Drake and I walked hand in hand to the toddler facility and I bent down in front of him and I smiled. “Drake. You need to do me a favor okay?”
He nodded and I wove the pattern of a veil. “Do you see this?”
He nodded. “Pwetty.”
“It is. But you can’t make in school okay? I know it’s funny when people can’t find things, but it’s not nice okay?” I said softly.
He nodded. I smiled. “We will work on it at home okay? Me and you. We can play hide and seek tonight after I get home okay?”
Drake smiled wider. “K.”
I then wove a pretty ball of fire. “Do you see this one. Not the fire, the pretty parts behind it?”
He nodded. I stretched it out so the fire grew near transparent so he could see the threads of elements below. “If you see these at any time. I want you to think about something happy. You might not be the one doing them, but I want you to think of something happy okay? Like your mommy’s hugs, or cake. Something that makes you happy. This will help keep everyone safe alright?”
Drake nodded. “You keep me safe.”
“I will do my best. Can you do these things for me?” I asked.
He nodded emphatically. “Yes, sir.”
I grinned. “Good boy. Either myself or Dorian will come get you okay?”
I felt an elbow on my head and knew exactly who was using me as their resting pole. “Hey Jace. Have you met Drake yet?”
Jace knelt down and offered his hand to Drake. “Hey Drake. My name is Jason. This lug here is my best friend and brother.” He held Naya up in her cute little dress. “And this is Naya.”
Drake waved shyly at them. “Mia and I’ll grab him. I’m sure Dorian’s busy. He doesn’t need a toddler running around. We can stay at your place till you come back.”
“If I’m late Jace?” I asked. “You guys can’t crash with me. I don’t have room.”
“If it get’s late will drop him off with Dorian. But let us watch him. He can help us with Naya.”
I looked to Drake. “Would you like to hang out with Jace and Mia tonight.”
“More cake?” he asked.
I laughed. “Probably not.”
He nodded. Just as Lita showed up for class. “Come on, Drake, let’s go.” She held out her hand to him and he walked to her and calmly went in. She looked at me, “It go alright last night.”
“Swimmingly.” I said with a bright smile.
I got a quick cuddle with Naya and then went on my way. I stopped in with Dae’lin to see if there was any news first. She was on the phone and I stood outside her office waiting while she finished up.
Walker passed by with a frown, he glanced at his watch, “I thought you said 10:30ish.”
“I am. My appointment is at 9:30. I was just checking in on things before I went up.”
“Ah. There has been nothing definite yet and it can certainly wait until you get back. Maybe they’ll have more information.” He said with a smile.
“If there is nothing then I’ll head up and see you in a little more than an hour.” I headed for the stairs.
Walker yelled after me. “You got that date with the fat girl tonight?”
I sighed but nodded my head. “Her name is Treec.” I hurried to open the door and started up the stairs to the Infirmary where I would find Margo’s office.
It hadn’t moved in the 15 plus years I had been going to see her. And the decor had only changed slightly. Inside the waiting room were several single comfortable chairs sitting around a single coffee table with magazines and a bowl of wax apples. In the far corner was a fake tree with apples strategically placed in the branches.
Her office smelled of fresh cut apples and was very homey feeling. The fabric of the pillows reminded me of the classic picnic blanket with the red and white gingham print. Megan smiled at me from her desk. “Morning Nox. Dr. Silverman will be with you shortly.”
I smiled back at her. “How’s Gretta?” I sat down.
“She’s wonderful. I’m so happy to have her home now. It was a bit of a rough ride there for a while. Greg is loving staying home with her these past few weeks.”
“I bet he is. I’m glad she’s doing better.” Gretta was born with a faulty heart and had to go through surgery to fix it. It was rare for Venatori to have birth defects but it was prone to happen. It happened more when families were too close to one another. No one thought Greg and Megan had been close, but apparently they had been close enough or something else had played a part in it. Either way Gretta would be in and out of hospitals for the rest of her life much like I’d been. Even if she were completely healthy after these surgeries.
Megan asked, “I heard you were adopting a little one? Last night was your first night.”
I nodded. “Rumor sure travels fast.”
Megan laughed. “Mr. Vega had Dr. Silverman signing paperwork for you to expedite the adoption. I’m sure she’ll tell you all about it,”
The door to Margo’s office opened and a man in a ragged sweater and thinning gray hair with round spectacle perched on his hawk like nose walked out. I smiled, “Mr. Brown.”
He smiled a nearly toothless grin at me, “Nox. A pleasure.” Mr. Brown had been going before me for as long as I could remember. I didn’t know why he was coming here, and Margo never shared his reasons to me even when I would pester her endlessly about it. I didn’t know who came after me, they were always late. So much so she was always scheduled for two blocks.
