- 3 – Monday April 4, 2011 – 3 –

Aiden watched from the couch as Cole taught Asher how to pronounce a few difficult words. This had been going on for the past few days and it was strange seeing Asher on two legs, seeing the other's eyes and hearing him speak words ever now and then. It was just them and Kaige in the apartment, since Alice was at school, Spencer had disappeared sometime through the weekend, Vincent was at his part-time job and Alden had went back home.

He was worried about Spencer but there wasn't anything he could do or say that would make him come back and even if he did think of something to say, it would be hard enough to find him. He didn't let Spencer talk to him since he was still upset with the other but he had also avoided Vincent as well, unsure of how to go about anything to do with them. He remembered what Vincent had said to Spencer the day he got his memories back and he wasn't happy with it in the least. It seemed to him that Spencer and Vincent, to an extent, saw him as a prize, something to collect just as Eli had seen him.

"You want to tell me why you're avoiding Vincent as well?"

Aiden glanced up at Kaige before looking to Cole and saw that Cole was too focused on Asher to notice that Kaige come into the room.

"I can tell what's going on between the three of you. You, Vincent and Spencer I mean. Though, maybe I should start with, what happened with you and Spencer?" Kaige asked and sat down next to Aiden on the couch.

"I don't exactly want to talk about it. I need to talk to Spencer about a few things when he gets back." Aiden whispered. "And don't push it because I'm still thinking about things."

Kaige leaned over and rested her head on Aiden's shoulder, "You need to talk about it to someone, holding it in will only hurt more but Spencer won't be coming back for a while."

Aiden frowned, "How come? This needs to be face to face and not over text or phone call."

"You really think he can come back with all the tension and that practically Vincent is on top of you shouting 'mine' with his demon towards him. Aiden, he loves you and not being able to be around you is killing him."

"Kaige, don't guilt me anymore. I know what Vincent is doing, partly the reason I'm avoiding him but what can I do? My demon doesn't accept Spencer as a mate. Also, I'm thinking about a lot of things and I'm not quite sure anyone besides Cole would understand."

Kaige reached over and placed her hand over Aiden's, "I know hon, but maybe I can get Spencer to come back to talk to you and you won't know unless you try. I want to understand."

"I need Vincent to understand first but absolutely first before anything, I want to go home and see my mom and Kyle."

"Have you talked to Alice about this?" Kaige asked.

Aiden shook his head, "No, I thought about this on my own over the weekend and I need to see them and apologize."

Kaige pulled away and stared at Aiden with disbelief, "Apologize for what? Aiden, it wasn't your fault."

Aiden looked down and suddenly found his hands in his laps more interesting than anything else in the room. "Everything is my fault; if I hadn't gone with Mr. Moore that night 10 years ago then Alice wouldn't have been turned into a demon, which I still need to apologize for and then Eli wouldn't have come back for me and my mother wouldn't have had to worry about me when I disappeared and I'm sure this last one nearly killed her and she still doesn't know I'm back."

"Aiden, this isn't something you need to apologize for." Kaige shifted her legs underneath her, used her hands to cup Aiden's face and forced him to look at her, "You and Alice would have become demons eventually and whether it happened 10 years ago or to this day when you matured wouldn't have mattered. What matters now, is that you are back and won't be going anywhere anymore and have the rest of this time to spend with your mom, Kyle and the rest of us."

Aiden smiled slightly but it didn't reach his eyes, "Thank you Kaige but nothing anybody says will change the past and I'll always regret the hurt and worry I've given my mom through these years, the rest of you guys as well and I don't think any amount of time now will make up for that." He pulled away and stood from the couch, "I'm going to go pick Vincent up from work."

Kaige knew Aiden wanted to change the subject but said nothing about it and followed him to the front door, "Are you sure it's okay for you to go out? I mean I can go get him."

Aiden knew Kaige just didn't want to 'babysit' Cole and Asher, "I'll be fine, did you think I was pampered while I was with Eli? I did learn a few things."

Kaige huffed and crossed her arms, "Fine but be careful and come straight back."

Shaking his head, Aiden left the apartment, "What does she think we'll do?" he whispered to himself as he left the apartment building.

- 3 –

A half an hour later, Aiden was leaning against the wall next to the entrance of Barns and Nobles. He had been surprised that Vincent worked there since he didn't take Vincent as the type to read but he actually worked at the Starbucks inside. He himself wasn't a big fan of the taste of coffee but he absolutely adored the smell and Vincent smelling like coffee was a plus in his mind.

He watched as people drove by and glanced at the ones who walked by to go inside or the ones that went past him on their way out. Most of the humans paid no attention to him, except for the group of girls that walked by and a few guys here and there but all the demons eyed him carefully as they past. He was used to this, other demons going out of their way to avoid him or the stupid ones to come challenge him and that was with his power mostly hidden. Right now, he was showing only a slight percentage of his power to let other demons know at least that he was a demon and not some weird human with black hair red eyes.

Looking from the doors, he looked across the parking lot at a group of demons that were pointing towards him but he couldn't hear what they were saying because a diesel truck had gone by in front of him but once it pasted, he noticed that they were heading towards him. He knew this wasn't going to end well and he looked down, knowing that looking them in the eyes would rile them up more.

