I headed to my room for a shower. I could have called Sage, but I figured that would be pointless. So I sent him a text instead.
Have a late night again. Working Late.
My shower was quick and I called Treec. She answered quickly. I didn’t even bother counting the rings I expected to go voicemail anyway. “Hello?”
“Hey Treec. This is Nox. I was hoping we could move our dinner to a bit earlier. Five good?”
“Yeah sure. I’ll get off work at 4:30 so I can meet you at your place at 5.” She sounded excited. I wasn’t I was fucking nervous. Thought I don’t know why, this wasn’t a date.
“Alright. See you at five.”
I had to find a baby sitter for Drake. I’d almost forgotten about that. Not that the Venatori care, but I did. Drake couldn’t stay home by himself there were laws against that – at least human ones.
I walked down to the Academy to find Dorian. I could have called but if he was busy I didn’t want to interrupt him. I found him in his office tapping away at his keyboard and staring at the monitor of his computer doing whatever it was that he did when he wasn’t testing kids or creating a curriculum for them.
I knocked on the door and he called out, “Enter.” I opened the door and Dorian looked up and smiled at me. “Nox, what can I do for you?”
I grinned at him as I sat down in the seat. It hadn’t changed any since the first time I’d sat in it. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in here.”
Dorian nodded. “Last time was when I told you who your father was.”
I nodded with the memory. “I know. I was mad at you for keeping the secret from me. For letting me hate a man who I had adored my whole life.”
Dorian sighed. “I am sorry about that. But it was your mother’s wish that you not know who your father was. She was your guardian I couldn’t disobey her even if she never took active part in your life, she was your mother, and she will always be that.”
I stared blankly at Dorian. I hated when anyone defended the woman that had given me birth. I truly did not like the woman. “I was hoping you could pick up Drake after school. I have to work with Walker again tonight.”
Dorian frowned. “I’m sorry I can’t. I have a date.” The latter was said in a hushed whisper.
I had never heard Dorian say he was going on a date. I knew he dated, but it was rare that he actually said so openly. He was more like I was when I was younger, he choose to date outside the Venatori – it was safer and easier that way. I wanted very much to say something but I held my tongue and nodded. “Okay. I’ll find someone else to watch him. You have a good time.” I stood up to leave.
Dorian chuckled. “That’s all you have to say?”
I shook my head. “No. Dorian it’s not. But I’m going to leave it be and be a bigger man than usual.”
Dorian out right laughed. “Your father could probably watch Drake for you. He’s been asking me how to approach you about being a grandfather to the little dragon. He does feel guilty for not being there for you. Why don’t you let him be there for Drake.”
I took a deep breath. “Is this more than a suggestion?” I asked.
Dorian chuckled. “Take it however you need to to ask your father for a favor.”
“This is something you want me to do then?”
“Yeah. I think you need to do it.” Dorian said.
“Alright. I will ask my father.”
I opened he door and before I stepped through Dorian added, “He’s in his apartment he’s probably cleaning up a little.”
I turned around. “You knew I’d ask you?”
Dorian smiled. “Dae’lin called. Told me the deal. Informed me you might forget about your three year old roommate – her words, not mine. And that I needed to make arrangements.”
I sighed. “So he was staying with Kai no matter what.”
Dorian shook his head. “No. I knew you wouldn’t forget. But I let Kai know you would be taking my recommendation. He was excited.”
I rolled my eyes and Dorian laughed. I pointed my finger at my mentor with a mock glare, “You played me.”
Dorian nodded. “I did. I learned from the best.”
I stuck my tongue out at him and heard Dorian laughing as I shut the door behind me to find my father. Despite his fame and glory my father lived on the same floor as I did but in a better apartment. His was like Dorian’s and actually had a bedroom and a separate livingroom and kitchen. It was a true apartment. I knocked on the same door like my own and Dorian’s.
My father answered in a pair of sweats and a baseball cap. He frowned as he saw me standing in the hall. “Nox.”
“Hi Dad. I have a favor to ask you.”
Kai moved to the side and let me inside. His apartment was plainly painted. There were a few pictures on the wall. They were too far to see what they were of but I expected they were of my siblings and their families.
Kai moved back into the kitchen and started washing dishes – again. “What did you need Nox? I’m kinda busy.”
I grinned as I leaned across his bar to watch him. “I have to work tonight. I don’t know when I’ll be home. I need someone to watch Drake for me. I was hoping you might be able to. Could do some grandfatherly bonding.”
“He really talked you into asking me?” Kai asked as he turned to look at me while he was holding a sudsy plate in his hands.
“He didn’t talk me into anything. He gave me another option and I agreed that it would be a good idea.”
“Yeah, right? Why would you let me watch this kid if you think of him like a son?” Kai sneered but he went back to his dishes and I couldn’t see his expression any longer.
“I can’t let my personal feelings get in the way of family. I hated you for so long, you have to let me sort those feelings out.”
“You’ve had almost 4 years to do that.” Kai said plainly – the hurt in his voice was apparent.
“Maybe if you stopped treating me like some errant kid things would go better. I am trying. I’m here aren’t I? We sparred earlier. I am trying Kai.” I laughed. “Besides, I’m still dealing with my mommy issues and she left me when I was five. I still haven’t worked through that. At least you are here trying with me.”
Kai pulled the plug on his dish water and turned around. “I guess you are right. Margo says pretty much the same thing.”
“I’ll never get over the fact that you are dating my therapist.” I smiled at him. “So will you watch him for me?”
Kai laughed. “Why do you think I’m cleaning?”
“I didn’t want to mention it. Thank you.” I offered him my hand and Kai shook it firmly. “I’ll make you breakfast as payment. I’ll be by in time to feed you and Drake and get him to class on time.”
Kai nodded. “Sounds like a plan. I have nothing here – not even coffee.”
“Thanks for the heads up. You know when to pick him up?” I asked.
Kai smiled, “Dorian or Mia will drop him off here when he’s out of class.”
“Thanks again.” I said before leaving my father’s apartment. It felt weird but oddly enough it was what felt right. I hope Drake didn’t pick up on my resentment of my father. He deserved a proper family.