Karma was making what looked like chicken and vegetables. I wasn’t really needed from the looks of things. “Z tells us that you just got your own place.”
I shrugged. “I’ve had my own place since I was 19ish, but I’m out of HQ now, if that’s what he means. Still doesn’t mean I know how to live a human life though.”
She smiled at me. Karma pushed a lock of raven hair over her ear and laughed. “Do any of us know how to adult? Look at you with your cute little millennial manicured beard, same look as everyone else Just trying to fit in,” she said. “Z will always find a way to fit in.”
I didn’t like her assessment of my lifestyle. I sure as fuck wasn’t trying to fit in. “Alex fits in because he doesn’t want to stand out,” I scoffed, “I want to stand out. I want to be different. I don’t dress to blend in.”
“Don’t take offence little monster.”
“Please stop calling me that,” I interrupted. “I really hate that. Like verge of panic attack every time you say it. I get it’s loving and endearing and what Alex called me most of his life, but please it cuts deep.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“Not particularly, but if you want the details I’m more than happy to keep talking. I’ve been over it with my therapist a billion times,” I said.
“Not to be noisy, but how often do you see your therapist?”
“Every Monday at 9:30 in the morning since I was six,” I said.
Her eyes went wide and she frowned at me, “So we don’t need to make you talk.”
“No ma’am. I’m more than happy to give Alex an earful if he wants me too.”
She nodded. “Z said you’d be open to talking with us.”
“I am. But I don’t need therapy. Unless you plan on couples therapy. And right now I think Alex and I just need to get to know one another a little better. Trust our instincts and believe in the other.”
Karma smiled. “Well then. What shall we talk about?”
“Did you know my mother?” I asked.
“I did.” She chuckled. “Not exactly what I expected to have you ask. Most people would have asked about their significant other.”
“I’m not most people Ms. Kay. Alex will tell me what he wants me to know in his own time.” I added, “Do you need help?”
She looked down at her food prep and shook her head. “Are you tiring of our conversation?”
I shrugged. “I can be helpful and talk at the same time.”
“I’m almost done here.”
“I’m going to go sit outside then, if you don’t mind?”
“By all means, little mon…. Nox,” she said.
“Thanks,” I said as I left and I meant it for both things, my names and the peace and quiet.
I went outside and sat down on the front steps. The air was cooling as the sun set. The sun was behind the trees filtering through in fine rays. The air smelled like damp dirt and just being here reminded me my mother and Michaela. Mich and I had been lovers but I hadn’t cared for her in any capacity other than a friend. But now my heart ached because she was gone. She had accepted me, fuck she had requested me It hadn’t mattered to her than I was half human.
Michaela Donovan only wanted strong powerful children. And I couldn’t even give her that. But that hadn’t been for a lack of trying. At least it wasn’t near Alex’s birthday and the anniversary of so many horrible things. October couldn’t handle another tragedy.
The food from inside was making outdoors smell amazing as the smoke drifted through the trees from the fireplace Kay was using to cook on. The sound of a car made me look down the driveway. Jesse’s Jeep – my mother’s Jeep, pulled in and I felt more despair pile in on top of what I was feeling I wasn’t really in the head space for all this.
My step father got out of his vehicle and walked towards me. He sat down and pulled out a letter. “After you left a kid from the Rangers came up to visit me. He was bearing a letter and ironically a dis-invitation. Turns out they don’t want your kind around tomorrow. So our celebration here is about all you get for the dearly departed.”
I shrugged, “Doesn’t matter.” Jesse handed me the letter. “Thanks,” I said as i turned the letter over in my hands. Michaela’s hand writing sloppily wrote out my name.
I tapped it against my knees thinking about opening it. I wasn’t sure I could do it. But I wasn’t sure if I wanted anyone to see me as i read it either. Jesse must have picked up on the latter, “I’m going to head inside. See what the ladies are cooking.”
I nodded and stared at my name for countless minutes. The shadows stretched out and the sun was past the horizon and fading quickly. I could hear everyone else inside, even Alex hadn’t come out to check on me, though I’d heard him open the door before Kish had called him back inside. He had hesitated but he went back inside.
I created a glowing orb of light above my head as I tore open the paper envelope. Inside was a flash drive, and a simple letter.
If you are reading this, it means I’m dead. Something bigger and badder finally got me. It saddens me that I won’t get to see Cassidy and Hunter grow old, but it lightens my heart to know that you will.
I know I should have told you a long time ago. The day you left for New York my tests came back positive. But I knew you. I knew you’d hate it here, after your mother died this place was like hell for you. Even your little brother’s saw it but you would have stayed here for them, and for your babies. I know you said you’d be fine leaving them with me. But I knew better, Nox. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.
When the twins turned five I sent them to the Academy to learn. Even if they never showed promise to become a fire starter. I didn’t want them to hate me like you hated your mother. I love them with all my heart. When they came of age, and their powers manifested, Dorian Vega was under strict instruction to tell you about them. To allow you the chance to teach your own children. To love them, like your father and mother never loved you.
I don’t regret keeping them to myself for those first five years. I believed it then, and I believe it in my death. Nox, you needed to find yourself and I hope that however long it’s been that you have. They are going to need their father. Need you. They may hate you at first. I can’t keep everything away from them. But you will have to love them through that.
The flash drive holds pictures of the kids, and kid things I scanned or took pictures of for you. I’m sorry I kept them from you. And I’m sorry you had to find out this way. Tell them I love them and will always be there to watch over them, even in death.
With love, Mich
I could barely finish reading the letter with the tears in my eyes. I didn’t know whether to be happy, sad, or furious. So I just let the tears fall.