"So what's a weakling like you staring at? Watching all the humans, were you going to follow one of them home?"

Aiden had no intentions of doing that, but he didn't want them to know that. He was sure they were in a demon gang and didn't want to get involved but he wondered if he had choice. They wore all black clothes and facial piercings, along with same kind of piercings he had in his ears but theirs were bigger. He decided on not answering however that was the wrong answer. He was suddenly grabbed by the collar of his shirt and shoved up against the wall.

"Well? Are you going to answer?"

Looking up at the other, Aiden was able to tell that the one holding him was a lion demon and mostly likely the leader of the small yet powerful gang. He had dark brown eyes, light blonde hair and stood about a foot taller than he was.

"I'm just waiting for my mate." It wasn't like he was lying but it was simple enough for the other demons to understand. He would say anything to avoid letting out all his power and it wasn't because the demons in front of him were worth it but it felt as if he was admitting defeat if he just used his power to get the other demons to leave him alone.

"Don't lie to me!"

Aiden glared at the demon holding him to the wall, "What does it matter to you what I'm doing? Why are you so concerned with a human life which I'm sure you've taken before and probably will tonight."

The other demon glared back and raised his other arm and brought it back, clenching his hand into a fist. "Why you-!"

Aiden closed his eyes, waiting for the pain but it never came and when he opened his eyes, he saw that the demon's wrist had been grabbed. Following the arm, he found himself looking into Vincent's glaring face. He felt a flash of angry go through him, that anger coming from being protected when he didn't need to be. This had been his fight, he started it and he didn't need anyone to interrupt it. Pushing the demons hand from the collar of his shirt, he grabbed his wrist and pulled him forward, tripping him. The other demon's face slammed hard into the concrete of the building and while he was stunned, Aiden grabbed Vincent's arm and pulled him into the direction of the bus stop. Just to make sure the others didn't follow him, he allowed a little power to show, just enough to show that he was stronger than them and needless to say, they didn't follow.

"I don't need you to protect me Vincent." Aiden snapped.

Vincent stopped walking and pulled Aiden back to face him, "I didn't do that just to protect you; I didn't want to see you get hurt."

"I would have been fine." Aiden said, looking up at Vincent.

"Your fine and my fine are two different things." Vincent cupped Aiden's cheek, "Don't let yourself be so weak that you'll get bullied by other demons."

Aiden frowned and looked to the side, "Whether or not I let my power show, I'll be bullied. I'm used to it. If I'm weak, others will try and force me to submit and if I'm stronger than them, they'll challenge me regardless. I can't get away."

"I'd much rather they recognize your strength than thinking they can push you around, being a stronger demon has its disadvantages, that being one but one good thing it that most of them leave you alone. At least if they know you're stronger, even by a little bit, it'll be their fault and they'll know what they're getting into."

Aiden sighed and looked back to Vincent, "But you've forgotten about the stares, if I'm at a certain strength then all the demons stare at me as they past but if I'm weaker then that they don't even notice me. I don't like being stared at or being the center of attention."

Vincent lowered his hand and interlaced his fingers with Aiden's, "I hate to break it too you but you'll always have attention. You obviously haven't looked in a mirror lately." He smiled at Aiden's confused face, "Though while we are at the mall, let's get you a new phone since you obviously broke your old one the other day."

"But we'll miss the bus." Aiden said as Vincent dragged inside the mall, "And Kaige said to come straight back."

"There will be other buses and Kaige can deal with Cole and Asher for a little while longer. It's not as if they can't take care of themselves and besides, it'd be nice to text you during my breaks."

Aiden squeezed Vincent's hand, smiling when he realized that Vincent had a point, "Were you calling me ugly earlier?"

Vincent grinned and pulled Aiden to walk closer to him, "Quite the opposite. If someone was to call you ugly, I'd have to ask if they were blind or possible tell them they need to strengthen their prescription."

"But beauty is in the eyes of the beholder so I must not be ugly in your eyes only." Aiden murmured.

"Aiden, Aiden, Aiden, I heard that." Vincent said with humor laced in his voice, "You have plenty of beholders beside me, have you noticed why so many demons make you submit?"

"I just figured they wanted to get laid and they thought I was an easy target." Aiden replied.

"Then they could easily get another weaker demon but instead chose you, why do you think that is?"

Aiden flushed, now realizing what Vincent was saying but he still didn't want to believe it, "But there are other good-looking weaker demons, it's not like all weak demons are ugly." It was then he noticed they had stopped in front of the Verizon Wireless booth.

Grabbing Aiden's chin, Vincent tilted Aiden's head up to face him, "You don't give yourself enough credit," Leaning over, he gave Aiden a quick peck on the lips.

Aiden was literally speechless, his eyes wide and his face began to turn red. He didn't dare to look around at the humans and demons now staring at them and kept his eyes on Vincent. He was defiantly not used to affection and public displays of affection had never been his strong suit. Butterflies filed his stomach when Vincent smiled down at him and he couldn't help but look down in embarrassment. He barely had gotten used to Spencer but he guess they had to start somewhere. Feeling his hair get ruffled, he looked up at Vincent and frowned at the other's smug look.

