“Hey, Rach, I am so glad you are here. We need to talk.”
“What’s up? Nothing good ever comes out of a ‘we need to talk’ talk.” She giggles at her joke.
I take a deep breath before I tell her, “My mom asked me for an additional two hundred dollars.”
“What? When does she need it?”
“I need to send it within the hour.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I wanted to ask you what you thought about me taking another job?”
Rachel looks sad, then her face lights up, “Oh, I can ask Owen. He probably has something available.”
“I don’t think I’m experienced enough for that level of work.”
“Hm… Well, how good of a dancer are you?”
I roll my eyes at her, “I have two left feet, you know this. Remember your brother’s wedding. That was a bad day for everyone.”
She starts laughing. “Yeah, I just like messing with you. There are waitresses, bartenders, and other things.” Her laugh is even more laborious.
I roll my eyes and shake my head. “What time do you want to leave?”
“We can leave now. I just woke up, so I am good to drive. You can sleep, then you drive on the way home, and I will sleep.”
“Okay, that’s a good enough plan. I need to shower first.”
“Okay. I’ll run by the club and talk to Owen.”
I nod, then head to the bathroom. We have a small two-bedroom apartment, and each bedroom has a private bathroom attached. It works great until a guest comes over, and they must go through someone’s bedroom to use the bathroom.
I stare at myself in the mirror. I look exhausted. Maybe it is good Rachel is taking the first shift in driving. I take a long shower and get dressed, putting on black leggings and a turquoise top. I brush my dirty blonde hair. I stare back into the mirror; my reflection looks better, more refresh. I hear the door open and Rachel calling, “Honey, I’m home. Are you ready?”
“Yeah, coming,” walking out, I grab some snacks for us to take on the road and turn towards Rachel.
“Eww, no, I want road trip snacks.” Rachel looks at the snacks in disgust.
“I can’t afford road trip snacks.”
“I can; I got you.”
I roll my eyes and nod. Rachel smiles and claps her hands. “Beef Jerky, here I come.”
I fall asleep as soon as I get into the car. Rachel wakes me when we reach my mother’s house. I told my mother we were coming and that I would have her money when we got there. I knock on the door, and her ‘guy friend’ answers. I am not sure what he is, but he is there at midnight. My mother is all too excited to see me, and by that, I mean, the first words out of her mouth are, “Do you have it?” I nod and hand her the money. She turns and gives the guy most of the money. He kisses her on the cheek before leaving.
“Mom, who was that? I thought you needed the money for rent and shoes for Jason and Jan.” I can’t hide the anger in my voice.
“It’s my money, don’t question what I do with it.”
“I am going to question, or I am not giving you money anymore.”
“Do you want your siblings to grow up homeless or without their mother?”
“If it gives them a better life, then yes, they should grow up without you.” Anger flows through me; my mom begins screaming. I can’t take it anymore and walk out the door. Rachel is right behind me. We get to the car, and I hold my hand out for the keys. Rachel did not say a word but hands them over. We drive off without a second glance. I drive across town to my Aunt’s house on my father’s side.
My father died when Sam and I were three. I don’t even remember him. When we turned 18, Sam found his family. We built a relationship with his parents before they died and his sister, Lauren.
I call my Aunt Lauren. I explain to her what happen and ask to stay at her house. She agrees. As we pull up, she is standing outside to hug me. She is an amazing woman. I hate my mother for keeping her away from us.
“I am so glad you are here, Mel. I wish it were under different circumstances. Rachel, how are you?” She hugs Rachel after me.
“I’m good, Aunt Lauren.” Rachel smiles at her. Sam and I met Rachel in middle school. She is a part of the family now.
We go inside and talk for a short time before heading off to bed. One of the many nice things about coming to Aunt Lauren’s house is that Rachel and I don’t have to sleep on the floor. We do have to share a bed, but it beats the floor any day.
The following day, we wake up to the smell of bacon. Rachel and I jump out of bed. I say a quick hello to my cousins before heading to the kitchen. Lauren smiles at us. “You girls look hungry.” We both nod.
“You won’t believe how hungry we get when we don’t have to cook,” Rachel says with a smile.
We sit around the table and all talk. My two cousins are in high school, their dad, my uncle, is working this weekend. We say a quick goodbye and head to the flower shop after breakfast.
I get pink tulips. Sam’s favorite color is pink. During Sam’s funeral, I promised to bring her flowers and make sure she has the nicest grave. Tears began to form in my eyes before we get to the cemetery. “You okay?” I nod. Rachel knows I’m not okay, but she doesn’t push.
