“You know Nox?” Lawan asked.
“How do you know him?” Niran asked.
The tension was so strong that I could touch it with my bare hands. While Lawan stared at him with confusion, Niran stared at her in awe.
“Is it possible that we are talking about the same Nox?” Erica pipped.
I gave her a look of disbelief. “How come everyone knows who this Nox is and I don’t?”
“Trust me, Draco,” Rune said, his eyes boring into mine. “I don’t know either.”
“Neither us,” Cintna said
“What Nox are you talking about?” Niran asked her.
“The one with silver eyes,” Erica said with a casual shrug. “Or better yet, the one with silver hair and likes to do underground boxing?”
Niran swore. “That’s the Nox I am talking about.”
“The Nox I spoke to,” Lawan began. “He did have silver hair.”
Niran gritted his teeth and picked his phone. “It’s a good thing I have his number on speed dial.”
With that, Niran got up and began to pace from the living room to the kitchen, Rune sat down. “How do you know him, Erica?”
“I told you right?” Erica said. “I work with Omicron Riley Garcia.”
While we nodded, she bit her lips. “The reason why Riley is so powerful and all... Nox is his half-brother.”
Apinya frowned. “Let me get this straight. Omicron Riley Garcia is half-star?”
Cintna had a weird expression on her face. “Wait. Stars are not a huge ball of fire?”
If Nox was a star, then was Taurus the same? But Taurus did say something along the lines of him being like a Royalty among the stars. I really could not understand it at all. It was not a matter of understanding, it was the matter of wrapping my mind over it.
What was this all about? What would be next? Angels and demons?
“I guess not?” Erica said. “I mean, I saw Nox a few times and he did not burn up in flames.”
“Interesting,” Cintna said. Then she had an exciting glow on her face. “Do they eat, sleep and behave like us?”
“If they want to,” Erica said. “I have seen Nox a couple of times and those times he had been nothing but a jerk. Trust me when I say he is as much as a creature of the earth as he is a celestial being. The only thing that tells him apart is his silver eyes.”
“Wow!” Cintna had a childlike wonder. “So... these stars do walk among us?”
Niran coughed loudly and sat next to Rune. “I texted him and he said he would be coming to the ball.”
“Biggest mistake of your life,” Erica said. “He will crash the ball.”
“Don’t we want that?” Niran asked.
“That’s,” Lawan began slowly and then her eyes widened in evil happiness. “That’s brilliant. Bring it on!”
Rune glanced at them both and sat between them. “I could hardly contain one. I cannot manage two.”
Lawan snorted. “You need two to loosen up a little.”
Apinya mused. “I do want to see how this plays.”
“You knew stars existed?” Cintna asked her.
Apinya smirked. “Before I met my mate, I was Julius’ partner. While he was no longer a Royal, he was still recognised as family. I went to the Royal palace once. I had the chance of meeting a few stars.”
“Julius’ partner,” Niran whispered. “Do... do you know where he is now?”
I bit my lips. There was a Royal alive. And everyone thought that all the Royals were dead. Would it be wise of me to say it to them? Looking at the way Cintna was thinking about stars and Apinya recollecting her days in palace, Rune giving Niran and Lawan an exasperated look, Erica looking amused, I held my tongue.
Apinya shrugged. “It was part of my life. A part that I don’t regret. We both found our mates and parted. But I don’t keep tabs on him. Ever since he left Rune. He could have pushed me away from his life and I would have taken it. But he pushed away his own son. I can never forgive him for that.”
Just like that, the joyous atmosphere turned dark synchronising with the rising night. The last sunray died and shadows crawled into the house, uninvited and demanding. Everything they touched, they claimed it to be an item that belonged to them. Just as they invaded further in the house, the artificial intelligence Rune had installed detected the time and the lights flickered to life. The second the photons came into the room the shadows accepted defeat and left the house.
The faint buzz from my pocket snapped me back to the conversation they were having. Knowing the phone Taurus gave me buzzed, I got up and went to the backyard before I took the call.