"You going to pick out a phone or stand here and stare at me all day, not that I mind."

Aiden's frown deepened and he swung his arm, hitting Vincent in the stomach, hard. While Vincent wrapped his arms around his abdomen, seemingly in pain, he tried to walk to the other side of the booth when Vincent grabbed his waist and pulled him back, strong arms wrapping around his middle.

"Just for that, I'm going to stay like this until you pick out a phone."

Aiden instantly pointed to the phone in front of him. He didn't care what the phone looked like, he just didn't want Vincent to cling to him the entire time and his embarrassment was rising as more and more people stopped to stare. He felt like he wanted to crawl into a hole and hide from the world.

Vincent felt Aiden tense and only tightened his hold, resting his chin on Aiden's shoulder "I don't think so, that phone looks almost exactly like your old one and you need to upgrade, so pick again."

Aiden, the longer he felt Vincent's arms around him, the more he got used to it and he slowly relaxed, concentrating more on the phones than the demon behind him. Then, as awkward as it was to going to the other side they moved slowly since Vincent wouldn't let him pick a phone until he had seen all of them. Luckily, just after a few steps around the second corner, Vincent had pulled away and instead of clinging to him, just kept one arm around his waist.

Letting out a big breath, Vincent smiled, "It's so much easier to walk like this."

Aiden could only shake his head, "You're ridicules, what kind of demon are you?"

"One that's in a good mood." Vincent answered.

Aiden tended to be a bit slow on some things but he quickly figured out that with Vincent being in a good mood, he'd have to get used to a lot of affection, public or not. After looking at all the phones, he choose a newer smart phone called the Droid X and they had been able to take all of Vincent's contacts and put them on the new phone, so he now had everyone's number.

After getting a new phone, Vincent had dragged him all around the mall and literally bought him something from every store. Vincent bought him clothes, a PS3 and a few games, saying something about making sure he wasn't bored when everyone was out. Before heading home, Vincent bought him lunch and while they were eating, Vincent told him something.

"You're probably wondering how we're going to get all this stuff on the bus, huh?"

Aiden paused in eating and looked down at all the bags around his chair, "I guess but I bet you have a plan."

Vincent smiled, "Of course I do and since I'm done eating, I'm going to go get the car and move it closer while you finish eating."

Aiden didn't have time to make a remark, Vincent already moved away from the table to throw away his trash and make his way to the parking lot. Vincent never ceased to surprise him and he wondered if this was all too true. Just a couple of weeks ago, he knew about none of this and was still under Eli's control. It was like everything was starting over, like he had just gotten out of the hospital and thrown into the world and it seemed perfect then too.

He finished eating just as Vincent came back, twirling the car keys around his finger and once again, before he could say anything Vincent leaned over and gave him a light kiss. He would really have to lay down the lines of public affection next time they were alone but now that he thought about it, he wondered where all the affection came from. He had avoided Vincent over most of the weekend and they hadn't really sat down and talked about anything but he figured Vincent was just happy that he came to pick him up from work.

"Let's head home before Kaige loses her mind."

Aiden smiled at the word 'home' and he nodded his head in agreement.

3

When getting back to the apartment, Aiden found that Cole and Asher had only moved to the couch and were watching TV. Kaige had shifted to the kitchen, cell phone to her ear, a wide smile taking up most her face and he knew she was talking to her mate.

Without getting a second to relax, Vincent dragged him to the bedroom to get everything set up. During the time he had been avoiding Vincent, he had stayed in the chair in the front room but he knew that he'd be back in Vincent's room after they talked.

After putting his clothes in the closet and plugging in the PS3 into the TV, he grabbed Vincent's hand and pulled on it slightly to get his attention.

Vincent looked to Aiden with concern, "What's wrong?"

"We need to talk." Aiden whispered and he pulled Vincent to the bed so they could sit down.

"This is serious; you're not breaking up with me are you?" Vincent asked.

Aiden flushed, he wasn't breaking up with Vincent but he didn't actually know where they stood in being in a relationship. He liked Vincent but Spencer was still in the back of his mind and since the other was no longer in his sight, it seemed like Spencer was on his mind even more. He really wanted to be with Vincent, his demon in agreement but they had a long way to go. He could remember how it was for them before he forgot everything and he was curious if they still had that or if that was just in the past. He needed to get Spencer out of his mind and focus on Vincent, who was here, next to him and holding his hand.

"I'm not breaking up with you but," Aiden looked up at Vincent, smiling softly, "Who said we were even together?"

"No one had to say anything but I guess it was just my assumption we were when you asked if we still got to see if we had a chance. Did I assume wrong and you avoiding me over the weekend was telling me subtly?"

Aiden laughed and shook his head, "No, no, you didn't assume wrong but I spent the whole weekend thinking things over and I needed space to think on my own without you invading my thoughts and making me confused."

"You still think about me?" Vincent asked and he leaned closer to Aiden, smirking.

"Of course I do. You occasionally came up over the weekend but not enough to distract me."

"What did you think about?"

