Silence Of The Wolf Page 26

She didn\ know all the flowers\ names, but some were lavender-colored, growing at the base of an alpine grove, and others were pink. She did recognize the purple thistle and golden dandelions. ’’Did Jake take these?’’ Elizabeth asked.

’’He sure did. Beautiful, aren\ they?’’

’’They are.’’ Maybe Elizabeth could interview him for her newspaper, even if the story was really about a wolf. One hazard of working for the paper was always trying to come up with human-interest stories.

Carol led Elizabeth to a bedroom and motioned to it. ’’This is your guest room while you stay here. I used it until I mated with Ryan. His full name is Chester Ryan McKinley, and he\s the pack leader in Green Valley. I\m sure you\ e probably sore from your fall. Why don\ you have a seat and I\ll apply some ice.’’

’’Okay,’’ Elizabeth said, sitting on the mattress.

Antique tables sat on either side of the queen-sized bed, the comforter satiny gold with embroidered designs of gold and moss green. An antique armoire stood in one corner and a small dresser against one wall, making the room appear rich, elegant, and out of the past. Elizabeth liked it. Nothing of hers was older than a couple of years, and the antique furniture appealed to her. She\d had to move so often that she hadn\ been able to keep any of her older treasured possessions.

Lelandi came into the room carrying a pair of jeans and white socks. ’’Thought you might like to get out of your ski pants for now.’’

’’Thank you,’’ Elizabeth said.

’’I\ll leave you to nap,’’ Lelandi said and hurried out of the room.

Elizabeth did feel more comfy in the change of clothes. She tried to get comfortable on the bed, but she ached all over. She definitely needed a good night\s sleep.

After she rolled onto her stomach, Carol put a soothing ice pack on her back. Elizabeth fidgeted, unused to being treated so pleasantly, and by red wolves of all people!

’’You know I\m part coyote, right? A lot of wolves well, at least in my father\s wolf pack don\ like that I am,’’ Elizabeth warned Carol.

She didn\ know why she had to blurt out to Carol that she wasn\ a full-blooded wolf. Maybe because she really liked Carol already, and she didn\ want her to think Elizabeth was something she wasn\ .

’’Well, they have the nerve,’’ Carol said.

Obviously, Carol didn\ realize how much animosity there could be between coyotes and wolves. Elizabeth didn\ know why, but suddenly she really wanted to talk to someone about everything she had been keeping in. ’’They think they\ e better than coyotes. My mother was a coyote and a lovely person before she was... murdered. The wolves of my father\s pack were no better than my mother just because they were wolves.’’

Elizabeth never talked to anybody about her past. Better to bury it and move on. Until North called her and told her he had the proof she needed to show her uncle was responsible for her parents\ deaths. If Bruin had still been running things, it wouldn\ have mattered. He might have even ordered her parents\ deaths.

She felt freer to share with Carol. Maybe that was because she was a new wolf, not one who had a lot of preconceived notions about wolf packs and was intent on climbing to the top of the heap, while avoiding being the outcast of the pack like Elizabeth was.

’’I\m sorry to hear that she\s dead.’’ Carol sounded like she truly meant it.

Elizabeth wondered about Carol\s own past, but she didn\ want to appear too nosy by bringing it up. Carol turned a little and applied light pressure to the ice pack on Elizabeth\s back.

Elizabeth shivered as the chill of the ice pack seeped into her muscles. ’’I know someone from my father\s pack did it. My father was murdered two days later, and well, let\s just say I managed to escape the same fate.’’

’’They killed your father? And then they tried to kill you?’’ Carol\s voice reflected her disbelief.

’’Sefton, my half brother, felt my mother had taken the place of his own. My father was devoted to my mother. Even though my father was good to Sefton, he must have felt left out. Here comes a new baby girl me. My father adored me. So Sefton felt even angrier. He resented me, but he couldn\ do anything about it until he was older. The stigma of the coyote mix was also an issue.’’

Carol shook her head. ’’I\m sure that must have been horrible for you. I\m sorry. I don\ have anything quite like that to compare, but...’’ She took a deep breath. ’’I was turned against my will.’’

Elizabeth was so surprised that it took her a minute to respond. ’’I\m sorry. I didn\ know.’’ She couldn\ say it was horrible, because being one of their kind wasn\ , in Elizabeth\s opinion, but being turned against one\s will... A sickening knot formed in the pit of her stomach. Had it been someone in Darien\s pack? Had Darien or another champion in the pack killed the one who did it? She was afraid to ask.

’’I... foresaw it would happen. It still came as a great shock. I know you were born a shifter, but can you imagine being turned and not having a clue what you can and can\ do any longer?’’ Carol asked, sitting on the bed so she could speak to Elizabeth while the ice pack on Elizabeth\s back chilled her all over.

Elizabeth wanted to remove it, but she knew that it could help. She let out her breath, afraid to mention her own mistake but wanting to comfort Carol. ’’I turned a guy once.’’

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