Passport

I have never been out of the United States. I suppose I would need a passport to do that, but when you are friends with a shadow walking Vampire who was born in Italy 800 plus years ago I guess I could go anywhere in the world I wanted. Ant travels all around the world hunting his kind who have done bad things. He grew up in Europe. He came to the New World with his mother when there was a big exodus of vampires on boats trying to get away from council rule.

I’d love to see the world and not have to hunt anything while I’m there. To see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, The collesium, Big Ben – all those classic sights everyone wants to see.

I’d love to learn to cook from reknowned chefs in Europe too. I’d be sous chef for a week and learn everything I could. I’d probably hit ever restaurant in Europe and have to walk my way from country to country just so I wouldn’t get fat!

That actually sounds like a perfect vacation – backpacking across Europe! AJ has a new idea for a story… OMG, I’m in trouble!

Passport

Camp Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow will start a month long adventure. So I figured I’d better let you in on the basics before AJ starts telling the story.

Daily Prompt may be included into posts if the topic fits where the story is at on that present moment. Hopefully I can wrangle it in so I can keep the daily post connection going for the month of April. If not follow me so you don’t lose an episode of my latest adventures.

The Last Phoenix started on June 19, 2015 and lasted for about 5 days.

Human Side of the Family took place on July 4th of that same year.

Darwynn’s Law will start roughly August 10 of 2015. I will date each piece (and approximate times written), but unfortunately I can’t do that with Twitter and Instagram so ignore the dates and go with the order, but I will post an order of posts, tweets and pictures on a page here so everything is nicely ordered and collected.

A Big Mess – Little Dragon

I watched him walk back towards the train station. He turned around twice before he turned the corner. I waved at him each time and when he disappeared around the corner. Once inside, I headed up the stairs, taking them two at a time.

My breathing was elevated, but it was nothing I wasn’t used to already when I reached the right floor. Dae’lin was waiting for me outside the conference room. We didn’t have an interrogation room because we don’t normally interrogate our marks. I was the only one who brought them in. Even then we didn’t interrogate them. This was different.

The female dragon was sitting in the glass enclosed room looking rather broken until she saw me standing outside then she perked up. I could see the pattern’s Dae’lin was using to hold her bonds.

“Can I go in?” I asked Dae’lin.

“That’s why you are here,” she smiled at me though it didn’t reach her dark eyes.

I walked into the room and her eyes went wide as I sat down and the bonds around her released. I waved at Dae’lin. “You will stay put or I’ll have to put them back on.” I wrapped her up in a weave of air in that moment. When she froze I let her go.

“Got it?” I asked.

She nodded.

“My name is Nox. You are?”

“Naomi.” she said.

I nodded. “What’s your son’s name?”

She smiled. “Drake.”

I laughed. “Ironic?”

“I suppose. Gordon liked it.”

“The man with you?” I asked.

She nodded.

“He’s going down for your robberies you know that, right?”

She frowned.

“Your son? Tell me why you freaked out when I said to let the dragons come get him.”

“He’s half human. You know, damn well, they’ll kill him. It’s the law.”

I grinned. “And yet you are robbing banks and breaking human law. See we have a problem. If I can promise you protection for you son, will you tell me about what The Dragon wants.”

Naomi nodded.

I waved my hand and Dorian came in. “Dorian, can I protect the half dragon boy?”

“Only way you can keep him from the dragons is to put him under Venatori protection. No one here will put him under their protection.”

“Can I put him under my protection?”

Dorian smiled. “You are of legal consenting age, so yes.”

“How do I protect him?” I asked. I knew the answer, but I wanted Naomi to understand.

“You could adopt him. It would be easiest.” Dorian put papers on the table. “I had the papers drawn up. The Dragon Council will not take him from you, he’d become one of us like a human would.”

“And all I have to do is sign the paperwork?”

“And the parents of the boy if they both survive.” Dorian pushed the papers to Naomi.

She looked at me. “You will personally protect my son?”

“That’s what I’m proposing if you tell them about The Dragon.” I stood up and smiled. Dorian handed her a pen.

