There was one thought in his head as we descended into the subway tunnels. He was clinging to my warmth, to me. Like I was his breathe, his heart beat, his everything. But his hand was just holding mind. I smirked at him watching his expression but it was that neutral smile that I’d seen in every picture of him Poet had. The same one I watched him give everyone else. But inside he was laser focused on one thing – me. “I don’t think you’ve ever been so quiet.” I said, my own voice seeming so loud against the backdrop of his singular thought.

HeI laughed. “I just had another telepath tell me I don’t shut up.”

The thought that had others were rummaging around in his head irked me. What gives them the right. Nox bumped his shoulder against me bringing from my own brooding with a fun fact. “You do know that there all sorts of magic in the Venatori right? I can’t keep my shields up all the time. It physically hurts.” I wanted to know why it hurt, but I didn’t want to ask. I didn’t want to hear the answer. But I could find it in his head. It was a strange feeling knowing someone knew I was looking in their head. Usually people got angry, but not Nox, he plainly asked, “What do you want to know?”

I looked at him and shrugged, “Just the truth.” That’s all anyone ever wants.

“I don’t lie to you.” Nox said and it was the truth, never once had the words out of his mouth been a lie. Hiding something yes, but it hadn’t been a lie.

But I knew he was hiding something, he told me so himself. “But you keep secrets from me.”

“Do you really want to know?”

“I promise I won’t walk.” And I knew that promise was going to be hard to keep but I would do my best, Poet wanted information and I had to take the good and the bad – even if I didn’t want to hear it.

Nox laughed like it was part of a joke, “It’s not the walking I’m afraid of. I can keep up with you walking. It’s running I’m afraid I can’t.”

“You’re fucking Venatori.” And it was really. He could probably catch me if I tried to run away, but I knew that wasn’t what he meant.

Nox stuck his tongue out at me. It was a childish gesture but it elicited something low inside me and I leaned acrossed and sucked his tongue into my mouth. He groaned and I felt the vibration all the way down to my cock. It was difficult to pull away, my lips lingered on his before I pulled away enough so I could say, “Show me.”

He didn’t waste any time as he tore down the wall that he’d so effortlessly put up. It was a rush of emotions. Things I don’t know if I wanted to know. But he felt he needed me. Why he was so delusional was beyond me. There were thoughts of his dream guy mixed with me, Did he know? He was playing me and I was falling into his trap.

“I don’t…” I didn’t know what to say. I denied what he was to me, what he had been. This was just a job.

“Maybe we should go back.” His mind descended into chaos again and I sighed.

“Come on. Don’t … I’m here. I don’t know what to say, Nox. I don’t feel like that. Not yet.” It was the biggest lie I’d told him yet. I had an inbox full of letters that called me a liar. I could do this for Poet, pretend there might be more when there wouldn’t be. I wasn’t going to fall for his charms again. I was just waiting for that other shoe to drop.

“I never asked you to.” Nox sighed and I read his fustrated words that didn’t come through, “But this is why I didn’t want you to know. I fall fast. Always have. It’s not about being in love. I don’t let people in, and here you are in my head, reading everything.” His head was full of words, but he wanted to not think, not talk.. “Let’s just do this. We don’t have to talk.” Which was a lie – he did have to talk, he needed it like he could breathe.

I leaned against his shoulder and tried to coax him out of his shell, “What if I like listening to you ramble?”

But Nox shook his head. He was going to stay quiet. Yet his mind rolled with a thousand different things. “Fine then, I’ll talk.” I said quickly without really anything to say. We sat in strained silence and Nox looked at me expectantly. I gave up with a sigh, “I don’t know what to say. I don’t have a plethora of words spewing around my mind like you.”

He rolled his eyes, “So you are saying that you don’t have a thought in your head.”

“I’m just that kinda guy.” I smirked and shrugged my shoulders. I wasn’t a thinker, I was more a doer.

Nox quickly turned the tides in our conversation, “I doubt that. You said you were late because you were tied up with a client? What do you do?”

He asked about me, I knew from past experiences that Nox rarely asked questions. He was trying so I could try. I put my arm around his shoulder as I told him a half truth about what I did. “I’m a business consultant of sorts. I do all sorts of things – efficiency training, gathering intel, I get paid a lot of the times to find information on opposing sides for good or ill. Depends on their needs.” He leaned against me while I spoke and he fit just right under my arm and I felt the pure bliss radiating through his mind.

“I’m sure your ability helps with the intel.” He added to prompt more conversation.

“It does.” But I needed him to talk about him, I knew all about me, “Why is it you don’t mind that I’m in your head?”

“I have nothing to hide. The only time I shield my entire existence is if I’m hunting a telepath or something.”

“Do you do that often?”

“Hunt telepaths?” The question was rhetorical as he answered without my response. “I’ve never hunted one personally. Human paths don’t fall under the same sorts of laws as the rest of the supernatural world.”

