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.
Once they reached the second floor Alex led the way down to the end on the left. His door was the same blue as his shirt. He loved the color. The interior was plain with the four post queen sized bed set in the middle. There were multicolored sheer curtains pulled up and tied to each post. He had a vanity and upon it were bits of makeup and jewelry. It almost resembled a teenage girl’s room instead of a guy’s with pink throw pillows in a chair by the window and the Japanese cherry blossom comforter that was on his bed.
This was all very interesting. But then, Alexander had not hidden his flamboyant nature. Arkin was just very much not as outgoing about… well… anything.
“Sorry.. I um.. can still get you another room if you want. This is my old room.. my apartment’s not quite this bad.” He cleared his throat and set his own bags down in front of the closet. That was the last place he needed Arkin looking. He cringed internally.
“Cherry blossoms are beautiful. I should take you to see them when they bloom in Japan in the spring,” The dragon decided to make the best of an odd situation. He put his luggage to the side opposite Alex’s and turned to take a good look around. He was just in jeans, boots, and a button up shirt, the same pale pink color as the cherry blossoms. “You have no idea what kind of silliness I had in my human side of my lairs as I grew up. Local gypsy shows would come by and I’d have masks and make-up and jewelry galore. I once left my life behind and wanted to become a human so badly that I made up a whole new background and performed with a circus for years.” he looked at one of the beaded necklaces, lifting the freshwater pearl between his fingers to roll. The colors shifted in the light and a light smile flitted on his lips.
“That sounds like fun.” Alex watched Arkin move around his room touching things and smiled. “Both the trip to Japan with you and the gypsies and the circus.” He laughed low and played his teal colored nails over a bright yellow scarf that was hanging out the top of his closet door. “I used to dress up and put on runway shows for my mama when no one else home but she and I. She always found an excuse for Nathan to take my siblings to the city for the day and she’d give the staff the day off so it was just us. I could put on anything I wanted and strut my stuff. It was fun just being me and being free and not having to worry about being judged.” His gaze went to the floor as he sighed, “Too bad the rest of the world isn’t like mama. But I have hope that someday it will be.”
“Anything is possible,” Arkin turned to face his host again.
“Ready to go back down?”Alex could keep them up here all day talking, but that wasn’t what they were here for. Besides, talking too much tended to scare men away. And he didn’t want Arkin scared off.
The dragon nodded. When Alex waited for him at the doorway to go out first, he paused and did something a bit ambitious. He turned to the side and kissed Alex almost chastely on the lips. When he pulled back he whispered, “Don’t change, Alexander. Make the world change for you.”
He held the other man’s gaze for a moment longer and then stepped back out the door.
Alex was surprised, but then he smiled as he closed the door to his room.
“First stop is the kitchen Lucy makes fabulous hot chocolate with a touch of cinnamon and to die for oatmeal cookies.”
An hour later with hot chocolate and fresh cookies, Alex had Arkin helping him decorate the living room. He’d hung mistletoe in the doorways and had Christmas music blasting when the front door opened for the Weylyn brood.
Arkin was placing a hook in the corner of the room as Alex had designated. Then, he took the lighted holly garland and hung it there, leaving a nice loop downward on each side. They were almost done and it had actually been a lot of fun.
“Mama’s on her way home please come in and get cozy.” He introduced those he knew to Arkin and then set about making sure everyone had chocolate and cookies before joining them in decorating. Becca, Cody, and their trio were at the door soon right behind Devon and Eva and Mical and Aaron. Of course, the two middle-schoolers were off to eat and then go find fun of their own outside with Terry and Noki. That was fine. Eva kept thinking that Arkin looked familiar. She couldn’t place him, though.
By the time Rose, Ashley, and Isabel made it back the decorating was done. They could hear the music and laughter as they climbed the front steps.
Almost everyone there had been singing jingle-bell rock without a care in the world when the front doors opened. Arkin stopped along with everyone else when who could only be the matriarch of the household entered – Alex’s mama. And behind her was Isabel who he knew from all of the work he and Gabriel had done on the other side. And her sister, Ashley, who was already making a name for herself in Council Chambers as a legal whiz when it came to supernatural cases.
Rose Matthews greeted everyone but then saw her boy and nearly dropped everything in her hands before Ashley could grab it all.
“Alex!” Her whole lit up as she rushed through everyone to reach him. Rose looked him over and noted the toned down appearance. “It’s Christmas where’s your red? And who’s this handsome young man with you?”
Alex rolled his eyes and then introduced Arkin to his mama.
“He’s my friend, and I didn’t want him bored for the holidays so I pulled him along kicking and screaming behind the Porsche. He gave in and agreed to come after only a few miles of dragging.” He winked at his mother and turned to Arkin, “Arkin, this is my everlasting beauty of a mother, Rose Matthews of Findias.”
