Silence Of The Wolf Page 8
She gaped at him and then frowned. ’’You said he already wanted me to come to dinner.’’
’’I know my brother. He would have called before long if I hadn\ gotten hold of him.’’
’’So will your other brother, Jake, and his mate be there?’’
’’You bet. When I told Darien that you\ e a photographer, he said Jake wanted to meet you.’’
’’Well, it was all your fault for trying to be in charge of me.’’
’’About that. Yeah, I\d like to try that again. Someplace where we\ e not likely to melt all the snow off the slope.’’
She chuckled and looked at the vista as the chair rode up the cable, vibrating, the rattling noise filling the bitingly cold air. She didn\ remember a time when she\d had such lighthearted fun.
Tom\s radio came to life, and he listened as the dispatcher relayed information about an injury on one of the slopes. He answered the call. ’’I\ll be there in just a couple of minutes.’’
’’Yeah, but I\m free at noon. We\ll have lunch.’’
She smiled. If he could find her.
She still had to meet with North at the Timberline Ski Lodge. That put her on edge a bit. What if North didn\ come alone? Or what if someone else came?
Someone who wished her dead?
Elizabeth skied away from the chairlift but Tom followed her. ’’Noon,’’ he said. ’’Meet you at the base lodge.’’
His comment wasn\ an offer but a command. ’’You don\ take no for an answer, do you?’’ She smiled when she asked.
He offered her a wolfish, se*y smile in return that had her whole body warming despite the chill in the air. ’’You never said no. See you later. Enjoy your day if I don\ get a chance to meet up with you on the slopes. A blue trail is off to the left, expert to the right.’’
He skied along the connecting trail for the black-diamond slope.
You never said no, echoed in her thoughts. Yeah, if she hadn\ really wanted to meet up with him, she would have been all alpha and said no. He had her figured.
She watched him move like a pro and wished she could ski down the expert trail with confidence. She didn\ get a chance to ski nearly as often as she\d like, since they had no skiing in Texas. But she loved the slopes and took every opportunity she could get to ski. She was definitely an intermediate skier.
She was about to head for the intermediate slope when two males on the chairlift got off and joined her.
’’Need a ski buddy?’’ one asked, looking hopeful. He was a blond and reminded her of a Viking, muscled and with beautiful white teeth grinning at her.
’’He\s busy, but I\m free,’’ the other said, looking like the first one\s twin.
She chuckled. ’’I\m mostly just taking pictures. Sorry.’’
’’Well, if you get tired of just taking pictures, I\m Cantrell.’’
’’Robert,’’ the other man said.
’’You\ e brothers, I take it.’’ And both gray wolves.
’’Yeah. Kind of no mistaking it,’’ Robert said with a wink.
’’Thanks. Maybe I can take you up on it later. Nice meeting you both.’’ She took off toward the entrance to the blue intermediate trail.
’’Wait!’’ Cantrell said, catching up to her. ’’What\s your name?’’
She paused at the top of the trail. ’’Elizabeth.’’
’’Elizabeth,’’ Robert said. ’’Have you got lunch plans?’’
’’Yes, with Tom Silver.’’
Cantrell laughed. ’’I told you he\d already asked her.’’
’’What about tonight?’’ Robert asked.
’’I\m having dinner with the pack leaders.’’
’’Uh, okay,’’ Cantrell said as if that meant she planned to join the pack or something. ’’Well, we tried. See you around, Elizabeth.’’ He headed downhill.
Robert smiled. ’’They always get the good ones.’’ He followed his brother down the slope.
Elizabeth shook her head. She really couldn\ believe all the interest, especially after what she\d gone through growing up physical and emotional abuse from her father\s wolf family for being part coyote. Shunned by her mother\s coyote pack for having wolf DNA. And here she was totally welcome. Maybe because Tom seemed interested in her.
She stood to the side so other skiers could access the trail and pulled out her camera. She snapped shots of the two men traversing the hill, then of the vista. She breathed in the cold, crisp air, loving it, wanting to throw off her clothes, shift, and run through the woods, biting at the snow, rolling in it, having the time of her life.
Tonight she would.
She skied down to another intermediate run and across an easy trail where a couple of patrollers, Tom included, checked out a young girl of about eight. She sat on the snow holding her knee and crying. Tom crouched next to her, talking to her as she nodded. Elizabeth hoped the girl wasn\ too badly injured, but the sight of him speaking to her made Elizabeth believe he\d be good with kids. She wondered if the rest of the pack was like that. The two she had belonged to as in had family ties to but hadn\ really belonged to had been. They just hadn\ treated her that way.
She\d always thought of her parents as Romeo and Juliet Romeo, the red wolf, and Juliet, the coyote two different families, both feuding. In the end, both her parents had died. Which meant she\d had to fend for herself against the wolves of her father\s pack. The coyote pack hadn\ wanted her, either, since she was an alpha and part wolf. The pack leaders had feared she\d want to take over.