Unwanted Partner – Leave Taking

We were all in the car by 7am. I got to sit next to Naya in the back seat and we had the cutest dialog half way to the City before she drifted off to sleep. Jace drove into work everyday. I don’t think I could manage that. I didn’t like driving in cities, and I didn’t like driving in New York City of all places.

I preferred being able to do productive things on my commute. Having to pay that much attention for the drive that far would set me on edge and I didn’t need more anxiety attacks. I was lucky that having an adult life with no schedule 80% of the time was working it as well as it was. Holiday’s in the Academy killed me. I wasn’t good with drastic changes.

We drove into the city and I couldn’t help remembering the first time I’d done so. I was so young then, so afraid of everything. Everything was so flat here. I wasn’t used to it, the air was wet and polluted, I hid my nose against my shirt sleeve to keep from having to breathe in all the new smells. It wasn’t home.

Dorian sat beside me. He’d come for me at the airport where my mother left me. She hadn’t even said goodbye. She had called me a monster and spit on me only a day before she dragged me on a plane kicking and screaming. The situation terrified me and when we took off my fear jumped into my throat and I cam close to vomiting. My mother did nothing to comfort me. I was a monster. I was no longer her son. She told me that over and over again as we flew from Boulder to JFK.

Once we landed we waited in the terminal for someone to show up. Dorian was an hour late. My mother gave him the wrong time. He was nice, and he smelled like vanilla and cinnamon. After my mother scolded him about being late, he took me to a little red car big enough to fit two people in. It looked like a clown car. My bag fit in the back but it was close. Dorian didn’t seem to mind as we drove through the City.

The buildings were so tall. I still awed at them even now that I’ve lived here the rest of my life. We are so small, so inconsequential, yet my life is meant to protect everyone around me. I was gifted with the ability to bend the elements. I didn’t think it was a gift in the beginning, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. The love of my mother was a big loss for me. There were many losses for me throughout my short life span. But I am grateful for my life – for my experiences. They made me who I am today and I’m proud of me, even if no one else is.

I knew we were getting close to the Apex Unlimited building – the home of the Venatori. Not all Venatori lived in the building, but seventy percent did. That was an actual number. There were hunters out in the world, and there were other communities – much smaller around the world in small regional headquarters. Or places like Jace’s family – those people who kept us fed and made money for us.

The entirety of our race could live in the AU building. Some years it was a ghost town, unlike now where there is more Venatori in one place than there had been in centuries. A convergence of power some said, others said it was safety in numbers. But it was a sign that things were changing that was something everyone agreed upon.
Jace parked his big black SUV in the parking garage. And he and his family headed for the elevator. I walked with them until the doors opened and my fear of heights overwhelmed my senses. The elevator looked innocuous now, but I knew once it was at ground level again, it would open into the lobby and you could see everything around you through the plate glass walls. My heart was in my throat. My pulse raced through my body. I shook my head and forced a smile on my face I knew didn’t reach my eyes. “I’m gonna take the stairs.”

Jace nodded and wrapped an arm around my shoulders in farewell before he joined his wife and daughter. I waved at Naya as the doors closed and I made my way to the stairs.

The Last Phoenix (in order)

Comfortably Numb (5/12/2018)

Family Life – Nightmares

The darkness gave way to images – images that were always darker than the surrounding blackness. How it was possible I don’t know, but it was suffocating and the red glowing eyes came as they did every night for as long as I could remember. They came alone in the silence of the darkness wielding whips made of fire, jagged earth, razor-sharp air, the only element missing was water. Water didn’t make a good whip it was too soothing, too cooling. No, instead the ground find with it. My shoes and socks were soaking wet. The water wicked up my jeans making them damp and heavy across my hips.

Fog rolled in and the glowing red eyes made everything this hazy red color. The glow from the fire whips flickered against the fog and I bit back the fear that came when the fog did clouding my view of the darkness – of my nightmare.
Continue reading Family Life – Nightmares

Family Life – Rituals

We took the subway to Brooklyn. Jason had gone to school with me since we were five years old, but his family was old school Southern. They owned a piece of land down home that provided fresh food to the Apex Unlimited compound and their other subsidiary businesses. They weren’t farmers who struggled – they were rich and well off and they had a large family and tons of employees.

