, but I don't think I can move."
Sage chuckled softly and he handed me our baby boy. He wasn't just mine, Sage cared for him just as much as I did. The three of had been together since it we had started this. We were family. Sage stood up and smiled and Dee and placed a tender kiss on her check. He grinned at her, "I'll let you kiss him for Nox as much as he'd like to."
Sage winked at Alex and returned to me and helped me stand up. "You two want something a little stronger than beer? I need to thank you for helping Nox. I really don't know where to start. We can discuss this nightmare over drinks. I think we'd all feel a little better."
I leaned on Sage while we started down stairs to the kitchen. I needed to restore energy and to sleep for a month. And my little boy was not leaving my sight.
"Well if no one's kissing me-"
Dee shut me up with a hard fast kiss but we didn't linger. I wanted to stay close in case Nox collapsed and I couldn't wait to hear what he knew about nightmares.
We followed the little family into their kitchen and I gave a sheepish smile as I placed a bottle of Lagavulin single Malt on the table. Yeah, in addition to dream walking I could move items across space. "I popped home and grabbed this," I said. "Strong enough?"
Sage grinned. "I think that will do." He got three glasses from the cupboard and poured the three of them each a glass. He poured me a large glass of ice water and fixed a plate of food from the stove. The chicken had gone cold but that was okay and he knew it. He pulled the salad from the fridge and whatever leftovers he could find and set them in front of me.
When he was done he took the little dragon from my arms and held him against his chest while he slept. He barely had roused from the nightmare that we'd just lived. I hoped that he was alright, but he had opened his eyes and smiled up at me before drifting off again.
I ate an entire breast of chicken while they watched me and drank the whiskey Alex and just popped home to get. "Ant can walk through shadows, but he actually ya know leaves the room when he does. It's gut wrenching and I hate it." I took a deep breath and smiled. "Nightmares...usually kill their victims by sitting on their chest. That's what the legends all say. I've never heard of a nightmare connecting to people and feeding over prolonged periods of time."
I continued eating and Sage drank. He was stressed out. I crooked a finger at him and he walked around the island carrying our boy and I wrapped his arm around him. I whispered, "I love you. We'll be okay."
"This." I tapped the bottle then picked it up and poured us all another drink. "Is part of the reason I was taken last time. I'd make one hell of a thief," I said with a grin then took a sip before I got serious. "Have to agree with what you said about Nightmares Nox which I think means..." I looked at Dee and gave her a nod to continue since she was the one who'd done the research.
"You've been sold out Nox. Or maybe just sold. There are few things out there that feed off energy and Nightmares aren't one of them. Succubus for one but they induce and feed from pleasure. Some vampires do but the main one..." Dee looked to me and I knew it was because my baby was superstitious and didn't like to say some things out loud.
"Demons," I said and Dee shuddered. "Our guess is you or your fear has been sold to or is being used as payment to a demon. The Nightmare turns up to induce your fear which then feeds through that link I cut to the demon on the other end."
"Whoever is using you or brokered the deal." Dee paused to pick up her drink and threw the sixteen year old single malt back like it was water. "I'd bet they'll be getting a visit from an angry..."
"Demon," I supplied with a smirk.
"Very soon," she finished.
I sighed and I formed a fireball above my hand and felt the flickering flame's heat above my hand. I could still hold enough power to do what needed to doing. Sage put his hand on my shoulder and stopped me from standing up. "He's not worth you risking your life, Nox."
I looked at my love. "I can't let a demon kill Garrett or hurt him no matter what he did to me as a kid, Sage. I can't. It makes me no better than the rest of the Venatori who shoot first and ask questions later."
"Nox...." Sage pleaded with me. "Please, just call your dad."
"What am I going to tell him? That we killed a nightmare that was feeding on my fear, I killed it, but we have a dream walker here who says that it's a demon deal and that Garrett is in trouble because he beat me as a kid in my head so I'd spark." I laughed. "Do you know what my father would do?"
Sage nodded, "He'd kill the bastard who hurt you like he should have when you were six." I don't think I'd ever heard the venom his voice like I did just now.
"I can't let a demon hurt one of my own if I can help it." I walked away from the kitchen but Sage grabbed my arm.
"You need to call Walker, or take Alex with you. You can't go alone Nox. You know what Garrett does to you. You can't freeze with him around."
I turned to looked at Alex, "You don't happen to want to hunt a demon with me."
"No!" Dee hissed at me as I stood up with a grin.
"Don't you baby me!" She stood up and poked me in the chest with her pointy index finger. "You are not going on a demon hunt and that is final."
"You're right babe." I gripped her finger then her hand as she glared at me, and I didn't need to be an empath to feel her disbelief. I pressed her hand over my chest as I looked over at Nox. "You don't hunt demons. I don't care what sort of powers you have, it's just not smart. You meet with them, talk with them."
"Make deals with them," Dee whispered and I let go of her hand to haul her against me for a tight hug.
"No baby," I promised. "I wont. But I'll help in any other way I can. Ready Nox?"
I grinned at him. "I don't kill unless I have to."
Sage sighed and wrapped his arms around me and kissed me. He pressed his forehead to mine. "I love you."
"I love you. I'll be safe. You know me." He laughed. "Take care of him. I'll send a wall outside. No one but Ant will be able to get in." He nodded and I looked at Alex. "I'm ready."
I did as I told Sage I would and erected a wall around his house with a protective veil around it. I'd know if anything came near the place. It shimmered in the air and I smiled at it. I wasn't going to have much power left but I had enough.
We took a train to the AU building and home. It wasn't far and as we sat on the train I shook my head. "I'm sorry I dragged you into this. You could have said no."
