We stopped by the Institute and picked up Max. I waited outside the run down cathedral as I didn’t really want to run into Alec’s parents. Magnus came out carrying a few books and Alec the little boy wearing his favorite glamour. I grinned as Alec played with his son as he carried him. I took a few books from Magnus to lighten his load so he could at least hold Alec’s hand easily.
I followed in their wake and gave their little family space on the train. Though we all sat together, but I pretended to be off in my own little world. I didn’t want my envy to show. I missed the pack which surprised me for all my complaining that they never left me alone. And sleeping alone had sucked last night – not that I expected anything less than nightmares, nor did I expect things to change tonight.
I watched as the New York City skyline faded into the darkness and we rattled across the surface of the Brooklyn rails. It was an excellent ride, and it proved to be a great time to think. I flipped through the few books that I’d taken from Magnus. Unfortunately I could only read one of them, and I had already thumbed through it once before. There was mention of some white book, all capital letters in the Latin book, but I could only read those two words on the whole page, so I had no idea what any of it was talking about. I closed it and resigned myself to watching Max sleep in Alec’s arms while Magnus and he spoke in hushed whispers. I didn’t even bother trying to listen in.
I closed my eyes and drifted. I started awake when someone touched my shoulder just as a tentacle of air from my own personal demon was about to strike. I hated my nightmares. I knew the look on my face showed the fear, I could feel my pulse racing and knew I was probably sweating overly much. But it was just Alec letting me know it was time to get off the train.
I stood slowly and slowed my breathing as we got off the train and started walking to their loft.
Magnus walked in front of me but Alec fell in step with me, “Magnus could probably make you something to sleep.”
I shook my head. “It doesn’t stop the nightmares. Only puts me in a state to which I cannot wake up. They were supernatural in creation and I’ve only found one thing that keeps them away.”
“And that is?”
I grinned. “Dorian. It’s about feeling safe and loved and knowing it continually while sleeping. We’ve tried to replicate the phenomenon, I do better in our bed, when it smells like him, but I still dream and still wake up just not as harshly. It’s his physical presence, maybe part of us own aura that keeps me safe. We don’t really understand why.”
Magnus was pushing his door open as he spoke, “Must be hard living a life when you can’t sleep well.”
I shrugged, “Been that way since I was 5.”
“If you know it’s supernatural in nature, you know who caused it? Or is that some side effect of being you?” Magnus asked curiously.
“Honestly. I don’t know if it’s a side effect. But yeah, I know who caused it, he’s dead now. Sanctioned kill under all laws in my world.” I sighed, “The only kill I’ve ever performed that wasn’t in self defense. There was no challenge issued, I just killed him when he threatened me.”
“But he did threaten you.” Alec muttered.
“No one but I could see that at the time. He was given to me because the leader of the CCB knew he’d hurt me, and hurting children is highly unforgivable in any supernatural culture.”
Magnus asked, “Was their proof he hurt you? Why couldn’t you take action earlier?”
“It was his word against mine. The proof was on my body for years, but it was self inflicted. He was a dream walker. He inhabited my dreams to help me control my ability and since the only thing that he could find to make me use my ability uncontrolled was physical violence, so he beat me in my dreams, and when I’d spark, he’s manipulate me to hurt my sleeping self in the real world. A rare gift among my people. The scars are gone on the outside – my body didn’t know to recreate them when I was burnt to near death and rose again from the ashes.”
“The Phoenix.” Magnus smiled. “How many times have you near died?”
“I would postulate three times. Once that enabled my ability when I jumped off a 55 story building to catch a bad guy.”
“That was stupid.” Alec said as he got back from putting Max down. “He would have been dead anyway.”
“Not really.” I grinned. “I jump off building regularly. Using my ability like a parachute. I accidentally showed the kid the feat and he tried to use it. But he didn’t know the mechanics, he would have died without my assistance, but I didn’t know that at the time. I followed him to bring him to justice. Broke every bone in my body and internal injuries. I should have died but I didn’t.”
“The second was when my doctors were poisoning me directly there after to prove I was immortal. Or at least my healing ability made me near immortal. Whether or not I age has yet to be seen so it could just be an extraordinary healing ability but the main genetic researcher claims it’s immortality.”
“And the third was a fire?” Alec asked.
I nodded. “I stepped between my father and his target, he didn’t like it. He threw fireballs at me until my shield broke and one landed. He left in despair but my vampire friend helped me and I healed quickly.”
Alec yawned and Magnus stood up taking him by the hand. “We are going to bed now.”
