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“N-no,” she answered numbly. She had absolutely no idea about anything because no one would answer her damn questions!

“He’s a mercenary, Izzy, and he’ll do any job for the right price and right now that job is locating you and I can’t let him find you here, Izzy. There’s no way in hell I can let this war come to my door.”

She was just about to remind him that he was the one who was keeping her here when he said something that floored her.

“Please,” he said, holding out his hand to her. “I can’t put any of my family through that, Izzy. Madison’s pregnant and my grandmother, brother and sister are completely vulnerable and if they find Marc,” he said, his voice breaking on his little brother’s name. He sucked in a harsh breath before he continued. “I just can’t let that happen, Izzy. We need to leave.”

She was already swimming towards him, more frightened at the moment for his family than for herself, which was saying a lot because right now she was scared out of her mind.

Chapter 21

“I’m going with you,” Ephraim said, reaching for his emergency pack.

He really didn’t have time for this shit. “I’ve got this, Dad.”


“Wow, your faith in me is so overwhelming that I may cry,” he said flatly as he added two more fake ID’s and an envelope of money to his pack.

“This has nothing to do with having faith in you and everything to do with the fact that you have Kale Quinn on your ass!” Ephraim snapped, his eyes flashed red and Chris knew his father was scared out of his mind for him.

Not that he could blame the man, because right now he was f**king terrified that Kale Quinn was going to find a trail that would lead him straight to his family. He needed to move his ass and bring the man’s attention the hell away from his family, New Hampshire, hell, the whole east coast. He did not want a f**king Alpha known for doing anything and everything to complete a job coming within a hundred miles of his family.

Everyone in their world knew that if Kale Quinn was after you, you were as good as found. There was nothing and no one that would come between Kale Quinn and his mark, which was the reason why no one flinched at his insane asking price. Hell, he knew for a fact that the Council had tried to hire the man more than once over the last few centuries, but he refused to work for Sentinels. It hadn’t mattered that the Council had supposedly offered to double his fee, Quinn turned them down flat.

While it wasn’t surprising that a shifter, even a mercenary, refused to aid the Sentinels in any way it sure as hell was a disappointment. Having a man with Quinn’s determination and skill working for them would have made hunting down dangerous packs and nests easier and saved a lot of human lives. As much as Chris would like to add a man with Quinn’s skills to the mix he couldn’t blame the man for refusing. Any shifter, demon, or vampire that aided the Sentinels in any way was seen as the enemy in their world and for a shifter without a pack, even for a man like Quinn that was a dangerous move.

“This is a simple job, Dad. I’m going to bring Izzy to Eric. Then Eric is going to have her transferred to one of the island compounds. It will be a quick job, one that doesn’t need the two of us,” he said, lying to his father and hating himself for it, but he needed to make sure that Quinn came running and he knew of only one way to do that.

He was going to use his mate as bait to pull the attention the hell away from his family and bring this shit to an end. If she survived this he would hand her over to Eric, but if she didn’t survive he would learn to live with the loss. As long as his family was okay he could handle anything.

His father silently watched him for a moment before he spoke. “She’s your mate, Chris. If you wanted to go with her, you know we would all understand,” he said quietly.

“And you’re my family. There’s no comparison,” Chris said, grabbing his pack and heading towards the basement stairs.

“I think you should think about this, Chris. Once you make this decision she may never forgive you,” his father said, following him up the stairs.

“It doesn’t matter,” Chris said, knowing his father was right and not giving a damn at the moment. If they survived this then she could hate his guts for the rest of his life and he wouldn’t care as long as his family was safe.

“You say that now, Chris, but you might change your-“

He cut his father off as they stepped through the security door and headed for the foyer where his mate damn well better be waiting. If she gave Madison and Jill any shit he would throttle her cute little ass.

“I’ll be back soon, Dad, but if I’m not and something happens-“

“I’ll get everyone the hell out of here,” Ephraim promised, grabbing Chris’ arm and pulling him to a stop. “Just make sure you don’t do anything stupid or I’m going to be really pissed.”

“Everything will be fine, Dad,” he said, forcing a smile.

“That’s not what I said, Chris,” his father said, looking worried, but there was nothing Chris could do about that. It was better that his father only worried for him than his brothers and sister. At least he knew how to take care of himself.

“Just try not to miss me too much,” Chris said, stepping away from his father and continued down the small hall that ran alongside the front stairs. When he arrived in the foyer he nearly sighed in relief when he spotted his mate freshly dressed in his old flannel shirt and a pair of jeans that were a little too long, probably Jill’s, he decided as he glanced around the room. He spotted his brother leaning against the doorway, Madison glaring at him from the living room doorway and Jill trying to throw Izzy a reassuring smile from across the room.

“Josh, I need you to give us a ride to the airport,” he said as he walked over to Jill, who still looked pissed, but once he pulled her into his arms she softened and returned the hug.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” she whispered.

“I’ll be back before you know it,” he said, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.

He walked over to Madison and sighed when she stubbornly looked away from him.

“Do I get a goodbye hug, Madison?” he asked softly.


“Madison,-” he started to reach for her only to find nothing but air. When he turned around he wasn’t too surprised to find her standing in front of his father.

“Baby, don’t let him do this,” she pleaded, sounding close to tears and making him feel like an ass**le, but he had no choice.

“It’s not my decision to make, baby,” Ephraim said soothingly as he tried to pull Madison into his arms, but she wouldn’t allow it.

“He’s your son and he’s doing something incredibly stupid! He’s going to wreck his life by sending her away!” she said, reaching up and cupping Ephraim’s face. “Please.”

“Madison, it’s too dangerous to keep her here,” Ephraim explained quietly.

“Then we’ll go somewhere else, somewhere where he won’t find us, but please don’t let him do this!”

This time when she tried to back away from him, Ephraim grabbed her and pulled her into his arms.

“There is nowhere to hide, Madison. Nowhere. His only choices are to let her go or join her and he knows we’ll understand if he chooses to go,” his father said as he looked up and met Chris’ eyes. He knew exactly how much his father loved him and knew it hurt him to say that.