I shrugged. "Sage didn't want you to go alone plus it's been a while since I've seen a demon. I was just a kid." I figured I should explain a little. "One of my Uncles was involved with one. At the time I thought my granny was being dramatic calling him a demon. He looked like Tommy Lee Jones in Men In Black and called me kid. Fun times."
They had been but dangerous too, I just hadn't known.
"Anyway, what do I need to know about this Garrett? Who the hell is Ant? And what do you want me to do? The strong silent act? The tough talker? Or I can just hit someone if you point at them. Your choice?"
I knew Tommy Lee Jones was an actor. I knew Men in Black was a movie. I'd never seen it. Though Jace joked I was real life MiB agent minus the black suit and sun glasses. So his reference was lost on me, but I smiled anyway. I dealt with my lack of knowledge with Sage on a regular basis. My life had been far from normal.
I grinned at my options. "Honestly, I need you to keep Garrett away from me. I will function a whole lot better knowing the man won't touch me." I laughed. It wasn't like it was funny, and it didn't really ease the tension but there it was. "I'll answer the easiest question first. Ant is my friend. He's a vampire, the son of the scariest vampire in the world. No vampire will touch me so there's no way a vampire is involved in this. Demon makes the most sense really. Ant can and will come at the drop of a hat if I need him, all I have to do is call him, and I don't mean pick up a phone call. He's probably that thin red link you saw."
I shrugged. "But Garrett, he's like me. Well not exactly. He was a fire starter. He can bend all the elements but only one at a time. Where I can do all four at the same time. He's not overly dangerous as a Magnus, but he's dangerous if he touches you. So don't let him touch you. He's a registered empath, but he can dream walk. He's the reason you triggered me. He's the one who started everything. He's the one in my nightmares. He's the reason for a few of my hang ups, but not all of them. He's most dangerous to me because I feel like I'm five all over again when he looks at me. I freeze, barely function. He touches me I'm gone, lost to whatever he wants to do. The same dream embedded in my nights for the past seventeen years, the same thing he did to me each and every day I spent with him." I sighed. "So I need you to keep Garrett away from me while we deal with the demon. Garrett's going to want me back. But I can't let the demon hurt him. It's against everything I believe in. Dee will be safe with Sage. And Sage will call Ant if he feels in danger. The only barrier to Ant is sunlight."
The train lurched to a stop and I nodded towards the door. "Our stop."
Once outside the station I looked up and saw the towering building that didn't belong in the heart of New York. It looked normal, had been here for years, but it didn't have the angles that every other building did. It was meant to stand out. The Eriksen's wanted it that way to hide in plain sight. "Home sweet home." I sighed. "You ready? You can still back out. I can call my dad, or Walker. I probably should anyway. But that would be the smart thing to do." I turned and looked at Alex. "I hardly do the smart thing, but now is your chance to pop to Sage's get your girl and go home. Once you step inside things might get dangerous."
I shoved my hands into my pockets and looked at the building Nox had stopped in front of as I absorbed his words. It was visually stunning but somehow wrong in the city landscape. Maybe it was because I knew there was at least one monster inside and to my way of thinking, a lot more than one. Nox had been tortured since he was five, five! Someone else had to know what was happening, or maybe that was how they 'taught' in this place?
Either way, he wasn't going in there alone. I shrugged and looked over at Nox, standing beside me looking so tense and brave. "Thing is, I can't move people so to get my girl and go I'd need to get the train again and then this will have been a wasted trip." I crossed my arms over my chest and moved my gaze back to the building. "You can call whoever else you want to but I'm going in there with you. Empath's don't scare me, Demon's don't scare me. What scares me is doing nothing. Letting this Garrett keep on hurting you."
Yeah it pissed me off that these people of Nox's would have killed me even as they haboured their own walker and I wanted to face the monster. But hurting kids and innocents? And as powerful and tough as Nox was he was in so many ways a scared and damaged kid. That did more than piss me off. That was my hot button. I never could stand by and watch a bully and I wasn't about to start now.
"So let's get in there before the demon does something you don't like and I wont let that fucker get near you Nox. Now how do we play this? Do you want me to be all over you like a dirty little fuck toy? Will that keep Garrett away?"
I grinned at Alex. "As much as I'd love that, just be you. Garrett isn't phased by my liking boy. I just need you to be there if I freeze. I don't deal with demons. Ghosts I've done a few. Not so many angels or demons. Be my demon expert. We won't tell Garrett what you are. Though I'm not sure exactly what to tell him."
I lead Alex to the front door and to the fucking glass elevator. We walked past Atlas and I grinned, wondering if Alex would see the name plate adoring the statue. It was a little moment of pride. But was soon washed away with the fear of heights. The elevator came and I got on and pressed the button for the residency floor that Garrett lived on.
I tried my best not show my fear, but I always sucked at this part. We have 50 floors to rise and that was a bit more than I liked. It was late, there was no one in the death trap and there was no one hopefully going to get on. I breathed deep and stared at the floor. I tried to take my mind off of it with talk of what we might find. "I expect our demon will have found someone to bring its message to Garrett. Could be anyone."
I followed Nox into a glass elevator and scowled at the gorgeous view as we starter to rise. The building, the view, the stunning sculpture in the lobby, all hiding such evil. I nodded at Nox's comment.
"Well let's hope so. If it's a demon that can shape his own form that's higher level and they can be... difficult."
Nox didn't respond. His head was down, his breathing deep and even. I wondered it it was heights or space that bothered him. "You know I'm not an empath so I can't feel your emotions," I said partly to distract him but mostly because it bugged me that he thought I was in any way like Garrett.
