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Et tu, Brute?
Sage’s words put an end to any idea of polyamory, although he only seemed to encourage ‘play time.’ That wasn’t exactly what Aiden had in mind, but then again, Nox probably wasn’t even interested in a ‘thruple’ as the kids called it. Still, it was nice to hear more insight on the topic of Nox and even a little more of Sage’s own past with the man. Aiden made a mental note to keep those bits from Siobhan, next he saw her, those things might not do much to assuage her paranoia concerning Sage.

                The limo came into the Mansion’s driveway and Aiden’s boyfriend all but mounted him in the back. This hadn’t been the first time, so he had made a regular practice of keeping the partition up; no need to share their intimacies with his driver. “Well, that’s all good to hear. Part of me was worried I might have screwed something up between you two. Nox is a hard one to read, but you don’t need me to tell you that.”

                Aiden nipped at Sage’s neck before going on, “I only asked because Kyle and I used to play around with ‘thirds…’ Sex can have a healing effect for some and Nox seems like he’s in need of that. Love does too… Siobhan got in my head a little bit. Got me wondering if there had been anything there between you two; anything deeper. If there had, I wouldn’t have minded trying out a polyamorous relationship. Been feeling a little adventurous since I started Channeling… Playtime sounds just as fun, although I don’t know if I’d like it if you weren’t there.”

                Sage did his thing with his tech and Nox didn’t hesitate in responding.

                “Where? Wait… Do you mean for good?”

                The limo came to a halt and Aiden slid Sage of his lap, grabbing his hand, and making for the front door. They made their way in just in time to see Cruz angrily stomping up from the basement. Aiden cocked an eyebrow and called out to him.

                “You good, Cruz? What the hell is happening?”

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
Sage laughed. "Now you tell me." Sage nipped at Aiden. "Maybe we can revisit when he's not so boxed up."

They were inside just in time to see Cruz stomping up the stairs. Aiden asked first and Cruz glared at them. "Nox is an asshole." He growled and then pushed passed them into the kitchen. "But then I guess he has a good reason to be bitchy." He waved his hand. "Maybe you can figure out what he's going to do it's just insulting me. Though doubt you'll fair any better."

Sage raised his eyebrows at Aiden. Okay. So Nox is being bitchy. Not surprising he's an asshole on a good day if you piss him off. Something pissed him off. "I guess we go downstairs." Sage knew Nox well enough and shouted. "Hey Nox, we are coming down don't shoot."

Nox laughed in his room that was a good sign. He was still upset. But at least he wasn't flinging fireballs. Sage and Aiden made it to the bottom of the stairs when Nox stepped out of his doorless room. He leaned against the wall. "What did you want to talk about?"

"I just wanted to know what was going on with you, figured you could talk to me like you used to in text if that's what you wanted. But this? Where are you going? Why? What the fuck Nox?"

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Sage and Aiden came down stairs, Sage telling him not too shoot. It was funny. He'd loosed a fireball at him once on accident. He was a little skittish. It lightened his mood a little. Dorian was an asshole. And Nox wasn't sure he wanted to tell Sage and Aiden what happened. But Sage asked too may questions.

"I don't know where I'm going but I can't stay here." Nox said with sadness. "You shouldn't either. Go live with Aiden where ever the hell his home is far the fuck away from here. Dorian could betray you just as easily."

"Betray us. How?"

"I don't know. He gave the bitch who kidnapped him the EM weapon I took from Aria. Ya know the weapon that the Atharim tried to kill me with." Nox barely got the words out before he was back in his room punching a wall. His fucking life was falling the fuck apart.
Nox certainly was feeling a certain type of way; this was probably the most animated Aiden had seen the man since meeting him. Dorian betrayed him? If the man had done so, he had betrayed them all by extension… Who was this ‘bitch’ that had a weapon? Aiden didn’t need to know. If it could kill Nox, it could kill him. Sweat beaded on his brow at the thought and Nox punched the wall.

                “Nox, come to my mansion. It’s in Suzdal. A few hours outside of Moscow. It’s not as safe as this place, but I’m sure you could remedy that if you wanted too… My assistant is the only one that has access to the place. It’s unfinished, but I have plenty of room. Please, if you feel unsafe, I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t try to help. You’ve done so much for me. You too Sage. You can even have your own rooms for your tech.”

