A Yultide Story –

I’m breaking from the norm here and adding in a fun little bunch of posts that revolve around characters we’ve written during the Solstice Season leading into Christmas. Rose Matthews is Gabriel Kennedy’s aunt. She is having a huge celebration and has invited not only her family, but the extended family of supernatural characters Dawn and I have been writing for years. I understand that you don’t know them as well as we do, but I’m hoping you can at least enjoy them for this little series within a series. Let us know if you take a liking to any certain one or set of them. We love them all, and they each have their own stories within the Walking the Blade series.

~ Rach

Nathan motioned for Terry and Noki to back up a bit from the huge cedar out front. The two young men had been helping him with outdoor decorations and the huge tree inside all week. He was very thankful for that help. However, he was beginning to get frustrated with the whole situation. If not for his lovely Rosie, he would not be going to this much trouble.

He pushed the plug into the receptacle and the lights glowed all over the thing. There were cheers! And then – POP!!! 

“Dammit!” He unplugged the thing. “Well, looks like we need to redo the power conduit.” They were blowing things out here and Rosie wanted that front tree to be lit up. 

“Can we just use some hocus pocus?” Noki asked as he came around the tree. He and Terry had helped get all those lights up there. He’d hate to have to take it all back down, dragon or not… Christmas lights were a pain in the tail scales. 

“What am I s’posed to hocus pocus? It’s an electrical problem, knucklehead…” the older dragon shook his head at the whelp. The sound of vehicles coming up the drive had him turning to look. Alexander and… someone else in the car with him were there. The car came to a slow stop midway down the drive, so Nathan took a deep breath and got his temper under control.

“Who all’s showed up so far? We got all the rooms and the barn ready, right?” Nathan moved out from the receptacle and made his way toward the fuse box. For the third time… “Anything we need to grab from the store for mama?” 

“Everything’s ready, we even made sure all the beds had clean sheets. I think Cody, Becca, and their boys are all that’s here so far. It’s still early, though, so no big surprise it’s only them so far.” Terry answered as he started back up the ladder to check the bulbs at the top. “Get some of that orange sherbert that she puts in the punch, I think she ate the last bit that was left. Oh and some ginger ale.”

“Yeah, I’m gonna step away, text that stuff and some more ta Rosie and see to Alex. If I keep at this, I’ll rip that damn tree down. Humbug,” the old dragon sighed when he heard the two others chuckle.  

Climbing from the Porsche Alex was actually not in any wild flaming attire. He was in jeans and a nice teal colored long sleeve with his dirty blonde curls pulled back from his face. He had on his black eye liner, though, because the eyes were the window to the soul and he loved making his baby blues stand out. He closed the door back, though hadn’t turned off the motor. This was just a quick hello, after all… 

“Hello Nathan, I see you have the boys hanging mama’s lights. She’ll be thrilled! Is she still off shopping with the sister-set?”

“Yeah, she’s probably still out getting the last of the presents bought. Actually, I was about ta text her and make a food order I just got. Do I need ta handle anything for you, prince? Then I can get back ta figurin’ out the electrical on the yard tree.” Alexander was the wildest of Rose’s children with Izzy coming in a close second. Nathan had always called the boy their prince.  

“Mmm, your prince is trying to be well behaved. Which is difficult to do with such good looking help around.” Alex couldn’t help but look up at the dark haired man on the ladder and the handsome ginger holding it steady, “I think maybe I moved out too soon.”

“Yeah, keep your hands off those two. They’re a couple. And they’re mighty territorial,” Nathan chuckled. 

“Oh, I doubt I’ll bother.” Alex seemed brightened and ready to burst with excitement, but he was forcing himself to tone down. “I brought along a guest. I hope you don’t mind.”

“You know we welcome guests of the family. Gonna introduce your guest before I handle this?” Nathan had his phone out already, beginning the text message and redoing it. Sometimes he hated his rough fingers and big thumbs. Something came to mind and he looked up from the screen to Alex again, “You know you still got the same room, too. Should I make adjustments for another?” Alex, like all of the others, had a queen size bed in his room. If he brought a guest, Nathan would assume they both would use the same room, but he thought he’d be polite and ask. 

Alexander looked towards the ground and cleared his throat, “Just friends,” he replied quickly. 

That reply threw his step father. A salt and pepper brow raised. The boy was certainly acting like it was more, so…

Alex shook his head.

“I don’t think he’s like that. So another room would be appreciated.”

“I see. Well, okay then. We can make it happen.” Nathan tried to look past Alex to the windows, but the tint and the cast of the sun kept him from seeing much. Oh, he hoped their son wasn’t on a bad road again. Broken hearts were tough to heal. Especially for this kid.