"Those guys are pussies, trying to manipulate you with feelings," I sneered. "Me? I can see what people are thinking and even better I can make them think what I want them to, do what I want them to. So if you need Garrett to jump out a window, you let me know," I said and when Nox looked at me I winked at him so he'd think I was joking.
I grinned at Alex's attempty to make the truth a joke. He wasn't the first person I'd told that wanted to kill Garrett for things he'd done. Even my calm cool love wanted the man dead. "I know rationally you are nothing like Garrett. But fears are hardly rational."
I closed the difference between us and moved so that our bodies were just inches apart. I could kiss him now but I was proving a point. "But there is no way I would get this close to him. Close enough to kiss. Or..." I grinned at Alex. "My fear of heights is irrational. I know I'm safe inside this thing but every time I see the floor getting smaller I panick and I do stupid things when I panick."
"Garrett will get what is coming to him. But having someone do something I can't is the cheap way out. I was brave once. At the end of my training with him he went to hit me again. I'd had enough. I accidentally sparked at lit him on fire. I freaked out when the alarms went off and put it out. Did it on purpose. He knows it. It's why he always makes me afraid of him. He knows someday I wont put it out."
With Nox so close I couldn't resist fisting my hand in his shirt and moving even closer, feeling the rush of his breath over my lips, breathing his air.
"You and Dee are so alike," I said softly, liking that Nox held my gaze and didn't jerk away. "Both teasing me with what I can't have." I paused and let my eyes drop to his mouth. "With what I can't do." I let go of him and stepped back as the doors opened.
"No hunting demons, no throwing people out of windows," I muttered with a pout. "Spoiling all my fun."
I grinned as he pouted and I grabbed his shirt like he'd done mine and pulled him back. I kissed him quickly before releasing him and stepping into the empty landing. I wanted more. Damn, I wanted more and if Sage weren't already agaid of not being enough for me I'd ask my love for more. "I think the four of us would have a good time." I hadn't meant to say it out loud. But there it was.
I started down the hallways searching for the one door I avoided at all costs.
Of all the fucked up situations I'd ever been in, this had to take the cake! Instead of relaxing with my baby, drinking and trying to talk Sage into doing body shots off Nox, I was on my way to talk to a demon and not kill a monster.
"We would have a fucking awesome time," I said softly. I was pretty sure Nox would hear me as I trailed along behind him, something to do with his powers so I added. "At the very least you two could provide an audience, Dee secretly loves to be watched."
Yeah I might be on my way to a not so fun time but that didn't stop me having fun on the way.
I chuckled as I turned around and walked backwards a few steps so I could grin at the man behind me. The only problem with all this flirting, I was fairly certain Sage was too afraid to say yes. We all had our hang ups. Sage's was taking risks. Which meant my job was really stressful for my love.
The door came into view and I could hear shouting through the walls. All I heard was, "I want him back."
I didn't bother knocking. I just twsited the door knob and it opened with ease. Inside my demon stood staring at a short brunette with three inch heels and a baby blue dress on. I frowned.
The woman turned around revealing Dae'lin with her eyes black from corner to corner. The smile that came to her wasn't her own. Neither was the voice that came out her mouth. "He serves himself up on a silver platter. Always the hero boy." It spat then laughed at me. "I chose my host well don't you think?"
I turned to Alex. "We really can't kill it now. She's like family."
Garrett spat. "You have no family. We made sure of that."
Other than thinking how wrong it was that evil looked so normal I ignored the man and only flicked a quick glance at the demon. It would hate being ignored.
"Really?" I tilted my head and frowned at Nox. "Family that you really love or one of those you only see once a year because you could totally live without one of those."
I returned the frown, "Family that I can't let down. She's one of three adults who cared about me."
The demon laughed. "I chose well. She's begging me to let you go. To take her instead."
I smiled. "And I gather you won't listen to her. Tell me what you want. I'm not going to let you hurt him or Dae'lin."
"Why on your god's green earth would I want to hurt him? He's a loyal pet. Misguided at times, but loyal. The only person here I want to hurt is you. You killed my pet."
I grinned at the demon in my mentor's body. "It wasn't hard really."
There was a flash of rage in Dae'lin's eyes and the demon almost bolted from her skin to fetch me. Taunting the demon was probably a bad thing to do, but I really was out of my league here. I hated marionettes. I looked to Alex and hoped he understood I really had no clue.
I watched in disbelief as Nox taunted the demon. I needed to get in on this and the best way to do that was to get close to the demon. Dee was going to kill me but...
I stepped into the room and the demon's gaze slid over me. The host was a pretty little thing, sort of reminded me off Dee which made it easy to give her a hungry look. "That's a hell of a skin suit you're wearing," I said as I prowled closer. "Why don't we leave these two to play and you and I can go... explore her limits."
I pushed an image towards the demon of the woman inching her dress up her thighs, nothing too graphic because Nox would likely get it too and if this was his family... well that would just be wrong.
"Well, well, well," the demon hissed as it looked up at me. "Aren't you a brave one."
I shrugged and took my time walking around her/it. "I'm a hungry one," I said and adjusted myself then shot Nox a sultry look. "Your boy has been teasing me all night."
"Really?" She/it reached out and traced a finger down my chest then her lips formed into a sulky pout. "Sadly for you, this," it stroked it's hands down over the woman's hips then up to cup and roughly squeeze her breasts. "Is not my type. Now if I were in you, I'd happily fuck this."
It, no he, squeezed again and for a moment I saw a flash of fear in those eyes, the woman's eyes, not the demon's.
"Oh?" I frowned and crossed my arms over my chest as if I was thinking. "Well then what if... no." I shook my head and the demon leaned closer.
"What?" It prompted.
"I suppose maybe..."
"What?" It hissed and stamped it's foot. Impatient fucker.