I nodded and picked up all the books Magnus had brought back. “Goodnight. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Magnus shook his head, “You sure you don’t want something to sleep?”
“I’m good, thanks.”
I wasn’t good. I did try to sleep but the nightmares came, fueled with threats of demons and magical portals and my own personal demon leading the way. Even though I knew he was dead, he haunted my every sleeping moment. I finished off the night by looking through the books. 6am rolled around and I was showered and dressed and had done too many sit ups, pull-ups on the door frame and push-ups that my arms ached. It had been a while since I’d been so vigorous in the morning. My schedule had been hectic since Ascending.
I made breakfast. Their kitchen was fully stocked with everything I could possibly want. Coffee started. Bacon in the oven, Eggs scrambled and waiting the fresh vegetables to soften in the pan before making the frittata.
Alec walked into the kitchen stretching above his head, the bottom of his shirt lifting above his boxer line and I had to avert my games or the boy might die of embarrassment. He smiled. “It’s okay.”
“What’s okay?” I looked back at him and offered him a cup of coffee.
“That you were looking at me.”
“Not really. Looking doesn’t hurt. But .. I’ll not tempt myself.” I smiled and prepared a plate of the finished food and pushed it at Alec. “Will Magnus get up for food?”
As if by magic, Magnus stood in the doorway with his nose in the air. “Did someone cook … bacon?”
I pushed a second plate towards Magnus and he sat down promptly and picked up bacon with two of his glittery fingers.
I ate from a third plate, which I had already been nibbling from as I made the food.
Alec mumbled through the food he was chewing around, “This is good.” Or at least that’s what I think he said. When he’d finished chewing he looked at Magnus, “Can we keep him?” He turned the shade of a pretty rose and Magnus laughed. The pair exchanged a look and I knew it too well. I left the room to pick up the books in the spare room I’d been flipping through and sat down on their couch.
I looked up and Alec was watching me from the kitchen door way, Magnus had slipped back off into their bedroom I assumed. His glitter and flamboyance were no where to be seen.
“Did I make you uncomfortable?”
I laughed, “Duckling you will find it hard to embarrass me. I was giving you two space.”
“Why do you flirt with me if you know I’m with Magnus?” He asked with a straight face.
“I flirt with everyone.” I grinned. “Dorian asked me once, even the ugly ones. I told him especially the ugly ones.”
“You didn’t flirt with Maia.”
“I didn’t want to get my hand bitten off, or worse my head. Don’t think I can regenerate that. Though who knows.” I curt laughed.
“Do you want me to stop? Seriously.”
Alec shook his head. “I…Uh.. No. It’s not that.”
“You and Magnus do this so easily. Magnus takes care around me. Never pushing my limits too far too fast. You don’t have boundaries.”
“I’m not pushing you anywhere. I’m just flirting.” I sighed. Insecure was so much work.
Alec nodded, “I know. But no one flirts with me. It’s always Jace and Izzy. Magnus was the first and only until you fell out of that portal.”
I laughed. “Jace is not my type. Sure he’s good looking, he’s got the physic most girls like, but he’s got too much bravado for me. We’d clash. Your sister is hot, but she’s dangerous. I like my women a little more needy except for my Isabel who is not needy in the least, but it wasn’t about loving her at first. We fit and we worked. I needed a strong mate to rule the pack. You, on the other hand, remind me of Dorian right down to the coloring of your hair, your eyes and even your skin. Put you in a grand suit and tie and I could almost forget I wasn’t home from a distance.”
Alec gave me half smile, “Do you want to go on patrol with me? Be better than sitting her reading that crap. Magnus said there were promising leads yesterday but he wants more info before he tells you. He needs those books anyway.”
Magnus stepped into the room wearing a purple suit with the shirt baring his chest and layers of necklaces, the highlights in his hair matched his outfit as did the nail color. I laughed softly to myself. “Is purple your color?”
He glanced down and smiled, “I suppose today it is.”
“Looks good.” I stood up and reached the top of his head and gave him an extra color. “There that’s better.”
Magnus glanced in the mirror at the blue I’d added against the purple. “You are right.”
Alec rolled his eyes, “You two are the same you know that?”
I smiled. “I don’t dress like your warlock, maybe in the Academy for days I really wanted to play the gay up. But those days usually resulted in a beat down too.”
Magnus picked up the books and smiled as he formed a portal. “You two have fun patrolling. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t.”
Alec blushed and I followed Magnus out with a questioning look. He turned with a grin. “I trust you’ll take care of my nephilim Nox. Don’t get him killed.”
“I’ll do my best.” I let the prior comment go. Nothing undue was going to happen.