Adventuring through twisted time.

A cascade of flashes illuminate the room just enough to see that piercing gaze. Holding steady from the middle of the chaotic wave of bodies gyrating around her. The smell of rain filled his lungs but didn’t do what it should've done; traumatizing him awake with a desperate gasp. The bottle lost in his duvet went flying as he tossed the covers off of him. The clattering sound of the glass rattling against his floor rang in his ears. It took minutes longer than it should've for his mind to realize he wasn't drowning and catch up with his body to register he was home. The rhythm of his heart racing replaced the sound of the music from his dream and before he knew it that tune was forgotten. Erebus checked his phone as he did every morning “Nothing.” but Hades and the Graeae had gone radio silent.

A sharp inhale whistled through his clenched teeth and his arm rose with the intent to hurl his phone across his apartment, but he couldn't afford a new phone. “Why the fuck would he tell me the truth!?” Erebus hadn't been here long. Spending his first six months in the hospital and the next six… lost. Hades checked him out of the hospital with the guise of being his older brother and set him up here until he found his footing. Waiting only a day or two before telling Erebus who and what he was. The hard pill to swallow still felt stuck in his throat which brought attention to the dryness of it and the itch he was suddenly hyper-aware of as he smacked his lips and stared down at the empty bottle still spinning on his floor. What he was told about himself felt right and with all these months of grappling with that information alone, he figured out how to remember things. Sharp flashes in his mind with no context but somehow they confirm to Erebus he was told the truth. “No, I'm definitely going crazy!” He forced this idea of being the lord of darkness from his mind as he shot a breath from his nose and tossed his phone on his bed, missing the buzz from a text.

The night was young as Erebus had the habit of sleeping through the day. Causing that small pestering voice in the back of his mind to try and convince him Hades was right. His thoughts tangent as his phone blinks and he finally sees he's got a message. The Graeae were three… interesting… women to say the least and Erebus was already exhausted by their riddles and now here was another. The text had only an address and time and after looking at the current time he realized he was already late. “Well, I'm not going!” He plugged the address into Google and found out it belonged to a nightclub so his lateness was irrelevant. “I'm still not going!” He glared and tossed his phone on his bed again.

The heady music heavily pulsed in his chest and replaced the tempo of his heartbeat. Erebus hated people and this club? Peopley. He gravitated towards the bar out of habit, being so near the glass bottles gave him a comfort they shouldn't have. He spun on the stool he managed to get so his back was to the bar. He clenched his eyes as if they were dry to try and fight the itch creeping up his throat and drying it out as his knees bounced to help him focus on something else. He blinked to clear his sight when her gaze caught him and made his entire body clutch like she'd just trapped him in a web. A new lump in his throat formed just like it did when he learned the truth of who he was.

It was her! The woman whose gaze haunted his dreams. Who smelled of rain. A revelation so harsh and hefty hit him you could see it physically weigh him down. The flashing lights suddenly began to dim slightly as they stared at each other. All of this could only mean one thing…it was time to go. Yup; it meant nothing else but leave, mmhmm too much peopleing for his taste. With all his strength he pulled his gaze from hers. Feeling like he was pulling two magnets apart. He hurried to the exit, aptly slipping through the dense crowd without issues only to be stopped by who he could only assume was one of her men. His eyes slowly drift down to the man's hand on his shoulder before meeting his eyes. The man said nothing and yet his message was still understood. Erebus didn't like being touched but he knew better than to make a scene. “You're one of her security I'm guessing?” his rhetorical question came as he removed the man's hand. “If you really want to protect her you'd keep her away from me.” He looked back at Nyx then, wondering if her calming and therapeutic gaze was still on him. Questioning if someone had ever walked away from her before, the security guard seemed inexperienced and unsure of what to really do now that he'd managed to stop him but that was hardly anything to go by.

Just one drink. It was all he kept in his home as of late unless he finessed a bottle from someone and came home drunk with it. He was striving to be better. Desperate to be clean; he convinced himself he could do this. The one beer in his fridge was just enough to help him get past the PTSD-induced thoughts as he fell asleep which in turn meant no nightmares but now she was on his mind. Poisoning his thoughts as he tried to figure out how everything connected because nothing that happened was an accident or coincidence. He was sent there to meet her but why? He snapped the beer bottle open and peeled back a slither of his blackout curtains to watch the sunrise for a second. After fixing the curtain he re-encased his home with darkness before finally drinking. The cold liquid suddenly soothed his soul and insatiable itch while the bubbles fuzzed up his brain to eventually pop memories free as he slept.

Just one drink, something light to simply get the bartender off his back. He clasped the bottle and took a cautious breath as he leaned on the bar. If he could steady himself through this bottle for his time here he would be alright. He spun in his seat to face the wave of people rhythmically drowning under the intoxicating music. “Sorry love, I can't accept.” whether someone was trying to buy him a drink or get him to dance they were met with those five words. From his seat, he could see the moment she arrived on the dance floor. The people seemed to bend to her and fawn after her. Grateful his thoughts and perspective were his own he took a sip of his drink and once again broke her powerful gaze as he spun back towards the bar and was immediately forced to turn another drink down as graciously as he could. 

