The following fic is a continuation of the Saints in the Shadows saga. Fifth in the series, it is recommended that you read at least the first before this one, but it's not completely necessary. In order.
1. Saint In the Shadows
2. Spaces In Between
3. Shades of Grace
4. Shadows in the Sun
The current chapter takes place approximately 3 and a half years since the last story. That would make Antonia 7 1/2, Parker 14 , and Gracie 3 1/2 ... November.
Saints, Sinners, and Saviors
Booth stood in the kitchen, his hand holding the spatula as he stirred the food in the frying pan. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the door open, and close and knew exactly who it was that had walked into the room. He continued to stir the potatoes in the pan, and started to whistle a tune as he waited, noticing as soon as the tiny fingers of two hands pressed into the counter of the island in the kitchen, followed by the top of a head, and two brilliant blue eyes. He smiled and pulled the pan from the burner, and turned his attention to the little eyes that were staring at him. He whistled again, and heard a small giggle as he stepped toward the little girl and leaned on the counter a bit. He whistled again, and she giggled. "Are you sneaking up on me?" He asked, his voice was soft and tender, and the little girl's head shook back and forth, a giggle lighting up her eyes. "If you're not sneaking up on me, then why are you all the way over there, and I'm all the way over here?"
She shrugged, dropping her hands from the counter, she turned and Booth watched as the little head bobbed its way around the counter. He was more than ready for the little girl, and crouched down for a hug, pulling her into his arms, he lifted her up and moved back to the stove to check on dinner. "Waiting for mama to get home, are we?" Booth asked, watching the little girl nod, she watched him stir the contents of the pan, as the door to the kitchen opened, and the brown haired girl that entered quickly narrowed her eyes the moment she saw Booth holding her sister.
"Gracie, you were supposed to come look for me." Antonia said as she crossed her arms over her chest. And she looked to her father. "We were playing hide and go seek." She said, watching Booth nod his head.
"Did you explain the rules to Gracie?" Booth asked.
"Seven BILLION times, daddy." Antonia said, holding her hands out as far as she could reach to indicate how serious she was.
"And you didn't go look for her?" Booth asked Gracie, and as soon as he asked, the corner of her lip curled into her mother's smile. "You did that on purpose, didn't you?" He asked, his eyebrows raised as she lifted her finger to his lips, her bright blue eyes widening to insist he kept her secret. Booth smiled brighter against his daughter's finger. "You let your sister hide, and then you took off!" Booth said as the little girl shook her head again, that smile still in place as he started to tickle her, she let out a mighty squeal as he moved across the kitchen and set her bottom on the counter as Antonia stomped around to face her sister.
"I am supposed to be babysitting you, Gracie. You can't just go running off like that. You could get hurt, or worse… you could get into my room!"
"And we all know how awful that would be…" Booth said, raising his eyebrows. "She'd probably get lost in all of your toys and we'd never be able to find her again. Tragic, really."
"Funny, Daddy… really funny." She glared.
Booth's phone buzzed from its spot on the counter behind Grace, and he reached it and smiled at the picture shown. It was a text from Temperance, so the photo showed one that he had taken years before. It was a photo of Temperance asleep on the couch, cradling both of the girls, as they all slept curled together on the couch. He showed it to Grace, whose eyebrows had raised at the sound, and instantly there was a smile on her face. "Who is that?" She asked.
"Mommy." Grace replied. "Mommy, and me, and Toni." She replied, watching Booth smile as he turned the phone back to himself.
"It's probably just mommy letting me know she's running a little late from the lab." He replied, pushing the button, his face must have shown his surprise, because Antonia recognized panic in his eyes.
"What is it, Daddy?" She asked, trying not to sound nervous. Booth looked to her and glanced to the stairs.
"Mommy will be home soon, dinner is almost ready. Go take Gracie and Deuce… run upstairs and get washed up for dinner. I'll call you guys down when mommy gets home."
The second he said 'Deuce', Antonia felt her heart jump into her throat. "Daddy?"
"Upstairs… no time for arguments." He said, nodding toward the stairs, he lifted Grace from the counter and kissed her cheek. "And make sure you wash with warm water… no just putting soap on your hands and telling me that you killed the germs, and that is that." He said, setting the little one to the floor, she giggled as she turned and grinned at her father, her blue eyes shining with her mother's mischievous gaze.
"Daddy…" Antonia said nervously.
"Everything is fine, I promise."
"I super duper promise." He said, holding his fist out to his older daughter, she paused for a moment and eyed him carefully for a second, before bumping his with hers. She turned and took her sister's hand and looked back at him. "Go on…" he said, and with that, the two girls disappeared up the back stairs toward their bedroom.
As soon as he heard the door close, he glanced at the phone again, and the text on the screen.
I think I'm being followed.
He sent her a quick text to let her know that it was alright to come home, and walked quickly toward the front of the house. He turned the lights in the foyer off and peered through the curtain of the sidelight as he waited for the lights of Temperance's car to pull up the driveway. He watched as the lights drove slowly up the driveway, stopping at the end as if she were going to turn around, he watched as another car pulled up slowly behind, stopping in front of the house.
Booth could feel the panic rising in his chest as he heard movement upstairs. "Daddy?" He looked up to see Antonia standing at the top of the stairs.
"Your room, now." He said curtly.
"Daddy, you said you promised."
"Toni, don't argue. Keep your sister upstairs, and don't tell her anything." He said, watching her linger for another moment, he glanced out the window and saw the other car still sitting out in front of the house. It was too dark to see the occupant from where it was, but he watched Temperance turn her car off and sit for a moment.
Without pause, Booth glanced back upstairs to ensure that Antonia had done as she was told, he slipped his shoes on, and slipped out onto the porch, closing the door to the house firmly behind him.