Silence Of The Wolf Page 48
’’Yes, yes, I\ll warm you.’’
He looked back down at her, his feet trudging through the deepening snow. He had to hear what she had to say, even if she didn\ make any sense. He really didn\ expect her to make any sense. Not as hypothermic as she had to be. But he was glad to hear her speak about anything.
’’...naked,’’ she finally got out.
He raised both brows, unable to prevent the curve of his lips, the first time he\d managed to smile at her. ’’You... mean us? Together? Naked?’’ He suspected the warmth of the fire, hot tea sliding down her throat, and being bundled in blankets and anything else he could wrap her in would do the job, if he could just get her out of this blasted cold weather. Lying with her naked? Yeah, he\d damn well like that, but he didn\ know how badly she might be injured.
She smiled. And that one little smile sent his heart skittering.
Elizabeth wanted so badly to sleep, but she knew she had to remain alert. The only thing that had made her stir a little from her grogginess was the thought that the big, se*y wolf would lie with her naked to warm her. After trying to keep some distance from him, she knew that was probably a bad idea in the long run.
Yet part of her hoped he\d say that was just what he intended to do. Because it was the only way she\d live. And maybe even take it further...
He\d seemed highly amused at her suggestion, and she was sure that if she hadn\ lost so much blood and wasn\ so chilled, her face would have been three shades redder. Her cheeks felt icy, so she hoped she hadn\ blushed and given herself away.
He still smirked, the cad. She felt the difference in his footfalls, first through soft snow, then on hard wood, the porch to his cabin. She couldn\ look that way, though, not with the hood of his coat blocking her view of nearly everything except his strong jawline. Dark stubble covered the rigid bone, making him look strong-featured and se*y and able to warm her up just fine. Like he\d done before when she wasn\ nearly this cold.
She shook her head at herself. He had to be angry with her for leaving him. And she had to look terrible. She had a gash in her forehead, and the skin around it had probably turned an assortment of rainbow colors. The rest of her had to be ice white otherwise, except for the blood dried on it. As much as her skin burned, she had to have a lot of abrasions. She was a mess.
’’Elizabeth,’’ Tom said, laying her on the floor as close to the hearth as he could safely get her. He was concerned when she closed her eyes. ’’Elizabeth!’’
Her eyes fluttered open. He took a breath of relief. ’’Are you all right?’’
Another wave of relief washed over him. He\d had every intention of seeing her again but not like this. He\d planned to locate the wolves stalking their livestock first, and then he was going to fly out to be with her in Canyon, Texas. To stay with her. To learn about her. To convince her to come home with him.
He wouldn\ have let go of whatever had happened between them.
Before he unbundled her, he kindled a roaring fire in the hearth. Then he wondered what to do with her. Put her in a hot bath? Her head sported a gash and she had small cuts from the impact. Was she injured elsewhere?
As soon as he unzipped the coat and opened it and the blanket, he saw the damned handcuffs confining her wrists again. She was a prisoner. What was she involved in? Instantly, he\d thought the worst. This was why she hadn\ wanted to keep in touch: she was involved in some kind of crime. Was that why she had plans to meet someone in Silver Town?
For business, she had said. Maybe that was why she wouldn\ tell him what the business had to do with. Maybe that was why she had left so suddenly. Maybe she\d met whoever the man was at the airport and hadn\ wanted Tom to learn of it. Then she\d been caught.
He frowned. The men in the plane crash had been the same wolves as at the tavern. What did that mean?
He covered her up again and stalked to the bedroom where he\d left his lockpicks, a typical lupus garou tool of the trade, on the dresser. Grabbing the lockpicks, he returned to the living room where the fire did a good job of keeping the place warm. The bedroom was ice-cold. The bathroom would be, too.
Crouching beside her, he again moved the coat and blanket aside and began to unlock the manacles. After trying three different lockpicks and jiggling the last one, he succeeded: the lock clicked open. He tossed the handcuffs on the floor. He would have ripped through them with his wolf\s canines, had he been trussed up.
Her wrists were red from the metal scraping at her skin. Her legs seemed fine, if her ability to trudge through the snow was any indication. ’’Are you hurting anywhere ribs, any sprains?’’
She shook her head.
’’Good.’’ He pulled off her wet boots and socks and wrapped a blanket around her feet. Once covered in snow, her clothes now dripped water.
He quickly removed her shredded pants. Then he touched the remnants of her pink cashmere sweater, which was stained with blood.
He wished he could absorb her cuts and bruises and make her feel all better.
’’I\ll take this off. Let me know if anything hurts.’’
He pulled the sweater over her head and tossed it aside, damned thankful she was okay.
’’I\m fine, just... c-cold,’’ she said through shivers, her teeth chattering.
The fact she was so cold worried him the most. He covered her up as gently and quickly as he could. ’’I\ll get some warm clothes to put on you and something to bandage these cuts.’’