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
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.
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.”