Naomi signed the paper and set the pen down. I signed the paper after her. “Dae’lin, she’s all yours. If she doesn’t tell you everything. Tear up the paperwork.” Naomi gasped as I walked out the door. Dorian had followed me.

I turned to look at my friend and mentor with a smile, “How did you know?”

He grinned at me, “I have known you since you were five, Nox. You don’t think I learned anything at all about you?”

“That’s not it. I get that you know me, how did you know that would satisfy her? You knew I’d sign the paper, but you knew nothing more than that she wanted to keep her son safe. That paperwork had my name as guardian printed on it. Meaning you knew what I’d do.”

Dorian smiled. “I knew you would protect that child with everything you had. And I knew without a shadow of a doubt you would not let that child grow up like you did – alone and parent-less. And I knew you were ready to be a father. What I hadn’t gathered was that you were ready to be an adult.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked. We headed towards the stairs, Dorian was one of the few people who always took the stairs with me. He disliked the fear in my eyes, even though I rode the glass elevator.

Dorian chuckled at me as we started up the stairs. “That you actually wanted to settle down. I figured I’d be doing a lot of babysitting while you went out at night to find a new coping mechanism to satisfy your desire for human companionship.”

“You’ve been talking too much to Margo, Dorian.”

Dorian laughed. It echoed in the stair well as we walked up the few flights of stairs to the Academy. Dorian never asked me where I was going, I think he knew already.

“Will you tell Margo of your blue-eyed boy tomorrow?” Dorian asked.

“Of course. There is a lot to tell. And not just about him.”

Dorian touched my arm, and we stopped in the middle of the stairs. “I’m proud of you. Not only do you stand up for what you believe in, you carry it through. You…”

I smiled at Dorian. “I got it, you don’t have to say it and make it all mushy and uncomfortable.”

“Your father is proud of you, too.” Dorian said with a smile as we continued back up to the Academy. I wished to ask the little dragon if he wanted to stay with me. He had to wait until he was under my care, but I didn’t want him to freak out either. But the subject of my father made me frown.

“He has a funny way of showing it.” I laughed.

Dorian nodded. “He never showed home much he cared as a father. I do not regret keeping the secret, Nox. You needed a father, but Kai wasn’t going to be the father you needed.”

“And you were?” I asked.

Dorian shook his head. “No. I never wanted to be a father to you. You were my charge. I cared for you in only that manner at first. It’s why I missed Garrett. You were the first child I’d had custody of in the legal sense. I was not the parent you needed anymore than Kai was.”

I smiled. “But you and Margo were the guardians I got. I’m the man I am because of your direction. I like who I am. So don’t be so hard on yourself. I’m not a complete screw up.”

Dorian laughed. “Some would beg to differ.”

“Some always will.” I stopped and hugged Dorian. He had frozen when I wrapped my arms around his shoulders but he relaxed and let me, he even wrapped his arms around me. I felt the complete urge to pull away, but I didn’t. I was learning to let people in.

Dorian was chuckling when he let me go. “Sage, has known you what? Three days, and already the scared little boy is retreating into the man he became.”

I grinned. “I’m learning. I’m trying.”

Dorian nodded. “Don’t fall too far down the rabbit hole too fast. Climbing out will not be as easy as falling.”

I laughed. “I know, but I think I already fell all the way down and I have to learn to climb back out.” I added as we climbed the stairs. “I’ve told him things, shown him things only you and Margo know. He knows about my nightmares. He’s seen the damage. And the funny thing is, his life is as messed up as mine. His parents died. Sage was separted from his brother. He bounced around foster homes because he was a terror, which was likely his untrained technopathy. He got caught by a good FBI agent who took him in and became a loving father. But that man is also a wolf.”

Dorian’s eyes went wide with the knowledge, “Dominic Olmos’ group?” I shook my head and Dorian relaxed. “Hell’s Kitchen at least is friendly to you. Sheridan is a good man.”

Dorian knew what Adrian had done for me as a kid. Dorian hadn’t liked it but when Margo had agreed with him Dorian’s opinion didn’t matter. “So Sage?…”

“Did you know I was part of the pack?” I asked Dorian.

