He was angry with himself for failing her. When she needed him the most he’d f**ked up and left her alone and vulnerable. He didn’t even want to think about what could have happened while he was out. Her abilities might be starting to surface, but she was a weak, untrained female, a pregnant female.
When he started to wonder if the baby was okay he forced those thoughts away. It wasn’t a baby, it was a problem, he reminded himself. It was something he couldn’t allow himself to think about or want. Her pregnancy was just another f**kup in recent f**kups and one they would take care of when they reached a compound. He didn’t care what she said, she wasn’t keeping it.
He couldn’t be there for her and he couldn’t stomach the idea of her struggling to bring up a child alone. He didn’t want to think of a child crying itself to sleep at night, wondering where its father was and he sure as hell didn’t want to find out the hard way that he inherited more than just his dark hair from that bitch that gave birth to him. He could never take that chance.
“Do you think you could walk?” Izzy asked, pressing a kiss to his forehead and it acted like an immediate balm to his soul.
No. “Yes, we need to get out of here,” he said, praying he could f**king man up and get her somewhere safe before heThe sound of a twig breaking caught his attention. Izzy went perfectly still behind him. As quietly as he could he reached out and felt around him, looking for his bag.
When he came across mud, sticks and wet leaves he cursed silently.
“Where’s my bag?” he whispered, praying that whatever they were dealing with didn’t have enhanced hearing or sense of smell.
“Please tell me that’s just a rabid squirrel,” Izzy whispered softly.
If he wasn’t afraid that they’d been found he would have smiled. His mate was just so damn cute. “My gun, Munchkin. I need my gun,” he whispered back as he scanned the area.
He couldn’t see a f**king thing and normally that wouldn’t bother him. He’d use it to his advantage, but this wasn’t one of those times. He could hardly move, couldn’t breathe without pain and he had to protect his mate.
“I may have left it on the river bank, but it’s okay. I can get it!” she whispered excitedly just as he felt her shift beneath him. Before he could stop her, she scurrying away from him and he was left grabbing his side and falling onto his back, biting back a scream of agony.
“Get back here!” he whispered harshly as he struggled to get up, but his damn ribs threatened his lung again and kept him prisoner on the f**king cold wet ground while his mate went and pissed him off by doing something stupid.
There was no doubt about it in his mind. He was going to spank her ass until his f**king hand fell off.
He heard another twig snap and he prayed that was her. It didn’t matter if his rib lodged itself in his lung, he couldn’t just sit on his ass while his mate risked her life. It was his job to take care of her, not the other way around and the fact that she’d been left to care for him for god only knows how long irritated the shit out of him.
Biting back a scream of agony, he sucked in a breath and rolled over until he could use his knees and hand to push off the ground onto unsteady legs. He didn’t allow himself anytime to get his bearings, he moved his ass towards the river, but he didn’t get far when her scream broke through the eerily silent night followed by the flash of a gun firing.
“Izzy!” he yelled, ignoring the searing pain in his side as he took off at a clumsy dead run towards the sound of her screaming. Fear for her and the baby shot through him before he could control it or stop it and when it did he used it push himself harder and faster towards her as he prepared to kill the son of a bitch with his hands.
A hand clamped tightly over her mouth and pulled back against a large firm body as the gun in her hand was gently taken away.
“Shhh, Izzy, it’s okay,” a familiar voice said.
It took her a moment to figure out who it was, but when she did she shoved his hand away, turned and yanked the much taller man down for a hug. She’d never been so happy to see anyone in her life.
She was so worried about Chris, worried about him making it through the night, keeping him warm and safe and trying to figure out how to get him safely out of here. She loved the big jerk so much and was so scared that something bad was going to happen to him. It didn’t matter that he didn’t want her or the baby, all she cared about was making sure that he was okay.
Then again she did keep promising herself that once he was better and they were safely out of here that she’d kick his damn ass for scaring her and pushing her away. She was so sick and tired of people pushing her away. She was done and she sure as hell wasn’t going to put her child through the same kind of pain. He said he didn’t want them then he wasn’t going to have them.
“Where’s the surly bas-shit!” Joshua yelped as he was suddenly torn away from her. The sound of water splashing, grunting, and what had to be punches reached her ears.
“You’re f**king dead,” Chris said coldly and Isabella knew he was probably seconds from killing his own brother.
“It’s Joshua! Let him go!” she screamed, moving towards the sound of the fight. “It’s Joshua!” she screamed again as she stepped into ankle deep ice cold water, wondering how the hell she was going to stop a fight that she couldn’t even see.
“Let me handle this,” Ephraim suddenly said as he gently cupped her shoulders and guided her back onto dry land. She looked over her shoulder not really expecting to see much since she hadn’t been able to see anything in hours. She gasped when she spotted the two small bright red lights among the pitch black night.
“It’s okay, Izzy,” Ephraim said as the two lights moved past her towards the sound of fighting.
She really needed to find out what other cool things he could do. While she waited on the shore nervously she wondered if he’d show her that flying trick again.
“Get off your brother,” Ephraim said with the exasperated tone of a parent who’d done this one too many times before.
“He started it!” Joshua snapped, surprising the hell out of her. Never in a million years would she have imagined that Ephraim would have to pull the much smaller man off of Chris. Then again, knowing how much Chris cared about his family, he probably stopped fighting his brother the second he figured out who it was.