The Bell Tolls

I mingled when then band stopped playing. Dev was caught up with the band and people talking to them. Sage was with Adam and they looked to be in deep conversation. Dee was dancing with Ant. But she didn’t look happy. I should rescue her from him, but before I could step out on to our make shift dance floor a small hand touched my arm and I looked to see Jin standing behind me. “It’s almost midnight. Do you want to say anything?”

My eye brow raised and I shook my head. “Do I have to?”

Jin’s smile slipped a little, “You should.”

“I didn’t ask you that.”

She shook her head. “No. Should I ask Sage or Dev?”

I shrugged. “Let DJ know and he’ll count down. I’m not going to do the whole I’m leader thing with my family and friends.”

Jin sighed, “You do realize that it’s more than family and friends.”

I nodded. “Yes, but I’m going with the illusion it’s just family and friends and I’m not leader of anything real or imagined. Right now I’m Nox. Not Ascendant, or Regnans or any other title someone wants to bestow on me. I’m going to go save my girlfriend and find my boyfriends so we can at least see the New Year in together. And then I have a three year old to see off to bed.”

Jin nodded. There was no sigh of disappointment – she’d since gotten used to my nature. She obliged me on occasion – like now, but she didn’t let me say no when it really mattered. That’s what I liked about her.

I wove my way through the crowd on the dance floor and took Dee’s hand. She looked at me with a frown, and Ant just grinned at me as I dragged her off the dance floor in the direction of Sage.

I pressed a kiss to his cheek and took his hand. “I’m stealing him for a little while.” I told Adam as I leaned into his space. “You can have him back later.”

Sage was giving me this look like what are you doing? but he didn’t say anything. He just came with me as I took his hand. Dev was standing by a wall watching me, he’d extricated himself from conversations when I started gathering up everyone else. He was grinning at me when I stopped in front of him with our little group, one hand in each of mine.

“Midnight?”

I nodded. Sage and Dee both lost their frowns and let go of my hand and slide their arms around my waist. There was a moment of panic. That quick blip of fear that coursed through my body at their touch, but Dev pushed his hands around the others and we were interlocked together. There was nothing but the four of us. None of us cared if we were being stared at. And from Sage’s blush I knew he could see at least some one was watching us intently. I could only imagine it was Adam or someone who he cared what thought about him.

Dating had proven to be difficult. Living together was easy in comparison. And having our own space made that so much simpler. We shared a room, but had our own place to escape. It worked for us. It may not work for someone else, but it worked for us. Sage had his own private library full of computers and book shelves. Books he’d started buying when he didn’t have to pay bills anymore.

Dev’s was his own music collection. He had his guitars but mostly it was a sound proof room that he could blast whatever music he wanted in with the high end stereo system he had installed.

Dee’s was a large closet. She had more clothes than what we had room for in the shared room, but she had dress up clothes, and other fun play things hanging. It wasn’t red room of pain in visage, but she wasn’t shy about having her swing or the straps hanging. I hadn’t ventured into her little dungeon yet. Dee scared me. We hadn’t been alone together in bed yet. Not for Dee’s trying but something always came up.

My thoughts had drifted and the count down had started. Dev was looking at me with curiosity but the other two were staring into each other’s eyes. Sage and Dee got on really well. Their sex life was full of exploration. Mostly because Dee could manipulate Sage with ease. Dev and I took a lot more work to wrangle into the things she wanted to do. Sage not so much.

3… 2… 1… I leaned over and kissed Sage first, Dev kissing Dee. First loves. First kiss… not really but it made things easier. It all felt rather staged and I knew people were watching as we all shared a kiss. Sage pulled away with Dee’s hand and they went off to dance. I stayed with Dev at least for now. He spun me around so my back was to the wall and we stood there facing each other. All I really wanted to do was curl up in his arms. Dev chuckled at my thoughts, “You’re back will be exposed.”

I shrugged. “No more than it already has been.”