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As if she were a volt, she felt that internal click as if he had been the only one who could open her door. She still didn't know much but she knew that this was her person. This was the touch she craved, the love she had been searching for. The ache she felt when she woke every morning was her soul missing him- and only him. He was her missing piece just like the gratifying feeling one would feel when they finally found the last piece to complete the puzzle. She felt whole. Her thumb stroked his cheek gently as if she was holding something so precious to her in her hands. That small gap she left before she closed immediately the second she heard his sigh, his body relaxing under her touch. A sense of pride flowed through her that he was able to truly be himself around her. To let his guard down in her presence just like she was able to do. 

The pounding in her chest only confirmed what she knew was true. They were made for each other. There was no her without him. She didn't know how she was so sure of that but it was engraved so deep within her that there wasn't any other option to believe. Her lips tugged into a wider smile the moment she felt his touch on top of hers. His warmth flooding her body, grounding her in this space, in this moment with him. Her nose started to sting once again, her waterlines hot as tears rushed to the surface. The longer she stared at her stranger the more her heart started to beat for him. Worry consumed her thoughts as she worried that had done something wrong or if he was hurt. Just as fast as the tears rolled down his cheek she wiped them away. "You have me again... I promise I won't let this happen again" She whispered that promise to him. She was confident in her words. Confident that she would keep that promise again. Her soft smile remained on her face. Her eyes fell on his, holding the intense gaze that made everything else fall around them. Leaving just them in the room. She took in a shaky inhale feeling his lips on her skin, sending that same wave of chills over her. She nodded at his words, "Yes, we are." She whispered. 

Slowly she repositioned herself and her hands. The one that was placed on his chest ran up, gliding over his neck until it cupped his other cheek. Then she slid both hands to hold the side of his neck in her grasp. The tips of her fingers stroked the hair at his nape. Nyx sat up on her knees in front of him. Ever so gently she leaned forward, pressing her lips to the soft skin that made up his cheek then she moved to do the same on his other side. "As it should be." Rang through her mind again. The words bring a blurry out of focus image to her. She shut her eyes tight trying to force clarity into the memory: "Just because I call you Darkness doesn't mean you have to stay hidden in your gloomy home. You could socialize with me." She told him. She looked up at the man next to her. His beauty giving the dark night sky around them a run for its money. Her tense muscles relaxing as she felt his touch worm its way into her hand. She held her breath watching him bring their interlocked hands to his face. "Our home." He corrected her statement. She rolled her eyes at his correction before a shiver shook through her feeling the kiss he planted on the back of her hand. "You are the only one who can stand my presence, I rather not force it on anyone else." He said to her. She sighed in response, "I don't like leaving you alone when I'm out. I worry you get lonely." She said softly. "Are you finally admitting that you worry about me?" He countered her words making her advert her gaze from him-

A hiss left her lips as the memory burned its place in her mind. She forced it to come through and with it came a wave of emotion she wasn't expecting. Opening her eyes tears brimmed her waterlines but this time they fell soaking into her skin staining it as they ran down."My Darkness..." She said to him. Her glossy eyes locked onto his as if she was finally seeing him for what he truly was. Her thumbs rubbed smooth strokes on his jaw. She swallowed the lump of emotion in her throat, trying to gain some sort of control over herself but couldn't. These emotions had been held in for decades with no release. Silently she cried keeping the same gentle but stoic face. Her mind picked at the memory trying to understand it but there were still too many gaps.  She didn't understand the nickname she was calling him nor did she understand the context of the memory. It had no correlation with the one she had either besides that they were in it and so was the night. It somehow felt older than the memory she had on the dance floor. It felt similar to what she was experiencing tonight. Them trying to find their footing and place with one another. Her love for him even then felt new compared to what she felt right now. Right now she felt as though she could never love anything the way she loved him. Even though she had just found out his name. What she did understand from the recent memory was that he didn't like to leave the comfort of his home- their home. And that she worried for him. Nyx rested her forehead against his. Fighting herself from crawling into his lap like a cat as she sniffled. "You really leave your gloomy home to find me?"


The harsh and unkind light hums and joins the symphony of sounds. The Holter monitor pulses to the rhythm his frantic heart is drumming. The IV repeatedly drips like a metronome to keep time for a song that shouldn't exist. The cuffs on his wrists clatter and scrape against the bars on the sides of his hospital bed as they chafe and dig into his skin to join the chaotic orchestra. All he wants is to shield his eyes; the nurses run in and almost immediately grab his head and arms to pin him down. They hope to stop his thrashing and hurting himself but he doesn't understand. Not the reason for his eyes burning or the words coming from their mouths. 

It's all foreign to him and it scares him and not expecting the strength he has they call in a third nurse who without hesitation injects Propofol into his IV. Darkness comes for him easily and he's finally at ease but this song is on repeat. The words he speaks are of a dead language no one can decipher and all he says is two words again and again. Pleading that someone will help! “The lights!” but no one focuses enough to see what he is trying to say. His eyes always held tears that poured down his face and he could never keep them open; with all the attention he was getting you'd think someone would've noticed it as photophobia. By the time they do, it's too late, his retinas are damaged beyond their repair, so they wrap his eyes and leave him.

Oh, my dear friend. If only I had found you sooner.”

