A Long Day

I like AJ wrote a small short for Alex’s birthday. It’s not a sex story which will disappoint him I’m sure, but it’s a thought I had when AJ left work yesterday.


Thud goes the head severed from the vampire’s body. They don’t burst into flames like the TV shows show you. There is a lot about vampires the myths and legends get wrong — and for good reason. 

“That’s the last of them.” I said to Vin as he wiped his blade on the shirt of a vampire. Like most of the old vampires, he preferred to use the melee weapons — a regular long sword he’s had since the Roman empire. These vampires were no good. Stirring up trouble with the locals. And not just the humans — they were preying on dragons and therians — powerful blood.

They tried to take Faelen from me, but the two I caught lived only long enough for me to get the information about their nest before they lost their lives. Faelen was safe. A little more rattled than he was before, but he was home with the rest of the family. Vin, Griffin and I hunted them down without mercy.

The blood covered next burnt as we laid their victims laid to rest. The victim’s bodies would never be found, a sad price we had to pay to keep our secret safe. 

Home was where I wanted to be, but the fire was my responsibility. I watched until the last of the bodies were nothing but ash. And then Vin stepped into a shadow with my hand in his to the simple place where we all came and went through the shadows. The small room was light with a bright light creating a deep shadow in a very specific corner of the room. It wasn’t magic that kept people out, it was the two or three seconds you had to complete the code that disabled the security measures. Thankfully, Vin was fast enough.

Vin followed me to the communal shower. I didn’t want to wash the blood and guts down the drain where Alex and I showered daily. Griffin was already there, and the three of stood in silence as the water streamed down our bodies, cleansing us from the putrid stench that was dead vampire blood.

And when we were dressed the three of us didn’t need to know where everyone was. The dim sound of the surround sound beat against the walls of the media room where explosions sounded, and we found the rest of our family. Faelen was curled up with Rider. He beamed at me and was in my arms before I moved. He almost toppled me to the ground.

We curled up on the couch next to Alex, or rather I was curled up in Alex’s lap and Faelen leaned against me. We both wrapped our arms around him and we watched whatever action movie Alex had chosen.

This is all your brother’s doing. 

I grinned and leaned up to press a kiss against his lips.

“Get a room.” echoed across from multiple directions, and Alex flipped them the bird. 

The little kids tsked at Alex. He knew better and he at least had the sense enough to blush, though no one saw it in the darkness. Well, maybe they did, most of them had excellent night vision. I didn’t care what they werewatching;, I pressed my face into the crook of Alex’s neck and took in his scent. I missed him even though we hadn’t been gone long. I so fucking love you. I thought at him.

“No swearing, Daddy!” Cass whispered. Alex chuckled and pulled me closer to him. This was home.

All Day in Bed

I sat unmoving while Alex cleaned up the dripped ice cream and syrup on the floor in our bedroom. I felt him more than saw him. I knew from the connections we shared he was concerned particularly when I didn’t move. But moving might mean crying, and I was doing my damned hardest not to make it about me. I just needed a few moments. And Alex understood. He hadn’t said anything, he just went about his things and when he came back he bounced on the bed and grabbed the back of my shirt and pulled me towards him.

It was more automatic than anything as I curled up with my back to the love of my life and he curled around me. The time stretched on and Alex pressed a gentle kiss to the back of my neck, “I could stay lie this all day, but you can’t be comfortable.”

I smiled. “I’m good, better with you around me.”

“Good.” he sighed, “But I’m bored, I now you are against the whole TV in our bedroom, but…” He let the sentence trail off. “I’d suggest some more sex, but I think you aren’t up for it right now.”

I shrugged, “I’m sorry.”

Alex pressed another kiss to my neck, “Don’t be, we can’t be all sex all the time, even as much as we both would like it.”

“Dorian bought a TV, it’s in the closet.”

“And you didn’t let me know.” Alex got up in a hurry and headed into the closet.

“He said it was an early birthday present for you.”

“For me?” Alex said dragging it out of the closet. “And you kept it hidden.”

“No. you just don’t pay attention.” I grinned as I sat up and watched Alex unbox his new toy. The guitar sat down quietly at the end of the bed and I felt a stab of guilt wash through me, it hadn’t gone as planned at all.”

Alex sighed, “It’s okay Nox. Home alone with you is perfect. Best Birthday ever.”

“You said that last year.”

“It was until this one.” He looked back at me with a grin, “And next year will be better than this year, even if you do jack shit for it. Nox. I get to spend it with you. And that is more than I could ask for. I don’t mind my birthday so much as long as I have you to spend it with.”

