I know you don’t know all of these characters – but that’s okay! The hope is that someday you WILL know all of these characters and will enjoy each of their journeys. Until then, just enjoy the underlying love story happening like we did as we wrote this piece – just for fun. 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.
Stepping back as if Senias had just slapped him, Gabriel turned to walk towards the door.
“I know you care about Sebastian, and have I not gone above and beyond to befriend him for you?”
“I didn’t know it was for me. I thought it was because you were both Councilors and had to work with one another. I thought it might be because one of your best friends got married to the bastard. I didn’t think it was just about me and my past with him.” Senias felt even angrier. How was it that the one person he loved the most could make him angrier?
“I didn’t tell him you couldn’t be friends. Hell, I’m not even friends with Arkin. We work together and I’ll give my resignation tomorrow if it matters. Feelings – I can’t control, but what I do with them I can. That was the point with Sebastian. You lose the ability to steer when you try to control amped up moments with him.” Gabriel looked over his shoulder at Sen, “I’ve not even so much as touched Arkin other than to shake his hand. And I won’t, because I respect you too much to fuck someone else just because they turn me on.” It stung that Sen thought he would. Especially after their history.
“No wonder you’re such a talented Councilor and businessman. You’re the king of deflection. This isn’t about me.” the dragon was gruff in his answer. But since low blows were what Gabe went for, he’d return the favor.
“I’m going to kiss our children and then I’m going home.” What a great Christmas this was turning out to be.
Senias let his fiance leave the room. He didn’t know what to say. If he said anything, would it make things worse? He wanted to rewind to before he had felt it. Before he had realized why the headaches. He moved back to the chair and sat down and put his elbows on his knees and just tried to calm himself and breathe. He wanted to hold Gabriel and be held, but… he also needed to think about what had just happened and what was said. It was so easy to give out advice to other people, not so easy to wrap his head around anything that was this personal.
As he said, Gabriel exited the library and then the house. He shoved everything back and smiled for their family’s and friend’s benefits. He went to those that needed to know and he made his excuses, something he was quite good at.
“I’m returning home now, but Senias will be here until tomorrow, I’m sure. I have some calls coming in first thing in the morning for a conference that I can’t miss.” It was a terrible lie of course because he’d put all his business on hold until after the holiday for just this reason. But he didn’t air their personal business and he didn’t want to ruin the celebration for everyone else.
He made his way around and finally to Mariah, Gareth and the twins. He took their twins both into his arms, hugged them and breathed their sweet, baby scents. He kissed each one and handed them back.
“I’ll see you back at home.” At the look Mariah gave him, Gabriel smiled, “It’s alright. Truly, my head’s killing me and I need the space. Help the boys enjoy their first Christmas for me and take lots of pictures. But you take them because Gareth cuts the heads off everyone.” He chuckled and kissed her cheek before clasping forearms with Gareth.
“This is a mistake,” Gareth pointed out. “Fightin’s just part of it, Gabe. Ya gotta fight cause ya love each other. But you always make up. That’s the best part of a fight. Ya cain’t make up if ya run from the fight.”
As expected, Eva, Inea, and Samantha were waiting for him at the car. He sighed heavily as he hit the unlock button and reached between them for the door handle.
“It’s just a night, don’t start preaching to me any of you. Make sure Sen comes down for breakfast with the boys and that he enjoys himself. I’m leaving all three of you in charge of that, not your mates.”
“It’s not just a night, Gabriel,” Inea pointed out.
“It’s a night you will never get back,” Sam followed her friend up. “You know how this life is. Things change so much, so fast, Gabe.”
“There are people gathered here that you may never get another Christmas time with.” Eva said softly. “It would be a shame for you to miss this moment.”
While everyone else tried to figure out what was going on, Russell slipped inside to find his mentor. Senias was like a second father to him and so if anyone could sort the asshole out it was another asshole. He slipped into the library and dropped into a seat he tossed one leg over an arm of the overstuffed chair and lounged as he stared at the dragon. “Ya really gonna let him take off with a bullshit story about some meeting’s goin’ on in the mornin’? So what really happened or are ya on with the bullshit story too? Cause I gotta tell ya my eyes are blue not brown. I can only suck down so much crap.”
“Did I ever tell you, a Tasker is much better off single with no attachments?” Senias looked up at Russell from his position of head hanging. “We’re not good at this…relationship…shit. He have to be cold and detached.”
“Want me to creep up stairs and cut the balls off the one that ain’t wearing eyeliner and nail polish? It wouldn’t take but a few minutes and hey if it’d make this better I’d do it for ya.”
“It’s not him. Or… it is… but doing anything to him won’t…” Senias sighed loudly. “It’s not him.” Senias sat back and took a deep breath. “According to Gabriel, it’s me. It’s always me. So. I apparently need to apologize and make things all better. But…” Senias stood up. “I can’t wrap my mind around this. I want this to be a perfect holiday for all of us. I want my mate, my kindred here with me. But…” he shook his head. He didn’t want to talk to Russell about this. Why was he even considering it? Maybe he really was insane.