A cameo from Hades was bound to happen. He found every Eternal at some point in their first days on earth. Expunging any records and blood samples made of that Eternal that could risk the exposure of the gods. Taking Erebus away with him by claiming to be his brother.

The floor is cold underneath the fog that has settled around his ankles. The mist coats over the blindfold he tossed to the floor in an attempt to see just enough to get back to his room. How did he get here? He was just In the room, he was given and his eyes hadn't healed enough yet to roam on his own. He stumbles to a halt when he hears he's not alone but all he can make out is three silhouettes. One finds the blindfold for him. One guides him out of the mist pool and sits him on the steps at its side. One just stands there holding a ball. They shouldn't have told him at that moment; they should've waited. Erebus will never forget how hot the fires burned that day when Hades learned The Graeae had told Erebus who and what he was. As time passed his eyes healed with help from Persephone but his emotions didn't. He was allowed to roam now that he could see and was given a map that listed the restricted areas. He spent his time in the gardens mostly fascinated by the flowers that could grow in the Underworld in the dark. They were beautiful to him and every day he'd make a new boutique with a sudden excitement because he knew she'd love it. Then he'd stop, and every muscle in his body would sink; he didn't know who he was picking these for, and even though Hades and Persephone would always put them as the centerpiece of their dining table, that wasn't what they were for. 

He was so frustrated by his lost memories and angered by his emotions with no context that he didn't realize he'd wandered too far. The private garden gate should've told him to check that map again but curiosity got the better of him with the foreign scent in the air and the laborious yet wild sounds coming from within. It charged towards him as soon as he was in its view but was stopped nearly centimeters away. The chain around her rings from the force of her pulling it taught with her charge. His nose wrinkles at her scent which is far from bad but also far from the scent from his dreams: Petrichor. He watched Hathor with caution, observing her ticks, wicked grin, and fearlessness when faced with a stranger. She eyed him with disgust and he took a step back “I guess it's true what they say. Darkness does wear a familiar face. Too bad it's not a better-looking one.” She spat at his feet before they both turned away from each other. 

"My Darkness..." he felt struck by lightning at her words. A monumental shift almost immediately happened in response to her. He hated people he didn't know telling him he was the shadow at everyone's back or the shade in all the dark corners. He hated that touch only came when it was time to restrain him or how everyone seemed to regard him with contempt like he was a deformed creature. Nyx didn't. "My Darkness..." two simple words that engraved their way into his heart. He was her darkness and each kiss she left on his cheek locked that in place. Once again his mind wondered what her lips felt like against his or how her kiss would taste but when she held his face those thoughts vanished, afraid acting on them would ruin the moment. Her touch was warm and welcoming so he welcomed it but froze once her forehead was to his. This was the closest he'd been to anyone since he was found but something in him told him it had been even longer than that. 

His arms carefully wrap around her then, like he's scared she'll break if he isn't careful. As if he read her mind he pulls her onto his lap to satisfy the urge of needing her close. Quickly, he had to come to terms with the fact that she would know him better than he knew himself but the same went for her so when she questioned him he chuckled. Of course, she knew he didn't like going out. She always knew even before their wedding “our home.” the words just come out so naturally he doesn't even process that he's said them. “I needed to find you so I fought to get here. I needed you to know I'd change just so I could.” He pulled his head back and shifted to support her with one arm as he wiped away her tears with the other even though tears still rolled down his face. “If anyone in the Club sees that I made you cry they'd kill me." 

Her body was grateful that he knew what she needed. Her mind was seconds away from making her act on its impulse. Her arm wrapped around his neck as he pulled her into his lap. Her body naturally molded into his until she was comfortable with the lack of space there was between them. Her forehead now pressed against the side of his neck as she wept. To the outside world she kept up with her brave unreadable face but in this moment with him she allowed herself to come apart in front of him. Never had she left herself be this vulnerable in front of anyone but she with him because she felt safe enough to do so. She took in a sharp breath when she heard him speak the words 'our home', bringing her memory to life. Nyx nuzzled her nose into his neck as pressed herself into him as if she wasn't close enough to him already. "They could try," She scoffed, her hand palming the back of his neck. "I would kill them before they could ever touched a hair on you." Her words were stern when she spoke. An emotion of protection making its appearance. It came from deep within her, just like her love for him. Over the years she spent many nights praying that one of the strangers she encountered would give her this sense of peace that Erebus was effortlessly giving her in this moment. Nyx rested her head against his shoulder, closed her eyes, and allowed her body to savor every second that she was in his arms. 

"No one was ever found with you, Jane, you know that." The therapist said from in the chair across from her. The frown that was already on her face only deepened hearing his words. She had lost count of how many times he had said that to her in the last year. "Then why do I feel like I'm missing someone?" She asked him adding to the countless times that they have had this exact conversation. "You went through a very traumatic experience. Enough for your mind to have suppressed it to keep you safe." He told her. Nyx rolled her eyes at his answer. She could have spoken for him, she knew exactly what he was going to say next. "I know- I just... Every morning I wake with this longing- Like I'm missing someone important to me. I can't keep living like this." She said, her voice thick as she held back her tears of frustration. "No one knows why the mind dreams what it does, Jane. Maybe your longing-"The therapist started. "Is for the person I was before I was found- I know. It's not that!" She finished for him. "Jane..." The therapist said calmly. Nyx flinched at the name she was given after she was found. "Only you can gave yourself the peace and safety you are wanting. If you go around trying to find that in someone you'll be disappointed." 

