I walked into the house and was about to turn around and walk back out because of the smell but Michaela was directly behind me and the twins were in their pj’s sitting around the island in the middle of the kitchen and were hopping of their stools, each taking my hand.

Michaela laughed, “He wants a shower and breakfast.”

“Shower first.” I added. Both of the boy’s faced fell so I added. “I’m all smelly and a little bit cold.”

Laker lead the way, pulling me by my hand. I knew my way around the house. It had only changed in decor but it was still laid out the same. I was holding back the bile that was rising in my stomach from the smell of cigarette smoke and patchouli oil. Not even the smell of bacon could make that hiden putrid smell wane. Rider walked down the hall and grabbed me a fresh white towel and handed it to me. “Shower’s right here.” Rider said as he opened the door to let me in.

Lake smiled, “You can sit in my spot for breakfast I’m done.”

“We’ll see when I’m done.” I said with a smile. “Thank you two.”

I went into the small bathroom and locked the door behind me and I bent over the toilet trying not to lose the contents of my stomach with dry heaves. I wove a sound proof barrier around the room so that my noises wouldn’t be heard. I didn’t want the boys to think I was ungrateful.

It was funny how that had changed. How I didn’t want to upset my brothers even though the sight of them had made me sick to my stomach. It wasn’t their fault. It wasn’t Jesse’s fault. It was my own. I had to man up. I had to grow up and be the bigger person. I had to forget the evil my mother did to me for the sake of her new family. Every bone in my body said I was the bigger person her. But I had to conquer my own fears. The fear of being unloved. The fear of never having been loved. I had to push it all aside.

I turned on the cold water and removed my clothes before jumping into the cold jets. I could do this. I could make the most of it. The cold water made quick work of my anxiety and I was hastily turning on the hot to temper the cold.

Before long I was clean and feeling much more like myself. Though I still knew it would be bad when I let my mind wander but for now I had a job to do, and I wasn’t going to let my past get in the way of it.

I opened the bathroom door letting the steam escape and found the smell of cigarette smoke and patchouli oil assaulting my nose. I wove a filter around me as close to the skin as possible. I adjusted it until I smelled bacon and only bacon. I’d never tried it before, but it had to be no different that any other weave I’d done. I figured it might come in handy when having to isolate a smell to track too. I made that mental note and sat down on a stool next to Rider, he was plating me eggs and bacon and a healthy pile of roasted apples. I didn’t want to tell him I couldn’t eat it. I thanked him and took a forkful of apples and stuffed them in my mouth. It wasn’t awful…