Silence Of The Wolf Page 61

’’I hiked up here looking for wolf tracks, so I don\ have a snowmobile or I would have taken you down as soon as the weather cleared up a bit.’’

’’We could both turn into wolves. You could tow the toboggan. We both could. It would be easier for us to run in this snow and ’’

’’Farmers are antsy about wolves. Darien doesn\ want us running in our wolf coats anywhere near town in the farmers\ vicinity. I know some have risked running as wolves out here. Nearer to the town, no. The farmers and ranchers have been told not to shoot any wolves they might see, but it doesn\ guarantee they\ll abide by the rules. Besides, I\ll be armed with my rifle just in case. You can run alongside in your wolf coat, and we\ll pretend you\ e my new dog.’’

’’The things I do for you.’’

’’Yeah, but that\s not really what I want you to do for me.’’

He kissed her again and then left the bedroom.

Tom closed the door to give Elizabeth privacy while she finished dressing. He was concerned about CJ, yet he wanted to wring his cousin\s neck if the cousins were up to no good and CJ had had any part in it.

Tom stood over his cousin, watching him as he appeared to be sleeping.

Elizabeth quickly left the bedroom. ’’Asleep?’’ she whispered.

’’Seems to be.’’

She entered the kitchen and looked into a cupboard. Tom joined her, moved around her, and opened another cabinet. He brought out a couple of mugs. ’’Coffee? Tea?’’

’’Tea, plain.’’ She poured hot water into the mugs.

’’About your half brother and uncle... we take care of our own, Elizabeth,’’ he said seriously. If they had been in his pack, her uncle and half brother would have been dead the first time they laid hands on her.

’’I could have used a champion.’’

He leaned up against the counter, his mug in hand. ’’Where do they live?’’

’’You can\ go after them now. I need the evidence to turn over to Hrothgar. He can take care of it.’’

’’Where do they live?’’

She chewed on her lip.

’’We\ll find them,’’ Tom said.

’’I don\ want the Silver pack fighting with the red.’’

’’Okay, fine. We\ll get Sheriff Peter and Deputy Trevor on it when we get back.’’

She let out her breath. ’’Twenty miles west of Bruin\s old home.’’

Tom\s face hardened. ’’Damn it, Elizabeth. You should have told me all of this already.’’

’’I knew it. Already you\ e having second thoughts about us.’’ She slammed her mug on the countertop, stalked out of the kitchen, and headed for the fireplace.

Taken aback by her response, Tom didn\ react at first. How could she think he\d ever have second thoughts about them? For a moment, he watched her as she stood near his sleeping cousin in front of the fire, rubbing her arms as if she\d suddenly become chilled to the bones. Tom set his mug down with a clink on the counter, then crossed the living room to join her.

She stiffened. He wrapped his arms around her, his chest to her back. Not to be put off, he buried his face in her hair, nuzzling her ear and cheek and neck. She deserved tenderness and loving. ’’I\m not having second thoughts. I\m just surprised. You told me you weren\ related to the reds,’’ he said gently.

’’I\m not. My uncle and my father joined Bruin\s pack as adults. None of us are blood related. I wasn\ ever part of the red wolf pack or any other, for that matter.’’

’’What about North or any of those red wolves? Do you think it\s possible they\ e the ones that have been prowling our territory?’’ He\d much prefer believing it was them and not his cousins.

’’I don\ know anything about that, but maybe it could have been the men on the plane, circling the area for a way to get to me.’’

’’Possible.’’ Yet Tom had seen a gray wolf near the last set of prints circling a farm. And now he had found CJ out here. Tom had to have been tracking him and his brothers before the storm hit. Why else would they be out here, trespassing in Silver pack territory and wearing hunter\s spray? That had to mean they were up to no good. ’’I guess we\ll just have to ask CJ after he\s recovered some.’’

Tom took her back into the kitchen to warm up the chili, then spooned enough for the two of them into bowls. She took the mugs to the kitchen table. They ate in silence, the only sounds the wind and the fire crackling at the hearth. After they finished eating, she went to clean the dishes.

’’I\ll make sure my cousin is secure.’’ He kissed her on the temple and headed for the living room.

Recalling Elizabeth\s handcuffs, he retrieved them from the floor near the fireplace where he\d left them yesterday.

CJ opened his eyes. ’’You don\ have to. I\m not going anywhere. I can barely move, and I hurt like hell,’’ he growled.

Tom smiled. So CJ wasn\ really sleeping after all. ’’Better safe than sorry.’’ Tom snapped one of them on CJ\s wrists, then attached the other to the sofa leg. CJ couldn\ lift that heavy sofa bed with his leg paining him so much. ’’Are you okay? Need anything else?’’

’’Hell, Tom, I\m not going anywhere.’’

’’Yeah, I know. Sleep. We\ll talk later.’’ He wanted to give his cousin time to rest up after his ordeal before he questioned him.

Tom returned to the kitchen and helped Elizabeth dry the bowls, silverware, and mugs, and then they retired to the bedroom and shut the door. ’’Since we have some time to kill, I\ll make love to you. Snowstorms are meant to produce pups.’’

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