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Sage wasn't used to someone actually contacting him from the app he installed on their wallets or phones. At least not out of the blue like Nox had done. He'd asked for help. Real help. Twice.

And Sage had been more than eager to help. Nox had asked him to do exactly what he loved to do. It was perfect.

Granted the information he found wasn't happy. But Nox had taken it well. His friend was hurt, in the hospital with burns and unconscious. There was no telling what else could be wrong with her at this early of a time. But Nox had asked him to look further. Well he'd given Sage permission to look further on his dime. Not that Sage was going to ask for payment. He could tho. Maybe he should. It's not like his time was free he was supposed to be working.

But Sage had a bad habit of just doing what he wanted. He could work another time. This was more fun.

Sage found very little information in news sources on what had happened at the Kremlin. There were a few things, but not much. The ambulances were the biggest noticed item. But no one knew who was in there. Sage did though.

With enough digging and hiding he did find a hidden report inside of the hospital system. It was a deleted security memo that was timestamped a few minutes before Aria and DuBois had arrived. It stated that a high security patient was enroute via heli and he was in grave condition.

That helped a lot, now Sage had a time to look for new records being created. And he found a man in grave condition. At the time he was currently in surgury for his injuries. The medical examiner had taken pictures of the injuries at his arrival. The man looked like he had gone through hell and back but even with his limited knowledge the man looked like the Ascendancy.

Sage dug into the file. Nikolai Brandon was definitely brought in by helicopter shortly after midnight to Central Clinical Hospital after assassins gained access inside the Kremlin. He was being treated for a gunshot wound to upper right thorax that resulted in hemopneumothorax and was currently in surgery and listed in grave condition.

Sage had hit the jackpot. He continued his search and found that he was also being treated for 3rd degree burns on the scalp and wrist and 2nd degree burns on the thorax, face and shoulders. That was confirmed in the pictures and Sage understood the damage.

The Ascendancy also had a minor concussion and was being kept in a chemically induced coma to minimize complications from recovery.

The last report confirmed that Aria and Marcus had been admitted as well. Though the report had only said two others were also brought to the same hospital, being treated for radiation and burn injuries, concussion and broken bones. But Sage knew their identies.

Sage texted Nox the information. "Ascendancy lives for now. He's in grave condition at the same hospital as Aria. What did you get involved in?"

He didn't wait for a response, Sage knew that Nox was currently busy with his girlfriend, he'd read a few texts before he'd closed down the connection.

Sage checked the news but there was nothing about the injured leader of the CCD. Sage could fix that. He got to work putting together the information before sending it to every outlet he could think of.

convert binary | biography
Elyse was glad to see Nox. If he wouldn't have pulled her close she would have jumped into his arms. She stayed quiet as he introduced her to Christian, and then asked the owner if she could stay. Nox hadn't ask, and under normal circumstances, she probably wouldn't have liked it, but now she was just glad to be held.

Thankfully, the owner was okay with it and Elyse took his outstretched hand. "Elyse Andersen, and thank you for opening your home to me."

She held onto Nox tightly and thought how weird it was that she could stare down oni and rougarou but this whole situation got her so terrified. Elyse rested her head on his shoulder.

"I could use something to calm my nerves."
she turned to Dorian. "After that I'll tell you what danger I am. It's the least I can do with you allowing me under your roof."

Elyse wanted whiskey just a little to calm. "Babe,"
she said to Nox. "Don't let me drink too much okay?"
Nox had not expected Dorian to turn Elyse away, but if he had would he have left? That was a question that he wasn't sure he knew the answer to but right now it didn't matter, Elyse could stay and she was willing to share her secret, that was what mattered right now. Nothing hidden. Everything out in the open.

Dorian led them to the study. "What would you like Elyse?"

"Whiskey, please."
Nox looked down at her with a surprise she was going strong tonight.

Nox sat Elyse down on an empty couch and moved to where Dorian was pouring drinks. "I got it."

Dorian smiled then whispered with a chuckle. "Don't trust me?"

Nox grinned. "I trust you. I'm just being a good boyfriend."
Dorian laughed and patted Nox on the back with a whispered good man. It felt odd having someone else's father patting him on the back and telling him he was doing a good job. Nox stayed at the bar a little longer than necessary while he pushed his lingering grief away.

