Silence Of The Wolf Page 53

’’North was supposed to meet with me and hand over proof that my uncle had murdered my parents,’’ Elizabeth continued.

Tom closed his gaping mouth. ’’Your uncle murdered your parents?’’ God, how could she have been dealing with this all alone? The bastard better be dead, Tom thought angrily, but remembered that he couldn\ be. Not from what Elizabeth said earlier that she thought her uncle might have had something to do with her kidnapping.

’’I always suspected he had,’’ Elizabeth said. ’’He never hid the animosity he had for his brother, my dad, for taking a coyote as a mate. Both were widowed my dad and my mother. And they found each other. Why was that so wrong?’’

He took hold of her hand and caressed it. ’’Nothing was wrong with it, Elizabeth. Nothing if they loved each other and were free to do so.’’

’’They were. I haven\ been able to get in touch with North since first arriving in Silver Town, though. Someone else answered his phone the night I was at Darien and Lelandi\s. I was afraid whoever it was might come after me and’’ she shifted her gaze to him ’’cause trouble for your pack.’’

’’I can\ believe you were worried about us,’’ Tom said, unable to curb his incredulity. She ran away to protect his pack? And for what? To put herself in a world of danger!

’’I think... I think my uncle might have learned what North had planned. I\m afraid North might be in trouble, if he\s not already dead.’’

’’All right, let\s go back over what we know. The chances of you dying on the slopes would be minimal. So why, if the men had been hired by your uncle or half brother, would they push you down the slope?’’

’’To make me easier to manipulate. They\d keep me out of the B and B by sending me to the hospital so they could steal my stuff from the B and B and lure me to the hotel, then take off with me. But you stayed with me, so that plan didn\ work.’’

’’So when they came to the tavern afterward, it was like they were taunting you. Telling you that they\d come for you anyway?’’

’’It was a way for the men to get in Darien\s face show they weren\ afraid of him and would get to me some other way. But I\m sure they were pissed. They didn\ think a gray wolf pack would help a red wolf-coyote.’’

’’They had that scenario wrong. Everyone in the pack would take them on. Silva was at our table forever, and one of them looked straight at us. At you. Damn it. I remember being so pissed off I wanted to slug him, if only to get his attention off you.’’

She smiled a little at Tom, then grew serious. ’’One of the men who grabbed me said that I had been with the wrong company.’’

’’Wrong company being the Silver pack leader and my brother and me.’’ Tom squeezed her hand. ’’I won\ let anyone hurt you. The pack won\ . Lelandi\s Uncle Hrothgar won\ stand for having a killer in his pack, either.’’

Tears swam in Elizabeth\s eyes. She reached out to Tom for a hug.

He knew she ached, but he pulled her into his arms and held her close. ’’You\ e not alone,’’ he whispered against her forehead. ’’Never again.’’ He separated a little from her. ’’We\ll work this all out. I have another couple of questions, though. Why did they steal your luggage and ID?’’

’’They wanted the deed to my parents\ property, the horse farm where I grew up. Pretty valuable piece of real estate, I guess. I was going to sign the deed over to North in exchange for the evidence that would prove my uncle murdered my parents. I had taken it with me on the slopes because I was supposed to meet North at the lodge later.’’

’’Damn him. He should have given the evidence to you freely.’’

’’I don\ care. If it means my uncle pays for his crimes, that\s all that matters.’’

’’Not to me.’’ Tom took a deep settling breath. ’’So they grabbed everything you had at the B and B but didn\ get the deed. I wonder if they knew North wanted it. They could have been monitoring his movements and cell phone conversations. Or he was in on it from the beginning.’’

’’Sheriff Peter took me to the airport and stayed with me until my flight left.’’

’’Which meant they couldn\ get to you then, either. But why kidnap you and bring you back here?’’

Elizabeth considered that. ’’I don\ think North was in on it. Otherwise, they would have just let me go through with my deal with him, so they could get me to willingly sign the deed over, but then withhold the evidence from me. The fact that I couldn\ get in touch with North makes me think he went into hiding because he found out that they knew he had evidence against them.’’

Tom narrowed his eyes. ’’So they must also know he was going to exchange the evidence for the deed, and then they meant to use you to draw North out?’’

’’Yeah, they could kill two birds with one stone that way: destroy North\s evidence and get me to sign over the deed. Except... Canton, the dark-haired one with the gun, took the deed from me. It\s probably buried in the snow out there somewhere.’’

’’We can order another copy later when you need it.’’

Something banged outside the window again. Elizabeth jumped a little, and Tom glanced in that direction.

’’It\s just the broken shudder latch. Are you ready for bed?’’

Elizabeth cleared her throat. ’’Can I have some more of your chili first?’’

’’You really want more?’’

She managed a small smile.


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