I’m Not Okay

The food was pretty good for coming from room service. Alex was busy watching the movie. He wasn’t paying me any attention except a casual glance at me to make sure I wasn’t freaking out. I felt a comforting aura in my mind, like he was trying to calm me down in other ways without being obvious about it. But it wasn’t a nudge, or manipulative, more like a hug since I was pretty sure I’d push him away if he tried to put his arm around me.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want him to touch me because fuck I did. But if he touched me I’d fall into tears again. And I was doing my best not to. I was thankful I’d washed all the eyeliner off in the bathroom, there was no more mess to be made.

Our plates were empty by the time the end credits started rolling. Alex stood up groaning and stretching. “You know the bed or chairs would have been more comfortable.”

He squatted down and grabbed my plate and his and put them on the carts. He glanced at me from across the room. “You feeling any better?”

I shook my head. “Why am I here?”

Alex smirked, “I asked you that earlier. You said I wasn’t returning your texts or calls. Has that changed?” I was glad Alex was finding the humor in the situation. It made me smile. His smirk turned into a genuine smile, “You are here because I asked you to come here. You stayed..” Alex looked at me and nodded to himself, “You stayed because you wanted me in your life and you don’t care how that translate.” Alex chuckled, “Which is such an ego killer. If I were you, and I wanted me, I would want all of me, in every possible way. I mean, who wouldn’t?”

“Your ego is showing.” I grinned at him. I stood up and from the way Alex’s eyes watched me I knew he was impressed. “I’m not okay, Alex. I’m never going to be okay. But I’m better with you.” I walked over to him and ran my fingers down the side of his jaw bitting my bottom lip. “And you are right. I want you in every possible way, but I will take anything you are willing to give me. I don’t care if you don’t love me like I love you, or even if you don’t want more than just sex. I just want to be with you.”

Alex shook his head and took a step away from me, “Why would you settle?”

“I’m not Alex. I’m not settling. I was 13 when I kissed my first boy.” Alex frowned. “And I only kissed him because you gave me the courage in my dreams to beleive I was worth it. I only wish my sex life had stayed healthy because of you instead of the path it took. Alex, with you I’m better. I don’t need all that other stuff I needed before. We fight, but… I don’t care. I’ll change. I’ll adapt, I can be what you want. I just need you to tell me – to talk to me.”

“Why? Nox, why would you change for me? I can’t change for you.”

“Because that’s what I do. I don’t care what people think of me – except for those I care about. Change doesn’t come easy to me, but I can change. You just have to give me time and the space needed to do it.”

“You can’t change for everyone.” Alex argued.

“But I can change for you. I have changed for you. You hated that I jumped from buildings, so I stopped. You hate when I come to you impared – drunk or high. You never said anything but I saw the disappointment in your face. And when I realized you cared for me even then I stopped – for you. To make you happy. Even after I didn’t come to you and I had sent Jace to you and he fucked up our lives, even then I still changed for you. I was a mess, but I didn’t go back to my old ways of fucking every girl I wanted. I didn’t go to the gay bars to get pounded by guys who didn’t want me. I fucking tried to have a real relationship. The guy was an asshole to me, but that didn’t matter at the time. No one is ever going to compare to you. Real or imagined. And I’m sorry I’m freaking you out. Telling you all this. But I’d rather you know how I feel and leave me now then for you to leave me later when I can’t survive without you. At least now it won’t be as hard. It won’t be easy but I’ll manage. I’m not so addicted to you that I can’t pick up the peices one last time. In a few months, when you get tired of me. I might not survive it. But don’t stay with me because of it. Don’t be that guy, the one who sacarfices his happiness for me.”

“Why shouldn’t I? You are doing it.” Alex challenged me.

“I’m not sacraficing anything for you Alex. But I would, I mean I’d give everything up for you. I’d be human for you. I’d be lost at first, I’ve never not been Venatori. I’ve been here since I was 5. I don’t know the basics of living like you. Paying bills, getting a job. What the fuck would I do? But I’d do it for you. All you have to do is ask. Tell me it’ll be worth it and I’ll do anything for you Alex.”

