Silence Of The Wolf Page 86

The fight with Sefton wouldn\ be fair, but from what Tom could see, her half brother had already injured Elizabeth, and he had tried to kill her before. Sefton\s right flank was bleeding, which meant she must have gotten in a good bite first. Tom was damned proud of her. He noted that North was trying to untie Elizabeth.

What was he doing? Whose side was he on?

Tom clashed with Sefton, snarling and snapping his powerful jaws, but he only managed to grab a mouthful of fur before Sefton scampered away. Growling, Tom smelled fear on the red wolf. He should be fearful. Tom wouldn\ let him live.

He charged again at Sefton, trying to get the wolf\s neck, but Sefton bolted out of his path. Tom wanted to get the red wolf pinned down so he could fight with him wolf to wolf. He finally maneuvered Sefton against the trunk of a spruce, heavy snow on the branches shaking so hard from the wolves\ movements that it created a makeshift snowstorm. Tom bit into Sefton\s flank, drawing blood. Sefton yipped and jumped through the branches, snow collecting on his fur as he escaped another chomp of Tom\s wicked canines that missed him by inches.

’’Tom, watch out! Sefton killed Elizabeth\s parents!’’ North shouted.

Sefton had killed them. Not Quinton. Though Quinton\s attempted killing of Elizabeth made him just as guilty. With the way Sefton avoided clashing with Tom, he wondered how the red wolf ever had the guts to kill his own father.

Tom and Sefton both panted as they circled. Tom angled for another charge. He leaped for Sefton, but Sefton dove through more branches. Stay and fight, you coward!

Sefton licked his wounds a short distance away. Tom glanced at North, who was still trying to untie the knots in the ropes keeping Elizabeth in place. She lay still, eyeing Tom, but suddenly she glanced in Sefton\s direction.

Sefton had crept closer to Tom while he\d pretended to be distracted. Tom was tired of chasing down the red wolf. When he swung around to confront the wolf, Sefton lunged at him. Tom jumped back out of the path of Sefton\s sharp canines as they snapped shut near his ear, just missing the leather.

North untied the last knot securing Elizabeth. She sat up for a second, then jumped off the sled.

Don\ come near us, Tom wanted to tell her. Stay put.

She circled around the fighting male wolves.

Eric ran out of the house, Glock in hand. Mr. Winston and Anthony followed. Someone should have stayed with Quinton!

Sefton leaped at Tom again. He was agile and strong, but Tom was more muscular, a bigger gray. He tore into Sefton again, ripping at his uninjured flank. The wolf moved so quickly that Tom lost his hold on him.

Tom went for Sefton\s throat at the same time the red went after Tom\s, but teeth met teeth, and Tom tasted blood. Sefton\s. Maybe a little of his own.

Tom eyed Sefton, the two of them drawing the frigid air into their lungs, panting, readying for the next bout.

Sefton went for Tom\s leg but he jumped out of Sefton\s path, the red\s teeth clamping together on thin air with a menacing threat. A red blur of fur dove past Tom.

No! Stay away, Elizabeth!

Elizabeth sank her teeth into Sefton\s tail. He yelped. And swiftly turned to retaliate.

Fatal mistake. Never turn your back on a bigger wolf.

Tom leaped onto the wolf\s back, bit him in the neck, and held on until Sefton sank into the snow, his blood coloring it cherry.

Worried that Sefton would still try to shake him loose and hurt Elizabeth, Tom didn\ let go until the wolf took his last breath.

That\s when he saw Eric holding the gun on North.

Anthony shouted at North, ’’Where\s Cody? And Minx?’’

’’Minx got away. I saw Cody spying on us from the trees when I had to tie Elizabeth on the sled. I motioned with my head to him, letting him know which way Minx took off, and he went after her,’’ North said, smiling.

’’I\m going after them,’’ Anthony said.

’’No,’’ Mr. Winston said. ’’You\ll stay here until Tom says what you\ll do.’’

Tom trotted over to join Elizabeth, nuzzling her face and neck and licking her nose. He didn\ smell any blood on her except Sefton\s, and he breathed a sigh of relief, damned glad for that. He didn\ believe the wolves had planned to let Elizabeth or North live.

’’I swear I didn\ have anything to do with any of this,’’ North said. ’’You screwed things up for them by going to Silver Town, Elizabeth. They thought they\d catch you at my place because I\d planned to meet you there. I got this weird feeling my phone was being tapped, which is why I hung up on you real quick that time. They must have learned I had the evidence against Sefton, and I went into hiding. I was in such a hurry to clear out of there that I left my phone behind.’’

That was why she never could get hold of North. Tom wished to God she\d just told him what had been going on with her, why she\d been there in the first place, and what the business meeting had been all about.

North said to Elizabeth, ’’Then I worried Quinton and Sefton were going to go after you, so I made it to the ski resort and asked around. Some ski-patrol guys told me Eric and his brothers had asked about you, too, and I came here to find them. Quinton and Sefton must have been following me the whole time.

’’He paid to have you brought here and tried to make everyone think it was me. Quinton didn\ want anyone to know he was behind this. Then after he killed you, they\d think I did it. He didn\ plan to let either of us live. Especially since I found the evidence of Sefton\s guilt.’’


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