I knocked on the door, but Hunter just opened it right up. He lived there after all. I guess it didn’t matter. He tugged me after him, “Da’s probably not home yet.”
“Great.” That was just what I needed to be bitched at by a feisty young woman who was pregnant.
And as soon as I stepped foot over the threshold sure enough Isabel came striding down the hall. Her eyes lit up with fire and her body said she was angry. Her hands on her hips, and the set of her jaw screamed at me to run away but I stood behind Hunter who hadn’t cringed.
“Hunter. Where the fuck have you been?”
“Language.” I said. Drawing her ire my way. Her scowl deepened.
“You again!” She growled. She took the two steps past the little boy and shoved me backwards. “Who the fuck do you think you are? I should call he fucking cops.”
“You should. Next time your kid runs away and finds me I should call the cops too. I’m sure they’ll look real kindly on neglect of a minor. Specially one who finds himself a whole city away from where he’s supposed to be.”
Hunter pulled me past Isabel. “Da knew where I was.”
I shrugged, “He did. He told me to expect him.”
I could feel Isabel’s eyes following me down the hall. “Sit.” Hunter said as he pulled out a bar stool in the kitchen. “I’m going to my room. Da will be here soon, he’s coming up the elevator now.”
I blinked and Hunter was gone. He slipped down a hall and he left me alone in a gorgeous kitchen.
Alex’s friend, the blond with the coffee order most days, stepped into the kitchen. He only paused a moment before he was back on his way to the fridge, “You want something to drink?”
I shook my head. “I’m good. I’m apparently waiting for Alex.”
Ryan laughed. “He’s on his way home.”
“Hunter said he’s in the elevator.”
Ryan nodded, “He is. I can feel him.”
“You can feel him?” I asked.
“Yep. It’s a bond thing.”
Ryan set a glass of water in front of me and took up his own on the other side. “He is bound to Ant like I am. We will live forever and ever – well as long as Ant keeps his head anyway. And we won’t age and it makes Alex sorta my brother.”
“So he gets to watch me grow old and die. Lovely.” I frowned.
Ryan chuckled, “You don’t believe he’s your soul mate?”
“I don’t know what to believe anymore.”
I heard Alex walk in. Well it wasn’t Alex I heard, it was Isabel. “You knew Hunter was going to run away and you didn’t fucking tell me.”
Ryan hung his head and frowned, “You really had to tell her?”
“Hunter told her not me.”
Ryan looked down the hall the way the boy had gone and sighed, “He’s been a right terror lately.”
“He’s a good kid.”
“He is. He used to be.”
“Until he met you.” Alex said as he walked into the kitchen.
“I didn’t do anything.” I said.
Ryan smiled, “You didn’t have to. You filled a void he was missing.”
Alex and Ryan both shrugged. “Same as the one you fill for me.” Alex added.
“So I’m just a filler.” I growled.
Ryan laughed. “No. We all believe you are what we were missing.”
I looked at Alex, “You all talk about me?”
Alex smiled weakly, “It’s hard not to. Too many coincidences Pretty Boy.”
I sighed, “You ready to go?”
Alex chuckled, “You are?”
I sighed, “I don’t feel comfortable here.”
Alex nodded, “Let me change. I feel gross. I just came from the club, and I need a shower.”
“You can grab a shower, change, whatever, I can go.”
Alex shook his head, “No. I’ll walk you home.”
“But then you have dinner, it’s too much.” I said.
He smiled as he took my hand, “Come on.” I followed him off the bar stool and tightened my grip on his hand. It felt wonderful in my hand. I wanted so much more at the simple touch.
I followed Alex to his room. Which smelled like him and I could see a few of his touches, but it didn’t feel like Alex. It was too light and airy. “You didn’t decorate did you?”
Alex chuckled, “Not dark enough for me.”
“Why keep it like this?”
He shrugged, “I miss him.” I pulled away from him and Alex tightened his grip on my hand, “Pretty Boy, don’t.”
“Alex, I can’t be him. How could I forget all this? Why would I want to?” I yanked my hand free of his and collapsed into a hunched position on the edge of his bed, curled up with my head in my hands and my elbows on my knees. I couldn’t do this.
Alex sighed, “Nox, I’m not asking you to replace him.”
“Aren’t you?” I looked up, “You keep telling me I’m him. I can’t be him. I can’t be this person you miss.”
He sat down next to me. “You want to leave.”
“Why the fuck would I want to leave this Alex?” I sighed, “I want this. I want your fucking life. And you don’t even want to be here.”
Alex nodded agreeing with me, “You are right. Four months ago, if you asked me if I’d have kids and a man I’d die for I’d have told you you were crazy. But I wouldn’t change anything, Nox.”
I stood up and headed for the door. “I can’t do this Alex.”
“You promised Hunter you’d be at the party.”
I nodded, “I know. I’ll be there.” I stopped at the door and pressed my head against the hard wood. I didn’t want to go.
“Stay. Let me get a shower, clean clothes, so I don’t smell like a club. Let me walk you home. You can feed me dinner. And you can tell me to fuck off after the party alright?”
“I don’t want you to do that.” I whispered.
“Do what?” Alex smirked.
“Fuck off.” I turned and closed the distance between us. I grabbed his t-shirt with both hands in a tight grip at his collar and pulled him against me. I pressed a hard kiss to his lips and that was the only invitation Alex needed before his hands found skin under my shirt and he was tugging me towards the bathroom.