I walked away from Alex, he was still two steps back out of reach. I stopped at the closed window and imagined the world below. The tiny people, their lives, how happy they were. How much different their lives were from mine. “I know I’m a lot to deal with Alex. And I really do understand if you want to walk away from it. I shouldn’t have come here. I shouldn’t tell you all this. But like I said. I talk a lot. I just wanted it all out there. You can tell me to get out, and you won’t hear from me again.” And I waited for him to say something – anything.

Dinner and a Movie

I stayed in the bathroom long enough for Alex to come to the door. “Everything alright?”

I sighed and stood up straight turning off the water and wiping my hands off on the plush white towel. I grabbed the paper towels I’d used to clean the eyeliner dredges off my face and crumpled them in my hand as I reached for the door.

Alex stood in front of the door leaning on the door frame blocking my exit. I gave him a weak smile, “You okay?” he asked.

I nodded, my ‘I’m okay’ came out weak and shy. I tried to stare into his eyes but I’d broken my own promise to myself and my gaze dropped to the ground. Alex’s fingers brushed my jaw line and he leaned forward and pressed a tender kiss to my lips. The tears started falling again as his lips touched mine and I tried not to tremble at his touch. “Fuck Nox.” His hand gripped the back of my neck and he pulled me against him.

He felt sorry for me. I pulled away from him and grabbed the plate and sat down at the table across the room by the window. Alex stood staring at me with a frown. Benji stood up abruptly. “I’m going to go. I have packing to do. I’ll see you guys in the morning.”

Benji made it to the door before turning around and looked at me as I lifted my fork to my mouth, “Don’t let him push you around.” He grinned at Alex, “And give him a break, he flew all this way for you.” And with those parting words Benji was off out the door leaving Alex and myself staring after him.

“For the record,” Alex said as he sat down across from me on the bed, “I wasn’t pitying you.” Alex jammed his fingers through his bleach blonde strands. “I don’t like seeing you hurting.” He said looking away, trying to be discrete about it all. I was frustrating him. And I never wanted to make… “Fuck, Nox stop alright. Just fucking stop. Stop bashing yourself. You… I can’t listen to it.”

I set the plate on the table and stood up, “So get out of my head.” I started to walk away but Alex was in front of me in all his icey defiance. His eyes were ablaze with anger.

“I will not. And won’t let you talk about yourself like that. No one gets to hurt you, not even you.” Alex growled at me.

“You hurt me.”

His defiance deflated and he stepped aside. “I don’t mean to.”

“Alex, this is me. I’m a fucked up mess. My life is scheduled. My food is the same, I see a therapist weekly. I talk – a lot. I am nothing but a mess and if that makes me selfish then I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m a selfish bastard and I want to stay healthy I don’t want to feel so hurt I get drunk or high just to make it go away. I’m sorry if I don’t want to fuck a willing girl’s brains out because I can’t cope with my fucking life any other way. My schedule and my life is set up so I can be as normal as I can. So what’s in my head doesn’t fuck me up worse.”

I sank to the floor and pulled my knees up to my chest and pressed my forehead into them. I sat that way for several moments before I added, “I was willing to fight myself to be what you needed. To find me in you. To be the guy you had in those dreams. But if you stay in my head I can’t give you that allusion. I’m not happy-go-lucky. I’m not that fake smile. But fuck, if you didn’t make me really smile I’d have lost it a long time ago. I know that. I’ve seen it. I didn’t know your name, I didn’t even know what you looked like. But I knew it was you in every dream. I lived to see you another day. The boy in my dream. My best friend. The love of my fucking life. And I couldn’t even remember him.”

Even as I rambled on I was afraid of what Alex was thinking. I was being selfish. I was crying again for attention. I did this so it was all about me. When all I wanted was to be with him. I didn’t care about anything else. I just wanted Alex in my life. I didn’t care if he didn’t love me, or if he found me repulsive unworthy of love. I didn’t care. I just needed him, like I needed air to breathe.

