Sequel to Possession. Alex's perfumes causes a change in her, and the rest of the house's, life. Threesome appearing here (Nick/Alex/Philip). feedback welcome (and craved like the junkie the writer is). [ ] is telepathic, // // is thoughts.

Testing the new skills

Nick and Philip walked behind the line of Alex, William Sloan, and Derek. Both men were feeling hurt and confused. But, Philip saw, Nick felt something more, jealousy.

"Nick, what's wrong?" The question came out soft and lilting, but Derek turned around to scowl at the younger men.

"What?" Nick asked Derek. "Like you wouldn't have? I *know* tha's why we fought yesterday. Over Alex. Because of the perfume." Derek made a noise and turned back around without answering.

William threw over his shoulder, "Don't worry, Nick, he understands that. He's just not happy he lost." Sloan laughed at the look Derek gave him. "Seriously, though, let's wait until we get back home to discuss this. You could all use a bath and some food before I let Derek tear into you." They came in sight of the castle, and Philip sighed, remembering the day.

"I've go' ta go back to tha church in a while, William. It's Sat'rday."

"Don't worry, I had a talk with the head of your Diocese. He wasn't happy about you rushing off to protect your friends from whomever was attacking them, but he agreed that you needed to be here. Especially after he found out that you had been attacked too."
William turned and smiled at the young Priest. "It's a lie, almost, but I think I'll be forgiven this one."

Philip nodded and decided to think about it later. "So, now wha'?"

"Now, you bathe, you eat, then we talk. Okay?"

"Sure." Nick didn't sound happy, and he figured the other two knew because they looked at him. None of the three noticed Derek and William looking strangely at them.

They went in, everyone going to their rooms. Alex drew a bath and soaked for a time, listening to the others shower. When they were done, she let out the water and ran her own. //Why can't I remember last night? Did what I think happen, happen? Man, Philip's in big trouble if it did.// She washed her hair, thinking about the problem. She could *feel* Philip and Nick sending her positive thoughts. She tried to send back her own, but she didn't know if she succeeded. She got out of her shower and went back into her bedroom to dress.

It was a good thing Alex put on a towel, because William was sitting on her bed, waiting. "Would you like to make a report now, or in front of Derek?" At her shrug, William got up and paced the room. "You know Derek has feelings for you?" She nodded again. "I just don't want to see him, or any of you hurt over this." He let Alex go back to the bathroom to change. When she came back out, he pulled her down to sit beside him on the bed. "Now, about this perfume. Are you sure that's what it was that set this off?"

"Yes. I went shopping yesterday at that new department store in the larger mall. You know, the one that's advertised in every major magazine in the last few weeks." William nodded. "I went through the clothes and furnishings. I didn't try anything on. I let the woman spray me with the perfume. She said it would 'fulfill my wildest fantasies'. Of course, she also said it was 'to die for', but it looks like she was wrong on that account." At William's confused look, she filled him in. "I was thinking about my manless situation right before she sprayed me." William nodded and she went on. "I walked around for a while, then decided I liked it so I went back to get a bottle. Which later broke over Philip in the clearing when I gave him a hug."

"Why did you hug him?"

"Because I was scared. Nick and Derek had tried to tear each other apart over me. I wanted to be comforted. When I called Philip, he came out. He told me where to meet him. When he got there, I didn't think, I just hugged him. Nick came into the clearing while I was still there in Philip's arms." Alex sighed. "Philip said they didn't have to fight over me. That's something funny." She thought for a minute. "Both of them talked about protecting me, but Nick's speech pattern was different. More caveman-you-tarzan-me-jane sorta thing."

"Okay, so you hugged Philip, and the bottle broke over him. Nick came back, claimed you were his, then Philip offered to share. Right?"

"Yeah, who did you already talk with?"

"Nick. That's about all he remembered. But he mentioned images this morning. Can you explain? Offer anything further?"

