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.”
I interrupted, “Did you drive?”
Alex shook his head, “No, Ant Shadow walked us here?”
“How did Matt get here then?” I sat up and turned around to look at Alex.
He laughed. “Apparently, the father his from Ant, the less his power affected the transfer of magic. Like a delayed reaction. It had to nullify everyone else before it could touch Ant, and the rune actually does the opposite for Matt, it seems to nullify his powers of nullifying… Isabelle doesn’t understand it anymore than the rest of us.” Alex continued on as if I hadn’t interrupted him, “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 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?”
I looked up at Alex behind me, “Uh.” I could have a meltdown.
Alex pressed a kiss to my forehead and smiled, “We might be able to throw something together in a few days. But we need some time to relax.”
Anne Marie clapped her hands, “Really? I can help. I’m a party planner in the City. My clients all love me, I’ll do it for free even.”
“I think we got it, Anne Marie, but thanks for offering.” Alex said, “It’ll be everything I can do to make sure he doesn’t get in the kitchen at all.”
She laughed. “No problem but if you need help just stop on by, Sydney and I are staying next door.” She waggled her fingers at us, “I’ll see you two hotties later.” Sydney said nothing but she waved shyly at us as they both walked down to the water in next to nothing.
Alex whispered in my ear, “If I didn’t know better I’d say you were flirting with them on purpose.”
“I would never.” I said. Alex turned my head and kissed me softly. He was all I needed a nd he knew that.