The First Age
I've been sick - Printable Version

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- Nox - 08-21-2016

Cain nudged Nox and Nox pulled his power back into him and let it wink out. He was right - again. Nox sighed. "Alright."
Even knows could hear the disappointment in his voice. He had missed the display but the last thing he wanted was to be even remotely considered one of these Ascendants. Being Atharim meant one thing - instant death if the wrong person found out. They would hunt him down till he was dead. The only plus side to being him was that there was no one else left of his blood to kill. Nox sighed at the loss of his family. He only had Aria left.

Nox took his wallet from Cain and found the address Dorian had given him and punched it into his GPS and they walked their way there. They could have taken the subway but the weather was nice and Nox didn't exactly care if he wasn't quite so early as he'd said. He hadn't planned on stopping at Asha's when he told Dorian he'd be bright and early.

It was more like closer to noon when the pair finally entered the posh neighborhood. Aria had said Dorian Vega was a money man once. That he came from money. He certainly lived like he did. He was a cop though which made Nox wonder a lot about this man. Whatever his money came from it wasn't because he was a cop or Atharim. Atharm didn't typically own mansions in the ritzy neighborhoods.

"You are here." Nox's wallet told him. Nox looked up a the three story house that was smaller than others in the neighborhood, but bigger than any house Nox had ever been inside. It looked like something you'd see in Madrid, probably why the man had chosen the place to begin with.

Nox knocked on the door. "I have no idea what to expect out of this, but a friends son is like us - just found out. And he has questions."
Questions Nox hoped he could answer. Nox threw Dorian's contact open and sent him a text. I'm at your place. Do I answer our questions too?"

- Emily Shale - 08-23-2016

Rachel watched through shows, but her mind wasn't really in it at all. She was with Cruz at least, and that made her happy. She would occasionally sneak glances at him as he kept his head buried in his studies. At the very least, she smiled.

When he decided to go to bed, she turned and headed to the room he mentioned, but not before giving him a hug. She closed the door quietly behind her, and fell into a deep sleep.


Cruz was awake before she was. She yawned and stretched as sun filtered into the room from the window. She smiled at it and stood, heading to take a shower. Rachel was sure Cruz wouldn't mind.

The shower was quick, and she put on a pair of jeans and a nice blouse. Rachel descended the stairs to find Cruz eating breakfast. She smiled and sat down next to him. "Good morning,"
she said. "Breakfast looks good."

A beep came from her wallet, and she quickly checked it. It was Emily checking in. Rachel smiled and responded that she was fine and Cruz wasn't an animal before placing the device back in her pocket.

- Dorian - 08-23-2016

Rachel and Cruz ate breakfast. It was good. Pavlo was an excellent cook. They chatted about little things. Cruz wanted to pace while he waited but with Rachel here he didn't want to seem nervous. He was almost terrified. What if this was more dangerous than his father thought? What if this guy tried to kill him?

Cruz was having second thoughts about having Rachel here. But he couldn't exactly ask her to leave either.

The longer the morning ran the more nervous Cruz got. He hadn't seen or heard from his father since he left with Ivan. This was not good. What if the Atharim got him.

Pavlo came into the study with a bottle of sparkling water and two glasses. "Master Cruz, sit and enjoy the water. I'll bring lunch in momentarily."

There was a knock at the door and Cruz nearly jumped despite Pavlo's presence. "I'll get it. You get lunch ready Pavlo."

Cruz rushed to the door and opened it quickly, it slammed into the wall behind it and crushing his hand against the wall. "Fuck!" Cruz yelled and then immediately blushed. The man outside was tall and skinny and he looked nothing like he'd expected, he was the same age as him, maybe a year or two older. The one behind him was a little worse for wear, but he didn't look like what he expected either.

But the sight of them being this late only made Cruz seethe. "Where have you been? You said bright and early!"

- Cain Belasis - 08-23-2016

((Dorian's house is modest compared to other's in the neighborhood, but Cain grew up in an apartment and then lived on the streets, so his internal descriptions of the place might not match up to yours.))

Cain's eyebrows rose. Nox was going to answer some kid's questions about magic and how to use it? That was awfully convenient. Cain could use some questions answered himself. In hindsight he probably should've asked what they were doing before tagging along with his friend, but the redhead would rather run around all day on pointless errands than sit in the hotel room. He supposed it was some kind of karmic justice that he chose to help Nox out (not that he'd really been much help so far) and was rewarded with a quick magic tutorial. It was almost like a video game quest. He stifled a snicker at the thought.