“You are worth worshipping.”

Alex chuckled. “I’m not but, thank you.”

I rolled over and sat up. “You are to me.”

Alex shook his head, “You are some weirdo anyway.”

I stuck my tongue at him and he replied in kind. We were childish sometimes. The kids thought it was funny. There was one plus to being me. I was a pretty good handy man. Mostly because I could do the work of three or four men, all from across the room. Alex was fumbling through the box while I put holes in the wall in the exact pattern we needed, and found the studs the first time. I didn’t need to see as I put t he TV on the wall and Alex took a step back and frowned, “I could do this.”

“I know but if I do it the sooner you can get back in bed with me.”

Alex turned around and gawked. “Who says I want to spend my birthday in bed with you?” There was a mischeiveous glint in his eyes. He wanted me to persuade him.

“I could make it worth your while.”

“Oh can you?” He said as he crawled up the foot of the bed over the top of me and forced me on to my back. The TV was hung safely on the wall and I let the power drop around me. Alex’s body was inches above mine, fully clothed and we were ready for a day we weren’t having. Alex chuckled, “You are wearing just the perfect amount of clothes.” He looked down the length of our bodies and smiled before he met my gaze again. “But I think I’d rather have you naked. Can you do that?”

“Lock the door.” I nodded.

Alex got up from the bed leaving me wanting and needing his body heat, but I lifted my hips off the bed and shucked my boxers. I didn’t sleep naked, it was a thing I had but this wasn’t about sleep and with the door locked my anxiety was lessened. The kids weren’t going to walk in on us doing something naughty or even nothing at all while I lay her naked.

Alex shucked everything but his boxer breifs. I could see his buldge which made me shudder and my own cock jump.

Alex grabbed the remote and pulled the blankets down as he crawled in bed. He covered me up and them himself. Turned the TV on and it magically worked. The great thing about smart TV’s these days was all you really had to do was hook it up to the wifi and you had tv to watch. Alex curled around me as he flipped through our choices and when he settled on a romantic comedy he put the remote down and then wrapped his arms around me, “At least try to watch it.” He whispered as he shifted so his body was pressed tightly against mine. His hands wandered, but never too far, never to the point where I would be completely distracted from the movie. Though I did wish he would have, that would have be good too, but there was plenty of time for naked fun – we had almost all day.

Gift of Music

Alex smiled but it wasn’t necessarily happy. “You didn’t have to get me anything. We don’t have to do anything special either.” All things I knew but I was going to do anyway. It was the day he was born, the day he came into the world so he could be a big part of my life. It was all about him no matter what he said.

I pulled the bacon out of the oven, and made Alex a quick plate. “Strawberry ice cream is in the freezer.” I said and slipped off into the bedroom. “I’ll be right back.”

My head was still in the middle of trying to get around all the things I did wrong this morning. All the things that could have gone better. But one thing about me and Alex was that we were getting through it all. I wasn’t easy to deal with on a regular basis, and Alex lived with me, he slept with me and for whatever constituted for work, we worked together almost eighty percent of the time.

Alex and I saw a lot of each other. And he got the brunt of my mess. Not only in the physical world, in the dream and in my head. Please stop. came the thought that was not my own. Alex was always hearing me and was especially disheartened by my own self thoughts. But I couldn’t help being me. I tried, I knew I was better than I thought. I knew, but it didn’t help the way it played out in my head. Alex knew, and he tried to get me to do better. But times like today I wanted to shut him out, let him see the happy/fake side just to make the day better.

Alex walked into our bedroom while I set the guitar on the bed. I’d been hiding it under the bed with a veil so no one would know it was there. Ryan and I had been practicing on a less expensive one so I didn’t ruin it. But Alex was focused on his plate of pancakes bacon and ice cream covered in syrup. “What did you do to the pancakes?” He looked up at me and blinked at the guitar sitting on the bed. “They are better than usual.” He added absently. “What’s that?”

“What does it look like?” I teased. “I didn’t do anything different.” I added about the pancakes. I flipped open the case and showed Alex the dark wood and the signature of the artist I had no idea who it was. It was legible in the way that signatures were but also in the way of signatures it was really hard to know who had signed it. I picked the guitar up gently by the neck and sat on the edge of the bed since Alex was here. I could at least play it for him though I’d rather he was sitting down to eat and not standing in our bedroom dripping ice cream and syrup on the floor. I tried not to let it bother me as I looked down to set my fingers and started playing.

