Silence Of The Wolf Page 77

’’So nothing triggered your mother\s killing that you knew of? If your father confronted the killer, that would explain his death.’’

’’The only thing I remember that seemed significant was that I\d had my birthday.’’

’’And the boot knife you got.’’

She thought about that for a moment. ’’I wasn\ really grateful... I mean, I tried to show how much I loved it. But it was a stretch. I wanted a mare. Once I found my dad...’’ She shook her head. ’’I didn\ appreciate why he wanted me to have it until I had to leave and I wanted to have it for protection. Only I couldn\ find it. Dad had another. I took his and the rifle he owned, and North gave me his boot knife. I didn\ think I needed another, but he insisted.’’

’’The one your father gave you was it new? Or something passed down through the family?’’

’’Passed down from my father\s grandfather. It had a lovely bone handle, but still...’’

’’You wanted a horse.’’

She nodded, feeling guilty about it still. ’’I was in such a rush to leave and so distraught that I didn\ think anything of it. I just wanted to get weapons, some clothes, food, the horses, and leave.’’

’’Do you think the killer had it? Used it?’’

Elizabeth closed her eyes. She didn\ want to think that her father giving her his treasured family heirloom had resulted in her mother\s and father\s murders.

’’Would either your half brother or uncle have known that your father gave it to you?’’

’’They might have talked about it. I could see my uncle being upset that my father, who was the first born of the two, had gotten it from their father and then passed it down to me instead of Sefton. Uncle Quinton... might have even asked my father when he would give it to Sefton.’’

Tom kissed her cheek. ’’I can\ imagine how hard that would have been for you.’’ Tom took a deep breath. ’’I need to discuss something else with you, though. Jake said you interviewed him for a story. He didn\ tell me right away, afraid I\d be upset you\d talked with him at length and hadn\ said a word to me before you left.’’

She snuggled against him. ’’I did conduct an interview with him early that morning, all about his photography. He left to be with his wife. Darien and Lelandi came downstairs for breakfast. Jake\s article won\ be published until next week.’’

’’We didn\ know that.’’

Elizabeth barely breathed. Had Tom and Jake been looking for her article and come across the one she had written about coyotes and wolves? She hadn\ wanted them to read the article. Sure it was available online, but she hadn\ thought they would have looked for Jake\s interview already and found her other article.

Tom stroked her hair. ’’Gray wolves came first.’’

She thought she heard a hint of amusement in his tone of voice and looked up at him. He gave her a smug smile, as though he was delighted to learn that he and his gray wolves had been right.

Her stomach tightening, she worried how Lelandi would view it. ’’You won\ tell Lelandi, will you?’’

’’She found the article first.’’

Her heart sinking, Elizabeth groaned. ’’I never meant for her to learn of it. I\m so sorry that she saw what I\d written.’’

’’Don\ be, Elizabeth. She says that makes the two of you even more like sisters. She\s very happy for that.’’

Elizabeth took a deep, grateful breath. The reason she had made the trip to Silver Town in the first place was to make things right concerning her rotten uncle, and she had ended up finding a home, a pack, and a mate who gave her a whole new outlook on her kind.

Not that they didn\ still have real problems.

Chapter 27

Early the next morning, the bitter cold and north-chilled breeze stirred up the snow, creating a white mist-like world as Minx, Cody, and Anthony trudged along in their snowshoes to reach Mr. Winston\s house out in the country. Like the others in the pack, they were homeschooled. Some of the pack members had better teaching skills than others, and Mr. Winston was the best calculus teacher anyone could want.

’’You know our parents won\ be happy with us if they learn we\ e headed out this far when they think we\ e skiing at the resort,’’ Minx said to Cody and Anthony as the two boys hauled a sled carrying groceries bread, milk, OJ, tuna fish, and a few other items they thought Mr. Winston might need.

’’So we don\ tell them. If old man Winston lets it slip, we\ll at least have done the deed, and what would they say about it then?’’ Cody asked, his jester ski hat jingling with every step he took. ’’It\ll be too late.’’

’’It won\ be too late to ground us,’’ Minx warned.

’’You didn\ have to come with us,’’ Anthony said.

’’Of course I did.’’

They both looked back at her. She couldn\ keep up with their longer stride, no matter how hard she tried, even though they were pulling the sled. But Anthony and Cody were always thinking up new schemes, and Minx wouldn\ be left out of an adventure for anything. She liked old Mr. Winston, too, and was just as worried that he couldn\ get into town to replenish his food when the snowstorm had hit. Not that several members of the wolf pack hadn\ offered to help him out. He had his pride. Since they were just kids, they figured he wouldn\ mind them bringing him food and giving him some company. As long as they didn\ have to do any math problems while they visited.

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