The living room was empty. Everything looked to be in its place. No signs of struggle. But no Alex, and I didn’t hear anything in his apartment.
I checked the bedroom first, but nothing had been disturbed since our last visit to his place – the day Quinn arrived. It felt a lifetime ago but wasn’t more than a handful of days.
I walked down the hall and check the rooms but Alex wasn’t here. My mind recoiled at the thoughts of Alex being hurt, lost or worse. But he wasn’t here.
My world shook with loss and I fell to my knees. I coulldn’t breathe. My heart was threatening to jump out of my chest. The door creeked behind me and I turned to see Alex walking in with a load of laundry. He glared at me. “Did you break in?”
I shook my head. “The door was open I thought something happened to you.” I said as I stood up. “But you’re fine. I’ll just go.”
“Is that all you came here for?” Alex asked.
“I…” I frowned. “I don’t want you to leave me.”
Alex rolled his eyes. “You won’t even notice I’m gone.”
“You are going to leave Quinn and our twins?” I asked more afraid to ask the important questions.
“I’ll see them when I can, Nox.” He said. “You aren’t hiding them from me, are you?”
I shook my head. “So that’s it?”
“I’m not going anywhere Nox. I just can’t be there anymore.” He saw the panic in my face, he had to. He stayed his distance from me. He was really doing this.
“Hunter said you were going to leave us.” I said. “So much for him calling you Daddy then I guess.” I pulled myself up off the floor and moved very stiffly to his door. “Don’t be a stranger.” I said.
I opened the door and left. Alex called after me, “You really aren’t going to fight for me?”
I rounded on him and glared, “I went to Vegas for you. I asked you to marry me.”
“That doesn’t mean anything to you.” Alex shouted.
“But it means something to you. So it meant something to me. Take care of yourself Alex. We have a long life of forever together or not, if that’s your choice.” I said shutting the door behind me with a sharp thud.
The door opened before I was at the stair well. “Fuck Nox, get back here.”
I kept walking down the stiars until I hit the bottom floor and I collapsed in a corner behind the stairs. I couldn’t keep going down.I I pulled my magic in around me, tighted everything down, the pain was bone shattering – worse than when I’d saved Garrett. I pulled my shields in around me tightly. No one would find me with magic. It hurt. It burned, I wanted to die and I cried into my knees.
Three hours later I was still under the stairs though the crying had since stopped. “You know you have everyone worried.” An unfamiliar voice echoed in the stairs. “The Venatori could have killed you.”
“It might be refreshing.” I said. I looked up and saw a blond I didn’t know. Her eyes were blue, almost the color of Alex’s.
“You are so broken, how is it that the follow you?” She gave me small smile as she shook her head in disbeleif. “Your make up is a mess.” She handed me a tissue. Her fingers brushed mine and I felt a jolt of power. Though I didn’t recognize it. But it felt somehow familiar. “I’m going to go get someone, they are very worried about you.”
And just like that she left. I was left staring at the place she’d been standing wondering what the hell had happened. I was still staring into the nothingness when Alex stepped into view, “There you are.”
He looked over his shoulder when I dropped my gaze. “Jesus Nox.”
“I can’t handle you leaving me again Alex, so if that’s what you plan on doing just go so I don’t break into anymore peices.”
“Nox. I’m not going anywhere.” He said, “You need to come with me.”
He took my hand and I felt like it wasn’t him. Something was wrong. I jerked back from him. “Don’t touch me.”
“Nox, come on. Let’s go home.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you”.
Alex grabbed for my wrist again. “Come on.” This time he tried to get me to stand up. And when he did I stood up with an elemental blade in my hand, it sort of just appeared and I slammed it into Alex’s rib cage in an upward motion catching as many internal organs as I could.
His deep blue eyes were afraid and his blood drained all over my hand. My heart was racing and tears were falling down my cheeks. The body dropped to the ground just as the door pushed open and my blue eyed boy stood there staring at me, and the slowly fading illusion of his visage. I fell to my knees again.
Alex was at my side. “Are you okay?”
Ant brushed the hair from the right temple to reveal the Venatori tattoo. A second attempt on my life in a single day. I was crying. I couldn’t stop. It was hard to breathe. I couldn’t take my eyes away from the man that had been Alex. Alex pressed his forehead against my cheek. But he didn’t try to comfort me. He didn’t ask me how I knew it wasn’t him. Ant lit the body on fire. “A third head won’t make a difference.” He said. And I agreed with him in that fact.
But I couldn’t deal with it. “He was in your apartment.” I said. “We had a fight.”
“We didn’t have a fight Nox. I swear I went for a run, and when I got back to the Night Life building you were gone. When I called Jae he told me you were here, but we couldn’t find you. Nox let the power go. You are dying inside, I can feel it.”
“Please.” He begged.
And I did as he asked. The world flooded full of color and the pain gave up on it’s torture leaving me weak and I collapsed into Alex’s arms. “Let’s get you home okay?”
“We can go to yours.”
“My home is with you Nox.” Alex declared. “And your home is with your family, we don’t fit in my apartment.” He put his arms around me, and lifted me with ease, “This was harder the last time I did it.”
“Chevalier.” Ant and I said at the same time.
Alex laughed. “Hey guess what?” He said as he stepped into Ant and we were suddenly in the dark places in the Night Life building floor. “Hunter said, “Daddy went looking for you Dad.” That was the moment I found out you were missing. The same time your son called me Dad.”
I grinned at him. But I just clng to his neck. I needed to be with Alex. I needed him so bad in that moment. I’m here pretty boy. I’m here.
I laughed softly against Alex’s chest. “That’s how I knew he wasn’t you.”
“What?” Alex asked.
“He kept calling me Nox, no pretty boy, no babe, no baby, always Nox. And he didn’t feel like you. But that was how I knew for certain.”
Alex pressd a kiss to the top of my head. “I love you Nox. I so fucking love you.”