Alex never moved from the side of the bed, he just sat and listened to me go on and on about me. I went round and round and round and Alex just sat there. When he finally moved he stepped over to the table picked up my plate and sat it down next to me, “Eat.” He said simply. I picked up the plate. I was still hungry.

Alex hadn’t waited for me to follow his instructions, he just walked away and started making his own plate and flipped on the TV as he passed it.

The remote control in his hand was pointed at the curtains and they closed slowly making the room dark. The lights came up a little and the TV started playing the opening credits of a movie.

He moved around the room slowly and poured a glass of wine and looked at me askance. I shook my head. He poured me a glass of water and set it down next to me on the floor.

I half expected Alex to sit at the table or climb in bed to eat, but instead he sat down next to me so he could see me and the TV at the same time and started eating. Nothing else was said for the next two hours.

Falling Apart

Alex stood behind me. I could hear him breathing as I left. I was breaking inside. The pain, the anger, the loss all of it was tumbling around. I tried to slam the stair well door but it closed with a soft snick behind me. I didn’t make it much further before I let my shield go. It hurt, and I broke into a thousand pieces as I fell against the wall in tears.

Broken, alone in a cold dimly lit stair well I curled up in the corner and lost every shred of dignity I had left. There was nothing but pain and anguish tearing through my soul – shards of glass ripping it to shreds. My world crumbled just like it had the last time I’d thought it was over with Alex.

The door opened but I didn’t look up. I didn’t care who saw me. Though I knew it was Alex without even looking. I knew the sound of his breath, the way he smelled slightly of citrus and fresh soap. I knew him. I fucking knew him.

He stood there staring above me, he didn’t say anything. And I didn’t move. The only thing I heard was his breath and my heart beating a mile a minute. Alex broke the silence, “Ant said you’d break into a million pieces. I didn’t believe him.”

My brain raced, how did Ant speak to Alex? When? Where? What?

Alex answered my thoughts out loud, “I ran into him in the bar. He and I had a talk. About you. And what happened 5 years ago. Did he tell you I was here?”

I shook my head. I had already told him how I got here. I wasn’t going to repeat myself.

Alex chuckled. “You are that mad at me, you can’t even talk to me?”

I shook my head again. I wasn’t mad at him. Not really. Mad at myself really. I was a fool to fucking love a con man. Funny thing was that I didn’t care about what he did to other people. But I didn’t like being played. And I fell so hard for it, for him. I was so naive with my heart. This is why I never let anyone in.

Alex sighed. “Nox…”

He sighed again when I didn’t respond to my name, “Come on pretty boy.”

Alex growled when I didn’t respond again, and then let out a long deep breath. “Fine, Baby, when you are ready, come eat, I’ll order you some food you’ll eat, and you, me and Benji will watch a movie and maybe then you’ll talk to me. When you are ready Pretty boy, please come to my room.”

The door opened and Alex slipped out and the tears tumbled down my cheeks again.

I don’t know how long I sat there curled up in a ball in the corner of a fancy hotel in Vegas before I calmed down enough that the tears stopped flowing. My mind had gone blank. The only thing I felt was numb. I’d come all this way to see Alex, and when I did I broke. All we did was fight, yet the only thing I wanted was to see him still.

It took all the energy I had to pull myself up off the floor and out of the stair well. I knew that I had to look a sight. My face had to laced with black tear streaks and my eyes puffy and red. But I didn’t care. I’d been worse, looked worse and what did I care what anyone saw in me.

I knocked on Alex’s door and then stepped off to the side and leaned against the wall my head pressed hard into the golden wallpaper while I waited for the door to open.

I heard Benji’s voice in a hushed whisper, “I can leave if you want me to.”

Alex didn’t say anything, out loud so I assumed he shook his head before Benji responded, “You sure? I don’t mind. He sounds like he could use some alone time.”