In a word, Cain was not impressed. The house was impressive, sure. In fact it was the biggest house he'd ever seen that someone actually lived in. There were all sorts of castles and things in North England and Scotland that were technically houses. It was at least three floors tall, with its own detached garden. That friend of Nox's probably had to hire a gardener just to take care of it. It was kind of disgusting how wealthy some people were; Cain'd lived in entire apartment buildings smaller than this house before. Regardless, the redhead wasn't the kind of guy that hated wealthy people just for the sake of it... but he couldn't stand wealthy brats whose mummies and daddies had taken care of their every whim.

The kid (okay, he was probably Cain's age) in front of them was the manifestation of everything Cain had grown up hating and resenting. Screaming profanities and yelling at them for being 'late'. The redhead had literally given up everything he owned, fled his home, and lived on the streets for months while he dragged himself to Moscow - all for the chance to learn about his magic. This piece of shite had daddy make a call and got a mentor delivered to his front door, and he was already complaining that they weren't there exactly at the time they said they'd be? The spoiled brat was lucky that Cain's magical trigger was fear, because if it were anger, he'd already be a pool of melted goo on the ground.

For a moment, the magician saw red, but thankfully he limited his reaction to clenched fists. "Sorry, please excuse these poor peasants, my lord,"
Cain gritted out mockingly. "We made the traitorous decision that helping an innocent women out of a dangerous situation was more important that Our Lordship's valuable time. We swear to do better in the future, your highness!"
The redhead capped off the performance with a little bow. The whole thing was heavy handed, but the sarcasm had taken the edge off his anger and Cain no longer felt in danger of punching the smug arse right in the jaw, so overall it was worth it.

((British people call yards 'gardens'.))

- Nox - 08-23-2016

The boy who opened the door was the spitting image of the man he'd met when his house blew up. He had to be Dorian's son - the new little godling. The kid slammed his hand against the wall. He looked like he'd been sweating bullets before that. He yelled at them like the posh rich kid he was and Nox was going to be an ass but Cain spoke first. Nox tried very hard not to laugh, but it was absolutely impossible to do. The swooping bow made Nox lose his tight control and he let the laughter out.

"Oh man...."

The kid looked ruffled at his laughter. Nox reached for the shimmering light just out of sight and pulled it to him. It came with ease and Nox waved threads of light in front of the boys face. "I won't show you more if you don't let me in."
Nox grinned at him. "I'm Nox. Your Dad asked me to answer some questions for you."
Nox nodded behind him. "That's Cain."

Nox's wallet beeped and he glanced down at it. Dorian replied. Everything. And he had his answer. If he asked about the Atharim he'd tell him. Nox would hid nothing.

The stepped aside and let them in. "Can I take your coats?"

Nox shook his head. "Yeah no, I think I'll keep it."
Not only was it covering the guns at the small of his back but he didn't exactly want to take it off. It was a comfort thing.

He lead the way into a room with a ton of shelves but very few books. It was kinda ugly if you asked Nox. The kid motioned for them to sit on the couches in the middle of the room. Nox glanced at the girl sitting on the couch and almost jumped out of his skin. Emily?

The kid started speaking before Nox could say something. "I'm Cruz. This is Rachel."

Nox laughed softly - Emily's sister it had to be. Nox walked over to her and offered his hand. "A pleasure."
When she took his hand he'd lift it to his lips and kiss the middle knuckle with a wink and a grin. "But aren't you the spitting image of your sister."

- Emily Shale - 08-24-2016

Rachel waited on the couch while Cruz answered the door. She heard what sounded like angry muttering and turned her head to face the door. Of course, Rachel couldn't see from where she was, so she sat back down ready to go find Cruz should she hear any more ruckus.

She sipped quietly at her water when Cruz entered the room with two other men. One really skinny man and another with bright red hair. Cruz made introductions and the skinny man laughed softly.

The man offered his hand in a gentlemanly fashion, and when she offered her own, he kissed her hand and gave her a wink and grin. Rachel's eyes widened at the mention of her sister. The two Shale sisters were basically twins despite the age difference between them. Whoever this man was, he had met Emily.

So who was he - a business associate, a friend, perhaps the guy that had slept with her and then left the next morning? Rachel didn't know, but she was polite in her response.

"Pleasure is mine."
she said standing up.

Rachel turned to face the other man, looking a bit worse for wear. This man had struggled, that was sure. He was one of those that her sister would likely be willing to help. He had the look of someone who never gave up, and that was admirable.

