“What the hell are you doing to her?” Chris snapped as he dropped by Christofer’s side on the foyer floor and moved to pull Izzy into his arms, but Cloe took him by surprise by taking a firm grip of his hand and placing it on Izzy’s ruined hip.
“Keep your hand here while I work the tension out of her muscles,” Cloe ordered, returning her focus to the tense muscles cramping up in the smaller woman’s back, hip and leg.
“What are you doing?” Christofer asked, watching them with a frown.
“What does it look like she’s doing?” Izzy snapped, once again trying to shove Cloe’s hands away. “She’s trying to-ooohhhhhh, oh God, yes!” she ended on loud moan as her eyes slid shut and she smiled.
“What exactly are we doing?” Chris asked, looking amused as Izzy let out another small sigh of pleasure while Cloe continued to work the knots out of her muscles.
“We’re helping to stretch Izzy’s muscles so that she can function without pain,” she explained, carefully massaging Izzy’s back and hip, knowing that the wrong amount of pressure could trigger a muscle spasm.
She honestly didn’t know how Izzy had managed to go all these months like this. It was crazy. She’d understood, after she’d made them explain everything to her a few times to make sure that she understood correctly, that medication didn’t work on Sentinels. She also knew that they hadn’t wanted to risk surgery, but that didn’t necessarily mean that the situation was hopeless. There was absolutely no reason for this woman to be in constant pain and while she was here, she was going to do what she could to help her.
“Please don’t stop,” Izzy moaned, a smile of pure bliss lighting up her face as her body finally relaxed.
“I won’t,” Cloe promised, happy to see a real smile on Izzy’s face instead of that fake smile that she wore in the hopes of making everyone around her believe that she was fine.
She wasn’t sure if anyone else had bought it, but she certainly hadn’t. A few times over the past week she’d offered to look at Izzy’s injury and see if there was anything that she could do to help her, but every time she’d asked, Izzy would simply give her another one of those aggravating smiles, thank her and lie her adorable little ass off and tell her that she was fine. Even though she’d wanted to argue with the stubborn woman, Cloe had bitten her tongue.
She didn’t want to ruin things by offending anyone. She liked being here, liked living here, learning how to control her abilities, liked learning how to fight, and even though she felt like she was dying a little inside each time she saw Christofer holding one of the babies, she liked being around the Williams family. She probably should have kept her mouth shut and pretended that she didn’t notice how much pain Izzy was in and if she hadn’t walked in the foyer just as Izzy had stumbled and dropped unsteadily to the floor, obviously holding back a scream, she would have continued to feign ignorance.
Before Izzy could move, Cloe had her lying on her side, her shirt pulled up and her skirt pushed down. As soon as she’d placed her hands on Izzy’s hip and back she’d realized just how tight her muscles were. Working the muscles wouldn’t take all of her pain and discomfort away, but over time it should loosen the muscles and allow her to walk without much difficulty. She would need physical therapy every day for a while. Eventually she should be able to function with just a rubdown every day, which was something that her mate could learn to do for her.
“Get your hands off her,” the bastard that never stopped seething, growled, earning a collective sigh from their little group and a growl of warning from Izzy as she slapped her hand over Cloe’s to keep her hand right where it was.
“She’s helping her,” Chris said, a look of deep concentration on his face as he slowly moved his hand over Izzy’s damaged hip.
Refusing to listen, big surprise there, Kale moved closer and reached down, but she’d moved before he could remove her hand. She grabbed his and placed it just below Izzy’s ribcage.
“Gently rub,” she ordered absently as she focused on working the tension out of Izzy’s back.
“What?” Kale asked after a slight hesitation, sounding confused as he knelt there, his hand remaining still on Izzy’s side.
“She said rub!” Izzy snapped, sending the bastard a murderous glare that had Cloe biting back a smile as the large man hurried to do just that. Izzy released a drawn out sigh as she relaxed back on the floor, her arm folded beneath her head, her eyes closed and a small smile tilting her lips up as they worked her muscles.
“Where did you learn that?” Christofer asked as she used her thumbs to work out a particularly nasty knot in Izzy’s back.
“I took a few extra courses when I was in school,” she said, following the direction of the knot until it hit the scar tissue decorating Izzy’s hip.
“Is this going to help her?” Chris asked, gently rubbing his mate’s hip.
She hated making promises, but one look at the expression on his face told her that he needed to hear something, anything that would give him some semblance of hope. “It should help relieve some of her pain,” she promised, praying that she was right.
“Can I help?” Marc asked as he walked into the large foyer.
She opened her mouth to say no, but something in Marc’s expression told her that Chris wasn’t the only one punishing himself over Izzy’s injury. “Actually, I could use some help. I was thinking of walking into town and picking up some oils that might help her. You can be my escort as long as it’s fine with your parents.”
“It’s fine. Just make sure you’re back before dark,” Ephraim said, walking into the foyer with a baby in each arm.
“When are we going?” Marc asked, standing tall and looking like he was ready to take on the world.
He really was such a sweet kid. He was also too serious for a kid his age. In the last week here, she hadn’t seen him playing any video games, watching television, playing outside or having a friend over. He was always looking after Izzy and Jessica, making sure they were taken care of. He did so much, too much for a kid.
“Give me an hour?” she asked, shooting Marc a smile.
“One hour,” he agreed solemnly, appearing as though he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders.
“Chris, could you make sure that Izzy soaks in a hot tub for at least thirty minutes?” she asked, moving to stand up when Izzy made a desperate grab to stop her. “The hot water will help your muscles relax,” she promised Izzy as she gently pried the woman’s fingers off her arm.