The whole thing was just a bunch of memorized patterns, the words included but I’d known them almost from the beginning. But I’d practiced to get it all right. My voice was quiet in the dim light of our bedroom. My eyes were closed and I focused on the words, the finger movements. I sang Stand By Me to the love of my life on his birthday, and focused on nothing but him. The song had more meaning than I could ever put into words. It was a memory I had of Alex of the dream that I’d not realized I hadn’t remembered until this moment. He’d picked me up so many times with his voice. With this song.

Tears were streaming down my face when I finished the last verse and took a deep breath. Alex plucked the guitar from my hands and sat down next to me. “You learned to play a guitar you were giving me?”

I shrugged, “I only played it once, Ryan had others in his studio.”

“Ryan has a studio?”

I laughed, “Ryan has a lot of things.”

Alex sat down next to me and wrapped me in his arms and I felt more tears falling. Happy, sad, frustrated it didn’t matter what they were they fell. “One more question?” I nodded and he went on, “The one you recorded, did you play that one too?”

I nodded with a weak smile. “How long have you been learning?” Alex looked at me in shock.

“A couple of weeks.”

“You learned two complete songs in a couple of weeks?”

I shrugged, “It’s just patterns.”

“What doesn’t come easy to you.” Alex shook his head and wrapped his arms around me and sighed, “It took me months to learn Stand By Me to play for you.”

“I’m sorry.” I mumbled. Nothing about the day was going well.

“I didn’t mean it like that Nox.” Alex sighed. “I’m proud of you. Fuck, I love the whole thing. I love you.”

“I know. I love you too.” But it didn’t sound like I was happy. The whole fucking day was shot now.

“No, it’s not.” Alex said out loud. “Let me go clean up the mess in the kitchen and the drips on the floor. You stay here, I’ll be right back.”

Alex left and I stayed right where I was, my elbows on my knees with my hands hanging between my legs, bent over and taking slow deep breathes. Today wasn’t going to be about Alex now, my head was gone, my body felt broken. I was going to be a mess and that meant that Alex was going to end up taking care of me. I fucking hated myself sometimes.

Morning Of

The whole thing went well. Alex never once questioned where I was. Well not really, he’d joke and make fun of the fact I was keeping things from him, but it was all well and good and it was just teasing. And he stopped when he felt my anxiety even ratched up a little bit. The great thing about sharing that connection with him. He didn’t even have to be in my head to know I was having a rough time. Though I also liked to think that it had to do with how well Alex knew me. Though he didn’t think it was anything like that – because that would mean he was a good boyfriend/husband etc for me, and he still believed we were destined to fail because of him. We’d always have this problem.

But today was all about Alex. We had joked about not doing anything. But I had the whole day set up to be just me and him. Rider was taking care of the kids. And I had turned my alarm off. So the panic this morning was in full effect, but I had it planned. It was still hard not following my schedule. And kids and Alex made sure that I had to deal with it often enough. But today was planned. Not to the second or the minute, but it was all about Alex today. His birthday. Though we would have time with the family it was Halloween after all, and my brothers were human before supernatural. So was Alex, though he didn’t celebrate either.

Alex sat straight up when he saw the sun shining through our window. He pushed my shoulder to wake me up, though I’d been awake for the past hour or more just lying in bed taking in the sounds and smell of my love. I gave him a half smile. “I’m okay. It’s your birthday. Happy birthday.” I said rolling over to look at him.

“What time is it?”

“Eight.” I said.

“You stayed in bed for me?”

I smiled at him. “I turned my alarms off for you. I stayed in bed for me.”

Alex chuckled and rolled his eyes. “So what else are you changing for me.”

I shrugged. “Rider’s taking care of the kids.”

“You put too much on him.” Alex chided me.

“He’s pack leader.” I shrugged.

“He’s sixteen.”

“I know. And it’s not like he is doing it all the time.”

“Nox..”

I sighed and rolled over. “Rider offered.” I got out of bed. “I’ll go make breakfast now.” I was a little defeated on my morning sacrifice. I should have just done the usual. It hadn’t been worth it.

“Nox!” Alex shouted at me.

I turned around and waited for him to yell at me again. His eyes dropped, “I’m sorry. You shouldn’t change things for me.”

I shrugged. “I wanted to let you sleep in. That happened.” I turned and walked out of the bedroom in my boxers and not much else. I didn’t really give a fuck at the moment and no one was around anyway, I’d made sure of it. Rider had everything under control. He always did.

