The group distracted me from the problem. Talking about other things. Adrian bringing up old friends. Ryan talking about movies he wanted to see. Valentina offered to babysit the children while we did things – me and Alex. She said she had always wanted children, but had become a vampire to save her own life – typhoid fever I think she said. Before the days of modern medicine.
Aurora regaled us with stories of a much younger, much darker Il Cane. Her and Ryan giggled on about things their boy Anthony did. As he was not Ant then, he was Anthony – son of the hound and a terror worse than his mother.
It was fun listening to everyone’s stories as they distracted me. No one asked me questions, but they distracted me from my problems. My thoughts, my fears, my worries. They were fleeting, not gone, but distracted none-the-less.
Ryan kept a steady flow of food coming my way, though he had taken the time to prepare things more to my liking than before. It wasn’t a constant barrage of easily edible foods.
Valentina never strayed from my side. He hand pressed to the spot where Alec’s rune was and I realized that my own hand rested on Alex’s. Ant was on the same arm so I couldn’t do both at the same time, though it was his I pushed the power through. It was more an internal hand holding.
I don’t know how long we sat in the comfort of our apartment waiting for them. I was useless. I couldn’t move every time I tried I nearly fell to the floor puking. So I remained still. Needless to say it was nearing time for a massive bathroom break, when the doors burst open and the children all fled into the room.
All hands were up and moving towards the children and the others who had been taken. I didn’t move and Ant and Alex looked about as beat as I did. Alex did smirk though, “Look at you all cozy up here eating while we were kidnapped and dying.”
I tried to get up but my legs gave out underneath me and my head lolled forward. Alex was at my side before I could find the strength to look up at him. “Yeah. You would be dead. We can’t even save ourselves without your help.”
Ant sat down on the floor pulling Isabelle into his lap and leaned against me. “Thank you. And I’m sorry.”
“No problem.” I said.
“Why are you apologizing?” Alex asked as he pulled me to my feat and sat down pulling me with him.
“I made you Chevalier without my own magic. I was taken before I’d fed and I was almost powerless. But I pulled the magic through my bond to Nox and that was why we puked on the stone floors. Payback for all the times I made him sick.”
I chuckled softly, “Though I did the same thing, so not payback.”
There were things I wanted to ask but Alex shush me in my head and just held me. And soon all the children were piling into our little group. It was a puppy pile and it was a happy moment. I rested for the first time since finding out Alex had been taken – since all of them had been taken. I wanted to know what happened but I was more than happy to just stay here in the pile absorbing what was mine.
It was just family, it was the whole connection. I felt the magic all around. And touching both Alex and Ant was like electricity. The magic flowed between us and healed us. There was a cut on Alex’s wrist and he pulled his sleeve down to cover it even as it was healing. “Why did you do it?” I whispered.
“I would love to say it was to save us. But it wasn’t. It was selfish.” Alex said.
“How so?” I asked.
Alex chucked to himself and pulled me tighter against him. “You thought about the solutions to that problem while we fought. And after you left Ant interrupted my brooding to make an offer. I left to think about it and to sleep. And I came to a decision, then, that I would do it. Not because you needed me to but because I couldn’t leave. As overwhelming as all of this is Nox, it’s home. You are home. I’m going to run but I’ll come back.”
Alex sighed but continued, “I did it then for a lot of reasons, mostly to get your attention. So you could never leave me.”
“I wasn’t running away.” I whispered.
“I know, but I was. I was ready to run away with Quinn as an excuse – deal with her parents. Never come back. Though I don’t think I could stay away. I still don’t understand pack Nox.”
I smiled, “You will.”
Alex shook his head, “I don’t think so. I’m selfish.”
Ant laughed, “So selfish he did one of the worst things possible in his eyes and feed a fucking vampire just so he could give you the power you needed. Don’t let him fool you. He’s as much of a hero in all of this.”
“I’ll ask later. I need sleep. Then the three of us can take down the traitors who took you.”
Cari stood in the entrance to the room watching us when I stood up. She gave me a half smile. “I imagine you’ll be getting a ransom for us. We got away with minimal knowledge. Everyone should act the parts. We will take the children to Sanctuary. Henry has set up a daylight room for the children. No one will get in or out.”
Alex looked at me and frowned, “Sanctuary?”
“The underground home of the primeval vampires. The only way in or out is to shadowwalk.”
“Like The Resort downstairs?”
I shook my head. “No. Its in the middle of a mountain deep inside, there is no way in or out except through the shadows.”
“And what if all the primeval vampires die how will our kids get out.”
“Henry will stay with your children at all times.” Tony said. “My son will make sure your children get out of Sanctuary if it were to be breached. He as agreed that is the best use of his talents. He wants to help fight, but Cari knew your family has to be safe.”
Alex interrupted. “I want to meet the kid who is going to watch my family with his life.”
Tony nodded, “Take your boy to his room, he looks about ready to die. And I’ll get Henry here.”