Kenzi trudged down the side of the road trying not to think about the cold. This was so damn stupid. She’d been so convinced that she and BoBo were forever that she had given up on the go bag she’d had stashed after their first two months together, now she was out on her ass without any supplies. Most importantly at the moment in her opinion was no damn jacket to ward off the chill that was sweeping in as the night got longer. She needed a plan and she needed one fast. Where should she go?
Trick had been helping her so much lately it would be kind of leaning into the needy to go to him with this. Not to mention his whole thing with Bo would put him in a bit of a hard place staring at a rock if he essentially picked her side. She hoped this wouldn’t stop him from helping her, they were so close but she knew the gist of what they’d already found so maybe she could finish it out without his help if she had to.
She knew deep down that if she went to him he would offer her a shoulder or a couch or something but she really didn’t want to do that to the little dude. No matter how hard core he was when it came to all things trick-o-pedia family was really important to him and really BoBo was all the family he had left. No way would she be stepping between the two of them not even for a night. If worse comes to worse maybe she could guilt a helper buddy rec out of him, but that would have to wait until this whole thing shook out a bit more.
Dyson was a bit of a toss up. He could go either way in her time of need. He could pull her in and give her space while being supportive, kind of like a golden retriever or something or he could do the other thing that she was afraid he would do. He could pull her in and wait until she was asleep before calling everyone and having her wake up to the firing squad disguised as a concern. No thank you! She so didn’t need another ambush right now, she was still vibrating from the last one.
Hale hadn’t really been on the radar in a while, so her welcome wasn’t exactly guaranteed and if there was one thing worse than begging for a place to crash it was getting rejected after said begging. Even if he did give in, she knew that come morning she would be sitting across the breakfast table from him and Dyson answering all kinds of questions that didn’t really need answers no matter what they thought.
Vex was better left to his own devices, safely away from other people. Sure he might let her sleep at his place but she’d be afraid of what he’d do while she was sleeping to get any rest at all. Not to mention now wasn’t really the best time for his brand of soul searching or whatever.
Lachlan was a whole nother direction. If someone had suggested him as a safe harbor before this whole Norn thing he would have rudely pointed them towards the nearest asylum for their own safety, but now she wasn’t so sure. He had come down and shown his own personal brand of concern nearly everyday that she and Trick were at the compound trying to find answers. That was another plus, he was in charge of the place with all the books she still needed. If she was staying there it would give her a better shot at seeing them even if Trick bailed out. Mind made up, she turned around and headed towards the compound, hoping she made the right decision.
Wow, this had been so similar to how she’d first gotten into this mess with Trick only this time it hadn’t been Bo she’d been trying to keep things from but Trick. If this was going to be her life from now on, constantly cycling through who should know what and when, endless fights and drama was it even a life worth saving. Maybe she would be better off if she just crawled away to die.
She was Mackenzie Malikov, daughter of Galina and if life so far had taught her anything it was that sometimes it sucked, but if you trudged through the mountains and the valleys long enough those plateaus were well worth the trouble.
Mind made up, she headed towards the compound hoping that her lack of escort would be forgiven.
Lachlan wasn’t sure what to think when his guards first announced the arrival of the lone human girl. While he knew her to be insolent she had done well to follow their rules every day she was allowed to enter the compound so her blatant disregard for them in that moment, to enter the compound with a Fae escort, was startling enough to gain her an audience.
“Kenzi?” Not getting an immediate response from the trembling girl he looked her over quickly, he saw no sign of blood but the little thing was beyond upset. Perhaps the Norns gift had a new side effect, hopefully one they could better track than the ones already in evidence. “Kenzi?”
“Bo… kicked… me… out!” To say he was shocked at the girls broken confession would be an understatement. To throw out one’s pet wasn’t exactly an odd occurrence but even Lachlan knew that the succubus was insanely protective of her pet human, it was half the reason why he’d invaded her territory to get to the good doctor in the first place. Harming Lauren alone might not have been enough but harming Kenzi would always get a response.
“Why on earth would she do something like that?” He had never been good with weeping women so he was relieved to see nary a tear in sight, though the cold had done her no favors and left her trembling in place, her teeth chattering as she tried to keep warm. Truly humans were quite fragile.
