Silence Of The Wolf Page 28

Elizabeth moved to sit up and groaned, still sore.

’’Just lie still. I\ll leave you in a second to sleep. I just wanted to share that I read an article you might find interesting. In some parts of Canada, the wolves and coyotes are mixed. Most of the wolves actually have coyote blood,’’ Carol said.

’’Really.’’

’’Yeah. Not as much down here. The wolves and coyotes are often enemies, and the wolves will kill the coyotes that enter their territory. But up there, some red and gray wolves mix with coyotes when they have slim pickings.’’

Elizabeth sighed. Of course wolves would only consider coyotes when they had no other option. ’’Why research it?’’ she asked, curious.

Carol laughed. ’’Some controversy exists between red and gray wolf shifters. The red wolves claim they were first and gray wolves came after them. Of course, the gray wolves assert that they came first.’’

’’The red wolves were first,’’ Elizabeth said. ’’At least that\s what my father and the rest of his red wolf pack said.’’

’’That was the thing. I was curious because one had to have come first, and I wanted to know the truth. So I did some research. According to some scientists, red wolves were not first.’’

Elizabeth contemplated this, frustrated with arbitrary pack problems. What difference did it make in the scheme of things which wolf came first?

But then Carol said, ’’Gray wolves were first. Some mixed with coyotes and created the red wolf.’’

Elizabeth rolled over on her back to look at Carol. ’’You\ e kidding.’’

’’Nope.’’

’’Have you told Lelandi?’’

’’No. It\s our secret.’’

Elizabeth felt a tremor of excitement at this new knowledge. As soon as she did more research, she would write about it in the Canyon Press. If any of her red wolf pack heard about it, well, it was a good one on them. ’’How come nobody knows about it?’’

’’Some still say the gray and red wolves are separate species, but with DNA evidence to the contrary, it\s kind of hard to refute. Apparently, those of us who are red wolves are not pure wolves at all, but a mix of coyote and gray wolf.’’

Elizabeth smiled. ’’My wolf family would love to hear that.’’

’’I\m sure they\d want to keep the status quo. I\m so glad to meet you. I\ve been dying to tell another red wolf what I\d learned, but not Lelandi. I figure she wouldn\ be happy to hear the news and have to admit to the grays that she\s part coyote and that her kind didn\ come first. You, on the other hand, have every reason to want to know the truth.’’ Carol smiled.

If red wolves were coyote-gray wolf mixes, that had Elizabeth worried for Lelandi because of the way Elizabeth\s people had treated her. ’’What would Darien think if he learned that about his mate?’’

’’She could be a pink poodle for as much as he adores her.’’

Elizabeth chuckled. ’’Pink poodle?’’

Carol grinned.

Elizabeth loved Carol. As for Darien, if he truly felt that way about his mate, he had to be all right. ’’How did you come to be turned exactly?’’

’’I saw the future.’’ Carol smiled as if that\s all she cared to remember about it.

Was Carol bottling up feelings, just as Elizabeth had been, not wanting to share them with anyone?

For the first time ever, Elizabeth wanted a friend like Carol so they could talk about their pasts and maybe she could work through some of the hurt.

***

’’What have we got, Tom?’’ Darien asked as he leaned down. They both were peering at pictures on Tom\s computer screen in the den, the room warmed by a cheery fire, the big windows looking out on the snow-covered woodland landscape.

’’She takes lots of photos. These are the last few. The guy on the lift chair behind them was blurred, the camera\s focus on the trees. He wore a black balaclava, a matching ski hat, and reflective sunglasses. He has on a blue-gray ski jacket and a black ski bib. There\s no telling what his face looks like, just his approximate build. The guy waiting down the slope from her is wearing a brown jacket, black ski pants, and a blue knit hat. Can\ see if he\s wearing goggles or some face covering since his back is to us. We can call it in and be on the lookout if they are still on the slopes,’’ Tom said, sitting back against the leather chair.

’’Yeah, but if they broke into her room at the B and B, I wouldn\ imagine they\ e skiing right now,’’ Darien said, straightening.

’’That could be. One other thing,’’ Tom said, glancing up at his brother.

’’What\s that?’’

’’I checked her camera. It\s not working.’’

’’I\ll have Jake look at it. He\s a whiz at fixing minor problems with cameras,’’ Darien said.

’’I hoped maybe he could. Her ID was stolen from the B and B, and she won\ be able to get her flight out without it.’’ Tom considered the picture of the man further, wishing he could decipher who he was.

’’Peter can take care of that.’’

That was another thing about running their town;they lived by their own set of rules. Since wolves had extended life spans, they needed to update their IDs periodically with no questions asked. That was easier in a town where no questions would even be raised.

’’It could take a while, though,’’ Darien added.

Tom shifted his attention from the skier\s picture to Darien, not sure what he meant.

Darien smiled. ’’If you wanted it to take a while for her to get her ID replaced.’’


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