Alec had sent his siblings a text. I hadn’t realized that the blonde was his brother as well. Looks could be deceiving I supposed. But neither of them replied, which meant one of two things – they were hell deep in high water, or they were off making out someplace. Since if they were in trouble they’d have replied in the hour we had wandered around the city looking for whatever it was Shadowhunters looked for on patrol, Alec didn’t seem worried more like he was miffed they were off having fun and he wasn’t.
I suggest, “Why don’t we just get Max and go home. I’m sure your son would love to spend the day with at least one of his fathers.”
Alec smiled and nodded. I added, “I’ll wait for you at the subway station. I don’t want to run into either one of your parents. They don’t like me too much.”
Alec gave a curt laugh, “They don’t like me much either. But they are better now with Max in the picture even if he’s a warlock.”
“A baby is a baby. And a grandchild is still a grandchild. My father hates me but loves Drake, Aidan, Chance, Victor and Dakota.”
“Damn you are busy.” Alec laughed.
“Drake is half dragon who I rescued from death’s door after I captured his parents. Half human dragon’s are forbidden in Dragon culture. Aidan is Dorian’s half human child. Chance and Victor are full human, Victor has a special gift of seeing auras as a human, they were homeless their parents ironically killed by a werewolf. Dakota you know is biologically my child, but I didn’t sleep with her mother.”
Alec’s went wide with the obvious question. I grinned. “Donations to a sperm bank under the guise of getting money, but really they went to the top genetic researcher in the Venatori. He struck a deal with Dorian and Anabel since Anabel was already set to bear a child of mine.”
“How does that even work?”
I shrugged. “It doesn’t. Most Venatori marry, have their two kids. The weird ones – like me and Dorian, my brother Nick it’s more difficult. More difficult for Dorian and Nick who don’t like women at all. I at least like women, but until Dorian I wasn’t relationship material. I didn’t let people close.”
“I know that feeling.” Alec said sadly. “Without Magnus I don’t know where I’d be… Probably still pining after Jace.”
I opened my mouth and thought better of it and clamped it shut quickly without saying a word. Alec laughed, “Just say it.”
“I see your tastes have changed drastically since being a boy then.” I raised one hand as I spoke, “Jace is good-looking I’ll give you that but he’s rather plain and dark.” I raised my other hand higher than the other, “Magnus on the other hand. He’s beautiful. And elegant, and sparkly.” I weighed both of the options on my hands like a scale, with the hand identified as Magnus way higher than Jace. “There is no comparison. They are like black and white.”
Alec was blushing as he laughed softly, “So sparkly is more attractive than plain?”
I shook my head. “No. Sparkly is of no consideration. Magnus just out weights Jace by leaps and bounds. I’d pick Magnus too over Jace.” I grinned at Alec knowing my next statment would elicit a blush, “If I had to choose between the two of you on the other hand, you’d win by a landslide.”
He blushed as predicted and gave me a shy smile. “Why?”
“Why?” I rolled my eyes, “Gorgeous blue eyes, a smile that you rarely show anyone that is amazing, your inexperience is a draw because everything is new, it’s like getting to have your first time all over again. Seeing it through your eyes. You are kind and caring and just a good guy. Magnus is great, and I like him a lot. But he and I are too alike, we’d run into issues. There would be a competition of sorts to see who could be more flamboyouant so to speak and I wouldn’t win – like ever.”
Alec grinned and nodded at the Institute ahead. “I’ll meet you at the subway station then. I won’t be long.”
I nodded and Alec headed into the still abandoned building. I shook my head as I watched the young archer walk away from me.
Once he was inside I headed towards to subway station and sat down on one of the benches below the street and watched the crowd go by. It wasn’t really all that different from home. I realized the longer I spent here, the less likely it was I was going to go home. Hope was slipping away and I tried hard to keep holding on to it. I stared down at the two rings on my finger. I hadn’t since I’d come here.
The platnium ring was plain except for the engraving on the inside that said Always. Dorian gave that to me after I’d been exiled. I could have sold it for cash that I’d direly needed at the time, but I hadn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to part with it even for the few long minutes in the shower.
I wondered what was happening at home. The black ring that Isabel had asked for when we exchanged our mating vows sat neatly next to Dorian’s. I’d once worn Dorian’s on my middle finger, but now it sat with Isabels’s ring as a sign that they were both my hearts desire. And they were.
I leaned back against the wall and regretted it as I felt the slimy wetness brush my neck, but I stayed staring up at the ceiling and falling into a pit of my own making.
I don’t know how long I sat there before a tall towering figure stood in front of me frowning down at me. His blue eyes showed a level of concern I hadn’t expected, “You alright?”
“Yeah, just bring myself down is all.”
Alec’s frown didn’t leave, “I thought that jumping was supposed to help.”
“It did. But being alone with my thoughts made it all rise up again.” I heard the rumbling of the train and stood up. “I just need a distraction, I’ll be fine if I don’t get in my head.”
Alec handed me Max. “He’ll distract you.”
I took the child carefully in my arms and he squirmed as he settled into my arms. The train stopped and we waited for everyone to get off before stepping onto the train and finding a seat. Alec was right the little one was a good distraction, I hadn’t even realized we were close until Alec tapped my shoulder and we up and moving out the door and heading towards their home.
