I didn’t look around, I didn’t move much into the room even after Leah left me there. I stood still just staring straight at my feet. It wasn’t natural, but I felt loose and comfortable and it was familiar. Everything about this day had been familiar – even the small boy hugging to me like I was his only life line.

I listened to the heavy foot steps coming down the stairs. I smelled damp forest leaves and the undercuts of pine needles on the air as the man came closer. “Nox. Abby tells me a lot, but she didn’t tell me this.”

I didn’t look up but I was curious, “Tell you what?”

He put two fingers under my chin and made me look into his eyes, “It doesn’t matter, take a seat and we can talk.”

I sighed with unknown relief and I sat down in the chair proffered me. Adrian sat across from in another chair, not behind his desk as I expected him to. “What can I help you with.”

“I came about Abby and Will. This in fighting between ‘families’, has to stop.” I said. I put air quotes around families and he chuckled at my phrasing.

“Abby called, said you knew what we are.” 

“What she is, what you are, yes.” I said, “Werewolves.”

He grinned, “Astute of you.”

“Not really, but it’s gotta stop.”

“There isn’t much I can do about it. Rider is Abby’s Alpha. And Dom is not happy about having another Alpha on his territory – especially one who’s only sixteen years old.”

“Seventeen now.” I stated. 

Sheridan chuckled, “Yes. Still a child.”

“I tried calling his people, but they hung up on me.”

“And what do you expect will happen if you do get a hold of them.”

I shrugged, “People have this way of bending to my will I don’t understand it. Everyone except a short list of people.”

“Alex Kennedy being one of those people?”

“What of him?” I asked.

He shook his head, “Nothing, rumors mostly.”

“What rumors?”

He shook his head again, “The man came for someone, he’s gone, he stays for the kids. He’d leave if it weren’t for them.”

I shook my head. “I don’t care about him. I’ll never live up to his lost love.”

Adrian laughed, “He’d have been head long into the Abby Will thing too, so I wouldn’t sell yourself short.”

Adrian pulled out his phone and dialed a number, “Hey Dom. I got a kid here who wants to right the problems between vamps and wolves. Specifically Abby and Will. I say give him a shot. You never know what might come of it. He knows about this world, maybe an outside party will help us see the answer.”

He listened for a while and laughed before he hung up the phone. “Dom says he doesn’t want no meddling do-gooder mixed in this mess, but if he thinks he is who is, then he wants to meet the guy who kicked four of his wolves butts without any cuts.”

I shrugged with a smile.

“Dom will meet you at Bonnie’s – a dinner across the street from the AU building. He said it’s been a while since he’s been there.”

“I know where it is.” I don’t know how since I hadn’t been to Midtown in the past 3 months. “Thank you.” I said but I didn’t get up from my seat.

Adrian smiled at me, “Is life troubling you, Nox?”

“No more so than usual.”

“Then the signs are natural?”

“What signs?” I asked.

“The bowed head, the relief when I told you to sit down. The relaxation you had when you felt when the scent encompassed you.”

“I don’t remember things, but all of this feels natural. But it’s not a life I want.”

“I wasn’t suggesting you come upstairs and play, though you would be welcomed with open arms. I was merely wondering if you might need to sit here in the quiet, with the diffuser and find balance? I can make it an order.”

My body stiffened a little at the idea, it wasn’t a sexual reaction though someone might think it was. And Adrian noticed and smiled, “An order it is. Sit here for 30 minutes. I’ll come back down and see you out.”

Adrian stood up and walked a few steps, “There is nothing wrong with being in control. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to give it up – for personal or sexual reasons.”

“I know that.” I closed my eyes and just took in the scents of the place, “I think it was hard lesson – the need for control, and yet the wanting to give it all up.”

“Some people thrive on control, and others need to find balance. I think, you are the latter, control is how you survive yes?” I nodded, and Adrian continued, “But that control is painful. Let it all go Nox. You are safe here, no one will bother you. No one will hurt you, you have my word.”

And with those parting words he left. His footsteps light as he left, barely making a sound. He’d been heavy for my benefit coming down. Safe… That was what it was.

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