Silence Of The Wolf Page 85

’’You can\ kill us, Quinton,’’ Eric said suddenly. ’’The red pack and the Silver pack will want your heads.’’

Good. Eric was covering for Tom.

’’I have no intention of killing anyone here,’’ Quinton said.

’’So why do you want the woman so badly?’’

’’I have a business arrangement with my niece. I\m having a time getting together with Elizabeth.’’

’’You can\ hurt her. I suspect she\s Tom\s mate by now,’’ Eric said.

Quinton growled, ’’No wolf in his right mind would take her for a mate.’’

Tom wanted to wring the bastard\s neck. He was glad Elizabeth wasn\ here to witness this.

’’What kind of business arrangement?’’ Eric asked, louder this time as Tom continued to attempt to pick the back-door lock, his gloves lying on the porch, his hands sweating despite the frigid weather. ’’Is that why you had her brought back to Colorado?’’

’’I told you, North brought her here,’’ Quinton snapped a little too quickly. ’’He wants her for his own. Always has. He was always mooning over her.’’

The lock clicked open. Keep talking, Eric.

’’Why take us hostage?’’ Anthony asked quickly, his voice raised as if everyone in the house had hearing problems.

’’You can be my witnesses. You\ e not hostages.’’

’’So what\s the business deal? If you want us to be witnesses, you might as well tell us what the situation is,’’ Eric said.

’’Can I fix anyone anything? Coffee? Sodas?’’ Mr. Winston suddenly asked.

’’No, just sit where you are,’’ Quinton said.

’’I gotta pee,’’ Anthony said to Mr. Winston. ’’Can I use your bathroom?’’

The back door led into a laundry room, and Tom tried to close the door as quietly as he could. He was afraid to leave it open as the cold wind blew in, and he knew they\d soon sense the change in the temperature and smell the fresh snowy breeze. Thank God the door hadn\ creaked when he opened it. He set down his rifle and pulled out his Glock, but he stopped moving across the laundry room and waited for a response to Anthony\s request.

’’Be quick,’’ Quinton snapped.

’’This way, Mr. Winston?’’ Anthony asked.

’’Yeah, second door on the right.’’

’’Thanks. I\ll be real quick. Sorry.’’ Anthony hurried off down the hall and gave Tom the coverage he needed as he left the laundry room.

Tom gave a nod to Anthony, who said softly to him, ’’He\s got a gun.’’

Tom showed him his pistol. Anthony\s eyes widened. He turned and pushed the bathroom door open and whispered to Tom, ’’Good luck.’’

’’Stay in there.’’

Anthony looked rebellious, like he wouldn\ let Tom do all the fighting if he needed help. Tom didn\ want Anthony getting shot. ’’Stay,’’ Tom whispered again.

’’Elizabeth still owns her parents\ property. She\s going to sell it to me,’’ Quinton said from the living room as Tom continued down the hall one step at a time, trying to ensure he didn\ make a board squeak beneath the carpet.

’’So why do all this?’’ Eric asked. He turned his head a little in the direction of the hallway leading to the laundry room, bathrooms, and bedrooms, but he didn\ look, knowing that would cause Quinton to glance in that direction and see Tom.

Tom quickly assessed the situation. Quinton stood near the couch armed with a 9 mm revolver. Mr. Winston sat on the opposite end.

’’Are you sure nobody wants anything to eat? I\m hungry,’’ Mr. Winston said.

’’No!’’ Quinton snapped. ’’Eric, look out the window. See if Anthony\s brother or the others are coming.’’

Anthony flushed the toilet and ran the water full blast in the sink, making more noise for Tom. He\d have to thank the kid later. And Eric.

As soon as Eric moved toward the front window, Tom had a clean shot. He aimed at Quinton\s gun hand and fired.

The sound reverberated through the house. The bullet hit Quinton in the hand. He screamed in pain and dropped his weapon.

Eric swung around and dove for him, taking the older man down. Quinton whacked his head hard on the sharp edge of a table with a thunk and crumpled to the wooden floor.

Anthony rushed out of the bathroom. ’’I missed all of it! You should have waited for me!’’

’’That was the whole point to ensure you missed all of it,’’ Tom said. ’’Thanks for the help, though. You did a damn good job, Anthony, Eric.’’ Tom stalked over to check on Quinton.

Eric examined him for a pulse.

’’I\ll get some rope out of the shed,’’ Mr. Winston said, heading for the front door.

Anthony glanced out the window. ’’Holy crap. Wait, Mr. Winston! North\s pulling the sled and headed toward the house.’’

Tom\s heart pumped double time. How did North get loose?

’’Elizabeth, Minx?’’ Tom said, hurrying for the window.

’’A red wolf is on the sled. Small. Female,’’ Anthony said. ’’And another red wolf is running alongside the sled. I think it might be that guy Sefton. No sign of Cody or Minx.’’

Tom started stripping as soon as he heard Anthony say a red wolf was on the sled. Once he was nude, he shifted. Anthony ran to open the front door for him.

Tom charged out of the house and across the snow to tackle Sefton, figuring that\s who the wolf had to be, hoping North would stay out of it. At least North was unarmed unless he shifted. Elizabeth was tied to the sled, blood on her mouth. She gave a little whimper in greeting when she saw Tom. He wanted to free her, but first he had to deal with Sefton.

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