The rest of the way home was quiet. My father made sure I made it inside my apartment. He didn’t go past the hall. “I’ll take care of Drake. You take care of you.”

I nodded and closed the door behind me. I didn’t lock it, locking it meant having to get up out of bed when I didn’t want to. I kicked off my shoes into the corner by the door. Placed my keys in the bowl on the bar and then pulled my hoodie off. I shed everything but my boxers on my way to my bed in the dark. My phone held tightly in my hands as I curled under my blankets.

I looked at my phone ignoring anything there except to pull up Sage’s contact.

Me
646-555-4512
Tue, 06/26/2015


I’m home. In bed.
8:32 PM

I tucked my phone under my hand as I curled around my pillow and closed my eyes. I could still see the power of The Dragon. I could still feel the call of it coursing through my body. Green glowing eyes floated in front of me, crushing me to the ground.

My phone chirped at me bringing me back from the depths of the darkness I had descended.

I opened my eyes and looked at the message.

Mysterious blue-eyed boy
646-555-2915
Tue, 06/26/2015


Do you want company? I’m still in the building.
8:33 PM


Me
646-555-4512
Tue, 06/26/2015


Why didn’t you go home?
8:33 PM


Mysterious blue-eyed boy
646-555-2915
Tue, 06/26/2015


I wanted to make sure you were okay.
8:33 PM


Mysterious blue-eyed boy
646-555-2915
Tue, 06/26/2015


Would you like company?
8:33 PM


Me
646-555-4512
Tue, 06/26/2015


If I answer that truthfully you won’t come up. The door is unlocked.
8:33 PM

I drifted off into the depths of the darkness again. The glowing green eyes and the suffocating power encompassed by the weight of an unseen force pressing into my body. I jumped when I felt the cool touch of long fingers on my arm. I jerked away from the touch and I heard a loud thump on the floor.

I flipped on the light with flick of air and saw a beautiful blue eyed face staring back at me rubbing his head. He smiled shyly from the floor. “I should have woke you up first.”

I couldn’t speak as I was trying to catch my breath and calm my rapidly beating heart. I held out my hand to him and invited Sage into my bed. He’d already removed clothing and was wearing only a pair of boxers. I pulled him close and let him wrap his arms around me. I laid my head on his chest and said nothing as I curled around him. I felt childish, like the five-year-old my father had resurrected curling around a worn out old dragon who had been my best friend. I whispered, “I’m sorry I’m a broken mess.”

Sage chuckled as he pulled me closer and rubbed my naked back. “You are my broken mess.” I tensed against him, but he continued to rub gentle circles against my back and hummed softly in my ear and kissed the top of my head. “Give me your phone,” he instructed. I slide it to his chest from the place I’d held it between us. “I will silence it and put it here.” I didn’t look to see where he did only nodded. “Now go to sleep.”

My body relaxed as Sage held me. The monotony of the circles on my back made my eyes closed and I listened to the beat of Sage’s heart below my ear. I let the touch of his fingers, the sound of his voice in my ear, and the rhythm of his heart take me deep down into sleep.

A gentle hand on my shoulder and a soft voice in my ear woke me. I couldn’t make out the words. There was a gentle shake, and I grumbled under my breath. The voice laughed in my ear. The sound sending shivers down my spine which made open my eyes and look up at the face staring down at me. “Hmmm?” I said putting my head back on Sage’s shoulder and closing my eyes again.

Sage kissed the top of my head before he spoke in my ear. “You need to get up.”

“Why?” I asked. I fought down the urge to panic. Sage was calm. He wouldn’t be if things were bad. I knew he’d key me into the situation.

“The Dragon Council will be here in an hour.” Sage showed me a text on my phone from Dae’lin.

Boss lady
664-555-4189
Wed, 06/26/2015


Tell him the Dragon Council will be here at 9:00 AM on the dot. I need him here.
6:15 AM

I glanced up at the time on the phone and saw it was 8 AM. I sat up and Sage was staring up at me from where he’d remained lying in my bed. “I’ve been asleep for over ten hours?”

Sage nodded. “Yeah?” He sounded confused, “Is that a problem?”

I shook my head. “No. Just it’s never happened before.”

Sage smiled. “You had a rough night.”

“You don’t understand. I was having nightmares before you came to my bed last night. Even in the half sleep between text messages. You are here. I didn’t wake up. My nightmares didn’t show up. Sage. They never do that. I always have a nightmare. I always wake up in 6 hours. Always.”

Sage sat up and kissed my cheek. “Well. You can deal with that later. Right now you need a shower, and I’ll go downstairs and grab breakfast so you won’t be late to the meeting with the Dragon Council.”

I nodded and got out of bed with little more discussion. Sage chuckled at me. “Is this going to be a common occurrence?”

I looked back at him in confusion. “What?”

“You doing what I say when I say it?” He grinned up at me from the bed. He purposefully stretched elongating every muscle in his body making sure I saw him do it too. “You’ve been doing it all night. Even in your sleep. You’d roll away, and you’d whimper. I’d pull you back and whisper for you to relax and you would. I think I spent most of my night subconsciously comforting you. I’m surprisingly well rested for keeping you relaxed.”

I smiled and walked over to the lounging cat that was my boyfriend trying to entice me with his languid body. “It’s what I need.” I kissed him on the lips. “We can talk about that late,r too. I need to take a shower.”

Sage laughed. “You do.” Sage got up and pulled on his jeans. “I’ll get breakfast and coffee.”

“At least make coffee here. The stuff downstairs is horrible.” I pleaded.

Sage nodded. “I can do that. Can’t be that hard.”

I leveled a gaze at him and frowned. He grinned. “I can’t cook. I burn water.”

The Last Phoenix (in order)