“Adrian has always considered you family. I assumed he brought you in for your protection. You didn’t know?”

I shook my head. “I was thirteen when Adrian first found me. I didn’t understand a lot then.”

“You don’t feel the pack then? Humans always do. Or those whom we’ve spoken to in the past.”

“Sage does.” I answered. “But I don’t. I feel their energy when I’m close but like now I don’t feel connected to them.” I blurted, “I gave Sage my power.”

“Why?” Dorian asked in shocked wonder.

“Because I needed him to have it. He needs the power to protect himself if word ever got out that he’s dominant over me. They’ll have to go through me to get at him now.”

“You always surprise me, Nox. Always. I’m surprised you gave up control so easily.”

I laughed. “Dorian, I don’t want to be in control. I control it so I don’t freak the fuck out. If someone else wants the control, they can have it.”

“He’s willing to control everything, Nox?”

I shook my head. “He doesn’t control everything..”

“You can’t be passive in your relationship, Nox.” Dorian warned.

“I know. I have a lot to work on in a relationship. Worry about whether Sage likes Mexican shouldn’t be one of them. And you know I’ll freak out making the plans – the change alone is gonna kill me, the planning?” I sighed. “Besides, he likes telling me what to do. He spoke with Adrian after I’d been with his friend.”

Dorian shook his head and opened the door to the landing of the Academy where Drake was being held. The school was just as I remembered it. The halls, the smell – especially the smells. So much of my anxiety was linked up in smells I could feel the stress just filling my bones. I took a deep breath and focused on what I should be doing – meeting my potential new roommate.

He was more than that, but right now we didn’t know each other. One step at a time.

Dorian lead me down the hall to the toddler enclosures. They were rooms with half walls where the kids played with toys while their teachers were teaching other classes. It was more daycare than actual teaching at this age. And nearly every child of Venatori between the ages of 8 weeks and 4 years old was in these walls at the same time.

If you wanted to wipe the future of the Venatori off the planet, you only had to blow up one building. This one. There were strict measure in place to prevent a near extinction level event like that. Short of planes flying into the building we we’re good. Though New York City’s record for flying planes into building was pretty tarnished thanks to the events of 9/11. That was one fucked up day!

I was 9 the day the Twin Towers fell. It had happened across town, but I remember the world collapsing around us. The shake of the ground as they fell. The panic of the City, and the brotherhood it had inspired afterwards. All of it etched into my small mind. That event helped fuel my discomfort in flying. I’ve flown once after that and it was pure terror. I felt like I was five years old again. When I came back to New York City to work, I drove back. I’ve not driven a car since then either – but that’s not out of fear – that’s out of why the fuck would I want to when I can walk anywhere I need to or hop a bus or train and get there without having to deal with traffic myself. No stress is my way of life.

Dorian tapped my shoulder, and I turned into the room he’d indicated. My mentor knew me too well. I smiled at him and he led me through the hall to where Drake was partioned off from the rest of the classes. The half door was painted orange, and I frowned. I looked at Dorian and he only nodded.

The orange door meant these kids were potential fire-starters, or they were. Inside five kids played. Drake looked no different from any other toddler until he looked up at me and sniffed the air. Dorian chuckled. “He reminds me of you.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“You use to do the same thing every time I walked in the room. You don’t remember?” He was watching me watch Drake.

I shook my head. “But, I guess, I did it. I know I always, even now, smell you before I see you.” I grinned at Dorian, “And I mean that in the best possible way.”

“I know. Cinnamon and vanilla – I smell like cookies to you.” He chuckled.

“That’s not how I thought of it – the best part of apple pie.”

“You hate apple pie.” Dorian said as he frowned at me.

“I hate eating it, the smells however are very hard to make me see the evil that is apple pie.” I was frowning now – the bad memories overriding the good ones always happened when apple pie came up.

A little girl who couldn’t be over six looked up at me. “Why don’t you like apple pie?”

The answer was simple, but how do you tell a child you hate apple pie because your mother made it and it was the only good memory you had of a bad mother. So I told a half truth. “It brings up bad memories.”

