CONTENT WARNING: depictions of marijuana use
Chris, who had already been holding hands with Alexa, reached out and placed his free hand on the royal advisor’s shoulder, teleporting the three of them away before Frankie could protest. When the bright light that had surrounded them dissipated, the trio of teens were standing outside the wrought iron gate of a two story brick home. It wasn’t just any house–Monty recognized it as the home the psychic and teleporter shared. The shutters that lined the tall, slender windows were black, and a skateboard could be seen leaning against the porch steps. Lounging by the front door was a black cat who meowed at their presence.
“You should stay with us for a bit,” Alexa explained as the lieutenant gazed up at their home in bewilderment. He had not expected to go anywhere but his own home. “We need to talk about something.”
Then the psychic pulled open the gate and hurried up the steps. “Bael baby! How did you get outside? You must be cold, poor thing…”
She continued soothing the cat as she unlocked the front door. Chris pulled open the gate next, holding it out for Monty to follow him. When the older teen merely scowled at him, the teleporter insisted.
“C’mon, Monty. We’re not gonna chew you out or anything. We really just need to tell you something that might be important.”
“Might be–?” Monty began, only for Alexa–who was already inside the house–to call out, “Definitely!”
“Fine,” he grumbled, taking hold of the gate and following Chris through. “You’re my ride, after all.”
“That’s the spirit!” Chris chuckled. He sped up the steps, catching a kitten that had just bounded out the door. “Whoa! Cisco, no. Bad kitty. You’ll explore outside when you’re bigger.”
Monty took the stairs two at a time and entered the dwelling, his eyes adjusting to the darkness. Alexa and Chris had blackout curtains draped over every window, all of which remained drawn until the two returned from morning training. The front room was a sitting area with a door to the far left that led out to their small balcony, which was covered in potted plants. The sitting area consisted of a burgundy leather loveseat and two random accent chairs, one black and the other white. There were slender, circle-top accent tables on either end of the loveseat, and a shorter, wider square-top was set between the two stand-alone seats. The centerpiece for the room was a tall grey cat tree that was still in fairly decent condition, considering it was used by all six of their cats. A shorthair calico lounged in the mi-level hammock lazily; a fluffy ragdoll was seated at the second level from the top, batting a little ball that hung from the top level; and a spunky American shorthair poked its head out of one of the two box-like structures of the tree, watched Monty as he claimed one of the accent chairs, and hopped gracefully out of the tree and onto the royal advisor’s lap.
Monty’s expression, which had been downcast since his confrontation with Connor, immediately brightened at the feline’s affectionate nature. “Hey, Sparky. Been a minute since I’ve seen you.”
Sparky meowed and stared Monty right in the eye, urging the angel to scratch him. Monty did as he was told, scratching the cat’s preferred spot on the back of his head and eliciting a series of purrs from the creature.
“Do you want some tea?” offered Alexa, who was busy in the kitchen. Chris had disappeared somewhere upstairs. “Or we have some soda that Cassie’s mom made.”
Cassie. The last he had heard from her, Cassidy was screaming at him from her brother’s side. “I’m good, thanks.”
Stomping sounds were heard from the other side of the house as Chris descended from the second floor. When he finally returned to the front room, he had Cisco the kitten cradled in one arm and a lockbox in his free hand. He took his usual place on the loveseat, the side closest to the front door, and set Cisco down on the cushion beside him. The kitten jumped down and began to climb the cat tree, eager to pester one of his older siblings.
“Wanna smoke?” Chris asked. The lockbox was open on his lap, and he was already rolling a thin paper cigar. Alexa emerged from the kitchen and set a plastic cup of soda down on the end table nearest the porter–eliciting a, “thanks, babe,” from him–before she took her seat by his side, setting her own ceramic mug of hot tea on the table beside her.
Monty half shrugged. “Sure, I guess. I’ve already fucked up big time today–might as well disappoint my dad further.”
Chris snickered. “As if he didn’t party back in the day. My dad’s shared some wild stories of him, Matteo, and Aldo doing the craziest shit.”
Alexa elbowed Chris in the ribs, causing him to suck in a sharp breath, rub his side, and backtrack. “I mean, that’s not what we wanted to talk to you about.”
Monty’s sigh was more of a groan as he returned his focus to the cat on his lap. He knew how Alexa and Chris worked; he’d known Chris since before either of them could walk, and they met Alexa when she was recruited at the age of seven. He was outgoing and charismatic, she was reserved and kind, and both kids liked one another from the moment they met. Neither one of them said or did anything about their feelings until a month ago, when their soul mate bond was witnessed by Aunt Desi. They immediately began dating, with Chris moving into Alexa’s home, which she was given by the council following her recruitment. Though there were concerns that both teens were too young–and that they were moving too quickly–Chris Sr. okayed the move, saying his son had to mature somehow. Monty could already see the effects of Alexa’s influence on the porter; Chris was calmer, considerate, and had become tactful… To an extent.
He also understood what they were doing–he knew the significance of the cat tree as a centerpiece for their front room, and he welcomed it. The psychic found her solace in cats and in her mate; when they have a couple friends over, they have their guests sit opposite of them, with the cat tree blocking their view. This made Alexa more at ease, and distracting their guests with feline friends was also useful in getting them to open up.
A serene silence fell over the trio as they shared the marijuana cigarette and pet the cats, and it was a matter of moments before Monty had forgotten why he was upset in the first place.
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