As I walked out of the room I’d been hiding in I pulled on a smile and took a deep breath to steal myself against the onslaught of people. The living space was full of people. More people than there had been when I’d left. The place was decorated too. Alex had pulled out all the stops. The ceiling was full of light blue balloon and those tin plated ones that were made into shapes. I didn’t know what else to call them. Mylar was the word that stuck in my head provided by a simple look from Alex he smirked at me from across the room.
I waggled a finger at him and beckoned him to come closer but he was in a deep conversation with someone. In a bit pretty boy.
I nodded and turned to look around to see if I could find some solitude somewhere. My brother wrapped an arm around my shoulder. “You alright?” Rider asked.
“Right as rain,” I said.
Rider chuckled. “I never understood that phrase. I love the rain.”
“So you are okay then?”
“Doing alright. I’d be better if my better half was with me. There are too many people here for my liking.”
“It’s a party Nox.”
“I know. Dance with me?” I asked my brother.
“There’s no music playing.”
I laughed. “I can fix that.”
I walked over to the false wall and pressed the button and the wall slid down. Dorian’s entertainment center revealed itself – I guess it was mine now – ours. I connected my phone to the bluetooth quickly and easily and selected a long playlist full of random danceable songs and hit shuffle. The music played softly inside, but outside was a different story. The speakers around the veranda were loud and I grabbed my brother’s hand and he laughed as he hurried ahead of me to make sure it was clear, and then he started dancing. I was glad my brother wasn’t shy.
I closed my eyes and lost my soul to the music. Or maybe my soul found me in the music. Either way Rider and I danced. It wasn’t long before there were others with us. Cass dragged Quinn out with her and the elder daughter looked uncomfortable. So I took her in front of me. “Stand on my feet.” I took her hands and she looked at me afraid. “Come on.”
I moved my ten year old daughter around the outdoor dance floor with ease and by the time the next song came on she was dancing with the three of us over her own volition. Hunter clung to one leg and Drake the other and I moved with them with the same ease. Cass was too busy doing her own thing to much care what her siblings were doing.
I watched them dance their hearts out. Laker and Matt joined us though they were dancing together – very inseparable. It made me smile. Ryan dragged Isabelle out on the dance floor. I wondered where Ant was.
I caught Alex standing in the door watching and wiggled my finger at him again. This time he shook his head. And I danced my way over to him and held my hand out. “Dance with me.”
Alex shook his head again. “I’ll just watch you.”
I pouted. “Dance with me.”
There was a general stare down as Alex defied his urge to make the pout go away. I frowned and wondered what I’d done to make him hate dancing. And I knew I had. I didn’t remember, but Alex did.
And I saw the image in his head. I blinked away the memory – his memory.
I’d been dancing. Alex had come to the dream like usual. There was no music so he’d made some and flailed about the room. It was meant to be cute and not his natural talent I saw it in the moment, but my younger self hadn’t. I had made a comment and Alex had been hurt by my words. I hadn’t had a chance to apologize before the black blur ripped me away form him.
Again I had scarred my precious blue eyed boy and he wouldn’t dance with me. I could only nod. I leaned in and pressed a kiss to his lips. “I’m sorry I hurt you,” I said then walked back out to the dance floor with a fake smile and tried to get back into the music. But the feeling had fled with the notion that I hurt Alex time and time again and I always left him.
I couldn’t look in his direction so I manoeuvred myself so I couldn’t see him, no one but Alex noticed. But I felt his eyes burning holes in the back of my head. I didn’t want to see the anger or disappointment.
A slow song came on and the dance floor broke off into pairs. I walked away down into the sand and away from the party. The sun was setting and I sat down in the sand heedless of the problems it would present later when I got up, but at that moment I didn’t care. I felt like shit. I could no longer fake the happy smile. I needed a few minutes alone to process everything.
The crunch of sand behind me and the soft citrus scent meant that Alex had followed me. “Why did you apologize earlier?”
“I made fun of your dancing. I saw your memory. You shared it.”