Knock, Knock, Knock

A gasp left her lips as her eyes shot open. The noise bringing her out of the unexpected slumber she was in. She sat there for a moment waiting for her mind to leave her with its usual lingering sensations but to her surprise it didn't. Instead she still felt a warm embrace around her unlike the cool touch that loneliness always gave her. Her hands went to find the source of the warmth. She blinked rapidly feeling arms around her. Her head whipped to look up at the person she was still pressed into. "Darkness?" She questioned. For a half a second Nyx in all her entirety fully recognized the man that she was looking at. A look of pure happiness crossed her face but the fell instantly. As if a curtain had been drawn shut in her, hiding her true self away from her present self. Her mind clouded, her memories being ripped from her. Leaving her confused until her mind finally caught up to the present. The events from the night coming back to her all at once. "Sorry...I don't usually fall asleep at night." She apologized to him.

The same three loud knocks filled the air breaking the the walls of their exclusive world, letting the real world's sounds and light back in. Reminding her that they weren't alone and she still had a business to run. "Shit." She said, noticing the thudding sound from the music had come to a halt; a sign that the night was over and her club had closed its doors for the morning. Pulling her hand away from him she looked at the watch on her wrist. It was past time for her to emerge from her office to help her workers close properly. "I didn't realize how late it was." She mumbled. She sniffled bringing her hands to her face wiping away the dry tears that were left. She pulled away from him enough to be face to face with him again. That bright wide smile crossed her face as she looked upon him. Her blue eyes flicked to his before they landed on his lips. "I'll be right back," She whispered to him. She leaned forward then pressed her lips to the side of his mouth. Reluctantly she pried her body away from him. The kiss she gave hadn't even made its way to her conscious mind for her to question the action.

Nyx opened the door just enough for the person on the other side of it to only see her face and half of her body but nothing more. She wanted to keep what she had discovered with Erebus hidden just a little while longer. When she was greeted with the familiar face of one of her workers she returned the smile she was given. Then she tilted her head to the side as she watched the smile of the woman fade into a look of concern "Nisha, what's wrong?" She asked her. Nyx tried to play it off and shook her head. "Nothing! I'm fine. I was just taking a nap" She said warmly to her favorite bartender. "At night?" She let out a soft chuckle when she was given a questionable look from the woman. "Yeah... I just had an eventful... night to say the least." She told the woman before she was given a raised brow. "Oh?" The woman asked with a smirk as if she finally understood the disheveled look that Nyx had. "I hope it was the man from the bar. He had his eyes set on you all night. Was he good?" The woman asked. Suddenly Nyx felt embarrassed and quiet. Her night wasn't what she usually experienced but yet it was somehow much more intimate. "I um..." She stumbled her cheeks flooding with blood. "And he was a smoke show, I think everyone was wishing he looked at them like he was looking at you" The woman teased. Jealously quickly took the place of embarrassment. "Well he wasn't and I don't intend on sharing." Nyx said defensively. Her tone making it known that she didn't want to continue the conversation. She always talked about her game of cat and mouse with the employees she was close to. It was the only conversation she could hold. She couldn't talk about how she was found or the dreams she couldn't remember or how she didn't seem to age no matter the amount of years that went by. She didn't do much else besides work. To most she was probably boring, besides that part of her life. But she didn't want to share Erebus with anyone. "Sorry, I thought- Anyway... We closed up for you, just wanted to let you know." The woman said. "Thank you." Nyx replied forcing a smile to her face. "I'll see you tomorrow. Enjoy the night" Nyx gave the woman her usual parting phrase before she closed the door on her. She turned to face her stranger on the couch. 

"If you didn't hear that... apparently you have admirers. Should I be jealous?" She asked him. But jealously was already the primary emotion she was feeling. Making her way back over to him. Her walls started to fall once more, making her unaware of when she put them back up. The quietness the club now had was deafening. She had no other distractions to occupy her attraction to him. She thought about returning to his lap but her nerves got the best of her, making her settle for the spot next to him. "The sun will be up a few hours." She told him breaking the silence in the room. "Will you come back to see me tomorrow?" She asked him. 'Stay with me.' was on the tip of her tongue but she couldn't make herself to utter the words. Fear of her stranger not being there when she woke filled her mind. Her breath caught in her throat as she felt a tightness in her chest at the thought. Every morning she woke with disappointment that whoever her lover was in her dreams was so far out of reach. She was growing tired of loneliness replacing the spot where the warm body used to lay next to her. She didn't want to go back to that and for the first time she didn't want to go home. Her fingers found his hand, mindlessly lacing her fingers through his, her gaze looked away from his, awaiting his answer, bracing herself the worst.

This was a new experience for him but something about it felt natural, as if it was second nature. There was a familiarity in the way her curves melted into his frame and the way their body heat mixed and kept the other warm. He tightened his arms around her gently as he realized this was where she belonged and feeling her wanting to be closer confirmed that warm feeling. He tried with all his might to piece the memories of her he had together. Holding onto the hope that one of them would make sense or a clarity would form just enough for him to answer at least one of her questions. Spinning them over and over again in his mind until one stuck out from the rest but left him with nothing.  Her tear-stained face; he'd seen the flash of it when they were back on the dance floor and it was the first memory he'd had while not drunk and asleep. It was also the only memory with no context but the memory brought a deep physical and emotional pain that would truly break him if he lingered in the feeling. 

