The owner pulled out several watches. None of them even looked remotely like something I could afford. I looked over at Alex who was smirking at me. “I told you I can’t have you looking like a bum.”
I rolled my eyes. “Fine, pick one.” I said and held my left hand out and set it down next to the display he’d brought out.
“You have no preference?” Alex asked concerned.
I shrugged. “I’ll tell you if I don’t like it.” I could feel Alex poking around inside my head. “I told you I don’t care.”
Alex chuckled and nodded as he stood up over my shoulder and stared down at the offerings. I leaned back against him and hummed at the warmth of his body. Alex let his right hand fall over my shoulder and I leaned my head against his wrist. I enjoyed the feeling of him wrapped around me, even if it was a slight public display.
The owner watched us almost as much as he watched the tv screens to the left of him. There was a pair inside the shop on the other side of the wall and he was interested in them and the girl that worked for him.
Alex pointed at a watch with a leather band and a black face. There were no numbers, and red hands. It was classy yet it wasn’t really flashy. Alex laughed. “We’ll take this one. Engrave it with NS and the usual accompaniment.”
I grinned at Alex when I looked up to see him looking down at me, “So what else are you putting in this watch?”
Alex smirked and pressed a kiss to my forehead, “Just the tracker, promise.”
“I wouldn’t mind anything else you need to feel comfortable.”
“I’m not going to be happy with you wandering around New York City alone, much less here in Vegas.”
I sighed, “You know I can protect myself, right?”
Alex nodded, “Yeah, but you’re mine now and no one hurts what is mine.”
I grinned at the sappiness of the comment but the jeweler came back and handed Alex a box I assumed had the watch in it.
Alex took the box from the man and pulled out his wallet to pay the man. The cash he unfolded was rather impressive. I’d go so far as to say I’d never seen an amount like that but I was sure Dorian kept cash like that, my father too. Me I trusted the bank and used expense accounts that were typically used and a new fangled debit card. Of course it was all kept within the Venatori. We owned our own banking system – it was a more recent technology purchased by Asher Erikesen. There was an entire network of Venatori run banks around the world now. And the security rivaled that of the Swiss bank accounts or the Cayman islands you always heard about on TV. And I knew this because Sage had been hired to try to hack it – well him and several other New York City based hackers. It ended up some huge thing around the world. No one had gotten in yet.
And a lot of that was the New York Hackers protecting their own score. If one got in it was a cash reward. Enough to entice them anyway.
Alex took my hand and pulled my from my thoughts, “That was some interesting knowledge.” He grinned across at me as we walked out the front door. “Breakfast?”
My stomach rumbled in response. “Maybe we should do some shopping.” I joked.
Alex looked down towards the strip and back the other way and grinned, “Later, food isn’t far.”
We continued through the area away from the strip into Las Vegas you never really saw. It looked like a normal city but it didn’t feel like New York. It was off putting. I missed home.
“You couldn’t stay here?”
I shrugged. “I could learn to.”
Alex grinned and pulled me into a building that smelled like bacon. “New York will always be home won’t it?”
I nodded. “It’s all I know.”
“And if I wanted to stay here?” he asked.
“I’d figure it all out in the end and be wherever made you happy.”
Alex looked at me skeptically and laughed, “New York is fine pretty boy. Can’t have you in a permanent melt down.”
I grinned at him. “I’d be fine. Eventually.” I chuckled.
Alex shook his head and pressed me gently against the wall of the hall we were walking down, “You are always fine, but I’d prefer you to be well all the time.”
I laughed, “I’m never well Alex. I suffer from many acronyms and issues. I’ll do better. I am better with you in my life.” I put my hands on Alex’s hips and pulled him against me and kissed him.
“Mmmhmmm.” Alex mumbled as he kissed me. He pulled away and I licked my lips. Alex smirked, “Still hungry.”
I winked at him, “Famished. But I need food too.”
Alex laughed and pulled me after him as we walked into what looked like a house kitchen. “Hey, Mama.” Alex said happily.
The woman looked like an older version of his friend, Benji. Alex has just brought me home to his family I felt flattered. “It smells wonderful. You think you can make enough for two more?”
She turned from her stove top and looked at us. Alex holding my hand and her smile only brightened at the sight. “Of course,bǎobèi . Benji is sleeping, he got home late.”
Alex chuckled, “I’m here to see you, anyway.” He let go of my hand and kissed her cheek. “Mama, this is Nox.”
She looked me over and I think I might have blushed. “Good morning, ma’am. Smells wonderful in here do you need any help?”
Alex moved to sit down at the kitchen table. And I continued to stand waiting on an answer. “You cook?” she asked.
I nodded, “I’ve been known to.”
She looked at me, “New York, bǎobèi? I thought you weren’t going back.”
Alex sighed. “I was wrong. I did leave again, but he followed me.” Alex grinned at me as he said the next words, “Like my own little puppy dog, big brown puppy dog eyes and all.”
“I do not do the puppy eyes.” I teased in return. I knew I probably did.
Mama, for a lack of a better name, patted my shoulder, “You should slow down, lad. You talk too fast and I’m sure your world never slows down.”
I nodded. “I’ll try. My offer still stands.”
She shoved me gently towards Alex. “Sit. Enjoy. Coffee?”
“Yes please.” Both Alex and I said at the same time. Alex continued, “He’ll takes his black.” Which only made her smile brighter as she set out to make us breakfast.