“I didn’t Nox. I didn’t want you to see it. I never wanted to let you see the bad parts. I never told you about that moment.”
“I’d never seen it before until just then.”
“I was thinking about it, but I wasn’t sending it to you.”
“I’m sorry I saw it then, but I can’t unsee it.”
“That’s not my point Nox. You’ve been hearing things haven’t you?”
I looked back over my shoulder at Alex and he was standing there with a beer in his hand and red Solo cup he was sipping at. He sat down next to me handing me the beer. “I think we are sharing some of our powers. There are so many fucking things wrong with that place. I had to leave. It’s why the party. I figured the chaos would make it feel better. But I was wrong.”
“It only made it worse.” I gave Alex a half smile. “What are you seeing exactly?”
“Nothing different but I fucking swear that chair over there doesn’t belong there.” Alex pointed to one chair, and then pointed to an empty spot a bit down the beach. “Like I know it goes there, but I can’t tell you why.”
“That’s what I feel and see all the time. Maybe you are right and we are sharing some of our powers. I have been hearing things. It’s not helping my mood any.”
“I’ll teach you how to filter and shut it out. I can’t do anything about this sight though can I?”
I shook my head. “If you aren’t seeing how they are out of place, only getting that feeling no. Other than put it back in it’s place.”
Alex groaned. “I’m gonna become as anal as you are? Fuck me!” He winked and I leaned against his shoulder and smiled before I took a long drag of the ice cold beer he’d handed me. “As long as I don’t spontaneously start throwing fireballs I think I can manage.”
“I’m sorry I really am.”
“I know Nox. And I know you didn’t mean to make it hurt. And I’m sorry it bothers me so much to dance. I’d love to be the one out there with all your attention.”
“But you won’t join me.”
Alex shrugged. “Let’s just watch the sunset.” I nodded in agreement and we did that – in silence.
I was sitting in the room where Dorian left me in the dark. I didn’t care if I was being anti-social. Really wasn’t in the head space to deal with people. But that didn’t mean people didn’t find me. And that they did. My father was standing in the doorway watching me.
“Funny how no one is really looking for you, but we seem to be able to find you. That little gloomy cloud floating over your head. I thought this was supposed to be a happy moment.”
“It is,” I said softly.
“Why don’t you look happy?”
“I just found out you and Dorian could lose everything for being here.”
He came in and shut the door behind him. “Ah. Dorian said his good-bye’s then.”
“Something like that.”
Kai sat across from me on the couch. “I know I don’t rate high on your family list, but you are my son.”
“I know that, Dad. But Dorian …”
“I know what he is, son. He’s what I couldn’t be – not then, and not now. But I want to know my grand kids. The other kids don’t need me. They don’t even want me in their lives.” He sighed. “Last night I did the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
“No, Nox. I didn’t do it for you. And I didn’t do it for the bushel of kids you have. I did it for me.” He laughed. “I’m getting old. The hunt isn’t what it used to be. Hell I find that I like your tactics, your friends, the way it makes me feel when I see a family reunited with a member they thought dead.”
“No son, I did it for me. I told Emilio I loved him. Told him he was the best friend in the world and I told him good-bye. Because of you, I found a woman I want to spend my life with. I have a cause worthy of fighting for, and a son I desperately want to get to know. And his wonderful family who all make it so easy to love him.”
Kai laughed. “I tried to stay away. I don’t have the will power Dorian has.”
“Did you tell Dorian?” I asked.
“That’s why he has the will power.”
“He’s not leaving you because of me Nox. He’s not I swear it.”
“But he doesn’t feel guilty for doing it because of you,” I growled out.
“Nox he loves you.”
“I know,” I said. “And he wants me to love you as much as I love him.”
“I don’t need your love Nox. Nor Dorian’s pity.”
I sighed and walked over to the door vacating my warm chair in favor of the waning sun. “I can love you both you know. I do love you both. I’m sorry if I make it hard. But eighteen years of hatred is hard to get past. I’m trying.”