                He had intended on waiting to offer, but if they were in danger… Well… There was no time like the present. Part of him wanted to ask Nox to come to Ireland with them, but now seemed the wrong time to delve into that. Nox would probably say no or laugh at him anyway.

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
Nox blinked at the offer. While nice he couldn't leave. "Thank you Aiden, but I'm not leaving Moscow. I don't have the pleasure of a personal car nor do I want to drive a few hours everyday so I can do what I do."

Nox sat down on the bed. "I appreciate the offer. But I can manage on my own. I always have. I just need to figure it out, but not here." He stood up and started pacing.


Sage didn't like the sound of Nox's voice. He was sad and desperate but most of all he was alone. This had been his only family left and he couldn't imagine. "You aren't alone in this. Let us help." Sage looked to Aiden and wanted to say he was sorry if he got angry, but Nox was his friend - a good one.

Sage gave Aiden a bright smile and leaned in then pressed a kiss to his boyfriend's cheek and then stepped away. He stood in front of Nox so he'd stop pacing. "Dorian is an ass for doing that, what do you need?"


Nox stopped when Sage interrupted his path. He'd just kissed Aiden and now he was in kissing distance again. Nox looked up into his hazel eyes and there was a moment of longing, but he took a step back. He was with Aiden and Nox was not going to fuck with that and he wasn't into relationship - now maybe ever. He'd tried. He'd fucking tried - not too hard he supposed if he'd slept with the first guy who came along when he was drunk.

Nox took another step back. His voice was weak. "I just need to get out of here."

[[ posting for both sage and nox, your turn ]]
Dorian should have been thinking about the case, and in a way he was. But as he stopped at the red light waiting for the signal to change he thought about how best to enlist Nox's help. He was Atharim much farther than Dorian himself. The boy was born into the organization, he knew nothing else. And working with the CCDPD meant he'd have to follow certain rules. Rules which Nox might find chaffing.

But there was a consulting fee - not as good as the payment he received from the Atharim. But Nox didn't need much under his roof. Cruz was not being protected anymore like originally discussed and all he asked for in return for teaching Cruz and the security around the estate was room and board. He was free to come and go.

He had his meeting with Yun today, Dorian hoped that went well. As much as he was Atharim, he also hated them right now. They'd tried to torture him to death. Boiling him alive. Dorian couldn't imagine. And he hoped Yun didn't have to make the obvious threat. He had only felt guilty about it for a moment. The hand off was for the good of the family. A means to keep his family safe - including Nox. But then Nox wasn't always rational either.

The light changed and Dorian was still no where closer to talking to Nox about working with Domovoi. But there was probably no better way than to just tell him the facts. Nothing else.

Dorian thought about those facts as he drove home, what exactly did Nox need to know.
Aiden didn’t really think that Nox would agree to the offer, but he had to make it. The man couldn’t have felt that unsafe if he was insisting on remaining in Moscow. Were it Aiden, he’d have gone back into seclusion… But then again, he didn’t have all of the facts here. Despite Nox’s denial of the offer, Aiden still added in a bit to it.

                “Well, you’d have access to my driver at your leisure, whether or not you chose to utilize my mansion… The offer still stands, so please remember that.”

                Aiden wanted to add the fact that Sage and he would be leaving for Ireland soon; but now did not seem to be the right time. Nox was dealing with his own demons… Still. Aiden wanted to be there for Nox in any way possible. One was never sure when they’d need a safe house. As a ‘just in case,’ Aiden pulled out his sparse key-ring and extracted two keys, handing them over to Nox.

                “Here. I trust you, Nox. Those are the keys to the front door of my mansion in Suzdal. If you ever need a safe space, it is yours to utilize,” he said seriously. Aiden would have his own assistant make copies of the keys before they left the country, “I’d rather be safe than sorry. Not many know my connection to you, so I think it a safe gambit on your part if you ever needed it… And here’s my driver’s number. Contact him if you need that as well…”

                Aiden sent the details from his own Wallet over to Nox’s, and even went so far as to contact his own driver to relay the terms of the arrangement, as loose as they were. His driver replied immediately with an agreeable response; what else would he respond with?