“That skank doctor told her some stuff so far out of context it’s in orbit and she believed her. Didn’t even let me explain. She just showed me the door.” He would ask more about the doctors apparent loose lips later, right now there were more pressing concerns. For propriety’s sake he had to get to her obvious request before he could help her get warm. Even if she and Bo were having a tiff at the moment unless her claim was revoked, which he doubted, to offer aid without a spoken request was taboo. It implied the Fae in question could not properly care for their pet and while he was certain he could handle Bo if she chose to take offense his guards were ever watching and it would not due for gossip to spread too quickly about this particular visitor.
“And you came here?” The question of why there and not with one of her small circle of tight-knit acquaintances was left largely unsaid but screaming in the void.
“Yeah, I sort of need a place to crash and I was hoping you’d let me stay here. Less of a commute to the place with the answers.” It was a lie but they both knew it to be one, a small obfuscation to save face was hardly a new concept in these halls.
“Very well you can stay here, however the only place of safety I can offer you is a place in the holding cells. You will stay there every night you are here and will be escorted from them to the library every morning and back again every evening. You will not stray from your minders, am I clear?” He could not have her running amok causing trouble in any way if he was going to save face himself. He would be loath to punish her, but he would if he was pushed.
“Good.” Her attempt at civility was appreciated even if it was poor at best. He could not expect much else from her at this point, and would honestly be a bit disappointed if she began behaving now.
“Some might call them dungeons but they do hold people quite well indeed. Don’t worry each cell holds a singular occupant you will not be overly disturbed.” Beyond the noise.
Bo was fuming. Lauren had tried to calm her down but it just wasn’t working, she needed to get out of there out of the home she shared with Kenzi for so long and just think. Or vent. Or drink. Or something other than look at that door wishing it would open and Kenzi would come back and explain everything away. Though she knew better, there was no explanation or at least not one that would make things better rather than worse. Kenzi was leaving her, nothing could make that better.
She ended up at the Dal, where she always seems to end up with her problems these days. She had barely slid onto her usual stool at the midway point of the bar when Trick rushed over to speak to her. At least she knew he would always be there for her.
“Bo what are you doing here?” The alone was left unsaid, though it didn’t really need to be. She never truly traveled anywhere by herself these days. Never came here alone. Even if Kenzi didn’t come with her, though those nights were rare she was always meeting Lauren or Dyson, none of that tonight though. Tonight she deserved to be alone. Always. Alone. Without Kenzi.
“I just needed to get away from the house for a little while. It was a bit too suffocating there with Lauren after Kenzi left.” Which didn’t make any sense at all. Lauren was the faithful one, the honest one, why did she want Kenzi to stay after she lied to her face? Why wasn’t Lauren enough?
“Yeah, she’s been stepping out on me can you believe that? After everything she and I have gone through together I had to hear it from Lauren that she didn’t want to be with me anymore.” Was this what it felt like to be rejected? Truly rejected? She had felt a feeling kind of like this soul crushing grief before but Kenzi had helped her get through it when Dyson turned his back on her. Who was going to help her now? Could anyone help her now?
“What did you hear from Lauren?”
“Kenzi has gone off and found herself a new Fae-daddy and she didn’t even have the guts to tell me to my face. She lied about it all to my face, we fought, and she walked out. She just walked out like that was it, you know? How can that be it?” This couldn’t be it could it? Maybe she could go to Kenzi and give her another chance to explain, without Lauren. The two of them had never really gotten along before, maybe if it was just the two of them they could work it all out.
She was so lost in her thoughts of possible reconciliation with her defected bestie that she didn’t even notice when Trick hurried away. What did she care? She couldn’t get more alone if she tried.
Trick wasn’t sure what to think of the newest developments, the most startling of which was that Lauren had actually told Bo about Kenzi’s comings and goings at the compound. It wasn’t so much that she’d told on Kenzi but that she’d told an Unaligned Fae about the movements within the Light Fae building. That was such a breach of protocol that it could carry a penalty of death if the Ash were in a bad mood that day.
They didn’t have time for this personal drama of hurt feelings and misunderstandings, Kenzi was getting weaker and weaker by the day, they were running out of time.
Knocking on Dyson’s door he hoped that Kenzi had come to him for shelter because if she hadn’t he didn’t know where else to look for her. She had other connections in the Fae world, of course she did, but none other than Dyson would take her in without expecting some form of payment in the future. Even Hale would be risky due to his family and their less than friendly relations with the humans.
When the door opened and he saw the confusion on his old friend’s face his heart sank. If Kenzi had come here he would have been expecting him.
Where had she gone?