Then Nyx's tears on his skin immediately saved him from it and at first he panicked. He thought he had gripped her too tightly or done something wrong. Immediately believing the fault was with him before realizing the truth of the moment. His panic worsened as he questioned himself about how he could help, he'd not experienced anything like this yet, and yet it once again felt so familiar. He knew then what he was doing was enough and he melted into her further but the last thing he was expecting was for her to fall asleep. Erebus let out a gentle chuckle because he was honestly happy she felt so safe, without knowing yet that like him she never slept at night. What was the night sky like with her eyes closed now? He shifted and leaned his back on the armrest of the couch. Allowing her to lay on top of him while still in his arms. He took a deep breath once he settled comfortably beneath her and closed his eyes. He knew he wouldn't fall asleep, as of right now that seemed impossible but he could and did relax. Cherishing how whole and warm their closeness made him feel and wishing they could just stay like this forever.

The first knock on her door popped the bubble for his wish. Its two echoes told him this moment was over. The sudden silence of the club intensified that pulsing wave attacking his senses and zeroing in on her. He was forced to take a sharp breath from the potency of these waves. Her groping didn't help because wherever she touched him goosebumps grew as he shivered at her touch. “Darkness.” like being tossed into the cold ocean he was hit with a truth he'd been fighting since he got here. She knew him, she knew him as what and who he was told he was by The Graeae. Desperately hopeful he searched her eyes, his eyes bounced back and forth between each of hers. She knew him. Not Erus Skia but Erebus and suddenly he didn't want to fight it anymore; if it meant he got to keep her. Her smile and recognition drew him closer with his intentions to kiss her clearly showing on his face and in his eyes but that curtain fell before he could make it. Leaving him in the audience as she apologized and before he could speak those faithful three knocks interrupted them again. 

Erebus wasn't expecting a kiss! Now that he had gotten one he perked up from the spark it gave him. Enjoying the flutter in his chest from his heart responding to the sweet little notion. He didn't help her pry away from him at first because he wanted to keep her like this but eventually, he let her pull away. Just in time for his phone to buzz in his pocket as she answered the door. The Graeae; like the annoying older siblings he had labeled them as in his phone left nothing but yet another cryptic message. There was nothing but a time in this text and he knew what that meant. He let a sharp breath escape his nose as he put his phone down and focused back on Nyx, catching most if not all of the conversation.

The range of emotions he had gone through tonight seemed endless and they didn't stop. Pride prickled within his chest when she displayed her possessiveness for him but what overpowered that feeling more was the warm emotion of being wanted and belonging. A warmth that spread to his ears and cheeks without him knowing. He released a dry chuckle at her question but didn't answer upon realizing she was already jealous and any wrong word from him would only make things worse. Sitting beside he thought about how he liked it better when she was on his lap. Close and in his arms but since she put this space between them he respected it. Yet, he couldn't help but wonder if he did something wrong and that was the reason for the distance. He hissed under his breath at the mention of the sun feeling it burn his eyes already just at the thought. He didn't want to leave. The idea made his heart hurt but he completely stilled at her question. Did she want him to go? He hadn't thought this far ahead and for the first time since being released from the hospital, he didn't want to go home if it meant she wasn't with him. This was truly insane to feel so wildly attached to a stranger but he couldn't deny the way she made him feel, just like he couldn't deny that he once knew her and right now he knew her better than he knew himself and vice versa. He sighed when she held his hand but didn't like that she looked away. 

With his free hand, Erebus caught her chin to gently get her to turn back his way. “You promised me my attention wouldn't be taken off you. How do you keep that promise if you're not looking?” his voice was barely a whisper noticing certain features on her face he couldn't before like the freckles scattered across her cheeks and nose. Which made him smile as he thought of how they reminded him of stars scattered across the night sky. Maybe he would mention how he loved that later. His thumb gently brushed her chin as he held it for her to look at him. “I'll always come back for you and only stop if you tell me to but for tonight I don't need to return if I never leave.” 

The naughty implications of what his words could mean went right over his head at the moment because he was now thinking back to that text from the Graeae. He had time to be with her as they slept through the day if they slept but once night would begin to fall they would send someone to get him. It was a normal occurrence now; they'd send a car with all blacked-out windows to come and get him and take him back to the Underworld to learn more about himself and his old life. That wasn't a problem just like having ample time with Nyx now wasn't. The problem he was grappling with now after promising her he'd be back was how long they were going to keep him in the Underworld and he didn't know how to fully explain he didn't know when he'd be back after promising he would be.

