Shark couldn’t help but snicker at the way Sagebear appeared to be trying to hide her face. It were as though she’d been embarrassed by the way his story ended.
“Sorry, doggy. Guess that ending was a little explicit for your ears.” He then petted her on the head, and stood up. “Come on, let’s go to bed now.”
When Shark and Sagebear entered the makeshift tent made of blankets, Sinbad was in a most peaceful slumber. He was on his side, facing away from the entrance. A pile of blankets, likely meant for Sagebear to sleep on, was situated above his head.
Smiling warmly at his fiance, Shark quietly stepped over to his side and wiggled under their blanket. In turn, Sagebear reached her designated sleeping area, and turned around on it three times before flopping down and getting comfortable.
“Good night, Sagebear,” Shark whispered to her. Sagebear answered with a soft ‘boof’. He then turned and crawled a little closer to Sinbad, hugging him from behind.
With the warmth from Sinbad’s body, Shark was very much at rest when sleep overtook him.
The next morning brought the smells of oatmeal and pancakes. However, said lovely scents weren’t the reason Shark woke up.
Rather, he was awakened by Sagebear pulling his blanket off and sitting on his chest. Shark just couldn’t be mad at the way she snuffled and licked his face.
“All right, Sagebear. Let Daddy up. He’d like to get dressed.” Sagebear obliged, practically rolling off Shark to do so.
When Shark pulled on some clean clothes and stepped outside, the others were already seated around a small fire, eating their breakfast.
“Morning, boy!” Dennis had yet to tie up his hair into his usual ponytail. “Hope you slept good.”
When Shark took his seat in between Sinbad and Dennis, he leaned in and gave Sinbad a kiss on the lips. After he sat back up, Blaise handed him a plate and bowl.
Across from them on the other side sat Harwood and Marc, quietly chewing away. Taking this opportunity, Sagebear trotted over to the two of them and began nosing in between them.
“Yes, I know, little one,” Harwood mumbled with his mouth full. “Let yeye have his fill, and you’ll get some yourself.”
Sagebear couldn’t wait that long, it seemed. She turned her head to snatch a pancake off Marc’s plate.
“Hey! I was gonna eat that!” Marc was about to get up and chase her, only to be stopped by Harwood.
“Let her have that one, Marc. There’s plenty of them left.”
After breakfast was finished and everything was packed away, the group was back in Sinbad’s truck. This time, Sagebear sat in the back in Blaise’s arms.
“Don’t ya worry, little girl. We’ll be home soon,” Blaise said to her while scratching her behind the ears. “Ya get to frolic and play in the yard again!” The other three in the back just smiled and gushed over her fawning over Sagebear.
In the inside of the truck, Shark and Sinbad were mostly quiet, save for an occasional line about going back to Twinbrook.
“Place is probably going to look completely different from last time I saw it,” Sinbad quietly said as he briefly glanced over at Shark.
Shark was equally low-key with his own words. “Possibly. A few things have changed since you left.”
He then turned to look out the window, and his warm smile faded. “Okay, maybe more than a few.”
Before Sinbad could ask what he meant by this, he turned to look himself and choked at the sight. He was so caught off guard, he slammed on the brakes, much to the protest of everyone in the back.
“What in the world…” Shark and Sinbad cautiously stepped out of the truck, followed by everyone else. It appeared that all of them were just as dumbfounded.
Dennis glanced around them with a wide-eyed look. “No way in hell we were all gone that long…”
Then Sinbad ran out ahead of all of them. His horror and shock at the sight was immense. His echoed bellowing that came next said it best:
“What the fuck happened to Twinbrook?!”