The Venatori knew about the dragon’s attempt on my life. They gave Margo my sister. The one thing the Venatori are is meticulous records keepers. I knew I could go to the Archives and find the answers. I knew Mrs. Vega would gladly help me. But I wasn’t sure I wanted to know the truth.
But I did go. And once inside I found two of the Vega’s standing together at the front desk. Dorian looked like his mother in so many ways, and yet, his eyes were blue and his mothers green, but they were both stunning. The smiled and Mrs. Vega waved at me. “Nox, a pleasure to see you.” She greeted me, offering her hand which I took and kissed the third knuckle.
Dorian rolled his eyes. “My mother is happily married and yet you still flirt with her.”
I grinned at my friend and mentor, “I’d flirt with you if you let me.” I gave him a kiss on the check which he grunted at and pushed me aside.
“Boy, get off me.” He said with mock heat.
Mrs. Vega smiled at me, “What can I do to help you darling?”
I frowned. “I want all the records relating to my mother and father and myself. And I mean all of them.”
Dorian frowned at me, “Why Nox? I thought you’d come to terms with things.”
I sighed. “Did you know that the Venatori sends 15 boys into the woods knowing fully well they will die?”
Dorian’s skin went pale as a sheet. He gave me a small nod. “Everyone does.”
“Did you know my group I went out with was that group this year?”
Dorian shook his head. “No. I had no…” Dorian frowned. “Nox, no… I swear on my mother’s life I did not know.”
“But you knew they sent kids to die.”
Dorian nodded. “As I know a great many other disturbing things you find repulsive Nox.”
I sighed. “Did you know that the Venatori gave my sister to the dragons to kill?”
Mrs. Vega gasped covering Dorian’s. “Oh heavens,” she cried. “Nox, these things should never be told.”
“So you knew.”
She sighed. “I remember when the dragons came to take the last cesari yes. I knew of your sister. I knew they’d spared you.”
“So did everyone know and not tell me?”
Mrs. Vega leaned against the desk. Her age showing as she frowned. “Nox, you are so innocent in the ways of the Venatori. You didn’t have the guidance the others had. Always strung between human and Venatori. You don’t understand.”
I rolled my eyes. “Fuck tradition. I want those records. You can help me, or I’ll go find them myself.”
Dorian was looking at me like he wanted to bitch slap me for back talking his mother. The glare he gave me if they’d been daggers I was pretty sure I’d be dead. But he said nothing. Mrs. Vega walked around to the other side of the desk where she normally was and used the computer to search for the information. She frowned and pulled out a card, placed it in the reader and then hit a button. A quick buzz and whir later she handed it to me with a frown, “Anything and everything you are interested is on this card. You’re records are sealed, Nox. Only the highest clearances to get into them. I cannot grant you them, but this is everything. But you can’t see any of it.”
I took the card and turned and fled without a good bye. But I didn’t need one Dorian was at my side walking with me. I couldn’t out walk or out run a Venatori even if I wanted to. So once we were outside the Archive doors I stopped, “What Dorian?”
I stopped him at my name. “Look, you didn’t know about the class’ destination. I believe you. I’m not mad at you.”
“Shut up and let me speak.” Dorian clamped his mouth shut with a roll of his eyes. “This me, this whole bullshit cover up. That’s not you. The fact that Gary wanted me out of his hair. The fact that there are dead kids because of people like you who don’t do shit when there is wrong going on. I’m not mad at you Dorian. You live the perfect Venatori life. You are the perfect Venatori. What am I some two-bit half Venatori who is barely good enough to pass through the classes because I’m half human. I’m nothing here. But I’m not going to sit idle while the Venatori send innocent kids out to die. I will not!”
During my rant Dorian’s frown turned to a smile. “Boy. I’d tell you to let it drop to save your own skin, to just be Venatori, but I know you too well. If I tell you no, you will go head strong into harder than if I just let you go. Be careful, Nox. This is a hornets nest you don’t want to kick down.”
“Thanks for the warning, Dorian. But this hornets nest needs a swift kick in the ass!” I smiled at my friend to take the sting from y words. “Tell your mother I’m sorry and thank you.”
Dorian nodded as I left he called after me, “She already forgave you.”