Kai laughed. “I know. There was a time you would have growled at me for even stepping foot in your sacred space. Margo and I have moved in together, she’s moving her practice outside of the AU building, but it’ll take some time.”
“If she can hold off on that,” I said turning towards my father. “I think I can help her out – give her neutral ground to work from – no dragon territory, no wolf, no vampire – safe and secure from all magics. The Venatori might hate me for it, but I don’t care what they think.”
“They know that,” Kai said. “Dorian told you of the kill order?”
I nodded. “Yeah. He told me to stay away from New York. But I won’t.”
“He knows that. But he has to try. He loves you. And I’m glad he does.”
“We should get back to the gathering.”
Kai stayed seated. “I’m going to stay here a while. I’d like to revel in my son’s wake.”
He chuckled. “You’ve been in here long enough your residual power lingers. It tickles my skin and reminds me I’m not just an old man.”
“You aren’t old,” I said as I opened the door. The party was in full swing, though I didn’t think it was even close to 8pm yet.
Sage left to go help Mia, she didn’t bring Jace with her but Naya was playing with Drake. They paired off well. “Did you not invite Jace?” I asked.
Alex laughed. “Mia sent him to get a cake. She and Naya came in Dee’s car. Apparently Sage doesn’t drive?”
“No. He has a fundamental fear with cars in general. The fact he rode in one at all is usually a feat of accomplishment for him.”
“I get why the two of you are so close, but Mia? Doesn’t make sense.”
I chuckled. “Mia liked us because we were off limits at first. She was always a rebel.”
“But neither of you ever hooked up with her for real.”
“Sage can’t touch people, and I like boys. Mia knew before I did that a girl didn’t make me happy. But I was never her gay best friend. Sure she dressed me up, taught me make up. But I also taught her how to throw a punch and to shoot a gun.”
“I never had friends like that,” Alex lamented.
“You had me,” I said. “I know I was a poor substitute for real world friends.”
Alex interrupted, “Shut up Nox.” He pressed a kiss to my cheek. “You weren’t a poor substitute for anything. I relished the fact you couldn’t remember the things I told you. I hated that you didn’t know I was real, but I told you everything, and never once did you judge me.”
“So why do you think I’ll judge you now if you tell me things?” I said and sat up pulling out of his arms. Alex shifted so that he had a leg on either side of me and wrapped himself around my back. I leaned back into him and he sighed with contentment.
“It’s hard in the real world to get over that fear.”
“So tell me in the dream.”
“I want you to ask,” he said simply.
I shuddered at the fear of another fight and I simply said, “I’ll try.”
We left the touchy conversation alone for now. I was pretty sure I’d never get over the fear, but I’d try. Alex cradled me like I was hurt, and maybe I was. I was never right.
“Nox,” Alex whispered.
And I sighed pulling out of Alex’s arms. “I can’t sit here. I need to do something.”
Alex stood up and offered me his hands and I took them. “Sand first.”
I looked down at my shoes and legs and tried not to panic even as I was already pulling the sand from my body. Alex set an empty box on the decking. “For your trinkets.” He grinned at me and I smiled at him.
“You aren’t allowed in the kitchen. Mingle with your family and friends,” he said. “No cooking.” He pointed at me with the look that said I’d be in for it if he found me cooking. I was on vacation and he meant it. But wasn’t he?
My father and Margo were here. Adrian and Leah too. Dorian and Marco and Dorian was pulling Marco away from the kitchen too which made me smile when the chef met my gaze. They both hugged me tight. “We missed you,” Marco said.
Dorian didn’t meet my eyes though. “What’s wrong?”
Marco rolled his eyes as he put his arm around me and dragged me away from his husband. “First, Congratulations are in order,” he said in a heavy Italian accent. “And second, if Dorian or Kai are caught here they could be exiled.”
“So why are they here?” I asked and turned immediately. “Because they love you.”
