Day 6: a first time
Back at it again. Might post yesterday’s later.
“Don’t be mad,” Magnus said as soon as Alec came home.
“Uh, about what?” Then Alec saw the little Hispanic girl. “Who’s this?”
“She just woke. I found her badly injured by the river. And well, look.”
Alec didn’t really have to. It was hard to miss the antennas on the girl’s forehead. He knelt beside her and smiled. “Hi there. My name is Alec. What’s your name?”
“Mariana,” she whispered.
“That’s a beautiful name,” Alec told her. “Are you okay? Do you know where your family is?”
She shook her head. “Mama went with a police officer and never came back. The house they took me to wasn’t very nice. Then a bad man with tattoos like yours came and made everybody bleed.
Alec looked at him, warningly. Then, he reached out to the little girl, who took his hand. “I’m sorry, Mariana. That must have been scary.”
“I promise though,” Alec said, pulling her close so he could look her in the face, “you’re safe here. The bad man with the tattoos can’t get you here. And Magnus,” he pointed to his husband, “will take really good care of you. He’ll teach you loads of really cool stuff and he makes the best food. He can be your new family even, if you like.”
Magnus smiled and nodded. “Are you hungry? I make a pretty brilliant six cheese macaroni casserole, if I do say so myself.”
“Yes please!” Mariana answered. Then she looked at Alec hopefully. “Will you be my family too?”
Alec was taken aback. He and Magnus had taken in a lot of young downworlders in their years together. (Granted most of them had been teenagers, not four year olds.) But, not a single one had ever asked Alec that. They always worked out that Alec wasn’t like them, and bonded with Magnus. Alec didn’t mind; he knew there was so much about the life of a downworlder he could never understand, no matter how many centuries he’d been with one.
Alec looked to Magnus, who seemed to be recovering from the shock quicker. “Of course he will be, Mariana. Alexander is part of my family. And if you stay with us, he’ll be your family too.”
The girl clapped excitedly. “I like that.”
Alec picked her up and hugged her, blinking away tears. “We like that too.”