“Well if ya want him so badly then why are ya here and he’s out there about to drive off?” Russell sat upright in the chair and pulled out a hand rolled only to tuck behind his ear instead of lighting it. “Look man, I’m always at fault or wrong and Essa’s always right even when she knows that’s bull. But I love her and no matter who she looks at I trust her. I’m her everything and she’s my everything.”
“It’s not that I don’t trust him. It’s…” Senias shook his head. “I get tired of being the one that’s the cause of everything, when I’m not the one that caused it. Like I said, it’s always me. I don’t do good with relationship shit.” He looked at Russell and sighed a frustrated sigh when he knew the kid didn’t understand. He really was insane.
“So what if it’s always you, does he beat ya, curse ya out or run off and fuck others to hurt ya? If not then what the fuck? Ya gotta go with yer heart and yer gut cause if ya listen to yer head it’ll fuck ya over big time – quick fast.” Russell grinned at Sen and tucked the cigarette between his lips. “Now I gotta go find my gal before she sends me packin’.”
Senias growled under his breath. But as aggravated as he was, he still reached out to find Gabriel. ~ Pull over. ~
It was a minute before Gabriel replied, ~ I don’t think that’s a good idea. You’re pissed and I’m upset and we say stupid things to each other when we’re like this. ~ He was trying to be reasonable. The gate to the ranch was up ahead and he kept the car moving.
~ Look, either you pull over or I’ll attempt to portal to you while you’re moving and that might get both suicidal and homicidal. ~ The dragon warned.
With a heavy sigh Gabriel pulled over and stepped out of the car to lean against it waiting for Sen to arrive. In times like this he missed the protective layers of his business suits. In the denims and polo he felt out of his depths when it came to a confrontation with his dragon. And damn it, it was Christmas and they weren’t supposed to be fighting. It was supposed to be all laughter, good cheer, snuggling and gifts and making love when everyone else was sleeping or doing as they were. But instead he’d fucked it all up and ruined the damned holiday.
The portal opened in front of him and Senias stepped through. He let the energy go and he looked at Gabriel, trying to figure out what to say. His cheeks flushed red and he shivered just a bit. North Carolina or not, during the winter it could get cold.
“Wait, before you say anything.” Gabriel decided to go first. “I’m sorry, it isn’t you okay. It’s me and I wish I could change it. You have been in all my fantasies since I was sixteen and I never thought I’d get a chance to actually be with you. I mean how many people can say they grew up and actually got the one of their dreams? This shit with Arkin hit me out of the blue. I never thought I’d want anyone like that… I…” He huffed, looked at the ground and then faced his mate again. “I don’t know what to do about it except what I am doing. I told him it would never happen between us even though I was attracted to him and you’re right I’m fighting it every inch and I won’t stop doing that because I won’t give in.” Gabriel rubbed at his eyes as the sting of tears threatened. “I’m sorry I ruined the holiday with this damn mess. I want you and our families and friends to enjoy the rest of it. If I leave there’s no chance of a repeat.”
“I …” Senias swallowed a hard bunch of gravel right then. Then he stepped closer to Gabriel and he took a deep breath, taking in the scent of his mate as he did. “I was your fantasy. And that made me cocky and overconfident. You were right. I betrayed your trust and I’ve apologized and I’ve not even thought about another person including Sebastian since. I fell from my pedestal that night. And so, when I see you attracted so much to someone else, after all of that and knowing that I once was your fantasy, but now someone else might be…I react,” he whispered, “I react badly. It frightens me. It frightens me, because I know if you left, I would deserve it.”
“I love your cockiness and overconfidence.” Gabriel shook his head, “I don’t want him. I only want you.”
“I know,” Senias moved close to him and put a hand on each of his cheeks and looked into his eyes. “I know, but he’s not putting things in your head, Gabriel. If he were, I’d know it. You’re just attracted to him.” He chuckled, “I can’t blame you. He’s ginger. He’s handsome. He’s asshole-charming, like me.” Sen’s eyes smiled. And yet, they grew deeper as he continued to speak. “A heart sometimes does things you don’t want it to do. And when you’re not one for controlling that, it can lead you to hurt the ones you love most. I believe my anger overrode my words. Perhaps it would just be best to say, I’m glad you finally understand some of what I have felt but I’m also glad you have the control I lacked.”
Okay. Gabriel nodded. He blushed.
“But, I think what you saw between Alex and Arkin needed to be seen. He’s not being insincere with your cousin, Gabriel. He likes the boy. Well…man…” Senias kissed Gabriel on the tip of the nose. “Now, can we go back and enjoy the holiday spirit some more? All the rest of the brood will be in tomorrow. Along with a few surprises I’ve arranged. I don’t want to do this without you, love.”
“Alright, let’s go back.”