“You mean because they’re human. But you have orders to kill some kinds on sight don’t you?” I knew what I’d been told.

“Dreamwalkers and clairvoyants typically yes. But honestly I don’t know why. I get they are dangerous and could really do some damage. But it’s no real difference than say telepaths who get insider secrets and become rich and famous because they know exactly what you want. My best friend is a technopath. He’s a hacker, he uses his gift for his betterment. A dreamwalker isn’t going to go bad just because he can walk into your dreams. No more so than any other human. Everything should be a case by case basis.” But hearing it from the horse’s mouth was something entirely different. Poet wanted information but nothing here seemed liked a bad thing.

“How many have you killed?” I asked. I had his records but those could be falsified just as easily as he could lie to me.

“I’ve taken a handful of lives in the past 5 years. Can count them and still have fingers left over. I only kill in self defense. But unless I made arrangements with their own people, the Venatori kill them after a sort of trial. We can’t contain them, so they die anyway. But I hope one day it’ll change.” But his numbers and the reports matched up. Either everyone lied well or Nox was a just a bad of a hunter as the numbers said. Everyone else had higher rates, but he worked more cases than anyone else.

He gave them to their own kind, “What do their people do with them?” I wondered what he’d do with me if he ever found out I could walk dreams, or that I used my ability to make the money I had. Give me to the police for insider trading? I could easily get out of that, there was no proof I was ever around any of those people.

“Most of the time rehabilitate them. 80% of the cases in New York are fledglings – either abandoned or neglected. Sometimes it’s an unknown, rare case. I had one girl who couldn’t shift at all during the moons. Once she shifted into wolf while the moon was full she couldn’t shift out. Her tie to the moon so strong, and her human form so weak she couldn’t do it. So her family has to lock her up for three days. She gets out on occasion and I have to find her before anyone else.” I was grateful for the years of practice while Nox talked about things. I listened well, he talked a lot. It had been a good skill to learn back then, and even more so today.

“Aren’t you afraid of getting bitten?” The whole bite being deadly thing would definitely make me shy away from things that could kill me.

“No. Not really. I’m a hunter. It’s what I was trained to do. I’ll die young as most hunters do. But I’m going to live my way – not the way the Venatori say I have to.”

“Big talk for such a little man.” I smirked. He always thought so little of himself it was a gamble to remind him of such with playful banter.

“Little huh? I’ll show you little.” But the gamble had paid off as I watched Nox bite his bottom lip. “But I don’t think that’ll happen anytime soon.” There was no denying he was hot for me, and I could definitely do with him underneath me.

“So now you aren’t trying to get in my pants? I’m offended.” The playful banter had always been a fun part of our talks back then too. Fuck I hated those memories – I was so happy then, and he killed it all…

“My motives are still the same. But we have a date to get through. And I’m looking forward to beating you at laser tag.” He said with a press of his lips to my cheek and he dragged me out of the train. We’d finally come to our destination.

He challenged and I had only one response, “We’ll see about that pretty boy.”

I bought the tickets at the window. The girl looked bored as I declared, “Two.”

“Would you like a single game, or an all day pass?” she asked without ever looking up to meet my eyes. Bitch! Didn’t they teach teenagers manners these days.

I looked over at Nox and he shrugged. I didn’t care either, but an hour might not be enough time. “All day pass.” We’d probably get in a few games. We walked through the large double doors into the center proper and the din was loud and there was chaos everywhere. I hadn’t been to one since my mother took me on my 13th birthday. “I haven’t been to one of these in years.” I said over the raucous.

Nox mumbled, “My first time.”

“A virgin eh?” I smirked at his response “I’ll be gentle. I promise.”

“I hope not. I like it a little rough.” Nox said before he walked away from me. I didn’t have anything to say to such a comment. Which was rare. Nox went to the railing of the lower floor where the laser tag arena was. He looked over but not for long and then turned his back to the rail and leaned against it.

“You alright?” I asked as I approached him, “You look a little pale.”

“Heights. Though I think this game is almost over.” He really didn’t let his little quirky fears get in the way of his actual life. He took elevators, looked over edges, fought off monsters that could kill him with a simple bite. Fear wasn’t an obstacle for him. Poet was going to have his work cut out for him.

I offered Nox my hand even as I goaded him a little bit more. “Opposite sides if we are going to see who’s better.”

Nox nodded and took my hand and he thought about all the ways this would be good for us. The ramifications of playing against each other. His mind never quieted.

I chuckled. All I wanted to do was play a game, and that’s what I told him. “So in depth pretty boy. I just want to shoot you.”

He grinned at me and we were off to our own respective sides, he was blue, I got red.

My name is Nox Sétanta. I am first and foremost a fictional character escaped from the mind of my creator AJ. In layman's terms I'm a magic wielding monster hunter born to my human mother and my Venatori father.

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