Silence Of The Wolf Page 56

’’What happened when Quinton almost... killed you?’’ he asked, his voice tight, when she didn\ say anything further.

She looked at Tom. ’’He tried to drown me, but some random gray wolf teens came to the watering hole, scaring my uncle off, and I got away.’’

Tom ran his hand over her hair, his expression concerned.

’’I moved far, far away. I thought I was doing damned good, too.’’

’’Until?’’

Elizabeth sighed. ’’I avoided male wolves all my life. Twice, men got interested in me, but when their friends learned I was part coyote, they gave them a hard time and both times the men shunned me as if I\d hidden some terrible secret all along. I thought that a human boyfriend wouldn\ be as violent or mean-hearted as my own people, and I got the stupid idea to turn a human into a wolf to save his life and mate with him.’’

’’You\ e mated,’’ Tom said, frowning.

’’Not anymore. He loved being a shifter, and he loved me. Until Gunner lusted after another she-wolf and the woman let him know he was an abomination part wolf, part coyote. Then he came after me. I got lucky that time, too. The she-wolf\s brother went after Gunner for trying to take up with his sister partly because Gunner already had a mate for life, but also because he was part coyote. Gunner wasn\ any match for the much bigger, much more aggressive full-blooded alpha wolf.’’

Tom ground his teeth.

She raised her brows at him. ’’Which means I\m free to find someone new, as if that is very likely to happen.’’ No one could accuse her of not trying to find a suitable mate at least in the past. But for years, she\d left well enough alone.

Tom\s mouth curved up slowly.

’’No,’’ she said, elongating the word to emphasize that nothing would happen between them.

’’You know how you told Silva to spread her wings.’’

Elizabeth opened her mouth to refute that idea, but Tom touched his lips to hers and kissed her.

’’We\ e not all big, bad wolves,’’ he said against her mouth, and kissed her some more as if he wanted to prove to her just how much this one wanted her.

She pulled away from him to catch her breath, her hands on his bare shoulders. ’’You say that, and then the next thing I know, I\m fighting the wolf off and running for the hills and...’’

’’Finding a new home. With me. With my pack. We\ e a diverse lot, Elizabeth. Darien mated with a red wolf. Jake mated with a human who had been turned. There\s no way I\d get mixed up with a plain, old gray wolf. It just wouldn\ be right.’’

She laughed a little at that. ’’You might get tired of me and...’’

’’It wouldn\ happen. Wolves mate for life. I\m not a human turned like the first man you took a chance on.’’

’’You don\ even know me.’’

’’I know enough about you to know I want you. I haven\ been able to get you out of my thoughts since the moment I picked you up at the B and B. You\ll be safe with us.’’

She arched one brow at him.

’’If we keep you at Darien\s house until we catch these bastards who have hurt you. I\m not changing my mind about this. If you need longer for me to change yours, so be it.’’

She smiled then, just a little. She really couldn\ believe it.

’’Okay, look,’’ he said very seriously, taking some of her hair and stroking it between his fingers. ’’After we finish with this business with the wolves I\m tracking, I had intended to find you, court you, and do whatever it took to convince you that you had lost your heart to one of the Silver brothers me, in particular. I wouldn\ give up on us. Why do you think I called you a dozen times?’’

’’Seventeen.’’

He smiled. ’’See?’’

She\d lost her mind. Not that she hadn\ done so before.

’’So the only question now is whether this will be a long, drawn-out courtship or...’’ He waggled his brows.

’’Just kiss me,’’ she said, reaching up and grabbing his shoulders and pulling him down. ’’We can work out the details later.’’

Before Elizabeth could change her mind, Tom unbuttoned the blue-plaid flannel shirt she wore. He was amazed at how many times he\d undressed and dressed her already, and every time seemed just as erotic as the first. And every time, he\d wanted to take this further. He parted the shirt and considered her breasts rising and falling, the nipples already tight with need, her long red hair curling about them.

His gaze shifted to her bandages. He peeled off each of the bandages all over her skin, ensuring she really was okay and glad to see that a light pink where her skin was nearly healed was all that was left of the abrasions she\d suffered.

’’All better,’’ she assured him, her hands combing through his hair, her fingers stroking his scalp in such a seductive way that he groaned.

Her skin was lightly flushed, her heart rate and breathing quickened, the smell of her woman\s arousal kicking in. For a wolf, her scent was an aphrodisiac, calling to him, filling him with urgency, telling him she was ready and wanted him.

His cock already strained against his flannel boxers because of the way her soft body had pressed against him. The scent of her and her quiet breath drifting over his bare chest had filled him with desire before she\d awakened. When she\d stirred awake and moved that sweet body against his arousal, he\d stifled the urge to groan.

She needed family, him. But he needed her just as much. He\d realized how much so when she\d left Darien\s home without saying good-bye. The heartwarming photo she\d left of him caring for the little girl made him feel that Elizabeth would have loved to experience the compassion and caring and being part of the scene. Not an outsider looking in.


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