Silence Of The Wolf Page 54
He grinned at her, not sure why the notion pleased him so. Everyone loved his venison chili, but he was really glad it seemed to make her feel better, considering what she\d been through.
’’Sure.’’ He kissed her cheek. ’’I\ll get you some more.’’
’’I can manage. Get some for yourself. Just a little more for me.’’
He returned with two bowls and two mugs of hot tea and joined her on the floor.
’’After we eat, I\ll make sure the place is secure again, and then we\ll move into the bedroom. No heat in there. The couch in here turns into a bed, but it\s lumpy and squeaky if anyone moves on it. The mattress in the bedroom is very comfortable. It has tons of wool blankets and a down comforter.’’
She cast him one of those you\ e-giving-me-a-guy-line looks.
He raised his brows. ’’Just so you know, no matter where we retire for the night, we\ e sleeping together.’’
Her lips parted. He expected her to protest, but he wouldn\ buy any objection she might have. If someone broke into the cabin, he would be right beside her to protect her. Other than that, he intended to share his body heat with her.
The idea was hers in the first place.
’’We\ e not getting naked?’’ she asked.
He swore that she almost seemed hopeful that they would.
He smiled. ’’If you think it\s necessary.’’
’’No,’’ she said very quickly.
He fought the urge to laugh. ’’Just making sure.’’
’’Thank you,’’ she said, ’’for saving... me.’’
’’You scared a ton of years off my life when I saw you out there, fighting to survive. All along, I figured I\d be up here by myself. I\m damned grateful to see you again, though I wish the circumstances had been a lot different. What about any other family you might have?’’ he asked, still wondering if she were part of another pack or not. ’’We\ll need to let them know where you are and that you\ e all right.’’
She carefully shook her head.
’’No other family?’’
’’No. But I had every intention of having steak tonight at my home. Colorado,’’ she said under her breath as if she couldn\ believe her predicament.
’’When I get you to Darien\s house, steak will be the first thing on the menu. Guaranteed.’’
She smiled a little at that.
He hated that she\d gone through any of this and that he couldn\ take her home with him this very instant. But he would get her there. He had no intention of her leaving him behind again.
She lifted her hands to his arms and took hold, her fingers now warm. ’’Take me to bed.’’
He couldn\ help the wolfish grin that spread across his face, even though he knew it didn\ mean anything other than that she needed to sleep.
Tom carried Elizabeth into the ice-cold bedroom and set her on her feet beside the bed. He pulled the flannel covers aside, then aided her in climbing onto the mattress. Once she was lying down, he covered her with all the blankets a hodgepodge of colors, wool and warm. ’’You should be warm again in no time. I\ll bank the fire and be right back.’’
Elizabeth closed her eyes, but she didn\ think that she could sleep with worrying about who might be outside.
’’Just me,’’ Tom said a few minutes later, quickly lifting the covers on the other side of the queen-sized bed.
’’You don\ have a mate yet, right?’’ she asked, her eyes still closed.
’’Nope. So you don\ have to worry about some she-wolf coming after you for sleeping with her mate.’’
Elizabeth couldn\ help the way her mouth curved up a bit.
’’That means I\m totally free and available,’’ he added. He leaned over her and gave her a sweet kiss on the mouth. ’’If you get cold, just move closer to me. I won\ touch you for fear I\d hurt you. Do whatever is most comfortable for you.’’
That was the last she remembered him saying as the hot tea, venison chili, warm covers, and heat radiated by Tom\s body worked miracles.
Elizabeth half expected to wake and find that Tom had left the bed early to start a fire and make hot coffee. She hadn\ expected to be lying against his naked chest, listening to his strong heartbeat, her legs straddling his thankfully, he was wearing boxers his arms wrapped loosely about her as if they were mates.
She didn\ dare move. She hoped he\d wake, release her, and leave the bed while she pretended to sleep, not wanting him to think she was that needy to have sprawled all over him. But he held her close and didn\ appear to be waking anytime soon.
She listened to his heart beating, smelled his masculine gray-wolf scent, and loved how he felt warm and protective of her. She hadn\ felt that way since before her human mate had had the urge to stray.
She tried to assess the way she felt physically and opened her eyes. And took a soft breath of relief. Her muscles ached slightly, but she felt so much better. Her skin was still scraped a bit, lightly bruised, and her forehead still throbbed some.
Closing her eyes, she couldn\ believe anyone who was a wolf would help her this much. Not given her history with wolves.
Tom didn\ move. She thought to disengage from him, pretend she was just rolling over on her back and was still asleep.
Something banged outside the cabin. She jumped a little. Tom\s arms tightened around her. Protective or maybe he feared she would leave him. Maybe he dreamed of having a little wolf loving. And she actually wished they could.