I woke up promptly at 6:45 when my phone’s alarm went off. I was dead tired; I hadn’t gotten to sleep until after Seymour had stopped making noise close to five. But I got up on time anyway. Just because I was tired was no excuse for sleeping late on a school day.
After I showered, I stuffed some bread into the toaster and got out the cereal and bowls. As soon as I was out of the shower I heard one of the boys get in. It was going to be an interesting year, just me and the boys. We wouldn’t have to do any back breaking research on whatever demon we were after, and there wouldn’t be the threat of moving on the horizon.
As I got the small table set for breakfast I noticed a large manila envelope on one of the short chairs. Curious, I snatched it up and looked at the front. It was addressed to Jensen, and he would probably yell at me if I opened it, so I put it back on the chair. I wanted to know what was inside, but I could wait.
Jared came out of the boys’ room, his shaggy hair still wet from the shower. He ignored me and sank into one of the chairs, looking very tired. He probably got less sleep than I did because he had been dressed and ready to go when Seymour had woken me up.
I pushed the box of cereal his way and went back into the kitchen to butter the toast that had popped up.
“What’s that?” he asked and when I turned to glance at him he pointed at the envelope. I shrugged.
“Don’t know. It’s addressed to Jensen,” I said as I brought the plate of toast over to the table. I raised an eye at the heaping bowl of cereal he was digging into, but didn’t say anything. Growing boys, et cetera. He still hadn’t started his growth spurt, putting him shorter than me, but the way he was eating he would shortly. No pun intended.
“What’s addressed to me?” Jensen asked from the bedroom door. He was rubbing his head with a towel and glancing between me and Jared. I could never understand why he felt the need to do that; his hair was short enough that it would dry quickly on its own. But I didn’t bug him about it. He was half a foot taller than me, and much stronger.
“An envelope on your chair,” I answered him before pouring myself a bowl of the bland cereal. He frowned, dropping the towel on the doorknob, and crossed the room to snatch it up.
I hesitated with the spoon halfway in my mouth to watch him. He sat down and peeled open the top, then dumped the contents onto the table. There was a stack of papers stapled together, three shiny silver keys, and a letter addressed to Jensen.
I glanced at the clock, then began eating faster.
“What is all that?” Jared asked. Jensen shook his head and began reading the letter.
I tried to ignore the stack of papers. I still had to get my school bag ready, and we were closing in on the leaving time.
“Huh,” Jensen said when he had finished reading the letter, then started reading it again. I pushed my empty bowl away and stood up.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Seymour got us a house,” he said, picking up one of the keys and examining it.
I nearly dropped the box of cereal, which I had been on my way to put away. He got us a house? That didn’t make any sense.
Jensen glanced up at the clock then headed back to the boys’ bedroom. “Time to go,” he said. I rolled my eyes. We still had five minutes, which I was going to use to finish getting ready. He couldn’t make me leave for school any earlier than I had to.
“Wait, Jensen,” Jared called after his brother, standing up and following him. “Why’d Seymour get us a house?”
I stopped in my bedroom doorway to wait for Jensen’s answer. He glanced at me, then ruffled Jared’s hair.
“Because he cares about his, and wants us to be safe,” he said.