I didn’t look in the mirror before I left the bathroom. There really was no point. It would be healed soon probably before I ever even made it to Lenard’s. But I did grab some paper towels to daub at the blood so it didn’t get on my only suit. I’d hate for the blood to ruin my only silk shirt. One of the finer things in my life from Dorian. But then he was my guardian in everything but name. He signed permission slips and the like – my mother had given him power of attorney or whatever they called it over me until I graduated. Which was soon I hoped.
Dae’lin was with another woman. Dae’lin wore a pale blue pant suit that brought out her tanned skin, but made her look diminutive. She was small but she was hardly meek. She had a hard streak the size of Texas. The woman she was with was wearing a pink chiffon dress that left nothing to the imagination. She had the body of an athlete but there were scars and wrinkles I could make out from where I was approaching from. She had to be Leanne Sétanta – my mother.
I put on my best smile put the paper towel into my pocket and took a deep breathe. I could do this. I could be civil to the woman who called me monster, who threw a fire extinguisher at my head; the woman who threw me away like I was a piece of trash. No I didn’t have mommy issues…
“Dae’lin.” I interrupted.
Dae’lin turned and stared up at me and grabbed me by the ears and pulled me down to my knees so she could look down at me and tend to the wound she was only aggravating with her manhandling. “What in hell happened to you, Nox?”
“Aaron.” I said simply and she nodded as she pressed her thumbs to close the wound like she’d done many times before when I’d come bearing presents from my roommate.
“What happened?” Dae’lin asked. There was only a hint of concern in her voice, mostly she wanted to know if I was going to file a report.
“Nothing that doesn’t ever happen.”
Dae’lin sighed. “Let me guess, he found you alone, called you a fag and beat the shit out of you. Why do you let him do this, Nox?”
I didn’t get a chance to respond before my mother was chiming in with her smoke dulled voice, “I knew giving him to the gay man was going to be a bad idea.”
I stood up and I could see Dae’lin’s frown growing stronger and she tried to step between me and my mother. “You mean Dorian?” I asked.
Dae’lin reached up and grabbed my lips and pressed them closed like I was some fucking child and I turned my ire on her but her stare said shut the fuck up so I gave a slight nod and she let go of me. My mother made another snide comment, “At least he knows when not to talk back to his elders.”
I growled but Dae’lin was already turning to my mother with a sweet smile. “Leanne, Dorian has been nothing but good to your son.”
“He’s no son of mine. He might be my blood, but he is not my son.” Leanne said flat out with no hint of remorse from her body language.
Dae’lin sighed. “Your reservations are in thirty minutes, Nox will escort you there.” My mentor took my hand and pressed a roll of cash into it. “Behave Nox.”
I nodded, “Yes ma’am. Do I need to come straight home?”
Dae’lin looked up at me and frowned. “No. But you have an 8 am appointment you better not be late for.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.” I said.
Dae’lin patted my hand and nodded. “I know you wouldn’t.” Dae’lin was my mentor, my teacher but she wasn’t anything more though sometimes she had sympathy for me. Sometimes…
I started heading for the elevator. “If you’ll come this way Ms. Sétanta.”