"A lot of stuff happened while I was gone and I needed to sort through everything. I needed to be able to decide on my own whether or not I wanted to get rid of the unimportant memories," He squeezed Vincent's hand, "And I choose to get rid of them."

Vincent's eyes widened slightly, "What do you mean get rid of them?"

"I used my power to erase a few of my memories. Just the ones of my lowest points while with Eli. I don't exactly want to talk about the ones I erased because if I do the memories will come back and it's the times I never want to live through again." Aiden could feel them surfacing, the reminiscences of his near death experiences and instead of blurs, the faces of demons that tried to kill him and humans he killed began to form. Closing his eyes, he leaned over and buried his face into Vincent's shoulder, erasing the memories once more.

"You don't have to talk about it if you don't want too. I want you to feel safe and comfortable here and if don't feel comfortable with those memories, then its' not my decision whether or not you keep them. I want you to be happy."

"I am happy." Aiden mumbled into Vincent's shoulder, "I'm happy to be back with everyone and I'm glad you guys don't hate me."

"Why would we hate you?" Vincent asked.

Aiden pulled away and looked down at the floor, "I was gone for over a year and I did a lot of things I never would have done if I hadn't have been with Eli."

Vincent leaned down to see Aiden's face better, "And I told you before that, that wasn't you but a demon of Eli's creation. You need to stop beating yourself over for what happened because what matters now, is that you are here now with us and that's never going to change. You, being here now makes everything in the past irrelevant, like it never happened."

Aiden shifted his eyes to Vincent and he wondered if he said something wrong.

"But I could still be that demon he created," Aiden whispered, "How can you trust me so easily?"

Vincent reached down, grabbed Aiden's wrist and pressed the palm of Aiden's hand to his chest, "Because I never doubt my demon."

Aiden's eyes went wide and he almost pulled his hand away, he didn't care what Vincent's demon thought but what Vincent himself thought. He lowered his head before punching Vincent in the shoulder, "This is the second time you've pushed the answer onto your demon and I can understand why but I want you to answer."

Before Aiden could look up to hear Vincent's answer, he was pushed down onto the bed and Vincent hovered over him. His breath was nearly knocked out of him by the look on Vincent's face and no matter how much he wanted to look away, he couldn't. Vincent looked dead serious but he could see the deep sadness behind the seriousness however, he could also see anger.

"You should know better than anybody that our demons aren't to be taken lightly. I and my demon are one in the same, just as everybody else's is and that includes yours. I'm not pushing my answer onto my demon but that is my answer and my demon knows this is the real you in front of me. I know this is the real you in front of me and I knew that from the moment you clung to me in the middle of the sidewalk, apologizing over and over again. You are who you are and that'll never change."

Aiden hesitantly wrapped his arms around Vincent's neck and pulled him down, kissing him. "Thank you." He mumbled against Vincent's lips. He couldn't describe how happy he was, his chest tight and his stomach filled to the brim with butterflies. He flushed when Vincent's arms wrapped around him but the feeling only lasted a moment or two before Vincent's cell phone went off.

Vincent groaned and placed a quick kiss to Aiden's temple, "Sorry, I got to get this." He got up from the bed and moved to the computer desk, answering his phone. "What is it?"

Aiden rolled over onto his side and he listened to Vincent talk on the phone, wondering who he was talking to too. Vincent sounded polite but he could hear the annoyance laced in his voice and Vincent was tense.

Vincent smiled back at Aiden for a split second before turning his attention back to the phone, "Wednesday, I think I can manage." He paused to listen to the other on the phone, "Yeah, it's my day off from Starbucks anyway but can I make a request?"

Aiden sat up on the bed; really curious as to whom Vincent was talking too and he stood up, moving closer to Vincent to hear better.

"You haven't even heard said request, how can you just say no?" Vincent frowned at the answer he was given, "You know, I could also say no if you deny this. It's just one other person." He shook his head and looked over at Aiden, 'It's going to be a bit' he mouthed.

Aiden nodded and smiled, 'I'm gonna go check on Cole and Asher.' He mouthed back.

Vincent tilted his head up in acknowledgement and then went back to arguing on the phone. "I'm the one everyone wants and I've never asked for anything specifically before."

Aiden left the room quietly and made his way to the front room where Kaige was nowhere in sight and Cole and Asher were still spotted on the couch. He walked over to the couch and sat beside Cole, resting against the back of the couch and he put his feet on the edge, bringing his knees to his chest.

"What made you decide to come to me? Did you think I could protect you from Eli?"

Cole shook his head and turned his head to look over at Aiden, "Because I trust you more than Eli and just because he turned me into a demon doesn't mean he owns me or Asher. I don't think you can, I know you can."

Before Aiden had the chance to respond, Kaige came bouncing into the room and sat down on the arm rest of the couch next to him.

"Good news my little chickadee, my mate is coming down tomorrow so you get to meet her." She wrapped her arms around Aiden's neck and leaned against him, "So, you and Vincent, what happened?"

"What do you mean?" Aiden asked, glancing over at her.

"Are you guys good now? Oh! I called Spencer a little bit ago and he'll be back on Wednesday. Something had come up with his father and he needed to go home."