“Thank you for coming Marco I appreciate it I do, but don’t let Dorian lose everything.”
Marco chuckled to himself, “No such sympathy for your father.”
I glanced in my biological father’s direction and sighed. “I don’t want to see him lose everything either but…”
Marco nodded. “It’s alright son, I understand. Dorian wanted to see you. See the children.”
“I will give him a hug and tell him the same thing, but you two need to go as soon as he’s seen the kids.”
Marco frowned. “Nox…”
He sighed. “As serious as your guardian.”
“Thank you,” I said. “Now go say hi to the kids.”
I left my favorite teacher to go find his husband. Dorian stood in the doorway staring out at the beach in a far corner of the house. “I remember the night you almost drowned out there.”
“Me too,” I said.
“You’ve come a long way.”
“So have you,” I added.
He didn’t look at me as I stood next to him. “I was so afraid that day. You’d been happy moments before the water dragged you across the sand. I’m surprised that the crashing of the waves doesn’t scare you.”
I shrugged. “I only remember the sand scratching at my face, my skin as I was pulled out to sea.”
“If you hadn’t been Cesari you wouldn’t be here talking to me about your fear.”
“But I am.” I sighed. “Dorian, you need to go.”
He nodded. “I know. But I had to give you this.”
He turned with a small box in his hand. “It was my mothers. She should have given it to Eli or Sahara, but neither of them cared for the human sentimentalities like she did.”
“That’s why she had you.” I grinned at him.
“I won’t have children to give it to. I won’t bring a child into the Venatori…” he thrust the gift in my hand. “Nox, the Venatori want you dead. Not exiled – dead. The house is yours. It’s been yours since Marco and I decided that we weren’t having children. The Venatori don’t know you have it. Stay here, live a happy life. Don’t come back to New York.” He met my gaze. “Please, don’t come back.” He begged but he walked away after he quickly hugged me.
Dorian was walking out the door. I called out his name, but he didn’t turn, though he did stop. “I love you. Thank you for everything.”
He nodded and walked away. I felt the tears sliding down my cheeks as I opened the box. Etched in the top of the box was the simple words. “Something old. Something blue. Something borrowed.”
Inside was a blue stone heart – the color of Alex’s eyes and I picked it up and felt the cool stone in the palm of my hand. It was attached to a delicate silver chain. I hung it around my neck. It was the last time I’d probably see Dorian. My heart was breaking.
Hunter and I chatted and watched people; he was five and people looked at me like I was enabling a child who could walk all by himself. I thought I heard people say something even as I looked at them, but their mouths never moved. Things were a little fucked up. Hunter was giggling over some dog playing in the crashing waves. “Do you want to get down and play?”
The look of horror he gave me when I asked made me grin. “Okay then, I’ll hold you. You think you can hold on while I run back?”
“A piggy back ride?”
“As long as you don’t choke me.” I grinned at my son and his bright eyes.
He nodded. “I promise.”
Hunter clambered on to my back and I started to jog back to the beach house from the far end of the beach. That got more looks and a few stray comments too. But again I wasn’t sure I was actually hearing them – they were like echos and whispers of something else.
We neared the house and I slowed down, not really wanting to join the fray of my family. Of the impromptu party Alex was planning. And I knew Alex; this wasn’t showing me off, this was staking a claim. And not just to the beach bunnies on the veranda, but the world – to my friends. I could feel more magical energy in the beach house then when I left. Alex was throwing us a wedding reception. He couldn’t have planned it in advance – he hadn’t known we were coming. Except that Alex might have – for all I knew he had implanted the suggestion in my head and was just waiting for the right excuse to tell me.
I wasn’t angry, though for all the masks I wore that was not one I was prepared to wear on what was supposed to be a vacation.
Hunter let go and fell into the sand and darted for the patio rocks. He looked around with those big brown eyes and he smiled when I was the only one watching and the earth patterns around him sucked every last piece of sand from his skin and shoes and collected in his hand. With a simple weave of fire and then water to cool it a shimmering piece of glass lay in his hand. It looked like we were going to have a fine collection of glass shards by the end of the trip.