Rachel offered him her hand for a hand shake. She didn't expect the formalities that Skinny had observed. "I'm Rachel."

- Cain Belasis - 08-24-2016

Cain did his best to keep his smirk off his face while Nox cracked up next to him. Using magic like that to taunt the kid was too funny. Cruz went a bit cross-eyed as he tried to follow the threads being woven in front of him. Not for the first time Cain regretted the fact that he had such limitations about using his magic. Obviously Nox and Dane had no such blocks on their power so it couldn't be a universal thing. The redhead bit his lip to keep from laughing out loud. When the two of them were led inside (and greeted by an honest to god butler of all things), he decided to keep his coat, following Nox's lead. Cain didn't want to lose it if he had to beat a hasty retreat for whatever reason.

His eyebrows rose once again as his friend kissed the girl - Rachel's - hand, acting all charming. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Cruz's frown, and Cain couldn't help but grin. Obviously Rachel and Cruz had something going on, and obviously rich-boy was the type who wasn't so fond of other men kissing his girl.

Unfortunately, Cain wasn't the charming type. His accent was toned down, but by no means was it like Dane's crisp, posh accent. He'd look foolish if he tried to pull off what Nox had. However, the redhead knew what worked for him, and he could do a pretty good 'roguish'. Cain met her hand in a firm shake, not so much that it would be uncomfortable but so that she could feel the strength of it and the callouses on his hands. The redhead had made a living with physical labor, and had the body to prove it, unlike Cruz. Cain's grin widened to something more genuine.

"Nice to meet you, Rachel. Sorry to have kept you waiting. If I'd known that we were wasting the time of lady of your caliber, I'd have made this lug,"
he released Rachel's hand, and clapped Nox on the shoulder. "Stop dawdling."

- Nox - 08-24-2016

Nox couldn't help but laugh. Cain was laying it on thick, he almost felt like it was a competition to see which one could piss of the boy here more. Nox turned with a grin to Cruz seeing the frown that had formed on his lips as he made his way to sit down on the couch where Rachel had been sitting and took her hand in his hoping she'd come sit back down.

Nox wanted to play so bad. But he was here for a reason and he'd rather get on with it. "Does she know?"

Cruz shook his head. Nox laughed. "Do you want her to know?"

Cruz nodded but his voice sounded weak. "That's what I need to know. Is it safe? I mean will they..."

He wanted to know if the Atharim would kill her. "They will come after her but not for the reason you think. It's not your fault if they do."

Cruz asked. "What the fuck does that mean?'

Nox grinned. "It's not my secret to tell, Cruz, right? You'll have to ask Emily."

Cruz's face turned red. "How do you know Emily?"

"I met her on vacation in Siberia. She sent a PI after me, and found me there on a mission."
Nox pointedly watched Rachel as he spoke of Siberia. If Ayden knew who he was, certainly her own sister did. He was just waiting for the shit to hit the fan. He smiled at her knowingly then turned back to Cruz. "It's as safe as it can be if she knows about you. It's not safe for her if she knows who your father and I are. It's never safe for that."

Nox pulled against his power again and wove very slowly so Cruz could catch the whole thing as he stared at the ball of light he formed and floated above his hand. "I will trust her with my secret as well."

Edited by Nox, Aug 24 2016, 09:11 AM.

- Emily Shale - 08-24-2016

Rachel moved to stand next to Cruz. Getting close, she wrapped her arm around him to show her support. Both of them seemed to be teasing Cruz, and she wanted to show that she was with him.

Then Skinny started asking about whether Rachel knew. Rachel found their conversation hard to follow and confusing. Cruz wanted to keep her safe - from what? Who were they? Why were they dangerous to her and how did Emily fit in? And what was her secret - and why had she kept it from Rachel.

Cruz asked how Skinny new Emily and at that, Rachel turned to Skinny. Emily never told her his name, but she knew the story. She knew what happened in Siberia. Rachel moved her hand to Cruz's and interlaced her fingers with his. Her grip was hard to keep herself from slapping that smile off of his fucking face. Rachel glared daggers at him and her eyes burned with emerald fury.

Then skinny showed his magic and things began to make some sort of sense. She looked at Cruz. He was one of them. As was skinny. Was the red head like that as well. So were 'they' the Atharim that Ascendancy had spoken of. Why would they come after her? Unless Emily...

Her thoughts were interrupted by a beep from her pocket. Rachel pulled out her wallet to see a message from Emily and Rachel responded.

