For some strange reason, Ryan saying that made everything real. Glory began to cry, finally embracing her siblings. Ryan watched over them all, making sure she remained calm. The three of them murmured to each other, soothing words of how they’d missed one another and loved each other.
Glory’s laugh was watery. “I was thinking of going back to lavender.”
Temp pulled way from the girls, shooting Ryan a distrustful look. “Who are you?”
“I’m Glory’s fiancé.” Ryan took hold of one of Glory’s hands, reminding her that he was right there, that it was all right to lean on him. “Name’s Ryan Williams.” He held out his free hand.
“Temperance Walsh. Nice to meet you.” Temp relaxed, shaking Ryan’s hand. “I was hoping Glory would find someone.”
“She found us.” Cyn, ever protective of her friends, also put herself between Temp and Glory, much to Julian’s obvious dismay. The man made an abortive gesture toward Cyn, but they both knew if it came to a fight between Temp and Cyn, the Kodiak would whoop the human’s ass with ease. “Why are you here?”
Temp looked taken aback. “Faith turned eighteen last month. We’ve been traveling back toward Halle ever since we escaped my dad.”
Cyn didn’t look convinced, but Glory stood and took a step toward her brother, clinging to Ryan’s hand. She might not want to admit it, but she needed his strength right now. Faith still had her arm around Glory’s waist, clinging to her older sister as if she never wanted to let go. Glory let her, but kept her gaze on Temp. He was the strongest of them, had always been so. “Where is Dad?”
Temp shrugged. “Last we saw he was in some little town in Washington, preaching fire and brimstone as always. He’s been traveling a lot, doing tent revivals, keeping us under observation. It…wasn’t easy getting away.”
“We’re sorry to barge in on you like this, but we just found out where you were.” Faith was hugging Glory tightly again. She couldn’t seem to take her hands off her. “Some nice ladies over at Wallflowers told us to come here when we started asking around.”
“Hell, we were just happy you were still in town.” Temp ran his fingers through his hair, something he did often if the ragged mess was anything to go by. “But we didn’t know where else to start, so we came back here, hoping you’d have told Cyn where you were going.”
Cyn visibly relaxed at the mention of Wallflowers. Neither Emma Cannon nor Becky Holt, the Curana and Beta mate of the Puma Pride, would send someone to Glory they thought was a threat to the Cynful girls. “You met Emma?”
“She grilled us for an hour before she’d tell us where to find you.” Faith’s hopeful gaze hadn’t once left her sister. “How have you been?”
“I’ve…been.” Glory took another step toward Temp. “Cyn’s family took me in.”
Temp grimaced. “I wish I’d been able to stop him from throwing you out, but the way he beat you, I thought…” Temp sighed, touching Glory’s cheek. “I don’t know what I thought. I’m so sorry, kiddo. I wish I could have stayed with you, kept you safe.”
“I know.” Temp had done everything in his power to protect her, but their father was big and mean, and Temp had his own share of scars to deal with.
“You thought she’d be better off without us.” Faith put her hand on her brother’s arm. “You couldn’t protect her anymore, and you told me you thought Dad was going to kill her.”
Temp shrugged uncomfortably. “I didn’t manage to protect any of you as well as I would have liked.”
Temp grimaced. “Not as badly as he went after you, but yes.”
This time it was Faith who looked uncomfortable. “I don’t think I have nearly as many scars as you do.”
“Scars? You have scars?” Ryan put his arm around his mate, tucking her close to him and dislodging Faith.
“All of us do, Rye.” Glory shrugged. “Some of us just have deeper ones.”
Temp winced, his shoulders moving uncomfortably. “I stopped as much of it as I could, but it was never enough. I was never enough.”
“You did what you could, Temp.” Glory smiled at her brother. “Don’t ever think I wasn’t grateful, because I was.”
“Yeah. I knew why you left with Dad, Temp. I always knew.” Glory stepped forward, away from Ryan, and allowed her siblings to embrace her again. “I really missed you guys.” Damn it. She hated crying. She always wound up looking like she’d spent a week in Margaritaville.
“We missed you too, squirt.” Temp held her tightly, only letting go when Glory pushed. Faith took his place, her embrace lasting longer than her brother’s.
Glory took a step back, and Ryan pulled her close again. “Will Dad come after you?”
Temp grinned savagely. “But if he does, he’ll have to deal with all of us now.”
Glory leaned into Ryan’s embrace. “About Hope. We’ve decided to search for her.”
“Really?” Temp grinned again, looking relieved. “Thank you, God. We were hoping you’d want to.”
“Alive or dead, we want her home.” Faith smiled sweetly.
Glory returned her sister’s smile. Faith was gentle, sweet and far from capable of defending herself. She’d have to make sure the clan knew to keep an eye on her baby sister. Maybe she’d introduce her to Heather. She had the feeling the two girls would find they had a lot in common. The way Heather was coming out of her shell, perhaps she could help Faith. And with Barney watching over Heather, it would be an added layer of defense for her.
“Good. We’ve got the sheriff, Gabe Anderson, on our side.” Glory pulled away from Ryan again and led her siblings to the little seating area, settling down once more in her favorite chair. “I don’t suppose you know anything that could help us find her?”