The house was unusually quiet. Rider had done a good job. I threw on my playlist, I had Alex’s mix all cued up and wasn’t really thinking about it when I started it. I started making breakfast. Alex’s favorite. We didn’t have it as often as he’d like, mostly because it involved ice cream. But I planned on spoiling him. And there was no point in not following the plan even if it wasn’t going as planned.

I was flipping the first pancake when Alex came into the kitchen. “I’m sorry Nox.”

I shrugged. “Don’t worry about it. Enjoy your birthday. It’s all I ask.”

Alex shook his head, “I can’t enjoy anything when all I feel is how much I hurt you.”

I pulled my shields around me and put on a fake smile. All of which made Alex frown. “That’s not what I mean, Nox.”

I shrugged. “Babe, it’s not about me. I can’t help but feel hurt, and until I deal with it you can still enjoy your birthday.”

“No. Nox, that’s not how this works.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Talk to me.”

I laughed, “You don’t like when I talk to you.”

I was still cooking his pancakes and Alex waited until I had cleared the pancake on the gridle before he took my hands and pulled me away from the kitchen. “Look. I’m an asshole. I didn’t mean to make the Rider comment. He’s feeling stressed out too. Between family and pack he’s feeling the strain.”

I nodded, “I know. He offered Alex. Quinn was helping him. So was Matt. He offered. We never get any alone time between the fucking city and all the kids we don’t have time for us. He was being a good little brother and helping out. I’m sorry.” I pulled away from Alex and stepped into the kitchen again, just as the song I’d made Alex started playing.

“Nox come on. I’m trying to apologize here.”

“There is nothing to apologize for Alex. I’ll remember not to change my schedule for you. I’ll make sure I don’t put things on Rider. I’ll do better.”

Alex sighed. “Nox.”

I shook my head. “I’m fine Alex.”

“You are so fucking not. I can’t feel anything from you.” So I let it go, let the shield go. It was more work than I liked and Alex winced as everything flooded his extra senses. Not only did he get how I felt about the morning alarm being unset, he felt the unease about putting too much on Rider, knowing he was having a hard time of it all, I knew exactly how Rider felt we’d talked about it. Alex also got the sadness of the fact that he was missing the song I’d made for him. He got the burn on my hand when I had accidentally touched the pan I was using and wasn’t paying any attention to it. He got everything and he took a step back. It was overwhelming.

“You still hid things from me?” Alex frowned.

“I do not. It’s just all building up right now.” I closed my eyes and fought back the tears. It was Alex’s birthday and I wouldn’t make it about me.

But it was already too late. Alex was behind me putting his arms around me. “I’m sorry Nox.”

We stood in the kitchen with Alex holding me like I was broken for several long moments and he laughed, “Play that last song again.”

“What?” I said.

“The one that just ended, play it again.”

I grabbed my phone and pressed the back button and Without you again started playing. Alex’s arms tightened around me. “You singing this?”

I smirked, “Maybe.”

Alex let go and spun me around. “Is that what you’ve been doing?”

“Maybe.” I grinned at him. Though I knew it wasn’t the biggest smile I could have and should have been wearing.

“Do you want your gift before breakfast?” I sighed, “I intended it to be later with the family, but I’m a little spacy and started it without thinking.”

“You recorded it?”

I nodded. “Ryan helped me.”

“So why?”

“Do you want your gift?”

Week Gone

Ryan thankfully agreed and we made time everyday to get together and he taught me how to play the guitar. Ryan was surprised by my aptitude with the whole thing. He said he’d never seen anyone learn it as quickly as I did. But what he didn’t know was my ability was doing all the work. It was nothing more than patterns and patterns were my everything. Once he showed me the finger positions, and the strumming patterns I had everything else in hand.

Ryan was even surprised by the vocals. “He’ll love it.” He said over and over again, with a wink and an all too knowing look.

But it wasn’t all easy. It was stressful keeping it to myself. The question, where have you been was like a nightmare. Alex asked it but he’d give me a sad smile. I knew he wasn’t angry at me, he knew I was hiding something though, and I felt his concern over it all. At the end of that first week Alex pulled me into our room and wrapped me up in his arms. “Whatever it is that is bothering you you need to let it go, it’s driving you crazy.”

I sighed. “I hate keeping things from you.”

He chuckled, “So don’t.”

I let out a deep huff of air and pulled out of his arms. Or rather, I tried to, he held me tight, tighter than usual, he too was learning a little bit more about his new found powers. He blinked at my thoughts and let me go. “I didn’t mean to….”

