“Ummm,” the anxious woman said, obviously searching for the right words as she gave Chris a tentative smile, “because it was the quickest way to run into your arms?”
“You’re supposed to use the elevator,” Chris growled, reaching out and taking one of her hands away from Kale’s shirt so that he could press a tender kiss against her palm before he entwined their fingers.
“But I really missed you,” she said with a sniffle.
Chris muttered something as he leaned in, ignoring the shifter’s scowl and kissed her. “Little liar,” he said, chuckling as he shifted his backpack forward and carefully reached in with his still-healing arm and withdrew a small white confectioners box.
The woman gasped. “Is that-”
Chris cut her off with a frown. “It’s empty.”
Immediately her gaze shifted to Kale, who merely shrugged as he moved forward and handed her off to Ephraim. “Didn’t see your name on it,” he said, turning away and heading back up the stairs.
“You bastard!” she hissed in outrage.
“I’ll have more fudge delivered, Izzy,” Chris promised, stuffing the empty box back in the bag as leaned over and pressed a kiss to her pouting lips.
“It won’t be the same,” she muttered with a slight wince as she shifted in Ephraim’s arms.
“Hip acting up?” Chris asked, his expression and tone tender as he carefully laid his hand just above her left hip.
“It’s fine,” Izzy mumbled, not quite meeting Chris’ gaze and making the nurse in Cloe wonder just how bad her hip was.
“Izzy,” Caine said softly as he stepped up beside the small group with Danni in his arms, who was looking paler and weaker than before, “did they deliver Danni’s blood?”
“I’m fine,” Danni muttered weakly as she lay limply in Caine’s arms.
“Blood was delivered this morning. I’m not sure about the demon blood though,” Izzy said, her expression full of worry as she looked at Danni.
“What’s the demon blood for?” Cloe found herself asking without thinking and just like that, everyone’s attention was back on them.
Well, it had been nice while it lasted, she mused with an inward sigh. For the past six hours their little “rescue” group had been eying them curiously, except for Kale that is. If anything, Kale seemed to hate them even more now. She still wasn’t sure why. She also didn’t know why they kept looking at her and Christofer like they had two heads. Christofer on the other hand hadn’t seemed at all interested or looked like he cared. Once they’d told him the truth about his father, he’d shut down and hadn’t talked to anyone since.
Not even her.
When she’d tried to talk to him, he’d simply shook his head and turned his back on her. If it had been anyone else, she wouldn’t have cared, but it wasn’t anyone else and she did care, a lot more than she wanted to. As she’d watched him walk away she’d felt like he was taking a chunk of her heart along with him. It hurt more than anything she’d ever experienced before, more than she’d ever imagined it could, but it hadn’t hurt for long.
Not even a minute later, Christofer cursed, turned right back around and stalked back to her. Before she could rail at him for brushing her off, he’d had her in his arms and was giving her the sweetest kiss as he whispered to her how sorry he was. Much to her shame, she’d melted, instantly forgiving him. She’d never given a guy that pissed her off or hurt her in any way a second chance before, but with him, she hadn’t hesitated for a second before she was wrapping her arms around him and letting him know that everything was going to be fine.
However, she did make him carry her on his back during that ten-mile hike to the next town as punishment. He hadn’t said another word since and she hadn’t pushed him for anything and neither had anyone else. They seemed to understand that he was dealing with some personal issues and had left him alone for the most part. The only time they’d bothered him was to make sure that coming with them was what he wanted. Other than a nod, he hadn’t acknowledged them at all.
Now, thanks to her big mouth, they were once again the focus of attention and judging by the way that Christofer had stilled behind her, he wasn’t happy about it.
“You must be Cloe,” Izzy said with a sweet smile. “I’m Izzy, Chris’ mate.”
“And the biggest sugar addict that you’ll ever meet,” Ephraim said with a fond smile as he looked down at the small woman in his arms.
“It’s nice to meet you,” she said quickly, barely paying attention to the woman as her attention locked back on Danni, who was now gripping Caine’s shirt tightly as she buried her face against his chest. “Do you want me to take a look at her?” she asked, moving forward.
Caine arms tightened around Danni as he glanced at Ephraim, who explained, “She’s a nurse.”
“Nurse practitioner, actually,” at Ephraim’s confused expression she added, “I work at the RN level so that I can work as a live-in,” with a shrug as she moved forward, but she’d barely taken two steps before she found herself shoved back behind Christofer.
“She’s not going anywhere near her,” Christofer growled, and wasn’t that sweet? He was worried about her.
It really was nice to have someone care about her safety, she thought as she stepped past him, pinching the back of his hand when he went to grab her again. “Ow!”
“I’m fine,” Danni said, looking anything but fine. “I just need to lie down for a bit that’s all.”
“Are you sure?” Cloe asked hesitantly, not entirely sure that she should take no for an answer, but after a minute she reminded herself that this wasn’t one of her patients. If they wanted her help, they’d ask.
“I’m sure,” Danni mumbled sleepily as she closed her eyes.
“I’m going to take her upstairs,” Caine said softly, pressing a kiss against the tip of Danni’s nose, which earned him a tired smile from his mate as he carried her up the stairs.
“Are you mates?” Izzy suddenly asked, startling her.
“I’m sorry, what?” she asked, not a hundred percent sure that she’d heard correctly or even how to respond.
Izzy frowned, looking adorably confused as she asked, “You’re mated, right?”
When Cloe didn’t answer right away, because she couldn’t seem to find the right words, Izzy quickly explained, “It’s just that there are children in the house and we don’t want them to get the wrong idea. If you’re not mated, then I planned to set you both up in different rooms. If you are-”
“We’re mated,” she blurted out before Izzy had the chance to suggest that they stay in separate rooms.
She didn’t know anyone here, didn’t trust anyone and until she-
Okay, fine. She just didn’t want to be away from Christofer. She’d grown addicted to sleeping in his arms over the past week and she wasn’t ready to give that up yet. She felt safe in his arms. Besides, if she was going to end up getting her heart broken she should at least be able to enjoy herself before she ended up hating him.