“Hello?” I asked after I pressed the answer call.
“Hello indeed, hitman.” The familiar deep voice greeted me.
For some unknown reason, my heart raced. “What is it?”
“Can I ask you, yet another favour?” he asked me.
While his voice was cool, calm and teasing outside, I could hear his desperation. “What is it?”
“I have someone,” he said. “Can you take care of her for a while?”
“Who is it?” I asked, glancing at the blinking stars.
“Princess Antlia,” Taurus said. “Aries is in a fix. I will be taking care of her for a while. But if something calls me, can I trust you?”
Why would he think I was capable of this? What made him think that? Was I capable?
“You...” I began. “You trust me in this?”
“Jarred and Fia had to go to the Halls,” Taurus said. “Niran is with you. Who else could I turn to?”
“You don’t want me to trust you?”
“No!” I said immediately and he chuckled. “I mean... why do you trust me?”
“Cause...” he began. “Not many assassins who were sent to kill me, saved me, hitman. Enough?”
I gulped. There was something else in his voice. Something that made me rooted.
“Enough," I managed to say.
“Good,” he said. “If I am going to leave, I will leave her with you.”
“Okay,” I said.
With that, he cut the call.
Taking the phone from my ears, I stared at the screen. Why was my heart still racing?
“Talking to your crush?” Erica asked from the door.
“Crush?” I frowned. “No-”
“I did seem like it,” she said, raising her eyebrows. “You were freaking smiling at the moon while you were talking.”
Was I? Alarmed, I covered my mouth.
Erica shook her head. “I was just teasing.”
“Shut up,” I muttered.
She said, “Kyan came with two guests. I came to call you.”
That guy already came?
“Yeah...” she said. “When you asked about Kyan in that tone, I did not know. But now... I know. And I will never question again.”
Slouching, I made my way in. Apinya was not there and Cintna had taken her refuge in the kitchen again. Lawan was staring at the blonde female who was seated next to Kyan. I took in a sniff and instantly knew that the female was a werewolf. While Kyan was scoffing at something Niran was telling.
But there were two more people in the room. While both were silent, one was silent in a lethal way and the other in a covering manner. The brooding one raised his head and his eyes caught my attention.
Grey eyes startled me. Thousands of tormented winds swirled in them. His brown hair did him no justice. One could write poetry on the scars that adorned his skin.
The other male who was seated by the female looked down. His red hair was like a flaming beacon.
“Draco!” Kyan called, with a grin on his face. “The famous hitman.”
“Kyan,” I said. “Nice to meet you.”
The female ignored Lawan and sized me up. Then she whistled, “Who is this here?”
Kyan then introduced. “Rita, this is Draco. Draco, Rita.”
I nodded at her and then looked at the others. Following my line of vision, Kyan said nodding towards the grey eyes male, “This is... I don’t know his name. But everyone calls him Lupus. Call him that.”
There was no expression on Lupus’ face. He remained calm.
I shook my head to the other guy’s direction. “And he is?”
Rita shook her head. “Don’t bother him. He is a slave in my pack.”
“What pack?” I asked.
“Summer Pack,” she said. “I am the Alpha’s daughter.”
The last time I checked, Alpha Costa was a male who upheld justice. Why was his daughter like this? I had met that Alpha twice in my life. One when I was young and he could not stop Dave from taking my mother. And second when he visited the bar where Neil and Peggy worked.
“So?” I pressed, feeling a bit protective over the male. “He does have a name, does he not?”
Rita scoffed. “If you insist.” She looked at the red-haired male and kicked him. “What’s your name, slave?”
“Lynx Moretti,” he answered, raising his head up.
The blue eyes were cold and I expected to see a broken soul there, but what I saw stunned me. He was fighting every second of his life. I could see the fight, the determination so clearly in his face. Even his voice was cold and void of emotion.
“There you go,” she said. “Happy?”
“He is a living being,” I said. “Hope you know that.”
She snarled. “I am the Alpha’s daughter! You better show me respect, you disgrace of a werewolf.”
