Sarah unplugs the electric kettle with a tug on the cord when it starts to squeal, immediately squelching the shriek to only clouds of steam. Grabbing a mug from a cupboard overhead, Sarah pulls open a drawer to sidle through a collection of teas. She chooses a raspberry tear from a box and pulls one of the tiny bags from the stack just as her cell phone chimes from her discarded purse.
Teabag in hand, she slides on her tiptoes to her purse on the other side of the kitchen counter, mindful of waking Blue in her bedroom. Adrenaline pumping, she taps at the screen without looking at the caller's name, and heaves a hello as soon as she brings the device to her ear.
The deep voice on the other line chuckles and she relaxes at the familiar tone. "Did you just run a marathon? You sound winded; did I interrupt something important at work?" Sam asks, and if she hadn't known him since they were twelve, she would've believed he actually cared about calling while she was on the job.
"Actually, I'm taking the day off," she states and smirks at the thought of his dark eyes bulging out of their sockets in disbelief.
"You're kidding," he sputters, and she giggles childishly at his confusion. "Good, little Sarah is skipping out on her job?" He gasps comically. "Has she finally delved to the dark side? When should I bring over the tequila?"
"Hold on," she chides, shaking her blonde hair. "No more tequila. Never, not after the first time."
"We were sixteen," Sam whines, "And we're smart enough now to drink it mixed. I can make a mean tequila sunrise for the ladies."
Sarah scoffs as she's sure he's wiggling his eyebrows with his statement. "I'm sure," she replies sarcastically as she drops the teabag into her mug. "Anyways, I made it part of my conscience to never touch tequila after that, so no chance. I'll stick to my teas," she adds, pouring the steaming water over the teabag and watching the hot water stain rose as she steeps the bag.
"Fine, but I'm curious. What has driven my sweet Sarah to ditch work, because the only time you've ever taken a day off was after being sent home by your boss. I had to pick you up and you were delirious with a fever and looked like a living hell, and strangely enough, right now you're coherent."
She pauses, glancing at the bedroom door, opened at a crack so she can see the tiny lump in her comforter. "I brought home someone," she starts and instantly corrects herself, "I mean, not a man, but a boy! He was in the park during my break and he's wrapped head to toe in bandages. I think he's running away from abuse, Sam."