"I guess I could be your meat puppet for a while," I suggested with a smirk as the demon's eyes went wide.
"Oh. And then we could-"
"Exactly," I interrupted not wanting it to get graphic about what it would do if given the chance.
"You would just let me?" the demon wasn't stupid though the fact that it had to have a host at all told me it was a lower level demon.
I felt it's mental push and it's frustration that it couldn't just take over. "Yeah that's a firm no Romeo," I smirked. "Here's what we'll do. If you promise not to hurt anybody, I will let you wear me for the next thirty minutes."
"That's it? I don't hurt anybody and I get this?" It reached out and groped my groin so while it was distracted I threw in the kicker.
"Well, you'll owe me a favour after I do this for you," I said as if it were obvious.
"A favour and no hurting and I get an hour," it countered.
"Thirty minutes, take it or leave it."
It nodded and a moment later the woman slumped to the ground as I felt it in me, a cold oily presence and I let it control me, stretching my arms over my head, slipping a hand into my pants to cup my dick. I guess it'd been a while since it had been in a male body.
We turned to face Nox and Garrett and rolled my head from side to side. "Now this is what I'm talking about it," it said and grinned. It looked back to where the woman was passed out on the ground and frowned. "Well fuck, I cant fuck her like that. Guess I'll have to deal with you first."
Alex and the demon exchanged words and the look Alex gave me, I knew was to taunt the demon, but I was having a hard time pushing him away as it was, that look just made it even harder ... in so many senses of the word.
But I honestly didn't think it possessing Alex was a good thing. He couldn't keep Garrett from me for one thing, and I wasn't sure what that would do to him. I was so out of my depth. I was going to end up spending the next few weeks researching demons and other marionettes cause I wasn't about to get caught out like this gain. Particularly if we didn't dispose of this particular demon once and for all.
Dae'lin fell to the ground when the thing entered Alex. I saw the shift in the pattern. All that was light was repelled from him, and it looked like a black glow to Alex. I had to blink my eyes several times before I could push away the auras around him. It was that strong.
I tried not to react to the creature touching Alex but I knew I failed. Sage was going to have his hands full tonight. I walked slowly towards Dae'lin. I needed to check on her. But I engaged the demon as I did. I hoped Alex knew what he was doing on his side. Thirty minutes... we could survive thirty minutes. "You never told me what you wanted." I grinned at it as I skirted it and knelt down beside Dae'lin to check her pulse.
I barely felt it before Garrett's hand was on my shoulder. Fuck! He wasn't doing anything other than touching me, just a hand on my shoulder. I cold see that oily smile on his face but I never looked up. His eyes would be that distinct golden brown with his ability kicking in. I was frozen in place, but he did nothing more than touch me. He never did.
"Deal with this fucker," I said as I reached out and clamped my hand around Garrett's wrist. I squeezed until I felt bone and twisted his arm behind his back stepping in so my chest bumped his.
"You must be Garrett," I said as inside me the Demon wailed. I stepped forward and he had no choice but to move with me. "Nox has told me so much about you," I hissed and pushed his arm a little higher before I let go and gave him a shove.
"I think Nox has a few questions for you." I moved to the side slightly so the two men could see each other but close enough to grab Garrett if needed. I felt sweat beading on my brow and inching down my face as I fought with my visitor for control. I gave Garrett a toothy grin and warned, "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." I couldn't resist the superhero quote that I knew Sage would appreciate.
His hand was violently removed from my person and I was thankful that Alex was still Alex. A little more violent but he was in control. I sighed as I stood up, working out the tension in my body. I couldn't help but laugh at Alex's comment. I actually knew that one, Sage would be so proud!
I didn't really have an questions for Garrett. Hell I didn't want to look at him, I didn't want to see the fear in his eyes. Fear meant anger and that anger he would take out on me. The same reaction that happened when I knew the demon would come for him, the same reaction I'd have if anyone tried to hurt him. And then I knew I wasn't the only one. I looked at Garrett and frowned. He was standing the other side of Alex and his demon rider and I could see the amount of effort it took for him to manage that control. I put my hand on his hip and stood next to him. I didn't bother whispering, Garrett would hear me any which way. "If you need to, take what you need. I may not be your girl, but I've my own power, I give it to you freely."
I turned back to Garrett with a sad smile. "How many more are there?"
He laughed. "Like I'd tell you that with him, "he gestured to Alex but I was pretty sure he meant the demon inside him, " in the room. He'd kill me long before you got a chance, boy."
"Nah, I promised Nox I wouldn't do that," I jeered at Garrett. "But I-" I gasped and staggered back a step. "Oh you fucker," I mumbled as my knees went weak.
"Hah! Take that," Garrett sneered with a toss of his head but it wasn't Garrett any more.
"You owe me a favour," I said, pointing at it as I dropped to my knees.
"You'll have to find me first," it hissed then let out a weirdly high pitched giggle.
"Fuck," I breathed and hoped it didn't do anything for the next minute or two. Yeah, Nox had offered but sharing power was weirdly intimate so I wouldn't do it unless I really had to.
Alex dropped to his knees and my fingers slide up his back but I made sure to keep contact. If he need power I'd give it. There was plenty of other power to draw on inside of me. If Adrian was correct the power of the pack was behind me. I didn't believe it, but he insisted I was part of his pack. And then there was Ant. I was surprised he'd not shown up yet. There is no way he hadn't felt the fear.