Dorian added in my mother’s defense, “And a singular good one. Tell them.”

I sighed. “When I was younger than you, my mother made apple pies all the time. I remember the smell of the crust baking in the oven before she would do anything else. The clean crisp scent of the apples cooking down in the vanilla and cinnamon.”

Another little boy looked up at me and waved his hands at me urgently. The same girl grinned and said, “Joey says that sounds like a good memory.”

I nodded. “It is. But all the bad things my mother did afterwards kinda ruined the whole thing.”

Another boy asked, “What she do that was so bad?”

I looked to Dorian, and he nodded. He leaned over and whispered, “They all have troubles too. Tell them.”

I sighed. “My mother had been out. She’d been hunting, and I was excited to see my mother, and my Nanny was sick so I made myself cereal. I made a mess. My mother came in and she was angry. She shook me and I was afraid. I was five when my ability first came in that moment. I watched as the curtains caught fire out of my fear.”

I looked past the children at the far wall and I could see the flames rising higher and higher in my minds-eye. “My mother rushed for the fire extiquisher and put it out. I was staring. Afraid of her and the fire and I didn’t know what was going on. My mother threw the red tube at me missing my head. She yelled at me, spat at me, called me a monster and sent me to my room.”

I remembered picking up the little red dragon that was my only true friend and holding him tigh. “That evening my mother packed my bag. And early the next morning she was dragging me on to a plane. I was crying and dragging my feet and it only made my mother worse. I freaked out on the plane so bad my mother had to give me medicine that knocked me out. When I woke up I was waiting at the airport terminal. That was when I met Mr. Dorian for the first time. He smelled like cinnamon and vanilla. He made me feel safe. I needed that then.”

Drake looked up at me and smiled. “You smell safe.”

I smiled. “Do I? What do I smell like?”

He frowned, “Like Mama.”

“Why are you sad?” I asked him.

“I miss Mama.”

I nodded. “I bet you do. I missed mine too when she left me with Dorian.”

“Did she come back?” Drake asked.

I sighed and shook my head. “No, Drake, my mother didn’t love me like your mama loves you. She asked me to take care of you for her while she’s not with you. Will that be okay?”

Drake smiled. “Go now?”

I shook my head. “After school. You can come home with me, okay?” I looked at Dorian and he nodded, “The paperwork was pushed through this morning without the signatures.”

I grinned at him. “You know me well.”

Dorian smiled. “I knew even if she doesn’t tell us about The Dragon you’d take him in. Without a shadow of a doubt.”

I grinned down at Drake. “I will come and get you when you get out. If I’m busy, Mr. Dorian will pick you up and take you to his house and I will get you there, okay?”

He nodded. “Play now.” I nodded in return and Drake went off to play with his friends. I waved at the five little ones and Drake waved back.

“So which one was your son Dorian?” I grinned at him as we walked away.

“How did you guess?”

“I know you you as well as you know me. You were comfortable walking in to the kiddie rooms. No one questioned you being there.”

“The little red head. His name is Aidan. He wasn’t planned.”

I laughed. “Obviously not. You don’t like women, Dorian, so how does one accidentally have a baby? I’d sure as hell like to know how that worked out for you.”

Dorian sighed. “You remember those six months I was out of town?”

I nodded. “Yeah, that was like five years ago. They’d been hounding you.”

“I left to decide if I could preform. I hooked up, as you’d say, with a human girl. Accidents happened, but she failed to inform me before I told her I was gay. That any relationship would fail because I was incapable of making her happy. After Aidan was born, her mother found my contact in her phone and sent me a nasty email. I’ve been sending her money since. When Stella lost her job a few months back, I arranged for her to get a job here.”

I frowned, but I understood. “Taste like shit when it happens to you, huh?”

Dorian nodded. “I know you forgive me for not telling you about your father, but yes it does. Stella is having issues with the whole Venatori life style, but both you and I know Aidan needs to be here.”

“So what’s up with the rest of the kids then?”

