I woke on the couch bloodied and beaten but the boys were still curled up around me. I was hesitant to move as I wrapped the elements around me. The feeling nearly made me nauseous. But at least it wouldn’t scar. Not that it mattered, I had more than enough scars from a lifetime of pain to last the rest of my life.
The eyes were red tonight, not the beautiful blue of his… He was no longer part of my dreams. No longer part of me. I felt alone for the first time in my life. Truly alone despite having my brothers curled up against me.
Early that morning Dae’lin gave me a job. She had me canvasing the city looking for caches of power. She said all new city hunters spend a week patrolling the city. She gave me an area and said that was what I had to do. Looking at the map it was only a small section of the city. I could do better than that. But she said I could do it tomorrow. Today I could spend with my family. Dorian had plans she said.
Which brought a question to my eyes and she only smiled. “Just have some fun. You’ve been alone too long, Nox. Dorian is just looking out for you.”
I knew that. I spent the day with Jesse and the boys. I gave them the grand tour of New York City. They wanted to stop and see everything so we didn’t really get to see much by the time we were to meet Dorian at my favorite Italian restaurant where his current boyfriend worked.
Sometimes I wonder if Dorian and Chef Marco had been together since I was a child. I think I would have noticed the hidden smiles and the soft touches they had for each other before. But I was a child. I sighed as the feeling of loneliness washed over me again. I pushed it aside as we walked in. The place was empty at this hour. “A private party?” I looked at Jesse.
He smiled. “A belated birthday dinner, though it is technically lunch.”
Dorian greeted us with Marco by his side. His hand was at the small of Marco’s back and he looked at me with a shy smile.
I laughed, “Are you officially introducing me to your boyfriend?”
Marco smirked, “No. Not something so silly.” Though Marco grabbed Dorian’s hand and moved behind him wrapping his other arm around his waist. It was a cute gesture until I noticed what he was truly showing me.
A pair of gold rings adorned their left hands and i grinned, “You got married.” I cocked my head to the side and looked at Dorian. “Does this mean you are moving out?”
Marco turned lose his husband and pulled me off to the side. “I have known him a long time, the magic of your world is extrodinary. Come to the kitchen with me.”
I smiled and followed Marco into the kitchen. “Dorian loves you like a father.”
“He does now.”
Marco nodded, “Yes you were once a petulant child he abhorred and pawned off on me so that he could have a few hours of peace and quiet.”
I grinned but Marco continued, “Dorian will still be available for you, his door just now opens to our home. It never ceases to amaze me the things you and your people can do. And I’ve known your whole life that you could wield magic, but you never once told me of it. Never used it in the kitchen?”
“I wasn’t allowed to as a child. Your are human.”
Marco nodded. “And you learned to cook so well. I made you something. Just for you. Well I didn’t make it, I ordered it.” Marco lead me into the office of his kitchen and handed me a box neatly wrapped in butcher paper.
“Dorian says you needed a pick me up. Care to tell me what has you broken today? We used to talk about love, life… he sat down and whispered sex.”
I laughed. “It’s not something I can easily explain. Too many changes. I…I think I was in love with an idea and it turned out wrong. That’s all. I don’t deal well with change. it’s all too much.”
Marco shook his head, “It’s more than that, but I understand. You will still visit now that we are more than just friends?” He joked.
“I’ll still come by once a month and bother you.” I said as I opened the present. I tore through the paper and carefully opened the box. Inside was a black apron and on it said, ‘World’s best son’.
I felt the tear welling up in my eyes as Marco wrapped his arms around me, “I know you know your father now, but Dorian and I will think of you always as ours. We always have, Nox. Whatever is eating at you. Remember we love you. All of us here.”
The tears flowed and Marco wiped away them as they fell. “Come out when you are ready, the food should be being served now. Join us when you’ve collected yourself.” He squeezed me one more time before he left the office and I fell into the chair like a limp rag.