Tears run down my cheeks as we walk towards her grave. It’s impossible to hold them back as I lay the flowers on the vase connected to the headstone. Rachel and I sit, pushing my back against the cold stone. Rachel tells Sam about the club and everything new in her life. She looks at me and says she will give me some private time and heads to the car. As soon as she is gone, I sob. I tell Sam how angry I am at our mom, about the man in her house, her constant lies and manipulation, and the financial stress I am under because of her.
“I miss you, Sam. You shouldn’t have been driving that day! Why didn’t you tell me you didn’t feel like you could drive?” The pain in my chest starts to grow.
“I have the worst migraine, sister.” Sam grabs her hair.
“You have to go to class Sammy, just think in two years, we will both have Ph.D.’s, and everyone will call us Doctor.” I put my hand on her shoulder and smile at her.
“Yeah, you’re right. I hate to go to the campus on the other side of town, though. Traffic is awful.”
“I don’t have anything until one today. Want me to go with you?”
“No, stay here and do your literature review. We have to push each other.”
Less than an hour later, I get a phone call from the police department. I race to the hospital as fast as I can. When I tell the receptionist who I am, she looks at me with sympathy. I know then the news isn’t good. A doctor comes out and speaks with me. He tells me she lost consciousness and swerved into a semi. The doctor assures me that she probably didn’t feel anything because she was out and didn’t suffer. I ask to see her, but he strongly recommends against it. He stresses that the way she looks now is not the way I want to remember her.
End of Flashback:
“I should have driven you that day, Sam. I should have told you it was okay to stay home. If I had, you would be here.”
I stand up and walk back to the car. Rachel hugs me as soon as I sit down.
We start heading back to Seattle in silence. Halfway home, she starts talking. “Owen said you could interview Monday at eight.”
“What is the job?”
“Cleaning offices or bartending. Just look cute when you go in, and it will all be fine.”
“Is he that much of a pig?”
“He’s more like a wolf,” she starts laughing. I don’t get her joke but decide it is best not to ask. “If you saw him, you would want to look cute.”
“What does he look like?” I ask curiously.
“Girl, he’s dreamy. Wait until your pretty grey eyes feast on his amber ones. He has sandy hair, built like a Greek god, and his smile is to die for.”
I roll my eyes. “If you say so.”
“Oh, I say so, just you wait.”
Little do I know how right she will be.
Owen"Hey, Owen, I need this weekend off."It's Rachel asking for time off, again. I roll my eyes. "Why do you need time off?""Because it has been a rough few days, and I think I deserve it. Don't you think so, daddy?" She looks at me through her lashes and gives me the dumbest pouty face. I shake my head. "Fine, I want to hang out with my roommate. We are going to go visit her twins grave.""You want me to let you off work so you can go with your roommate to visit a grave?""Owen, it's three hours away.""You're a wolf. Just run. It won't take you any time.""She's human.” Rachel makes a pleading face, “Come on. I won't ask again for the rest of the month.""It's almost the end of the month, Rachel.""Please, Owen… I’ll take back half the mean things I say about you." She gives me a silly smile. I know she is joking.With a sigh, I say, "fine." Rachel hugs me and runs out of my office to start her shift"Why didn't you say yes the first time she asked? She would have gone away quicke
The weekend is over, and it’s time to go back to my daily writing and work. I have the interview tonight. To say I am nervous is an understatement. I don’t remember ever being at this level of nervousness. Maybe it is because this is the first change I am making without my twin. I am not sure, but it is time to head off to school. When I walk into my office, Dr. Wells is there. "Good morning Dr. Wells. Would you like me to get you some coffee?""Why are you here so late?""I am not supposed to be here until eight. It's eight right now." Great, he is in a mood today."Yes, get me a coffee. Make it right this time." I give a quick nod and head down the hall. He usually isn't here in the mornings. I made my schedule this semester to be here when he isn't. Dr. Wells's office is connected to mine. Students walk through my office to get to his. My job is to greet students and assist with anything he needs."Here is your coffee, one packet of sugar, one packet of artificial sugar, and a splas
OwenI am working on the payroll when a knock on my office door gets my attention. "Come in." The door opens, and it is like time stops."Mate, that's her. She's here. Run to her, touch her, sniff her, we need her." I can hear the urgency in my wolf’s voice. “Get up and go to her. I need her to be mine! Move human! That's our mate. Push her onto the desk so we can mark her.” He sounds excited. We both have wanted to meet our mate for a long time, and now she's here."Calm down. She’s human; we will freak her out if we pounce on her. Plus, you heard Rachel; she's had a hard life. It might be best if we stay out of the drama. I think we have been through enough.""No! The moon goddess mated her to us. Her body, her mind, and her soul, all designed for us. Maybe she had to go through that life so she could be ready for us." I watch her. As she walks towards me, and I push myself closer to my desk. It will not make a good impression if she sees how turned on I am by looking at her."Hi, I
It is finally Friday, and I am excited. When I told Rachel what Owen said, she was shocked. "He has never personally trained anyone. Typically, he requires experience.""Maybe he felt sorry for me?” I give a little shrug. “I have no idea. But he is paying me two thousand dollars for a weekend.""Are you nervous?" "Yes, very, but I am also really excited.""Just don't get attached. To my knowledge, Owen has never had a girlfriend. I think it has something to do with his dad being gone.”“What happened to him?”“His dad died before he was born, and his mom had to leave her home.""Why was she forced to leave her home?""It's a long story, but she lived with his family. After his death, they forced her to leave. I know they had to move around a lot, and it never was easy for them.""Wow. That's awful. Maybe that is why Owen agreed to do this. He and I have some similarities when it comes to family. Maybe he is helping himself by helping me."She rolls her eyes. "Okay, Dr. Mel."I scoff.