Wednesday? Aiden looked into the direction of the hallway, remembering that Vincent had said something about Wednesday just a few minutes before. "Vincent and I are fine, why wouldn't we be? It's me and Spencer that needs to work things out."

Kaige smiled, "Ah, well good thing he's coming back on Wednesday so you guys can talk it all out."

Aiden nodded stiffly, "I guess, I mean. What do you want me to say Kaige?"

Kaige tightened her hold, "Spencer told me everything about what happened before you disappeared and I don't blame you for being mad at him but you said yourself earlier today that you two need to talk about a few things and I knew you wouldn't get a hold of him so I did it for you. You guys need to get past this and patch things up and I'll force you guys if I have too. I mean it."

Aiden frowned but he agreed, "You're right. On Wednesday we'll talk and I mean that, even if it lasts all day."

Grinning, Kaige released Aiden, "Of course because I'm not going to lock you in a room together but kick you guys out of the apartment for the day and so nothing is ruined, I'm going to make sure Vincent stays in while you guys venture out."

"I don't think you'll have a problem with Vincent on Wednesday, I think he has plans on that day." Aiden mumbled.

"Even better and also, mister make-my-own-plans, you need to talk to Alice when she gets back from school about going home over the weekend."

Aiden nodded, "I know I do and-" Suddenly he felt like something was off and he slowly got off the couch, moving to the door.

"Aiden, what's wrong?" Cole asked, wondering why Aiden looked so concerned. Kaige also stood up from the couch and went to move over to the door with Aiden but Aiden stopped her.

"You guys don't smell that?" Aiden asked, opening the door slightly and looking out into the hallway. He looked back at the three, hoping they would agree but was only meet with confused faces.

"I don't smell anything besides your nervousness, what is it?" Kaige asked.

Aiden went to answer when the door was pushed open and hit him in the side of the face. His vision was blurry for a split second but it ended quickly when he saw who had opened the door.

"Aiden, I'm so sorry, I didn't know you were behind the door. Are you okay?" Alice looked completely concerned but he was fine, since it wasn't as if she kicked the door open.

"It's okay, I'm fine." Aiden answered quickly, he didn't want to worry her. He was worried himself since the smell that was there earlier was completely gone now. He shut the door behind Alice and went back over to the couch, Kaige sitting back on the arm rest.

"What did you smell earlier? It had to of been familiar from the way you were acting." Kaige said, leaning over slightly.

"It was familiar but it's strange." Aiden whispered.

"What do you mean, how is it strange?"

"I smelled a vampire." Aiden murmured and he frowned immediately after when Kaige gave him a crazy look.

"How do you smell a vampire? Aiden, they have no smell to them. Besides, vampires don't live in the city and won't be caught dead in this weather and demon crazy town."

"Well, vampires do a have a smell and if you lived with some for a month, you'd be able to pick up on it and some vampires are okay in the heat and the cold of this state. I learned that by living with them and a few others things that I'm not allowed to tell. But I know when I say a smelled a vampire but only for those few moments before Alice hit me with the door."

"Hey," Alice said quickly, "I'm sorry, I didn't know you were behind the door and it was open, so I was concerned."

"Usually when someone's front door is open then it either means there is a killer in the house or someone is about to walk outside but instead of worrying about that, how about Aiden tells us why he had to live with vampires and how he managed that?"

"What about vampires?" Vincent asked as he walked into the room.

Kaige turned towards Vincent, "Aiden was just about to tell us how it came to be that he lived with vampires."

"I'm not telling you that because it's a long story and Eli set it all up so I don't know how he did it." Aiden leaned back into the couch, "I also lived with werewolves for a bit as well and I'm not telling you about that experience either."

"Now I'm even more curious. Why tell us if you aren't even going to explain." Slipping off the arm rest, she knelled down in front of Aiden and rested her head on his knee, "C'mon, tell us. Pretty please, Aiden. At least tell us how they behave or why they didn't kill you?"

"They had no reason to kill me since I had no choice but to stay with them under Eli's orders. They owned Eli a favor and he used it but I promised them not to tell anyone what happened while I was with them. I can tell others I stayed with them but nothing more. They like their privacy."

Kaige pouted but she nodded, "I understand, I mean we have secrets from them so they have every right to keep secrets from us but you're lucky that you got to find out. I'm jealous." She stood up and stalked off to the kitchen.

Aiden knew she wasn't exactly happy she didn't get to find out but he promised. He glanced over at Cole and Cole shook his head, "Me and Asher were his possessions not his tools so that sort of training wasn't needed."

Aiden sighed, "Lucky in a way I guess," He looked up and saw Vincent tilt his head back towards the bedroom. Getting up from the couch, he ruffled Cole's hair, "I went through my own personal hell through I don't if yours and Asher's hell was the same as mine but I'm not going to make you guys go back there, I promise."

"You can't treat me like a child anymore, Aiden. I'm only a year younger than you now and Asher is the same age as me." Cole was not happy that Aiden ruffled his hair as if he was a child but it felt nice being treated as such since neither his parents, nor Eli had treated him as such. "I'll make sure you keep that promise."

