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Cups of coffee were so Sunday morning mundane. Stereotypes of dad sitting at the breakfast nook, reading his paper. Mom in the kitchen, cooking breakfast. Kids, wide eyed, wide grins, forks and knives propped up, ready for the day... Cups of coffee. Everyone had coffee on Sunday.


What about at two in the morning, when you can't sleep, and the only thing on your mind is how not-normal your family is.

This was Scarlett, seven minutes past two A.M. and she was nursing a cup of coffee in Kale's kitchen. A sleeping Alpha mate in the room over, crashed on the couch where she finally coaxed dreams into his head. It was easy to relax him with merely a touch.

Evelyn walked out of the spare room looking very tired. Dark smudges shadowed her wizened eyes.

"Alpha Female." She bowed her head as Scarlett gawked, this was the first time she had been addressed in such a way... It may have just been the coffee, or the body's dire need for sleep... But anyhow, she was speechless.

"Please-" She laughed slightly. "You don't need to call me that."

"Nonsense, that is a title you've earned." Evelyn stressed as she could no longer hold her gaze. "You just need some training. I'm sure Ky will help you with that." She smiled kindly.

"Ky?" Scarlett took a sip of her coffee.

"Just a nickname." She smiled. Scarlett enjoyed it.

After a moment's pause, Scarlett piped up. "Do you think I could talk to Carter?"

Evelyn looked up from pouring herself a cup of coffee. "He's in some pain, I left him dozing. But, I'm sure he wouldn't mind." She offered a kind smile, her voice soft.

Scarlett left her mug on the counter, moving around the island she embraced the woman cheek to cheek. It felt so natural, a primitive gesture she had somehow aqquired. "I'll watch over them tonight, go get some sleep. You deserve at least that much." She smiled at Evelyn without teeth. There was no teeth at two in the morning, at least you would hope.

"Thank you, Alpha." Evelyn's praise, though new, was very comforting. It gave a boost of much needed confidence to Scarlett's slight shoulders. She watched her disappear out the front door and soon heard the cracking as she shifted into her wolf.

Taking a deep breath, inhaling the scent of blood and fresh gauze, Scarlett walked into Carter's temporary room. The room was pretty stagnant, she imagined to keep it sterile, though it could use some fresh air. Death lingered in the corners of the room. She forgot how close he was to losing life's battle.

Carter stirred awake when she entered the room, laying flat on his back the covers pulled up over the thick gauze that wrapped all the way around his stomach. His face had already started to heal but it was covered with two long scars from right beneath his left eye to his chin.

"Scarlett." Carter's voice was scratchy but he smiled, she could see his perfect white teeth even in the bleak darkness of the room. She pulled up a chair and sat next to his bed.

"Hey, Carter."

"I took quite the beating, huh?" Still trying to make jokes, Scarlett couldn't help the sad chuckle. "It seems face scars are the new trend, your mate can vouch. Do you think this is going to lessen my movie star appeal?"

"Not at all." Scarlett laughed quietly. "Well... At least you have an OK personality... I guess." She teased, causing him to laugh all raspy like.

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