Garrett's voice was raspy and foreign, his eyes jet black. The demon had found a third host in less than 20 minutes. For whatever weakness Alex thought possessing a human body meant, the speed in which it could take possession was something I hadn't expected. Garrett raced for the door but I threw up a wall of air. The man/demon pair bounced off the wall with a fleshy thud. Those dead black eyes turned to look at me with a smile and then turned back and raised the tentacles of air and fire, earth and water i was terrified of and proceed to beat on the wall of air. Garrett wasn't Cesari, but this demon was using him like he was one. It lent credence to my theory but I hated that a demon just proved it.
I whispered to Alex, "If you are going to take power, take it. Once it leaves I'm going after it." I had no problem killing Garrett if I had to to kill this demon, but I couldn't afford to kill it with my power, It was going to have to be some other way. I just had to think of it.
I was going to have to. If I didn't, I wouldn't be able to help Nox at all. Sending Sage a mental apology I staggered to my feet and turned to Nox. Before he could do more than blink I had a hand in his hair and my mouth on his. I nipped his lip then sucked it into my mouth feeling the power, his power shoot through me.
It wasn't a kiss, not really. Blood, sex, and magic were something of a trinity. So a bloody kiss, that has some serious power in it.
I let him go and licked his blood from my lip. "Thanks, I needed that," I grinned.
I was only mildly surprised by the kiss. It was not a foreign concept. Sage continually joked that half my power came from sex. My entire body felt like it had been more than a kiss. The power left me and Alex looked better. I didn't really have time to think about what that meant, what the ramifications of sharing my power with Alex would have been.
My wall of air crashed in on itself with a final blow from the demon and it was through the door. I grinned at Alex, "Anytime." But I didn't spare him another glance as I followed Garrett through the doors. The stairs were its destination and it ran up instead of down. Why did they always go up? What the fuck did up do, other than make us have a confrontation on the fucking roof.
As typical, every bad guy stops just the edge of the roof top and turns to look back at his pursuer. I'd seen enough movies to see the trope, but never thought I'd actually have to live through it. The black eyes stared at me and laughed. "He'll never tell you anything. And I'll have you back."
There was a flash of light as the demon used Garrets ability to create a flash of fire that burnt hot and quick. In that momentary lapse of sight, it had climbed up onto the ledge and was looking back at me. It was a blurred moment, but I saw the moment the demon stepped backwards off the ledge. A flurry of black smoke left Garrett's body with a cackle and headed straight for the building across the street.
Garrett's eyes were wide as he realized he was falling. I saw air forming around him but in his panic everything slipped away. His own fears blocking his ability. I would have laughed at the irony of it, but I heard myself say "Fuck!" as I raced for the edge. I didn't look. I didn't think. I just jumped over the edge and spearheaded my way to catch up to the dick who'd tortured me my whole life.
I caught his flailing arm and I made the air solid around me. It was an 8 second drop. 8 seconds of pure bliss - pure control of myself, my ability and the world around me. There was usually nothing but me and my fear. Today, I stared down two of them. I smiled down at my former mentor as we slowed. The earth grew closer and I softened it with earth and water. But I knew we'd hit hard. I didn't know how hard. I only knew I'd survived worse falls.
And I was right, it hurt the moment I felt the ground beneath me. But I could breath, I felt my heart pounding in my chest. Those were all good signs I was still alive. I didn't even try to move. I just closed my eyes and wrapped myself in a blanket of my elements and let it work. I couldn't do anything else even if I wanted to. My mind was tired and I was ready to sleep, but I knew sleep was dangerous...
There was a crash of sound and the Garrett-demon ran out of the door. Nox grinned at me, promised, "Anytime," then went after it.
"Seriously? A chase?" I followed them into the corridor and to another doorway that turned out to be a stairway. Garrett went up and so did Nox so I went down. I was loathe to leave Nox but it was obvious he could handle himself, and I had seen demons leap from massive heights so if our friend went with that option I wanted to be there to greet him.
The problem, I realised as I reached the ground floor and the door opened outside, was that I had no idea which side it would jump from if it did. Grateful it was late and the streets empty I ran out into the middle of the street and looked up just in time to see a burst of flames to one side then before I could move something, no someone was falling.
"Oh no," I whispered as I started towards it, realising the demon had jumped then abandoned Garrett. This wasn't going to end well for the man which wasn't as sad a thought as it should be. I looked around again to make sure there was no innocent bystander for him to land on and when I looked up again I swore and started running.
Because there wasn't one body, there was two now, Nox was in a free fall pursuit of his abuser. Why was I was running? What could I do? I stopped and watched as Nox reached out and grasped Garrett's arm and then they both slowed down, the fall changing to an almost float, but it wasn't going to be enough. The sound they made when they hit, I never wanted to hear that again, and my feet were slow to carry me closer, a little afraid of what I'd see.
Garrett was laying awkwardly to one side and I thought his chest was moving but I couldn't swear by it as I crouched down beside Nox. He was breathing, his lips tilted up in a slight smile, as if he happy he had saved Garrett. He looked okay but I was scared to move him. Surely someone inside that building had heard or seen something and help was on the way?
"Sage is going to be so pissed at you," I leaned down to say softly and thought his smile got a little bigger.
I wasn't exactly certain but I was pretty sure Alex was hovering above me as I let things heal. But I heard his voice and smiled. "He will. But I didn't die."
I tried to sit up but it hurt. "Ouch." I sighed softly letting out long breath, "I don't think sex is on the table for tonight." I pulled myself up and regreted the movement but I didn't like just lying there. Whatever bones were broken had mended. I could still feel the wounds knitting together so I let the elements and my body do their work with limited movement.
Garrett's body was bent and broken but he tried to breathe and that was a good thing. Through the doors a group of people finally ran. Jumping was common place, it had taken a little while for the infirmary to register that this one was dangerous.
