We walked out hand in hand – me wearing Alex’s clothes. It was the first time I really got a good look at their place – my new place? Alex squeezed my hand and I looked at him, “Your place.” He smiled.
It took a little bit to know he was in my head.
Hunter came into the kitchen followed by Cass and Drake. They were all giggling and talking erratically. And then the yelling started. “Da.” Drake whined, “Cass won’t get out of my head.”
Cass pointed at the young dragon – a fucking dragon, “Drake is talking about me behind my back. Drake called me a suri.”
“I did not.”
Cass growled, “I heard you.” She said pointing a finger at her own temple.
“So you heard Drake call you a suri in his head?” I asked. “Why were you in his head?”
Cass turned to me and frowned, “What the hell business is it yours. You are a friggin slag.”
Cass stormed out of the room in tears.
I looked at Alex, “And this is why listening to someone else’s thought is bad.” Alex looked guilty. “What’s a suri?” I asked.
Alex shrugged, “First time I’ve heard it.”
Hunter sighed, “It’s what the young kids from the Venatori call telepaths – it means pick pocket in Japanese.”
I looked down, “What’s feras?” I asked Hunter.
He frowned but it quickly turned into a smile, “It means game in Latin I think, like wild animal game. It’s what the supernatural call Venatori hunters. You remembered the word?” He ran to me and wrapped his arms around my legs.
Alex sighed, “Why did you call Cass a suri, Drake?”
“She’s always in my head.” he complained.
“I’ll talk with her.” He sighed and headed off in the direction Cass had gone.
“What’s a slag?” Hunter asked.
I laughed and started looking around the kitchen to get my bearings in Alex’s kitchen. “Technically it’s the trash left over from smelting or coal refining. But Cass pulled it from my head. A term sometimes uses to describe a woman who is promiscuous or has a lot of boyfriends.” I tried to explain without being explicit. “It’s a term I’ve called myself many times in the past because of self esteem issues – I was trash, and because I didn’t care about the people I slept with – a double whammy.”
“Why did Cass call you that?”
I shrugged, “I guess I was feeling like nothing again.”
“But Da asked you to marry him, and you said yes.”
I looked at the little boy. He grinned and pointed to the ring that was on the left ring finger.
I smiled. “I’m still second best.”
Hunter frowned. “You aren’t. I promise. I wish I could show you, but I can’t right now. I’ll get what I need tomorrow and then I can show you. I promise.”
Alex came back in carrying a pouting Cass. “Apologize to Nox.”
Cass growled then when Alex set her down she looked up at me, hands on her hips like she was going to yell at me. She did yell, “I’m sorry.” Before she turned to Drake and said, “I’m sorry I was in your head.”
“Drake apologize for calling your sister a suri.”
“I didn’t call her anything.” He growled.
“You thought about it, and you know your sister doesn’t have great control. She’s learning.”
Alex pointed to down the hall, “Go to your room then. No dinner until you apologize. We do not call people names in our heads or out loud – specially when they are your sister.”
“She’s not my sister. Just like you aren’t my dad.”
“Now.” Alex growled.
I wasn’t sure this was a big happy family like they presented.
Alex gave me a half smile, “We aren’t. There is nothing perfect about any of this.” I felt like Alex wanted to say more. To say he hadn’t wanted any of it, but now he was stuck with it. Alex frowned, “I’m not stuck with it Nox. I want to be here. I’m just frustrated.” Drake didn’t leave, or go to his room and Alex just gave the boy a nod and I was left wondering if he’d apologized to Cass in his head.
That seemed wrong. Specially with all the things that had just gone wrong because of not talking to each other. I sighed, so much to get used to. But Alex was tense and he needed a break, I could feel that much from him. “Well why don’t you go hide for a while, I’ll tell everyone you went to get some more wine.”
“Why don’t I just go get some wine. Then it won’t be a lie. What do you want?”
I smiled, “A couple of good bottles of white wine?”
Alex grinned, “I can do that. I’ll even walk instead of making Ant take me like usual.”
I smiled. “You are spoiled.”
“You have no idea.” He came over to me and pressed a kiss to my lips, “You going to be okay?”
“I’ll be fine. They’ll behave themselves.”
Alex gave each of the three kids a look and they all looked abashed. “If you are sure.”
Hunter climbed up on a bar stool in the middle of the counter, and he patted seats on either side of him. “We can help.” He said.
That was sort of my plan. Keep them busy so they didn’t bother anyone else. “Let’s do it then. Everyone go wash their hands first.”
Cass looked at me and climbed into the chair defiantly. “I won’t say it again.” I said. Hunter and Drake both grabbed Cass and took her off the stool and headed down the hall.
“With just a look.” Alex said as he slipped past me and down the hall after them. I heard him stopping to talk to the three kids in what I presumed was the bathroom before he left with a soft click of the door.