Dyson sat in the quiet darkness of his loft just staring at the human sleeping in his bed, she had been as against taking his bed as she had been against staying in his apartment. She had won neither argument. He couldn’t stand the dark circles under her eyes, the shiver that never seemed to leave her body even under every blanket he owned, the hunched shoulders as she gazed around her in disbelief. What was so unbelievable? That he had opened his home to her? Didn’t she understand yet, she was pack, she was his. She was Kenzi.
Kenzi. It still boggled his mind how this fragile, opinionated, spunky little person had so insinuated herself in his life and his heart. After she had gotten his love back he’d tried to make everything within himself go back to the way it had been before. But, for some inexplicable reason every time he thought about things, genuinely sat down and reviewed his life over the past two years it wasn’t Bo who dominated his mind. It was Kenzi.
Crazy, stupid, human Kenzi.
The girl who kept his secrets after the incident with the Gorgon blood, the girl who refused to admit fear even as Basilisk poison raged through her system. The girl who took on a creature all Fae feared just to make him whole again. Thinking back over his long life he couldn’t remember any other soul who had risked so much for him without the promise of something in return. As she began to stir he moved quickly towards the kitchen to start breakfast. Something told him they would need good food and even better coffee for this conversation.
Kenzi woke the way she always wanted to. To the smell of coffee and bacon. Did Bo bang a Fae chef last night? Just like that, that one thought brought everything rushing back. Bo, Lauren, Lochlan, Trick, Dyson.
Oh Christ, Dyson, he was going to want an explanation and she wouldn’t be able to give him one without the other. He was gonna be so pissed and maybe even a little hurt that she hadn’t asked him for help when she’d asked Trick or even when she’d asked the Ash and heaven forbid he ever find out that the contingency plan had been Vex instead of him. Shaking her head a little to clear it she sat up to greet the day. She’d learned a long time ago that regret and second guessing never really changed anything … except you.
Looking towards the kitchen she froze staring transfixed at the sight of a shirtless Dyson cooking. She knew she should look away, this was Bo’s Dyson after all, but she just couldn’t. If she let herself admit it she knew she’d been halfway to falling for the fur ball since he pinky promised not to leave her in the hands of Lauren and her evil cronies at that Fae hospital.
She’d always pushed it aside, always called it something else, gratitude, friendship, something… anything but that one thing she could never say out loud. She knew that if she ever said it, ever gave voice to that tiny whisper in her heart all it would do is cause pain and heartbreak all around. Dyson belonged with Bo, end of story. In fact it was such an end, as to be no story at all. Over. Zip. Zero.
Dyson had just finished the final touches on their meal when he looked back to find Kenzi sitting up and staring at him with some emotion close to pain in her eyes. Then just as quickly it was gone almost as though it had never been. Replaced by her signature Kenzi smile, even though it was a little weaker than it usually was, the light of it was still there.
He gave a little half wave telling her to come on over to the counter to eat. As she walked towards him in her usual energetic sway of hips he nearly became transfixed before he dug down deep enough to find the will needed to turn away and fix them both a cup of coffee. Turning back he found her already chowing down on a piece of bacon she’d snagged from the plate. Pushing a cup towards her he took a deep breath to steady himself and gather his thoughts and watched as she seemed to do the same.
“So I got the basics from Trick, care to elaborate on any of it for me?” He watched her close her eyes and take a deep breath almost like she was gearing up for battle before launching into a long tale starting with her visit to the Norn.
The more he heard the darker his mood became. She’d been hurt helping him and when she’d needed help in return she hadn’t wanted to worry him. That logic was just so… so… Kenzi. No one else he knew would ever be able to navigate the twist and turns of Kenzi logic that was for sure. By the time she’d finished telling him about her fight with Bo and the misunderstanding with Lauren, going to the Ash for sanctuary though she called it something else and having another run in with Lauren tears were freely streaming down her face. He let out a sigh of frustration before trying to unravel everything.