A girl with purple highlights in her hair smiled at me and I gave her a small wave. Madison ... But she went straight for Garrett and was helping him. A man came over to me and Alex and was trying to get a better look at me. I waved him away. "I'm fine."
I tried to stand up, but I was not fine. I offered Alex my hand, "Help me up? Take me home?" I winked at him. Damn he was too cute all worried and everything. Sage was so going to be pissed at me.
"Really?" I put all of my doubt and disbelief in that one word and Nox gave me a look that told me he was serious and if I didn't help him, he'd just do it himself. I ignored his hand and threaded one arm under his legs and the other around his shoulders and stood up with him cradled to my chest.
He opened his mouth as if he was going to protest but I glared at him until his mouth closed then I started walking. I figured he could use the extra time to heal so I bypassed the train station and headed in the direction of Sage's place.
I was fucked and not in a good way. Alex had set his foot down and I stayed quiet. I did not like being carried. I didn't like it at all. But I let it happen. I asked, or thought I asked if Alex knew where he was going, but before I knew it was dark and the dreams were quiet. Alex smelled good, he didn't smell like home, but it was comforting enough.
But I knew the moment we neared Sage's place. Wolf energy was all around us when I woke up. "Put me down, Alex." It wasn't a request. I wouldn't look weak in front of the wolves. Weaknesss in front of the wolves was bad.
I added a little nicer, "You can keep an arm around me if you feel the need, but you can't carry me. Not here." There were wolves peeking their head out their windows and I knew the felt my power. I was bleeding power, I was healing I couldn't help it.
I dropped the wall of air around Sage's house and he was standing in his front door. His hands on his hip. I didn't need to see the glare, I knew his blue eyes were boring a hole in me. He was angry, lights flickered inside and outside.
We reached the door and Sage didn't even look at me, he looked at Alex with that deadly stare and asked, "What did he do?"
It felt like there was a thousand eyes watching us as I trailed after Nox to Sage's front door. I could feel their not human minds all around, their curiosity and concern almost tangible.
I considered a little Jack Nicholson 'you can't handle the truth.' Or maybe Harvey Keital from Reservoir Dogs 'relax. Have a cigarette.' No, Deadpool! 'Crime's the disease, meet the cure.' and I'd point at Nox. Because with the look Sage was levelling at me, he might make Deadpool run.
"Ahh." I paused to gather my thoughts. No need for the whole 'I let a demon ride me' confession with Dee within ear shot so I went for the very very basic truth. "Garrett jumped off the roof and Nox saved him. He's okay," I pointed out in a gross overstatement but hey, the man was standing and had walked up to the door unassisted. "But he did hit the ground pretty hard."
"You save that mother fucker?" Sage's eyes were full of fury and the blue was bleeding my power. I don't know how he was doing it but he was tapping into my power.
I tilted my head down and looked at the ground. "Can we take this inside?"
Sage shook his head. "They want to watch, let them." Sage did step outside so that if Alex wanted he could go inside. His voice was cool and distant and the anger seethed over me like water in a river. I was just a pebble in his rage. "You jumped off a fucking building, to save him? Why the fuck would you do that?"
I let out a breath slowly and I answered. "Because the demon abandoned him after he stepped from the roof."
"He beat you!"
I nodded. "He beat me."
"Why did you save him?"
I looked up into the blue eyes that were raging with power and I whispered, "Because, he made me who I am."
"You hate him! Why, Nox. I don't understand. Why not let the fuck die?"
I didn't have an answer for him that was any different so I repeated myself. "He made me who I am." I sighed. "Without Garrett, I wouldn't be here with you. Without Garrett, I wouldn't save people. Without Garrett I'd just be some fuck wad kid who went with the flow because I knew no better. Without Garrett I wouldn't be me."
I returned my gaze to the ground and let Sage continue to yell at me. Though he didn't say anything. Not a thing, he stood there staring at me. I didn't dare look up. I didn't owe everything to Garrett, but it was Garrett who made me question every thing.
Sage held open the door for me, "Inside." I walked inside and stepped just past the door frame and waited. Sage went into the kitchen and brought back drinks. He pointed to the living room with the bottle and glasses, "Sit."
I grinned and sat down on the couch. Sage handed a glass to Alex and Dee and poured them drinks. He took a deep breath and sat down in one of the chairs away from me. He was still angry. He smiled at Alex. "Thank you for taking care of him. What can I do to repay you?"
I paused with the glass touching my lips then closed my eyes and threw the shot back. I savoured the burn. I opened my eyes and looked around, checking in on Dee who's island was quiet, the sands a neutral white. The little dragon was a soft golden glow and I walked over and touched it, feeling a gentle warmth from him. Then Sage, he was angry, his shield crackling with blue energy. Last I looked at Nox, his shield in flux, colors cascading and flowing in waves. I didn't know if it was because he was using his powers to heal or if it was the removal of the nightmare but it was beautiful.
I blinked and was looking into Sage's intense blue eyed gaze and the anger was pulsing off him. I reached blindly for Dee's hand and she was there for me, without question, but the bite of her nails let me know she wasn't thrilled with my explanation. I looked over at Nox, sitting alone, and wondered if Sage knew what he was doing? Yeah, Garrett had tortured Nox but what Sage was doing now was worse in so many ways.
"You can't repay me," I told Sage, my voice sharp. "I didn't 'take care' of Nox," I said with air quotes. "I backed him up. He saved lives tonight, not just Garrett's. There was a woman there too, Nox said she was family, he saved her. And by saving Garrett, he has the chance to save many others, to find out who else Garrett has sold to the demon, because that knowledge would have died with Garrett otherwise."
I realised I was almost yelling and had shot to my feet when I felt Dee's hand touch my waist. I didn't have the energy to soothe her though as I pointed at Nox and said. "Maybe you should worry more about taking care of him and less about everyone else."
