A Gift

Alex almost dragged me into our room but then he saw the wolf trailing behind us and sighed. “Faelen doesn’t want to change back, but he’s not sleeping with us tonight.” Alex said.

The wolf’s ears fell down and he started to slink away. “Fae, no, come here, you can stay with the kids. You’re mine now, part of our family so you can stay. Let’s go find Rider. I’m sure he can find you a place to curl up with the rest of the brood.”

Alex pointed me towards the kitchen. “You go make the charms, I’m going to find the kids, we can have ice-cream and then it’s bed.”

I nodded. Faelen followed me.

Alex laughed, “Nox, Fae wants to change back if we are having ice-cream.”

I grinned, “Alright. Can you have one of the boys bring him some clothes to change into?”

“Yeah. I’ll Send Rider down first. I don’t think I want Quinn anywhere near naked boys.”

I laughed. Alex was already fretting over his daughter and boys. For the record I’m fretting over Cass already too.

I yelled after Alex,”She’s five!”

“So were you.” Alex called after me.

I was five when I met Alex. I wasn’t five when I fell in love, but Alex had been mine since he was five. I adored him even then. I wouldn’t want to get in the way of either of their lives, but we were going to have to teach a lot of rules quickly around here.

When Faelen and I got to the kitchen I sat down behind the bar in the middle of the room and pulled the wolf into my arms. He came willingly and licked my face before he settled. I buried my face in his fur and took a deep breath. He smelled like pack. I couldn’t really explain it other than it was comforting. Danny’s family had always accepted me. Rosies side had always taken me in, I’d helped Sage integrate into their pack because of it. But it hadn’t felt like this.

I let the pack flow through me and I felt Faelen, I felt Adrian and Darywnn and others I didn’t know by name. I felt my pack. I even felt Rider and Laker and Cass and Hunter. But Alex, Quinn and Matt were missing. We’d have to fix that.

Alex came back in to me holding a cleaner looking naked sixteen year old boy who was just as entranced by the experience as I was. I looked up at Alex as he handed Faelen some clothes, “Everyone else is sorta reveling in pack magic right now.”

“Alex.” I said.

He grinned at me, “I know pretty boy. I will and I know Matt will. I think Quinn might need a little more time.”

“I don’t want her to feel left out Alex.”

She won’t. “The kids are doing a bang up job of making her feel part of the family. I’ve never seen her smile quite so much as when she is sitting with your gaggle of boys and Cass and doing silly kid things.”

“Join please?” I said as I held up my hand. Alex took it.

“I don’t know pretty boy. I think we have enough connections.”

“Never too many.” I said.

And I encircled Alex, and I felt Matt too, he’d been holding Laker before and their mating bond pulled him in at my thought. I let out a happy sigh. “Only missing one.”

“Let her come to it on her own.” Alex said.

“I know. I won’t force her into anything.”

Faelen pulled away from me and quickly got dressed before anyone else joined us in the kitchen. “I got the ice-cream. You do the charms.” Alex pulled me up and against him to press a kiss to my lips softly before he turned to grab the bowls and spoons. Rider was already in the freezer getting the ice-cream.

“We really need to make this a thing, Nox.”

“What ice-cream before bed?”

The kids all agreed happily. “We’ll see.”

I sat down on one of the stools and set the small metal block on the counter. The spelled metal wasn’t really anything different except I felt the magic on it. I could do a flat disc and etch it in, but that felt wrong. I split the block five ways – Matt didn’t need one because he was a null, magic didn’t work on him but then he’d be left out, so I split it again this time seven ways. Seven fucking kids under my roof. When the fuck did that happen? I named each kid in my head and held a finger out for each. Cass. Hunter, that was two. Rider and Laker made four. Matt was five. Quinn was six and Faelen was seven. Holy fuck pretty boy. Alex added to my mental what the fuck.

Seven small orbs of metal now sat on the counter top and I squashed each one. It was actually fairly difficult to do it all at one time. Cass giggled, “Look, Daddy’s sweating.”

Matt laughed, “It’s hard work Cass. How many balls of light can you hold at one time?”

Instead of answering, she made a ball of light and tried to make another. But the second one fizzled and then the first one popped out of sight. “See a light ball is easy. Nox how many can you do?”

I shrugged. I made three light balls while I was still working the seven charms. They were flattened, now I was shaping them into the form I needed. Which was a lot harder than it sounded. I had to keep looking at my hand in order to get it all right.

“Now you are showing off pretty boy.” Alex said.

There were seven balls of light floating around in a circle while I worked on the charms. “Sorry. I wasn’t meaning to.”

Hunter interrupted, “They were making the symbol Daddy’s trying to get in the metal.”

“I guess I got distracted.”

“Show off.” Alex said as he pushed a bowl of chocolate ice-cream in front of me. I was just about finished when he lifted the spoon and feed me some ice cold chocolate goodness. It melted on my tongue and I let out a small moan. Which made the little kids “ewwwww.” And Alex laughed, “So easy.”

But the charms were done. “We only need some cords now.”

“What you can’t make them?” Alex asked.

“I can but I don’t know how good they’ll be. Organic things are harder than metals and the like but I can’t make a chain without taking forever.”

“We’ll go out and buy some tomorrow just make it for temporary usage.”

So I did that. It wasn’t perfect but each charm now had a leather cord to hang from each of their necks. “One for each of you.” I said as I handed them out to them. “It will help balance out magic, senses and emotions.”

“No more moody kids?” Alex asked.

I laughed. “Probably not. But it is worth a shot right?”

The kids didn’t really care, but Hunter sighed a moment of releif the second it touched his skin.

Matt smiled, “It’s kinda weird.”

“What do you mean?”

“I feel more of your magic wearing it, but less of everyone else’s. Like it balances out everything else but can’t figure out what to do with you.”

I shrugged, “I dunno Matt. I’m surprised you feel anything.”

“Me too. But I don’t nullify the rooms at the Acadmey. The fire proofing and the tardis rooms. Maybe it’s the runic magic?”

“It’s a thought. Maybe we can get you to touch the elements with one or let you use your gift differently.”

“Sounds like we have some research to do once you get things squared away with the missing people. We still have quite a list of missing people, and even more added with the new people here.”

I sighed. “I know. We’ll do it soon.”

“No rush. I’m not going anywhere till school starts right? I get to pretend to be human?”

I nodded, “I guess you do. Good thing you are the same age as Lake and Rider.”

“Yeah it is.” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

It was going to be interesting come September when all the kids went off to school. It felt so far away.

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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