Silence Of The Wolf Page 2

She quickly retired to her room and called North Redding, a red wolf from Bruin\s former pack, which was now led by another red wolf Elizabeth didn\ know. Technically, her father had also belonged to the pack, but she had never been part of it. North had been the only one from the red pack to treat her without scorn. Elizabeth hoped to connect with him despite the storm, but she wouldn\ go to his place to meet him. His home was too close to where her uncle lived.

’’North, I just got in. We can meet tomorrow. I\ll give you the time and place in the morning.’’

’’You said you would arrive tomorrow. You were supposed to stay with me. You agreed I\d pick you up at the airport and bring you to my house.’’

’’I never agreed to that, North. I said I\d decide when I arrived in Colorado.’’ She didn\ want to say she didn\ trust him. Truth was, she didn\ trust her uncle. If North let it slip that she was in the area, Uncle Quinton or her half brother, Sefton, might try to finish what they had started last time. Especially considering why she was here.

’’You\ e afraid I\ll tell your Uncle Quinton that you\ e here? Is that it? If he knew what I planned to share with you, he\d kill me!’’ North was angry that Elizabeth didn\ believe in him, but she couldn\ . He might not be working with her uncle and half brother, but he was still in their pack. It was just safer this way.

’’I flew in early ahead of the snowstorm. Why won\ you at least tell me what the evidence is?’’ she said to placate him.

’’Can\ .’’

’’Fine. Talk to you tomorrow.’’ She had hoped never to return to that part of the country. After her parents were murdered, it hadn\ been home for her. It never would be. Killing her uncle wouldn\ make things right, but it had to be done for her parents, for her, and for the pack she had never belonged to.

***

The next morning, with eight inches of new snowfall, Tom Silver knew he wouldn\ be able to track the wolves who were stalking farmers\ calves and sheep. Not when the culprits left no scent.

Tom\s middle triplet brother, Jake, was dealing with problems at their leather goods factory. Their eldest brother and pack leader, Darien, joined Tom at the floor-to-ceiling sunroom window as he stared out at the beauty of the snow decorating the boughs of the pine trees, making them dip to the snow-covered ground. A fire roared in the fireplace, the room as cozy as a wolf\s den with its soft, wraparound brown velour chairs set around a marble coffee table. The views of the outdoors made the room feel as though it was open to the wilderness.

Tom cast a nod in his brother\s direction. ’’Morning, Darien.’’

Humans often mistook them for each other because they were so similar in build and appearance. Wolves smelled the difference. None of them made that mistake. Darien had the darkest hair and eyes of the three, and Tom was the fairest ’’of them all,’’ Jake liked to joke.

’’Hey, Tom. I know you wanted to go after the wolves again today. I doubt you\d find much of anything.’’ Darien wore Lelandi\s pink apron over a brown wool sweater and had a few splatters of oatmeal on his blue jeans. This was his usual attire, oatmeal mush and all, when he fed his triplet babies two boys and a girl. A couple of gobs of cereal clung to strands of his dark brown hair.

He often took care of the kids in the morning so that his mate, Lelandi, the smartest, most effective psychologist in the area, could see clients. Not to mention that she was the only lupus garou psychologist around.

Tom swore he would buy his brother a manlier apron when he had the time. He glanced down at a splotch of oatmeal on his brother\s sheepskin slipper boot. ’’I\m glad to know I\m not the only one who looks that messy after feeding your brood.’’

Darien gave him an elusive smile, warning him that when Tom found a mate, he was in for the same trouble. ’’Two of the ski patrol are out sick today with the flu, and the resort could use you up there.’’

That got Tom\s attention and he stiffened, alert and wary. Every time one of them got sick with flu-like symptoms, they worried about the wolf getting a virus that would prevent their shifting from wolf to human form.

’’Don\ worry. It\s not anything like the cases of \wolf fever\ we had before,’’ Darien said quickly. ’’Jake will relieve you at noon. And a couple of other things...’’ He cleared his throat.

Tom couldn\ read his brother\s expression. Wolves paid attention to slight shifts in body language, and he could usually tell what his brother was thinking. But not this time. Which meant something was up and Tom wouldn\ like it.

’’First, Anthony and Cody Woodcroft are on the slopes today. Their dad said that he wanted the ski patrol to kinda watch out for \em. If they get into any trouble at all, he wants their passes pulled and them off the slopes. He also wants to be notified at once.’’

’’Okay, can do.’’ The boys had gotten into trouble before, mainly for participating in high-risk adventures, but Tom had never heard of them doing anything unsafe or against the rules on the slopes. Since it was the first item on the list Darien wanted to talk about, Tom figured it was the least problematic. ’’The other thing?’’

’’Bertha Hastings said she has a guest at the B and B doing a story on our ski resort. She missed the ski shuttle and Bertha wanted to know if you could run her up to the slopes, since you were going that way.’’

Tom narrowed his eyes a little. ’’Is she a wolf?’’ Bertha wasn\ beyond matchmaking. He could imagine Bertha had delayed the woman on purpose so she missed the shuttle.


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