Dev smiled at me and leaned against the wall pulling me against him and wrapped his arms around me. He suggested, “We could go dance?”

I shook my head and pressed into him, “Nope. This is perfect.”

He laughed and pulled me tighter against him. “People are staring.”

“Let them.” I said. I didn’t really care. It was a New Year. I had a new job, a new family and a a new life. I didn’t care what anyone else thought as long as my family was happy.

New Apartment (12/8/2017)
Clothing Debacle (12/9/2017)
Making Up (12/10/2017)
The Band (12/11/2017)
The Bell Tolls (12/12/2017)

The Band

My thoughts were on all the things I wanted to do to Dev and with Dev later that night and I heard him laughing behind me as we walked out of the hall way. I turned around and grinned at him and gave him a flourishing bow which made him laugh and roll his eyes.

Dev made his way to where the rest of his band was. Deviated Skeptics was made up of four guys, Dev who played guitar, he sang a little bit but not much. Jimmy Brown was their singer. He had a nice voice and he had better than nice face but I still preferred my rockstar over him. David Dillon was drums and was covered in tattoos, but he was a softy. Dev had to protected him from Dee more often than not. She was good at manipulating people, and Dave was easily manipulated. The last was Eddy Perry. He played bass and he was as much of player as I had been. He was with a new girl after ever gig. He had a new girl with him tonight.

They were doing practice sets now before everyone came in. Mostly their own music. Things Dev and Eddy had written. Dave and Jimmy didn’t write much, but they did help lay down the music to make it all work together on their parts. It had been an interesting process to watch one afternoon. But not something I’d do often. Though I did love watching Dev play.

Especially in times like now where he knew I was watching but he had a many more eyes on him that he could ignore the fact I was getting turned on by it. Though he was always connected to my thoughts, and now more so than ever. Whatever magic switch had flipped had pretty much given Dev a direct line in to my brain. I felt Sage and Dee but not in the same way. It was like his ability to read my thoughts carried down that same connection. We’d been close before, but now we were closer and now we still had just as many arguments as before. You’d think there would be less, but Dev and I were good at three things – flirting, fighting and fucking. There were other things, but those three were pretty big on the list.

Dev was too busy to notice when I leaned against the kitchen island and watched him across the way the band had set up. My living space was huge now. I’d gone from a studio apartment to Sage’s house and thought that was a huge upgrade – this was a million times bigger. We had a whole floor for our house. Granted we had quite a bit of public space and my new office where I was an actual private investigator – had my license and everything. It was a front for helping supernatural creatures. But hey if a human came in looking for help I wasn’t going to turn them away – I’d make some cash.

Dev played. They didn’t jump around like some of the bands I’d watched on You Tube. But then they weren’t playing the same kind of music right now either. They were pretending to be a cover band and playing songs that other people wrote. It was part of their gig on a normal basis.

I enjoyed the show. I always enjoyed watching them play. Granted I didn’t do much other than watch my rockstar. His ink black hair and those icey blue eyes and I was in heaven. I smelled roses and jasmine long before I felt Sage’s arm wrap around my waist and he pressed his hip into mine. I leaned over and pressed a kiss to his cheek and he curled up against me. He looked down on me with a grin, “You okay?”

I nodded. “I don’t know for how long but as long as no one else touches my back I’ll be good.”

Sage took that moment to run is fingers under my t-shirt. He hummed at the smooth skin and I closed my eyes at the touch. It was hard on me, letting my lovers touch me when I didn’t let anyone else. I loved their fingers on my skin, but the fear that welled up was difficult to push down. Sage kissed my neck and I groaned. His fingers pressing into my back. “I love that you let us do this, Nox.”

I could only nod as his hand left my shirt and cupped my ass. “I missed you.”