Aiden smiled, "You better, for my sake." He turned away and followed Vincent back into the bedroom. "Who was that on the phone?" he asked, shutting the door behind him.

"That was my agent."

"Agent?" Aiden questioned, moving to stand beside Vincent. "What did you do while I was gone?"

"I was depressed, empty and lost the first couple of months when you disappeared but the government doesn't pay for everything so I literally couldn't afford to just sit and wait and I needed a distraction so I got that job at Starbucks but then I got scouted by an agent to become a model and I accepted to have more of an distraction. Don't even think about apologizing because you don't need to since it's not your fault." He cupped Aiden's cheek and pulled him close, wrapping his arm around Aiden's waist, "I've already decided to accept all future apologies from you so you no longer have to voice them because I've accepted them already. Stop being so hard on yourself, please, for everyone's sake."

"You know it's going to take more than a week to get over everything, what I put you guys through, filtering through everything I learned, keeping things I want to remember and wondering if erasing the bad memories is really going to help. Thank you for accepting my apologies but I'm still going to say 'I'm sorry' to you unless I don't know I've done something then you're out of luck." He raised his arm and curled his fingers around Vincent's wrist, "I just need time, not a lot but some and I don't know when everything is going to be some-what normal again, if normal is even the right word for it all."

"You have all the time in the world and I'll be right here the whole time, right beside you." Vincent lowered his arm and twisted his hand to interlace his fingers with Aiden's. "Except for Wednesday."

Aiden raised his gaze to meet Vincent's, "What's Wednesday?"

"I was asked to go to New York for a photo shoot and I can't get out of it. I asked if you could come with but they're stingy and they don't want to pay for another ticket."

"That's okay; I already have plans on Wednesday." Aiden said, his eyes flickering away for a moment. He didn't know how Vincent was going to take it when he told him he was going to spend the day with Spencer and during the time he was to spend with Spencer, Vincent was going to be states away.

"What's going for you on Wednesday?" Vincent asked, he knew something was up by the Aiden glanced away.

"Spencer is coming back on Wednesday." Aiden whispered but he didn't look away. If he had looked away, it would be defeat.

"And? What does that have to do with you?"

"It has to do with me because we are going to spend the day together to talk and before you even say no or even think about calling your agent and say you can't go to New York because I'm not going to let you. If you say anything along those lines, I'll be mad and ignore you for long time, maybe a month or longer depending on what you say." Aiden searched Vincent's eyes, waiting for Vincent to say something.

"I wasn't going to say any of those things," Vincent sighed and ran his free hand through his hair, "When your memories came back, I wanted you and Spencer to talk, which is why I texted him to come to the apartment but you were the one who didn't want to talk to him. I thought you guys would talk over the weekend but he had to go home before you guys got that chance. You guys were together in what you say was a strange relationship, Spencer broke it off in a rough way and he needs to explain himself to you."

All Aiden could say was 'Oh' and look away.

"Now I'm not too happy about you two spending the whole day together while I'm not there but that just means you'll have to make it up to me when I get back. Now, tell me about the vampires and werewolves."

Aiden just shook his head, "All I can say is that I learned a lot from them and they're not as bad as everyone thinks. I survived just fine living with them and I even got along with them to a degree. I got along better with the werewolf tribes than the vampire clans though and the werewolves welcomed me more." Pulling away from Vincent, he slowly made his way to the bathroom, "I'm going to take a quick shower and I'm really in the mood of pizza." He hinted subtlety that he was hungry but before he could duck away into the bathroom, Vincent grabbed him by the waist and pulled him back.

"I just feed you like 2 hours ago, how can you be hungry again already?" Vincent asked, playfully.

Aiden leaned into the touch and smiled, "Demon metabolism maybe?" he said jokingly. Turning his head around, he felt his heart melt at the look of happiness in Vincent's eyes and he closed his eyes, kissing Vincent softly. It seemed almost perfect but something in the back of his mind told him something was missing and he had no idea what that thing was.

- 3 – Tuesday, April 5, 2011 – 3 –

Aiden had indeed gotten his pizza the night before and was currently sitting on the couch, watching the Food Network channel and was eating the leftovers of said pizza. Alice was once again at school and Vincent was off at work, soon to back in just an hour. Kaige, Cole and Asher too were sitting in the front room with him and eating the pizza as well. They were waiting for Kaige's mate to show up. It seemed like a normal Tuesday.

Except, they day had started off weird and Aiden knew something was going to happen. He had woken up under three blankets all together, freezing cold and instead of Vincent holding him, he had been curled up behind the other, his face in between his hands and pressed against Vincent's back.

Then, after officially getting up and migrating to the front room for breakfast, he saw that Cole, who just the day before was shorter than him was now a couple inches taller than him and instead of his baby face, he looked more mature. Asher too had grown a few inches and stood at the same height as Aiden and it was the first time this morning that Asher had told him good morning.

He couldn't wait to see the rest of his day.

The atmosphere was strange to say the least; Aiden had curled into the side of the couch to give Cole and Asher plenty of room to sit down on the couch as well but they were cuddling on the love seat on the other side of the room. He understood that they were mates but it was strange to see it, he was used to Cole being about 10 years younger than him and now he was about a year older and Asher was the same age as he was. He wondered how long it was going to take him to get used to it.

