Silence Of The Wolf Page 33

’’Yeah, mine, I\m sure,’’ Tom said.

Bertha smiled.

Elizabeth and Tom went inside, intending to change in her room so they could shift in privacy.

Bertha shut and locked the front door. ’’Darien wasn\ real happy you headed on over here. You can use another room. I\ve had to leave all the glass everywhere because he wants to see things the way they were first thing in the morning. Just leave the window open and come back in that way. The other guests are not like us,’’ Bertha whispered.

’’Thanks, Bertha,’’ Tom said.

’’Should you run as a wolf so soon after the accident?’’ Bertha asked Elizabeth.

’’She\s a better tracker than our people,’’ Tom said.

Bertha smiled. ’’Good. We need the best.’’

Elizabeth was certain Tom didn\ believe her, but she\d prove she was right.

’’I\ll be off to bed. Just close the window when you return and lock the front door when you leave. \Night, folks.’’ Bertha disappeared into her own suite of rooms.

Tom closed the door to the guest room and crossed the floor to open the window. ’’Are you sure you feel well enough to do this?’’

’’Yes, yes, I\m fine.’’

He considered her determined expression and then sighed. ’’All right. Let me help you off with your boots and socks, at least. I know what it feels like to go through what you did.’’

Yeah, and she\d bet nobody helped him undress afterward! Tom pulled off her boots and socks.

But he didn\ stop there. He was unhurried while trying not to cause her any discomfort, but it was like stripping in slow motion, and she felt her skin tingle in embarrassment as he peeled each article of clothing off her body jeans, formfitting sweater, bra.

Blushing furiously, Elizabeth realized she should have asked Bertha to help her.

Tom caught sight of Elizabeth in the mirror as he dropped the bra on the bed with her other clothes. Then he removed her panties. Before he could have more of his fill of her, she shifted.

He grinned. ’’You\ e beautiful.’’

She couldn\ believe he meant it. She was still a wolf-coyote mix. She had more of her father\s looks a red wolf but smaller, in between a female red wolf and coyote.

She turned to see Tom yanking off his clothes in a hurry and waited for him. When he saw she wouldn\ tear off on her own, he relaxed a little.

Her jaw dropped as she stared at his toned body, tanned, ripped, and already aroused because he\d removed her clothes as if it were a prelude to something else.

Then he shifted. She expected him to jump out the window to lead the way. Instead, he joined her and nuzzled her cheek, her ear, sending a tingling interest rippling through her body. She really could get used to this kind of treatment.

Then he nudged her a little, as if asking her if she was ready. She headed for the window, but he jumped out first. He didn\ look for scents on the snow. He watched her instead to see if she would collapse in agony. Even if she were still a little sore, she wouldn\ let him see it and stop her from what she wanted to do. She put her nose to the ground while listening for signs of trouble. Tom could be her bodyguard. That way she could concentrate on her job. Tracking.

She took off toward the ski resort in the direction the men had gone, then backtracked like they had done. They had headed around the building to the front where their vehicle had been parked, and she followed their trail there. The illumination of soft lantern lights along the street was blurred in a misty fog, the redbrick and wooden buildings topped with snow. She continued down the street, hoping that if any humans were around, they were all tucked quietly in their beds in the middle of the night or, if they happened to see her, thought she was a big dog. That was one advantage of being a smaller-sized wolf.

She headed toward the tavern, turned around, and loped back toward the B and B.

Tom continued to follow her, but he was looking for any movement in the area and not hunting for a trail.

She glanced across the street at the businesses there. An antique shop. A lingerie store with se*y nightwear and daywear. She glanced at Tom. He looked to see what she\d been observing. Fishnet stockings and crotchless underwear. Her warm breath mixing with the cold air, she felt heat course through her wolf-coyote body.

She shifted her attention farther down the street to the abandoned hotel across from the tavern. She had a flashback to when she and Tom had gone into the tavern. She\d thought it odd that the dusty hotel window had one small clean spot. She studied it, looking for any movement inside the building. And saw something. She ran for the abandoned hotel.

With his longer legs, Tom bolted ahead of Elizabeth in protective big, gray wolf mode. When he reached the hotel, he placed his paws on the windowsill. He peered in through glass so dirty that it was nearly impossible to see in. Someone had definitely wiped away a little of the grime to watch the street. Vagrants? Or was someone using this as a base of operations for something illegal?

Reluctantly, Tom turned and headed back to the B and B. Elizabeth, however, took off down the alley. Tom woofed insistently at her. She was sure he didn\ want her chasing down strangers, but she wanted answers. She got a glimpse of a white minivan tearing off behind the building. Lights off. No plates visible.

Rejoining her, Tom nudged her to return to the B and B. She wanted to track the men, and she wanted to check out the old hotel. If any of them were inside, she and Tom needed to stop them. But Tom wasn\ budging.

He waited for her to comply. She growled at him, then raced to the back of the B and B. When she reached the guest-room window, she leaped inside.

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