“The twins – Joey is deaf so the whole care thing is difficult, but since his sister can speak with him she’s here, though she’s not in the ‘troubled’ child category. Henry is shy and when he’s not he’s mean. So he’s a disciplinary problem. Aidan’s still integrating and they keep him here until he and his mother do.” Dorian sighed.

“Well good thing she survived, or you’d be beating yourself up more than you already are. You’ll be a great fad, too bad that don’t count.” I grinned playfully at him.

“I know, right? Proof is in the pudding though, so now I have to. Can’t deny that it’s not a biological impossibility. Any tips?”

I laughed, “On having sex with a woman? For you? Doggie style works, don’t let her get nekkid. Wham bam, thank you ma’am.” I smacked my hands together like I was dusting them off.

Dorian turned a dark shade of red and muttered, “Forget I asked.”

I laughed. “You knew what I would say.”

“No, actually I didn’t. You’d think I’d have at least known the gist of it though.” Dorian rolled his eyes. “So, your blue-eyed boy? How’d breakfast go?”

“Great. He then took me home, and that happened and I saw his childhood bedroom. And then Dae’lin called.” I smiled. “I should go check on Naomi.”

Dorian nodded. “The boy’s things will be delivered to your room for tonight. He has nothing from home, maybe you can go get some since you know where they lived. He might feel more comfortable.”

I nodded. “That sounds like an excellent thing.”

Dorian laughed, “Maybe you can walk with your new boy toy.”

I smiled. “He is most definitely not my toy. I might be his though.”

Dorian blushed again. “You’d think I’d learn. Behave, Nox. I’ll see you later I’m sure.”

We parted ways, and I went down to check on Naomi.

The Last Phoenix (in order)

Comfortably Numb (5/12/2018)

Fortune is Family

For years the thing I wanted most was family. What I needed most was family. But I neither got what I wanted, nor did I realize it was truly in my power to do something about it. Jace has always been like a brother to me. He was my tie to life when we were kids. I know it sounds all dramatic and suicidal speaking like without Jace there would be nothing. But it’s the truth.

I only tried to kill myself twice. I’ve mentioned it before I think, the first time I slit my wrists but the Venatori healing stopped that attempt as soon as it started. So much for fast healing.

The second time, I came to my senses and I saved myself by softening the earth below me and slowing my descent from the jump off of the AU building. Both times I needed Jace and he wasn’t there. But it’s not his fault. I take responsibility for my actions. I redoubled my efforts in therapy after the second attempt. But it was also when I realized that I had others who cared for me. Dorian was always there for me. Dae’lin was too, but her love of me is tainted with my reckless behavior. She is my mentor before she is family. And in all honesty it is how it needs to be. Jace is my life line – or he was.

We’ve grown distant as life moves on. We still hang out, we still love each other. We haven’t changed. Just our lives have. I’m busy with whatever hunt I’m on. Jace is busy with Mia and Naya and teaching a bunch of teenage kids about their Magnus gift. He’s a great teacher. He sees the world a little differently than most other Magnus. His gift is just that much different that he can teach things in a different way. The kids adore him.

While he will forever and always be my best friend, my brother and my family. He’s not always there when I need him most. And that is why I think I fell so hard for the mysterious blue-eyed boy in The Last Phoenix. Sage is my fortune. He’s better than gold. He’s better than money. Sage wants to make that family with me. We have our issues. I create most of them. But Sage reminds me constantly, he’s not perfect either. But he could have fooled me. Love is blind, right? And I do love him.

Now I know you are asking what the hell does the picture have to do with anything I’ve talked about. A search of “gold” at unsplash where I get my images from, that came up. I was looking for treasure chest type, gold coins something along those lines. I knew I was gonna write about family, but more importantly about Sage. R2-D2 is not C3PO, but if you love one droid, you love them all. And that’s the connection – my geeky boyfriends fascination with Star Wars. His treasures from his childhood that sat on his dresser.

They don’t sit there anymore. I went back and took them. They are now proudly displayed on Sage’s mantle in his living room. Celebrating his childhood loves.

Fortune

Expanding my “Territory”

I already covered the territories of New York Cities supernatural creatures in Lovingly so I won’t get into that again.