An hour and Chopped episode later, Vincent came through the front door and all Aiden could smell was the deep rich smell of coffee. He could smell a hint of books and Vincent underneath the smell of it and it instantly turned into his favorite smell of all time. He stood up from the couch and followed him to the bedroom.

"You didn't have to follow me; I'm just changing out of my uniform."

"I know," Aiden whispered, "But you could sense the strange tension, couldn't you?"

Vincent threw his shirt down onto the bed, "Of course I could but why was it there in the first place? Was it because of Cole and Asher?"

Aiden scratched the back of his head, a small of awkwardness, "In a way I guess. It's weird seeing Cole older than me and that Asher isn't a dog." The moment that came out of his mouth, he flushed when Vincent looked at him like was crazy, "How do I explain this?" Aiden started, "Eli told me that Asher had lost his human mind because when he turned into a demon, he had been a painful transition and was reduced to the mind of a dog, which is what his demon is and that's how everyone treated him. He acted like a dog, walking on all fours, barking, whining and all the other dog stuff. But now I know that was not real and Asher is a regular demon with a mind and Eli used a drug to keep his mind repressed on purpose."

Vincent could only shake his head, "Eli is seriously off his rocker, isn't he?"

"To be nice you could say he just has different tastes but I'm not in the mood to be nice so Eli is screwed up in his head. He did the kind of the same thing to Cole but instead repressed his emotions." Aiden wrinkled his nose when Vincent slipped on another shirt, "You should take a shower." He muttered.

"Where did that come from?" Vincent asked. "Do I smell that bad?"

Shaking his head, Aiden moved closer, "No, I actually love the smell of coffee and your smell plus coffee is probably the best thing I've ever smelled but it's distracting me."

Smiling, Vincent leaned against his desk and placed his has hands behind him, his palms pressed to the top of the desk. "Distracting in what ways?"

"In many ways." Aiden answered simply.

Vincent grabbed Aiden's wrist and pulled him closer, "Wanna explain more or are you going to leave it vague?"

"I think I'm going to make it vague and make you think." Aiden said, smiling slyly. He pressed his face in Vincent's neck and leaned against the other.

"Such a tease." Vincent muttered and he wrapped his arm around Aiden's waist, "They didn't hurt you, did they? The vampires and werewolves?" he asked.

Aiden tilted his head up to meet Vincent's eyes, "Where was this question yesterday?"

"You were the one to cut the conversation off by wanting a shower and pizza," He paused to frown, "But I was at work today and a werewolf came up and asked about you, saying he could smell you on me and wanted to make sure you were okay."

Aiden frowned slightly, "The vampires ignored me for the most part. Teaching me only a handful of things but mostly just how to protect myself from demons and other vampires but the werewolves treated me like one of the pack and told me all their secrets. I owe it to them a lot actually. It had actually been a rogue werewolf that helped me a bit during the four months I was left on my own. Did the werewolf tell you his name?"

"He said his name was Isaac and when I told him you were fine, he nodded his head and just left. "Was he the rogue werewolf?"

Aiden nodded, "Yeah but when we went our separate ways he told me he was going to find a pack to join. Was he alone?" he asked.

Vincent shook his head, "No, when he walked outside he was surrounded by other werewolves so I'm guessing that was his pack."

Aiden smiled softly, "I'm glad." he whispered but his smile was short lived when his eyes narrowed, flashing a bright red and he ran out of the room as if it was on fire. He stopped at the entrance of the front room and his eyes locked on a girl that was standing next to Alice. She was just an inch or two taller than Alice with long black hair and had dark blue eyes.

She had a hand on Alice's shoulder and he couldn't stop the threatening growl that left the back of his throat and his eyes began to darken. "Get away from her."

She stepped away from Alice but with words included, "Testy, testy, who pooped in your litter box this morning?"

Alice instantly turned toward her, "Jasmine, don't say stuff like that. This is my brother."

Jasmine crossed her arms, "Well, he's not really giving me a warm welcome."

Alice reached over and placed her hand on Jasmine's forearm, "He just doesn't know you, that's why I brought you over to introduce you two. Please don't start a fight with him already, at least get to know him first."

Jasmine reached over and brushed Alice's hair behind her ear and bringing her hand away slowly, she let Alice's hair fall back into place, "Alice I love you but you have some strange priorities."

"Don't touch her." Aiden snapped, jumping back into the conversation, "You haven't even told Alice what you are, have you?" he asked, taking a step forward.

Frowning, Jasmine once again stepped away from Alice, "We're only friends and what do you mean, I'm only human."

Aiden scoffed, this time ignoring the urge to growl, "You are and are acting like a vampire. I can smell it, the diluted stench of blood."

Jasmine's frown deepened, "I was going to tell her in my own time thank you but since the cat's out of the back since someone's cat couldn't hold his tongue. Yes, I am a vampire and I'm not pretending to be Alice's friend, I generally care for her, demon or not. Besides, you've lived with vampires obviously, or you wouldn't be able to smell me, so you should know, better than anybody that not all vampires are enemies to demons."

