I was finishing my lunch. Alex was watching me, “You can eat knowing you are going to fight later?”
“I’m hungry. And since I’m now tied to a plethora of different magics I need to eat. One of the voices in my head keeps telling to eat and I’m pretty sure I should listen.”
“He talks too much.” Alex laughed, “Eddie reminds me of someone.”
“Ha ha.” I smirked. But I kept eating. Food was important.
Ryan came back with Ant and the vampire didn’t look very happy. “Nox, you sure you want to do this?”
I shook my head. “Not really. But I don’t know any other way.”
“Alex, are you sure you want to go?” Ant asked.
Alex shrugged, “No, but Hunter says I have to go.”
“Stay with me, we will work better together. Better than the last time.”
I smiled, “We all need to stay together. Eddie says our power is stronger together and there is more control. And Hunter says we need to go together.”
“When do you want to go?” Ant asked.
“The sooner the better.” Alex said. “I’d really like to get on with my happily ever after.”
Ryan laughed. “Sounds like a wonderful plan.” The smile faded and Ryan added, “I will stay here with the rest of your family. Alec, and Adrian, and the Last Phoenix will send more bodies. No one will get to your family as long as we stand.”
Rider stepped into the room and his alpha power flared, but I was pretty sure he wasn’t trying to do it on purpose. “All the powers need to go Nox. I got this. Adrian will send the rest of the Centurions here to guard the little ones.”
Alex looked at Rider, “Centurions?”
I let out a sigh I’d been holding as Rider had given an order. “Adrian’s been talking a lot to you.” I looked at Alex and smiled, “The Centurions are the packs protectors. Of which I am technically one.”
“But the Lone Wolf doesn’t have a structure like Dom’s right?” Alex questioned.
Rider smiled, “Yes and No. It’s a lenient pack, but still a pack, otherwise they’d be subject to Dom’s rule. Adrian keeps them all in line.”
Alex chuckled, “You mean you keep them all in line.”
Rider grinned, “That’s the running theory now.”
Ant asked, “Have you been challenged yet?”
Rider nodded, “Yes.”
“And?” I asked urgently.
“We’ll I’m still here aren’t I?”
“Wait one of our sixteen year olds has already had a death threat. Alex was up out of his seat ready for war.”
Rider just grinned. “He revoked his challenge with his tail between his legs when Nox was all flowy with his power. I drew on it.”
Ryan busted out laughing. “Timing is everything! Good job Rider. But we’ll start training first thing after the Full Moon’s done with you. You need to know how to fight.”
Rider nodded, “At your convenience.”
“I got the fort Nox. You take your base with you. Trust me.” Rider said.
I nodded, “I do, little brother, with my life and the lives of all our family.” I looked at Alex and asked, “Alex you good? Do you want need something to feel safer?”
He took my hand. “I’m good. I got all I need. A gun is just going to be wrong. And we aren’t expecting to have to fight are we until the end?”
I shrugged. “Dunno but that is the plan. The Venatori have clairvoyants so it’s possible they’ll see us coming.”
“I’m really going to be useless.” Alex said.
“You aren’t useless.” Both Ant and I said at the same time, he continued, “I’m better with my Chevalier around and it’s not a power suckng drain thing. We watch his back so no one stabs it. And you my friend are a strong telepath and can understand the danger long before they present themselves. Even in the land of the Ventori they aren’t all as good as Nox is.”
“Just because you can’t fight the big bads,” I grinned at Alex, “Doesn’t make you useless. We are stronger together. And that isn’t about power sucking either as Ant put it. It just isn’t. I don’t know how to explain it.”
Alex smirked, “That’s okay pretty boy I understand. Well I don’t but I understand what you are saying.”
All the kids were back in the media room watching cartoons. It was one of the few joys they had left even as the boys grew up they still liked their cartoons so they never minded watching with the little ones. I gave each of them a hug and so did Alex. Rider gave us knowing looks and smiled but said nothing. The kids just thought we were going off on some other little mission like before – no danger involved. I had a feeling they all knew. But they choose to ignore it and be happy knowing that I couldn’t die. Which was sad in and of itself, I’d watch them all grow old and die and be alone again. Well not alone, I’d always have Alex thanks to Ant. I was eternally grateful for my friend.
Good-byes were said. Though I wasn’t sure if they understood this could go horribly wrong. Mark Green was the most powerful man in New York City. It was why he was in charge of things. He had connections around the city but he also was Cesari. It could go horribly wrong if I under estimated my opponent.
So I didn’t under estimate Mark Green. I took all the tools of my trade. Before we left I stopped in our room. Alex followed me with a smirk, “This is no time for a nap or a quicky.”
I girnned at him. “I’m getting Salvation and Damnation.”
Alex looked at me with a curious look. I held up a survival knife, the handle wrapped tightly with para cord and inside was more things needed for surviving in the middle of no where. Or in the city if you went into the ghetto places too often. “This is Salvation.”
The gun I held up to show Alex was nothing special just your run of the mill Beretta that Dorian had taught me how to use. “And this is Damnation. Together they are what it means to be Venatori. Killing damns us but surviving will save us.”
Ant was waiting for us outside and the three of us left, with a trail of others behind us. The only one missing was Griffin and the embraced vampires who would meet us in the lobby of the AU building when we arrived.
Adrian and Dom nodded at me as we headed out the night life building. I felt a lot of wolf energy floating around heading towards my home to protect my family. I was grateful.
The Night Life was busier than usual. Crowds of people in the lobby – almost too much going on. Alex grumbled, “The AU mall is closed.”
“They know I’m coming.” I said.
“That’s not a good sign.” Alex said. “So no surprise element. What else do we have here.”
I shrugged, “We go to the top, I challenge the leader and this ends.”
“Sound so simple.” Ant said dryly.
And just like that we were off to see the man at the top.