Ryan closed the door as he left leaving me and Alex alone in the glass room meant for dead people. I’d have felt more comfortable leaving myself, but the warmth of Alex’s body pressed to mine made me stay, and stay quiet.
The hug at first was stiff when I pulled the blue eyed boy I loved with all my heart to me, but he relaxed into me, and then his arms were tight around me. Like he was never going to let me go. I won’t ever let you go. Alex thought in my head.
“I’m sorry.” I whispered again. I really hadn’t planned on being flambed by the vampires. I had a lot of questions but I pushed them aside, and I just focused on Alex.
I don’t know how long we stood there, not talking, not moving, just holding each other. I don’t think I’d ever seen Alex cry and he wasn’t crying now, I knew I’d be devastated and Alex was, he’d drank with the kids around. He was lost and all because of me. There was nothing I could do to make it better. I’d told Alex I’d be alright. I ended up not okay, he thought I was dead. But Ryan believed.
“I saw Quinn in a dream.” I whispered. “Alex, she can’t go back to them. I saw Fee and my Mom too. Though she wasn’t my mom, she was the person who wrote the book.”
“You were dead.” Alex mumbled against my neck.
“I was healing. How long?”
Alex growled, “Two fucking days I thought you were dead! Two days!”
The fire was in his voice but his eyes were sad. “I’m sorry Alex. You were right, but it doesn’t change the fact that I would go still knowing that I died.”
The rumble from Alex’s throat told me he knew I was right. “Why do you have to be the fucking hero? Why can’t you just let it go? Why can’t we just be happy?”
“You know the answer to that.”
Alex started pacing. “Never again, Nox. Never fucking again.”
“Never again, what?” I growled. I was not going to be kept like a puppy to be looked after. My anger grew every second he paced.
Until he stopped and looked at me with wide eyes. “No.” He growled, “Fuck. No, that’s not what I meant. I’m … ”
Alex sighed and walked over to me. “I won’t do this again. I won’t sit here and wonder if you are dead. I’m going to know, without a shadow of a doubt, how you feel, if you are alive. Nox, I’m never again going to not know if you are alive or dead.”
“How?” I wondered, “You can’t stay with me everyday all day for the rest of our lives.”
Alex smirked, “No, but the spell thing Ryan was talking about. We do it as soon as we find a wicca to preform it. I don’t care if anyone’s there, Nox. I won’t do it. If you die I’ll die. Straight up fact. If that’s what that bond does I’m okay with it.”
“I don’t think it links our lives.”
Alex shook his head, “Doesn’t matter anymore. I can’t do this again.”
“Okay. We’ll talk to someone as soon as we can let the supernatural world know I’m alive.” I took Alex’s hands and pulled him close to kiss him. It was slow and helpless. Both of us lost in the feel of one another. It could have been so much more except the door burst open and large arms were wrapped around us. Ant pressed a kiss to my head. “I didn’t believe Ry. Holy fuck I didn’t believe him.”
“I’m okay now.” I reassured them all.
“Vampires don’t recover from fire, Nox. Not ever.”
I laughed, “I keep telling you I’m not a vampire.”
Ryan laughed, “He’s more dragon than vampire I think.”
“Hey Ant, mind letting us go.” I said.
Ant let go quickly as he backed away. “Yeah sorry. Sorry man, I let you down.”
“Ant you didn’t let me down.”
“You fucking died!”
“I’m standing here.” I said. “I’m not dead. And even if I was, did everyone get to safety, is Alex dead? You did exactly as I wanted.”
Alex and Ant both growled and Ryan laughed. “Careful Nox, that’s a touchy subject.”
“Look you two, Ant did as I instructed he got everyone away safely. Alex, if you were there I’d not have survived as long over worry for you. The vampires had a null with them, my energy was sapped from me and I lost control. If you had been there you would have died. There is no fucking way I’d be okay with that. Ever.”
Ant looked at me in disbelief. “Null’s are rare. Matt’s the only one the Venatori know exists.”
I nodded, “And who says all nulls are Venatori?”
“Nox it’s a Venatori skill, it’s one they used to eradicate the Aeternus, and then all the nulls. Just like the dreamwalkers.”
“But the skills weren’t eradicated they were hidden into recessive traits and they are coming out.” I said.
“But Nox, null is only Venatori.”
“Exuli aren’t always magic free and it’s possible to show up in their lines randomly.” I sighed. “It doesn’t matter. We have a traitor? Or traitors? We have to deal with this, but first I think I have some kids that need to be reassured I’m alive and well?”
Ant nodded, “Of course. I’ll have Jin set up a meeting of the council.”
I shook my head, “No. Just those bound to me. Only them. That includes Adrian, and I need a dragon from the Last Phoenix representative who’s not me.”
Ant nodded, “Whatever you say.”
“I’m serious, we have a traitor. Someone told the Venatori, and I don’t think it was Nathaniel.”