At seven the next morning when Halex rolled over in the huge bed he found Angel missing, her nightgown pooled on the bathroom floor and a damp towel on the shower bar. The room was free of humidity, and the sky was still black. As he peeked out the window the early morning darkness was a blinding swirl of snow, and he frowned, in a little over 24 hours he was going to be marrying the woman that had made him honest again. He slid into a clean pair of knit pants and threw on a fresh tee and headed downstairs in the slippers Rain had crocheted for him on her flight back to Tucson and then back here with Angel and him and now Kirill.

He padded to the top of the stairs, Rain's door was pulled closed, and he smiled. He headed down the stairs. Around the corner into the kitchen. Angel's purse was missing, and there was a note taped to the fridge for him. He took the piece of paper from the fridge and opened it.

"Don't panic that I'm not home I got a call to help a very special little girl. I will be staying with Georgia for the night and Rain will be coming too. I will see you at the courthouse tomorrow at nine in the morning. I love you."

Halex set the letter on the counter and dug out stuff to make an omelet and toast then settled in to eat and take care of the dogs. He was feeding the puppies one by one with their supplemental bottle There were just so many and only one Dixie. He was also teaching them little jobs their tails wagged and they were soft So very soft. He was holding the girl they were calling Belle, a pretty champagne yellow like her mother. As he finished he picked up the single boy who was a deep black, and he smiled, "You're mine Lucky." The pupped licked the bottle and gave a little whine, and Halex kissed his furry head and set him back down with all his sisters." He cleaned up his breakfast dishes and slid into the room that was for Mikhail and pulled his gun from under the mattress and took it and an old towel from under the sink and sat down at the coffee table and began to quietly clean his gun.

When Kirill came downstairs, he smiled at Halex then saw the gun, "What are you doing? brother?"

Halex smiled, I "was just feeding the pups their morning bottles and finishing up my breakfast. There is cereal and fruit for cold breakfasts and eggs if you want them. Angel buys sausage and freezes it you just pop a couple of pieces in the microwave or a pan, oh, she makes coffee a horseshoe would stand up in."

Kirill laughed, "A fine husband you've turned out to be.. somehow I think our job will be over and she will never know, and you will be free to live your life."

"Don't be daft Kirya. I love you to pieces, but this will not end that easily. Someone will die, and it will be one of us men. Mikhail went to see his Emily and his twins he will be here for the weddings. He liked Rain and said he would stand for both of us as witnesses."

Kirill nodded, "It's weird to hear my nickname from your lips Lex." He smacked his friend on the arm and got himself a cold breakfast. "Rain's gone she left with Angel this morning we'll see them tomorrow so why don't you teach me about the pups."

Halex nodded, "Will do I gotta change their bedding too." He moved to do that as the puppy's descended and started yipping as he settled them back in the baby saucer and put the bedding in the wash. Then turned back to the puppies, "They are all girls except the black one. I'm keeping him and will call him Lucky." He stroked Lucky's ears and between them as the lad slept curled up next to his dad.

Kirill watched them sleeping, "They're beautiful. Do you have a ring for Angel for the wedding?"

Halex shook his head, "Not yet but I plan on getting a set today. How about you?"

"Not yet but she gave me one of her rings to use to get one for her. I can't believe we are both getting married. You know we just need to get bands now, and we can get fancy Tiffany's rings ordered, so they have nice rings when they are not working, they both deserve that."

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