Sleep didn’t come. Coffe helped that. I was on my second pot by the time I gathered my things up and was heading out the door for a long day of drawing while I waited for Hunter.
I didn’t live far from Central Park. But where Hunter lived was on the other side of the massive park in the center of the City. I walked around for a while. I was looking for a specific spot. Though my feet carried me straight there like I had been to that playground multiple times. It held a fondness I don’t remember but that wasn’t from the dream last night either. It’s was my own memory.
It hadn’t changed much from the dream vision. I set up my easle and chairs and just started drawing. I didn’t have anything in mind, I just drew. Whatever my mind wanted I let it out. And I didn’t critique it.
People would stop and watch before moving on to do their own thing. It was only first light when I started, but the morning rush was over when I heard the familiar patter of little feet running my direction. A small pair of arms wrapped around me and I put a single arm around him and continued drawing. We said nothing just held each other.
“Does anyone know you are here?” I asked.
Hunter shook his head against me.
“I should tell Alex, you got here safe.”
Hunter pulled away and looked up at me.
I smirked, “He knew.”
A small smile played on his face. “Da will pretend to be mad.” He reached into his pocket and held up a charm bracelet. “Da had it fixed.”
“What is it?” I mean I knew what it was, that wasn’t really the question I was asking.
Hunter shrugged, “It’s yours.” He flipped over the medical symbol and there was an inscription
Nox Sétanta – allergies: shellfish – phobia: needles
Hunter giggled, “It’s never said your name before.”
I put the pencil down and plucked the bracelet from his tiny hands while pulling him into my lap. “Is it magic?”
Hunter shook his head, “No. I don’t think so.” His fingers brushed a bluish stone with a strange symbol carved into it, “This is though, it’s a rune stone. No one knows what it means.”
I brushed my fingers across the smooth surface and everything about my world changed. I couldn’t explain it. I folded the bracelet in my hand and closed my eyes. I felt everything. The pain inside was suffocating, I let it go. Let the power free and I felt again for the first time. I felt the little boy in my arms turn and wrap his arms around me, “Daddy!” He pressed his tear soaked face into the crook of my neck and I cried with him. How the fuck could I forget him!
I remembered the blond girl coming to me. Sitting next to me. I remembered her hand on my leg and then nothing. I woke to nothing. This girl had saved Alex. She made me forget. No – she made the world forget.
Hunter cried in my arms and I stood up, gathered my things and I walked him home – to my home. Once there I called Ant. I pulled hard through our bonds. But he never came. He didn’t remember.
Hunter had finally stopped crying when we got to my apartment. “Daddy, don’t go.” But I had to set him down and put things away. My reason for the clean apartment didn’t escape me. Someone did this to me and now I had to figure out how to undo it. But it had only worked because I had closed in on myself.
I walked away from Hunter and he sat down on my bed. Ten feet away from he spoke up, “Mr. Nox, when can I go home?”
I turned and blinked at him. “What did you call me?”
Hunter looked down, beaten ashamed.
“It’s not a bad thing, you aren’t in trouble.” I rushed over to him and his smile perked up.
“What the fuck! Hunts baby, you remember me?”
“Of course I do.” He blinked and then looked me straight in the eye, “But a minute…”
“It has a range.” That’s good to know.
“Okay baby, let’s go find Alex.”
“Da’s at Happy Trails.”
“What now?” I grinned all to knowingly. Alex was definitely not thinking cleanly when he named the club.
“Da’s at work.”
“How’s he doing – really?” I asked pulling Hunter into my lap on the bed. I missed my family. I pressed my nose into the back of Hunter’s neck and breathed deeply of pack and home.
“Da’s okay. He’s better now that he thinks you are his lost love.”
“And I am, but you can’t tell Alex that I know okay? Someone did this to us. We have to figure it out.”
“You have to keep hiding.” He traced a symbol on my arm and I felt the power hide. But with no actual lines it vanished as quickly.
I sighed. “That’s dangerous.”
Hunter nodded, “But you are bleeding everywhere, they’ll figure it out.”
“You’ve seen it?”
Hunter shook his head, “No. I feel it. When I didn’t know you were my Daddy, I felt you.” He pointed where I had been standing. “But it wasn’t strong.”
I growled and picked up my son and carried him over to the bathroom. I set him down next to me on the counter and I grabbed an eye liner pencil. “This will have to do.”
“Draw it again.” I said to Hunter handing him.
He drew the rune I had once drawn on his arm on me. My sight was gone, my power vanished into myself.
“You can’t get upset Dad!” He chided me.
I nodded. “I remembered the last time I’d done this, let the magic of the rune take away my sight.”
“I need to modify this.”
“You could use my bracelet.”
“You need it.” I said.
Hunter smiled, “I haven’t worn it in months.”
“It blocks you from my dreams.”
“You’ve been having nightmares just so you could see me?”
He smiled weakly at me, “Hunter!”
“I missed you.”
I sighed, “I missed you too baby boy.” I hugged him tightly to me. “Where is the bracelet?”
“In my sock drawer where Cassy won’t get it. She thinks boys underwear is gross.”
“That’s good.” That wouldn’t last long I was certain but for now that was good.
“Let’s go get it then. Can you call Ant?”
“Call Vin.” Hunter suggested.
“Vin can’t walk…” But then Vin did. And Vin… The whole thing in the AU building. “You set me up.”
Hunter grinned, “It was for your own good. Vin is your’s Daddy. Ant is Da’s. Their bond is stronger now. Vin is yours.”
I think I understood. Alex was Chevalier, what connection Ant and I had once shared had been overrode by Alex taking on Chevalier. I was still Ant’s master, but Alex called to him more. I let our bond weaken. Maybe I knew? I was a little jealous. But I closed my eyes and I called Vin.
There was a grunt in the bathroom shower were the darkness was deepest. “Fuck!”
“Hunter’s here.” I said.
Vin stepped out of the shower growling to himself. “Fuck! You need a better place. What did you do?”
“I just called you.”
“How…” Vin took a step closer. 3 feet away and his eyes drew wide and then those remaining feet were closed as he wrapped his arms around me. “Holy fucking hell. Sorry Hunts.”
He pointed to the shower and then back at me and he began to unravel the mystery. “What do you need boss?”
I smiled, “I need a ride home, but as soon as you are away from me – three feet it looks – you will forget you know me.”
Vin frowned, “Okay, I don’t like this but what about Alex?”
“I’ll tell Alex at dinner tonight – won’t be able to get around it. Seems I can’t turn off the recognition. So I’ll have to be careful while I figure out a way to undo this.”
Vin sighed, “This fucking sucks. I remember not remembering you.”
“I know. I remember not remembering too.”
Vin sighed, “Little man, you are so in for it when I remember all this again.”
Hunter grinned, and Vin hugged him, “Thank you.”
“My pleasure. Take care of my Dad.”
“Without a doubt.”
“Vin you should stick around. We’ll have to give you a reason that is plausible.”
Vin nodded, “Let’s get you home.”
He offered his hand, and I took it. I carried Hunter into the shadows and we walked to the new apartment I had never really called home.