I froze, completely shocked.

"What?" was all I could manage.

"Alix and I delivered the baby," Gen told me.

"Why didn't Nas tell me?"

"She didn't know, and she still doesn't. I wiped her mind of the experience. She now thinks it was part of her hypnoxia."

"Why didn't you tell me then?" I demanded.

"It was something that neither of you needed, a child to care for."

"That wasn't your choice to make. You may be pschic, but obviously you didn't know that Nas wanted a child. She just never thought she'd have one."

"I'm sorry."

"What... What happened to the child?" I asked quietly.

"He was taken in by the Mistress."

"'He'? I have a son?"


"Woah," I breathed, still in shock from it. "Why are you telling me now?"

"You aren't with Nas anymore."

"I wasn't with Nas for a quite a while; you could have told me then."

"I didn't want you to go back to her. You've got Zoe now, and you won't break up with her to go back to Nasya; you aren't that kind of person."

"So all of it was out of spite?" I spat at her.

"No," she said calmly. "I was protecting my best friend. I know how she feels every time she looks at you, every time she merely hears your name. She's obssessed, she's in love."

"I see. Evgeniya," I said, using her full name and slipping into Russian, leaning closer to her, "did it never once occur to you that I love her too?"

She leant closer too. "Then fix it," she hissed.

Zev dropped down opposite us. "Did I miss something?" he asked.

Sitting back, I said, "No, nothing at all," and forced a smile. I could see Darran out of the corner of my eye. He'd seen it all. I looked around to try and find Riley, but he was nowhere in sight - and neither was Sophie. I knew where they'd most likely gone and didn't think about it too much, for fear of getting highly disturbed.

Of course, that very moment was when Nas and Evangeline brought over trays of cocktails. Zoe and Darran returned with Nerissa and Araminta. Nisha had a drink of her own at the bar with a few guys. Nas dished out the glasses, with contents such as Margarita, Vesper, Bloody Aztec, Death in the Afternoon and - Nas's favourite - Sex on the Beach.

I groaned and tipped my head back, remembering the last time that Nas and I had had a cocktail battle, seeing who could down the most and still walk a metre without falling. I could see Nas grinning; she remembered too then. Nights like that tended to result in hangovers that lasted several days.

After drinking well into the night, several of us were going to collapse at any moment. Darran had already stumbled to bed, Zev and Evangeline not far behind. Nas was dancing around with Nerissa, laughing very loudly. She stripped over her own feet and fell into Nerissa, nearly knocking them both over.

"I think it's time someone went to bed," Gen said, slurring slightly, nowhere near as drunk as the rest of us, though more drunk than Zoe, who'd only had a small shot.

"I'll take her," I said, standing up.

Nas stood for a moment, trying to gain her balance. She took a step and fell down again, bursting out laughing.

The End

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