Instead I want to talk a little about an initiative I am (well AJ mostly) doing which includes expanding my territory so to speak. More like I’m trying to pull in more readers. Not that I don’t love the lot of my regular readers. I adore you all! But AJ writes just to write. But sharing those words with others is difficult – so thus this blog was born. The point being to spread the words to more people.

I have found a few reads that I enjoy through the WordPress Reader. I follow some of your own blogs. I try to comment when I can. I love to talk and those are the ones I tend to reply to because they aren’t afraid to speak with the fictitious character that I am.

If you haven’t noticed yet, there is a list to the right of the blog posts with the beginnings to other worlds, other writers out there who are sharing their fiction with the world. I want to read about your characters, your worlds, read your stories. If you have something you think I might like then I’d love to hear from you, post a link in the comments, shoot me an email on the contact form.

AJ is currently writing a guest post for another blogger who wants to post it in May sometime. So, expanding my horizons. Of course it’s about me from my point of view. AJ rarely writes anything else. But July I think will see a different character, one to whom I will get to meet in her novel. It’s geared towards kids, which should be interesting. AJ wants to share the words with the girlies, and me I’m not safe for preteens. (The baby turned 10 on the 27th….. 10!!!)

Sorry I’m spamming the reminders. But Saturday starts Camp NaNoWriMo and I will be sharing each day of my trip with you here.

Territory

Alchemy

Today’s prompt really didn’t call to me. Magic potions – cure alls – the elixir of life. Not really soemthing I have much to say about. However definition #3 at dictionary.com did

an alchemic preparation formerly believed to be capable of transmuting base metals into gold.

My original creation was a channeler for a role playing website based in a futuristic (or past) Wheel of Time world. The First Age is still a big writing draw for AJ, but she fell in love with me – rightfully so! So AJ set out to create me a world along the same basic principles – the ability to bend the five elements.

AJ pulled from the Wheel of Time and Avatar: The Last Air bender. It was during this elemental research that AJ found alchemy – the ability to change elements. Cesari was taken from Latin meaning alchemist. (see the lore book for the exact Latin word)

I could call the patterns elixirs – and actually I might here, but I like patterns and thus I’ll likely stick with it. But now that I think about it elixirs sound kinda cool. A fireball elixir – haha – sounds like a deadly alcohol drink that will leave you drunk for days.

Elixir

As a reminder. Camp NaNoWriMo starts April 1. The tag here will be Darwynn’s Law. Twitter and Instagram will be used. I’ll try to link in the whole conversations but those probably won’t all show up the day of the post – so follow me and Sage there to see it as it happens – live (sorta).

I will be spending thirty days out in the woods with a bunch of teenage boys teaching them the ins and outs of survival and hunting in the big bad wilderness of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Come see what trouble I get into! Cause you know I will.

The last reminder – April’s camp will follow a few months AFTER The Last Phoenix so pick it up and read before April 1.

A Big Mess – Childhood Room

Sage’s bedroom tour lasted all of five minutes. It was unchanged from his youth. An archaic computer was sitting on the desk. There were pictures of his friends pinned to the corkboard above his desk. I recognized them from the club though I couldn’t tell you their names. But I remembered the girl with the purple hair though in the picture she wasn’t coloring her blond locks.

There was a poster of David Bowie hanging on the wall above his bed which made me smile. We’d have to talk music one day. There were pictures of Steve Jobs and other computer geeks from what I could tell. Sitting on top of the dresser was a small toy collection arranged in a row, like they had been there their whole lives. R2-D2, Lego men, a few matchbox cars, but what caught my attention was the little red dragon sitting next to R2-D2. It was the only thing in the room that had captured my attention other than Bowie. I picked up the little red dragon and smiled.

Sage’s watched me but he never said anything. I put Mushu down and turned to him, he was smiling at me, “That meant something?”

I smiled at him. “Mushu was my only friend once upon a time. Sadly, he perished in a fire I started.”

I walked out of Sage’s room and he followed me to the kitchen. “Mrs. Morgan. It was a pleasure to meet you. I need to get going.” I offered her my hand and she dusted off her hands before taking it.