I stepped into him and kissed him softly, “I wasn’t complaining, I was just noticing.”

“I shouldn’t do it.”

“I don’t mind Alex.” I grinned at him, “I’m glad you wanted me to stay close to you.”

“But…”

“You weren’t forcing me.” I declared with a kiss. “You are Chevalier. You are stronger than I am. It’s good.”

“Nox.” Alex sighed, “You reassure me and yet you still are bothered by whatever birthday surprise you’ve got cooking.”

“Who said anything about a birthday surprise.” I grinned playfully at Alex.

He stuck his tongue at me and I captured it in my mouth. He let me. Our kiss devolved into something more primal and far more carnal and an hour or two later we lay in each other’s arms content in each others presence.

“So what are your plans for my birthday?” Alex asked trying to catch me off my game.

“What birthday is that? I thought you didn’t like celebrating.” I grinned up at him, my chin resting on my hands laid across his chest. I tilted my head and kissed the middle of his chest. “It’s a surprise.”

Alex sighed, “And you wrangled, Quinn and Rider and Ryan into it all?”

“Quinn found out because she doesn’t stay out of my head. Rider I need to help out while I do things and Ryan found out by coincidence.”

“I should be jealous with all this time you keep spending with him.”

I frowned, “You aren’t though are you? He is just a friend.”

Alex laughed and put his fingers under my chin and I crawled up to meet his lips and laid down on top of him. Our naked bodies pressed against each other in intimate ways sending a groan through my throat making Alex chuckle. “Ryan is the least of my worries. There are vampires who feed on you, and wolves who think you’d make a great mate. Not to mention the fucking Venatori who now want a piece of you to father their children now that you are their leader – not a no one any longer.”

“Ryan doesn’t like boys either.”

Alex chuckled, “You know if he ever thought you were interested he’d give it a go for you.”

“You sound as if you know for a fact.”

“We’ve talked about living forever. He said he’s tried everything at least once every century except being with another man. But I’d fuck your boy if he weren’t so into you.”

I blushed and Alex laughed. “The thought of Ryan makes you blush.”

I shook my head, “No. The thought that I could tempt a boy who’s so very straight into sex with a man is a bit of an ego boost.”

Alex laughed harded rolling over on top of me and pining me to the bed. He bit my neck before he spoke softly into it, “Pretty boy, you’d be surprised how many men think the same thing about you.”

“I think I’ll let you keep that secret.” I groaned as Alex played with a sensitive spot he’d found earlier and was making darker with his nips and sucking. If only the marks would stay he’d be happier.

“I’m plenty happy.” Alex mumbled but hardly moved. It was his favorite spot after all.

After another round we both pulled our selves out of bed and back to things. It was mostly busy work. Alex was off to help Benji with the new club. Even Max and Drew were helping get things set up. They’d been both offered a job at the new club. Benji and Alex even offered them partial ownership. They were still thinking on it. Though I already knew they would be taking on the challenge, investing a lot more than time. Alex had made friends of some common acquaintances of mine. They had even befriended Jaxen and Blake, playing poker at our place every Sunday night had become a thing. Ant and Ryan and some of Cari’s other herd members joined in. It wasn’t about being supernatural and all magical powers were discouraged, which put Benji and Alex at a disadvantage. They thought they were great poker players, but without their telepathy they really weren’t

I could hear Alex in my head telling me I was wrong, but I wasn’t. Me on the other hand I didn’t play. I could. I knew how, but I can’t turn off my ability to see patterns. I can turn off the visual senses but not the actual analysis of it. My brain didn’t function any other way. And I always won. It wasn’t much of a challenge. And I preferred to play host and take care of my family and guests. All the kids were invited, sometimes Danny even showed up with Nichole on his hip to play with the kids. That was how I first met Sage’s son, Danny was baby sitting. My best friend was avoiding me. Rather his wife was. But I’d sent gifts and such his way and extended an invitation they were welcome anytime. I wasn’t going to pressure them though.

I still had a week or so left before Alex’s birthday to master the songs I’d picked. And Alex understood so that was always a plus, though I wish it sitill didn’t drive me nuts.

Unexpected Teacher

Dancing with the class was pretty amazing. Even as the little girls giggled at my mistakes, I had fun. And Angelina made time for me at the end. She congratulated me on my nuptials and was upset that I hadn’t invited her. “We could have taught you and the Mister how to tango.”

“I can tango.”

“Can he?”

“Yes. But he doesn’t dance.”

