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A Pack Birthday

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So far, drawing the sugar skull mask on her own face went as well as Ember expected. Having never celebrated Dias de Los Muertos, nor practiced doing the makeup on her face, she had to reference the internet. Usually, a reliable source but only if you had all of the materials. Which, unfortunately, Ember did not.
She had traced the skull socket in a bright pink eyeliner pencil that Kai had used on his waterline when he was demonstrating how to do it to Tristin. Why in the world did he choose pink instead of black or white, she could never guess.
After that, she filled in the outline with a black face paint that Tate got for RJ so he could be a skeleton for Halloween. It was the most adorable thing if only a little off-putting that Mace and Tristin were arguing about the anatomy of the skeleton that Kai was painting. It ended with Isa partially shifting and threatening them both to hand out candy to the children that came if they said one more thing about how the eye sockets were exaggerated.
The white face paint she used to cover half of her face came from the same face paint palette. Unfortunately, the number of times Kai was guilted into redoing RJ’s face had severely depleted the paint.
Then, Ember set to the details, like drawing little petals around the eye socket and a line across her cheekbone.
A knock sounded at the door and Ember let out a stream of unsavory words as Mace entered the bathroom.
“Heey.” Mace’s eyebrows skyrocket as he noticed the dark line of paint that went down to her earlobe. Ember glared at her boyfriend in the mirror as he closed the door behind him. “Sorry about that, luv. Just wanted to check on you. Since you’re alone. On your birthday. In the bathroom. Alone. Birthday-”
“I get it, Mace.” Ember glanced around the bathroom before groaning and using her pinky finger to get the last of the face paint out of the container to fix the mistake she made when Mace came in. “I just haven’t really celebrated my birthday…ever. And the last time I had another full year added to my age, I was almost drowned in the bathtub.”
Mace’s mouth opens and his eyebrows knit. “Oh, how I look forward to that story.”
“It’s really quick, actually. Hand me that brush over there.” Ember waved her hand in the direction of a drawer as she opened a container of eyeshadow. Mace did as requested and Ember analyzed her face. She only had enough paint to cover one side of her face so she had taken the artistic choice of drawing a squiggly line across it and filling it in. “When Kai and Tristin kidnapped me-”
“They said saved.”
“Quiet.” Ember scolded and a small smile spread across Mace’s face. “When they took me into their car and hit you over the head with a shovel-”
Mace clicked his tongue. “Not my finest moment.”
“No, it was not.” She agreed. “But you know that at the time, the bind on my power was breaking down and one thing led to another and I vomited black sludge onto the rug and got a fever, but anyway-”
Mace grinned and leaned against the wall. “How fun.”
“Leave me alone.” Ember finished blending pink and pale orange on her left eyelid. “I had no clue what was going on let alone that supernatural creatures actually existed.”
“Wow.” Mace nodded solemnly and Ember hesitated as she glanced at him. “So, you didn’t even believe in yourself. Tragic.”
Ember groaned. “You are impossible.”
Mace grinned again. “You keep pronouncing irresistible incorrectly, a common mistake. Now, luv, would you explain to me what you are doing, exactly?”
“I thought I might do something for my birthday. I’ve never really celebrated.”
Mace tilted his head. “And it is not in any way counterintuitive to be in the bathroom as the pack hangs up streamers and the little alpha creates a cupcake structure.”
“No, I don’t think so.” Ember grabbed a small brush to apply some black acrylic to her lips for depth and then an even thinner brush to draw lines vertically over her lips. Mace examined her face and tapped his chin.
“You should draw a rose on your forehead, my flower.”
“Don’t do that,” Ember mumbled as she began to sketch out a rose. Mace shook his head.
“Well, I’m thinking that every year I’ll give you a new nickname. I have a few ideas, next year I think I’ll try out Muffin.”
“Can’t wait.”
“But seriously,” Mace continued as he began to clean up the various supplies Ember used. “Come down.”
“I’m almost finished.”