I thumped the empty glass down on the coffee table then turned and stomped to the front door. I slammed it behind me then slumped down on the steps. It hurt because I was tired and running on empty but I got myself another bottle of Lag and cracked it open.
Sage sat and stared wide eyed as Alex laid into him. My love deflated with each word. His anger faded into sadness when he looked at me. He hadn't done anything wrong, nothing I didn't understand anyway. Alex had misunderstood. When he slammed the door I stood up and started after him, but Sage put his hand out and said, "No, I got it Nox. Entertain our guest, please."
I sat back down and nodded. "Yes, love."
I looked over at Dee who was looked even more worried than before. I smiled at her. "This was one hell of a dance." I held my hand out to her and hoped she'd come sit beside me. "He's one hell of a guy." I looked after my love who had stopped just before the door and was taking a deep breath. I turned back to Dee with a grin. "Don't worry, Sage will straighten things out. It's been a stressful evening for everyone. Please sit. They might be a while and we can chat. What do you and my love do while we hunted demons?" I asked to distract her from what was happening outside
Everything about this was wrong. Sage knew his anger was wrong, but he had to vent it. He had to get it out before he touched Nox. Nox knew. Nox understood what was happening. He'd over stressed his body, he was healing, even Sage could see how tired he looked. He'd killed with it, he was hurting more than just physically and he needed Sage to take care of him. Alex thought everything he was doing was bad, was wrong, but Sage knew if he touched Nox he'd break down and flood with tears.
This wasn't the first time Nox had almost died. And it wasn't likely to be the last. Heat and anger flooded back but Sage pushed it away. He saught the calm teachings of his father, the ability to control the wolf was in your breath. It was nothing more than an aggressive anger management technique Adrian had taught him, when Danny Morgan first became a wolf.
Sage opened the door and felt the pack energy buzzing outside. They weren't a large group, but as with all pack animals, they all lived around each other. Sage always wondered why Nox couldn't feel it like he had, they'd been in the pack almost as long as each other. And they'd never even met before a few months ago. Sage sighed as he closed the door behind him. Alex sat on the stoop drinking a new bottle. Sage smiled but it faded quickly. "I was taking care of him. He needed to stop making decision. To give up on life for a little while. When he looked down at the ground he wasn't feeling bad, he was giving me permission to take over. But he was reckless, and he let that bastard live. I was angry, frustrated. I didn't understand how he could hate the man so much and let him live. Nox never does anything stupid for himself, it's always for someone else. I'm glad he saved her." Who ever her was, but there were not many, Sage could count them on one hand. "I'm glad he can help other kids. I never doubted his motives."
Sage sat down next to Alex but he didn't want to touch him, but that couldn't be helped there wasn't much room on the step for both of them. Sage stared out into the street and never looked at Alex. "If I touched him, I would have broke down. And that is the last thing he needed, was for me to lose it. He needed my strength because he has none left. You see this strong, handsome guy who's the center of every thing. He's not. He's afraid, and fragile. More fragile than anyone I've ever known. He liked the phrase, '50 shades of fucked up.' He says that's what he is."
Sage looked at Alex, "I now you backed him up. But you took care of him too. He jumped from a building. Alex, he broke bones. I can still see the bruises left behind. Nox will do anything to save someone - even if it means his own life. It's who he is. You took care of him. And I will forever be grateful you could be there when I couldn't. Because I know Garrett was his hardest save. Even The Dragon doesn't compare to that rollercoaster of a night. So thank you, and I will repay you."
I listened to Sage as I sipped and shifted away from him the little bit that I could because he was still an inferno of anger. I heard what he was saying about being strong for his love but I still struggled with the image of Nox sitting alone.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have yelled. I don't know you, either of you well enough to judge your relationship or how you deal with each other but when you touch him you soothe him. I don't know if... there's something with your power and his power, you could hurt him I think or help him heal." I stood up and looked down at Sage. "It was a hell of a thing, watching him leap off that building. He should have a cape if he's going to keep impersonating Superman."
I reached for the door and pushed it open, glanced in to see Dee sitting beside Nox her hand in his, and I wondered if she'd told him she was an empath yet.
Sage grinned, "No capes. Ever seen Incredibles? The best explanation!." Sage placed his hand on the the door knob and pulled it closed, "They'll be okay. I don't mind being yelled at. Sometimes I wish Nox would yell and scream and throw a temper tantrum. When he's angry, he gets quiet, he curls up so tight that his power burns too hot."
Sage's voice was quiet. "Nox was never alone in there. If we'd been alone, just the two of us, I would have left him standing in front of the door while I cooled down. He would have enjoyed every minute of obeying." Sage sighed, "He smiled when I told him to sit down. He knew I was trying not to be too domineering." Sage ran his fingers through his hair and looked down at the ground, he couldn't help but fidget, "Nox..." Sage didn't know how to say it, not without dying of embarrassment anyway. "I've never known Nox to misbehave. I know you don't see it, but Nox wants to be submissive. Not because he wants to be hurt, he just wants to be taken care of. He knew I was mad. I'm sorry I yelled at him, swore at him. Because he'll remember it when things go sideways. But he'll remember I was there. I took care of him afterwards. Nox is broken in so many ways. " Sage sighed. He didn't even know all the ways, he kept finding new ones.
Letting out a long breath, Sage smiled. "I'm sorry for venting. I probably should talk to his therapist again. I've seen her more than he has." Sage chuckled. "But really, Alex. Thank you." He opened the door, "I won't keep you from your girl anymore. I'd hate for my boy to charm her too much."