“Watch your tone towards him.” Both Rune and Niran said in unison.
Kyan chuckled. “Rita, while you may hold power in Summer Pack, you better not get on the bad side of Rune Bidaya here.”
“Big deal,” she muttered.
“You have no idea from what I have saved you from,” Kyan said shaking his head.
Lynx’s eyes connected with mine for a second and I saw gratitude reflect in them.
In the middle of that night, Taurus called me again. When he asked me to meet him at the edge of the coven border, why did I feel like a teenager seeking off to meet their lover without anyone’s knowledge?
Shaking my head, I pulled my pants on and tossed on the white shirt and took a leather jacket for the night chillness. I thought for a moment to brush my hair and then frowned. I was meeting him to safeguard a royal. I was not going on a date.
With that, I left the confines of my room and crossed the hall careful to not wake my mother who was sleeping in the other room. Grabbing my keys, I went to the parking lot and started my bike.
There was a calmed freedom in riding a bike in the middle of the night. When the cool winds breezed through me, a ripple of shiver ran up my body. I just wanted to be unrestrained.
I stopped when I saw Torre holding a girl of about sixteen years. Her hair reached to her shoulder and she was snarling loudly. Seeing me, she gave me a smile through her gritted teeth. Interesting.
“Taurus!” she snapped. “Let me go! I need to know if Lyra is safe-”
“She will be,” Taurus said calmly. “She has Aries with her. You, however, are not safe.”
She rolled her eyes at the Warrior. That was a Royal alright. “Yeah. Yeah. But she is still my friend! I gotta be there for her!”
“From what I gathered, Lyra literally sacrificed her freedom and her chance to take revenge just to get you out safe. Now if you recklessly go back and if you are in danger, then didn’t what Lyra do go in vain?” Taurus asked.
The royal was silent as she looked away. While her lower lip quivered, her eyes misted. “Nash should not have died.” She sniffed. “Now who would fight with me for chocolate and play UNO with me?”
While I did not know who this Nash was, I froze. It was her voice that told me her loss. That break in the word ‘chocolate’.
Even Taurus appeared lost for words.
“Not every death is justified, princess,” I said, remembering Harriet. “Some just happen. But they can live on in our memories.”
She fixed her eyes on me. Then she saw Taurus. “You are going to leave me in his care?”
Taurus nodded. “I believe he can protect you.”
For some reason, she looked miserable. It was then I realised. She had to leave Aries and Lyra and now, Taurus was leaving her with me.
“I don’t want protection,” she mumbled. It was at that time, she looked like her age. “I just don’t want-”
“-people leaving you behind,” I finished. “Understandable.”
Her lower lips quivered further and then she launched herself at me. She hugged me fiercely and she cried. My heart broke. How much had this kid had to go through her life?
There was an instinct to protect her immediately. I hugged her back and whispered soothing words in her ears. For some reason, this scene reminded me of my mother leaving me with Aiko and Aiko comforting the thirteen-year-old me. While I did know what it was to be alone, I did finally find my people who were there for me. Who would fight for me? Who would go against their Omicron for me.
For some reason, I wanted her to belong somewhere, with people of her own. It did not matter if I was not in it. When he saw me comforting her, there was a certain softness and torment in his eyes.
These Warriors were protecting her. From what, I did not know. But in the process to keep her safe, they ignored her happiness and her feelings. As much as I would agree with these Warriors that I had to protect her, I would have not separated from her friend, Lyra.
Minutes trickled by and the princess finally let me go. “I must be a mess.”
“Not a problem,” I said, giving her a final pat. “Everyone has their ups and downs.”
She sniffed and then chuckled. “I guess spending the next few months of my life with you won’t be that bad.”
I narrowed my eyes at her. “Not bad, huh?”
I looked up at Taurus and sighed. “You left her in my care, Taurus. I know how to take care of her now.”
“Taking her to Summer Coven?” he asked.