Sage's message chimed again and Nox pulled it out of his pocket. Ascendancy was alive and Aria had played a part. Sage had also asked what he'd gotten into. Nox sent him a reply. "I'll tell you the next time we talk."

There was an immediate reply. "I'll keep you to that. Stay safe."

Nox replied. "Always."

Nox sat next to Elyse and handed her her drink. "Drink as much as you like. I got this, Elys."
Nox draped his arm over the back of the couch and around his girlfriend pulling her a little closer.

Mrs. Vega sat in an arm chair with a glass of wine between her fingers and Christian sitting dutifully on the arm of it next to her. Cruz and Rachel had disappeared. Nox grinned at the thought of what the other man might be doing. But he seemed a bit to proper to be doing anything too dangerous.

Dorian sat across from them drinking his own wine. Nox and Christian were the only ones not drinking. But it was getting late and Nox knew that he'd need to crash soon, he still had things to do.

Nox finally answered Dorian's question from earlier. "Aria is in the hospital at the moment. I'm not sure when she'll join us but I will insist she does. If that's not a problem. I have some errands to run tomorrow - one for her that I was prevented from doing today. I really need to get these things done."
Dorian nodded. "That's fine."
There was an awkward silence for a moment. Like the weight of the world was pressing in on everyone. Cruz was conveniently missing and Dorian had the urge to go find his son. But he knew that was being the over protective father. Cruz was going to have to be fine in their house. Otherwise this life would become worse than the one they had been living before. Rachel was not Atharim. She was harmless and Cruz understood, he hoped the danger he was in. If playing with trip wires and sound exploding bombs was only the beginning of what Nox was going to teach his son. Dorian didn't like the idea that his son would become a weapon. There had to be other ways to use this new found gift. Dorian would need to talk to Nox about that.

Dorian killed the silence with his own rambling. "In the effort to keep everyone safe. There should be no secrets between us. Having said that. Ana, the most dangerous thing I do is not being a cop. I became a cop to fight things worse than bad men. My job is to cover up monsters and the things the Atharim do in the name of protecting mankind."

Ana smiled and twirled the glass between her fingers. "Dorian, I have known for as long as you've been with them."

Christian frowned. "She overheard us speaking on the matter very early on."

Dorian nodded. "Okay then. No surprises there then - not for you anyway. I did something against the Atharim today. I gave the police a list of names and known addresses of all gods and potential gods in Moscow."
Dorian watched Nox pale and wondered what he thought of the implications, but the boy showed no other outward concern. He was trying too hard to be a protector. He looked ready to crash in on himself.

Dorian continued. "I told them what I am. I gave them my insights on to the Atharim's next move."
Nox shifted in his chair, he knew something.

Christian asked. "And that would be?"

Nox whispered. "To kill the Ascendancy."

Dorian nodded. "The Atharim will try to shut down the source of the problem. In this case - the Ascendancy and everyone surrounding him that could leak the information out. The problem this time unlike other times in our recorded history is the media. There is not squashing this with a dead man and a false rumor that he was a raving lunatic. No, the damage has already been done. They will next turn on internal traitors and then on the gods themselves. They will come for us."
Elyse put her bag on the floor when Nox took her to a couch. It sat out of the way by the arm of the chair. She looked at it as she sat it down. Everything that she owned was now in that bag and she debated whether or not she should have left the picture of her parents behind, but the more she thought of it, the more she was glad she did. It would make it harder to stay away. She hoped the Atharim wouldn't go after them, but there was nothing she could do.

Elyse took the drink with a slightly shaking hand. She sipped at the whiskey and allowed it's warmth to fill her. Even that just helped. When Nox put her arm around her and pulled her close, she moved to sit on his lap. With Nox and the whiskey, she was calming down pretty quickly.

Elyse was content to listen for now and despite how scary everything had seemed, Elyse was starting to take it into stride like she usually did. The situation itself didn't scare her - well not enough to make her cry. What had caused her to cry was that everything she had known had turned upside down in just a few short days. She took Nox's arms and wrapped them around her tighter. His presence was comforting.