"Yeah. Philip told me we would share Nick, that he was the Alpha male. They asked my permission. Nothing happened out there that I didn't want at the time. But Nick's right about the images. I don't remember anything after saying yes. Until Philip, apparently and according to Nick, sent them to us this morning." Alex shuddered at the thoughts, the pictures, that came back across. Nick lubing Philip up with her wetness. Philip licking her while Nick stretched him. Nick taking her the same way, again using her as lube. "I don't know what happened. But these images point to some sort of sexual claiming ritual."

"Good, Alex, very good." William hugged her briefly. "Go down to breakfast. I'll talk to Philip alone, then to the three of you together before I bring in Derek."

"Is he really mad?"

"No, he's more mad at himself for not beating Nick into a pulp and getting there himself. I'm guessing that his sight let him see some of what went on, but we haven't talked yet." He stood and propelled her out of the room and down the stairs to breakfast.

Nick held out her chair, Philip looking up with a smile as she came in. Alex took her seat and smiled at everyone there. Derek frowned back, and she smiled harder at him, gently, not meanly. Derek gave up and turned back to his eggs.

Sloan kept a close watch on all the interactions going on. He didn't like Derek's attitude, but it was understandable. He could see a new closeness between Alex and Nick, and Philip. What was Philip going to do about this?


William punched up a report on the last time Nick had been tested for abilities. He compared it with Alex's and Philip's one from today and their old ones. "Damn, this is good." Sloan rubbed his hands together and called the three of them into Derek's confiscated office.

They came in, looking at each other, and then at Sloan. "That good?" Nick asked. Alex and Philip shot him glances and then Philip, Nick, and Alex sat, waiting for the report.

"Yes, my boy, that good. How did you... Oh, never mind, I don't want to know." He picked up the papers and rearranged them, then handed them to their owners.

Nick gasped at his, and Alex patted his arm without thinking. Philip read his and frowned. Nick patted his arm and then rubbed the back of Alex's neck. All of this was watched by Sloan, who noticed every action, conscious or unconscious.

"So, now we're fully joined?" Alex looked at her EEG graph, leaning over to measure it against Nick's. Philip held his up without having been asked. All three showed spikes in the same place, each one a stimulus of some kind delivered to only one of them.

"Yes, I'm afraid so." Sloan leaned back. He didn't want to ask this question, but it needed to be said. "All of you said last night was some sort of claiming ritual. Your exact words." He paused to let the innuendo sink in. "So, what happens now?"

Nick looked from Alex to Philip and back. Sloan didn't know if they were talking to each other or not, but he bet they were in some manner. "We don't know yet. We want to test this out, see what it is exactly, before we decide anything." Nick spoke for the group.

"True, I mean there's Philip's calling to consider, and the welfare of the house, and how Derek is going to react."

"We wan' ta wait for a while, if it's okay."

"Sure. Take all the time you want." He turned to look at Alex. "Would you know the lady that sold you the perfume if you saw her again?" At her nod, "Would you like to go back and see if you can't get us a whole bottle. The samples we got from the broken one are fine, but we would like an uncontaminated one, if possible." She nodded, and he looked at Philip. "Do you want to take some time off from the church?" Philip nodded. "I thought so. I can have a word with..."

"No, I'll do it. He des'rves the truth, as much as I can give him."

William nodded. "But we would like to keep this under wraps for right now. Just think about the Inquirer getting ahold of this." He saw the three shudder, then went on. "I think that it would be a good idea to wait and test this until Rachel comes back. I would like her opinion. I would also like to include Derek, when he's ready." William sat up straight. "Don't even joke about this. Please. It has changed the house in a way that you three don't even realize yet. Your Precept feels like an outsider in his own house. Rachel and Kristen will have a problem getting into this. So, please try to keep it under wraps for right now."

Nick nodded, and then so did the other two. That was something none of them had thought about. Sloan knew that they were in for a rough time with this, what ever it was. Nick and Alex both loved to dominate in their relationships. Philip would be a mediator until something got to him, and then he would explode. Sloan would give it three months before a fight happened, if anyone would take the bet.