I sighed and walked up to the stone steps myself and sat down to stare out into the water. The beach was busy, the sand was dotted with umbrellas and towels and loads of families.
“You okay?” A happy voice asked from behind me.
I didn’t turn around to see my best friend, he came and sat down next to me and pressed his leg against mine and leaned against me. I missed Sage. He was a life line in my life. “I’m sorry about Dee.”
“It’s not her fault,” I said. “But I don’t think Alex will see it that way.”
Sage rested his head against my shoulder. “She’s in the hospital. Having a mental break down. The baby is not doing well.”
“Can I help?” I asked.
“Nothing you can do unless you can make the voices stop,” he said calmly though I knew Sage was anything but calm right then. “It was just me at first,now it’s everything. She is mad on second then crying the next. Gleeful than all out raging at me.”
“Did you ask her Dad about her history? Does mental break down run in the family.”
“He’s cryptic about it all. Said he thought he fixed it. Said some name I can’t even remember that sounded like something out of a fairy-tale cured her of the voices.”
“Phobeter? I asked cautiously.
“That’s the name, how’d you know it.”
I sighed. “That’s the name of the demon that tortured me my whole life.”
Sage gasped, “That’s what happened to you? When Dee… Wait, is that connected?”
I shrugged. “We can have Alex take a look at her dream self and see what he thinks, but my gut says her Dad made a deal with a demon and now the demon is dead. He fed on fear. If Dee is an empath and from the sounds of it she is, then she’d be the perfect siphon.”
“How can this help?” Sage begged.
“Teach her how to shield her ability. She should have learned at an early age, but she was like you, lost the parent that could teach her.”
“You think her Mom was an empath.”
“So, my kids could be like me?”
I nodded. “Yeah, but they have you, Sage. And you are the best god damned technopath I know. You’ll be a great father and a great teacher.”
He shoved me with his hip at the sentimental talk. “Thanks. Do you think you and Alex could help her?”
“We’ll get your wife the help she needs. Alex might take some convincing.”
“Convincing to do what?” Alex asked behind me. “If I didn’t know any better Morgan I’d think you were cozying up to my boy to steal him.”
Sage grinned and looked back at Alex. “I can’t steal him. He’s so lost down the Alex rabbit hole I could never reach him.” But his smile faded. “I need help with Dee. Nox thinks the demon that had him was shielding her some how and now that its dead she’s feeling everyone again.”
“She’s an untaught empath.”
Alex sucked in a breath through his teeth. “I’ll do what I can when we get back home, but right now I gotta take care of my own.”
Alex sat down behind me and wrapped an arm around me as he leaned back against the railing. “Nox, you gonna be okay?”
I nodded, “Always with you, lover.” I leaned back and kissed him. His arms wrapped around me and we sat in the awkward position while looking out at the water.
Alex shoved me out of his lap. “Say start at 8, invite all your friends,” Alex said then walked into our bedroom leaving me staring after him with two pretty girls doing the same.
“He knows how to make an exit,” Anne Marie said.
I could only nod. “I guess I’ll see you tonight,” I said following Alex inside. He was sitting on the bed grinning madly at me. “A party?”
“You need a distraction,” he said putting on his shoes. “I’m going to the liquor store to go buy more booze. And I’ll stop at the bakery and deli down town while I’m there see if they can whip us up some food so you don’t have to cook.”
My love was on his feet and standing in front of me. He placed his hands on my hips and pulled me close. “Nox,” he mimicked me.
I rolled my eyes. “This is supposed to be a family vacation, not a party.”
“Nox. You need to relax and chill out – what better way than with a bunch of strangers invading your space.” He grinned at me then from the look on my face it fell. “I know it’s not really your thing, but let me show you off.” Alex leaned back with a bright grin. “I mean look at what I got.”