"No secrets,"
she said, echoing what Dorian had said earlier. She waited until after their conversation had ended to talk, and her glass of whiskey was empty. She set it down on the table with a light clink.

"I'm wolfkin,"
she said concisely, not knowing if Christian or Ana knew what that meant. "Don't worry, I'm in control of my abilities and of completely sound mind."
Elyse wasn't sure what else to say, so she turned her head to the ground and took Nox's hand in her own interlacing their fingers.
Nox smiled as Elyse sat in his lap. He held her close, but she seemed to want more than he could offer. Bed seemed a good place to be right now. Today had been hard - on everyone. Dorian's confession to his wife though it seemed she was smarter than she pretended to be. Dorian was surprised by her admission.

Nox found that Dorian's secret however was probably worse than it could be. The Atharim watched everything on their data. They knew who saw what, it was to keep the data safe to know who leaked the information. Dorian had actually betrayed the Atharim. He wasn't the only one.

Nox pulled Elyse tighter against him. "My hacker friend tells me Ascendancy is in the hospital. The Atharim went for him. I knew that was probably what Aria was doing for the past few days. But we met Ascendancy this winter, he hired Aria for her talents. She's been working for Ascendancy and waiting for the opportunity to play her hand. She's in the same hospital as Ascendancy. I think her betrayal is greater than yours Dorian. I don't know the plan, all I know is Aria was leading people inside. Ascendancy lives which means the Atharim failed. Not only do we have to worry about the Atharim, we are going to have to worry about being called Atharim."

Dorian nodded. "It's late. We should all go get some sleep. The house is yours, don't feel confined to just your rooms."
Dorian stood up and headed for the stairs. Christian took Ana's glass and he followed her up stairs as well.

Nox waited before he stood up dropping Elyse to her feet. "Come on. I need sleep."
Nox could feel the tiredness in his body, yet he would still probably only get a few hours of sleep.

The house was horribly decorated and really didn't looked lived in despite all the furniture, there was nothing on the walls. And what was there was gaudy. It didn't look like anything the Vegas would have purchased and it made Nox wonder what was going on with that.

Upstairs was only a slightly different color than downstairs and the halls were dark thankfully Nox conjured a floating ball of light instead of finding the lightswitch so he didn't knock over the vases lining the wall.

His bedroom opened up into a suite before it opened to his own room. It was too much space for him. It was annoying living with rich people. The sitting area was devoid of anything but a single chair and a reading lamp. Thankfully the bedroom area was much better furnished with a nice soft bed and opened to the backyard. Nox pulled his shirt over his head and the jeans off his legs before he opened the blankets and crawled in waiting on Elyse to join him. Tonight he'd sleep, this wasn't about sex no matter what his body might say as his girlfriend curled up next to him. He kissed her on the forehead and wrapped her in his arms. "I got you,"
he whispered. It was mostly for himself that he said it, he had this, it wasn't any different than the day before. He had this. But his mind wouldn't shut down and his thoughts drifted to everything that happened that day...
Sleep sounded good. Everything would be better tomorrow. Elyse was coming to terms with everything around her falling apart. She slid off of Nox's lap as she stood and walked to Dorian, whispering a polite thank you before heading to the bedroom with Nox.

Elyse felt a little bit guilty as she changed into a tank top and a pair of shorts. Nox had been there for her tonight. Elyse knew he would, but Nox had a hard day as well. She climbed in next to Nox and smiled faintly as he kissed her on the forehead and held her close.

"Thank you,"
she said. "I needed this tonight. I'm sorry if it was a little too much."

"It's alright. It's been a tough day for everyone."
Nox sounded tired and in thought.

Elyse frowned a little bit at that, hoping she wasn't pushing him away. She knew that this relationship thing was difficult for him. She snuggled in close. "I know - if you need anything, I'm here for you too."

"Yeah I know."
he kissed the top of her forehead.

She smiled at him. "Good night, babe"

"Night babe."
he gave her one of his grins.

Elyse smiled and closed her eyes. Despite her mind going crazy, sleep came easy. Perhaps it was because she was so mentally tired, or maybe it was because for the first time today, she felt safe. But she fell asleep quickly.

((Nox with Permission))

Edited by Elyse, Sep 20 2016, 09:46 AM.

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