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Getting Attention
#21
Nox wanted to stay in bed.  He wanted more, he'd like to have slept.  But there was still the Atharim to deal with.  Did he take the bait or would he have to continue this until he did.  But he wouldn't really know until he was confronted by the man.

"Nox?"  Christian yelled from the top of the stairs. "There is a man looking for you outside."

Nox sighed and sat up.  Everything was awkward with only one arm. "Don't let him in. I'll be up in a minute."  He turned his attention back to Raffe.  He smiled down at the man he'd fallen pretty hard for.  Happiness was hardly a word that expressed how Nox felt.  But he was sad the moment had to end. "I guess that means I should get dressed.  If you want, we can stick around after and I'll make you something to eat in a real kitchen."  That was the only thing Nox missed about this house - the kitchen.  He was used to living off a camp fire and a make shift stove.  It hadn't been till he'd come to Moscow that he found the joy of the kitchen.  Before it was about making undesirable food taste better, but here it was about making something excellent.  On his own.  

With a little help from Raffe clothes were donned.  But not without Nox pulling Raffe in for a few more lingering kisses as he was helped into his clothes.  The whole intimacy was overwhelming.  It was one thing to be assisted by to be assisted by a guy he had fallen head over heels for was unique.  His dad was probably rolling over in his grave about ready to haunt him.  It was a good thing ghosts weren't real.

Nox tore himself away from Raffe even after getting dressed he hadn't wanted to leave his arms.  He was gone.  And the sex had only strengthened the feeling. He had no desire to leave, Nox had always felt awkward with Elyse if they hadn't fallen asleep afterwards.  It was amazing how things changed for him.  Nox sighed. "You can hang out with Christian and Ana or just chill down here while I deal with him."  

Nox tugged Raffe through the basement.  He didn't really want him to stay down stairs by himself. It wasn't dangerous.  The tunnels were sealed but at least Christian had a gun if things went wonky.

Christian sat at the top of the steps. "How are you playing this? He's Atharim isn't he?"

Nox nodded.  "He is.  It shouldn't go down badly. He's alone?"

"Just the van he came in. The heat sensors show no one is inside."

"I don't think it's a trap. He's probably feeling very much the same right now.  Take care of Raffe for me?"  I asked Christian.

The former steward of the house nodded, "Of Course.  Raffe, would you care for a drink while we wait for the wanna be super hero to do his job?"

Nox left Raffe in Christian's capable hands with a long tender kiss.  One that left Nox longing to be back in bed with Raffe.  "I'll be back soon."  It was a promise he intended to keep as he pulled away from Raffe and bound up the stairs to deal with the Atharim.
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#22
Getting dressed turned into its own pleasant distraction despite the call from upstairs. Raffe grinned and affectionately smoothed Nox’s hair into some semblance of order before turning his attention to ruffling his own dishevelled curls, though they always looked like that. “You’re offering to cook me dinner? I think we did this backwards.”

He had no intention of sitting in the basement on his own, but Nox tugged him upstairs anyway, and Raffe followed freely. There was probably a faint glow to his cheeks as Christian met them, not so much embarrassment as sudden consideration that, though Nox had lived here once and their host had been nothing short of welcoming to the impromptu visit, this was not their house. He could still smell Nox on his skin. 

The man’s kiss sparked a fire that was a little difficult to let go of, warmer than he expected given all the warnings ringing in his ears.

He watched him go, but afterwards he offered Christian a lopsided grin. If it seemed a somewhat awkward predicament to meet someone for the first time, it did not appear to phase either of them. Raffe didn’t know all the details of why Nox had left, but clearly the bad feeling wasn’t with this man, and Raffe’s nature was affable in spirit anyway. “A drink would be great.” He laughed at the super hero comment.
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#23
A man answered the door. He lived there. From the surveillance footage, he was the caretaker. And from recent news, he was engaged to the mistress of the house. There were a lot of strange things happening in this house. Things Jer didn't want to get involved in. He looked cautiously out the door at Jer. "Yes?"

"I think Nox is looking for me." He took a few steps back and made it perfectly clear he had no weapons on him. Though if necessary he could draw a gun, but it was well hidden and he didn't much need it. At least he was pretty sure.

The man closed the door and Jer stepped back out into the driveway to pace. There was no place to stand that wasn't visible by some window or another. A least in the open it was more likely someone else might see if something happened to him. Fear and paranoia were part of the Atharim gig.

Jer was getting impatient. He paced the width of the driveway and his frustration grew until the boy pulled open the door and walked in his direction. Jer shouted, "You got my attention, what did you want? To beg for your life?" It came out much harsher than he intended, but then again maybe not, this was a traitorous god he was talking to.
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#24
Nox snickered at Raffe's comment about doing things backwards. He didn't have much to say about it though it was what it was. And Nox had cooked for Raffe before. Just not in a real kitchen.

It was a task just making himself walk outside. Nox reached through the sludged and grappled with the slickness to seize the power inside. He wasn't going to go unarmed around any Atharim. Even if he had been the one calling him.

He shouted as Nox exited the house locking the door behind him. If shit hit the fan he didn't want the Atharim getting inside easily. The people - person - he cared about the most was sitting inside. And that realization made Nox turn and look back at the door. Maybe this had been a mistake. But it was what it was now. And he'd make sure it went over without a hitch. But the words that spewed venom out of the Atharim's mouth made Nox cringe. He wanted to say he begged for nothing. Which in most cases was true. Lingering thoughts of moments before made him warm inside, and the darkness and desires stirred unable to find a foothold as they slid around the emptinees of the power.

Six feet away from the Atharim Nox smiled. "There is trouble in the tunnels. And your scientists need to look into the matter. But I came for a more personal reason. You are a godling. Did you ever wonder why I looked right at you at the hospital? How I knew you were after me?"

