Breaker (Riders of Apollo #4)

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Aurora Sterling

The drive to the storage unit takes all of two minutes and we pull up in front of it so that we can load straight in. It's a good thing I remembered where I kept the keys because this could've been embarrassing.

I have a lot of stuff in here. Most of it I was given by old friends or old foster parents, some were even given to me when I worked in a care home a little while ago. Other things I found on the side of the road and fixed or I managed to find decent pieces from thrift stores that I could flip. Some things I even sold to buy my books mainly and a few of the appliances that were missing.

"Okay, I didn't realise that you had this much stuff." He states as his eyes land on the well-organised but crammed unit. It's full of furniture, picture frames, cushions, bedding, more books and a few ornaments.

"Do you think it'll fit?"

"It's gonna take a good game of Tetris but yeah, I think so."

He wasn't wrong. I mean the truck is literally full to the brim and the bookshelves are being used for extra storage. The pictures have been slipped in between things, the armchairs have been stacked against each other and the pouffe is holding up the basket chair and a few other things that would fall out if given the chance.

I high five Breaker before clambering back into the front of the truck to then head to Home Depot to grab paint. I told him that I wanted to paint the kitchen cupboards a light green for some colour and I need some new pine doors since my other ones came with the apartment and I wasn't allowed to take them.

Obviously I don't just buy that, I buy a few cushions, blankets and another rug as well. I was going to buy like twelve more plants but Breaker got me away before I could. It's a good thing that I don't have to pay rent or the debt this month because it means I actually have spare money to spend on home decor.

This stuff has to go in the cab with us though because we can't risk opening the back, if everything falls out in the middle of the parking lot it would be embarrassing trying to put it back in. At least at the apartment there won't be so much of an audience if the furniture decides to fall out and crush little old me.

"What's the plan, B?" I ask as we stare at the back of the truck for a good ten minutes in silence.

"Rip open the door and hope we don't get killed."

"I like that plan, let's do it." Only a few things fall out as the door opens, nothing fragile fortunately and we manage to get the boxes upstairs in four or five runs. I stopped counting after the second because I thought I was going to die.

First thing I do is roll out the rug by the wall of windows so I can arrange the couch, armchairs and coffee table the way I like it but I manage to get halfway through that task before collapsing onto the soft fabric.

It's only midday and I feel like I've been awake for a millennia. Granted, I didn't even sleep last night but normally I have a lot more energy than this. I'm just grateful that I don't have that much stuff to unpack clothes wise, I do have a library's worth of books but they're fun to unpack so who cares.

"Rory, we're almost done." Breaker laughs at my position and I grumble back.

"Leave me to die." I sigh dramatically and he laughs harder, he lifts me up and I snuggle into his chest quite ready to fall asleep on him.

"Hey, hey, no sleeping yet, darling. We've got things to do."

"Can't we make someone else do it?" I bury my face in his neck so that he can't see that I'm sleeping but he catches me doing so and gently tugs me off of him which makes me whine. I'm tempted to give him puppy dog eyes and grabby hands until he picks me back up but from the stern look on his face I know that'll get me nowhere. "Okay."

I finish unfurling the rug and we start arranging the furniture around it. The bookcases are put on the back wall on either side of the smaller window that has a cool water like effect on it and I decide that I need to buy a chaise to go under this window since the couch is by the wall of windows.

I suppose I should get a dining room table as well to place further to the right of the place but that's something to worry about in the future. I set up the pine doors in the corner of the room for decoration, I can hang ivy and pictures and maybe even some lights off of it in the future.

While I hang the curtains, B puts the bed back together and throws the mattress on top with a heavy sigh. He seems just as fed up as I am but he is adamant that we finish most of this today. It's definitely a man thing, the rushing. I laugh at my thoughts and jump off of the ladder quietly because Breaker told me not to do it again when I did it earlier. He knows I'm a klutz and that particular personality trait doesn't exactly go with ladders.

I start placing my books on the shelves in the exact same order they were before, smiling as I come across some of my favourites and try and make a mental note to go back and read them... something I'll probably forget and then buy twenty more books but I'm not exactly mad about that.

It takes me two hours to do that, I have a lot of books sue me. B has taken to hanging up some of the pictures that I took on one of the school cameras when I was sixteen. I used to want to be a photographer and I'm pretty proud of the pieces that are hung up.

I did a whole portfolio on 'city life' and I have pictures of some of the most diverse and gorgeous people with unreal senses of style. Some of them are of buildings that I thought were awesome and all of them are in mismatched white and pine frames.

I got an A on that project.

"Tada!" I shout, showing the bookshelves in their full glory. They will also be my favourite part of any place I'll live, books are my favourite thing, followed closely by plants and then the colour yellow. Maybe B will find himself at the top of the list, if he keeps acting like this then it wouldn't be surprising.

"I'm impressed." He gently kisses my head and spins me around to look at the gallery wall that he did and I fall in love with it.

"Oh wow." I whisper walking closer and grinning up at the pictures.

"Did you take these yourself?"

"Yeah, I used to be so into photography but I couldn't buy myself a camera so when I dropped out I had nothing to take pictures on. These were my favourite. Thank you for hanging them and fixing the bed."

The next tasks are unpacking the kitchen and the plants. I give B the task of unpacking the plants because I'll get distracted remembering all of their names so I start unpacking all of the crockery, cutlery and appliances.

I always like deciding what goes where, it calms my soul knowing that I have control over my belongings. I quickly put away my spare food and drink before finishing off with the pots and pans that I've had since I was fourteen. I don't even remember how I got them but they've done me well over the years.

I just need to make the bed, hang up my clothes and write a list of what else needs buying and then today will be done. It is already five o'clock in the evening though and I'm exhausted so I'm grateful to have had Breaker here to help me do all of this. I collapse onto the couch with one of my new blankets and B sits down next to me so I cuddle up to him, enjoying the warmth he radiates.

"Thank you." I whisper and he kisses my head without saying anything.

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