He went home every holiday we had off and he drug me with him occasionally. The first time he’d asked me, we weren’t even friends – his parents made him.
Continue reading Family Life – Rituals

Aspect – Mysterious Blue-Eyed Boy

I made my way to the bar on the other side of the room. I would not get drunk, but I wanted a beer none-the-less. However, I never made it across the room before a hand was grabbing my arm and pulling me into the hallway that lead to the bathrooms. “Whoa, whoa, I don’t even know you.”

The small blonde looked up at me with a frown of disgust etched into her face. “What?” She looked down the hall to the line of women coming out of one door and paled. I laughed. She spluttered, “No. Not.” She stamped her foot into the ground and glared up at me with green eyes that were neither pretty nor one of those disgusting colors; they were just green. She could use a little makeup if you asked me.

There must have been a smirk on my face. “Wipe that smile off your face. This isn’t a game, Nox.”
Continue reading Aspect – Mysterious Blue-Eyed Boy

Aspect – Outside the Club

New York City in the early summer was warm but the air around our small little group was nice with a small bite of chill to it. Little lines formed around Mia’s mouth as she frowned at me. “Nox, stop showing off.”

I gave my best friend’s wife a wide toothy grin. “I’m not. It’s fucking hot out here.”

“It’s only June. What’s July and August gonna be like?” Jace complained. “Just be thankful he’ll be around to make our weather change. Outdoor air conditioning.” Mia’s arm was a blur of speed as she slugged her husband with a smile. “Ow!” Jace said rubbing his arms and grinning like a fool.

Continue reading Aspect – Outside the Club

Touring Boulder Headquarters

As per usual I was up at 4am sweating bullets and panting from the nightmares that are my life.  Even a beer hadn’t calmed them – I don’t know why I thought today might be any different.  My second night away from the Academy hasn’t proven much different than every other night.

I had breakfast which consisted of the last protein bars I’d squirreled away until I learned where things were around here.  Thankfully Michael had promised to do just that today. I went for a run and hit the area they called a gym that no one was using at that hour of the day.  It felt good to be alone for once.  Things in NYC were always so busy – everyone was always on the go, and there was always someone awake at any hour of the day.

That is the main difference to NYC HQ and Boulder HQ, shit closes around here.  At 8 am I was standing outside the main building of the HQ compound and no one was there yet.  The woman who opened the door smiled at me and let me inside.  I sat down and waited another 30 minutes for Michaela to show up.  I was not impressed, but when she came in with a happy smile on her face I said nothing.  I bit my tongue.  Literally bit my tongue from saying something to offend my new handler on day one.  Go me!

However it didn’t last long as Michaela took me from area to area inside the main building.  It housed the offices, the small holding cells and the small stores that held gear, limited supplies for heading out and a few vending machines.  I was highly disappointed.

Michaela gave me a tour of the residences which had all our living quarters, pretty much a gloried hotel.  Single rooms with a restroom and a few common areas which as per the main building had vending machine and a small commissary story full of junk food and of course the dinky gym and a laundry room.  All of which were still empty at this time of day.

Our last stop was of course the gym.  Michaela decided she wanted to check out my style and my strength.  She remembered my display last night and told me I couldn’t do that.  I  was straight with her, no deal.  I’m not going to limit myself because she thought it was unfair.  Unless she fought like a human too I wasn’t going to fight her.  She attacked me anyway and I won the match.  She thought it was a good match, I didn’t tell her I was holding back.  I let her hit me.  I didn’t end it before it started.  I was no longer bound by the niceties of the competition but I held to them anyway.  I wouldn’t do that in the field.

We ate lunch and chatted about what to expect until my list was completed.  I worked for her.  Yay, another bossy woman in my life.  I would be given a file with given information to start off with and I’d have to figure out where and how to proceed, with her advice of course.  And we couldn’t do anything unless she signed off on it.  In her words, “no cowboy stuff.”

Michaela asked if I had any questions and I did but not what she expected.  I asked about grocery stores and what other things there were to do around town if I was expected to have a life here I needed details.  So Michaela did one better and showed me around Boulder itself.  Showed me a few clubs and bars she liked and informed me of the local hangouts of weres and vamps.  She sounded a little more than disgusted by them.  She must never have been around either for any period of time.  Supernatural creatures weren’t inherently evil, even vampires.

Tonight is my last free night as Michaela put it.  Tomorrow I start my first hunt.