Are you Ready?

I’d ask you if you had a snack ready to watch the next installment, but I’m pretty sure each one is going to take you all of 2 mins at most to read. At least for the first few scenes that are already written. AJ broke everything up into little chunks like Darwynn’s Law but in story form like the Last Phoenix.

The Children of Morpheus will first be posted at 8am (EST I think) and then again at 2pm. Hopefully we can keep these times going and AJ stays ahead of the game.

AJ is shooting for 50K for Camp. So off we go tomorrow!

Tracking Down the Dragon – Trix

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.

“You alright?”

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.”

“I’m sorry.”

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)

Comfortably Numb (5/12/2018)

Opposites Attract?

Magnets are physically repulsed by the same polarity. Is that what attraction really is about? Is that why I’m attracted to Sage?

Maybe, he is an opposite to me, but we both have such similarities too, still we aren’t alike. I think if you are too far opposed to each other that you’ll eventually have issues. There has to be some commonality. I do know I wouldn’t want to be with a guy just like me. But that’s because a guy like me tends to be an ass and I have a bigger ego than that and think I deserve better!

See an ass!

In other news NaNo starts in two days! The Children of Morpheus is queued up till the 5th and AJ will start writing on the 1st maybe not as much as hoped as there is family things to do but AJ has Monday off so there will be writing then! All that glorious me time!

See more ego lol.

And a second piece of information, remember that writing competition AJ joined? Yeah, one of the perks of doing it is the story gets published. It’s now currently open for reader choice voting. AJ’s entry can be found on that list, but here is the direct link to Guardian Angel

We’d appreciate the vote, but there are a lot of other short stories you can read, so vote how you feel best we won’t judge.

Driving

Can I say I hate driving? I’ve never been the fan of a 4 wheel mode of transportation. I mean I can drive. I learned, I drove for my first year out in the field, but I prefer my own two feet, or the subway to driving in New York City. I don’t even do Taxi’s often.

I will ride with Jace and Mia. And Dorian if we have places to be out of the City proper, but I prefer to take the train.

I dislike the loss of time transporting myself and having to concentrate on the road, I’d much rather preoccupy myself with other concerns while on the train.

Viva la Revolution – I Can’t

When I got back to Dae’lin’s office and the fish bowl Sage was talking with Dae’lin in her office. I stood outside the open door half listening but mostly watching Sage gesture with his hands and speaking quickly.

Dae’lin waved for me to join them and Sage turned to who she was beckoning and his face light up with a smile. I grinned back at him. I reached for Sage’s waist and lightly hung my thumb on his back pocket. “What can I do for you Dae’lin?”

“Your friend…” She looked out my arm behind him and then turned to look up at me with a small blush on her cheeks. “He was just informing me he couldn’t make the changes we need.”

“What changes are those?” I asked. I had every intention of talking Sage into helping us frame Emerson for the hacking, but I had every intention of doing it with finesse and not bludgeoning him over the head like Dae’lin was prone to do with me.

“The human authorities need a fall guy, we have a dead man. We need the two linked together. I figured if you trust him enough to watch the dragon do a job, then he’s trust worthy enough to do that.” Dae’lin said.

“He is. But I’m sure you tactfully put it and just didn’t say here’s what you need to do?” I rolled my eyes.

I pulled on Sage’s pocket. “Let me talk to him.”

Sage laughed. “I am standing right here you know.”

I kissed his check. “I know. Come with me beautiful.” I winked at Dae’lin and took Sage out of her office and into a quieter hallway.

He was looking at me with an amused look, the sparkle in his eyes told me he was interested in what I had to say. I leaned against the wall with one shoulder and crossed my arms in front of me. I wanted to touch him, which meant that would be a bad thing right now. I needed to not persuade him with sex. This wasn’t about us.

He laughed and mimiced my pose. “Okay. Speak then.”

“Dae’lin told you what needed to happen?” I asked.

“Yeah. I can’t do it. I’ll get fired – then I’ll go to jail.” Sage said flatly.

“If I can work around that for you?”

“How are you going to do that?” Sage asked incredulously. “You don’t have that kinda clout here, what makes you think the US government is going to just let you do this?”

“Sage, love, we’ve been doing this for countless millennia – hiding in the shadows is what we do. I can get you authorized access to get into secure servers.”

“If you have that access why me? Why jeapordize my freedom?” He was getting angry.

“You like what you do?” I asked. “White hatting companies firewalls, finding the holes and then reporting it?”