“Let me park and we’ll be inside in a moment to help finish decorating and I’ll introduce you to him.”

“Sure thing, son.” He waited for the car to move forward on down the gravel driveway to the house.

As Alex climbed back in his car, Terry appeared from the bottom rung of the ladder.

“Was that Alex?” Terry glanced towards the front door, “I thought you were goin’ to call Mrs. Rose.”

“Yes that was Alex and I was going to replace the fuse first, then call Rose. Instead, I texted her the list. Anything else you need?” he cut an eye over to the pup and waited. 

~ Uh oh… somebody’s in trouble… ~ Noki nearly giggled at what he was hearing from the old dragon.  

“Uh.. no sir.” Terry flushed and then moved the ladder along so he could set up the next set of decorations. ~ Bite me.~ Terry replied to his mate’s teasing as he started up the ladder again.

“Hey are we gonna have ta call you only Nathan right now? Or is that just for your human kids?” Noki asked from his ladder perch. 

“You can call me either in front of whomever. The kids know the rules about bringing in guests. They better be safe and know enough about the family not to be rude. You know the eldest have always called me Nathan and the girls called me daddy or Nathan. It’s my human name and I like it, so don’t matter to me. There ain’t nothin’ else you can do right now, boy. Come on down!”  He knew Terry and Noki called him by his dragon name, Uscias, most of the time, but he’d answer to both. He got the fuse swapped and then closing the box he made his way to the porch.

“Well, introduction and then I can go open a room up for the man,” Nathan looked over Alex’s current crush.  

“Arkin D’Artanis this is my second father Nathan.” Alex hated the idea of step anything and refused to call Nathan such. “Nathan, this is my friend Arkin, he’s from New Orleans. We met during Mardi Gras and since he has no place to be for the holiday, I invited him along.”

“Arkin. Do you realize what kind of madness you’ve gotten yourself into for the week?” Nathan asked. He knew exactly who this was, even if Alex might not.  There was a slight blush to the red-head’s cheeks under that scruff he had going on.

Now Alex was a little confused, “Wait, you know Arkin too?” 

“Alexander, let me reintroduce your friend to you. This is Arkin of Morias, Councilor to the dragons. He also helped investigate things that have happened recently in Iona. And he definitely or at the very least, most probably… will not mind the same room.” Nathan was nothing if not matter of fact and straight to the point. “Welcome to our humble abode, Arkin. Let Alex show you around. And remember, it’s the week of Winter Solstice and Christmas… which means we celebrate peace. Peace will be had.” 

“Of course, Lord Uscias,” Arkin replied before turning his eyes to the lovely blonde who had brought him here. His bright blue-green eyes sparkled as he combed his ginger hair back better. “I can be a gracious guest. I promise.”  He watched their host move on by. 

There was an irritated sigh from Alex as he picked their bags, “Why didn’t you tell me? I mean not like I wouldn’t have found out just like I did.” He shook his head and started inside, “Just so you know I don’t give a shit about the Council. It’s there and I know of it, but that’s it.”

“I never thought you gave a shit about the Council. That’s why I didn’t mention it. And I never give out my actual designation unless I’m sure of the people I’m with. It was an accident that we met up, but I’ve enjoyed our time together and the ride up. Why should my secondary life cause you pause? Are you angry with me for the omission?” The draconic male tilted his head aside slightly.  

“I’m not pissed at you, Arkin, I’m irritated and you would be too if the tables were turned. Just cause I like to have fun and enjoy life doesn’t mean I’m stupid.” Alex nodded towards the inside of the house, “Come on, I’ll show you our room and put the bags down, then I’ll show you around before we help finish decorating.”

“If it makes you feel better, I didn’t pull together who you were until I saw your father dragon. You’re not the only Alexander Matthews in the phone book.” Arkin pointed out as they made their way with the luggage up the staircase. 

Alex paused to look back at Arkin and actually smiled which showed his dimples. 

“In that case, you’re forgiven. Now come on. Let’s put our things away and have some fun.” Alexander’s blue eyes lit up as he started back up the stairs again with a little pep in his step.

Arkin was trying to relax, something the lady of the covens in New Orleans had told him he needed to do. Being around the other dragons of both his clan and hearing the bitching and moaning from the others had his level of stress and anxiety higher than was liked. He thought he was coming to a good friend… and a romantic interest’s home for the holidays. He’d had no clue that man was surrounded by dragons and other supernaturals as well. He hoped he hadn’t jumped from the frying pan and into the fryer.

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