“The pleasure is all mine, madame,” He bowed and took her hand to brush an appropriate kiss to the top. Then, let her go.
“Welcome to our home and our family holiday. I hope all are treating you well. If not you let me know.” She winked at Arkin before cupping her son’s cheek. “I need to find your father. He called me but I could hardly hear what he was saying.”
“Mrs. Rose! Did you get the sherbert and fizzy drink for the punch?!” Noki yelled from the side door. There was a good chance she had gotten it anyway without his prompting, but the boys were wanting Nathan to have his favorite. Might get him in a better mood after wrestling those lights.
“Yes Noki, it’s in the bag Isabel just took to the kitchen dear.” Rose laughed softly and moved off to help Noki find the items in question.
Avery came in the front door carrying a box of stuff that Ashley had told him to pick up. He looked at everybody and smiled. “Am I late?”
“In here Avery!” Ashley called from the office where she was wrapping gifts. Her gaze went to Arkin a moment before seeking out her mate. Yes, she knew him… knew he had flirted with her cousin, Gabriel not too long ago. He was the talk of the Council and the supernaturals in the area. A new hot-shot to be tested, it seemed. A dragon, to boot. Well this would be an interesting get together, wouldn’t it?
Mira and Mariah were talking baby messes when they entered a short time later followed by their mates who just by looking at them it was obvious they were related.
In short order the others started arriving, Starr with Raven and their new baby, Inea with Angelus and Largros walked in beside him as they were talking. Seeing his lady love, Largros moved to Isabel and danced just a bit with her to the old time big band Christmas music before laughing with her and hugging her.
“My job is to bring the kitlings when they wake up tomorrow. They’re with the guardians at Inea’s lair for now.” He nuzzled his face to hers and then sniffed the air. Standing straighter, his eyes moved to see Arkin in the doorway. Largros stifled a growl. ~ What’s he doing here? ~ Arkin and the group of witches that he was supporting would not give up rights to New Orleans – a prime city within Largros’ territory. They had been back and forth over it in Council. He wasn’t a fan.
~ Alex brought him. Met in New Orleans is what I’m hearing. ~ Isabel spoke with Largros while laughing and talking with some of the others.
They were followed by Ryan and his girlfriend, Lecia. Then came Russell and Essa, then Clint with his toddler and Gabriel’s sister Lical.
Lical was nervous. She hadn’t seen these people since everything had happened. She couldn’t believe Clint had talked her into this. Gabriel and their aunt Rose had invited her, but she wasn’t sure how she would be received. What if she made Terry nervous? When Bryce reached out to her, she didn’t hesitate it taking the little pup. He was a cutie and he was tired. She could tell by how he was rubbing his eyes. And he liked her. She at least had a friend in Clint and his little one. And they were why she had given in.
Then finally – as if they had to be the last to make it, just for the dramatics, Sebastian with Samantha and their newborn arrived along with Gabriel and Senias with the twins. The three men instantly froze in the doorway upon seeing Arkin and Gabriel shot a look at Sen, ~ Not me, I didn’t invite him. ~
~ Obviously, ~ Senias lifted a brow at his fiance. One more month and they’d be married. He kept that in mind as he watched Arkin hold a hand up and wave with one movement to them. He turned and spoke to Alex as they were making their way to remove coats and get the kids proper. Senias took Gabriel’s coat to hang on the rack and then put the baby carriers down to have his own removed.
Sam had Eva and Inea there with her very soon, cooing over little Elizabeth. The others were the same. Raven and Sam had the newest of the family members and only a few weeks earlier, Mira had given birth to Dominic. So there were babies galore and other babies and toddlers, too! And not everyone was here, yet.
“Hey! I need everybody’s attention to the front yard!” Nathan yelled from the front door. “Our cook and wonderful staff are gettin’ your mealtime food ready, but I need y’all out here! No need for coats, unless you got a baby in tow – it’ll only take a few minutes.”
He walked back out and moved to the switch he had installed on the front porch. Once he’d given everyone time to either come to the porch or to windows up front, he flipped the switch. Every tree, all the wooden fence line, the outline of the gates all of it was done up in sparkling lights, even the barn. Nathan nodded his head proudly and patted Noki and Terry on their backs as he stepped by them. “Well done.”
Terry nodded to Nathan as he patted their backs and then he drew Noki into his arms as they looked out over their handy work.
~ We did good. I’ve never celebrated Christmas like this, Terry. So far… I love it. ~ Noki snuggled back into his mate’s warm arms.
Walking up to his lady faire, Nathan took her into a big bear hug.
“For you, my sweet. We got it going. Just how you said you wanted it, and seems like everyone plans to make it to our big party.”
“Oh Uscias it’s wonderful!” Rose was more than willing for the hug.