Sage frowned, “I though you were mine the rest of the day.”

I held up my phone that had been vibrating nonstop for the entirty of our time in Sage’s bedroom. There were ten messages from Dae’lin on it.

All of them were identical to the last one.

Little Miss Boss
664-555-4189
Sun, 06/24/2015


Call me
11:32 AM

I held up the phone to Sage, and he took it and scrolled through all the messages. “I guess you should call her then,” he grinned. “So much for tradition.”

“Would it be too much to ask that you walk me home?” I asked.

Sage grinned. “I’d love to.” He turned to his foster mother in the kitchen and leaned inside to speak to her. “Mama Rose, I’ll be back for dinner. Since my plans have changed.”

We left his childhood home and headed for the subway station that would take me home. I asked, “You live in Hell’s Kitchen?”

Sage nodded, “Not far from Danny and Rosella.”

When the train came, it was full, and we stood holding on to a strap facing each other. The stop and go of the car pushed and pulled us apart, but we said nothing until we were heading up to the street on foot. Sage had broken the playful silence. “Are you sure you want to give me that kinda power?”

I smiled at him. “It’ll keep you safer. You weren’t going to stop doing what Adrian suggested were you?”

Sage frowned and shook his head. There was a small blush creeping up his neck, and I wanted to kiss it away. “No. I liked it. I liked how you reacted.”

“Good. It will keep the pack off your back. I won’t have to protect you and start a war.” I breathed. “And when I’m with you, I can relax a little. I trust you.”

“You barely know me.” Sage grinned.

“That is true. But it is still true. I’m not looking for someone to boss me around. Not a submissive pet. I don’t like surprises or change. Change terrifies me but it’s inevitable and I cope and adapt to it. My life is ordered. I’m trusting you to help me add order not make it more chaos.” I smiled. “No pressure, right? But keep doing what you are doing and we can work on everything else. I talk a lot if you hadn’t noticed. Years of therapy – talking is coping.”

Sage laughed. “It’s a good thing I like listening to you then.”

“Let me call Dae’lin. Maybe I don’t have to come in.” I doubted it but it was at least worth a shot.

The phone rang and Dae’lin picked up. “I’m sorry Nox. I know it’s your birthday, the one day you have off. But she will only talk to you.”

“Really? I have to come in. It can’t wait until tomorrow?” I asked.

She sighed. “Gary is furious with you. It was an easy job. Walker was with you, she should be dead by all accounts. They want this over with.”

I sighed. “Fine I’ll be there soon.”

“Thanks.” Dae’lin hung up the phone, and I frowned at Sage.

“I’m sorry.”

He smiled. “It’s okay. We all got jobs.”

“Mine is at all hours, every day. I live where I work.” I looked up at the towering Apex Unlimited building and it’s out of place curves in the New York Skyline but it was home it had always been home. “Thank you for breakfast. And everything else too.”

Sage grinned. “It’s not a problem. Call me when you can. Even if it’s at 3 am.”

I nodded. Sage ran his fingers through my hair, it had become a mop over the course of the day with no styling product in it. He grinned at me, “And you don’t have to hide the tattoo.” He traced the lines of the crossed swords at my temple. “I like it.”

“I wasn’t hiding it. But at first, I didn’t think you could see it. You really don’t know what you are, do you?”

Sage shook his head, “You called me a path?”

“You pull the magnetic patterns of the electric wires to you. We call that a technopath. You probably use it without even realizing it.”

Sage frowned. “So, I’m some technopath raised by wolves. Yeah, that doesn’t sound freakish.”

I laughed. “I’ll tell you about my birth and we’ll compare freak shows okay? But Dae’lin will be angry if I don’t show up soon.”

Sage nodded. “All right. Call me.” He leaned in and kissed my cheek.

I pouted. I was disappointed, but it was mostly for show. It earned me a quick peck on the lips before he turned and waved at me, “Later, Nox.”

“Bye, Sage.”

The Last Phoenix (in order)

Comfortably Numb (5/12/2018)