It was midnight when we walked into Cari’s apartment shadow room. There was a man standing guard at the front door. I didn’t know him, but Ant and Ryan didn’t seem disturbed so I let it be. They didn’t even greet the man, just walked past him.
I followed them, Isabel, Ged and Vincent followed me. We really were only missing a Dragon in my little group. Though Ryan wasn’t really part of it.
Il Cane was pacing in her living room. She turned and looked at me and blinked, “I thought you said he was indisposed and wouldn’t be joining us.”
Ryan grinned as he walked towards his master. He slung his arm around her and turned her away from everyone else and whispered. Even I couldn’t hear him. When they turned around Cari’s expression hadn’t changed but she nodded at me. “Glad to have you with us.”
“Good to be here.” I said. I headed for the door. “Before we play at this game of war, I have to see my family.”
She nodded and Ant followed me. “You don’t have to come.” I said to him. Before I realized the other three had followed as well.
“I do.” He said. “They will take up residence on your floor for now. Until we sent them home. They are here to protect your family. And I will protect you.”
“I don’t need a body guard.”
Ant sighed. “No, but you have one, anyway. Despite the fact that I failed you once.”
“You didn’t fail me, Ant.” I stopped and I pushed him up against a wall. He stared me. “You got everyone else out. I was holding the shields. They just beat it down. You did not fail me. Do you understand me?”
He nodded. The elevator doors opened and on the other side stood one of my blue-eyed boys. He blinked and then the door closed and his hand snaked through the closing door and they bounced open again. He stood in the doorway and stared at me. “Nox?”
I nodded. “Yeah. Early night?”
Dev nodded. “Yeah. My boss told me to go home early. Said the night wasn’t busy enough but I’d get paid.”
I looked at Ant. He shrugged. “Word travels fast.”
“What are you doing here?” He asked.
I moved towards him and smiled. “Came home. Have some good news and bad news and a question.”
Dev stepped aside and we were in the elevator. The doors closed and I knew Ant and the others would take the stairs as we moved up to the next level. “Start with the question,” he said to me. He wrung his hands together. I could feel the anxiety running off him.
“Last night, did you dream of me?”
Dev shook his head. “No. I haven’t dreamt of you without you there since I met you.”
“I saw you. Standing in front of a pink island bubble I could only assume was Dee. It was a younger you. I told you I was dying, you hugged me and then I was gone.”
Dev’s mouth dropped and he mashed the stop button on the elevator. The alarm went off and he frowned at me. “That was the last time I dreamt of you before I met you.”
“What?” I said.
Dev sighed. “It wasn’t an accident I found your dreams. I’d been searching for you. I’d seen you in my dreams. They were my dreams. I searched for you to see if you had died. Then I saw you in the club and you were alright. And I was happy with that. Then Sage…” Dev sighed. “I went to your dreams to see if you dreamt about me. I’d been wrong but I’d been so right. After your nightmares were gone you dreamt about me. Not me in any version I recognized. But the same as you do everyone else in your barren landscape. I know you hate fate, but…”
I sighed. “It’s alright Dev. That’s the bad news. Fate, destiny, prophecy, it’s all gunning for me so why not you too. I died last night Dev.”
Dev pulled his fist back and punched me in the arm. “You bastard.”
“Good news is I’m alive and well, and scar free.”
My blue eyed boy looked at me, truly looked at me through foggy memories and the tiredness that came with working nights. “All of them?”
I nodded and he turned me around and pushed me against the wall. I pulled the stop button as he lifted my shirt and ran his fingers alone my scar free back. I closed my eyes and relished the touch of his fingers along the soft skin. My loves could send shivers down my spine with a gentle touch, but now, now it was like electricity igniting against my skin. Dev gasped as he pulled his hand away. “It bit me.”
I turned around and saw Dev’s finger was bleeding. Ant put his hand on the door as it opened. “It was protecting Nox. It doesn’t know you yet. Much like Nox’s other magic he has to learn to control it.”
“Fuck, the tattoo bit me.” He sighed, “Do you know how fucked up that sounds.”
I nodded, “As fucked up as I died and I rose from the ashes like a Phoenix.”
Ant waved for us to exit. “We have a lot to do, Nox. See the others so we can go.”
I nodded. “I know.”
Dev shook his head. “I will handle Dee and Sage, Nox. They’ll be pissed you died. “
The door opened and Sage was sticking his head out the door. He looked down the hall at us and he stared at me. “Did I see you yesterday?” He asked. “Did I feel you pulling on my strings like Dee does?”
I nodded. “Yes to both.”
“Why did I see you?” he asked as he came at us. I wasn’t sure if he was angry but the air crackled with his power. The flower on my chest sparked and I pressed my hand to it above my shirt and Sage looked at me. “What are you doing?”
I shook my head. “Nothing. Your power is.”
He looked around and the area calmed down a little, the energy against my chest subsided and I dropped my hand. “I died last night Sage. I saw everyone last night.”
That was it for Sage he broke down. The tears flooded down his cheeks and both Dev and I were right there holding him. He pulled us both close. The boys came out groggily looking out the open door. Drake was the first one to see us. “Daddy!” He shouted and ran towards us throwing his arms around my legs. Fae followed and Matt stood in the door way.
Dee stood just the other side of him and she asked as she rubbed her eyes. “What’s going on?”
“Nox is home.” Matt said.
Dee rubbed her eyes and then sighed as she grabbed Matt’s hand. “We are getting left out.”
Their arms wrapped around us and it was a big family hug, all comforting Sage. But I think it was more of a comfort for me. My family was okay. And right now, it was good. Tomorrow might not be.