Silence Of The Wolf Page 82

Elizabeth reluctantly nodded, hating to leave him behind, but she didn\ want Minx to be in any danger, either. She and Minx took hold of the tow rope and moved as quickly as they could through the snowdrifts.

’’Why do they want you?’’ Minx asked.

Elizabeth said, ’’Shh, Minx. We need to be really quiet all the way back to town.’’

If Tom\s other cousin, Sarandon, wasn\ with Eric, he could very well be out in the woods somewhere. Maybe he and Eric hadn\ planned to have a truce with Darien and the pack. Or they had changed their minds.

The going was slow as they lugged the sled. Elizabeth wished they could move faster, but leaving North behind with Tom would have been a mistake. If North came to and yelled for help while Tom watched the house, Tom would have to face down at least three of them Eric, North, and Quinton. Maybe Eric\s other brother and her half brother, too.

Minx\s comment continued to plague Elizabeth as they trudged through the snow, and she finally whispered to the girl, ’’What do you mean that they wanted me?’’

’’North arrived at Mr. Winston\s house right after we did,’’ Minx said, her voice ragged as she tugged the sled with Elizabeth and they tried to move as fast they could. ’’Eric was already there. Mr. Winston let North in, and then Quinton and some other guy barged into Mr. Winston\s house waving guns. I guess they had followed North. Quinton said that North would pay for having brought you here and the plane going down. Then Eric got really mad and punched North in the eye.’’

’’Eric did?’’

’’Yeah. He said that was for thinking he\d want to get back at the Silver Pack. He said he\d kill North for nearly getting you killed. North said he didn\ know what Eric was talking about, and that he\d been in hiding from Quinton. He said Quinton was the one who had you kidnapped,’’ Minx explained breathlessly.

’’How did North end up at Mr. Winston\s?’’ Elizabeth asked.

’’It sounded like North found out Eric and his brothers were looking for you because they had been asking about you at the ski resort. North had followed them to Mr. Winston\s place to ask them if they knew where you were.’’

’’That must be why Eric thought North was the one who had hired kidnappers,’’ Elizabeth said.

Minx nodded. ’’Then the other guy who came with Quinton no one ever said his name asked why we were there. Said he figured a bunch of teens wouldn\ come out all this way for nothing.’’ Minx paused to get her breath.

’’We had to tell him about the groceries. We hoped if anyone saw them there, they\d know someone was in trouble,’’ she said.

’’We assumed as much.’’

’’But... what happened? Were you really in an accident?’’

’’Yes.’’ But Elizabeth didn\ want to discuss that now. ’’What happened after you told him about the groceries?’’

’’Quinton told North and me to go get them. And not to do anything stupid.’’

’’Like run away?’’

’’Yeah.’’

They walked for another good twenty minutes. Elizabeth\s mind continued to run through all that had been said and not said. ’’The other man. What did he look like?’’

’’Ohh,’’ North groaned.

Elizabeth glanced back at him. His eyes were still closed, but he began to stir. She whispered to Minx, ’’Keep moving.’’

’’What... what happened?’’ North mumbled.

This wouldn\ do. If he started yelling, they\d be done for.

Elizabeth stopped pulling the sled and hurried around to the left side of it. She unwrapped her long woolen scarf from around her neck and was about to tie it around his mouth when he opened his eyes and narrowed them.

’’Elizabeth. I\m... I\m on your side.’’

’’Maybe you are, but I can\ trust you right now.’’ She tied the scarf around his mouth, then returned to Minx, whose eyes were huge. Elizabeth tugged on the rope. ’’Come on. Let\s go, Minx.’’

They hadn\ trudged very far when Elizabeth thought she saw movement beyond one of the spruces. Adrenaline shot through her veins. A wolf, she thought.

In a rush, she began removing her gloves, hat, and parka and piling them on the sled.

’’What are you doing?’’ Minx whispered.

’’Shifting.’’ If Elizabeth could only strip out of her clothes fast enough. Her wolf teeth, stealth, and speed were the only protection she could offer to keep Minx safe. ’’Keep moving toward town. If you can\ pull him,’’ she whispered to Minx, her teeth chattering from the cold as she removed her sweater, ’’leave him and get to the nearest safe place from here.’’ She fully intended to watch Minx\s back while she attempted to track down whoever was out here with them.

’’Darien\s house,’’ Minx said.

’’Yes,’’ Elizabeth said, peeling off the last sock. Cold... cold. ’’Go.’’

Elizabeth shifted into her wolf form, thankful for her winter-coat protection. The warmth surrounded her so quickly that she nearly forgot she\d been freezing seconds earlier.

She bounded into the trees, searching for whoever had come upon them. She hoped it was someone with one of the search teams, though that would mean he was in wolf coat when he wasn\ supposed to be. She thought from the quick flash of fur that it was a red wolf, not a gray.

She saw Minx run as fast as she could toward town. She\d abandoned North.

Glad for it because Minx could make more headway that way, Elizabeth made a wide circle around Minx, trying to catch sight of whoever was out here with them. She saw a flash of a black-tipped tail. Red wolf. North was tied to the sled. Quinton was at Mr. Winston\s home, unless he had left the house and gotten ahead of them. Only one other person who was a red wolf could be in on this. Sefton. Her dear, sweet half brother.


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