Nick looked from one to the other. "Sloan, could we take some time away from the house? I think it would do us all good."

"Derek coul' thin' about this."

"We could let him tell Rachel and Kristen. Go someplace natural..."


"Like a cabin in the woods."

William shook his head. "Usually it takes twenty years for lifemates to finish each other's sentences. I think you three just broke a record." He laughed at their expressions. "Sure. Sounds good to me. There's nothing going on here. Just be sure to bring your phones in case of an emergency."

"Yes, sir." Nick nodded and started to make a mental list of what they would need to bring.

"Did you want to use the Legacy cabin in Big Sur, or do you have one in mind?"

"I have one in mind, especially since it will look funny if half of the 'Frisco house takes a vacation to the woods together." Nick went back to his list.

"Okay. I have your numbers. You can leave tomorrow. I want to talk with all four of you tonight after supper. Go and enjoy the rest of your day."

Alex smiled and the three got up, together. She led them out the door, and they left one stunned Precept, hoping not to run into the other.

"Derek, would you come in here?" William called over the intercom. He waited until Derek was standing in front of the desk, before handing him the copies of the tests. "You won't believe it. Sit down."

Derek gave him a dirty look, then took a seat after looking at the conclusion pages. "Oh, my. This can certainly complicate matters."

"Yes, it will. I've given them some time off. Until the day after Kristen and Rachel come back. I didn't think you'd mind the time alone to think."

"No, thank you. What about..."

"You'll tell the rest of your house. They'll have their phones. Nick picked a place, not the Legacy cabin, but I'm sure it'll be secure enough. I want to hold a discussion with all three of you tonight after supper. Okay?" He got up and stood behind Derek, patting a shoulder. "Trust me, we, the Legacy, can't afford to let them screw this up."

"What about them and what they want?"

"I know what they'll want. It was obvious when we talked individually this morning, but not to them yet. Don't worry about your house, this'll make it stronger. Just be an anchor for all of them. Okay?" Sloan was trying to put Derek's fears to rest, but he knew only time would do that.

"Cross all the bridges before you burn them?" Derek arched an eyebrow up at William. "That doesn't sound like you. But, yes, I will be here for my friends, anytime and anything they need."

"I know you will, Derek, I know you will."


Alex headed into town, and Philip and Nick took a walk in the woods.

When she passed back through the main gates, she could *feel* what they were doing. Nick was feeling very good and Philip was getting better by the minute. She smiled to herself. //Oh, you guys! Having fun?// She didn't expect an answer but, boy did she get one. It was so loud, she almost ran into a tree.

[Fun? Of course we are! Are you back?] After her brush with the tree, [Alex, Pretty one, are you okay? Talk to us.]

[Fine, just scared me. I'll be home in a few minutes. Hug me then.]

She pulled her car out of the grass and made it back up to the house in one piece. Nick and Philip were waiting for her at the side door, sitting on the steps. They jumped up and hugged her tightly between them.

"I'm fine, really, guys." She took a deep breath and walked into the house with them. Kat was sitting beside the door, waiting on her.

"Are you okay, Alex?" She got up and hugged her. "I felt I should be here today, and William didn't seem to mind."

"Why would I mind. You're going to be one of us when you're old enough, so I'm considering this an internship." He ruffled her hair. "Just be thankful this isn't the White House."

"William, that's not appropriate for her age." Alex frowned at the older man, who grinned back. "Are you drunk?"

"Yep, Derek and I decided to celebrate your ... relationship." He patted Kat again and leaned over to hug Alex. "She said you were almost in an accident?"

"Yeah, I almost hit a tree coming up the drive. Why?"

"Don't Alex, just don't. I don't want to clean up the mess." He turned and walked back towards Derek's office, and the bar within.

"So, Kat, when did you get here. If you had told me, I would've picked you up." Alex took off her coat and headed to the nearest couch. Philip brought her a glass of water, and Nick sat beside her. Philip leaned over the back of the couch, hanging between the two. All three looked at Kat, knowing that she knew.