Alex chuckled softly as he opened the door. “That’s why you need to stay.” Alex looked up the other end of the hall and then back towards me. “Come on in, Pretty boy.” He took my hand and pulled me in after him. I entwined my fingers with his and Alex relaxed.

There were two carts in the room covered in white linen and silver trays, one was uncovered and pizza slices, burgers and fries were strewn about it like there were more than two people here. The second cart was still covered and I felt a wave of nausea pass over me. “Can I use your bathroom?”

Alex looked at me with concern and then nodded in the direction we’d just come. “You okay?”

I nodded. “I’ll be fine. I just need to clean up a little.”

Alex smirked, “You are fine pretty boy.”

“Please?” I begged.

Alex’s smirk deflated and he nodded, “Yeah, sure. Make yourself at home.” He said as he took the lid off the trays that were still covered revealing a healthy pile of sauted vegetables, chicken in a sauce and a green salad. I gave Alex a weak grin, “Thanks. I won’t be long.”

I squeezed Alex’s hand before I let go and went into the bathroom to close the door. Benji sighed, “He looks like shit. You sure you want me to stay?”

“If you keep asking I’m going to kick you out.” Alex said. “We do as we planned – watch the movie then you can go home to pack. We leave in the morning.”

I turned on the water and wondered why they had to leave in the morning. But I let it go as I focused on the running water, on washing my face, on the feeling of the cold water to make me whole again. I had promised myself I wouldn’t break down in front of Alex again, and here I was – a mess in his bathroom – again.

Outside Alex’s Room

I had thought as I wandered around Vegas for a few hours that I had decided I wouldn’t stop by for the dinner invite. And while I hadn’t actually wanted to leave without seeing Alex again, every time I thought I caught a glimpse of him he was blonde and distracted and I could only feel rejected. Like he’d already moved on – changed his appearance so that he wasn’t the guy I wanted anymore. I didn’t know what Alex wanted.

So when I found myself in the lobby of his hotel around 6 I wasn’t surprised my own feet had betrayed me. I mean I knew where Alex was, where he would be and at what time. I should have just hopped the plane and gone home, but I couldn’t do that either, my whole body was sore from the flight in. And I hadn’t eaten anything since I arrived.

My stomach rumbled as I walked the stairs slowly – one step at a time through the empty echoing stair well. It reverberated in my soul with each step. I just wanted it over. I just wanted to see him one last time to tell him to fuck off and then I could go.

By the time I reached Alex’s floor my stomach was rumbling and my mind was reeling with rejection. I wanted to just go home. I wanted to…

I opened the landing door and there was a loud crash as a food cart slammed into the door. I growled, poor fucking design or a very inattentive service person. But I rushed around the door and found the man only a little disheveled and the cart of food still upright. I could smell all the fried food and my stomach rolled on top of it’s already hungry feeling it wasn’t pleasant. “Sorry.” I said as I made sure everything was right.

He shook his head. “Why are you using the stairs? The elevators aren’t broken.”

I shrugged. “I don’t have to explain myself to you.” I said walking away from him.

“Rude much!” The man called after me and I rolled my eyes.

He went the opposite direction and when I glanced at the numbers on the doors the way I was going I found myself going the wrong way and I turned around. I found myself stopping a few doors down from where the man was knocking on a door – on Alex’s door. Fuck!

I walked up and stood behind the cart and the boy who was pushing it. He looked back at me, “What the fuck do you want asshole?”

“I’m just waiting my turn.” I said as the door opened and a pretty boy answered the door.

My heart sank, even as I recognized tips from the bar. Alex’s friend was dressed in a pair of nice jeans and a t-shirt and a smile was plastered to his face as he handed the server a tip. “I got this.” But he wasn’t looking at the man but past him at me.

“What?” I asked.

He shook his head, “Nothing. I’m glad you are here.”

