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Zion woke after a restless night.

Something was bothering him, but he couldn't pinpoint what it was.

Something had changed. Some minor energy had shifted.

Stretching his long body, he remembered his dreams had been about Akela. But then again, his dreams were usually about her, so that was habit by now. with a grunt he rolled out of bed and stretched again before dressing in running gear. He wasn't used to feeling this restless. especially when he had just woken up.

A quick brush of his teeth and a disgruntled frown at his own appearance in the mirror, was more a futile attempt at maintaining a routine than anything else. He had always hated looking in the mirror. Ever since he noticed the first whispers about his looks and noticed the sympathetic stares from the other pack members, he had avoided looking at himself.  He felt like less of a freak if he didn't see his own wolf-human-hybrid-weirdness.

But then Akela happened. And she called him cute. The memory of her fingers running through his fur and the look in her eyes when he smiled at her, made him feel wanted. As if, for the first time in his life he was... normal.

He looked into the mirror, trying to see what Akela might see.
Or more accurately...Trying to see what Akela wanted to see.
Diana had teased him a few times, hinting that Akela liked his eyes.
He didn't see it.
Dull, boring, brown.
He forced a smile towards his reflection, but all he saw was a dog grinning at him.
Why couldn't he look more like Abel? His brother's movie star looks was an eternal reminder of his own ugliness. Even Gerry, who was more ordinary looking, was a male model compared to the wolf-face in the mirror.

At least his body was well maintained. Zion recalled Akela's hormonal surge that time she walked in on him only wearing a towel. That in itself was motivation to continue working out.

He opened the door and stomped into the hallway, bumping into Abel, who came along the hallway at the same time.

Zion greeted his brother, frowning at his unkempt appearance.

"You look like hell!" Zion muttered.

Abel flashed him an ironically bright grin.

"Thanks, Zi. I look the way I imagine you feel!" Abel grumbled.

With a quick, but light punch to the shoulder, Zion left his brother to search for breakfast.

"Rough night?" Abel asked.

"Yeah..." Zion sighed.

"Me too... I kept feeling like I had these burns on my hands... you know the ones Akela had when she came here... and my dreams were all foggy and... concussed," Abel muttered.

"Concussed? You know that's a real injury, right? An actual brain damage?" Zion rolled his eyes at his brother's use of health terminology.

Abel stopped just outside the kitchen.

"I know that dumbass! I mean it felt like that time when I fell off the ladder and landed on my head and was all disoriented and.... concussed!" Abel said with an exasperated eye roll.

Zion shrugged, too restless and oddly disjointed himself to care beyond irritation.

His inability to identify why everything seemed to be happening a fraction of a second out of tune, or why he felt restless and dizzy, annoyed him.

He grabbed a sports bottle, filled it with water and grabbed a banana and a protein bar.

"I fucking need to shake this restlessness out of my system. I'm going for a workout," he told Abel, and by extension Diana who was eating her yoghurt at the table.

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