We sat on the train and I pulled out the package of details that I’d been left about my new place. Not only did I have the address, almost triple the amount of money I was making, I had the floor plan and was amazed at the fact that I had three bedrooms. Dorian and my father must have really pulled some strings. What the fuck was I going to do with such a big place?
Dorian had mentioned it was big enough to start a family but I didn’t have a family right now and all that space…
Ant put his hand my shoulder and squeezed. “It’ll be alright.”
I shook. I sighed and snapped a picture of the address and the layout and sent it to Alex with a message.
N: Look what I got. Address is on the layout. Got enough space for you and Drake and then some.
It was a little presumptuous. But I wasn’t about to let the fact go that I wanted Alex around. It was soon. I knew that, but we’d been together so much longer. I believed him. And I knew I hurt him badly. I just wished I remembered all that.
Ant stood up and grabbed my shoulder and pulled me away from the seat, “You can’t do this. Come on.”
We were in the space between subway cars and Ant shifted us through the shadows to the dojo. He grabbed the bucket nearby and I lost my dinner. Fuck! I thought as I wretched and heaved and emptied everything.
“Asshole.” I said as I wiped my mouth and went to clean up the mess and brush my teeth.
When I came out of the bathroom Ant and Ryan were both circling each other. “Do you always know when I’m losing my shit?” I asked Ryan just as Ant threw a punch and Ryan was looking at me when it landed in his ear.
“Fuck me, Ant.” He turned and glared at his friend. “You did that on purpose.”
Ant smirked. “Maybe.”
“Two against one? No hold barred.” Ant said. “He needs a thrashing to clear his head, either that or good run, but I like this option better.”
Ryan laughed. “He’ll finish that window one day.”
“What window?” I asked.
“You know the window you are making with all those sand shards you make after we take you to the beach. I think we are missing a few from the land down under.”
“I don’t want to to go to a beach right now. Thanks. I’ll take the beating.” I sighed as I kicked my shoes off and sat down to stretch while I took my socks off too. I’d learned the hard way not to wear them while we spared, it was much more slippery on the dojo floor.
After I was stretched out enough we started circling each other. No holds barred meant I could ‘kill’ Ant but Ryan had to yield as did I. We didn’t come back to life 20 minutes later after a snapped neck. Ryan was immortal and the only way you really could kill him was by fire or decapitation, but he disliked dying so we went with the same rules for him as me. It was only fair. It was a unique experience watching Ant and Ryan spar. They’d been playing the game their whole lives. And they were always trying to best Cari. No one came close. Not even Tony, but Ant was the closest to come to making it a regular habit of besting his mother. But still no one really could.
Ant chuckled. “You want to give mother a go, Nox. I bet you could get her easy enough.”
“I can’t get you on a regular basis.”
Ryan laughed. “Dude, you know why that is right?”
“Why what is?”
“Why you can’t best Ant?”
“Because he’s done nothing wrong. We watched you remember. When that vamp back at the Fangtasia nightclub went after you, there was no hesitation. You killed him without a second though. You’re life was in danger. Here, now, while we do this. It’s a game. You treat it as such. You want to get the shit kicked out of you. So you never go for the killing blow out the gate. Nox you fight fair cause you like us. If it came to your life or Ant’s his neck would be broken two seconds into the game and you’d not have a mark on you.” Ryan lectured me.
“Okay, fine, then beat the shit out of me. I’m so fucking stressed out it’s not even funny anymore. This is all going to be a mess for the next few weeks. A fucking boyfriend, a kid, a new place, a job to do that the Venatori don’t want me to do.”
Ant threw a punch at me and it landed square in my chest knocking my breath out. “Shut up and fight.” He said.
I gasped for air and nodded. We spared for the next three hours.