When Margo was back to her door I stood up and entered her office and sat down on the blue couch. She sat in the wicker chair that reminded me of those you saw on beaches. Her office was supposed to reflect that calm place on the beach. It smelled of tropical forest and there was even a small waterfall sitting on Margo’s desk. The beach was not calming for me, but the room was. Margo had been making it calm before the beach became an unsafe place for me.
Margo pulled out her yellow pad and wrote down the date and my name and looked at me. “Good morning, Nox. How are things going?”
I smiled. “All in all well. Though I’m sure I’m going to run out of time today.”
She laughed. “Okay. Busy week?”
“No more so than others. A busy weekend. I met a boy. Two actually.” I started. She smiled at me to continue. “You know about one already. He and I get along okay. I think we’ll be good together. Ironically it’s the least of my worries. I’ve wanted this for some time. I just didn’t expect to start with a three-year-old.”
“How’s Dr. Silas treating you?”
I rolled my eyes. “She’s why I met the other boy. I was ditching her on my birhtday outting with Jace and used him to show her I liked guys by hitting on him. He apparently knew who I was but I didn’t remember him. We hit it off, danced all night. He too my protection leaving me his card. Mia texted him in my stead and we started chatting. I’ve had three meals with him in the past three days and seen him once outside of eating arrangements. He’s met Dorian. And I’ve met his family.”
“That’s fast Nox.” Margo frowned.
“I know. We discussed it. The relative speed of this. He’s not opposed to it. He doesn’t want a one night stand. But I’m terrified he’ll leave. My nightmares have changed. It’s not just the red eyes anymore, there are blue and orange ones joining in on the terror. But that isn’t all. Last night when the blue-eyed demon hit me I woke up. I felt the lash against my skin and I woke up.”
“Why do you think you are having the change in dreams?” Margo asked.
“Same reason I always do. Because I’m afraid of Sage hurting me. My mind processes it the same way it processes all my fears. Despite the fact that it’s not the same kinda hurt.”
Margo nodded. “You’ve spoken to your new friend about moving too fast. What else have you talked about? That isn’t something you’d share lightly is it?”
“He stopped by the night after I went on mission with Walker when I lost three hours of time.” I started.
“Wait. You lost three hours?”
“I must have fallen asleep. I saw Garret after getting back. He touched me. I was in flight mode and I had taken the stairs three at a time. And I sat down to calm down. When Garrett and I were talking Sage sent me a text. I heard another one go off and it must have woken me up. There was three hours between texts. I didn’t dream. I didn’t fall asleep but I had to have.”
Margo was furiously making notes on her yellow ledger. When she looked up she said softly, “If it happens again, notify me immediately and we’ll begin studying it. Hopefully it was just a one off event. Blackouts are not good Nox.”
I took a deep breath and tried to calm the rising anxiety. Margo prompted me to continue, “Tell me what else you and Sage have spoken about.”
“I told him about my nightmares. He’s seen my back.” I didn’t look up to see her reaction. “I let him touch it. More than once.”
Margo put her hand on my knee to get my attention, “That’s big.”
I nodded. “I told him some of the bad shit in my life. He took me home to show me his shit life.” A curt laugh escaped. “He was raised by wolves quite literally. He’s Agent Danny Morgan’s son.”
“The same Agent Morgan you’ve worked with and the one who reports to Adrian Sheridan?”
I nodded, “One and the same.”
“You are falling for a wolf Nox?” Margo sounded concerned.
“He can’t be a wolf. He’s a path. It’s why he bounced from home to home as a kid. He was a terror on electrical things – lamps, tvs, computers broken because he’s near.” I shrugged. “We’ve talked about Dr. Silas and her agenda. He tore up the paper that would garnish my wages.”
“Why did he do that?”
“Because I signed it. He didn’t like the idea of me procreating by law, so I did the only thing I could. He tore it up, told me we’d deal with it. I told him money wasn’t going to make me happy. But he might.”
Margo smiled. “I’m proud of you. A few years ago you would have just ended it with him. Much less get started at all. A significant other and a son, all in the same weekend. A very busy weekend Nox.”
I smiled. “And a new partner. And a headache case. War is going to happen. I’m not sure anyone can stop it. The dragons are stepping on wolf and vampire toes more so than before. The Dragon is targeting human financial places and probably a list of other things. Dominick wants me to keep an eye out on the dragons. I’m sure I can get word to Ant to see if he’s seeing the same thing in the vamp areas.”
We talked for the rest of the hour about work, and my feelings about various other things going on. All the big stuff having gotten out of the way in the first twenty minutes of the session. By the time the hour was up I needed a glass of water. Thankfully when I stepped out of the office Megan was holding up a bottle of water for me. “See you next week Nox.”
“Bye Megan. Kiss the baby for me.” I grinned.
“What? Greg will be so jealous he didn’t get a kiss.” Megan laughed.
“You can kiss him too.” I raised the bottle of water to Megan and Margo in farewell and left the empty office to start working.