Silence Of The Wolf Page 21

’’Are you kidding? She\s a psychologist, which means she wants to do everything just right to make you feel at home.’’

Elizabeth smiled faintly.

’’Come, join us,’’ Tom offered. This was the pack leaders\ table, so no one needed to offer Darien a seat, but Tom could see that Darien was waiting to determine whether his youngest brother wanted time alone with the wolf-coyote lady.

Several tables had filled up due to the time of day. After Darien and Jake took their usual seats, Jake waved to Silva. ’’I need to get back to the slopes, so if you can just get me a water and sandwich, that\ll work.’’

’’You got it,’’ Silva said. ’’You, boss?’’ she asked Darien.

’’Same.’’

’’Coming up,’’ Sam said, as if he didn\ need Silva to tell him what to do.

Silva walked over to the bar to get the tray.

His voice low, Darien said to Tom, ’’The Victorian Tea Shop?’’

’’Yeah, there might be trouble in paradise,’’ Tom replied.

Silva delivered the tray of sandwiches and two bottled waters to their table. ’’More wolf sightings around the local farmers\ livestock, I hear.’’

’’A farmer spotted three wolves yesterday before the snowstorm hit,’’ Darien said.

Tom leaned back in his chair. ’’Every time we\ve investigated, we haven\ smelled any of their scents.’’

’’I checked with the couple of wolf packs that live several miles from here to see if they know of any rogue wolves, or if any of their pack members have been missing,’’ Darien said.

’’And nothing, right?’’ Tom asked.

’’Nothing. Right.’’

’’Maybe wolves that don\ belong to a pack, then. Nomads,’’ Tom said.

’’Got to be.’’

Silva slipped her pen into her pocket. ’’Rumblings are that the farmers and ranchers won\ wait for you and your men to take care of it.’’

’’We\ e doing the best we can,’’ Darien said. ’’We\ll search again in a day or so. After that, another storm will hit. We won\ be able to do anything until the snow settles again.’’

’’They\ e bound to take off and get caught up in the storm this time, since they\ e so persistent.’’ Silva smiled at Jake. ’’Got the babies\ booties knitted.’’ She turned to Tom. ’’As long as you don\ pick up a woman and get her pregnant, I\m nearly done knitting baby gifts for a while.’’

Elizabeth blushed and Tom was certain he suffered from the same reaction, as hot as his face felt. Everyone at the table remained silent. Silva was always outspoken, but when she made a friend, she was theirs for life. She seemed to like Elizabeth right away. Maybe she reminded her of Lelandi;she and Silva had become fast friends.

’’Have you had any dreams, Tom?’’ Silva went on. ’’You know, like Jake and Darien had?’’

He was the only one who had put any stock in dream mating and the only one of the three brothers who hadn\ had any dreams. He shook his head. He cast Jake an annoyed look. Of any of the brothers, Jake was the worst for not having believed in the phenomenon.

’’Well, it\s probably just not your time yet,’’ Silva said, sounding sympathetic. ’’Unless, of course, you don\ need the extra push in the right direction.’’ She glanced at Elizabeth.

Elizabeth might never have heard of such an occurrence, and Tom wished Silva would get off the topic.

’’Hey, lady, you waiting on all the tables or just that one?’’ some guy shouted from across the tavern.

Every head turned in his direction.

Dressed in ski clothes, three late-twenties, early-thirties male wolves sat at a table next to one of the windows. They had probably smelled that it was a shifter-only tavern, but they must not have known that the Silver brothers and their mates ran the town. Or that the three men seated at this table were the Silver brothers.

Everyone looked to see what Darien would do. He eyed the men and then took a swig of his bottled water.

Silva gave the newcomers a big smile. ’’Coming.’’ But she didn\ .

’’You want me to say something to them?’’ Jake asked Darien.

’’No. No need,’’ Darien said, still eyeing the men.

Darien was like that. He didn\ need to use his muscle to show who was boss. Yet everyone there knew he\d take the men to task if the situation required it.

Sam\s beard, height, and muscular build made him look more like a grizzly than a gray wolf, and he glared at the men as he poured drinks from the tap, casting a watchful eye on Silva.

Sam might be big, but he moved fast. Tom had seen him dive around the counter, grab an unruly wolf, and throw him out the door faster than anyone could react. Just give him a good reason. And all he needed for motivation was someone being nasty to Silva.

When Silva waited on a table near the Silver brothers\, the three men\s scowls hardened. Sam had already given them each a beer. Granted, their mugs were empty again, but it was a busy afternoon as the wolves in the area enjoyed a reprieve from the last snowstorm before the next hit.

Tom turned back to the table, confident Sam could handle the situation but still wary about the wolf strangers, especially considering the topic at hand. ’’Since we\ve never smelled any sign of the wolves that have been sneaking around the farms, I suspect they\ve got to be some of our kind.’’ He eyed the strangers again.

Jake agreed. ’’Yeah, I\m inclined to think they could be from our pack, or they wouldn\ disguise their scent. Otherwise, we wouldn\ know who they were anyway.’’


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