He moved to step away from the window and the man that he envied, a man who could freely hold his mate and cherish her whenever he pleased, only to pause. "While I'm gone will you-"
"I'll watch over her as if she were my own," Ephraim promised.
"I'm going to go say goodbye," he said, heading for the double parlor doors.
"Last time I looked she was still trying to beat the hell out of my son," Ephraim said on a light chuckle that made him smile.
Danni was a stubborn woman and he was probably going to miss that about her most. She hadn't take her loss to the Sentinel male well and for the last couple of days she'd been doing her damndest to kick Chris' ass, but so far there was no clear winner. Chris seemed to welcome their matches. He was stressed out over his mate's condition and when he wasn't fawning over her or taking care of his children he was looking to take his anger out on someone. He'd sparred with the Sentinel twice already and he had to admit that the man's fighting skills were very impressive.
"You going to let them take you in?" Kale asked, drawing his attention to the shifter who stood, leaning lazily back against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest as he watched him.
"Are you going to collect the bounty?" he asked, knowing the man's reputation.
Kale shifted his attention to the front door. "If you're stupid enough to turn yourself in I will."
"Then I guess you'll be collecting a bounty soon enough," he said, heading down the hall towards the sounds of grunts and groans.
"Man up!" he heard Danni snap and couldn't help but smile as he remembered a time long ago when a six year old with dazzling violet eyes and messy pigtails demanded the same of him as she jumped on his back and attempted to take him down to the ground. He smiled then just as he smiled now.
"Puhlease, little girl," he heard Chris say as he rounded the corner and headed towards the large ballroom that had been turned into a makeshift gym over the last couple of days, "we both know that I'm holding back."
"You could have fooled me with that weak little slap you just pulled," Danni said, taunting the man and he wasn't too surprised when he heard her small little squeak and a startled gasp seconds later.
He stepped through the open double doors in time to see Chris effortlessly slam Danni on the matt. Even he had to admit that the man was good, but of course his Danni was just as good since he'd been the one to train her. She wasn't on the ground for more than three seconds before she turned the tables on Chris and took the large Sentinel down to the ground and had his arm yanked behind his back.
"Hey, sweetie!" she said excitedly when she spotted him. "Do you want to see me make a Sentinel cry?"
Chris rolled his eyes even as he made a silly face to his giggling daughter and sleeping son, who were lounging on a thick blanket in the corner that Chris had dubbed 'The baby training area' with a very somber little boy who hadn't so much as smiled in the past three days. When little Jessica kicked out a foot, the boy dutifully picked her up and sat her in his lap. For the past three days the boy hadn't been able to help Izzy enough. He helped with the kids, brought her chocolate, played video games with her and did a hundred other things for her that were probably irritating the hell out of her, but she never once complained.
Everyone knew that the boy was struggling with the guilt of what happened to Izzy and no matter how many times Izzy told him that it wasn't his fault, or anyone else's for that matter he just wouldn't listen. The blame rested solely with the bastard who walked out on two women who needed his help and he callously injured Izzy. For the past two days Caine had searched the area alongside Kale and Ephraim as they searched for the man, but so far they hadn't had any luck.
"Chris, I believe the doctors for Izzy are here," he said, forcing a light tone as he locked eyes with Danni. "I need to talk to you," he said, but they both knew that he was saying goodbye.
"No," Danni said stubbornly as she released her hold on the Sentinel's arm.
"Don't make this harder for me than it has to be," he said, already wishing that he could make love to her one last time. When he hadn't been patrolling, helping out with the babies and whatever else they needed help with around here he'd been with her, talking with her, laughing with her, making love with her and just enjoying his time with her and making memories that needed to last forever.
"Harder on you?" she demanded with a disbelieving snort. "How about me? You're planning on leaving me without a fight and you think that's okay?"
Chris got to his feet and made his way over to the children. He picked up his son, the little boy was luckily fully developed. No one could figure out how that happened, but he had a feeling that having the babies so close together had triggered something in Izzy to help develop the baby faster. Since most Sentinel couples had their children decades apart it was going to be difficult to prove. Then again he wouldn't be around to see if he was right so it really didn't matter.
"Don't do this, Danni," he said, ramming his hands in his pockets as he struggled against the urge to do just that, but she needed more than he could give her and this was the only way to make sure that she got it.
"Good luck," Chris said as he carried his little boy out of the room with a somber looking Marc and a smiling Jessica following closely behind him.
"Just say goodbye to me, Danni, so that I can go," he said, both wanting to get this over with and hold her in his arms one last time before he was forced to let her go.
She stared at him for a moment, her beautiful violet eyes flickering before they settled on red and intensified as her stubborn jaw set and he knew the damn woman was about to do something that they'd both regret.
"Fine," she spat out, shaking her head as she walked past him, "you're not willing to fight for us then I will."
"Why am I not surprised?" he said with a humorless laugh as he went after the woman so he could stop her from doing something that she'd regret later.
"Danni, get back here!"
Her answer was a one finger salute over her shoulder without looking back, she stormed down the hallway towards the cloying scent of Sentinels. That beautiful mouth of hers was going to get her in so much trouble. Ephraim better damn well keep his promise and keep her safe, he thought as he quickened his pace to go after her, but of course the woman did the same.
"Don't do anything stupid, Danni. You need them."
"Bullshit!" she snapped, turning to face him and he felt his heart break as the first tear streamed down her cheek. "I need you, Caine! Not them!"