Silence Of The Wolf Page 7

One of the human girls waiting to be fitted for ski boots said, ’’Can\ we get some service now that she\s gone?’’

Elizabeth glanced back to see all four of the wolves watching her, grinning. Betas. She smiled and gave them a thumbs-up. They did high fives with each other.

Tom would want to kill her, she thought in an amused way.

She had tried to pretend to be a sweet, innocent beta. She\d blown that image so badly with Tom that there was no sense in pretending any further. Professing to be a beta was nearly impossible for her kind. She\d wrongly assumed he would leave her to her own devices if he thought she was one alpha that he was which went to show she really wasn\ all that knowledgeable about working wolf packs. Or at least this one.

She made her way to the ski lift and situated her boots on her skis, but noticed one of the lift operators focused on her while speaking on his radio. As soon as she made eye contact with the guy, she knew. Tom had called ahead. The lift operator signaled to her to move out of the line. She closed her eyes briefly. Man, she\d never seen a wolf pack that controlled an operation like this.

The mix of humans and wolves standing in the lift line watched her, speculation written all over their faces. She had to have done something wrong.

Smiling, the lift operator approached her. ’’Got word Tom wants to ride up with you, if you\ll just step out of line. He\s coming.’’

She didn\ bother arguing with the guy. He was only doing his job. She was certain he\d stop the lift if she ignored him and tried to get on one of the chairs.

She turned to see Tom headed for her while the lift hummed, carrying skiers up the steep incline. At first, she couldn\ read his expression. He was smiling way too smugly.

More amused than annoyed, she smiled back. She just couldn\ let an alpha, any alpha, dictate to her without her showing her true colors, no matter how hard she tried to pretend she was just a cooperative beta.

He took her arm, leaned over, and to her shock, kissed her cheek.

She couldn\ help it. She chuckled. ’’You are so bad.’’

’’Yeah, only because you made me do it,’’ he said. ’’Come on, Elizabeth. Things are quiet for the moment. I\ll ski with you until I get a call.’’

’’Made you do it?’’

’’Hey, I\m just trying to protect you from all the interested males in my pack.’’

She laughed. ’’Right.’’

His mouth curved up as he looked down at her, and she thought he had the most heartwarming smile. Too bad he only behaved this way because the pack leader must have ordered him to. But Tom also had something to prove to the wolves in his pack who were waiting to see what would happen next. She noted that two of the lift chairs went up without anyone seated on them.

Two wolves motioned for Tom and Elizabeth to get in line in front of them. She\d never gotten special treatment like this, ever.

She hadn\ wanted to cut in line, but everyone smiled at her, so she figured they would object if she tried to go to the back of the line. She was certain Tom would stop her.

She considered kissing him back, just to prove he wasn\ in charge of her. Which was why she did what she did next, shocking him, she was certain. She grabbed his jacket and looked him in the eye. ’’I can\ stand on my toes in ski boots, so lean down.’’

Dimples showed in his tanned cheeks. He hesitated only a second, as if processing her request. He leaned down and she kissed him full on the mouth. Oh God, his lips were warm and supple against hers. His gloved hands cupped her face. He must have dropped his ski poles to ensure she didn\ move away from him until he finished.

She didn\ want him to end this as he pressed his lips against hers, the pressure saying he wanted more, his thumbs stroking her cheeks, his tongue licking her lips and asking for an invitation.

She\d already gone this far, so why not? She loved what he was doing to her, heating her from the inside out. She opened her mouth just a little and took a breath, not a full invitation unless... he took advantage.

Which he did and she nearly fell off her skis. Oh... my... God. The wolf could kiss. But damn, she could kiss back, too.

Nipping his lips, licking, tasting, chasing his tongue with hers, she gave one last full-contact smooch before she pulled away. She felt light-headed, her breath creating puffs of mist. Smoking.

He stood there and looked at her like she was a wet dream come true. The cheers went up, the woots, the whistles, and she laughed.

Grinning, the ski-lift operator handed Tom his ski poles. ’’Way to go, Tom.’’

When she was seated beside Tom on the chair and had begun the ride up, he shook his head as if he was trying to clear it after what had just happened between them.

’’What?’’ she asked, turning to observe the breathtaking vista. Every tree was covered in white frosting, and the sky was bluebird blue.

He chuckled.

She glanced at him when he didn\ answer. His mouth curved up as he studied her, though with his ski goggles now in place, she couldn\ see his eyes the way she wanted to. He looked really cute and in charge in his red ski-patrol jacket, although she already knew he was a sub-leader and very much in charge.

’’What?’’ she asked again, tilting her head to the side.

’’You do realize everyone in the pack was already giving me a hard time. Probably about a quarter of our people are up here today enjoying the fresh powder. Those who did see what just happened will tell those who didn\ . Oh, they won\ say anything, much, to my face. Just the knowing smiles and slaps on the back. But you\ve sure got the pack stirred up, and the word has already spread. I didn\ even have to call Darien to confirm the dinner arrangement. He called me.’’

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