A slow chill crept down her spine the moment he touched her chin. She willingly let him tilt her chin until her gaze was consumed with his. The previous nerves and anxiety that had just flooded her mind, melted away once she heard his words. The corner of her lips pulled into a smile as she recalled the promise she made to him at the bar. Something in her swooned at the thought that he remembered simply as simple as that statement. Was he hanging onto her every word like she was with him? Her eyes searched his watching as they studied her. Her cheeks flushed the longer she watched his blue orbs take in every inch of her face. Her body shivered at his thumb brushing her cheek. Nyx subconsciously moved a little closer to him, making their legs touch once more. She took in a sharp breath then swallowed the growing lump in her throat. She refused to cry in front of him again- at least tonight. Though he wasn't making it easy for her to keep her tears concealed. Her heart squeezed in her chest as she savored each words as if she had just taken a bite of the most divine meal. She had experienced being wanted by someone but never had she had someone truly want her this way. The way that she craved. The way knew that she needed to be wanted. Her hand reached out and placed itself on his cheek, her own thumb running against the stubble on his skin. If it was anyone else she would have taken his words sexually but she knew deep in her soul what he truly meant- He wouldn't leave her side unless she decided that she wanted him too. To Nyx that meant more than what any being had said to her throughout the years. Her eyes locked onto his holding his stare. She leaned towards in in the slightest way. She wanted to kiss him. She needed to know what his lips felt like against hers. She was also curious if it would cause more of her locked memories to come free. But she didn't want to ruin the moment with kiss, not when they were baring their souls to each other.

"Okay..." She whispered in response. She gave him one of her true smiles that reached her eyes. Her hand fell from his cheek and she pulled her body away from his once more, immediately missing the heat from his body the moment she was away from him. She grabbed her keys from her desk then walked back over to him. Nyx offered her hand for him to take, "Let's go home." She said to him. The words felt natural to say, as if her home had always been his and his was always hers. The logical side of her brain was having a hard time wrapping around the reason why her heart was more than willing to be handed over to this stranger that she had just met. But was he really a stranger if he lived in her forgotten memories? 

Leading him out of her office and back into the hallway, she guided him further down the hall. Shame and regret filled her at the thought that he wasn't the first she had shown how to enter her home. "Hopefully the last." She said to herself, unknowing that she spoke the words aloud. Once they reached a black door that was unmarked, she opened it to reveal a set of polished silver elevator doors that opened for them. She stepped through the doorway closing the black door behind them. Her heart started to race as the silver doors closed them into the small space. There were only two buttons on the panel; one labeled down and the other labeled up with a keyhole next to it. She placed her key into the spot, twisting it into place until the 'Up' button glowed. "If you would like, I can get you a key." She mentioned as she pushed the button. The elevator spared no time in taking them up, stopping at the floor it was supposed to. "Unless you don't want a key… Then I have no problem bringing you up." She added in, trying to fill the silence that they were standing in. She was being more forward with him than she ever had before. Her brain was still confused as to why she was willing to skip so many of the 'normal' steps she should have been taking. Offering him a key to her home on the very first night was insane. But selfishly she wanted him to have full access to her for whenever she needed him. Or whenever he needs me, She thought.

When the door opened once more a glimmer of panic crossed her mind as she couldn't remember the state she left her apartment in. She was usually a clean and tidy person. She wanted to make a good impression and the worry of her leaving her home in disarray had her heart picking up in speed. A sigh of relief came past her lips after her eyes scanned the room. Her small living was a mirror image of her office below, there wasn't a pillow out of place on her black velvet couch. Her wall to ceiling tinted windows looked out onto the city skyline. Nyx guided him out of the elevator then let go of his hand to take her heels off revealing her true stature. "Make yourself comfortable." She said while she walked further into the dark and gloomy aesthetic space. "Kitchen is over there." She said, motioning to her left to where the dim lights hung over the kitchen island that was in the center of the kitchen. "The bathroom... and bedroom are up there." She mentioned motioning to the dark wooden staircase that led upstairs.

Her eyes focused back to the windows, giving him her back while she studied the landscape. Even through the tint she could tell that the sun was trying to make its appearance on the horizon. All those years of therapy telling her that the feelings she was dreaming of weren't real, had wormed their way into her consciousness. And now she was fighting a battle with her mind. The magnetic pull she had to him was enough to convince her that she had found the one that had been missing. She had hoped but never expected to actually find Him... The weight of the ambience started to weigh heavy on her, not because she felt like something more was expected from her tonight. Instead she felt overwhelmed with her thoughts and the memories that she had experienced. Once again she found herself missing his touch, as if her skin was set ablaze his touch was the only way to put out the flames. Nyx made her way back to him, her hands finding their place on his chest while she looked up at him.
"Will you hold me through the day, Erus?" She asked her usual request but it sounded much more innocent than it ever had before. Or maybe it was because everyone else took it as something different than what she actually meant. She took in a breath and let it out slowly, her walls falling around her leaving who she was to her core in front of him."Just-" She started, her eyes looking away from him for a second before she forced herself to look again. "please wake me before you leave me..." She told him. A request she had never made before. "I would like to say goodbye," She whispered. Her heart suddenly swelling with sadness at the thought of him slipping away during dusk while she slept.   

He was completely locked into her and what she did or said. The way that faint blush painted her face and highlighted her cheeks when she realized he was committing her face to memory. As opposed to finding his studious gaze disturbing or intrusive. The more time with her in this manner he spent the more he lost himself… or rather the man he was now and the more the man he used to be resurfaced. He could let his guard down with her; let his shoulders drop and breathe deep. Let Nyx touch him even when his eyes were closed and he couldn't anticipate it and prepare to fight his trauma for something as simple as a touch. In fact, when her touch did once again grace the side of his face he closed his eyes. Completely giving in to her and giving her all the power of the precious moment. He now felt weightless for the first time since waking in the hospital almost like he was in a dreamlike state and was suddenly waiting for gravity to hit. Preparing himself for the moment he would fall back to earth and wake up in his bed alone only to find this was just a dream or worse.

