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By the time I walked back home it was late. The lights in the house were all off and the basement door was locked. Sage had already gone to bed. It was colder now. The moon was hidden behind the clouds, it might snow soon. I could feel it. But I didn’t go inside. I sat down in front of Sage’s house on the stoop and drowned in my anger and fustration. There was a deep dark feeling inside me. One I hadn’t had in a long time. One I told Sage I hadn’t had since I was a kid. I knew what it was. Knew what it meant. But I couldn’t shake it.

The door behind me opened and I could smell the soft sent of roses on the air. “Come inside, Nox.”

I shook my head. “I’m good.”

“Please, Nox. It’s cold out here. I want to talk to you.” Dee said almost pleading with me.

I sighed and stood up and followed her into the house. But I didn’t go into the living room like she did. I went into the kitchen and started a pot of coffee.

She sighed. “It’s too late for coffee.”

I frowned. “So don’t drink any.”

Dee growled. It was becoming a thing in the house to growl. Was all those werewolf vibes running around outside. “Why are you such an ass?”

I gave her a level look and said nothing. I never said I wasn’t. I wasn’t a nice guy. I sat down on a barstool on the opposite side of Dee. The bar didn’t hang over here but I didn’t want to be near her. She had a tendancy to overpower me with emotions with a touch. It wasn’t her fault. But she did it and I didn’t want to fall into that calming trap I wanted to wallow in my pain and my misery because it was that – mine.

“You are bleeding out emotions. I can’t decifer any of it.”

I locked myself up again and I saw Dee relax visibly. “What’s wrong Nox?”

“I already told you what’s wrong. If you don’t want to listen that’s not my fault.”

“Stop being an ass.” She shouted then clamped her mouth shut with her hand. “We are going to wake everyone.”

“No you are.”

Dee got up and walked over to me and punched me hard in the arm. “Ow.” I said and rubbed my arm.

“Stop being an ass. Talk to me.”

“I did. You think I’m overreacting. You think that my problems can be worked out with a little date, some one on one time with you or Sage or Dev. You think you know how to fix me. I’m not broken. This is me. In all my fucking glory Dee. I’m a messed up kid with self esteem issues. I’m borderline suicidale. My depression has kicked up ten fold. My anxiety has ratcheted up several notchs. My schedule is blown to shit and I have to readjust to the new one. My carefully made up world is shattered and I don’t fit in to this one. I can’t do shit. I cook and I clean and I take care of kids. I to to the gym or a run and the rest of the time I’m here doing nothing. Being nothing. At least with the Venatori I had a purpose. I had a job. I could do something with my time. What am I going to do here? Be a trainer? Work as some bullshit kid in a restaurant. Go to college – to what become a PI or a bounty hunter. I don’t even have a fucking highschool education. My math and english went to maybe your 8th grade. I have no skills outside of the supernatural world. None. What do you want me to do?”

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Sage and I and Dev are all here to help you. We aren’t a port in the storm. I heard you tell Dev you loved us. We love you. All of you. The stubborn you. The emotional you. The one who throws a temper tantrum worse than Drake.” Her hand touched my knee and when I didn’t move she move in between my legs and straight across at me. I was a few inches shorter on the stood than where she stood. She pressed a kiss to my check. “We all know it’s hard for you. And I can’t help the feeling that it’s your fault I have to readjust. I know it’s not. I forgave my dad and I’ve forgiven you but I need time to heal too. The three of you have been wonderful I adjust. But you need to stop bottling this up.”

“Come to bed. Dev will be here later and you and he can drift together. You know Sage and I feel left out that you two do that?”

“Do what? I sighed. “It’s Dev not me. It’s not my fault.”

Dee laughed. “It’s all your fault Nox. It’s who you are. Dev can’t help but be drawn to you. He misses your openness. Don’t hide from us.”

I hung my head and averted my eyes from her gaze. “But I’ll hurt you.”

Dee put two fingers under my chin and smiled. “You are hurting Dev.” My breath caught in my throat and Dee smiled softly at me. “It’s okay.” She said calmly. “I know you love him more than me. I think Sage comes in second to Dev on most days.”

“Sage is worried I’ll leave him.”

Dee grinned. “He’s not. Not anymore. I need Sage as much as I need Dev. And you need them both. Me and you, we need to work on us. That’s what this date was supposed to be about. Not a get Nox out of his depression. Was a means for us to get better aquainted. For us to fall in love as deeply as we have with our other parts. ” She laughed. “Sage and Dev need to work at it too, but not as hard as we do. They started this whole thing.”

I sighed. Dee was right. “I’m sorry. Let me make it up to you?”

“How are you going to do that Nox?”

I grinned. “Let me take you out on a real date. I promise I won’t be an ass. But let me plan it. I need something to do.”

Dee smiled. “Okay. I have this Friday off.”

“Friday we were going to have an early Thanksgiving with everyone’s family. Sage’s parents and his sister, your dad, Dev’s parents and the band.”

“Noone for you?”

I sighed. “Dorian declined because I had invited Kai. Kai canceled cause he went upstate with Emilio to hunt vampires. Jace and Mia had plans with her family since they were going to Florida to see Jace’s family for Thanksgiving.”

“So reinvite Dorian.”

“I did. He and Stell are taking Aidan back to Colorado to see her family. I don’t think she’s coming back though.”

“Why not?” Dee asked.

“It’s complicated. But she’s not really feeling much like she belongs in the Venatori.”

“She’d leave her son.”

I shrugged. “She has no choice, someone has to teach Aidan.”

“You could.”

I nodded. “I could but she’d have to stay in New York and she doesn’t have family here.” I shrugged. “Dorian suggested it to her.”

Dee was giddy. “You could have your own school for wayward kids. Not just supernatural ones, but the down and out kids. The ones who grow up with out folks.”

“I’m not teacher.”

Dee smiled. “Yes you are. My next day off is on Sunday.”

I nodded. “Okay. Sunday it is.”

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