I opened my eyes lying still on Alex’s shoulder and he rubbed my back. I looked up at him, “That was Erebus – the void – the darkness, some people would call you a demon.” I grinned at him, “Not me. I think I’ll call you George.” I readjusted so that I was looking down at Alex, his arm still around me but my elbow was propping my head up next to his. “And I’ll hug you and squeeze you.”
Alex laughed, “That’s a little backwards.”
I shrugged the best I could. “I know. Sage was a bit classic cartoon kid.”
“I can’t see The Wicked Truth being a child.” Alex shook his head. “But then again he does have some random quirks that can only come from that sort of esoteric growing up.”
“Sage has always liked things you can’t get online. Has to do with what he can do?”
Alex sat up and I had no choice but to move or get hurt. “You have some weird friends.”
“At least I have them, it could be just me against the world.” The moment I said it, I regretted it. I hadn’t even meant anything close to mocking Alex. But he got up and slammed the bathroom door shut. Fuck!
I gave Alex time. Well I tried. Sitting in his room in the quiet hearing his triad in the bathroom. I couldn’t wait anymore. I couldn’t stand it. “Alex. I didn’t mean that in any way towards what you and your mother had. The words she shared with you. It was only meant as I could be alone. Please, Alex.”
The door opened and Alex was glaring at me with the deep blue eyes of his and I could only slink back in response though I didn’t move, just dropped my gaze. He shouted, “Another one of your fucking dreams?”
“Wha..?” I looked up and realized he thought I’d remembered it in a dream. “No. I… I just remembered that was what your mother said – after I said it. I didn’t mean it Alex not in the way you took it.”
Alex growled and pushed past me, “So another one of your random I remember you shit.”
I sighed. “That’s never going to change Alex. I’m sorry I forgot you, I’m sorry that it was safer that way. But even with everything I just learned I don’t regret it. Not one bit. If anyone found out you walk Erebus and saw what you saw the Venatori would hunt you with an undying devotion. And if they found out because of me I couldn’t live with that. You did this to me. But I don’t regret it, not one fucking bit. it kept you safe. We were young. I didn’t know what I know now, was impressionable.”
I slumped against the door to the hall and slid down to the ground. Alex was in the main room I could hear him, but I couldn’t see him. “I remember Garrett asking me about the boy in my dream. The one I had saved. I didn’t know what he was talking about. If I’d known I probably would have been forced to tell him. He beat obedience into me. Failure to comply…” I chocked back the memories and the tears and pulled my knees to my chest.
Alex’s socks were the only thing in my vision when he stopped his pacing in front of me. My breath caught and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. “Everything is always about you.”
I looked up with tears streaking down my cheeks, “It isn’t. I was apologizing to you. I was caring about you. You are the one who fucking turned it on me.” I wiped the tears from my cheeks and stood up and was staring into those gorgeous blue eyes. “Just because I’m crying, and hurt doesn’t mean it’s not about you. I understand I hurt your feelings. What do you want me to do to fix it? I tried to explain. I’m sorry Alex. I’m sorry I said what I did. I’m sorry that my turn of phrase hurt your feelings. I didn’t intend it to be that way. I wasn’t trying to say I had it worse, or you had it worse. It wasn’t supposed to be a fucking comparison. It was just me being an idiot. Not remembering what your mother said. I won’t say it again, I remember now. It’s in my head. I’m sorry.”
Alex growled and turned his back on me. “I can’t do this Nox.”
My heart broke. I felt it crumble under those words. All the strength I’d mustered to stand up to Alex withered away and I collapsed to the floor. Alex was there in an instant. “Fuck, no pretty boy. You, me. This. I want to do that.” He pulled me into his lap and sat against the opposite wall. “I can’t do this. Keep you from breaking.”
“I’m not afraid to break, Alex.”
“But I hate seeing you this way.” Alex pressed a kiss to my cheek. “I hate it. And I know I’m doing it. I’m an idiot. I just want to keep you safe. And I realize I can’t do that. But I know someone that can.”
“Yeah, who?” I frowned.
“Ant can keep you safe, keep you from breaking.”
I chortled, “Ant can’t keep me from breaking – no one can.”
“Ant is good at picking up the pieces.”
I rolled my eyes. “Ant is good and pounding me till I’m black and blue.”
Alex sighed, “And if I weren’t a jealous boyfriend, that turn of phrase wouldn’t bother me.” Before I could say anything Alex was continuing, “I know there is no sex between you. The attraction is magic. I’ve seen it. Ant showed me, took me to a club to show me. Fucking almost fed on me, and I would have let him. I trust you Nox. I can’t do what he does. I’m here for everything. I’m here to pick up the pieces, I’ll listen and comfort you. I can do those things. I won’t say I won’t get jealous, or hurt, or that I won’t hurt you, but I’m pretty sure that you take more than just me to put back together.”
“Alex I just need you. You fix things.”
Alex laughed, “I break you more.”
“I’m okay with that. We need to find our place in each others lives.”
Alex pressed a kiss to my neck and hummed against my skin. “Status quo Nox. You live your life like you were before me, and I will do the same before you. And we’ll pull together what we can slowly. We are both so ingrained in ourselves, we need to work at being together in the real world.”
I sighed, “So what do you propose?”
“I’ll give you a key, you give me a key. We spend most nights at our own homes, we spend nights together, we date.”
I nodded, “Alex, I’m going to be completely honest with you. I only have two reactions to people. The usual reaction is to keep people at a distance, and the other is to be overly attached. I’m already that with you, have been my whole life. But I’ll try not to overwhelm you.”
Alex hugged me tight against him. “I know, pretty boy. And I’ll try not to set you off every few hours.”
I grinned, “As long as you help pick up the pieces. I’ll be fine.”
“I’m not sure I will be.” Alex said shoving me out of his lap. “I have a meeting before we have dinner.”
I nodded, “I can stay here.”
Alex smirked, “I have a better idea.” He picked up his phone and dialled a number. He waited for it to pick up. “Nox needs a good workout, you think you can tire him out before dinner?”
I heard Ant on the other side of the phone. “You want him pliable for after dinner? I can tenderize him real good.”
Alex growled though his heart wasn’t in it. “I’m trusting you not to eat my boyfriend, that’s for me later.”
Ant laughed, “Yeah. I can do that. Though he might be a little too sore for what you have in mind.”
I spoke softly, “I’m never too sore for Alex.”
Alex snickered, “You heard all that?”
Ant guffawed. “Super human hearing. No secrets if he’s in the same room.”
Before Alex could hang up, Ant was standing in the shadowed closet. “Can’t we walk?” I asked.
“It’s fucking daylight.” Ant said.
I sighed and I pressed a long hard kiss to Alex, “Are you sure?”
“Positive, pretty boy. Go play with your best friend, while I work. I expect him to be on his best behavior.”
“He will be.” I promised. Ant only laughed as he grabbed my shoulder and I was gone without my shoes.