Even though he woke up a few hours earlier, Miles still lingered in bed, not wanting the day to start since all it would bring was more worries, hurt and, most of all, waiting.
He let out a sigh as he gazed at the window. A Madagascar blanket was tacked up to serve as a makeshift curtain. Even if he could have gazed out the window, Miles wouldn't have seen much. Since it was only four in the morning, the sun had yet to make an appearance. Not that he really relished seeing the damn thing because it only reminded that one more full day had passed, and he was still a failure.
The sound of footsteps echoed in the hallway. Miles tensed, fear clogging his throat as he reached under the bed for his rifle. Although he doubted it would prove any more useful than it had the last time the Ravens attacked. His father had had the weapon, yet the creeps had easily disarmed him.
The only thing the rifle had allowed was for a small distraction. That hadn't been much, but it'd still allowed Miles, Braxton, Dawson, and Kylie time to run into the woods and hide.
Just as his fingers were curling around the stock of the weapon, he picked up the limp accompanying the footsteps. He let out a long sigh of relief. It was only his twin, Braxton.
Just as quickly, Miles grew concerned again. His brother hadn't been the same since their parents disappeared. Braxton hardly ate anymore, and sometimes days at a time would go by without Miles hearing his brother speak.
Sliding out of bed, Miles shivered as the cool air hit him. He only wore a pair of shorts, and they were little protection. Even though it was late spring, it was still cold outside due to a rash of thunderstorms.
He padded out, having to dodge several toys that were strewn about. The old carpet felt matted and threadbare under his feet. Like everything else, it'd come with the house, and like the house, all of the stuff should be in a trash heap. Still, it was what they could afford, so Miles didn't complain--too often.
"What are you doing up?" Miles asked as he entered the hallway.
Braxton just studied him for a moment. Miles thought that maybe his brother had slipped into another one of his funks. Not that Miles could blame him, as life hadn't exactly been fair to Braxton. To say he always ended up holding the short stick would have been an understatement.
They were identical twins and, as such, they did look a lot alike. They both had short, brown hair that refused to be confined to any sort of style. They were also both cursed with full lips and rounded faces. While the features made them far from ugly, it did make them look boyish and cute. Neither label would score them any dates. Shoot, even their long eyelashes and big blue eyes made them look like a matching pair of Hummel bookends.
So to say that they weren't the typical wolf shifter would be yet another understatement.
That wasn't the worst of it, though, not by a long shot. Mother Nature can be a real bitch at times, and she'd delivered a double whammy to Braxton. In addition to his adorableness, she'd added a big grocery list of medical problems. Which showed just how determined she could be since shifters were usually immune to most of that stuff.
Unless of course it was because...
No! Miles didn't even want to go there because if he did, it would make him think all kinds of things that he'd end up feeling guilty about later.
"I couldn't sleep," Braxton finally said in a soft voice.
Miles took a couple steps closer as his gaze did the all-to-familiar once over of Braxton.
His breathing wasn't labored, so Miles could mark that worry off his list.
Braxton's color looked fine, so it wasn't his heart.
He didn't have that tick in his temple he always got when his deformed leg was hurting.
Then just as Miles was about to let out the sigh of relief, he reached his last checkpoint, and his heart sank.
Braxton had one hand cupping his overly thin stomach.
"How long has it been hurting?" Miles asked, his own gut doing a flip of dread.
Braxton shrugged as he refused to meet Miles's gaze. "Not long."
The problem was they couldn't afford even a not long. Braxton already weighed way too little due to his medical issues, so he needed every calorie he could get. Miles wished he could have a better view of Braxton to determine how dire the situation was, but his brother had on his ever-present baggy sweat pants and t-shirt.
Even while stressed, Miles smiled as he read the lettering on Braxton's tee--Pugs Not Drugs. At least Braxton wasn't in a funk. He only wore that shirt when he was in a good place mentally. Now, all Miles had to do was figure out how to make his brother better physically.