He didn't like leaving the comforts of his darkness and for now, that meant his home. Where he could control the environment; place everything where he wanted and control how much light got let in if any at all. Yet, he hadn't thought of home or going there since he got into this room with her and that was very much a power she had over him. A dangerous thing if she ever decided to use that to her advantage. The cold that overtook him from her absence as she stepped away had no time to settle on his skin as her words warmed him right back up. Home. She was it this whole time and every fiber of his being shivered in an attempt to get him to accept it. However, he couldn't not when they were still strangers in this new life. He had only just learned her name; he couldn't immediately jump from name exchanges to her being the whole world, his World… could he? This was an unprecedented situation where there were bound to be rules they should, could, and would have to break. The elevator doors closed and trapped them closer together for the moment but he of course had no complaints. Her words registered then but he was still debating with himself about how they should move forward given the circumstances so for the time being he was quiet on the matter. 

In silence, he noticed her breath of relief but thought it was nothing more than the comforts of being home. Following her lead, he unlaced and removed his boots, neatly placed them to the side, and stopped for a second to admire her once again. He hadn't considered that her shoes made her taller; he didn't fully register she'd been wearing heels because he'd only really taken in her eyes and face. He smiled before he took in her home and its aesthetic because he appreciated seeing more and more of just her with every passing second. It was dark and neat much like how his was except she was far more decoured and she could afford to be given the time she'd been established here and her occupation. Something he was still very much working on and praying she didn't ask about until he had something to share. When his eyes crashed into the overly large windows his heart completely panicked and his whole body seized. The sun would be the death of him and his vision when it shines through those and that idea made his skin crawl in desperation to escape. Yet, it was the setting moon's dim light barely shining through the tint of the glass that caused him to realize they were, in fact, tinted. It was now his turn to take a breath of relief and return to the completely unguarded state he was in when with her. 

His muscles settle and he returns his attention to her and then the rest of the house as she spoke. Practically switching positions with her as he walked to look around and she gazed out of the windows. For the first time, their backs faced each other as they watched the sunrise and he struggled to find the right words for all the things he wanted to say. He spun around first and a hefty sudden urge overtook him as he watched her watching the daybreak. The instinct to wrap his arms around her and pull her back into his chest because that was where she belonged pulled him toward her but she spun before he reached her. Erebus looked down at her hands on his chest and then met her eyes again as she spoke. “Oh…” his eyes bounce back and forth between her as his brow forwards until she finishes speaking and the true meaning, intent, and want behind her words fully penetrate his understanding. “Oh.” his expression and tone completely shift and he suddenly realizes he's not the first man she's brought here but that wasn't the cause for the pain showing in his face and restraining his voice. He couldn't blame her for the men; she was searching to fill that void of pain, confusion, and loss, in the same way he looked for it at the bottom of a bottle. The pain he was showing was knowing they had hurt her and he was the first person to see those wounds. Jealousy and anger were there somewhere of course but they weren't showing as obviously. He cupped her face with such tender care “What type of person would I be if I slipped away and hid in the rays of the sun?” He leaned closer to her face “Not a man that's for damn sure.” His lips grazed hers from how close he had gotten but he pulled away in time because he feared the conversation would be over… at least for now… if they kissed and there was just one more thing he knew needed to be said before things went any further. 

However, he could no longer take it! Not having her in his arms and far closer than they already were was driving him insane. So without warning or second thought, he picked her up and hugged her to his chest while he carefully made his way over to the black velvet couch. “We'll make our way to bed soon,” He said as if it were a reassurance as he sat with her in his lap. “But I need you to know that now that I will be here when you wake and that was always my intention. I'll be there today and every other day you'll have me.” Erebus faintly shifted so he could see her face and a faint frown pulled at the corner of his lips. “I work in a family business and my siblings are rather demanding at times so… when you go to work after we wake I'll have to go. I don't…” he let out a frustrated huff in the middle of his words. “I don't know how long I'll be away but I promise I'll come back.” Again he shifted but this time he guided her to straddle him mainly so they could stay close and be facing each other. He took out his keys, unlooped the spare, and gently took her hand to place the warm key in her palm. “I'll put my number and address in your phone. It's proof of my promise, allowing you in even when I'm not there.” his nerves were now the most obvious emotion present as they sparkled through his eyes out onto his features. He'd been battling with how to tell her he was being called away and he still believed he could've found a more eloquent way but he needed her to know and regardless of how it came out he felt better for saying it. 

“I know it's…I don… we don't know how fast or slow to go and that makes everything harder because every fiber of my being is singing in glee now that I've given you my key but my brain. The logical and common sense side of my mind is screaming its condemnation at me but I'm happy you have it. You don't have to give me your key, I'm perfectly fine with you bringing me up whenever you want me around but this…” he closed her hand around the tiny brass key and then held her closed hand in his. “... this is so my words about returning aren't just an empty promise from the mysterious stranger you met in the night.”