He had known about the Norn in an abstract way, when Trick had been telling him about it he had been clinical, it was all facts and what he needed and what was being done. Kenzi had leaned more into the emotional rollercoaster of the whole thing. While she touched on the facts her story was more about her emotions, her fear and pain and the fear of causing more pain to the people she cared about. Every word she spoke about wanting to protect him sent spikes of pain coursing through him, stabbing him in the heart.
“So where did the lie come in exactly?” That was one thread that had remained constant throughout her retelling of events, periodic tangents to verbally eviscerate Lauren for lying to Bo.
“Which one? I lied to Bo and you about helping Trick with his books. Trick lied to everyone about helping me with this, though I don’t know the details he had to have at least fudged things to keep the both of you out so easily. Lauren told Bo that I had betrayed her by siding with the light through another Fae, which so isn’t true. Before I left that day Bo told me that she hoped BK was worth it, but I don’t know any BK hence the lie. Then yesterday she tore into me for defecting from Bo to this BK who again who the frak is that. Lying skank!”
The last part had seemed to slip out as she thought about Lauren. Since he’d had similar thoughts about the doctor over the course of his association with her he didn’t bother to try and calm her down. Instead he tried to explain.
“Your lies and Tricks while misguided were at least well intentioned, though I would like to point out that I could have and would have helped you in any way that I could. From now on, if there’s trouble tell me, please. As for BK you do know him Kenzi we all do. Whenever you go to the Ash’s compound you have to sign in not with your name, names have power, but your position; your title. Since you’re human you’ve never had to do that and neither has Bo since every time she’s gone before it’s been at the invitation of someone from the compound. Since most Fae titles are so long they cut it down a few centuries ago to just initials. Trick is the Blood King and he’s the one who took you there, even if he no longer acknowledges the position publicly that is who he is. Bo just doesn’t know any more about the rules than you do so she assumed it was a name not a title. Lauren knows the rules but doesn’t know who Trick is; she still believes he’s just a proprietor of a way station which doesn’t afford him the rank necessary to get you to where you’ve been going within the compound, so it would never have occurred to her who this person is. BK is Trick.”
Dyson left Kenzi in his loft to try and sleep a little more. She’d wanted to go to the compound and help Trick, but he’d seen how tired she really was and knew that what she really needed was rest. Promising to go in her place and to report back everything they found he tucked her into bed and set out to tackle the day.
He couldn’t wrap his mind around everything he’d learned. Especially about his own feelings for Kenzi. For the longest time he’d been so sure that he belonged with Bo and no other, then these feelings for the little human girl had snuck up on him and he just couldn’t seem to shake them. Now though, her life seemed to be on the line and he would do everything in his power to try and save her. Stepping into the Light Fae compound he took a deep breath to steady himself, he had work to do.
Kenzi was staring at herself in the mirror, trying to judge for herself if the marks had grown at all that day, when Dyson finally returned from the compound. She had spent the day feeling trapped in the loft while she knew why she couldn’t leave, if these babies started acting up she needed to be somewhere she could be found fast, something about knowing she wasn’t allowed to leave made her want to be anywhere but where she was.
“Did you guys find anything?” She tried not to sound desperate, but considering the situation she didn’t feel so bad about failing at it.
“Not yet, I’m sorry Kenzi, but don’t worry we’ll find it.” He sounded so confident, so sure, she just wished that she still felt that way.
She watched him pause for a minute where he was setting out the food he’d brought back with him. Something in her voice must have really given her away. He walked towards her stopping only a few inches from her and stared into her eyes for a minute like he was looking for something. Finally he lifted his hand between them and held out his pinky.
“Promise.” Smiling she wrapped her finger around his and held on for a minute for the first time in a long time feeling safe and reassured.
“Now let’s eat, you have to keep your strength up.” She reached for her burger when it hit her out of nowhere, it was like what she imagined being hit by lighting would be like. Her jaw tensed shut as every muscle in her body seemed to lock all at once, before she felt her body begin to fall towards the floor and shake.
It was so simple, Trick wanted to slap himself for not looking here first. Every symptom fit, but it had been so long since anyone had gone through this that the entire process had been relegated to the land of myth. Looking around he started grabbing books and putting them into his travel bag, he needed to get to Kenzi. Now.