“You’re glad who’s here?” Alex growled from inside the doorway. A towel draped over his head as he dried bleached blonde hair. He wasn’t looking just listening and I pulled my shields around me tightly. Alex…

His head snapped up and the towel was yanked from his head and he stared across the hallway over the cart of food and the server who still was trying to push the cart in despite Benji’s protests. Our eyes met briefly before I dropped my gaze to the floor. He was angry and I didn’t like seeing the fury in his eyes.

I heard Alex growl and the man in front of me yelped. I saw Alex standing a few steps away from me, but I didn’t look up. “Here. Go now. We got this.” Benji wheeled the cart inside and shut the door behind him leaving Alex standing in front of me in the hall.

“Why are you here?” Alex growled.

I looked up into his gorgeous blue eyes and couldn’t do it anymore. I shook my head. “Fuck Nox! Why are you shielding so hard?”

I just shook my head. I couldn’t look at him. I didn’t want to do this now. I didn’t.

Alex yelled, “Nox!” My eyes snapped up to meet his.

“You weren’t answering my texts or calling me back.” I said flatly.

“That was sort of the point. You walked away. You disappeared. You left me.”


Alex laughed, “Yeah, you, you, you. You left and you just did it again. Pulled your shields up so fucking tight I know it’s hurting you inside. Why are you here?”

I was at a complete loss of words. He blamed me. I had walked away. I didn’t know how I disappeared. But the memories were there, every one I’d found had me whisked away in a blur to my nightmare. Leaving Alex seemed to be my thing.

“I’m sorry.” I whispered. I should go. I should leave. I should go home and let Alex live his life. I shook my head and stood up straighter before I looked Alex in his eyes – his fucking gorgeous blue eyes. “I shouldn’t have come. I should have just let you go like they said. I’m sorry to have bothered you.”

Alex started laughing hard. It wasn’t a funny haha type laugh was more like he couldn’t believe I was seriously going to walk away. “Really? You came all this way and now you can’t even talk to me? All you fucking do is talk, and now, when it matters you can’t talk.” Alex let out another curt laugh, “So fucking classic.”

I frowned. “What do you care? You ran away. I thought we were going to try and you fucking ran away to another fucking city. Didn’t even have the decency to tell me to fuck off.”

Alex started to open his mouth and I glared at him, “I’m not done.” An angry smirk crossed his lips and I kept going. “You want to know why I came. I came because Sage found you. My brothers bought me tickets to come see you. And they all want me to tell you to fuck off in person. End whatever we had for good – a solid closure.” I watched as the emotions played across his eyes, though I really couldn’t tell what he was feeling. And I knew he couldn’t hear me. I felt the pain of everything being kept inside, like a thousand tiny needles pricking at my skin just not strong enough to push through, but trying so very hard to do so.

“But you know why I came, why I let them push me in this direction. Cause the only thing I wanted to do was see you again. To tell you I was trying. That I remembered you. That I fucking loved you since I was a boy. You were my first everything. And I wanted it to be my last everything.” I shrugged. “But I get here and you’ve moved on. Have a new name, a new look, a new pretty boy to spend your time with. So what the fuck am I? Just another pawn in your game. A fucking mark. So go to hell Alex.” I said and I turned to walk away dodging his attempt at grabbing my arm. I got two steps before turning back around. “And just so we are clear. It’s over. I’m done. Go fuck yourself.”

This time I turned and left. Really left.



When we were outside and several blocks away from the strip before Benji opened a door to a building in the side of some diner. It smelled like the kitchen was nearby cooking some kind of Asian food. “Korean” He said without me having to ask.

“You know that’s as weird as when he does that,” I said.

Benji shook his head. “Sorry. I forget that you weren’t asking out loud.”

I shrugged, “I’m used to it.”

Benji lead me down a narrow hallway into a smaller room with a rod-iron bed frame and a plain blue mattress with a desk and a chair the only other furniture. He offered me the bed and pulled around the chair to face it. “This is a safe place to speak. Vampires don’t come into this part of town.”

“Vampires? You know about vampires?” I asked in shock that he would one know but more importantly he’d say it so casually.