When she heard his initial reaction to her request her heart picked up in pace. Never had she regretted her decision to share the night with other people. But for the first time, standing in this moment with him she regretted sharing a night with anyone that wasn’t him. She still couldn’t place where these feelings for him were coming from. Her mind flashed images of his face, reminding her of the memories she had tonight. He was someone dear to her. That she was clear of. Nyx allowed a small glimpse of her true emotions to peek through as he spoke to her. Her chest swelling with the pain she had been repressing for the past few years. Her eyes glossed over as tears brimmed her waterlines once more but this time they didn’t fall. Instead she took in a shaken breath with how close his mouth was to hers. Everything in Nyx wanted to close that small gap that was between them and to seal this moment with a kiss. Though when he pulled away she questioned if he shared the same feelings as she did. Maybe he didn’t want to be intimate with her? Could she fault him for that? They were, after all, still strangers. Or maybe he wasn’t attracted- No. Nyx pushed that insecure thought out of her head the moment it entered. How strange that she wanted him to grab her and steal her lips in his, when usually she hoped the person she brought to her home would just hold a conversation with her and hold her until the morning. Her skin craved his touch unlike anything she had ever experienced. 

As if he could read her mind she was in his arms once more. Effortlessly he scooped her into his arms and she couldn’t help the sigh of relief that came out of her the moment she was back where she wanted to be: in his arms. Her breath stilled as he told her that they would go to bed soon. Suddenly she was a bit more nervous, worried that he, like everyone else, took her request as code for naked passion instead of clothed intimacy. Nyx swallowed that nervousness as she adjusted herself on his lap. Draping an arm over his shoulder so she could still see his beautiful face. Butterflies filled her stomach fluttering at his words that he would be there when she woke. The fluttering only intensified as she continued to listen to his words. If it was up to her they would spend every night and every day with each other until they couldn’t anymore. Rather that was death or a mutual agreement of separation. Her hand instinctively touched the hairs at the base of his neck. Her intense blue eyes studied his face, noticing every small mannerism that crossed his face. Nyx tilted her head slightly seeing the frown that pulled at his perfect mouth...

Just like that the butterflies left her and her stomach felt empty as her body shuddered at the thought of not knowing when she would see him again. Suddenly a sense of fear wrapped its arms around her. Embracing her in what felt like a familiar embrace. She had felt this type of fear before. The fear of not knowing when they would be together again. Her hand that was at the nape of his neck fell from him. Her heart quickened in her chest and her breath caught in her throat; the tale tale sign of a panic attack starting. Not again... She thought. Another shudder came over her as he guided him to fully straddle him. A wave of heat flowed through her body at the closeness they were experiencing now. This was by far the closest they had been to one another. The closeness was enough to distract her from the fear she felt. Her anxiety eased, replacing it with disappointment in herself instead. How selfish of her to think that she would be able to keep him all to herself. Of course he had a life outside of her. She did too. She wouldn’t be able to accompany him every moment of everyday- but that didn’t change the new fact that she wanted to. Needed to. Her hand closed around the warm key. The warmth spread through her palm, reminding her of his touch on her bare skin. Carefully she watched him. Studying him as if she was reading the truth through his body language. Normally she would assume he was lying but her gut was telling her to trust him.  Nyx could easily pick up on the nervousness he was feeling. She wanted to soothe that worry. So she leaned forward brushing her nose against his. “I trust you… I trust that you’ll come back. And when you do I’ll welcome you back with open arms.” The words felt familiar on her lips as she spoke them. She told him what she felt in her heart and in her soul. She rested her forehead against his pulling herself closer to him just a bit more. 

“My soul has waited for what feels like a lifetime, Erus… I can wait a bit longer.” She whispered out just loud enough for him to hear the words. She pulled away from him, for her eyes to search his. “You may have been a stranger I met in the night but you feel like much more than that.” She admitted. Nyx looked for his reaction at the boldness of her words. Gently she pulled her hand out of his to reveal the brass key. She looked at it, its warmth still seeping into her flesh. She brought the key to her lips and placed a kiss to it. “I promise I’ll take good care of this till you return.” She told him as she placed the key into her pocket for the time being. Her eyes flicked back to his ocean colored eyes. A small smile started to spread across her lips.
“Now…” She started. “Since we're limited on time. How about you tell me more about yourself so you no longer will be my stranger but my-“ She cut herself off. Her what? What would he be to her if they chose to continue to see each other? “My...-“ she tried again. Her heart squeezed in her chest as a voice that sounded much like her own echoed in her mind My Darkness... She heard the words clear as the night as if she herself had thought it but the words felt distant. Like they had come from someplace deeper. Her mind shifted to the memory she had earlier. It felt like she had called him thought. Through her eyes it sounded like she referred to him as her Darkness. Would it be appropriate for her to call him that so soon. Erus was right- it was hard to tell how fast or slow to take this with their past  memories tangling into the present. She was starting to think that maybe she had finally lost her mind with how content she was with speeding along their introductions. But he is... “My Darkness.” She finally said, the words flowing from her mouth with so much endearment. As if she had called him that a thousand times. She was still confused as to why she felt like that was the nickname she had given him but it felt right to say. It felt more powerful than the common terms used to claim someone. It felt real and it felt perfect to call her stranger that.

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