“Trick you look frazzled, nothing serious I hope.” Any other day he would have paused and engaged in some stress relieving banter with Lachlan but today he just pushed the open book towards his friend and continued to pack.
Oh my indeed. There really was no other response to a story from the days of old coming to life before their eyes.
“This ought to liven things up considerably. I’ll meet you in the car.” He didn’t have time to argue, and the other man’s presence might even be a boon if things didn’t go their way. For all of his high and mighty ways Lachlan was strong and wise in his own way. They would need all the help they could get.
Lauren wasn’t sure what to do, after her conversation with Kenzi she had looked into the entire thing more and what she found had not been what she thought she would. A chatty guard had let slip not only why Kenzi had been coming to the compound, but also who had brought her there in the first place. She needed to tell Bo, but how could she? Her running to Bo with information had caused this situation, and now here she was with more information and a burning need to share it, but a sickening dread that made her want to pretend like she’d never heard any of it.
She needed to tell Bo.
But what if Bo blamed her for not asking enough questions before? Could she live with Bo hating her? She couldn’t tell her.
She needed to tell Bo.
What if Kenzi died with Bo still mad at her? The guard she’d talked to hadn’t seemed all that optimistic about her chances after all, but that could simply be because Kenzi is human. She couldn’t take that chance.
She needed to tell Bo.
Bo drove as fast as she could, even Lauren trying to reason with her did nothing to soothe her nerves. Kenzi was sick, Kenzi had been sick for a while now. How could she have been so stupid? Kenzi would never betray her; she should have known that. She lost faith in her sister and now all she could do was pray that it wasn’t too late to fix it. Screeching to a halt in front of the building she saw Trick and Lachlan just reaching for the door.
“Trick!” Jumping out and slamming her door she turned all her fury on the only target she had besides herself. She heard Lauren following behind her but didn’t spare the other woman a single glance. She knew that none of this was her fault, but she couldn’t help the rage that filled her at the sight of her lover, the lover who had convinced her that Kenzi was leaving her.
“Bo…” She didn’t give anyone a chance to speak, she was done being lied to.
“How could you not tell me?”
“It wasn’t my place to tell you, she asked me to keep the matter private until we knew exactly what was happening and I agreed.” She didn’t like his tone, and she was already itching for a fight.
“Are you saying I didn’t have the right to know? This is Kenzi.” Her Kenzi. She had the right to know and even if Kenzi didn’t tell her someone else damn well should have.
“Yes actually, it was Kenzi’s choice over who knew about what was happening to her. She chose to keep things quiet until she could get a better handle on things and I respect her for it, you should too.” She was getting ready to let him have it when someone started clapping behind them. Jerking her head to the side she found Lachlan smiling at them still clapping.
“Bravo, bravo, very entertaining. Well done child, now if you’re done venting we do have a sick girl to help, and look you even brought a doctor along how thoughtful.” She felt Lauren tense behind her, but couldn’t bring herself to care.
“Why are you here Lachlan?” Finding a new direction for her fury she geared up. This one at least she held no real feelings for, this one she could hurt.
“Not that I ever have to explain anything to you, but I happen to be quite fond of Kenzi, and when Trick explained things I thought she might need someone to referee. And look I was right.” His smug grin just ate at her self control.
“You know what’s happening to Kenzi? Well come on spill!” Why did everyone seem to know more about Kenzi than she did? Weren’t they best friends?
“Did I not just say that I never have to explain anything to you?” Without another word the infuriating man winked at Lauren before he pulled open the door and fled into the building where Trick had already gone while she was distracted. What was happening? Why wasn’t anyone telling her anything? Hearing Kenzi scream tore her from her self-pity party and sent her running inside. Kenzi!
Trick ran up the stairs as fast as he could, the screams growing in volume as he ascended. He didn’t bother to knock; he simply let himself into Dysons’ apartment and what he found there broke his heart.
Dyson was sitting on the floor, his wolf in his eyes doing nothing to hide his panic. Kenzi was in his arms, convulsing her muscles locked in place as her entire body contorted in pain.
“Help her!” He would, he knew what to do now.