<dt>Conversation with 'Emily Shale'</dt>
<dd> </dd>
Emily: We need to talk

Rachel: Yes we do.

Emily: Call me! Now!

Rachel put her wallet back. "Excuse me,"
she said, giving Cruz's hand a squeeze.

She excused herself into the other room before calling Emily.

"Rachel we need to talk."

""I know, I think he's here. The guy from Siberia."

There was a pause on the other line and Rachel almost spoke again before Emily responded. "Skinny guy with a stupid grin?"

"Yes - he's talking to Cruz."

"He's dangerous, Rachel,"

Rachel felt angry and it wasn't just directed at Skinny either. "Everyone keeps saying that I'm in danger and no one tells me why.
Rachel's voice rose in volume.

"Calm down, Rachel,
Emily said. "Nox, his name is Nox, is one of the Atharim that Ascendancy talked about. And you're in danger because of me. That's why I wanted to talk. I'm one of those magicians."

Although Rachel had put the pieces together herself, she still sat in stunned silence. "Why did you keep it a secret from me?"

"When I figure out about it, I was scared you wouldn't believe me. When I found out about these Atharim, I did so to keep you and Mara safe."

"What should I do?"
Rachel was starting to cry.

"He's one too, I don't think Nox will hurt you, but it's imperative I talk to him now."

"He's here now."

"I'll be there soon. Stay next to Cruz."
There was a pause. "Rachel, I'm sorry. I love you okay?"

Rachel said her goodbye and wiped her eyes before heading back to the room. Her cheeks were tear-stained as she walked back up next to Cruz and took his hand again. She didn't say anything, just waited.

- Cain Belasis - 08-24-2016

Cain and Nox were so focused on messing with Cruz (and rightfully so, the prick) that they didn't consider the effect it would have on Rachel. To be fair, the redhead didn't actually realize that Nox and Rachel had some sort of past that was horrific and traumatizing or something. Given the way the girl was glaring daggers at his friend, and how she eventually stomped out to make a call, things were a lot more complicated than Cain had initially realized. When Rachel came back, it was clear that she'd been crying and the magician felt like an arse. He scowled at Nox. He'd been perfectly willing to poke fun at Cruz, but he hadn't realized that whatever Nox had said to the girl would be so disturbing. Damn it.

The redhead wasn't certain why he was so surprised. He thought back to his interactions with Nox today: stopping him from egging on Elias into a needless fight, drawing him away from Ascendancy's monument before he got himself killed by his so-called Atharim allies... Clearly Cain's friend wasn't nearly as put together as he appeared. The redhead thought back to his conversation with Sage; apparently there was a dead twin sister in the story as well. Plus Sage himself was pretty creepy. If you weren't someone with no electronic-presence like Cain, he'd probably be fairly threatening. So Nox was going around like a walking tragedy, his only allies would turn around and kill him the minute they realized his secret, and the closest things he had to friends were a weirdo-hacker who was in love with his dead sister, a homeless charity case, and some woman who was crazy enough to give Dane a go. For the first time, Cain realized that he should probably be the one taking care of Nox, not the other way around.

Cain sighed and deflated. He had a feeling that Nox would just keep needling and needling, messing with Cruz and Rachel until they got to a breaking point. Obviously he was going to have to be the one to extend the olive branch, even if he'd rather punch Cruz's smug face in. "Alright, listen... let's start over. My name is Cain, and this guy here is Nox. He can be a jerk sometimes but he's mostly harmless."
He shot a look and a quirked eyebrow at his companion, daring him to protest. Cain hoped that Nox was mostly harmless; he hadn't actually known the guy that long. Still, he was the type of man to shelter a homeless stranger in his hotel room and go out of his way to make an acquaintance feel safer by changing her locks.

"I swear we're not here to hurt you. Nox is a friend of his father."
Cain nodded towards Cruz, still not quite willing to say the prick's name. "We're here because we're like him; we have magic like him. And if he doesn't learn how to control his... well Nox and Daddy's, ah... colleagues will find out."
The redhead paused and finally met Cruz's eyes, staring him down with a stern expression. He was hoping the guy wasn't so much of a spoiled shite that he didn't realize how bad that would be. Cain didn't think that anyone had explicitly told him that Cruz-Sr. was Atharim, but he wasn't an idiot. He could read between the lines. "Trust me. You do not want these people to learn about your powers. I've seen firsthand just how willing they are to commit murder."
He still remembered the feel of suffocating, desperately clawing for breath while the woman with a serpent tattoo did her best to kill him.