Extended Family

Jesse was smiling happily at us. “Do you boys have a place to stay?”

Before Alex could answer I said, “Yeah, Alex has family here too.”

Alex smirked, “Not family, but close enough, and yeah we have a room down the road at Solomon’s old stead. His daughter runs the place now.”

“You are one of Sol’s boys? Lea always liked working with his kids. Kish is amazing, her corn pudding is heavenly.”

Alex ran his fingers over my chest almost possessively, “He was like my father, but I wasn’t around much. My mom liked to travel.”

Jesse nodded, “Stay for dinner then. I’ll call Kish and we can have our own remembrance day for the fallen hunter. That’s why you are here isn’t it?”

Alex nodded, “Yeah Dorian called and we weren’t far from Ward. Ms. Donovan, he said, had something for Nox.”

“I hope that those kids she’s got don’t end up like our Nox here. Sweet things, though she’d already sent them off to school,” Jesse said. “You two game?”

I nodded against Alex’s chest. “He says yes. We’ll be in in a few minutes. I need to talk to him.”

Jesse nodded. “Of course.”

I listened to Jesse walked away “I’m sorry Alex. I’m sorry…”

Alex kissed me and laughed, “No. I’m talking. You be quiet.” I clamped my mouth shut.

“I have a hard time with this. Dealing with you is not easy. I don’t know how anyone deals with you.” I started to feel the tightening of my chest and my breath catch in my throat. “Stop over reacting, I’m not going to leave. I want you to know how I feel because you keep telling me how you feel. Don’t think I don’t get that I’m fucking in love with you, or I was in love with the boy from my dreams, and all the things that you’ve said without really making those three little words stand out. And the ring.” Alex smiled, “You knew exactly what finger it would fit on. I knew the moment I slipped it on my ring finger that it was on the wrong one. That you’d made it to fit where I’d put a wedding band.”

“So before you start yapping at me again. I’m going to say it clearly, I love you I have for as long as I can remember. I was an idiot for running away I was afraid, Nox. You are so much work. But so fucking worth it. I hold you and I feel home. Like in my dreams but I’m so fucking awake. I’m not going anywhere. I might be angry and frustrated and I might walk away again, but I won’t leave you. I’m here for as long as you’ll have me.”

Alex pressed a kiss to my lips and held me tight against him. “I love you too,” was all I managed to get out before Alex was pulling me off the rock and towards the house. “We have a family to get to. And you need a shower I think, or at least to wash up.”

I laughed. “What the eyeliner streaks aren’t in?”

Alex laughed as we walked into Jesse’s house. It felt empty without my brothers and as I looked at the island in the kitchen my heart started to race again. Memories flooding my head and I didn’t make it past the stool before I was gasping for air “Now I know I didn’t do anything.”

Jesse frowned. “No. He did this the last time he was here. His mother threw a fire extinguisher at his head over there.” Jesse pointed over the bar into the living room. “The house hasn’t changed much since he was a boy. Lea was not here often enough and even the boys had no desire to change things. Probably had something to do with their mother’s OCD. That’s what set her off that day. Nox tell you the story?”

Alex shook his head as he wrapped his arms around me and I buried myself against his chest, breathing deeply and listened to his heartbeat even as Jesse continued, “Nox tells it a little differently, he was five I’ll tell you his version first. Lala was sick that day so she was in bed. Lala was Lana she was his nanny, a dragon of all things. Nox made cereal and made a mess. And when his mother came home she saw it and shook him and it scared him, and the curtains caught fire. She called him monster, threw the fire extinguisher and dragged him to his room.”

“Leanne’s memory of it were similar. She came home, the house was a mess. But a mess for Lea was a simple cereal box on the counter, and an empty milk carton on top of the trash can. He was five, he was still learning to put things away. Lea knew but she’d had a bad day on the hunt, and just wanted to come home and relax. She didn’t know Lana was sick, and she was home early. Nox was watching TV and she did grab him. And shook him scaring him. The fire scared her, she used it to put the fire out and threw it where Nox was standing in her haste, she yelled at him. Called him a little monster and spit because she was afraid of him. He wouldn’t leave her alone, he was afraid. He was trying so hard to say he was sorry but Leanne was so afraid she locked him in his room. But I’ll be 100% honest with you, it was the best thing for him. The boys heard nothing but great things about Nox. But the moment she saw him again, his hair, the eye liner, just the sight of him made Leanne change. The boys were in love, but Lea hated him. It was good he left. I don’t think either of them would have survived each other. But a month after she was gone, the boys found all the old records she’d kept of her boy. Dorian, the hopeless fool, sent her updates every month, since he was five. She was proud of you boy. She just couldn’t love you.”

“She couldn’t love me because of magic,” I interrupted. “Just like the rest of my life. My mother had twins, because I’m a netherdragon a dragon was sent to kill me and my sister, but she couldn’t do it. She struck a deal and her ally left me, took my sister and removed all memory of her and the side effect was her lack of feelings for me.”

“Really? How …”

Jesse frowned, “Dorian called me, told me about the bombshell, asked if the boys could come early. He didn’t tell me.”

“Yeah, that was it.”

Alex held me tighter. “I forgave her a long time ago. But knowing someone did that on purpose kills me.”

“While… ” Jesse laughed, “on the topic of the boys. I have news. You saw Risha leaving? She’s a doctor I work with, she’s talked me into going to Central and South American for Doctors across the borders. The boys can come with me, but I have a feeling they are happy right where they are. I don’t think Lake’s gonna wanna leave that boy.”

“They are welcome to stay for however long they want,” I said. “As long as Alex agrees.”

“Me?”

I pressed a kiss to his chest. “Yes, they are going to intrude on your new life.”

“They are your brothers, I’m not going to say no.” Alex pushed me away, “I can’t say no to you what makes you think i can say no to your family?”

I smirked at him. “You tell me no a lot.”

He chuckled, “You need a shower now. You can manage?”

“I’ll just wash up. I’d like your company please.”

“Bathrooms’ around the corner.” Jesse told Alex as he turned towards the stove and started doing whatever he had been doing when we barged in with my panic attack

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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