Aiden went to retort when a hand covered his mouth, a chest pressed against his back and Vincent's scent instantly relaxed him. He swore Vincent's scent was going to be the death of him.

"Aiden, it's okay." Vincent spoke softly, "I've met Jasmine plenty of times and she's no danger to Alice. I promise."

Aiden pushed Vincent's hand away and turned to face him, "But she's a-" he began to reply.

"Yes, I heard but like she said, you've lived with them. You know how they act, their behavior when they are fighting and does she look like she wants to hurt Alice?" he asked.

Shaking his head, Aiden looked as if he was going to retort but stopped himself before he said something stupid. He turned back around to glare at Jasmine, "Why? She's a demon you know."

Jasmine smiled and put her hands on her hips, as if she was superior, "Of course I know that, that isn't hard to see but my family is different, we don't discriminate against other species." Her eye flashed purple at the word, "I'm even friends with werewolves across the country and I'm friends with a handful of the demons at school, Alice included and she's my witness."

Aiden looked to Alice and she nodded.

"Aiden, I already suspected what she was so it's okay. I've been friends with her since I've moved and her I've meet her family many times." Alice turned her head towards Jasmine and smiled, "She won't hurt me."

Jasmine turned her smile towards Alice and her eyes softened.

Aiden's eyes widened and another growl left his mouth before he could stop it and this one was demonic, his eyes darkening once again. He recognized that look as the look the vampires looked upon their mate and instantly knew what Jasmine's intentions were. He was sure everyone but Jasmine was surprised by his sudden change behavior. His demon didn't necessarily didn't trust vampires yet and it was his demon and role of an older brother that he didn't want Alice to get hurt.

Pushing his demon back as much as possible and he took a deep breath, taking in Vincent's scent to calm him down. "You better not hurt her." He smiled when Alice smiled. It wasn't his choice if Alice was friends with Jasmine, not that he was happy that Jasmine had different intentions but Jasmine better start telling Alice the truth now.

Jasmine eyes got wide when Aiden didn't tell her to stay away from Alice. She knew why Aiden had growled at her but it was her own fault for letting her guard down in front of a demon that knew how vampires behave. She would have to get used to that.

Alice grabbed Jasmine's hand, smiling a mile a minute, "I told you it'd go okay. He's very understanding but we need to finish our homework and practice from the show." She dragged Jasmine past Aiden and Vincent to her room. Jasmine was hesitant to go past Aiden but all Aiden did was watch her leave.

"What was that about Aiden?" Kaige asked.

Frowning, Aiden knew he wouldn't be able to dodge this. He didn't exactly want to explain his actions but he understood he had too.

"Jasmine looked at Alice as if Alice was hers and my demon went into protective mode before I could stop it. Jasmine didn't tell Alice she was a vampire so I'm sure she hasn't told Alice she wants to be with her." Aiden sighed, "I know about Cadence and that Alice's demon doesn't accept her but a demon and a vampire, that's a new one."

"You think Alice and Jasmine are going to get together?" Vincent asked.

Aiden smiled, "I know they will. I saw the look in Alice's eyes when I accept their friendship. Alice's demon accepts Jasmine as well. Who am I to say who Alice can or cannot be with? I was surprised to see a vampire knowingly walk into an apartment full of demons but I guess you'd do anything to be with the one you want."

Aiden looked back at Vincent, "Even wait over a year without even knowing if he was alive." He reached over and interlaced his fingers with Vincent's, "Or get down on one knee and propose without even knowing him."

Kaige snickered at the memory and Vincent coughed, looking away from the others in the room.

"In my defense, I had been a demon for all of two days at that time, hadn't slept for a year and I was on auto-pilot, my demon being the system. Besides," Vincent grinned and leaned down to whisper in Aiden's ear, "It got you to notice me and look where we are now. I was the first one to see you squirm in pleasure and your face when you came."

Aiden's face burned hotter than the sun and he stuttered his mouth opening and closing like a fish for a good twenty seconds before he jerked away from Vincent in surprise. Surprised that Vincent would say that to him in a room full of demons that diffidently heard it and surprised that he had even forgotten that.

"I'm not talking to you for a month." He snapped, glaring at the demon in front of him and he hesitantly glanced at the others in the room, his face getting hotter before he took off to the bedroom. The only way he'd forgive Vincent for saying that if the other followed him to the room and needless to say, a few seconds after he entered the room, Vincent was right behind him and pulled him into a kiss as an apology.

Aiden smiled into the kiss. He had Vincent wrapped around his finger and the apology was accepted.

- 3 –

Chapter 23 is done! This chapter wasn't what I was expecting when I started typing it but it turned out okay, a little longer than I wanted but oh well.

I know it took awhile but I was distracted by a little show called Teen Wolf and by the fanfictions of Sterek. Sterek is my major OTP right now.

Next chapter will be Spencer galore for those who are missing him and a few others will be in it as well. Also, Alice's father will be named in the next chapter for those who want to know.

Thanks so much for the recent reviews, I love reading them and it gives me inspiration to write and get the next chapter out quicker.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to review. :)