The admiration made me blush and Alex laughed softly. “God I love making you blush.” He pulled me close and kissed me softly. “Almost as much as I like making you come,” he said before pulling away and walking out the door.
“Alex,” I said but he didn’t stop. I followed him hurriedly, “Alex.”
He stopped by the front door and winked at me. “I’ll be back.”
I sighed. “Fine.”
And he walked out the door to go find things for this party of ours.
There was lots of giggle through the back door. Alex had left the other way and now my family was coming home. Rider was carrying Hunter and he squirmed out of his uncle’s arms and ran towards me wrapping himself around my legs. “Daddy, you are up.”
“Yeah.” I handed Rider his bracelet. “I don’t need this anymore.”
“You still look like shit.”
“I probably will but I need to be me. And I’m not me with that.” I grinned at my brother and picked up my son.
Ant came in with the rest of the group trailing. “Your boy is a mini you, Nox. The sand set him off until I told him the same thing I told you.”
“Just magick it away?”
Ant nodded. Hunter held out a piece of glass in his hand. “Can you add it to your collection?”
I nodded. “I can. It’s pretty.”
Hunter beamed and I smiled back at him pressing a kiss to his forehead. “Alex went to the store to get stuff for the party he’s apparently hosting here.”
Isabelle walked through the large double doors in a bikini and looking not pregnant at all which was helpful but my heart skipped a beat. Ant laughed, “Under normal circumstances I’d tell you off for that sort of reaction.”
I looked at him and blinked my confusion. “Most people don’t panic when they see a pretty girl wearing nothing unless they like them.”
“I like Isabelle.”
“She doesn’t make you hot and bothered though.” Ant chuckled. “Like a normal hot blooded boy.”
“She is a she and I kinda sort of like boys and I’m taken.”
Isabelle laughed and wrapped her arms around me and Hunter. “I like that the first thing out of your mouth is she’s a she, like you have never liked women.”
Ant laughed. “He’s never liked women like he likes Alex. I know I’ve only known him for five years, but in those five years he has never openly stared at a woman and gotten a hard on. Have I seen him get busy with a girl – yes. In the moment yes, but she could be ugly as dirt to the rest of us – all he cares about is willing.”
I shrugged. “He’s right. Girls don’t do it for me. But it’s easier to get laid when you bat for the right team.”
Isabelle sighed and rolled her eyes. “Is that what you are going to teach your kids. That sex is just sex and shouldn’t be between two people who love each other?”
“Did you love the guy who you slept with the first time?” I asked.
“I thought I did at the time.”
“Love is fleeting when you are young. Sex is a physical reaction to a stimulus. You love who you love but sex is an enjoyable outlet as long as you protect yourself and others,” I said.
“And that’s what you want your kids to hear? You have four teenage boys living with you and you want them fucking their brains out?”
I shrugged. “As long as they are safe and don’t get anyone pregnant.”
Ant pulled Isabelle away from me. “Nox grew up in a world where marriage isn’t a thing Izz. He’s not traditional. Look at him. Really Izz. Does he look like he’s going to have your moral standards?”
She sighed. “But he’s worried about my reproductive organs.”
“No. Isabelle I’m not. I don’t care about your reproductive organs. I care about your fucking life. And the life of the children you possess inside you. I won’t worry about your life if you think it means so little to me,” I said and walked away with Hunter in my arms.
He wrapped his little hands around my chin and made me look at him. “Daddy, she’ll be okay. She’s with us.”
“You mean after all this?”
He nodded and I accepted that but it didn’t alleviate my fears but if she would be with us then that was good. And it means she made it through the birth of the twins. “You’re gonna have two new siblings.”
“New brothers,” Hunter said.
I sighed. “You know you make waiting hard.”
Hunter giggled as we stepped down on to the sandy beach and I shuddered. We went for a walk – me and sand phobic mini me.
Everyone was out on the sand and I stood on the stone patio and watched them with a numb feeling from the rune. I wondered if it made Hunter feel bad, or Cass, or any of the kids.
“You worry too much,” a voice said from beside me and I smiled.
