Our bed remained empty as Hunter handed me the drawing he had finished, and there was a shocked scream from the kitchen where Ricky was staring at the glowing book. “It’s been like that for a while now. It just flipped open though.”

I looked at the page that had been opened magically and found several runes staring at me. Four of them were glowing and the rest looked like normal. “I guess this is for Hunter.” And the glowing stopped satisfied I’d seen it.

“You can read that?” Ricky asked. “All I see is a bunch of junk.”

“I can read it.”

Quinn looked at it, “There’s nothing to read, just a bunch of symbols.”

“They are runes. We can use them to do sort of spells.” I said.

“So what? You draw them and they do magic? That’s stupid.”

“I don’t think just anyone can draw them.” Alex said as he wrapped his arms around me from behind to look over my shoulder. “There has to be something behind it. Right?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know. But the four symbols it showed me was balance, magic, emotions and senses.” It wasn’t even about sight. Then again I didn’t want to blind Hunter, I wanted to balance him out. His… I smiled and I formed the paper and pencil as Hunter had earlier and Alex laughed, “Jeez, Do we need to keep paper and pencil around you two all the time?”

I smiled, “Nah.” I drew the symbols on top of each other, and when I connected the last line to the rest of the from it gave of a sort of purple glow like the book had and I knew it was what I had needed.

I changed the pencil into an eye liner pen and drew the same symbol on my hand. Easy enough to do and easy enough to remove if it fucked me up. But when I finished the last line it sank into my skin like it was some sort of tattoo and I couldn’t rub it off. “Fuck!”

Alex squeezed tighter, “Nox.”

But my mind was rolling into a direction I couldn’t fight it. I was panicking. “Nox!” Alex shouted beside my ear and I turned to look at him. “Pay attention.”

I blinked at him and he rolled his eyes, “Stop freaking out. Listen. Feel. Fucking get out of your head for just a minute.”

I sighed and closed my eyes. I didn’t know what he was trying to tell me. But I calmed down. Or tried to as I leaned back against him and took a deep breathe. I felt the calm of him, and realized that I wasn’t actually spiraling. My heart was steady, my breathing was right. And I hadn’t done anything more than relax. It worked. Alex said in my head. “What do you see?” He added out loud.

I opened my eyes and found that while the world was still the same, the patterns were muted, the magic around me felt distant but all I had to do was grasp at it. Alex whispered into my ear, “And you didn’t lose control of your magic.”

“I guess I have to live with it even if it was wrong.” I said as I tried to rub at it again.

“Teach you to put shit on your skin.”

I laughed and stuck my tongue out at Alex who promptly leaned in and sucked my tongue into his mouth and I groaned. Ant laughed and took the rest of the family away, though we weren’t going any further. Alex chuckled. “I need to do that more often if it scares away the natives.”

I smiled and pressed my back into Alex’s chest and looked at the drawing Hunter had given me. “This is what he saw.”

“I don’t get any of it. I mean there are people, how is it helpful.” Alex said, “But for five it’s pretty fucking well done.”

I smiled, “I think Michaela made him draw his dreams too.”

“Just like you do.” Alex said.

I shrugged. “I think this is some sort of factory. They mentioned treating the humans like cattle.”

Alex frowned, “In one of the former prisoners I saw them taking blood samples from one area to another. They were all marked.” He looked at me and his frown deepened. “I don’t like that thought Nox.”

I shook my head. “I don’t either. The vampires are using the humans to breed the best tasting blood – cleanest blood.”

“They are becoming gourmet.” Alex joked.

It brought a smile to my lips though Alex added quietly, “It’s sickening.”

“It is. The New World Order intends to live long and prosper on the weak wills of humanity as live stock.”

“You have to stop them.” Alex added.

“We will.”

Alex shook his head. “No We, pretty boy, I’m no vampire hunter.”

I pulled Alex closer and smiled, “I didn’t mean we as in only you and me. Though it is only you and me right now.” I winked and bit my bottom lip.

“You are such a fucking tease.” Alex said pushing me away. “I get all amorous and then someone is going to pull you away from me. You’re fucking schedule is so blow out of the water I didn’t get to eat lunch with you.”

I frowned. “I’m sorry.” My gaze dropped and I was ashamed, work had come first and I’d fucked up the one thing I had set in stone.

Alex put his fingers under my chin, “Hey pretty boy.” I lifted my eyes to meet his, “I was only joking. I know life is shit sometimes. But…” He stepped closer, “I can hear your mind rolling around in all the failure you feel right now, but your body isn’t panicking.”

I blinked at him. Again I was a mess inside, but I didn’t feel the pounding in my chest, or the heaviness of catching my breath. I looked down at the marking on my hand and sighed. “I don’t know if I’ll get used to this.”

“It’s okay.” Alex said. “You and me will get through this. It’s what you should have had your whole life so you could deal with the things inside that make you think bad things. We’ll get Margo here, maybe you can finally make some head way. And I think you need to give that to Hunter.”

“I don’t want to mark him permanently.” I said.

Alex nodded, “So a braclet, or a necklace work better?”

“I think a necklace would, the bracelet would need to be adjustable. He’s so slim and tiny.”

Alex grinned, “Just like his dad was.”

I blushed a little, the pink rose and heated my neck and cheeks. Alex pressed a kiss to my lips, “Sometimes you get all shy and cute over the simplest things pretty boy.”

“Because of what they imply in our past, Z.” I said softly.

Alex chuckled, “I love you too.” He took my hand, “Let’s go find Isabelle and interrupt her and Ant.”

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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