Silence Of The Wolf Page 43

Before she could object to their close proximity, one of the men quickly wrapped his arm around her shoulder and poked a gun against her ribs. ’’Don\ make a sound,’’ he whispered in her ear, as if pretending to be her lover, to her chagrin.

The butcher smiled. She had to have looked highly annoyed. Even wolfishly dangerous, if anyone had known what she was.

’’You got the sale steaks, I see, honey,’’ the man holding the gun against her side said, more to the butcher than to her. ’’I was afraid you hadn\ gotten my message.’’

She opened her mouth to reply, but he quickly tightened his grip around her shoulder, warning her not to say a word. He nodded to the butcher and added, ’’Thanks.’’

Now what was she to do?

The article she\d written came to mind in a flash, but she couldn\ imagine anyone kidnapping or killing her over it. Then she wondered if Uncle Quinton had found her that fast. Why go after her at a butcher shop? Why not when she was in her home? Alone?

The three men escorted her outside to a black vehicle with dark-tinted windows the same car she\d seen near her home. The man acting as her lover attempted to force her into the backseat.

’’You\ve mistaken me for someone else,’’ she said to the man wielding the gun. She grabbed the car frame, not about to let him shove her inside. That could be the end of her.

And that\s when she got her first look at the men.

None had shielded their faces from her view, so she could identify every one of them. Somehow they all looked familiar... Where had she seen them before?

Oh... my... God!

’’You\ e the men who made a scene back at the Silver Town Tavern!’’ Elizabeth exclaimed, staring at the blond, bearded man in the group. She recognized his cold eyes glowering at her. He was the man from the chairlift.

’’You bastard.’’ She lunged forward to knee him in the crotch, but the dark-haired gunman jerked her back. She\d almost forgotten he still held her arm tight, but she recognized him as the spokesman of the group at the tavern. Since he was wielding the gun, she had a feeling he had also pushed her down the slope.

Instinctively, she tried to identify their scents. Nothing as far as a wolf scent. They had to have applied hunter\s spray and then cologne over that to make sure she couldn\ detect them as wolves. Then everything clicked into place. She thought she hadn\ been able to identify the blond man\s scent on the chairlift because the wind blew it away from her. But she and Tom hadn\ picked up any scents after her room had been broken into, either. The men had to have been using hunter\s spray then, too. There was no other explanation.

She was certain they were wolves. They wouldn\ have any other need to use hunter\s spray in a nonhunting environment. Her heart thundered in her ears.

If these were the guys who\d stolen her stuff back at Silver Town, they had to know exactly who she was. She was the one they wanted for whatever sinister purpose. She was certain it all had to do with her uncle.

The gunman tried to force her into the vehicle again. He jerked her from the car frame and shoved her inside the car. She fell forward, landing on her stomach on the backseat. Before she could turn and defend herself, he jabbed her in the buttock with a long needle, pissing her off. She lashed out with a kick of her boot to his right shin. He yelped in pain, shoved her legs aside, climbed in, and slammed the door shut.

’’Drive,’’ he growled to the blond man.

Her vision blurred. The driver and the other man, a redhead, looked back at him with smug smiles. ’’He warned us she\d be a wolf,’’ the driver said, amusement coating his words.

Her heartbeat was slowing from the drug, but it did a little kick at his mention of ’’wolf.’’

’’Uncle Quinton,’’ she slurred.

’’You sure you have enough hours under your belt to serve as copilot?’’ the redhead said to the driver.

Copilot?

’’Hell, yeah,’’ the driver said. ’’How do you think we managed to fly into Mexico so frequently? This will be a piece of cake.’’

Mexico?

’’Hell,’’ the redhead said, ’’you should have asked her where the deed was before you drugged her.’’

Elizabeth felt a stab of panic through the haze of the drug. Did they know she had been planning to trade the deed to her parents\ property to North for the evidence he had against her uncle?

She had meant to return the deed to the safe in her home, but she hadn\ gotten around to taking it out of the breast pocket of her ski jacket... that she was still wearing. She knew she shouldn\ have procrastinated about it, but she had wanted to send her editor the stories first thing after getting home, and then the threat of the snowstorm and the necessity of buying groceries had distracted her.

The gunman pulled Elizabeth around onto her back and searched her unceremoniously. She tried to muster a look of extreme disgust and indignation as he unzipped her jacket and patted her down a little too friskily. ’’We\ll search her place if...’’ The gunman slapped the deed in his hand. ’’Not necessary. Got it right here.’’

***

The small plane soared high above snow-covered mountains, the flakes swirling around the windows and wings in such profusion that the sky and ground were no longer visible in the whiteout. God only knew where Elizabeth was as she shook off the effect of the drug her captor had given her. How could the pilot see where he was going? Or the copilot figure out where to take them?

’’Damn it, Canton,’’ the pilot growled. ’’You said there was a gap between the storm cells. You said we\d clear them before they hit us.’’


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