At twenty after 9 I headed down to the Infirmary where I would meet with my therapist. Dr. Margo Silverman had been my therapist for the past 19 years. We’d met every Monday at 9:30 since I was 6 years old and just out of detention. She had to come visit me then, when it was mandatory anyway. But I continued to see her long into my childhood and still today for variety of mental issues. Margo said I didn’t need to see her anymore, but I was a creature of habit and change up set my careful balancing act of sanity.
Adrian hadn’t given me a choice. He told me he had nothing left to teach me. He hadn’t given me tools to cope with the change in schedule. Margo had told me she should have done the same at the time, but I had clung to what had remained of my schedule to maintain my sanity. She said I only needed someone to talk to.
I think it’s more than that. But she’s the professional right? I sat down in the same spot I’d been sitting in for years. The place where I met Sage way back when. The same desk where Mia hid behind was still there with the same fake apple tree next to it. Megan sat at her desk. She spared me a smile while she was on the phone with another client.
The phone clicked down and Megan greeted me, “Morning Nox. Lovely morning. How did your birthday bash go?”
I laughed. “Everyone canceled because they were sick. I did meet a guy .” I winked at her.
“I’ll never get you. You and Sage were perfectly suited for one another and you let him get away.”
“Sage and I were not perfect together.” I shook my head. “No way. I kinda like to participate in my sexual activities Megan.”
She sighed. “I don’t want to know what the three of you did.”
“Mia was the worst of us.” I teased.
Megan groaned, “Please, Nox. I’ve gone all these years without knowing I don’t need to know now.”
The door to Margo’s office opened and Mr. John walked out. I gave him a friendly wave and he smiled at me pushing his glasses up his nose. “She has chocolate today.” he whispered.
My eyebrow rose in curiosity. Mr. John loved his candy. It was how Margo got him to come in every week. He was a weak werewolf who couldn’t really control his aggression but he had a fondness for candy. He’d been coming here for anger management therapy since I was a teenager. Dom said that it didn’t really help, but it kept the Venatori off his ass so he kept pushing Mr. John to go. They had to keep the man locked up during the full moon or he’d go ballistic.
“Nox. You ready?” Margo stood in the door to her office wearing a khaki business suit and a light blue blouse. The scent of ocean wafted from her office into her apple filled lobby.
I nodded as I stood up. “I hope Mia is feeling better. You need to bring Naya to work one Monday so I can see her.”
Megan chuckled as Margo closed the door behind me.
“How was your week?” She asked to prompt me to talk long before I even sat down on the couch.
“Where do you want me to start?” I laughed.
“Let’s start with work, that’s usually the least of your worries.”
“I’ve been put on a case where a dragon revealed herself on camera while robbing a bank. But she didn’t actually take a lot of money, only one drawer. I think she did something to the computer. She’s working with a human. But there have been more dragon reveals over the past five years and I think they are all connected in some way.”
Margo shifted in her chair and nodded, “What do you think it all means?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know yet. But I plan on finding out.”
Margo nodded and wrote a note on her yellow pad. “Your birthday ritual go down without a hitch?” She looked up with a smile.
“Hardly.” I said. I regaled her the tale of their sickness. And about meeting Alex. The kiss that was literally electrifying. The card in my pocket.
Margo asked, “How do you feel about this upcoming date?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. We had an okay time yesterday?
“Yesterday? Tell me about it… minus all the sexual details Nox.”
I laughed. “We didn’t have sex. I ran into him again at the butcher and I cooked him lunch or dinner depending on how you looked at it. But I had a panic attack in the elevator, and then later when I overshared. I felt rejected and told him to leave. But he didn’t. He tried to bring me down, and he did until Ant started knocking and then he left. And I had another row at the anxiety train.”
“Did Anthony help?”
“He always helps. Alex asked me not to feed Ant, he understood.”
“He’s a good friend.”
I nodded. “Both he and Ryan are.”
“Do you think that’s going to cause more problems. I know Anthony is your conduit for payments when working with Il Cane.”
“We’ll figure something out. We always do.”
“Nox, if he asks you to choose can you do it?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know Margo. It’s way too early to think about it.”
“It is not. Nox. You’ve cooked for the man. You had him in your apartment, in your bed. These are things you don’t normally do.”
“I know. But it feels like I’ve known him forever. Like he’s home. I know it sounds crazy but all I can think about is him. He reminds me so much of ….”
Margo interrupted, “You always have been a sucker for a pair of blue eyes, Nox. That’s all it is. You find the kinship because you miss him. It’s not wrong. But don’t think he’s the same. Don’t treat him the same. And god forbid Nox, don’t ever compare the two. They aren’t the same man.”
“I know.” I sighed. “But he feels right.”
“Two days in and you are already in love.” Margo laughed.
“I wouldn’t say that.”
She was still chuckling. “I know you wouldn’t. But it is very much what you feel.” She looked at her watch and I glanced at mine. “One more question before we call it. I spoke with your father and he suggested we discuss the off campus living arrangements.”
“Is he pushing me out of the nest or something?” I asked plaintively. I really didn’t see why I needed to leave the building.
“He has a point.” Margo said. “But wouldn’t it be better to have your supernatural friends over without all the Venatori warding. Someplace you can call home – a true home Nox. Not just some room you stay in. Build yourself a family. That is still something you want isn’t it?”
“With all my heart. But I can do that here.”
“You can, but with the Vegas and the Viddens and my recommendations the stipend you received would be more than enough to support the kind of family you want.”
I laughed. “You mean a big one.”
She smiled. “Yes. Your father isn’t trying to push you out. He’s just trying to make you more comfortable. He sees the things you go through here, how people like Aaron bully you. How you’ll never amount to much in their eyes. I think he worries for your safety.”
“I’ll think about it.” I said.
Margo nodded and handed me a packet. “The application for relocation is here. All the paperwork you need from others is already done, you only need to sign it and give it to Dae’lin.”
I growled as I took it and Margo gave me a guilty look. “We are only trying to help.”
“Uh huh.” I said as I stood up and left Margo’s office. The door stuck a little so I had to yank it open. I stalked through the office, “Bye Megan. Give that grandbaby a kiss for me.”
“We’ll see you Monday, Nox.”
I nodded and turned around. “Yes ma’am. Monday 9:30 as usual. Thank you.” I looked at Margo. “Thank you for caring.” I turned around and took a deep breath then headed into the hall. There was no reason to be upset. But it didn’t mean my head cooled down any quicker.