My afternoon played out in the common room around a table with four people I didn’t know real well. Jo reminded me of home. But I never got her to open up. She was looking up now, which was good. I hadn’t been bragging when I said I could make most women like me. I was good at being what they wanted. That whole please my partner thing shining through even though I wasn’t thinking about it that way. I missed Sage. I wished I’d seen him before coming here.
Sam the orderly came into the common room and stopped at our table. “Nox you have a phone call. Do you need assistance?”
Duke stood up. “I’ll show him the way.”
Duke grabbed me by the arm and pulled me up. Not only was he big he was strong, much stronger than any Venatori I knew. I didn’t so much as walk as I was dragged to a different room with a bunch of phones and booths for privacy. There was one off the hook. It was such an old school design I was almost afraid to touch the handset for all the germs. But this was a hospital still, everything was likely cleaner than the outside world.
Duke sat me in the share. “I’ll wait over there.” He pointed to a place with a couch and some magazines.
I picked up the phone. “Hello?”
“Nox!” There was a sign of relief when Sage’s voice called out my name. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine love. I’m sorry.” I said. I didn’t want to make a big deal of this but I wanted to hear his voice so bad. I wanted to kiss him and touch him and I was stuck inside this stupid place alone and without my wicked truth.
“Don’t do that again.” He said with rage. “You scared the hell out of us. The boys are finally home with me, Matt too. Dev and Dee are here too. How long can you talk?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know.”
Duke laughed from the couch, “As long as you want lover boy.”
“Apparently as long as I want.”
Sage chuckled. “Who was that?”
“That was Duke who is like 10 feet away from me listening to our conversation.”
“We could give him something to listen to.”
I glanced over at Duke who was covering his face with a magazine pretending he wasn’t listening to everything I said to Sage. I asked, “You okay?”
“I’m fine. Did you really try to kill yourself?” Sage asked.
“Why the fuck would I want to kill myself, Sage? When I have Drake and Fae who need me. And Matt to look after. Not to mention I’d be leaving you behind. And I’d never get to know Dev and Dee.”
“I’m sorry, Nox. Everyone says you jumped.”
“I did jump, love. But I was trying to save Garrett not kill myself.”
“Why would you save that bastard after what he did to you?” His voice rose in rage and I could hear Dev in the background, but I couldn’t make out what he’d said.
“It’s hard to explain Sage. But the demon stepped off the side of the building and left Garrett to die. It doesn’t matter how many horrible things he’s done to me, he’s still innocent. He was being murdered by something worse than him.”
“He beats fucking children Nox.”
There was a scuffle on the other side and then Dev’s voice came over the phone, “He needs to relax a little, he’s making the lights flicker. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. Dee’s taking him upstairs for a bath. You okay?”
“I’m fine.” I snapped. I hated that I was upset.
“Tonight, I’m going to visit you if that’s alright?” Dev’s voice raised at the end in question.
“I can’t stop you even if I said no.”
Dev chuckled and it made me smile. “Actually, I need you to let me in. I tried to get in while you were in the coma. But your shields kept me out. Did you have nightmares?”
I shook my head. “No. I only remember a few snippets. Like I’d had the dreams before though.”
“That’s a good thing. Tonight, think of me when you go to sleep. Focus on me and I can get in.”
I laughed, “That shouldn’t be hard. Or maybe it is.”
Dev chuckled, “I should go check on the boys. Do you want to say hi?”
“No. Can you give them a hug for me though?” I asked.
“I think I can manage that. Though I think I’ll refrain from hugging Matt if that’s alright.”
“Is he crushing on you?” I asked.
“No. Touching him blanks the world out. It’s disorienting.”
“Does it now?” I said. “He’s a ground for my power, I didn’t think it worked on other abilities. He is a true null then.”
“What the fuck is a null pretty boy?”
I grinned at the nick name and whispered into the phone, “I can’t wait to hear you say that to me in a whisper against my lips.”
Dev chuckled. “Answer my question, pretty boy.” There was a small hit of a command in his voice and he knew it and I bit back a groan which made Dev laugh just a little bit more.
“A null is a person who nullifies all magic. He doesn’t know how to control it which is why he nulls your telepathy. He can control the magnus ability because he can see the patterns, knows he’d doing something. He figured it out. Nulling your powers must come as a defense mechanism.”
“I can read him just fine most days.”
I laughed, “But not everyday like me, or Sage?”
“Exactly. Sometimes he’s just not there.”
“He’s hiding something, or wants to keep a secret so he kills your power so you can’t read him. It’s a defense mechanism. He probably doesn’t know. Sit down and talk with him about it. Play with it. If you are willing. Matt needs to learn about his ability and there are no teachers for such a thing. It’s going to be all trial and error.”
Dev sighed. “I’ll see. Not sure I like the idea that one of you can just take my power away.”
“Imagine what that can mean though. If we can train other nulls, we could take more supernatural creatures who need rehabilitiation and we could make them safe to be around while they learn to control their impulses. Less killing. More helping.”
“Nox the hero. I swear if you jump off another building to save a man like Garrett our boyfriend is going to flip his lid and we might not have any power in the City if he does that.”
“I’ll do my best not to hurt myself lover. I promise, but I can’t say I won’t try to save someone like that again.”
Dev sighed. “I know. Sage knows this is who you are. We kinda love the man you are.”
“You love me?”
“You heard that huh?” Dev sighed. “I don’t know. I know he loves you. I know there is something between us even though we don’t know each other well. I’ve never been able to read someone as well as I can read you. Not Sage, Not Dee. Something is different.”
“You can’t read Dee.” I stated. I bit my bottom lip at the thought he and I had a special thing going on. I wasn’t going crazy.
“And Sage has this inherint shield too. Most people only have trivial thoughts that I can pick up on. You I don’t even have to dig to hear things. You shield better than most people. I’ve noticed that. When I look the shields around people, your’s is strong and much stronger now with out all those holes, yet I hear you. Now on the phone it’s like I can hear your thoughts. You are thinking about how you noticed it too. How there is a connection but you can’t explain it.”
“I know. I can feel it even if I can’t read it directly. I don’t know what this is Nox. But pretty boy, we can talk about it tonight. I need to see you. I need to check on the boys, they wanted to talk to you but I think they got wrapped up in their video games.”
I chuckled. “I’ll see you tonigt, Dev. Kiss Dee and Sage for me and hug the boys.”
“Of course pretty boy. See you tonight.”
He hung up and I was left with dead air. Then the dial tone beeped in my ear and I slammed the phone down. Duke jumped at the sound. He chuckled, “You and your boys done talking?”
I nodded. “Yeah. What’s next on our agenda?”
“Dinner.” He said. “Well in about 10 minutes. We can go now though.”
I nodded, “Sounds great. I’m starving.”