****

Christan led Nox's friend - or was it more boyfriend. He'd never really known Nox to bring home people he didn't deem worthy of affection. Elyse had ended badly, and Ana was concerned for both of the children. She felt they were her's regardless of blood. Christian would have to impose that upon Nox so he wouldn't stay away. Ana wanted the sons and daughters she's received because Cruz had learned to channel. That word still felt strange - talking about it much the same.

"Something strong, or something to wet the whistle?" Christian added as he stepped into the kitchen.

He started a pot of water on the stove. Ana would like a cup of tea - he was sure of it. He busied himself with the serving of drinks before he turned to look at the man Nox had brought home. "Tell me he's alright. Aside from the missing arm. He's not living on the streets. He's eating well. He'll tell me all the things I want to hear so he doesn't worry Ana. We do not like the way he left, or that he left at all. He's too stubborn for his own good. Not that Dorian is much better, but..." Christian sighed. "Just tell me he's alright."
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#25
Raffe took a seat. The kitchen was frankly amazing, and he stared a little, though more in open interest at the way another man might live than in anything approaching awe or jealousy. “Tea is fine if that’s what you’re doing. You don’t need to go to any extra trouble on my account.” He smiled and watched a little longer, until the outpour of concern made his chest tighten with its raw emotion. They really cared, and the bonds of family -- especially one chosen -- was a treasure Raffe was prepared to protect. He knew why Nox stayed away, but neither Christian or Ana deserved the silence.

“He’s living with me, you don’t have to worry about him ending up on the street. We work together. My boss will look out for him; she’s hard as nails, but when you get past the bad language and frankly terrifying glares you’ll find the heart of an angel. I wouldn’t let anything happen to him either, though I’m not. I mean I can’t do what he does. I can’t protect him that way.” He rubbed the back of his neck. It wasn’t his place to spill Nox’s secrets, or speak for him, but he couldn’t leave Christian with so small a morsel as he’s alright. “I think he’s happy. I hope he’s happy. I am.” The way his grin flickered, not quite within the realm of control, probably spoke as much. Their conversation on the bench still warmed in his chest.
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#26
Angelika had said as much.  Though Jer hadn't really thought it was an emergency.  But it was the second part of the words that made Jer's entire body freeze up.  "What?"  Jer snapped his mouth closed - he hadn't meant to say that out loud.  The boy had the audacity to smirk.  Jer wanted to pull the hidden gun but he didn't, he was likely facing down a god in true form - weilding his power like it was a badge of honor.

"You could hear my conversation clear as day.  At least that's what I assume the funnel-like shape you made in my direction was.  I've yet had time to test it."  

Jer tried to remember what had happened then.  But he did remember very clearly how he'd heard their conversation.  How the girl was godling.  And now the boy was claiming he was the same thing.  Fire had sprung up around the girl.  But Jer still stared at the man dumbfounded.  He continued as if Jer wasn't there to respond. [color=30072bb]"I know you don't beleive me, but in a few weeks, you are going to feel feverish with chills.  You are going to feel like you are on your death bed."[/color]  

The boy pulled out a peice of paper from his pocket and walked over to him and handed it to Jer.  "When you are feeling better give me a call and I'll help you through learning how to control the gift so you don't die."  He smirked again and Jer wanted to wipe it off his face, "That is if you choose not to kill yourself like the Atharim laws say you should do."

He turned and started to walk away.

"How did you find out you weilded the power of the gods?"  It wasn't so much a curious question.  But Jer wasn't sure he beleived the boy.  He needed more facts.  He supposed he'd have to wait a few weeks.
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#27
There was a sort of releif when Raffe said Nox was safe. He'd had such a hard life growing up. Being here Christian had seen the lines on his face lessen, but the happiness was fleeting. Christian smiled as he set to making three cups of tea while Raffe talked. "He's happy. I don't think I've seen Nox smile quite so much. He was noteably different."[/color]

Ana swept into the kitchen at the smell of lemon hitting the water. [b]"Tea?"
She smiled at Raffe and offered him her hand. "Anastasia Vega. And you must be Raffe?" Christian put a cup of tea in front of the two of them and left the serving tray with sugar and honey for them. A silver tea pot held chilled milk. "Nox only mentioned your name once when he was here earlier - said with a big goofy grin."

"Are you hungry?" Christian asked as he took his cup to the fridge to scope out what they could have. Sadly with no one in the house the surplus was limited. But there was always food.

****

Nox turned around to look at the Atharim who had asked a very pointed question. "I threw a fireball at an Oni trying to save my sister." He'd saved her from the menacing monster then, but he couldn't see the trouble she had been in. It stung to the core.

"Did your partner not try to kill you?"

Nox shook his head. "My sister would never have. And she later found out she could too. She healed me from a near fatal fall."

"Who else knew?"

Nox laughed, "You are afraid I'm going to tell the Atharim. And I might if you come hunting me again. But I need the Atharim. And you need me."

"You are seeking an exchange." That man laughed. "You are getting the better end of the bargain. Information and your life."

Nox smirked. "You are gettting the same thing. Your life, and the information required to keep on living." Nox drew upon the power and wove a fireball the size of the man's chest in front of him. Around him as a secondary display of power Nox started a dust storm swirling around them earth and air split from the fire and air. Nox felt the power pulling at his strength. He wouldn't be able to keep it up. He was too weak still from the amputation. "I could end your life for the times your bretheren attacked me."

Nox let it all fall away but he held the power tightly to himself. It was a comfort and he didn't wanto to be weaponless in front of this man. "I'll help you learn to survive, in exchange for your scientists figuring out what's going on in the tunnels. After you beleive me of course." Nox turned his back again on the man, weaving a growing wall of air between him and the man. He didn't want to be shot in the back.
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