Silence Of The Wolf Page 84

She folded her arms and frowned up at him.

’’This is not just about you working with me, damn it. It just won\ be the same without you. Half my clients sheriff, deputy, our pack leaders, everyone will go to eat lunch at your place just to see you. You know they will, Silva. You\ e the biggest draw there is.’’

Darien couldn\ believe it. Foot-in-the-mouth Sam. He could have slugged him. Jake cast a glance at Darien and shook his head. Darien let out his breath on a heavy sigh.

To Darien\s astonishment, Silva smiled. ’’You... think you could live without me until four?’’

Sam grabbed Silva, swung her around as he gave her a bear hug, and whooped and hollered.

Darien said under his breath, ’’Hallelujah.’’

Grinning, Jake said, ’’I was beginning to think it would never happen.’’

’’You and me both.’’

Darien heard what he thought was someone running a long way off, sobbing. A girl.

They all took off in that direction at a run as much as they could through the deep snow.

***

Tom hated waiting to see what would happen next. Eric stared out the living-room window, most likely watching for Minx and North\s return. Eric turned his attention to the front door. It opened.

Tom tensed. Cody stood in the entryway, surveying the trees in front of him and listening for any sounds. Tom remained hidden, not wanting to catch Eric\s eye as he watched out the living-room window again.

’’Hurry it up,’’ an older man growled. Had to be Quinton. Tom didn\ recognize his voice. ’’Get them back here.’’

Cody closed the door and trudged through the snow toward the trees, following the path that Minx and North had taken. The bells on the tassels of his rainbow-colored jester hat rang with every step he took. The hat would have to go. He moved slower than Tom knew he could manage. A worried frown creased Cody\s forehead.

As soon as Cody reached a point where the trees hid him from anyone watching from the house, Tom intercepted him, covering his mouth before the teen could cry out.

Tom quickly released him and Cody whispered, ’’Oh my God, Tom, I\m so glad to see you.’’ The teen looked around at the trees. ’’Are you it? No one else? Where are Minx and North?’’

’’Minx and Elizabeth hauled an unconscious North back to town on your sled. See if you can catch up to them and help them out. Their trail should be easy enough to follow.’’

’’What about you?’’

’’Maybe I can send Anthony on his way in a bit.’’

’’That Quinton guy said he\d kill Anthony and Eric if I didn\ bring North and Minx back with me.’’

’’You say Eric isn\ in on this with him?’’

’’No. He was using the place as a safe house. After Minx, my brother, and I arrived, North came. He had come to see Eric, because he and his brothers had been searching for Elizabeth. North thought the brothers knew where she was. Believing North was involved in her kidnapping, Eric socked him in the eye. Quinton and some other guy arrived and took us all hostage. He\s got a gun.’’

’’Okay, good to know. I have a rifle and a Glock.’’

’’The other one isn\ in the house,’’ Cody warned.

Tom\s blood chilled. ’’What other one? Where is he?’’

’’Some guy named Sefton. After North and Minx left the house, Quinton muttered to himself that Sefton was taking too long to get back. I don\ know where he is. He went out in his wolf coat after they took us hostage.’’

Tom prayed one of the search teams had picked Sefton up. He was torn between going after Elizabeth and Minx and ensuring they stayed safe, or remaining here to try and take Quinton out.

’’All right. Hurry and find the women. Send reinforcements this way if you see any of the search teams.’’

’’Search teams?’’

’’Yeah, three others are out here.’’

’’Okay, I\ll take good care of them. Just... don\ let any harm come to my brother. Okay?’’

’’Yeah, you know I\ll do anything I can to protect him, Cody. Go.’’

Cody glanced back in the direction of the house, then nodded to Tom and started to take off, jingling.

’’Wait, leave your hat here. You can use mine.’’

Cody looked torn. He loved that jester hat. On the other hand, wearing a pack sub-leader\s hat was an honor. All the other guys would be envious. They exchanged hats, and Tom set the jester hat on one of the tree branches as Cody hurried off.

Tom hoped Cody was correct and that Eric hadn\ pretended to be something he wasn\ . Gambling that Eric had planned to explain what was going on to Darien, Tom moved out of the trees for a moment. He caught Eric\s eye as he watched out the living-room window in the direction Cody had gone.

Eric\s eyes widened and his jaw dropped.

Now or never. Either he would alert Quinton, or he would keep Tom\s presence here secret.

Eric smiled, wearing one of his evil smirks.

What did that mean? He would get Tom back? Or he was glad to see him?

Chapter 29

Tom reached Mr. Winston\s shed at a dead run, praying that Eric wouldn\ reveal his presence. Tom ran behind the shed and around to the back door of the house. If everyone remained in the living room, no one would see him. His biggest problem would be picking the lock to the back door.

If everyone talked, it might cover up the clicking sound he\d make with his lockpicks. If not, Quinton could very well hear him with his enhanced wolf hearing. The wind whipped about and the old cabin creaked, which helped somewhat to disguise his work.


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