He gave me a slow cautious nod before he added “Only recently. Well I never gave it much thought before, but yeah. We know vamps can do what we do. It’s why we stay away from them. But Alex is working a job around vamps and they can’t know his name, or that he’s friends with me. So no Alex anything. You don’t know me either.”

“Another reason I should just go.” I said but I didn’t get up. Vampires, friends I had never heard about, why I wasn’t supposed to know these things – all valid reasons to stay I told myself.

Benji chuckled. “Alex and I met after his mother died. We were working the same crowd and ran into each other in the stupidest ways – telepathically listening to each other and holding a conversation we didn’t mean to have from across the room.”

“Alex doesn’t do anything by accident.” I said.

“That’s true, but I like I said, we met each other by accident. Working the same crowd in my game and we decided to team up.”

“And you’ve never slept with him?” I asked.

Benji smirked, “He’d probably have liked that if I liked boys.”

I licked my lips and tried not to say anything. “I can read your thoughts you might as well say it.”

I shrugged, “Why do I have to say it if you can read my thoughts.” And I let my thoughts wander to all the best parts of Alex and how he might fit with Benji. It wasn’t exactly a fantasy I’d entertain more than once, but it had the desired affect on Benji. He was red even through that dark olive skin of his. I smiled.

“You two are perfect for each other.”

“Tell him that,” I growled.

“I have, actually. He refuses to read your texts. I will admit that is one damn cute kid you got there.”

“Not mine yet, but soon,” I said.

“And the little girl?”

I looked at him a little confused. Benji nodded, “Your friend posted a picture with you and her daughter.”

“That would be Mia. And my sweetheart Naya.”

“She’s cute too.” Benji said.

I nodded, “She is. Best thing that happened to Mia was being a mother.”

“Alex is not himself right now. He’s going crazy over you and he’s trying to forget you.”

“All the more reason for me to leave, Benji.” This time I did stand up.

“Nox, come on. You flew all this way out here. You don’t even want to tell him off yourself. Don’t be a dick like Alex. You’re here. If it’s over at least end it right.” He smirked, “But I think if the two of you get in the same room you’ll work it out.”

“All we do is fight.”

Benji laughed, “That’s all Alex ever does; fight – or run away. Looks like he’s doing both now at the same time now.” He looked at me and frowned. “Why did you come here?”

“I was worried about him. He wasn’t replying to anything. He wasn’t at his apartment – either of them. He wasn’t even telling me to leave him the fuck alone.”

“We have dinner tonight. Me and him in his room. Let me take you there, you can shower, change and then you and he can sit down and talk.”

“I have nothing to change into, this is what I have,” I said. “I’m going to catch the next flight out. He obviously doesn’t want me.”

“No.” Benji stood up and got in my face. “You will not go anywhere. I can make you stay.”

I sighed, “That’s exactly how this fight started, Alex nudging me into doing something that I knew I shouldn’t do to keep my sanity.” I stepped away from him. “You touch me and you’ll find yourself on the floor in a heartbeat.”

Benji sighed as he backed away. “Alright. I won’t do that. But talk to him.”

“I’ll think about it,” I said. “What time is dinner?”

“We are doing it at 6 local time. That’s in three hours.”

I nodded. “Alright. Plan your usual. I’ll decide if I want to be there.” I didn’t wait for a confirmation. I just left Benji the same way I came in.



My thoughts drifted to Alex the whole flight. I was hard and wanton by the time we landed and the woman next to me hurried off the plane as quickly as she could. As much as I wanted off the plane, I decided to wait until everyone cleared out. It was better for me. Even though the plane was getting claustrophobic and I was having a hard time breathing.

One of the male attendants was making sure no one left anything on the plane or sleeping still in their seats when I stood up to get out of the plane. He looked down at me and chuckled, “I was wondering why she glared at you so.”

“Dreams.” I smirked, “What can I say? They were sexy.”

“I hope he’s worth it.” He said with a smile, “If not I’ll be in town until the morning.”