"I felt it yesterday. There was this powerful head-rush, then I knew something was different. I waited until I felt everything go back to normal this morning to come up." She crossed her legs. She was growing so fast. Today thirteen, tomorrow twenty-one and then thirty.

Alex looked over at her, guessing that she had a question or two. "So, what would you like to know?" She guessed right, because Kat's face lit up. "Let me guess, you want to know how this changes things."

Kat nodded, then added, "I want to know why this happened too, so I don't have to go through this. I mean guys are okay, but I don't want one anytime soon."

Nick giggled and Philip pinched him. "Well, to star' with, there's three o' us." Philip started of giving the answer.

"Then there's the question of what do we do about/with/because of this." Nick's comments.

"Then we have to get into the dominance issue that *someone* has." [Alpha male indeed.]

[Sorry, Alex.] Nick looked over at her. [Don't be mad, Pretty one. Please.]

"And where does that name come from?" She turned to Nick. "That's the third time, that I remember, that you've called me that."

"I thought you might like it," Nick answered sheepishly, looking at the floor.

[I love it, but really, why that instead of beloved, or sister since you call Philip brother?] "I think we need to think about that."

"O' course we do. Now jus' answer the poor confused young lady's quest'ns so we *can* talk. After all, her mother'd have our hides if we tau' her somethin' she didn' like." Philip leaned closer, breaking the looks going between Alex and Nick.

"That's okay, Philip, like I'd tell my mother about this." She gave them a mock frown. "She'd go ballistic."

Alex laughed. "True. Very true. Speaking of which, we're not going to be here when she gets back, so would you like to help me pack?"

"Sure! Vacation, or not coming back?"

"Vacation." all three said together.


Kat and Alex went upstairs to pack, and the boys headed for the kitchen to help with dinner. Alex pulled out the bottles of perfume she had found and set them carefully in a box on the vanity. Kat sat on her bed, and watched her actions.

"So, how did it happen?"

"Believe it or not, a bottle of perfume started all this." She pulled a bag out of the closet and grabbed a few pieces of clothes. Kat watched her pack, then went over to Alex's dresser and pulled open a drawer. She turned back around with a pile of underwear and bras, and a few nighties, and handed them off. She turned back around to get some socks, but when she turned back to Alex, she was sitting there looking at the flimsy nighties Kat had handed her.

"What's wrong Alex?" Kat dropped the socks and sat beside her friend. "Did I get the wrong ones?"

Alex shook herself. "No, honey, it was the right one. I'm just not sure whether or not I want it to be the right one." She packed it away and went over to the dresser for the long t-shirts she'd been sleeping in.

"Alex, are you.... is something wrong between you guys?" Kat didn't know how to phrase what she was asking, but she was sure Alex would get her meaning.

"Yeah, everything's fine. I..." She sat back on the bed, next to Kat. "You know how you were talking about not being ready for a boy for a while earlier? Well, I have the same feelings about this. I'm not sure that I want this, or that it's right, or even if they want this. I just am so *confused* right now." Alex sighed and put her chin on her chest.

"I understand." She patted Alex's arm. "I'm having a lot of days like that right now. You just have to sit down and figure out what is important and right to you. For you."

Alex looked in shock at the young woman before her. "Sometimes I wonder just how old you really are."

"Hey, what can I say, I've had some great teachers of sayings." They laughed.


After dinner, they all sat down in, the now fixed, living room. Alex kept looking at the door, and Nick blushed.

"Derek, I'm so sorry about doing that to you yesterday. I wouldn't do that to you normally. I'm sorry."

"Don't worry about it, Nick." The Dutchman leaned back. "I know that we were both under the influence of hormones. I'm sorry I bashed you with that painting."

"Because it was Nick, or because of the painting," Alex joked. They all laughed, and like magic, the tension in the room disappeared.

"Now about those sleeping arrangements," Sloan piped up, and they all laughed again.

(to be continued in Another place: another time.)