Sage had helped me into Dae’lin’s office and sat me down in one of her office chairs. I leaned forward with my head between my knees. Sage was squatting in front of me looking at me with concern. I smiled wryly at him trying to reassure him. But I knew it wasn’t working.
I nodded. I didn’t speak. I wanted to tell Sage that I was okay, that I was good. I would be okay. My mind was just over reacting to change to the possibility that my life was going to be completely changed. The world had been fine until that moment. Until I had realized with every amount of certainty that I would up root my life to be with him.
Sage’s hands were on my knees waiting for me to compose myself. I reached out and took his hands in mind and pulled him against me. Sage knelt on the floor between my legs and we were nearly at eye level as I kissed him. “Change has always been hard.” I whispered after we broke apart. “I want to be with you and it was a moment of panic realizing I’d do everything I said I would to be with you and I’d never regret it. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t scare the shit out of me.”
Sage grinned. “We aren’t making any changes. Just be with me. That’s enough for me.”
“It’s enough for me.” I kissed Sage. Someone cleared their throat in the doorway and we broke apart Sage pressed his face to my chest and took a deep breathe. It was probably a little embarrassment and a lot more taking comfort in my smell. I wanted to do the same but I looked up ant saw Dorian standing with a smile.
“You alright?” Dorian asked.
“I’m alright. I have a good man to help me through all this shit.” I smiled up at Dorian then whispered in Sage’s ear, “We probably should get to work. You got that laptop?”
Sage nodded and then kissed me on the neck before he stood up and patted the bag under his arm. “Two laptops, mine and one for her.” Sage offered me his hand.
I smiled and took it and we followed Dorian out of Dae’lin’s office. Sage squeezed my fingers. I glanced over at him and he smiled then pulled me closer wrapping his arm around my waist instead of holding my hand. His hand hung from my belt loop and his fingers wrapped around my hip. He pressed his hip against mine and we walked. Sage grinned at me and I couldn’t help but smile back at him. How did I get so lucky to find a guy like him?
We walked past the fish bowl and Sage stopped. “That’s a dragon?”
I nodded. “You know her?”
Sage nodded. “She frequents The Den. I don’t feel other’s magic like you do but she always gave off shifter magic vibe. I know her as Trix.”
“So she knows you?” I asked.
Dorian kept walking with a wave. He had things to do. He had only come to help me. I yelled after him. “Dorian.” He turned and looked at me with a smile and bright blue eyes. “Thanks for checking on me. I’ll stop by later and we can talk about it.”
Dorian laughed. “I don’t think you need my help anymore, Nox. I think Sage has you well in hand. But the two of you should stop by for a glass of wine and maybe dinner. If you feel like cooking.”
I nodded. “We will sometime. May not be soon, depends on this case.”
Dorian nodded. “Always working. You are both welcome anytime.” He smiled and turned back down the hall to head back to the Academy where he worked.
Sage had waited patiently for our exchange. He smiled at me. “Dinner sounds good. Maybe I can meet your dad too?”
I grinned. “I don’t know if Dorian would like my father to be in the same room with us. But we’ll get Kai to come around so you can meet him proper.” I nodded towards the girl in the fish bowl. “She knows Truth?”
Sage nodded. “She knew Wicked too.”
I grinned. “So she knows The Wicked Truth. She knew of Chevalier too.”
Sage grinned. “Everyone knows Chevalier who’s any good at what we do. Some say he’s as old as computers are and has been hacking them for that long. Other’s say it’s just a bunch of guys using the name.”
I laughed. “Which one do you think it is?”
“Well until yesterday, I would have said he was just a bunch of different guys using the name, but I know better now. He’s the human servant of a vampire and immortal, or at least that’s what I understand now.”
I nodded. “Yes. Cari could let him go and he’d live out his mortal existence, but I doubt Jack Wynn will ever leave Cari’s side.”
“Is she that good?” Sage asked.
“She’s a very good master. He makes more money than he could hacking any day. And he gets to live forever watching technology grow until it kills us all. He’s in heaven.”
Sage nodded. “Shall we go acquaint ourselves then?”
I lead Sage to the door and let him the other side of the air wall and closed the two of us on the inside with the dragon hacker. I smiled at her. “Well, Trix. Here is a computer, and your babysitter.”
She gave Sage a frown. “I didn’t expect you to actually know who The Wicked Truth was. Or Chevalier. But you know them both?” She turned to look at me.
I nodded and I kissed Sage’s cheek. “I know them both.” I winked at her.
