White Dog was sleeping soundly against me as was Steve. Puff lay on the side of the bed just below my dangling arm and Oso filled the remaining length stretched out and snoring. It was a yoga exercise to quietly extract myself and step over sleeping pups without waking anyone or falling.
Quinn was restlessly pacing in the office as his ever-loyal Nuka struggled to stay awake to keep him company. She looked grateful as I motioned for Quinn to follow me and we passed through the door into the living room, silently shutting the door behind us.
The living room was dark save for the glow of the street light that leaked in. The house was quiet and there was no traffic noise from Route 66 just a block away. The world was asleep. Through the clerestory windows on either side of the fireplace the view was cut velvet; dark grey clouds overlaid on even darker night and fronted by the blackest silhouettes of tree branches reaching heavenward.
I wrapped myself in the afghan and hummed softly, stroking The Other White Dog each time he paced past me. He slowed his pacing and began spending more time just standing in front of me. There was comfort in just the two of us leaning together, attempting to calm our demons.
Quinn does not use furniture. Never has as long as he has been with us. But something told me to remove all of the extra pillows and make room beside me on the oversized chair where I sat. I squeezed over as far to the right as possible and then gently lifted my boy up beside me. He was a bit startled at first but did not struggle or jump down. He just sort of stood on the chair looking at me as I ran my hand along his side and whispered to him. After a long time, he gave a heavy sigh and a shudder and laid down beside me with his head resting on my leg. I could feel his hot breath ease up and we sat together like this, me wrapped in the blanket watching the sky and him under my gentle touch beside me, for hours.
TOWD fell into a heavy sleep right before dawn so I witnessed the first streaks of color alone. Through the closed door I could hear the beginning stirrings of a new day. I heard Puff's pre-awakening cough. I heard YoYoMa's tags as he shifted position. I heard Nuka making an early morning necessary break and returning inside. With Quinn's warmth and even breathing next to me, I luxuriated in the solitude that allowed me to just be thankful without explanation.
Then I distantly heard Michael's alarm clock and White Dog scratched at the door to the living room looking for me. The door opened to a concerned Steve and protective WD rushing to me. I gestured to Quinn and hushed them both. "Are you all right?" Steve asked. "We were worried." I hugged Steve and gestured for WD to hop up on the chair arm above Quinn. He never even stirred. "All is fine. Quinn and I were both restless but I think we are better now."