“Kinda who I am.” I sat down in Alex’s lap and leaned back up against him. “I’m sorry.”
Alex wrapped his arms around me. “Can you worry about things later?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know Alex. I don’t really know. I want to but I don’t like this thing.” I shook my wrist.
“I know. But I needed you to calm down. And Rider was right he didn’t need it.”
“Did he say how it made him feel?” I asked.
Alex pressed a kiss to my neck and I leaned my head to the side so he could have full access. “I don’t think he likes it either. But none of the other kids are complaining. Hey, babe?”
“Hmmm?” I asked.
“Why are my marks staying so long?”
“Cause I want them too.”
“You want my marks on your neck?” Alex asked.
I nodded. “I love it, Alex. I love having your mark on me. The tattoo, the hickies. I’d tattoo your name on me if I thought it would make you happy.”
Alex laughed. “I’d love to see my name someplace on your body but Nox, really I have my mark on you, you wear my ring, you wear a watch I bought you, you wear the clothes I buy you. I have more than enough to claim you. I don’t need to see my name.”
I grinned. “What if I made a bracelet with your name on it.”
“I could deal with that. Make it part of our rune collection.”
“Something like that.” I hummed contently in Alex’s arms. “How long was I asleep?”
“Only a couple hours. Long enough for us to all get situated. Rider is staying with Fae and Drake in one room. Quinn said she’d stay with Cass. And Hunter is staying with Matt and Laker so we can have a few nights alone just us. There are a surprising amount of rooms here. Ant and Isabelle are sharing a room so I expect we’ll either hear a lot of humping going on or yelling – not the good kind.”
I laughed. “Really hope they are on the other side of the house.” I was happy in Alex’s arms. I relaxed against him and he held me as we watched the kids playing in the sand. I shuddered at the thought.
Alex chuckled. “There are outdoor showers.”
“Magic works better,” I said.
“Why aren’t you out there with them?”
Alex held me tighter. “I was waiting for you to wake up. And I’m perfectly happy here laying in the sun. Though I do have this giant shade now, so I’m not exactly getting any.”
“Would you like me to move?”
“Not on your life,” he said pulling me tighter against him if that were even possible. “We’ll figure something out Nox. So don’t worry about any of it okay. Isabelle is fine. We don’t have to worry until after her twenty second birthday according to Ant, and he’s watched this happen for a long time. So lets trust him.”
I sighed. “Okay. But can I take this off. I feel broken with it on.”
Alex reached for my arm and pulled it closer to pull Rider’s bracelet off my wrist. I sank deeper into sadness but I was okay with that, I curled up with Alex and absorbed the love and warmth of him. Everything would be alright. That much I had to believe.
“Hey Nox.” A voice said pulling me from my thoughts. I looked up to find a pretty blonde in a bright pink bikini standing at the edge of the patio looking in. “It’s been a while. Haven’t seen any of you this summer.”
I laughed. “We’ve been busy.”
“I don’t see your friends, did they all leave you or something?” she giggled.
“Anne Marie this is Alex my husband. And we are on a family vacation. Besides Sage and his wife are expecting, and Jace and Mia well live in Brooklyn now so I don’t see them as often as I used to.” Not to mention Jace is the reason Alex and I hadn’t met five years ago and Dee carried a demon that tried to possess me. My friends had fucking wonderful taste in people. But I loved them still, just might not get to see them as often.
“Your husband. And you didn’t invite us to the wedding?” She pouted.
“It was a small affair. Nothing flashy or fancy. Just us and our witnesses,” I said.
“You should throw a party here then.” Anne Marie looked at her friend. I thought her name was Sydney, but I didn’t know her well enough. “His parties are so epic.”
I rolled my eyes. “They weren’t my parties. They were Dorian’s. I don’t have that kinda money.”
“I do,” Alex said.
I turned to look at him. “You want to have a party?”
“Why not, invite the whole beach, let me show off my pretty boy to the world. What could go wrong?”