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“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” ~Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Rens paced through the little house peering out the front window before walking back to the sofa

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Rens paced through the little house peering out the front window before walking back to the sofa. He'd come in earlier to find Axel gone and not answering his phone. Which in itself, didn't surprise him. Axel had never been huge on technology, but he saw its usefulness from time to time and kept the phone on. Usually. But it'd been hours now and with the growing Devourers in the area, he'd began to worry as the hour grew later and later.

A car door slammed out front, Emerens jumping up from where he'd just sat down. Before he had the chance to cross to the door, it swung open. Axel marched in with three bags in his hands and a cross expression on his face. Behind him, Sloane's eyes roved over every inch of their bachelor pad. He could only imagine how it appeared to someone like her, dark wood trim, mismatched furnishings and all. But to her credit she kept a pleasant expression, smiling broader when she spied him. What had Axel gotten himself into now, he wondered as his brother carried the bags to one of the two bedrooms off the back of their Craftsman style home?

"So what do I owe this pleasure?"

"Oh, you know. We thought a sleepover would be fun," Sloane replied with a wink his way. She was wearing pajamas with a long hoodie pulled over them, her usually perfect hair, sticking up in random directions, and limping slightly as she walked further into the room.

"Well, usually I'd be all for it, but I have a feeling there's more to this," Rens said waving her to a spot on the worn leather sofa.

"Yeah. Just a little something."

"A Devourer broke into her apartment, two more showed up just before we left." Axel's voice was deep, startling in the nighttime hush which hung over the tiny dwelling. The brothers stared at each other as Sloane pulled her legs up to her chest resting her forehead on top of them.

"You handled them all?"

"The last one disappeared before I reached it, but I took care of the other two." Axel hovered at the edge of the room, glancing towards Sloane as he spoke.

"And bringing her here? I take it that was your idea."

"It was the only way to keep her safe so she could help us."

"You told her?" Rens asked trying to catch up on whatever transpired while his brother and the slig girl were alone together.

"No. He did not. Not everything," she mumbled barely lifting her head then putting it back down. She looked exhausted. It was the first he'd noticed the dark circles under her eyes usually concealed by her makeup.

"I'll tell you in the morning." She let out a small huff at Axel's words but didn't move.

"I didn't think you'd change your mind," Rens said watching the muscle in Axel's cheek tighten.

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