I rolled my eyes. Sage was still playing I missed you, I’m sorry all the time. I loved him. I couldn’t see life without him. Without any of them, and I was just glad Sage understood better. He still got angry when I went out with Ant hunting down vampires. But it was something we had to do. He understood that now. But it didn’t make it any easier when I’d come home with my clothes covered in blood – usually not mine, but still blood.

I kissed my mysterious boy and he hummed his enjoyment against my lips. “You missed me too.”

I laughed and pulled away to look into those sapphire blue eyes, “I always miss you Sage.”

He grinned happily. “I’m going to go find Drake and Morana. Has she eaten yet?”

I shook my head, “Vin was going to take her down to Central and get a few pints.”

Morana was still learning to be a normal functioning little girl much less a normal functioning vampire. She was not allowed to feed off of any person – except me. And while I managed breakfast Ant and Cari both urged that I only feed her once – and not a lot. I was her last snack before she went to bed for the day. One of the vampires would take her down to the Central Blood Bank, which was a donation facility for humans to donate blood for cash. Cari gave the universal donor blood and all AB blood types to the local hospitals at no charge. The others she sold to vampires or humans at facilities in need of those blood types.

Dee enjoyed Morana even though she was a scary little vampire. Being a child and a vampire she was slightly insane. Which fit well into the family in reality – we all had our own little issues. But Morana followed my rules. She had no choice. If I said something she had to obey. I tried to not be the sounding voice when it came to disciplining her as a child. Dee and Sage were good for that. But when it came to vampire I was where the buck stopped. She listened without question. It was partially the bond between us. But it was more than that. She knew in her heart of hearts if she fucked up royally I’d kill her. And I wouldn’t bat an eyelash at the thought of ending her. I hadn’t told her as much. But she knew. Others had told her. She was afraid of me to a degree i didn’t like of a child I was claiming as family, but I was her master as well. I couldn’t have it both ways.

The band played. My apartment filled up with people. It was family and friends and yet I still felt alone in all of it. Even more so than I had before.

New Apartment (12/8/2017)
Clothing Debacle (12/9/2017)
Making Up (12/10/2017)
The Band (12/11/2017)
The Bell Tolls (12/12/2017)

Making Up

The shirt had wrapped around me when I caught it slapping at my unscarred back and I winced at the pressure. Fuck!

I stared at the shirt for ten minutes before a head poked into the closet where I sat on the floor. Drake smiled at me. “Hi Daddy. You okay?”

I nodded. “Fine.”

“You don’t look fine.” He said with all the wisdom of his three-year-old self.

I sighed. “Dev and I fought over a shirt.”

Drake giggled as he sat down on my lap and wrapped his body around me, arms and legs trapping me and I didn’t even flinch. He hugged me with his whole body and I squeezed him back.

I sighed. “Da send you?” I asked.

Drake shook his head. “No, Mommy did. She said guests were arriving and you had to finish up soon.”

I nodded. “Tell her I’ll be out in a few minutes.”

Drake giggled again and pressed a kiss to my cheek and squeezed me tight then hopped up and scurried out the door off to find Dee to tell her what I said.

The shirt was flimsy armor against someone touching me. But without it I felt the panic welling up. I trusted Dev. I trusted my family. I didn’t trust Kai or Ryan, or Jin or all the people who didn’t understand what it meant to touch me.

I sighed and clutched the button down in my fist as I went into the bathroom to check my eyeliner. Tears smudged them regardless if I let them fall or not. The raccoon look was never good but it wasn’t too bad. I touched it up and made it thicker to cover the smearing. I didn’t feel like starting over.

The shirt sat on the sink ledge and I stared at it again. I reached for it several times before I groaned and walked out of the bathroom with jeans and a tight t-shirt my only protection against someone touching me. It wasn’t the scars I hid from everyone. It was the physical act of someone touching me where the worst pain of my life lived. The scars may be gone, but the emotional ones weren’t. Dev knew this. But he pushed. I could push back. But that made things worse. Dev was always straight with me. I trusted him. I would trust him in this.

