As it always happened when he was at camp, Cross woke up with the sun. He had never been a heavy sleeper – probably from years of sleeping with one eye and one ear open – but at camp, he loved getting up early. This camp, and Granite Falls, was his favorite place in the world. He had been coming here since he was 13 years old – the first year without him around. This place was his sanctuary, his safe place, and he tried to never let a second go to waste.
Cross slipped out of his bunk, tiptoeing around the cabin out of habit rather than necessity. The guys he bunked with had proven time and again that they could sleep through anything, but years of trying to stay undetected kept him quiet as he gathered up his workout clothes. Dressing quickly in the bathroom, he started his jog to to the practice studio.
Running through the woods, Cross breathed in the early morning air, the scent of pine flooding his senses. Sunlight pushes its way through the canopy of trees above him, speckling the path in front of him. He loved this time of day, when the world around him began to wake up. It made him feel alive.
When he reached the studio ten minutes later, he stopped short, surprised to find it already occupied. Normally he was the first one here in the mornings. Intrigued, he crept closer.