Silence Of The Wolf Page 20

He grunted at her.

Silva whipped around and brought the tray to Tom and Elizabeth\s table. ’’He\s mad at me,’’ she whispered to them, ’’because I\m leaving him to work my own place and he has to find a new waitress. I\ve got new horizons.’’

’’Sometimes we have to spread our wings,’’ Elizabeth agreed. ’’Sometimes it\s time to take a chance and make some big changes in our lives.’’

’’You sound like you speak from experience,’’ Tom said.

Elizabeth looked uncomfortable, then shook her head. ’’Silva sounds like she\s in a place where she needs to make a change.’’

’’What do you do for a living?’’ Silva asked.

Tom frowned a little at Silva, wanting her to wait on the other tables and leave him alone with Elizabeth.

Mason came to Tom\s rescue. ’’Hey, Silva, another round of drinks and sandwiches over here?’’

’’How will you manage our money at the bank if you\ e over here eating all afternoon?’’ Silva asked cheerfully, then took off to serve the drinks.

Peter rose from the table. ’’Nothing more for me. Got to get back to work.’’ He waved in Tom and Elizabeth\s direction and headed out of the tavern.

Elizabeth\s phone jingled.

’’Excuse me,’’ she said to Tom and got up to answer it.

Tom frowned. Her call should be private, but he couldn\ help wanting to know who called her and why. A boyfriend? Tom hoped not. She\d looked more worried than happy to hear from the caller, whoever it was.

Chapter 8

Tom sipped his drink and kept his eye on Elizabeth, who had her ear pressed to the cell phone. As crowded and noisy as the tavern had gotten, Tom couldn\ overhear the caller\s part of the conversation, no matter how much he strained to hear any of it.

’’I understand. We\ll have to meet later,’’ Elizabeth said.

Tom watched the emotions play across her face as she stared at the table, eyes downcast, brow furrowed.

’’I\ll...’’ She looked up to see Tom observing her. ’’If you get in later, I\ll be at Hastings Bed and Breakfast. If you can\ make it, I\ll call you back, and we\ll work something out.’’ Pause. ’’Okay. Bye.’’ She slipped the phone into her bag. ’’Sorry. Just a call I had to take.’’

’’I completely understand. You didn\ tell him you were invited to dinner tonight.’’ Tom added the ’’him’’ in there, suspecting the caller had to be a he and Tom damn well wanted to know who he was.

’’I doubt he\ll come. Roads are bad.’’

So he was close by. Within driving distance.

’’I\m... sorry. I hadn\ taken into account that you might have had other plans while you stayed here.’’ He wasn\ sorry. More disappointed, but he should have realized someone would be interested in the woman.

’’Don\ worry about it.’’

But he did worry about it. And then he thought it odd. She hadn\ mentioned to the caller that she\d been injured. Maybe not wanting to concern the man, since he couldn\ do anything about it? Or maybe she was worried he\d be angry with the pack for allowing her to be injured, and she didn\ want to stir up trouble.

’’If he arrives anyway, he could have dinner with Darien and Lelandi tonight,’’ Tom offered, as much as he hated to.

’’No,’’ she said.

Bluntly. No explanation. That made him even more curious.

’’He\s driving?’’

This time her gaze locked onto Tom\s.

He fought to keep from smiling as he drank the rest of his beer and sat back in his chair. ’’Was he going to ski with you?’’

She smiled. ’’You\ e cute, you know? No, I\m not seeing him, as in he\s my favorite squeeze. Yes, he\s a wolf. Yes, he\s driving. No, he\s not skiing with me.’’

Tom chuckled. He guessed he wasn\ as subtle as he\d hoped. He frowned. ’’Business?’’

She hesitated too long. Finally, she said, ’’Yeah. Business.’’

Coyote trickster came to mind. Again.

He desperately wanted to ask her what kind of business, but he was glad the guy wasn\ courting her. Tom smiled. ’’You think I\m cute?’’

She laughed. ’’Yeah. You are. Just don\ let it go to your head.’’

’’After that kiss we shared on the slope, it already has.’’

She shook her head slightly, but she smiled.

The door jingled and they both glanced that way.

’’Don\ tell me,’’ she said. ’’The man with Jake is your oldest brother.’’

’’Yeah, he is.’’

Being in a close-knit pack, Darien, Tom, and Jake often came to the tavern midday to hang out with other pack members and hear if anyone had trouble with anything. So when Tom saw Darien and Jake enter the tavern, he thought that was the only reason they\d come. Unless someone in the tavern had texted them that he and Elizabeth were here and they wanted to check on them. Tom waved at his brothers to join them. Darien and Jake cast each other looks as if they weren\ sure if they should intrude. This was their regular table, and sitting somewhere else might signal that Tom was courting Elizabeth.

’’Elizabeth, meet my brother Darien.’’

’’Don\ stand,’’ Darien said. ’’We look forward to seeing you tonight. Lelandi\s planning a big spread and has nannies taking care of the kids.’’

’’Thanks. She didn\ have to go to all that trouble,’’ Elizabeth said.


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