When I walked out Vin was with Dev. They were talking. Turns out my latest alley played in a band back in his day. It wasn’t electric guitar but he and Dev actually got along well in terms of the music.

I stopped next to Dev and slid my arm around his waist and he looked at me. But Vin did more than that, he slapped my back in friendship. I bit back the yelp even though it hadn’t hurt. I froze and everything stopped for me. Every word they spoke I didn’t hear. I was focusing on nothing more than my breathing. Calming my heart. Thinking of nothing other than I could do it. I could get past the touch. I could calm down before anyone but Dev noticed.

Vin’s hand felt like white hot heat against my skin, and when he removed it I was left cold. He slipped off to speak with Ant who had just appeared in my kitchen from one of the back rooms. I didn’t have time to wonder if he’d shadow walked into my house or if he’d been lurking somewhere. Dev was pulling me down a hallway towards some unknown destination.

He looked at me with a level gaze. “You alright.”

I shook my head. It was all I could manage. My voice was still too far away. I felt every bit of panic from moments earlier. “You did it.” He said.

I looked down at the ground. Fear, shame, it didn’t really matter what I felt because Dev bent his knees so he could look up at me and when he met my eyes he stood up and I followed up back to look into his gorgeous blue eyes. I whispered, “I’m sorry.”

Dev smiled. “It’s just a shirt, Nox.”

I rolled my eyes and turned to lean against the wall. I couldn’t say anything. Anything I wanted to say would come out angry. He didn’t understand. He never would. He hadn’t been beaten his whole life and expected to get over it like it was nothing.

Dev sighed, he’d heard my thoughts, but he couldn’t get angry at me. If he did he knew I’d go off again. He pressed himself against me instead and pressed a tender kiss to my lips. “I’m sorry too, but…”

I pressed my lips to his to silence his but. I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to fight. The kiss remained tender and soft and I hummed my enjoyment and Dev pulled away. “I got it. No fighting.” He sighed. “Can I say one more thing about it?”

I nodded but looked down. I got to see the same shirt on my rockstar as I wore. The perks of having a uniform shirt I guess. He always looked good in it. Dev chuckled but he didn’t say anything about my errant thoughts. “You can put a shirt on, I’m sorry.”

I looked up to see if he was serious and felt that surge of anger that he made a big deal about wearing it and now he was caving. Dev sighed. “You tried. I get it. Go put a shirt on.”

I shook my head. “No.” I pressed my lips against his again and whispered against his lips, “But if I start panicking you too bad better come rescue me.”

Dev nodded. “I’ll keep an extra listen out.” He started to say something again but I stopped him with a much more passionate kiss.

When we broke apart he laughed. “Alright. I’ll drop it.”

I smiled at him. “You know I’ll try anything once.” I slide past him leaving his mouth hanging open at the innuendo.

New Apartment (12/8/2017)
Clothing Debacle (12/9/2017)
Making Up (12/10/2017)
The Band (12/11/2017)
The Bell Tolls (12/12/2017)

Clothing Debacle

So Dee is this big social person, whodathunk that? We have this great big place now and Dee says we have to throw a housewarming party. And she and Sage both agree we have to throw a New Year’s Eve party, all our friends and family are invited. So why the fuck don’t we combine them. I know I groaned at the idea. Dev was the first one to jump on the party bandwagon said he’d and the boys would play for free. But we had to hire a DJ so they could enjoy the night too. But he wanted to play with the band too.

Dee and Sage agreed. They said I couldn’t cook. Which sucked for me. They said if I cooked I’d never leave the kitchen and they wanted to have a good time too. Something about deserving it. I just shrugged. Whatever. I didn’t really care.

We didn’t need presents. That was one of the reasons why we were doing it on New Years Eve too. We didn’t want the traditional things. We wanted to have fun.

