Author's Note: Sorry this one took a while to get up. I've had it done for a while now I just have been a little busy. This is the longest chapter to date at almost three thousand words, so just a heads up there. And for those of you who have read the original, I can now officially say this one has gone off track from it so I hope that is okay. You'll see what I mean by the end of the chapter. I realized earlier that I have not been translating the little bits of German (that is that language) that I have been using. I am sorry for that, but there is a reason. Sorry again. Enjoy the update!
I woke up Sunday morning and laid in bed for several seconds staring at the window.
I was awake in my own bed.
I was alive.
This assessment made me feel really happy. Even though I knew those thoughts were stupid, it still made me feel better about the decision that I had made. Of course I still had to check on Carrie but given my own condition at the moment, I was actually feeling pretty confident about everything. I took a deep breath as I slid out of the bed and stretched before making my way to the small bathroom that was attached to my room. It only took me about fifteen minutes to look something like presentable. Really all I had done was put my hair up in a messy bun and splashed water on my face but given the fact that I wasn't working today I thought that was pretty good grooming.
I made sure that I was appropriately dressed before I moved out of my room and peeked into Carrie's. She was still sleeping away happily, her blankets piled up around her. I closed the door quietly before I moved away and left her to sleep for a little while longer. I moved down the rest of the hall to check and see if Adam had woken up. Instead he was still sleeping away on the couch, the blanket that I had given him had been discarded on the ground leaving me to shake my head.I left him alone too, deciding to make my way to the kitchen. I quickly started a pot of instant coffee. I wished that I could afford the good stuff but it just would have been too big a dent into other things I needed to pay like bills and gas. So I lived with what I had. While the coffee was brewing I looked in the fridge my eyes going wide at the sight that met me.
There was food there.
I mean I always made sure that there was at least a little bit of food around the house, sometimes it wasn't much, but there was always something. This looked like someone had gone to the grocery store and actually stocked up and made sure that there was everything that a person could think to want. I closed the fridge door and turned around to see that Adam had gotten up. He stood in the doorway that led from the kitchen out to the living room and the small hall that led to the bedrooms. He looked utterly out of it. His brown hair was sticking out in random directions and his shirt was wrinkled. He had to have just woken up.
"I think I smell coffee," he grumbled stumbling forward. Before I could say anything, he was searching the cabinets until he found a cup and poured himself a cup of coffee. He threw a chug back, pure black and all. I stared at him wide-eyed. I think that the caffeine hit his brain the same time that his mouth woke up enough to actually kick-start his taste buds because his eyes bulged out at the same moment that he ran to the sink and spit the stuff out.
I frowned at him. "Hey, instant coffee isn't that bad," I snapped shaking my head. "Besides, that stuff costs. If you're not going to appreciate it at least give it to me to drink."
Adam looked at me utterly horrified. "You mean that you drink that on a daily basis?" he demanded, shocked. "Dear God I am so sorry."
I rolled my eyes as I pulled a cup down and poured myself some of the stuff as well. "It's an acquired taste," I shot back shaking my head. "Besides, when it's all you've got it's not so bad."
His face went red instantly and he bowed his head. "I'm sorry," he mumbled looking away. "You're right of course. That was insensitive of me."
I shook my head. "Don't worry, I think I'm one of the few people in the world who still actually brews instant coffee let alone drinks it," I assured him. "I don't like the stuff much either, but the caffeine boost is almost necessary."
Adam was still frowning as he stared hard at the coffee pot. "You would think that they would have picked up some good stuff at least," I heard him mumble.
I should have known I supposed but I was still naive enough to be surprised. "You mean that your brothersbrought all the food in my fridge over?" I demanded.
Adam looked at me innocently. "Well of course. If we're going to be over here we have to eat. And considering how much we eat providing the food is the least that we could do."
I was utterly stunned. The logic was perfectly sound, but I wanted to be indignant that it had already been decided that they would be here. "Is Kayne even going to take my opinion into consideration?" I asked sounding more exasperated than pissed. I think I was. I still hadn't really had enough caffeine to kick start my brain. I wasn't awake. That was the excuse that I would use in a case like this. It was a complete and utter lie of course, but sometimes a lie is all you have when your world falls apart.
A lie and a horrible excuse to justify the lie.