I looked at his nameplate, “Alejandro.” I smiled, “Thanks, but I think if he throws me out I’ll be leaving tonight.”

Alejandro laughed, “Offer still stands.” He gave me the once over and I gave him a parting smile as I headed out the door. I could feel the other man’s eyes on my back and knew I could hear him whispering to the other flight attendant, “My he’s yummy.”

They giggled and I pretended I hadn’t heard them as I headed out of the terminal. The heat was dry and I felt warm in my hoodie, but I didn’t take it off even after I’d stepped outside into the evening sun. It was a five hour flight, but my phone told me it was only three hours later. Time zones… I sighed as I texted Sage.

N: I’ve landed. Hotel and room?

Sage texted me back immediately with the Bellagio hotel and a room number. He also texted me a name it was under – James Hutton.

I wondered how many alias’ Alex had. And I wondered what sort of business he actually did. Not that it mattered really, but aliases implied illegal activity. And cons weren’t ususally legal. Last thing Alex needed was me meddling in some plot of his. I didn’t believe Janice was a friend. And I didn’t think Alex floated in her circles, but I could be wrong. So totally and utterly wrong, but I knew Alex. Even when I didn’t know know him, I knew him. I’d been in love with a dream since I was 13. He was the one who gave me the courage to kiss Dylan. He was the one, he’d always been that. But he’d been a dream. And one I didn’t remember.

A cab to the hotel was easy to come by. I felt out of place in this city, though I looked no different than any of the others, but it was still that strange feeling like I didn’t belong.

I could wait in the lobby for Alex. I could ask at the front desk. I could go up and wait outside his room. But instead I went into the bar. It was busy for the time of day. But this was Vegas and there were a lot of vacationers here too, a lot like New York. Two men were at the bar, both about six foot, one had the tips of his hair dyed blond and the other was a bleach blonde. I sat down three seats from them and tried not to listen to their conversation.

“So what did you overhear Toto?” I recognized that voice and looked just in time to see the blonde’s hand raking down the cheek of the blonde tips. Obviously not his name, a nickname. Alex liked nicknames. Alex, the blond who’d spoken earlier looked at his watch and sighed, “I have that game now. I’ll see you later.” He winked and headed for the door without even glancing in my direction.

I wondered if Alex heard my thoughts, fuck I wondered if he even noticed me at all sitting here staring at him and his fucking blonde hair. I watched him him leave dressed in a suit and tie that looked very expensive. I shouldn’t have come here.

“Sure you should have.” Tips said sitting down next to me. “He’s in denial, if he didn’t hear you it’s because he’s trying so hard to forget you.”

“What?” I said turning to look at him. Tips waved his hand and an Irish Red appeared in front of me from the bartenders hands.

“Your drink of choice?”

I took it and nodded. He was reading my mind that was painfully obvious.

“You are a smart man as well as hot, no wonder he’s trying to forget you.” He laughed. “Too much work.”

I was about to ask who the fuck he was, but he spoke before I even got the first sound out. “I’m Benji. I’m sure Jimmy has never mentioned me before. Jimmy has an appointment why don’t I entertain you for a little while. Tell you all about Jimmy and me and what we got into.”

“I was just leaving.” I said.

“You came all this way and now you want to leave?”

“He obviously has moved on.” I said looking Benji up and down. He was perfectly dressed in his own tailored suit, his hair was perfect, he was a pretty boy. Alex didn’t need me. A hand on my elbow pulled me from my seat and I was following after Benji.

“Come on. Let me take you someplace we can talk.”

I stopped, dug in my heels and stopped our forward momentum and Benji yanked at my elbow until he realized I wasn’t moving. “I don’t know you.” I said angrily.

“I know you, Nox fucking Sétanta aught to be your full name.”

I smirked as I heard Alex saying that to Benji. Benji chuckled, “Fuck he was right about you. Come on let me explain, just someplace else.”

I sighed and nodded. With my ascent Benji dragged me out of the hotel and we walked.