And that’s what was about to happen. I managed to get Fae in something other than a pair of ripped jeans. Both he and Matt had fun rummaging through my closet. Matt was wearing a pair of my leather pants and a sheer shirt. If he’d been going out I wouldn’t have let him out of the house, but he wasn’t leaving so I was okay with it. Granted I was wearing worse when I was his age.

Fae was wearing a pair of my jeans a button down from his own closet. Drake was all cute in his blue overalls and a red Lightning McQueen t-shirt. His favorite show – Thank you Dorian. I’m partial to Mater myself!

Sage made me change three times before he was satisfied with my clothes. Apparently jeans and a t-shirt were not party worthy. I changed into club gear and Dee groaned at it and said go change. I had sighed. Nothing I was going to choose was going to fit either one of them, so I asked Dev.

He grinned at me while I lead him into my bedroom closet in our shared room – we each had walk in closets in our shared room. Mine was sparse. Dev hadn’t commented on it. But he shook his head. He handed me a pair of black jeans and went into his closet and handed me a black t-shirt that I knew was too small on him. It was black with glittery threads woven in. It sparkled under the black lights of Aspect. It was one of his uniform shirts.

I sighed and put them on. The shirt was tight. And I felt uncomfortable. Not because it fit so close but because there was no barrier between people and my back. Dev stood behind me and wrapped his arms around me pressing his cheek into my shoulder. “You can do it Nox. There is nothing to be ashamed of.”

I shook my head and unfurled him from me. “You know I was never ashamed of my scars.”

Dev smiled at me with those sad blue eyes. He wasn’t mad at me. I didn’t think. But there was a small twinge of pity and Dev sighed. “I don’t pity you Nox. Tell me why you are anxious then.”

“You can see it, Dev.”

He shook his head. “All I see is anxiety.”

“Someone will touch me, Dev. Accidently, on purpose, it doesn’t matter, someone will. I feel the panic attack right now. What happens when they do it for real?” I begged.

“No one here is going to touch you without your permission.” Dev said with frustration. “We can all touch you without a problem. The boys can. What’s the problem it’s all close family and friends.”

“Until it’s not.” I said.

“Nox, you can do this.” Dev said. “We’ll help you.”

“Why the fuck can’t i just wear a long sleeved shirt?” I growled.

Dev sighed and tossed a black shirt from my closet at me. “You don’t need to hide Nox.” He said and walked out.

I closed my eyes and I wanted to hit something. Dev probably wanted to hit something. It was best we just cooled down first.

New Apartment (12/8/2017)
Clothing Debacle (12/9/2017)
Making Up (12/10/2017)
The Band (12/11/2017)
The Bell Tolls (12/12/2017)

New Apartment

When you have an entire construction crew working around the clock it’s not hard to finish a project like this in such a small amount of time. Cari has on staff three construction crews that work one job until completion that works round the clock for all the Night Life Building. The only thing that takes a while is for things to dry, but when you have magic available to you, it goes even faster.

Every morning a human crew came in and did their jobs. Second shift was much the same but Third shift were all vampires. And magic was their forte. They could dry paint, plaster, cement in hours and the crew in the morning would come in and wonder what was going on but they’d get to work. Matt had overheard the crew calling it the construction gnomes. Others were saying it’s the work of leprechauns. Drake wanted to tell them that it was vampires but he was 3 and no one would listen to him.

I stood there and watched my little dragon go up to a big burly man and tell him he was wrong, that it was vampires who did the work. Everyone got a good laugh out off it and Drake got his own tool belt out of it. He looked at me a little perturbed that it had happened, but he seemed to think they believed him. At least that was what they told him.

So by the time Christmas had rolled around the new facility was almost completely but two days before the New Year we had a brand new apartment. Sage, Dev and Dee had yet to move it, but the boys and I were living in the lap of luxury. It was a beautiful place. Our living area was just one large room separated by a long wrap around island in the middle so the kitchen overlooked everything else. It was a very large open space with pillars in the middle. Dee had gone wild decorating. It truly was a gorgeous space.