"Of course he'll take it into consideration," he promised. "But Kayne is hoping that..." Adam trailed off. "Just, listen to him Emma. None of us want to see you or Carrie hurt. We just want to help," he vowed. "And I know that this all seems strange but Kayne is going to explain everything. I know that he is. You just have to wait for him to get back from the house. The main house that is."
"The main house?" I asked furrowing my brows. "What are you talking about? Do you guys live on some kind of estate or compound?"
Adam shifted from one foot to the other. For a guy who looked like he could take on a linebacker, it seemed a little silly to see him so nervous. "You could say that," he granted with a shrug. "Look, why don't I start breakfast? Xavier and Kayne should be here soon."
I stared at him for several seconds not sure which of the many questions floating around in my head I wanted to ask. "You can cook?" I gave in. Don't ask me why I just let him change the subject that easily. Maybe it was because out of the three of them, Adam Volkov had been the nicest to me. Just this once, I figured I could give the guy a break. I could save all my skepticism for his brothers.
"We Volkov brothers are men of hidden talents," he said as a grin took hold of his face. The tension slipped away from his shoulders as he moved to the fridge. He looked like a giant in my small kitchen, but he seemed utterly at ease as he began to pull food out and place it on the counter. "Now," he turned back to me. "Shoo, go relax in the living room or wake up Carrie. Let me take care of... all this."
I rolled my eyes and took my cup of coffee with me towards the living room. I stopped in the little entryway and turned around to pin him with a look. "Just remember: you burn down my kitchen I'm going to have to hurt you." Considering the fact that his arms were thicker than my legs, it was a hollow threat.
But it still had to be made.
Adam gave me a smile as he nodded. "Of course," he agreed. "I would expect nothing less. Though you should probably let my brother's in." The knock on the door came right as he ended his sentence and I had to be very careful not to spill any coffee as I jumped.
Now thathad been creepy. I would have to ask him about that one later if I remembered. Instead of worrying about it, I moved to the door and peeked through the little whole. A gold eye framed by black lashes and a random lock of black hair greeted me. I looked annoyed as I unlocked and opened the door, and turned my eyes to Xavier who was grinning from ear to ear. "I bring a peace offering," he promised holding up a cup tray filled with what could only be gloriously fresh coffee if my nose didn't deceive me.
"That's real fresh coffee isn't it?" I asked eying the cups trying to hide my eagerness. Xavier nodded. My reaction was instantaneous, grabbing a cup before he could protest and moving back towards the kitchen so I could dump the instant stuff down the drain. I felt like a hypocrite as I did it but there were two rules that I had come to live by. One, never reheat coffee. Two, never turn down a fresh cup of coffee.
The coffee was leaving a lovely brown residue on the bottom of the sink as Xavier came into the kitchen crowding it even further. When you looked at the guy alone, he didn't seem all that little. It was only when he was next to Adam that that started. He was more lean and lanky muscle where his brother was sheer bulk. When they were both in my kitchen, it didn't seem to matter. "Machst du Frühstück?" he asked elbowing his brother. "I bring coffee to wake you up and you're holding a knife."
Adam turned to face his brother and a grin lit his face. "You are a blessing little brother," he said ruffling Xavier's black hair as he took one of the coffee cups and taking a large gulp out of it. He was probably trying to rid his mouth of the taste of instant coffee.
Movement at the corner of my vision had me looking towards the hallway where Kayne had appeared silently. "Is it just me or is my kitchen suddenly feeling really little?" I asked looking between the three big males.
Xavier looked at me unapologetically. "No you see, your kitchen isreally little. You just can't tell because you and your sister are really little too."
I might have felt bad for the slap that his brothers delivered to the back of Xavier's head if he hadn't just insulted me and my home. "You don't have a filter do you Xavier?"
He grinned, his gold eyes lighting at the words playing in his mind. "Filters are for leaders and the politically correct. As my brothers can testify, I am neither."
I rolled my eyes before turning my attention to Kayne. "You and I need to talk," I said pointedly.
I thought he would sigh and looked resigned but a smile actually touched his lips for a moment as he nodded. "You're right," he agreed. "Let's talk in the living room. Xavier can help Adam with the cooking for once."
