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To forgive and forget?
After his distraction in Moscow Sage was feeling a lot out of the touch with reality. And it did not help with Brian standing over him. Grim should not be allowed in the den, much less his apartment. But that's where Sasha had come in.

Sasha was stunning and a smart hacker too. Her purple eyes matched the purple tips of her blond hair. She had delicate tattoos along her neck and arms. She wore them like jewelry. Her skin was pale and soft and she was always warm to the touch never cold - not even in the heart of the winter.

Sasha was one of few people who had a key to his apartment. Who Sage let into his life without asking his permission. Sasha wasn't his girlfriend, or companion, or anything of that sort. They'd had sex on many occasions but Sasha was not a friend with benefits either. It was hard to explain their relationship - mostly because Sage didn't understand the need to be anything but what they were.

But as he looked up at his mentor - former mentor he chided himself, he frowned. He didn't like that Sasha had let him in the building much less inside his home. Sage pulled his legs up to his chest with his arms wrapped around them tightly and rocked back and forth, "Why are you here?"


Brian looked down at his friend, the boy he'd helped through worse than this and he was the one who'd hurt him this time. It was purely accidental. He'd not asked enough questions when a mutual friend, when Simon asked him to occupy Sage for a few hours. He hadn't asked him why? He hadn't cared. If he'd only thought a little harder that someone might want to hurt Sage.

And now the boy sat rocking back and forth on the verge of a break down. Brian wondered when the last time he plugged in was. Sometimes it helped, others it made matters worse. But he kept asking Brian the same question and then he'd drift off into his head again. Making answering pointless.

He couldn't even get into the system to talk to Sage that way. He couldn't even get into the Den without Sasha's help. She knew he was a mess, she didn't even touch him, and her touch usually helped bring Sage back to reality.

But he could borrow Sasha's. When he asked she passed her wallet to him and he typed a message to Sage inside his head.

  3ff3rv3sc3nt: I didn't betray you. I didn't know r3x was going to try to hit your server. I swear I didn't know. He asked me to keep you busy for a few hours. I didn't ask questions. I thought he was a friend. I'm sorry.   


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Sage was only mildly aware of the exchange between Sasha and Brian. It wasn't until the message came across that he noticed anything had changed in the outside world. Sasha was still kneeling next to him, and Brian was kneeling now too. Both of them were staring at him like he'd gone mental. Maybe he had - Sage stopped rocking back end forth and rested his forehead against his knees and responded to the message instead of using his voice. He didn't want to hear the emotions in his own voice.

  Ph435r: You...

Sage really didn't know what to say, or do or even if he believed his former mentor.

  3ff3rv3sc3nt: r3x asked me in the den. You can see the feeds yourself. Shortly before I found you. Look Ph435r look at the feeds. You will see I didn't know he would hurt you. I swear.

Sage did that - he would find the truth, the proof, the reality of everything. There was no lying in information - no betrayal - no feelings. Just the facts. They could be wrong, but they could not be altered without leaving a footprint - a missing bit in the code, a stripped or changed key. The internet was full of lies, full of contradiction. It was Sage's job to sort through it to find the truth. It was his only ambition - it drove everything he did.

The security cameras were easily accessed on his own system. The vids he needed weren't archived yet - but they would be eventually. Sage scanned quickly through the feed looking for r3x and Grim's conversation. Turning the audio on and watching through the camera as if he were seeing it just the same.

r3x sat in an overstuffed couch sipping at a cup of hot coffee and eating a scone. "Bri, I need you to keep Sage busy for a few hours. Got something I want to surprise him with."

Grim sat next to r3x on the same couch he was absorbed in the screen on his lap. He nodded still absorbed in whatever he was doing on his laptop. "Sure, when."

r3x laughed. "Now would be good. But whenever just let me know."

Grim nodded again and took the scone from r3x. "Payment. I'll get him to help me with this bit." Grim rose from the couch with a grunt and headed out the door.

Sage stopped the feed playback and lifted his head to look at across at his friend. "I"m sorry."

As if those two little words were spoken both Sasha and Brian heaved sighs of relief. Sasha wrapped her warm arms around Sage and pulled her against him. "You are so cold baby." Sage wasn't going to refute the treatment or the statement as he laid against her chest. She smelled of honey and roses.

"Probably should get him into bed. He looks drained. What were you doing Sage?"

Sage didn't answer as his friends helped him up and escorted him to his bed. Grim laid the blankets over and Sasha helped him lie down and covered him up, but she didn't get in beside him only sat down next to his head and smoothed the mop of hair that had fallen in front of his eyes away from his forehead. Her touch was soft, and he closed his eyes. Sage smiled as he started to drift off to sleep "I was visiting a friend."

Edited by Sage, Aug 13 2016, 02:29 PM.

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