The shower went cold before I got out. My apartment was dark. I could feel Jo upstairs sleeping. The thought of why never crossing my mind, though it should have. But I was mentally drained as I collapsed in my bed to sleep.
I didn’t prepare myself for dreaming and woke to my lone tree and the starry landscape just at sunrise. And I wasn’t alone.
Alex smiled when he saw me, “I didn’t expect to see you here.”
“I’ve been avoiding you.” I said.
“I know,” he smirked, “I noticed.”
I turned to walk away. But Alex was in front of me and I nearly ran into him. He was frowning, “Come on Pretty Boy.”
“You can’t even come here as yourself.” I growled and stepped around him.
He sighed, “Can I explain.”
Alex growled, “You are a stubborn asshole sometimes.”
“You seemed to enjoy my asshole earlier.” I couldn’t help the small smile that crept to my lips but I kept walking.
“I’m a dream walker. I can walk into anyone’s dream I want. I was taught to hide who I was so that the Venatori wouldn’t find me.”
I stopped walking but I didn’t turn around. But Alex took that as a signal I would listen, “It’s a habit, and one I can’t change. I’m at least a guy you find attractive. And not some dip shit that won’t make me jealous because I can’t tell if you like him or me.”
“Sure he’s cute.” I said, “But it was always you I wanted.” I turned around to look at not-Alex. Though I felt my anger rise and turned back around. “I can’t do this.”
“I know.” Alex said. “Do you want to know why this bothers me so much?”
I didn’t say anything jus shrugged.
“I loved a man who did great things. I lost him. I still love him. But there’s a reason I’m drawn to you here in the dream. Why you call to me every night we are apart. There is a reason we keep fighting to not join together. And why once we are together that we can’t stay apart. Even if we fight. I’ve been lying to myself because I thought I had found my true love – my soul mate. Turns out it was all a lie. And I knew it from the moment I first stepped foot in this dream.” Alex paused. I wanted to turn around but I couldn’t, I couldn’t see that face with that voice and those eyes. I couldn’t do it anymore. I felt the tears streaming down my face again. Fuck! I thought I’d cried it all out.
“You are my soul mate, Nox. And every time I deny it, it hurts just a little bit more.” Alex sighed, “I’m sorry I’m an ass. And I’m sorry that I loved someone before you.”
“We all have a past Alex, but you aren’t over him. I’ll make it easy for you and stay away.” I said, “Have a good life Alex.”
I woke myself up and continued to cry.
I didn’t sleep the rest of the night. But the tears stopped halfway through and I was just numb to it all.
I must have drifted off to sleep because I woke to the smell of bacon and coffee. My eyes felt dry and scratchy. My body ached. I really needed to sleep better, but I crawled out of bed and made my way upstairs. Jo was standing in front of the stove. “I thought I’d make you breakfast.”
“You didn’t have to.” I said but I took the offered up of coffee and sat down at the table.
“I know, but I wanted to say thanks, and you had a rough night last night.” she giggled.
I rolled my eyes, “We were that loud.”
“We all have really good hearing I’m told.”
“It won’t happen again.” I said.
Jo set a plate of bacon and eggs in front of me, “Why? Alex seems like a good guy.”
“He’s great. He’s fostering a bunch of kids that aren’t his. He makes jobs for people, he takes care of his family, but he’s hung up on a guy I’ll never match. He’s the heroic do gooder type.”
Jo laughed, “You have that covered if you ask me.”
“I’m nothing.” I said.
Someone stomped up my stairs, it could only be one person. “Nox!” Abby shouted.
“What?” I shouted back though Abby was already at the top of the stairs with a goofy smile on her face.
“Hey Jo.” Abby said. “It’s nice to see someone else taking care of him. I’m Abby. Rider asked me to come check in on you, make sure Nox was treating you alright.”
“He’s great.” Jo said.
“I know. Rider was joking. He wanted me to offer you the spare bedroom at my place. It’s just upstairs. This way you can have a home, and be close to Nox.”
“I don’t know.”
“Abby’s great, and she won’t boss you around too much.”
Both women grinned. “And you’ll have your own space.” I said.
“If you think I should.”
Abby laughed, “We do. Rider says I have some explaining to do for you. And Nox needs to go see Rider and Alex anyway.”
“Why?” I growled.
“Rider wants to explain some things, and Alex just wants to check on you – like I said Jo said, you had a rough night. You aren’t even wearing eyeliner.”
“I just woke up.”
Abby stared at me wide eyed. “Really?”
“He cried for several hours.”
“What did Alex do?”
I shook my head, “Nothing. It’s over.”
Abby laughed, “It’s not Nox. Alex is as stubborn as you are.”
“He doesn’t even want me.”
“Really?” Jo laughed. “He sounded like he wanted you yesterday.”
I growled. “I’m going for a run.” I said and left the two women alone in my apartment.