Sex took us into the wee hours of the morning, with a shower to close out the night or was it morning. Alex in all his wisdom and his obsession with not sharing me he was grumping around even though this was his idea. And in all his grumping had a thing about me being in boxers and tank top while he hunted for this nightmare. The fact that the last time he saw me naked when it sat on my chest really bothered him. So I was borrowing a pair of his sweats and wearing one of my own t-shirts. I was way too warm but Alex was happier.

“I can’t fall asleep with you watching me,” I said.

Alex smirked, “If I lay down with you then I’ll fall asleep.”

I sighed, “So what are we going to do?”

“I can go outside and let you sleep I won’t go far. I’ll open up just enough to feel you fall asleep then I’ll come inside,” Alex offered.

“Can you watch TV and just sit here with me?” I countered.

“This isn’t going to work if I fall asleep Pretty boy.”

“I don’t like going to sleep without you. This isn’t going to be easy with you right here.”

Alex smirked, “You are so needy.” He pressed a kiss to my temple. “How about I go to the main house and grab a cup of coffee while you try to sleep.”

I sat down on the bed and pressed my face into the pillows. They smelled like nothing really. “Can I ask a favor?”

“Anything, of course.” Alex chimed.

“Can I wear the shirt you wore today?”

“It’s dirty and gross.” Alex protested.

“Yes, lover, but it smells like you, and the demon comes easier if I’m thinking about you. The more you I have around me the more I’ll think about you and the faster it’ll happen.”

“Really? How long has that been happening?”

I shrugged, I wasn’t really thrilled with the idea of him finding out when it started. He saw the hesitation and frowned, “Tell me Pretty Boy.”

“Since shortly after I met Ant. We had a few nights together, and then suddenly whenever I thought about you trying to get to the dream the demon came with blue eyes. It was always worse. And then it was all I had of you I used it sometimes when I was feeling particularly down. I’d rummage through your box, which is at your apartment by the way, and think of you and I’d let it hurt me.”

“Why would you do that?”

I frowned, “Alex… I’m not worth anything. Some days are worse than others.”

“You hurt yourself on purpose?”

I dropped my gaze. “Usually Ant stops me, but he can’t be in my dreams – no one can.”

“I am,” Alex growled.

“You are only in my dreams now because I won’t let you go.” I sounded as sad as I felt. “If you stop touching me at night, the darkness comes. It hurts me more because I kept it waiting. I expect tonight will be exceptionally bad.”

“Then you aren’t going,” Alex said.

“What happened to one more night Alex? What happened to freedom from the nightmare?”

Alex growled. He pulled off the shirt he’d just put on and tossed it at me. “Here, wear this. I’m going to get a cup of coffee.”

“I’m sorry.” Alex looked at me and his eyes were wide.

“I’m not mad at you pretty boy.” He sat down and wrapped his arms around me. “I’m sorry. I don’t like the thought of you hurting yourself, or anyone else hurting you, but especially not yourself. Promise me you won’t do it ever again.”

I bit my bottom lip and nodded but I agreed, “I promise to try.”

Alex kissed me softly, tenderly. It was almost so light I wondered if he was really there or not. “I fucking love you Nox, please don’t hurt yourself again.”

“I love you too Alex. I won’t.”

Alex got up quickly and rushed to the door. “Sleep pretty boy. I’ll be back soon.”

I nodded and hunkered down in bed pulling Alex’s t-shirt on and wrapping myself up in his blankets. It wasn’t quite home, but it was as close as I was going to get.

My heart was racing. Even though I looked brave on the outside I knew better, I was fucking scared. It was going to know and it was going to hurt me. But I closed my eyes and I pulled Alex’s shirt up over my nose. I was stretching out the neck but I’d buy Alex a new one if I needed to. But I needed him around me. I was already missing him.

Sleep came. And I went with it. And I hadn’t been wrong. The fog rolled in quickly, there was no pretence. Alex was everything in my head and the nightmare came like I was calling it instead of him.

It was no different than the other times. The blue eyes floated towards me. I screwed my eyes shut and waited for the blows to land…

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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