Alec busied himself elsewhere in the loft while I played with Max. He started yawning and I fixed a bottle and put the little one down as Alec walked out of his bedroom carrying a few movies. He asked, “Bored?”
“TV usually isn’t something I do?”
He smiled, “Me either. The life of a hunter?”
I shook my head, “Just my life. My father enjoys the monotony of sitting in front of the screen drowning in the blue glow. I’d prefer a book or something a little more active.”
Alec nodded for me to follow him back into the bedroom or what I thought was the bedroom which turned into more of a sitting room before their bedroom, it was filled from floor to ceiling with books and a few arm chairs for reading. And it was the only room in the house that was plain and boring and I chuckled at the thought. “He made this just for you?”
Alec nodded seeming happy at the fact. I scanned the shelves for something fun to read and I saw a book that even Dorian had read. I pulled it off the shelf and tossed it towards Alec, “Have you read this?”
He caught the book and looked down at the cover and he turned redder than I’d seen him before. He spluttered, “I … uh…. no.”
It was a horribly written book, and there were many controversies about it but it was a fun read and a good love story. “Read it. Christian is tormented. Ignore the hype. And don’t stop after the first one, read all three. It’s important to read them all.”
I started scanning the titles again and pulled one that looked interesting. Supernatural in nature of course – typical of my reading preferences. I looked up and Alec was already lounging in the chair with the book and his long legs hanging over an arm and leaning against the corner into the light from the window.
I took the other recliner and stretched out pulling my phone out of my pocket and my ear buds out and drowned in the book I’d picked up and music. It was a good enough distraction.
The world passed us by with little interruption. Alec got up to get Max who was happily playing on the floor between us. I wasn’t sure when Magnus arrived, but I noticed when he was tapping me on the shoulder and grinning madly as he knelt down hidden from Alec’s view. He yanked the ear bud from my ear and whispered, “That your doing?”
I glanced over at his boyfriend and found that he was reading intently and there was a blush over his cheeks as he read and I nodded. Magnus whispered, “I’ve been trying to get him to read it. He won’t take the subtle hints.”
“I wasn’t subtle. I threw it at him.” Magnus chuckled as he stood up and walked over to his man and sat down on the edge of the recliner. I watched as the blush deepened and Alec’s eyes were full of lust for his partner. I took that as my cue to leave. I picked up the book and Max and closed the door behind me and went to the spare bedroom to read and play with the little one.
I was getting hungry so I ventured into the kitchen to find the rest of the loft still empty – thankfully. I kept my headset in while I started making something to eat; enough for everyone. I’d learned how to cook for multiple people and could gauge the right amount now. That took a lot of learning. But three was much easier than thirty.
I had root vegetables roasted in garlic and olive oil cooling on a tray and the steak was almost done when the door to their suite opened and Magnus was pushing back his fallen glittery hair a little more flush than normal. He smiled at me, “We need a live in like you here more often.”
I laughed, “Don’t get any ideas. I still want to go home.”
“Alec told me what’s happening.” Magnus sat down on the stool at the island.
“I hope that wasn’t pillow talk.”
Magnus chuckled, “He was getting up to take a shower. He told me to tell you what I’d found even if it wasn’t fruitful. He understands the missing family. He’d lost Jace for a while there. Their parabatai bond was empty.”
I nodded as if I understood any of what he’d just said. “Anything fun?”
Magnus shook his head. “There are a few portals that can take you to other worlds – dimensions, alternate universes, but usually require a connecting portal of some sort. The fairies have some but with the Cold Peace we can’t ask them. You might be able to but we couldn’t help you.”
“Anything else?” I asked. I didn’t really want to put them in a position they couldn’t help me if shit got seriously deep. And I tended to land it very often.
“There might be. Some old archaic references, we are still translating the documents. Don’t lose hope. Hope is all we have to keep us going.”
I sighed and pushed a plate towards Magnus. “Not so easily said when anxiety and depression are a slip away. And with no schedule to speak of, and no real anchor, it’s hard to stay on the positive side. Thankfully your boyfriend has been providing good distractions.”
“Oh?” Magnus’ eyebrow arched.
I smiled. “He jumped with me today. He enjoyed it but said he wouldn’t do it again. He let me tend to Max a good share of the day. Then showed me his space in the library. Distractions are good.”
Magnus sighed playfully, “You two are so lame.”
“He’s taken. And for the first time in my life, I’m taken. If this had happened six to eight months earlier I would like have broken my own rules for your pretty boy.”
“Can I ask what rule you would have broken?”
“No sleeping with someone underage. No sleeping with a single parent. No sleeping with a married person.”
Magnus chuckled, “We aren’t married.”
I smiled. “You live together, you have a child together. Damn close enough.”
Alec finally showed himself and sat down next to Magnus and pulled a plate closer and started eating. He mumbled while looking up at me with a grin through his eyelashes, “I think we should keep him still.” He stopped looking at me with shy hidden self and looked at me, “He takes good care of us, Magnus. Me, you and Max.”
Magnus laughed, “I think that’s what pack leaders do, he misses home.” He sounded a little sad in the last statement and Alec nodded. I ate standing against the sink. The meal wasn’t half bad, the company had been better.