Dev and Dee were moving in tomorrow. Sage was still dragging his feet. He didn’t want to leave his house. He’d bought it. This wasn’t his house. It was mine. When it wasn’t. It was a gift from the vampires so we could live comfortably with in my means and we could all live together.

It was bothering Sage that he’d not be paying for anything. That all money he made was his to spend on things he wanted. Dev and Dee didn’t have such problems. I felt turn about was fair play but I never told him as much, only let him drag his feet. I told him that his room would be waiting for him. That the lab wasn’t going anywhere. And he could move in however slowly he wanted – or not at all.

Dee on the other hand was pressuring Sage. Telling him how great it would be to live together and still have our own space. She used the idea of having sex whenever we wanted to entice him. But it was Dev who had truly convinced Sage to move his things in – when he sold his house and that was a highly secured internet connection. Jack Wynn had set it up.

Sage trusted Jack. Jack was like him, and also a hacker. So when Jack set up the internet connection to be fully secured. He meant that Sage could do just about anything and no one could get into his system. My Wicked Truth was far more wicked than anyone really gave him credit for. His secrets were becoming numerous and I was starting to not like it. He and Adam were up to something.

He hadn’t sold his house yet, but there were several offers.

New Apartment (12/8/2017)
Clothing Debacle (12/9/2017)
Making Up (12/10/2017)
The Band (12/11/2017)
The Bell Tolls (12/12/2017)

All Alone

The room was empty. The pentagram was on my floor. The blood pooled in a slick puddle of red. I had no idea if everyone was okay. I wasn’t likely to ever find out. It was a dream after all. A dream where I wasn’t even me. I was Nox. I had Nox’s power. I had his gift, his job. I saw what he dealt with daily. It was a lesson.

And one I think I learned.

I killed a man with my power – his power. Nox had to be careful every moment of his life. He had fine control on everything. He needed that release. Needed someone to tell him what to do on occasion. It wasn’t about a kink. It was a release. I thought I’d understood before.

I thought I knew what made him happy. This had been fun. Scary, but fun. I had killed saving someone. I cared what happened. Nox cared more than I did. His power was draining. I could feel it eating at me when I’d killed that little girl. I sank to the floor and then flopped to my back to stare at the ceiling. “Dev. I’m done. I got it now. Nox needs the hunt as I need my computer. It’s life. It’s death without it.”

I closed my eyes and I hoped to wake up. I hoped to wake up to a world where my lovers were wrapped around me. But I knew one would be missing. I knew Nox would be doing what he needed to do. And if he ever spoke to me again I would be lucky. I thought I knew him. Thought I understood, but I was wrong.

Out the Door (11/1/2017)
The Boys (11/2/2017)
My Lovers (11/3/2017)
Oh. My. God. (11/5/2017)
Dean Winchester (11/6/2017)
Castiel (11/8/2017)
Portals (11/9/2017)
Alec and Magnus (11/10/2017)
Bonnie’s Diner (11/11/2017)
Dean’s Story (11/12/2017)
Azazel (11/13/2017)
The Next Morning (11/14/2017)
What’s Next (11/15/2017)
Looking At Me (11/16/2017)
Demon Tracking (11/17/2017)
Not a Demon (11/18/2017)
Running Away (11/19/2017)
Manning Up (11/22/2017)
Going Up (11/22/2017)
Tech is Tech (11/23/2017)
Waiting (11/24/2017)
Regrouping (11/25/2017)
The Docks (11/26/2017)
A Fight (11/27/2017)
Rambling (11/28/2017)
Deep Dark Secrets (11/29/2017)
Exorcism Required (11/30/2017)
The Kitchen Show (12/1/2017)
Kinks (12/2/2017)
The Bait (12/4/2017)
Fucking Goats (12/5/2017)
Summoning a Demon (12/6/2017)
All Alone (12/7/2017)