“Open the fuck up Nox.” One of them yelled through the door, but that was from Nox’s thoughts, that I knew that. I couldn’t read anything on the other side of the door. Fucking Venatori!
“Go away!” He growled at them.
The second one yelled through the door, “Come on, man it’ll take five minutes. Just open the fucking door.”
Nox turned his gaze on me while I glared at the door, he was trying to be reassuring, “Just work.” Like I was jealous or something. “Let me get rid of them,” he added. Maybe I was. But I sure as fuck wasn’t going to tell him that.
Nox slide off my lap and I caught his roaming thought, of all the things we could be doing right now. All the things my body ached to be doing. He turned around and grabbed his shirt from the floor magically and pulled it over his head with his back to me. My eyes went wide and I couldn’t hide the gasp that escaped from my mouth when the only thing I could see on his back was a mass of scars. He said it had all been in is head. That they had beat him. My anger at the Venatori was raw again. They’d never done anything to me, but they had to him. He was so fucking broken because of them.
I barely noticed the men barge in behind Ophelia. I found my shirt and tugged it on. I barely heard their conversation. I didn’t care. I didn’t know why I was here, what I was doing I had to go. “I should go.” I said out loud as I pulled my shoes on and grabbed my clothes. “I’ll see you around.” I said as i stopped next to Nox by the door. His mind was racing again. These two idiots had ruined his calm and I was leaving. I knew it wasn’t helping any but I pressed a kiss to his lips. I stole a glance at them to make sure they’d been watching before I whispered to Nox, “Call me tomorrow, when you won’t get interrupted.” I caught several thoughts in his head, the first was disturbing that my mark on his neck would be gone in an hour. How had he not healed his back that way? And the second was he didn’t know when he’d have uninterrupted time to call. I added to answer his unspoken comment, “Call me anyway.”
I left quickly and behind me I heard Nox yelling at them in cold quiet voice. I don’t think I wanted to hear that voice directed at me. But if he was going hunting this was an opportune time to follow him, except I didn’t have the right phone on me and I was carrying a bundle of clothes. My apartment wasn’t too far away. Neither was the posh one – it would be my first stop.
I made it home and grabbed a change of my own clothes and my phone that had Nox’s phone already tapped in for tracking. He was on the train. I started walking that direction and hoped he stopped soon enough I could actually catch up but it was a nice night for a walk. It let me think. Not that I wanted to, so I pulled my earbuds out of coat pocket and chose my favorite Lana del Rey album and walked. I didn’t need to follow him but I wanted to see if he really did what he said or if he was a killer like the rest of the Feras.
I walked and waited until he appeared to stop. It was still a bit of a walk but I should make it if he stayed still long enough. But I picked up my pace.
Five minutes later I was standing outside a hole in the wall bar called the Ugly Dog Saloon. The goons who interrupted us had mentioned it. His phone was still inside. I didn’t want to stand here and wait all night but here I was looking for a place in the shadows deep enough he couldn’t see me.
A woman darted out of the back of the bar and scaled the wall and was climbing the fire escape. One of the goons ran past me and the other I saw coming down the alley and Nox came out the back.
“Where did she go?” One of them asked. I hated not hearing their thoughts.
I felt Nox go somewhere, he let a shield down and he was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. His body felt a fire I had to pull away as he spoke a few short words, “I assume she went up.”
“You mean she flew?” The other one asked.
“She’s a dragon. Dragon’s do that.” Nox pressed his hands to his ears and the world seemed to calm down a little for him. His body wasn’t quite so on fire.
The other two were inconsequential as I listened to his mind. I wasn’t sure if I should be scared or in awe of what I could decipher. The thoughts weren’t thoughts, more, it was hard to describe “She went up that way.” He pointed.
Nox’s thoughts were racing and I knew he wasn’t thrilled about climbing to the top. And I had my own problem. I couldn’t exactly follow up wherever he was going. I was going to have to stay in the shadows. It was one thing to have a conversation with a man who always said what was on his mind. I had never found another person who didn’t speak in lies or omissions. To rely on Nox’s thoughts to see a conversation unfold was dubious at best, but I trusted that Nox would say what he thought and not do other things.
He entered a window and he was looking around. A man and a boy came out of nowhere startling him. His mind flipping through things I couldn’t even understand. Calculating angles and patterns and god knows what else. His mind was a mass of confusion, I wasn’t even sure how he functioned on a day to day basis if this was how it was for him everyday.
I could barely follow the conversation with all the other noise in his mind. I saw the thought that wrapped the man up in air and sent the gun flying from his hands. It was quick and short lived and then it was quiet again, calm as he spoke to the boy. He loved kids. It made me smile.
Shortly thereafter Nox was climbing up the fire escape again. His mind carefully focused on what he was going to find at the top. He didn’t think about climbing – his fear of heights. Yet it didn’t stop him. Watching the scene unfold in his head was much like having to read the captions in a movie with only sound and no picture.
Where there could have been a fight, Nox talked her down. And then through all of his thoughts I felt that fear. Fear of death, of dying, of burning alive. Images of the last dragon that threw flames at him leapt to his head and I could watch in almost vivid detail the pain and horror of having fire eating at your body and the pain so bad you pass out from it. But there was no pain, no fire as Nox’s thoughts were about saving himself from that fiery death with his gift. The dragon’s thoughts weren’t readable but from Nox’s I saw her gasping for air and Nox’s words tumbling form his mouth. He didn’t want to hurt her but he would.
A shot went off and I panicked pulled my mind from his and I heard the conversation above on the light wind.
The big black man growled at the other one, “You idiot, you didn’t even bring dragon killing bullets.”
“I grabbed the wrong gun.” I smirked at the response. Or fate had said nope, no killing today.
I reached out again to find Nox’s mind. He was still an open book. I could find him in the mass of emptiness on the roof but there were people below him, their quieter minds were much simpler to understand and yet I was sucked back to his to finish this rollercoaster of a ride.
Nox diffused the situation. They didn’t kill the dragon, and the boy and the man were going with them. It didn’t make sense to take the boy, but from Nox’s thoughts he couldn’t leave the child either. And that’s when the biggest disappointment of his thoughts hit me, he would use the child as leverage even as he carried and cuddled the boy, he was thinking of how he could use it to his advantage. I growled under my breath. There were still very Venatoir thoughts in Pretty Boy’s head. After they were well out of listening range I stalked back to my apartment. I couldn’t believe he’d use a kid.