Silence Of The Wolf Page 51
She noticed Tom\s scent in the room most of all musky male, gray wolf, delectable. Why was he here all alone?
Then she thought about the first time she was in Silver Town and her luggage was stolen. So was her ID. She swore under her breath.
’’What\s wrong?’’ Tom asked.
’’I don\ have any ID again, and I don\ even have any money to buy a plane ticket!’’ This was getting to be a recurring nightmare.
’’Don\ worry about it. We\ll take care of it when the time comes.’’
She got the distinct impression that he had no intention of letting her out of his sight again, not like the last time.
Another thought occurred to her, one more worrisome. ’’Were any of the men who had taken me hostage still alive?’’
On the one hand, she didn\ want them coming to the door, armed to the teeth and ready to take her hostage again, because she knew Tom would protect her with his life. Still, freezing to death was a fate she wouldn\ wish upon anyone, even criminals.
She shouldn\ have fretted about them, not when she could have come to real harm and would have, if not for Tom. Would whoever had paid her kidnappers send others to search for her once they learned the plane wasn\ coming? Maybe they\d think everyone had died in the plane crash. Including her.
If Tom did get her on a flight back home, what if whoever had her taken hostage did it all over again?
’’Elizabeth, don\ go to sleep on me. All right?’’ Tom walked around the room, bolting the door and the wolf door. He returned to the kitchen and finished heating up the chili, unable to quit worrying that she might have more extensive injuries that could cause her real trouble.
’’I\ll try not to,’’ she said.
He wanted to get her to town, to the hospital, but traveling was too risky in this blizzard. After she had been so cold, he couldn\ expose her to that again right away.
He stirred the chili. ’’So what was the deal with these guys?’’
’’At first, I thought they had grabbed the wrong woman.’’ Her voice sounded more even now, her teeth not chattering as much. Good.
’’Do you know who they were?’’
’’They were the men who made a scene in the Silver Town Tavern, the ones Darien told to leave.’’
’’I thought I recognized them, even though they were pretty battered.’’
’’One of them had ridden next to me on the ski lift. Another pushed me down the slope. The third broke into my room at the B and B. They said two men paid for the job, but they didn\ know who.’’
’’So why did you leave Silver Town instead of staying and letting us deal with this?’’
’’It was getting too dangerous,’’ Elizabeth said.
Was she serious? She hadn\ seemed scared. Upset, yes. But not fearful. Even Darien said she hadn\ seemed afraid. In denial that she was running away from forming a relationship with a gray wolf? Maybe.
She had shut her eyes, and he couldn\ tell if she was being earnest or not. ’’Don\ go to sleep,’’ he warned her.
Her eyes still closed, she wrinkled her nose at him in an annoyed way.
He smiled. ’’The picture you put on my desktop, the one of me crouching in front of the injured little girl, did you know the man who sat on the lift chair behind you had been watching you take the picture?’’
She opened her eyes and frowned at him. ’’No, I didn\ . Are you sure?’’ She sounded winded, sleepy.
’’Yeah, we compared it to the photo in which he had his back to you right before you were pushed down the slope.’’ Tom paused and looked in her eyes. ’’You suspect who\s behind this, don\ you?’’
’’I don\ want you or your family involved.’’
’’Damn it, Elizabeth, we are involved. Anyone who attacks a wolf in our territory ’’
’’I wasn\ in your territory when they grabbed me.’’
He shook his head. ’’You were when they pushed you down the slope, and you were a hostage when they dropped out of the sky here.’’
She hesitated. ’’I think my half brother or uncle might be behind it.’’
Her words sent alarm bells ringing through him. She\d never mentioned she had family.
Processing this new information, he set the tray with a bowl of chili and a mug of tea on the coffee table. He pulled a couple of cushions off the couch and propped her carefully into a sitting position on the floor, still wanting to keep her close to the fire.
’’Can you manage it all right? Or do you need my help?’’
Her hands shook, so he steadied them with his own.
’’I\ll be all right.’’
He took one of her hands and inspected her fingers. ’’Make a fist for me.’’
She did, but her grip was weak.
’’Grasp the spoon.’’
’’I can do this.’’ But her hand trembled as she took the spoon from him.
’’Here, let me. By tomorrow morning, you\ll be fine. Tonight, I\ll take care of you.’’ He held out a spoon of the chili to her.
She frowned at him.
’’Humor me,’’ he said, smiling. He could tell she really didn\ like being waited on. But he was used to helping others the pack, guests at the ski resort, or wherever wolves or humans needed him.
She took a bite of the chili. Once she\d swallowed, she said again, ’’I can eat on my own.’’
’’I\m used to it. I help feed my brother\s triplets. They don\ hold still, though, and we make more of a mess than anything. Darien usually has to wash the kids right afterward.’’