Laughter filled the tent as Tripp beat his dad once again in poker. It was a sound that Vince had almost given up hope of hearing again. He savored the sound as she to soak in the every ounce of this moment. He wanted to draw the feeling into his pores so that he would never lose it. He looked over at his wife who was grinning widely, enjoying the scene herself.
"I think you got a magic deck of cards there buddy, that only let you win." Vince said ruffling his son's hair. "Where did you learn to play like this?"
"From Raia" Trip said, beaming.
"That explains it." Vince said. "She must have told the secret to be able to beat your dad. What about your mother?"
Dana held her hand up in protest. "Oh, he's definitely better than I am."
Ruvi leaned against the wooden wheel beside Max as he watched Vince play a card game with his family. "Heartwarming scene."
"Yes, it is." Max nodded in agreement.
"Well, do you think he is going to agree to it or is this going to make him lose his edge?" Ruvi asked.
Max smiled brightly. "I think this is going to motivate him even more. Dangle something in front of someone that they want badly and then have it taken away again and they will try and grasp it even more."
"He will go after Stephano? " Ruvi asked turning his attention back to the family scene. "He won't be too busy with his own quest?"
"He owes me after this." Max said. "I don't do charity. We kept him here for a reason. I think it is time to let him why he's here."
Orwell stood in the shadows watching the happy family scene. Unshed tears threatened to form in her eyes as she yearned to have memories like this one filled with laughter. She felt like she was intruding on a private moment that was not meant to be shared with anyone. Tearing her eyes away from the scene before her stoic disposition crumbled, she glanced outside noticing that the night had completely over taken the day. It was safe now. It was time. They had to go.
Taking a deep breath, completely burying any lingering memories she moved towards the table.
Vince noticed her first his laughter dying down as she approached knowing what it meant. She saw the look in his eye – asking for more time but knowing they have to leave. "It's time."
Vince turned back to his family as they all rose from their seats. "It's okay, Vince. I know it is going to be okay now. Now today, but one day. I will wait for that day."
Vince closed the gap between them and encompassed both of them in a tremendous embrace, tears threating to fall as well. "I love both of you so much. I will do anything to keep this family together and safe. "
After a moment that didn't go on nearly as long as he would have liked he released them. "Well, I think it is so cool that my dad's The Cape."
Vince smiled down at his son ruffling his hair. "And don't you forget it."
"Be careful out there." Dana leaned in kissing Vince gently.
Vince knelt down next to his son. "You take care of your mom. Okay?"
Tripp nodded silently.
Vince wrapped his hand in Dana's giving it a gentle kiss. "It's time."
Dana nodded. "See you later. I'm not saying goodbye."
Vince smiled at her as she turned her hand slowly escaping his own. "See you later."
Vince watched as they slowly exited the tent, rooted to the spot wanting to memorize everything about them. Vince felt warmth penetrate him that he hadn't felt in a long time. He could handle the separation now. He felt renewed and determined to work harder to end his exile from his family.
A/N: Okay, I finally finished this story. I ran into some serious writer's block with this last chapter and had contemplated not finishing it. Here is it at long last.