By the time I got back to my apartment both Sage and Mia were asleep with Naya in my bed. I sighed then grabbed another shower. At least they left me space, but then they knew better than to make me sleep in the middle of the bed too. But that’s where they had me.
With a pair of clean boxers and a tank top on I crawled into bed in front of Sage. Naya was sprawled across the middle of the bed. I curled down next to Sage and then lifted the little girl on to my chest where she pressed he head into my chest. Mia’s eyes blinked open at me as she moved closer, “There you are. You want your side?”
I shook my head. “I’ll okay.”
She grinned as her arm fell across the back of her daughter. Sage had shifted closer oblivious to Mia’s hand across my body. He was raised in a wolf pack but couldn’t stand to be touched. It had been hell on him until he met me. I could be in the middle of his puppy pile and he could touch me. He got all the comforts of family he wanted without all the hassle.
I closed my eyes and a pair of elusive blue eyes floated in my vision.
He laughed at me. “So pathetic. I could never love you.” Visions of Alex shoving me, laughing at things I did. And then he reached into my chest and I heard and felt him pull my heart of my chest. It beat in his hands. “I’d thought it be bigger.” he said just before my eyes popped open. It was hard to breath, I felt a weight on my chest making it even worse. Sage’s hand clamped on my shoulder and Mia’s rubbed my arm. Both of them shushing and reassuring me in their sleep. Like they’d done so many times before that. I couldn’t stay lodged between them. I sat up with Naya in my arms and rolled her over on top of her mother then climbed out of bed over the foot of the bed.
The apartment was silent. It was strange walking across the dark wood floors with nothing more than my own eyes to guid me. Fee was curled up on the couch. I sat down next to her and ran my fingers over her stiff coat. She purred absently then quieted as her dreams took her over again.
I hung my head against the back of the couch and stared at the ceiling. I can say one thing about having a party, my apartment smelled more like home. Not perfect, but close.
I didn’t know what time it was, but it didn’t matter. I wasn’t going to sleep. I was dreaming of Alex. I was surprised I hadn’t been beaten by the blue eyed demon. Maybe it decided to change tactics since my worst nightmare was Alex rejecting me. I glanced at my phone and saw there were no missed messages.
I sluggishly pulled myself off the couch and into my new kitchen and started rummaging through Henry’s box of goodies. Only to find a can of pumpkin puree. I’d never been much of a baker, and really I didn’t need to make a crust, that was just added carbs.
I flipped open my browser on my phone and started a search for the best pumpkin pie recipe on the internet.
I brewed a pot of coffee while I searched. I drank two cups before I was busy in my kitchen making the can of pumpkin puree into pumpkin pie filling. Only thing I needed was whipped cream, but I could make that from scratch too I had heavy cream for Fee. She’d be pissed I used it all, but I’d make it up to her.
Two pots of coffee later, and half a pie’s worth of pumpkin pie later the first soul roused. Rider was stretching as walked into the living room area. “What time is it?”
I shrugged. “No idea.”
“You been up all night?” my little brother asked concerned.
I shrugged again. “Yeah I think so.”
“Dad’s been keeping weird hours lately. I though it’d be different here. You always slept until 4am at least.”
“Sorry.” I apologized. “New place. I’m not used to it yet.”
“Has nothing to do with the guy who didn’t who up?”
“Has everything to do with that, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’d still be a mess.”
Rider grinned as he sat down and took my spoon from my long fingers. “Pumpkn pie?”
Rider nodded. “I know, but where you’d get it.”
“I made it.”
“There is no crust.”
I nodded, “I’m not a baker, and I really only like the filling anyway.”
“Smart. Less carbs too.” He smiled. “Dad says you are a bad influence.”
“Cause Laker and I started going to the gym about a year ago. We did it so we could play football, but then we decided soccer was better.”
“You like playing?” I asked.
He nodded. “It’s nice. But I like running, and actually like just lifting heavy things.”
I grinned. “That’s what I like too.”
“But you do it to keep in shape.”
“Actually I do it cause it keeps me sane.”
Rider sighed, “You okay?”
I shrugged, “I dunno.”
“Go back to bed Nox.” Rider said as he pulled the bowl away from me and got up to put it in the fridge.
I watched him, he sighed and walked around the table and pulled me out of my chair. “Come on.”
Rider didn’t even bother taking me to my room, he shoved me under the bottom bunk and crawled in after me. “Sleep, now.”
I listened, but only because once I was lying on the bed I yawned and I was tired. Rider let me curl around him and I whispered, “I thought I was supposed to be the big brother here.”
He laughed, “You are. But sometimes you need someone to take care of you. And that’s why we are here.”
I pressed a kiss to the back of his neck which Rider promptly wiped off. “Thanks.” I whispered as I drifted off into the darkness. I knew I’d have a nightmare, but I was too tired to care.