Silence Of The Wolf Page 69

’’And his dog,’’ Trevor said, a brow raised. He didn\ smile, but she could hear the hint of amusement in his voice.

Sam stared at Elizabeth. She woofed back at him in greeting and, for good measure, wagged her tail.

’’We found more than that,’’ Kemp said, joining them, still towing CJ on the toboggan.

’’What happened to him?’’ Sam asked.

’’He stepped in a leg trap,’’ Tom said. ’’We need to get him to the hospital and call off the other search parties. Bill can come with us. Trevor, you and Sam can locate the rest of the teams and let them know we\ e all right.’’

Trevor nodded.

What was Tom thinking? Elizabeth didn\ want to have to play like a dog the rest of the way to Silver Town. Then again, that\s just what she\d looked like as she\d frolicked in the snow. She suspected Trevor and Sam didn\ want Bill to come across any other wolves, if some of Darien\s people tried to locate Tom in their wolf forms. This was a way to get Bill back to town, still supervised, before he caused any trouble.

She ran off and Tom shouted, ’’Elizabeth! Stick close!’’

’’Cute dog,’’ Bill said. ’’I didn\ know you owned one.’’

’’Yeah, but she definitely needs to go to obedience school,’’ Tom said.

Radcliff and Kemp laughed.

He\d pay for the obedience-school comment later. But for now? She dove into another snowbank. She came out covered in the cold, wet white stuff, shook it loose from her fur, and dashed off again. She was having the time of her life as a wolf, coyote, dog, whatever.

Bill chuckled. ’’She sure is cute.’’

’’Yeah, she stole my heart as soon as I saw her,’’ Tom said.

’’If he hadn\ caught sight of her first,’’ Kemp said, handing the trace to the toboggan to his brother so he could haul CJ for a while, ’’I would have claimed her.’’

She woofed. No one was claiming her! She had done the claiming and Tom was the one for her.

Before long, several searchers came to join them Sheriff Peter, the two Viking-looking twin brothers from the ski resort, Cantrell and Robert, and a slew of others she didn\ recognize.

Everyone was curious about her and probably also about the fact that the farmer was with them and hadn\ shot her.

’’Tom\s new dog,’’ Kemp said to the sheriff. And so it was. Elizabeth became Tom\s new pet dog for the duration of the trip into town. She would be there already, if she hadn\ had to move at the humans\ slow pace.

’’Get the word out to the alert roster. We\ve found Tom, his dog, Elizabeth, and CJ has a broken leg and is being brought in on a toboggan,’’ Sheriff Peter relayed over his phone as they got near enough to town and had reception. ’’Yeah, hold on.’’ He handed his cell to Tom.

’’Yeah? Hey, Lelandi. CJ has a broken leg from an animal trap. He\s in a lot of pain. Conscious, but barely. Have Doc ready. I\ll tell you the rest when we get there. Bill Todd\s with us.’’

Elizabeth knew that said it all. They had a human with them, and Tom couldn\ tell Lelandi everything that had happened, including how Elizabeth came to be with him.

’’They\ e calling off the search teams. We\ll be to the road in about half an hour. If you can have a car pick us up and an ambulance for CJ, that would be great. Peter will accompany him.’’ Tom glanced at Elizabeth as she waited for them to catch up to her. ’’Yeah, Elizabeth is fine. I\m sure she\ll be happy to see you, too.’’ He gave coordinates of where they\d meet up at the road. ’’Okay, talk to you in a little bit.’’

He ended the call and handed the phone to Peter. ’’Lelandi says she can\ wait to give you a hug, Elizabeth.’’

She woofed.

Smiling, Bill shook his head. ’’She\s one smart dog. I don\ care what you said about the obedience training. Sometimes you just need to give them a little extra leash. You can tell she\s intelligent.’’

She woofed at Bill and wagged her tail. He grinned. ’’See?’’ He turned to Tom. ’’If you ever need a home for her, I\ll take her in.’’

The guys laughed.

’’You\d have a fight on your hands over that one,’’ Cantrell said.

’’I don\ doubt it,’’ Bill said. ’’A really good dog is hard to come by.’’

She enjoyed the teasing. Everyone made her feel as though she was part of the pack.

When they reached the road, several vehicles waited. One of the men waved to Bill and said, ’’I\ll take you to your truck.’’

Elizabeth swore everyone held their breaths until Bill left. Then the questions began in earnest.

Tom said, ’’We\ll talk later. I want to get Elizabeth to Darien\s house so she can shift and dress, and we\ll figure out where to go from there.’’

They loaded CJ into the waiting ambulance. Peter was on his cell. ’’Yeah, I\ll tell Tom.’’ He ended the call and said to Tom, ’’Darien and Jake are on their way to the hospital to meet with Doc and CJ. All the search teams have been accounted for and are on the way back here. I\ll see you all later.’’

’’See you in a bit,’’ Tom said, opening the back door of a black SUV.

Knowing Darien would question CJ, Elizabeth didn\ want to be in his place for anything. She jumped into the SUV and hopped over the middle seat to sit in the rear one. She was glad someone had draped blankets over the seats. She wasn\ muddy, but she was a little wet. She smiled to see the driver was Bertha, owner of the B and B.

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