Sage frowned. “It’s legal work.”

“Is that what you want?” I asked.

“You are asking me to break the law.” Sage said.

“I am. Human law.”

“I am Human.” Sage spat at me.

“So am I but I’m not too. Which is the same for you.” I said softly. “You were raised by wolves. You’re a technopath. You are of our world just by that alone, but Danny found you and he raised you as a wolf.”

“So?”

“The Clandestine Providence governs human law even though human’s don’t really know it. It is our job as gifted beings to protect the humans. What do you think would happen if the humans find out that a dragon who runs a gang is trying to make humanity fall? Or that the finest research facilities in New York City – the same ones who are searching for a cure for cancer – are run by supernatural creatures who feed on human blood. Il Cane is not just the vampires enforcer – she funds things for humans. The Night Life building is centered around vampires getting services needed to live a human life – but humans on the night shift benefit from it as well.”

I sighed. “I know I’m asking a lot of you. I’m asking you too choose a side. Join me, us, in protecting humanity or live in the ignorance that you were once part of.”

“You can’t make me forget any of this.” Sage said.

“No, I can’t. But I know someone who could. I know someone who could erase your life with Danny and Rosie and give you a normal human one. No wolves, just your path ability. I can’t take that from you. We can give you the life you want without any of this shit. It’s rare that we do this. But we can.”

Sage sank to the floor, “Why can’t I just stay this way and not work for your people.”

I sat down next to him. “I don’t think you could handle the ramifications of my life. I wouldn’t be able to stay in your life. I can’t protect you in your world. Erasing me from your life would probably save you a lot of heartache.”

“I don’t know about that. Forgetting you could be devastating.” Sage joked but it was laced with venom.

“I’m sorry. I should never have asked you to do this for me.” I stood up. “Thank you for the laptop. I’ll have someone else babysit.” I started to walk away feeling broken inside.

Sage called out, “Nox.” I stopped but I didn’t turn around. He sighed. “Would you give up everything to be with me? Would you pretend to be human for me?”

I took a deep breath and nodded. “I would. And I can. If it means you’ll stay with me forever.” I walked forward and turned the corner. I could feel the anxiety level rising from the question. I’d thought about so many times and the anxiety always made me cringe in fear. I wanted to get away from it away from the question and the answer. I needed some fresh air I couldn’t breathe.

I was almost to Dae’lin’s office when I felt Sage grab my arm. He turned me violently around. “You would give up all this for me? To be something you aren’t?”

I nodded. “I would. And I can. All I have to do is exile myself from the Venatori. I can’t come back. My children can’t come back without jumping through major hoops. I can forfeit everything I know and live a human existence. Others before me have done it.”

“What would you do?”

I shrugged. “I dunno. Go to college get a degree? I could be a cook or a fitness trainer. I don’t have any formal training in any of it but I could do what needed to be done if someone was there to help me start out.”

“You’ve thought about it before haven’t you?”

I smiled. “Every time Aaron throws my tray across the table, and every time someone thinks me bringing in the monsters is a wrong thing. So it’s a pretty weekly thing for me.”

Sage asked. “Would you do it for me?”

“Would you? Give up everything for me?” I smiled softly at him, “I’d give my life to make you happy Sage. So giving up my world is nothing.”

“Why would you do that? We hardly know each other?”

I took a deep breath. “Because I learned to trust my gut a long time ago. You brighten my day just by being near. You see me. Not the image I put out. You see around it. It doesn’t scare you. I need that. I need you. Leaving you is going to be hardest fucking thing I’ve ever done in my life.” I turned and walked away again.

Sage fell into step beside me and took my hand. “I’ll help you. It’s not illegal if you have access.”

I shook my head. “No, Sage. It’s alright. It’s selfish of me to want you to do this. I get it now. I’m not going to ask you to choose between me and that. I’d like you to babysit her. But that’s all. I won’t ask you to do something you don’t want to do if you don’t ask me to what we just talked about.”

Sage laughed and stopped. He pulled me in against his body with a smile. “That’s a deal.” He pressed his lips over mine and I sank into his embrace. I let out a little whimper and collapsed against him. He caught me and the kiss broke, “You okay?”

I could feel Dae’lin standing outside her door waiting for my answer. I nodded but I couldn’t say anything.

Dae’lin spoke softly, “Bring him in here. He just had a panic attack. He’ll be fine.”

The Last Phoenix (in order)

Comfortably Numb (5/12/2018)