“Then how do you know he can tango?”

“Because he knows how to use his body to manipulate his marks.”

Angelina’s eyebrow rose. “A con man?”

“To my private detective, you mean?”

She rolled her eyes, “I’m not so stupid as you think. Things happen in this world that neither do I want to know about and you won’t tell me. I’ve known you and Dorian Vega far too long to think otherwise.”

I gave her a simple nod and the subject dropped. “And that guitar instructor?”

Angelina chuckled. “You might find one here.” She handed me a card, and I frowned at the address. Not only was it in the Night Life building I knew the fucking name on the card. “He’s excellent. He learned from all the greats.”

“Thanks.” I said hoping she didn’t hear the sarcasm in my voices. Of course, Ryan would have learned to play guitar. And when Angelina said he learned from all the greats, he probably learned from ALL the greats from the past, present and I wouldn’t put it past my fucking friend to learn from the future artists too. Bastard. But Angelina recommended him, and Ryan was my friend, but the problem was he was tied to Ant who was tied to Alex who were both tied to me. This was going to be some fucking secret! I wasn’t sure how that was going to go.

I texted Ryan. You busy?

His response was almost immediate Never for you, my King.

I growled, he did that on purpose. A second text came in shortly afterwards. What’s up? Ryan knew my moods almost better than I did. It helped he was also my therapist and my friend and so much more. I’d relied on Ant, or so I thought, turned out it was Ryan who was doing the most good in my life while I dealt with my loss of Alex. And now that Alex was in my life, Ryan was helping us both through the trials and tribulations that come with any relationship. He wasn’t always in therapy mode, but he was always in friend mode.

I sent him a reply, Meet for coffee, have a favor to ask.

Where?

I sent him the location of a coffee shop that was in vampire territory. Far enough away from all our normal hangouts so Alex couldn’t catch scent of anything going on. Though being in vamp territory was probably a dead give away too. But I had to stay away from our usual haunts if I wanted to keep this a secret. There were ears everywhere and when the love of your fucking life could hear people’s thoughts, it made keeping a secret that much harder.

I met Ryan a few blocks from the coffee shop. He’d taken the train and I’d walked. He smiled at me with sparkling green eyes. He was ready for trouble. “So what’s up we couldn’t do this at home?” He glanced down at the guitar I held in my hand between us.

“I bought Alex a guitar for his birthday, but I wanted to learn to play some songs on it for him.”

Ryan smirked, “He’s going to hate you keeping secrets.”

“It’s a surprise. Angelina gave me your number said he’s learned from all the greats. And by that I assumed you mean all the greats going back to when the guitar was first created.”

Ryan laughed, “I’m not that old.”

“Yes you are.” I rolled my eyes. He smirked. I knew exactly how old he was, he looked young, like sixteen young, but he’d seen more than any other sixteen year old alive. He had PhD’s in psychiatry and other things I never asked about. He was older than dirt and he knew it. He was older than Ant by about 20 years. And younger than Cari by 50 some odd years. Tony was only a handful of years older than Ryan. And they were all pushing over eight hundred years of life.

We walked into the coffee shop and Ryan made his way to the counter, “I got you.” He said and I found a seat for the two of us in a quiet corner at a table. The place was nice, the coffee was decent and it didn’t cater to the supernatural. Everything here looked perfectly normal and there were no supernatural signatures present except for me and Ryan. Two blips in the normal world. No one here would know what we were planning.

Ryan came back with my black coffee and his own mega ultra cream filled spiced drink I had no idea what it was. But it was full of empty calories and very little coffee. But when you were in stasis as Chevalier, you couldn’t grow your hair, grow old, women couldn’t have children, but men could do so for as long as their lives preserved on, even tattoos were difficult to get new. It was possible with magicked ink but it wasn’t easy to find you couldn’t just go to any old tattoo parlor.

“What were you thinking of learning?” Ryan asked.

“Stand by Me.”

Ryan grinned. He knew the meaning the song held for both of us, we’d talked about it numerous times. How Alex had played it to me as a kid, and how he used it now to calm my more powerful downward swings. He even used it to calm Hunter. It was a powerful song full of lots of meaning.

“That’s just for Alex, but I want to surprise him during dinner with a song I’ll record and throw into the mix for his morning birthday breakfast.”

Ryan chuckled, “You spoil him.”

“He loves me.” I said as if it answered everything. And for me it did. The mere fact that Alex loved me made me soar. I could get through anything with Alex by myside just being there to catch me when I fell. And I was always bound to fall.