                Sage kissed him and did his thing with Nox. If the man weren’t on the verge of flight, now seemed like a perfect time to initiate a ‘play date.’ Sage had gotten close enough for Nox to kiss, but the man shied away; so clearly, now wasn’t the time. Even if Sage had initiated it, Aiden would have been content to watch… for a few moments at least. He had a buzz going and he couldn’t guarantee that he’d be able to keep his hands to himself for long.

                Still. Now was not the time. Nox sounded weak and Aiden would’ve felt terrible if he and Sage had taken advantage of him in such a state; unless he wanted it.

                “My driver is outside still, Nox. He can drive you wherever you wish to go… I have a flat that isn’t too far from Tverskaya… Would that help? We three can go there if you’d like. It’s a ten story condo, the top floor is my second home. I have plenty of rooms there. You are welcome to use that as well since the mansion in Suzdal does not suit you…”

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
Sage realized the implied connection that he was welcome at Aiden's mansion, that he was giving him space and everything and it made Sage happily bounce on his feet even as Nox rejected his closeness. It hurt, but Nox had his rules. And until that moment when Sage saw that the other man had wanted to and then still stepped away, he remembered the rules.

Aiden gave Nox keys to the mansion and offered the apartment in town. Sage smiled but he want back to Aiden's side and took his boyfriends hand. "We'd love to have you with us. But we won't be using either place, we are going out of town on a treasure hunt. I know you have a job you feel you still have to do. But remember you aren't alone."

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Dorian made it home, still not exactly sure what he was going to say Nox or how, but it was usually best just to be blunt. That was the plan. There really was no way to tell if Nox was home. No car, the dog was kept inside. But Nox didn't have anywhere else to be now that he'd seen Yun. Or he'd hoped it had gone well. Yun hadn't contacted him about their meeting yet so that was an undetermend sign.

He opened the front door and walked in placing his things on the table then walked into the kitchen. Cruz sat there and he looked up with a glare. What was wrong with him? "Is Nox home?"

Cruz's fury didn't relent but he didn't say anything just nodded towards the basement door. Where else would he be?

Dorian left and heard Cruz shift the stool he'd been sitting on his feet tromping behind him as he went down stairs. This wasn't sounding like a good confrontation. Anger behind him, and a dark god in front of him. Maybe he shouldn't have thought about taking his gun with him. But there was no choice now except to go forward. "Nox, you here?"
It was refreshing to hear it and generous of Aiden to offer things the rich could afford, but Nox hadn't needed cars and houses before. He'd grown up moving from place to place. He wasn't afraid of Yun Kao. The worst she could do was kill him, and at this point that might be the most efficient way of ending this fucking pain, but only if he failed... His most epic failure. "If you..." the voice in his said and Nox chuckled softly to himself. I won't. He was a risk taker, but he wasn't suicidal.

Sage back to Aiden and they were cute. And he knew that Sage would understand, hopefully Aiden wouldn't push too much. "I thank you both for you understanding and generosity." Nox took a few steps towards the couple and grinned at them. "I have to do this alone. I need to get my head on straight. Find who I am without the Atharim, and without my sister. I need to go back to what I do best." And that was hunting monsters.

Someone came stomping down the stairs and even as they clomped a voice called out. Whatever friendly banter Nox had planned for Aiden and Sage fled at the source of his rage came down stairs. Nox grabbed his single bag of things. The rest he'd have Christian put in storage for him - hopefully without too much effort or maybe he could impose upon Aiden's man to do it. As long as he didn't have to stay here.

Nox took his bag out of the room and he walked into the room showing himself to the fucking traitor. He should have known the man would give him up for something if he could turn tail on the organization he'd sworn to protect. Nox approached quickly and Dorian had stopped like he'd seen death riding in on his black horse. Dorian opened his mouth but Nox didn't wait he drew his hand into a fist and he let it loose - straight into the side of Dorian's face. He felt the connection jar his hand and Dorian went down. "How the fuck could you give her that fucking weapon to use against me?"

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