Owen asks, "Have you eaten dinner?" "No, I was too nervous to eat. The last thing I wanted to do was eat then get sick in front of you." Ugh, what is wrong with me? Why did I say that? "Do you think you could eat now?""That depends. Are you hungry too?" He gives me a nod and smiles. "Then, yes, I could eat.""What time is it?" He glances at the clock. "Ten, there is this amazing Italian place down the road. Do you like Italian food?" I give him a nod. "Great, grab your shirt and shoes, and wellhead out."When we are both ready, he takes my hand. The second our skin touches, I want more. Tingles shoot from my hand to the rest of my body. "Drive or walk?""What?" I am so focused on the tingling sensation I can barely hear what he says."We can drive if you don't want to walk. It will be about a ten-minute drive or a fifteen-minute walk.""It's a nice night, let's walk." I don't want to tell him that I want to walk so we can keep holding hands. We walk in comfortable silence. He holds
OwenIt's a quarter until six. Mel will be here soon. I feel anxious, pacing back and forth in my office. I try and calm my nerves.‘Relax, she is made for us. She needs us just as much as we need her.’ My wolf seems calm."Yeah, I know. It's just I don't want to frighten Mel, but I want to take care of her."‘She's here. I smell her.’"Why is she just standing in front of the door?" I go to my desk and pull out some papers, trying to look busy. Still, she doesn't seem to move.‘Go to the door.’I debate on if I should answer or not. After about a minute, I rush to the door. Once I have a chance to catch my breath, I open the door. She is standing there looking like she is just about to knock."Please come in.”I sit on a chair across from the couch. I can't keep my eyes off, Melony. She is wearing an oversize grey graphic t-shirt, black leggings, and pink sneakers—her hair in a bun, and she has a little make-up on her eyes.‘Our mate is so naturally beautiful.’She truly is beautiful.
I am just about asleep when the door slowly opens. I am not sure how, but I know it’s Owen. He is calm and seems concerned."Mel, are you okay?"I sit up in bed quickly and look at him. The room is so dark I can't see his face, but I can make out his silhouette.How do I answer that? No, I am not okay, but I don't understand why I'm not okay. I am trying to protect myself and keep my personal feelings to the side, but every time I'm near you, my heart skips a beat. No, I can't say that. Maybe telling him the truth is the best course of action, you know what they say, ‘honesty is the best policy.’"Owen. I should apologize to you. I didn't mean to be rude. It's just that I know you don't date. When we were at dinner, it felt like a date. That scared me. I don't want to get to know someone only to have them walk out of my life in three months.""I don't plan on leaving in three months. I need you to trust me, Mel. We build trust by answering and asking questions.""You gave me the shorte
I wake up feeling incredibly hot. I slowly open my eyes to see Owen. He is holding me to his body like a child does a lovey. Prying myself from his grasp, I slip out of bed. After drinking a bottle of water right before bed, I must use the bathroom. I grab his shirt off the floor and make my way down the hall. When I finish, I know there is no going back to sleep. Maybe I should make Owen breakfast. What does he like for breakfast? I open the fridge and, to my surprise, find it fully stocked. I grab eggs, bacon, and milk. Then I open the pantry and pull out sugar, flour, and vanilla extract. I find bowls, pans, and utensils before getting to work.I start to think of Sam while I am mixing the ingredients to make pancakes. She and I would wake up on Saturday morning and cook breakfast. French toast was her favorite, while mine is chocolate chip waffles. Our mom would still be out with some random guy. She usually left Friday night, and we saw her sometime on Sunday or early Monday.I a