Alex walked me to our room. But I didn’t want him to leave. I held his hand even though he’d covered me up and pressed a kiss to my temple. “Nox, I’m not going anywhere.”
“I know,” I said.
“Then let go.” He laughed like it was funny, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want him to go. I needed him with me. He gave a little sigh and sat down. “Pretty boy, I’m just going to meet Henry. And this isn’t Nick’s Henry right? Tony’s son – this is a vampire kid.”
“He’s ten,” I said.
“Wait. I’m trusting a ten year old kid with the lives of our children?”
“He’s a shadow walker. You aren’t put their lives in his hands. He is their travel arrangements. Tony’s keeping his son safe with our kids. Send bodyguards if you don’t think Sanctuary will be safe.”
“You’re okay with it?”
“If the Primeval vampires are on our side the bad guys have only one shadow walker – Brandon Holt. Sal and Evangeline do not have that ability. If they have others of the primeval vamps then we might have a problem, but Francesco and Tony will make sure the kids are safe. They are on our side.”
Alex sighed. “I still want to meet them.”
I nodded. “I need sleep.” There was little more talk as I closed my eyes and Alex pulled his hand from my waning grip. He pressed a kiss to my temple and muttered ‘sweet dreams’ before I drifted off into the nothingness of my normal dreams. A place I’d drawn most of my life with a tree that represented my family. The ground was lush with green growth but the tree still stood naked save for the imagery floating in it.
I wandered my dream until I felt the warmth of the sun across my face. I blinked awake and covered my eyes with a groan. “It’s time to get up,” Alex said cheerfully. “You’ve been asleep for two days.”
Alex looked at me and grinned. “That won’t work will it?”
“It could have if you could have stuck with it. I feel better.”
Alex sat down and ran his fingers over my jawline. “You look better. That pale sickly look doesn’t look good on you.”
“Did you meet Henry?” I asked.
“I did. Then I caught a few Z’s with the twins.”
“I’m going to assume you weren’t slung out between Laker and Rider.”
Alex laughed. “You are assuming correctly. Hunter was having a rough go of it. And Cass was happy to have me curl up around them both.” He sighed, “And then Quinn came in fretting about dark holes, and the boys followed after that. Though they took up space on Hunter’s bed with Drake. It was like they understood my dislike of the whole puppy pile.”
“Or the bed was too small.” I grinned up at him.
Alex shook his head. “No. I think Rider …”
“It’s weird sleeping with teenage boys, I got it.” I smiled. “But they are my brothers. And it means nothing more than family.”
Alex nodded. “I know, but…”
“It’s okay,” I reassured Alex. “Are we going at dusk?”
Alex shook his head. “We’re going as soon as you get up. Everyone else is ready. The vampires coming with us are all day lighters. Or the strongest to be up. They’re waiting for us in the underground, we’re going to take them by surprise.”
“Which is what they will be expecting us to do,” I said as I kicked my feet over the edge of the bed. “I don’t like you coming with us.”
“You’re going to make me stay behind?” Alex growled.
I shook my head. “No. I’m just telling you a fact.”
“You wouldn’t make me stay?”
I shook my head again. “No. You’ve proven you can take care of yourself. And we are stronger together – right?”
“That’s what Ant says.”
“Has nothing to do with magic Alex. Just me and you – we are stronger together. With Ant we get stronger, but me and you – together.”
Alex smiled. “Forever and Always – for real now.”
“It was always that,” I said as I got dressed in the clean clothes Alex had set on the chair next to the bed.
“Forever means forever now. I have that right. Chevalier means forever.”
“Until Ant releases you – yes. Forever is forever.”
“But I won’t die with him?”
“No. He didn’t make you full Chevalier. This is what you want?”
Alex looked at me confused. “Don’t you?”
“I’m happy to have you in anyway possible. Forever is wonderful, but you are tied to the one person who pushes all your buttons, he represents things you hate.”
Alex laughed. “He’s your friend. He’s my friend for all that I say I hate him Nox. He has had nothing but my back the whole time. Even when he was warning me off you, he had my back. Yes, he’s a vampire. Yes, I’m jealous. But I’ve no reason to be jealous Nox. I’m bound to you fifty fucking ways and I’m bound through him to you.”
“You never asked for any of this,” I said.
“Neither did you,” Alex said wrapping me up in his arms. “I’ve got this Nox. I’ve got you. You’ve got me. We’ve got a family. A huge fucking family full of misfits and impossible things, but it’s ours. I need to get used to it. Just like you need to get used to me trying to protect you.”
I smiled. “Walking me home is still going to be a thing huh?”
“Abso-fucking-lutely.” Alex grinned. “And Ryan gave me a gun, not that I needed him too. Made sure I could use it. Said I would start training once we got through this mess.”
“You know training is also his way of saying therapy.”
Alex groaned. “Yeah, Ant said the same thing.”
I smiled. “You’ll have fun. Maybe you’ll give me a run for my money.”
Alex had me pinned to the wall where I stood. He hadn’t moved quickly, was actually pretty slow about it as I backed up against the wall watching him. He pressed my hands to the wall and trapped me there. “Oh pretty boy is that a challenge.”
“Maybe.” I grinned back at him. But the humor and flirting was lost to the kiss that Alex started with a tender press of his lips. It quickly dissolved into frenzied and hurried motions, our bodies finding comfort in one another. The bond between us strengthening. Like sex was the magic it needed to cement itself – and maybe it was. Maybe with that final piece in place this was meant to be. But I didn’t care as long as it was Alex. He was mine and I was his.