Sage sat down next to Trix and slid her a laptop. “It should be powerful enough.” Sage pulled out his own laptop but kept the lid closed. He looked up at me. “We’ll need a hard line to your internet.”
I nodded to the wall behind them. “Should be a cable back there. You both need a hard line?”
Sage nodded. “Yeah.”
I picked up the phone in the conference room and dialed the basement.
A boy answered. “IT. How can I help you?”
“Nate. I need an Ethernet hub up here in the fishbowl. I need two hard lines.”
Nate was my nephew. He was my half-sister’s eldest son. He was a Monroe but Iris was a Monroe which tied Nate to the Viddens family through blood. He sighed. “When?”
“As soon as possible. I have two hackers working a case and they don’t want a wireless connection.”
“Alright. I’ll bring one up. I have to take some other things up to HQ anyway.” Nate said as he hung up.
“We’ll have a hub in a few minutes. Get comfortable.” I sat down opposite the two hackers and swiveled in my chair like a child. Sage chuckled and on one turn I saw Trix rolling her eyes at me.
Ten minutes late a dark haired boy walked into the fishbowl. Or rather he walked into the wall of air. I winced when I hard the flesh hit the wall. “Sorry, my bad.”
Nate came in rubbing his nose. “That’s so wrong.”
He grinned at me with his crooked smile and green eyes. “I should let you hang for this Uncle Nox.”
I laughed. He was the only one of the older nephews and nieces that actually called me that. Darin was Nate’s little brother and he’d called me Uncle Nox since he could speak. But he was 6 now. He’d been a baby when I first met my father. “Well. I do have a bad guy to catch so do whatever you need. I’ll just have Dae’lin call your boss and get it done that way.”
The boy paled. Nate shook his head. “That’s not necessary. It’s right here. Let me get you set up.”
He moved around to the other side of the table where Sage and Trix sat. He looked at them with wary eyes. “Which one’s the dragon?” he asked.
“Guess.” I said.
Nate shook his head. “I can’t tell magic from another, they both possess something.”
Sage offered Nate his hand. “The Wicked Truth.” He nodded towards me. “He thinks I’m his boyfriend.”
Nate took Sage’s hand, “Nathaniel Monroe. Are you?”
Sage grinned. “Something like that I suppose.”
Nate was a smart kid. “So you must be the dragon.” He indicated Trix, he offered her his hand. “A pleasure to meet you. I’ve never met a dragon before.”
“Until today I’d never met a Venatori. You are the most polite one I’ve met so far.” Trix said. “You can call me Vicky.”
Nate grinned. “Don’t let Nox bother you, he’s just all talk.” Nate went back to work plugging in the hub and provided two more Ethernet cables for the two hackers. “Here you go. Two hard lines. Good luck!”
“Uncle Nox, Mom said you need to cook dinner for the family soon. Not just us, but everyone. A real family dinner. She said you were the only one qualified.” Nate said at the door.
I laughed. “Tell her to put it on my schedule and I’ll be there. We can plan the menu after we get a solid date.”
Nate’s eyes went wide. “Really? Even Uncle Adam?”
“He’s my half-brother we might as well try to get along.” I said. “You get everyone in one place and I’ll cook. One big happy family.”
Nate’s smile was bright. “I’ll tell mother. She’ll be just as surprised.” He literally skipped out the door.
I looked to the girl dragon and smiled. “Trix you wanna get started?”
She smiled back. “You could have used my name.”
I shrugged. “You didn’t introduce yourself to me. And I have no intention of telling you Truth’s real name so I figure I’ll stick to your handle as well.”
Sage grinned at me. “She’s working on setting up.” He turned his laptop for me to see and he was networked into whatever she was doing. “I got a visual of everything she’s doing. What do you want me to do?”
“Just babysit I guess.” I smiled at him. “It’s about all I got right now. Work with her if you see that you can.”
Sage sighed and walked around the table and sat down next to me. He pulled his laptop closer so he could see and turned my chair to him and leaned closer. I leaned in so he could whisper as that was the vibe he was giving me. “Nox. I can do whatever you need me to do.”
I grinned at him and whispered, “My Wicked Truth. I don’t want to get you in trouble. You know what I need. You do what you think you can do for me without compromising your morals.”
Sage was grinning at me. “Your Wicked Truth?”
“Yes. Mine.” I smiled
“I like that.” Sage kissed my check and turned back to his laptop. “Let me see what I can do.”
I whispered, “Don’t compromise yourself for me. Are we clear?”
Sage nodded. “I understand.”
Sage and Trix started working and the only sound in the room was that of typing.
The Last Phoenix (in order)