I blinked. “Why would I want to torture her? I am taking her to Summer pack. Peggy and Neil would love to take her in for a while. With a gala coming up, if Dave sees Ant, he would not care about her age. He would just make her his sex-slave. You know about him.”
“What?” Ant shrieked. “Sex-slave?”
I placed my hands over her shoulder. “Calm down. I won’t let him take you.”
She nodded mutely before her eyes turned sharp. “How many sex-slaves does he have now?”
Words caught in my mouth as I looked away. How could I say that? When my mother was one of them?
Her gaze turned even sharper. “Who does he have?”
The edge of shattered ice would be less sharp than her voice. “Huh?”
“Which female of your family did he take?”
I gulped. Everyone knew the truth. What was the point in hiding it? “My mother.”
She gasped and stumbled back. “M-Mother? Why would-”
“Antlia,” Taurus warned. “Not now.”
“This bitch needs to die,” Ant commented, snarling. “I thought Ethan was terrible. Turns out there are even worse dipshits than him.”
“Language, princess,” Taurus reprimanded.
She snorted. “You and Aries are so similar in this.”
He narrowed his gaze on her.
Ant then turned to me. “While I do love causing trouble, I know when to stay out of it. If I had not pestered Lyra to take me out that day, Lyra would not have bargained to be kept in just to release me. I see that you are in turmoil. I will try my best to not cause any trouble.”
“Coming to see whose house she is going to be in?” I asked.
Taurus nodded. “Let’s go.”
The second I called Peggy and Neil that I had emergency and I had to hide someone, they gave me an address to a house located in North pack. Grumbling, I changed the route and the two passengers were enjoying themselves a nice ride in the night on a bike.
“Can you teach me how to ride this thing?” Ant asked me, screaming over the rushing winds.
“Sure!” I yelled back.
Finally, the Waika maps said that I was at my destination. But that technology did not need to confirm my location. A grinning blue-haired male did.
“Peggy is in,” Zeke said, standing on his toes to see who was sitting behind me. “Who did you bring? And why did you want it to be a secret?”
I shrugged and I got off. Next was Antlia and then Taurus got off and took the helmet.
Zeke gasped when I parked my bike in a corner. “Who is that?”
“Why?” I asked.
“Damn, Draco,” he muttered. “I thought I was straight. But this guy is... pure-”
“I dare you to finish that sentence,” Taurus snarled lowly.
Whether it was the eyes that glowed silver under the mid-night or that commanding voice, Zeke fell silent. While he was scared, I was feeling an all-together different set of sensations coursing through my body.
I wanted to finish that sentence just to see what he would do.
“Wh-who are y-you?” he stammered.
“He is Torre,” I said bluntly.
Zeke slumped to the ground and blinked at me. “Am I dead? Is that why I can see you? I planned a good funeral for you Draco in case Torre killed you. You can trust me.”
What the hell was he blabbering?
The door opened and the familiar heterochromatic male greeted me. “Zeke took his dramatic pills. Ignore him. Come on in!”
That was all it needed for Zeke to pick himself up and rushed in. Ant grinned and entered the house. Zyon gave Taurus and I a long look before he said, “Come in fast.”
With that, he left us alone outside the house.
“Interesting choice of friends,” Taurus commented. Then he frowned. “After having Jarred and Niran around, I am not in any position to comment on this.”
I chuckled. “Then you have to meet Erica and Lawan.”
Taurus’ lips curled. “Do you have something to tell me?”
I frowned. “Tell you what?”
“You look like you want to tell me something,” he said.
I bit my lips and stared into his eyes via the mirror of my bike. “You are pure...”
He waited for a beat. “Pure?”
I gathered my courage and face him, this time my eyes bore into the real silver ones. “...male.”
There was a mix of emotions on his face before he walked into the house. “Aren’t you coming in?”
I resisted my urge to snort. When he dared Zeke to finish that sentence, I thought he would do something. But I never expected this male to evade it.
Sighing, I made my way into the home, closing the door behind me.
A/N: What do you think of Draco and Taurus?
What do you think will happen next?
Until next update,