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The Harp of Dawn

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For once Alex was the first one awake.  Not that she had slept that much in the first place.  Her dreams were drenched in the horror of her parents finding out, about Max's confused, blank stares before his face twisted in disgust, and Gigi finally getting the upper hand forever.

Squeezing her eyes shut harshly against the pale morning light she slipped quietly from bed to pad downstairs.  She needed a caffeine fix to feel human again. It seemed she wasn't the only one.

"You hate coffee," she groused as Justin handed her a mug with the words fuck off written on it.

"You don't," he pointed out.

She leaned against the island counter across from him, sipping at the coffee with just the right amount of sugar and cream-none.  The only way to have over sugared coffee was through a straw and from a cup with the Starbucks mermaid stamped on the side.

“What do you think is going to happen?” Justin asked quietly.

The soft ticking of the wall clock was the only interruption to the morning quiet.  That and their breathing filling the air laboriously, struggling to find its way in and out of their lungs under the weight of their apprehension. 

“I honestly don’t know,” she replied, thumb rubbing over the handle of her mug.

The corner of Justin’s lips twitched up mischievously, “I thought you knew all oh wise one.”

An eye roll was the only answer that remark deserved.  The sound of Justin’s amused chuckle and the warmth of his arm curling around her shoulders was worth it.  He pulled her into his chest and brushed his lips over her forehead.

She wrapped her arms around him securely and they stood there together in silence, enjoying each other’s presence.  The peace was disturbed by the shuffling of feet over the carpet and the siblings started apart.

“This is really real,” Harper stated drowsily, hair tangled and forming a fiery halo around her head.

They both nodded, watching her as though she were a ticking time bomb or a frightened animal, like she’d go off as soon as they made a sound.

“Well then I won’t tell anyone, but I do have one condition,” She told them.

“I mean, it’s not really a condition as much as it is a question.  Or, kind of both, actually.  But really-”

“Harper,” Alex said sharply, cutting her off.

Her best friend blushed and bit at her lip, “Sorry.  I was just wondering…Do you think Justin could set me up with Zeke?”

They stared at her in shock, jaws slack in awe and Alex couldn’t help but laugh at Harper’s heartbreak refractory period.

“Uh, yeah, I mean.  I think I can make that happen,” Justin managed, disbelief coloring his tone.

He’d never understand women.  But that was okay.  He only needed to understand Alex.  She’d fill in the blanks for all the rest.