My mind was racing... The Incredibles? Something about missiles I think? Yelling? Yeah, that was good and I was sure we'd hear some soon. Obeying? My brain stuttered there. Nox as submissive? My brain changed tracks and I shifted a little. This was so no the time for those thoughts!
I cleared my mind and my throat and grinned at Sage.
"It might be too late for that, especially if you tell her what you just told me," I said softly. "My girl likes to tie people up and Top them. Oh and if you want to hear some yelling, just wait till she hears I let a demon inside me."
I had tried so hard not to listen to their conversation before that, it was muffled but I caught the gist of it. I had learned Dee and Sage had fun playing cards. Boring... He's got a beautiful girl in his living room and he plays cards... Knowing Sage the flirting was minimal and he talked geek too much.
The door opened and the first thing I heard clearly was, "You what?" from Sage.
"I suppose they want the whole story now." Sage looked at me with a look that said speak and I grinned at him, "In the elevator, I kissed Alex to prove a point."
Sage raised an eyebrow at me in question. "He's not Garrett. And that I did stupid things when I was afraid."
Sage rolled his eyes as he shut the door. He was still angry, I could see it in the way he walked but he sat down on the arm of the couch and put his hand on my neck and squeezed gently. I couldn't help the sigh that came out. I closed my eyes and I started the rest of it. "We walked in to Garrett's apartment and Dae'lin was there. The demon had possessed her. He was rather proud of it, that he'd chosen well. He wanted me back obviously." I grinned and I knew Sage was rolling his eyes even though I couldn't see.
"Alex made a deal with the demon and it left Dae'lin's body." I looked at Alex to see if he wanted to add more.
I stopped with the coffee table between Dee and myself as she glared at me.
"You promised," she accused and I held up my hands as I nodded.
"No deals baby, that was the promise," I reminded her.
"You want to play semantics?" she said incredulously.
"I had to control the demon and the easiest way was to have it inside me. It wasn't that clever, it was distracted by Nox and by list. I offered it thirty minutes during which it could hurt no one and it now owes me a favour," I finished smugly.
Dee blinked and her mouth opened but she was speechless.
"I was going to let it think it was in control while Nox found out what it wanted but then Garrett touched Nox and I had to stop him."
I nodded. "Garrett wasn't happy about it. But the demon left Alex and went to Garrett. It tried to flee but I threw a wall of air up and it tried to scare me by making my dreams real. Wielding tentacles of the elements different ones." I shrugged, "Things Garrett can't do in the waking world but I watched as this demon did it. I should thank it for validating my theories, but it's a demon and I don't think it would care. "
I looked back at my love, he was listening and watching Alex, more than he was watching me. I think he was looking for lies I told. He knew I wouldn't lie, not like this. I continued, "Alex was weak, the demon was distracted trying to escape. I shared my power with Alex." Sage looked at me then, and I gave him a weak smile, "Another kiss, filled with magic and blood. But Alex had recovered and the demon had escaped my make shift wall and went to the roof."
I shook my head. "It told me, I wouldn't get the information I wanted, and said it'd get me back. And then it stepped off the roof and left Garrett. I didn't think, I just acted. I raced for the edge jumped over like it was just a casual jump I'd done a million times. I caught Garrett, and slowed us down. But it was still too fast, and I felt the bones in my body break. I'd landed on Garrett, but he had survived. He was breathing and healing when I left. I didn't help heal him. I could have. I should have. Had it been anyone else I would have. The infirmary came and Alex carried me most of the way home. I passed out, I don't think I've ever not dreamed before. But I woke to the pack outside, they didn't like my wall around your house. I wasn't protecting the rest of them from whatever I was protecting you from."
"The rest you know."
"Well it wasn't really a kiss," I muttered with a smirk at Sage. "No tongue or anything. I just bit his lip and sucked on it." Okay, that sounded kind of dirty. I shrugged. "The rest of what he said is true as far as I know. I went down when they went up so what was said on the roof I don't know."
"Wait." Dee shook her head. "So after he jumped off a building they just let you walk away with him?"
I shrugged again. "Well no one tried to stop me. Nox asked me to bring him home so I did."
Dee rose from the couch and came to me. She reached up and pressed a hand to the side of my neck and I felt a tingle. "I'm okay," I whispered as her senses touched mine in a gentle caress.
"I think we should go so I can check you out properly," she whispered back and I nodded.
I looked over at Nox and Sage as Dee buried her face against my chest. "Time for us to go. Thanks for a... let's go with interesting night," I said with a smile.
Sage nodded. "We'll have to do it again sometime. Without all the demons and drama though." He stood up and offered me his hand which I took as he walked the two to the front door. He grinned at Alex, "I was a bit worried when I saw the two of you, but I'm glad you and Nox met. Next time it'll have to be just the four of us. I think you and Nox would be more comfortable doing things you enjoy rather than things me and my friends do."
I couldn't help but laugh, "Love, doing something Alex and I would enjoy might be a very ... uncomfortable discussion for you." He looked at me and I watched the cute blush rise to his ears and I pressed my head against his neck and kissed softly.
He cleared his throat, the first time he tried to speak it came out a squeak. "We'll discuss that later." I picked my head up and looked at my love as he offered his hand to Alex. "Hopefully we'll see you around." He leaned in and kissed Dee on the cheek and smiled. "It was a good night in the grand scheme of things."
I shook Sage's hand then he kissed Dee and she went to her toes to return the gesture then did the same to Nox.
I stepped back as she did so and a moment later she joined me, her hand sliding into mine. I didn't want to say goodbye because I had the feeling we would see each other again so I just lifted a hand in farewell.
"Thanks for your hospitality," Dee called back as we started down the street. My baby had such good manners. "Tell me about those kisses..."