I followed Kayne into the living room and sat down on the single chair that inhabited it. He took the couch. His body hunched forward with his elbows resting on his knees. He almost looked like a normal sized human being when he did that, but I knew that was just a cover. I knew that he would be able to move at any moment. I just didn't want to think about it. Instead I focused on his face. Kayne really did look like some odd blend of his brothers. His hair was both black and brown, not shifting colors but simply alternating randomly from strand to strand. And of course there were his eyes, theireyes actually. All three of them had the same color gold eyes. It was a little distracting really.
"Adam was saying that you had to go up to the Main House, what is that?" I asked. I didn't see the point in being subtle. He had promised me answers and I was going to have them whether he liked it or not.
Apparently he didn't. That or he didn't like that Adam was the one that told me. From the way that he was grinding his teeth I was going to go with the second option. "What else did Adam tell you?" he asked.
I considered how to play it and then decided to be honest. He promised that to me so it was the least that I could give him in return. "Not much really," I admitted. "He said that you brothers are men of hidden talents when I found out he could cook. He mentioned the main house, but he wouldn't say anything else other than that about it. He also said that you would explain things to me, that you wanted to really. Oh!" I remembered. "And that you guys brought the food now inhabiting my fridge. I guess I should suck up my pride and thank you for that one," I pointed out.
Kayne shrugged. "It would be nice," he admitted. "But you don't really have to. I promise. It would just be a little nice to hear," he admitted with a shrug.
I leaned back as I considered that. "I'll think about it," I granted. "But first, you promised me answers and explanations, honest ones," I added. "I would like them."
He nodded and took a deep breath. "I did," he agreed. "I thought I would be less nervous than this," he mumbled before shooting off the couch. Kayne started to pace around the cramped living room as if that was going to help. Actually it was kind of annoying. I started to say something and he held up a hand. "Please just let me, give me a second. This is kind of a big deal."
Sighing, I leaned back in the chair. I'm not sure how long he paced. At the time it seemed like an eternity. Watching him, I honestly and truly wanted to know what was going on in that mind of his. Curiosity was biting at me, but at the same time, I wanted to refrain. I had made a deal for this information and a part of me was afraid of what I was going to hear.
"My brothers and I were born in Germany," Kayne finally said. He had decided to settle in next to the window that sat along the wall. He was staring out it, looking as if he was back in some other time. "We never knew our father, but our mother brought us over to the states when we were three years old. I don't know what possessed her to come over here. She never explained, she just said that she had to. Sometimes we think that she was looking for our father."
Kayne paused before looked to me as if assessing if I would freak out and bolt for the door at any moment or not. Due to the rather odd normality of the whole story so far, I was still content to stay where I was.
"I've been given permission to tell you everything Emma. But, I have to warn you that it's not going to be easy. And you might think that I'm crazy, but... just know that I would never lie to you." He was watching me carefully now, his eyes searching mine.
I bit my lip and crossed my arms. "Why do I have a bad feeling about this?" I asked. I held up my hand to stop him from saying anything. "Alright. Why were you there the other night? Outside the diner."
A look of relief washed over his face. "I was looking for you actually."
"On your own?"I asked.
Kayne frowned and leaned against the wall. "What do you mean?" he asked.
I rolled my eyes. "I was just joking but, that was the first time I'd seen you without your brothers," I confessed.
He nodded. "Fair enough, but yes. They had... they had something else that they needed to do that night."
It wasn't much of a answer but I wasn't going to ask. I didn't really care where his brothers had been that night. "Why were you coming to see me?" I asked.
The tension returned to his shoulders as he looked away from me. "I wish that I could say it was because I was going to apologize," he admitted.
"Which means you weren't," I pointed out. "What then? Why did you come to see me?"
"Because I found something out," Kayne hedged before sighing. "I promised I'd be honest with you. But this is complicated and like I said before: you might not believe me."
I frowned. I was actually getting annoyed at this point. He had promised me honesty and I was starting to get excuses instead. "Why don't you just tell me what is is?" I demanded. "I'm a big girl. I can handle it."
Kayne looked at me sharply. There was something different in his eyes, something dark and dangerous as cliché as it sounds. "Fine," he said in an almost emotionless voice. "My brothers and I are werewolves and the night before last I found out that you are my lunatov, my mate."
I wish that I could say that I passed out. I wish that I could say that I did... anything really. All I could do was sit and stare at him as my brain tried to process what he had just told me.