Not An Obligation

Quinn had stopped screaming and Ryan was standing near the door. Alex was in my arms and she stared at us. I held out my hand to her. “You can join us,” I said softly.

Alex started to move but it was just to readjust. “Come sit.” He smirked. “Unlike us, Nox likes to touch, and so does his whole family. His brothers, his twins and the rest of us just kinda get sucked in.”

Quinn came closer and Ryan stood by the door ignoring us, but he was there if we needed him. She looked at him with angst. “Why’s he here?”

Alex and I chuckled softly, I answered, “He’s a bodyguard?”

“What did you do that you need a bodyguard, Dad?”

“Me?” Alex asked.

“He acquired a book he shouldn’t have,” I noted. “And he kidnapped me.”

Quinn was about to sit down with Alex, but she turned to look back at me. “You’re lying.”

“Afraid not kiddo,” Alex said. “Me, and Ant, and his brother’s boyfriend all colluded together to take him from the hospital he was being locked up in because the evil doctors were trying to kill him.”

Ryan snickered.

“You’re all lying,” she said.

Ryan couldn’t help it. “You can read all of us, little one. You know we aren’t.”

She thought hard, but she frowned and sat down with her father and he wrapped his arm around her. I whispered softly to them, “We’ll get through this – together. Like always.”

Alex laughed. “See you always want to fix things.”

I knew he was making light of it but I tensed up at the reminder and Alex froze too. I growled but relaxed my body. “Fine.” I pulled him tight against me. “I’m here. I won’t do anything unless I’m asked to.”

Alex pulled away to look at me and I was fighting back the tears and the anger and he sighed. “Nox, stop, baby.”

“No.” Was all I could say so I grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back against me. I’d be there to support him, but I wouldn’t do anything else.

The three of us sat there, Ryan standing guard watching over us like a hawk. We sat until my phone buzzed its alarm. “That’s my call to walk home.”

Ryan said, “Francesco is down stairs waiting for you. Ant doesn’t want you walking home alone, and we don’t have any free day lighters at the moment.”

Alex sighed. “We can walk home with you,” he said.

“You don’t have to Alex. I know you need a break,” I said. “And your daughter is here, you should spend time with her.”

He smiled at me. “No, I think Quinn needs to meet the rest of the kids.” It felt like a blow he didn’t say family. Like he wasn’t part of it.

“Fuck pretty boy,” he groaned. “Come on stop. This is over.”

I shook my head. “No Alex it’s not. We made up. We are okay, but I’m not okay. Everything is going to brush at raw nerves until I can heal again. You’re in my head, I can’t help feeling the way I do. I love that you know what I think, how I feel. But Alex I can’t stop being me.”

Alex growled, “Maybe you’re the one who needs a break.” And then he stopped talking and stared at me. “You do. Don’t you? But you can’t take one. This is your break.”

“You think?” I stepped away from them and picked up my things. “Why do you think I schedule 3 uninterruptible hours with you.”

“Wait! You schedule me in? Fuck you. I’m more than an obligation.” Alex stormed to his room and left Quinn and Ryan staring after him.

I smiled at Quinn. “I’m sorry you had to see all this. If Alex doesn’t come home tonight, I’ll send the boys down here so you can meet the rest of the family. I’m sure Cass can’t wait to meet a new sister.” I looked at Ryan and he nodded. “Thanks, man. You might want to wait outside.”

He nodded. “I’ll give them some privacy. No one will even know I’m here.”

And he was right, soon as we stepped outside he vanished in plain sight, Vampire shadow magic thick around him. I saw him wave and I laughed, “You know I can see that right?”

“Sure do, that’s why I did it,” he said like a ghost on the wind. Francesco was downstairs, and that’s where I went.

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