Home > Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega #1)(14)

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega #1)(14)
Author: Patricia Briggs

She stood up. "Can I get you some tea? Or something to eat?"

He'd been hungry on the way home, but suddenly all he wanted to do was sleep. He wasn't even too keen on walking down the hallway. "No, I think I'll just go to bed."

She took her cup into the kitchen and put both cups in the dishwasher. Despite his words, he followed her into the kitchen. "What did your brother say?" she asked.

"There was still some silver in my calf. So he cleaned it out."

She glanced sharply at his face. "Not fun."

He couldn't help smiling at her understatement. "No."

She tucked herself under his arm. "Come on, you're swaying. Let's get you to bed before you fall down."

He didn't mind her help at all. She could even have called him Charlie, and he wouldn't have objected, as long as her side brushed his.

She helped him out of his clothes-he hadn't put his suit jacket back on, so it wasn't too painful. While he got in bed, she pulled down the blinds, shutting out the light. When she started to pull the covers up, he caught her hand.

"Stay with me?" he asked. He was too tired for talk, but he didn't want her alone with whatever his father had noticed was bothering her, either.

She froze, and the scent of her sudden terror tested the control he'd found since his brother had rid him of the last of the silver. There was nothing for him to kill except ghosts, so he controlled the surge of protective rage and waited to see what she would do. He could have released her hand, and he was ready to do so-but only if she pulled away.

He wasn't sure why it had scared her so badly when she'd slept with him last night, until she dropped her eyes to his hand on hers. Someone had grabbed her, he thought, maybe more than once. As rage began to rise in him, she turned her hand and closed it over his.

"All right," she said a little hoarsely.

After half a second she pulled her hand out of his and sat on the bed to take off her tennis shoes. Still in her jeans and shirt, she lay next to him, her body stiff and unwilling.

He rolled over, giving her his back and hoping that would reassure her that he wasn't going to push her more. He was amused at himself to discover that it wasn't only for her sake that he'd asked her to stay. felt better with her safe beside him. He fell asleep listening to her breathing.

* * * *

He smelled good. As his body relaxed in sleep, she could feel the tension slide away from her own. She hadn't been wounded, but she was tired, too. Tired of being on display, tired of trying to figure out what she should be doing, tired of worrying that she had jumped out of one frying pan into a different one.

She had so many questions. She hadn't asked him about his stepmother's strange reaction to her, or about Asil, because he'd looked as if he'd fall asleep as soon as he quit moving-which was pretty much what had happened.

She looked at her wrist, but there were no new bruises there; he hadn't hurt her at all. She didn't know why the feel of his hand around her wrist had caused her to panic-most of the abuse she'd taken her wolf kept hidden from her. But her body retained the memory of a crushing grip and someone shouting at her while he hurt her...and she was trapped and couldn't get away from him.

Pulse pounding, she felt the change hovering as her wolf prepared to protect her again. She took in Charles's scent and let it flow over her, soothing the wolf; Charles would never hurt her, both she and her wolf were convinced of that.

After a moment, Anna gathered up her courage and slid under the covers. When he didn't wake up, she slid closer to him, stopping every few minutes as her body kept trying to remind her about how much stronger he was and how much he could hurt her.

Wolves, she knew from overheard conversations, usually craved touch. The men in the Chicago pack touched each other a lot more than was usual for a group of heterosexual males. But being close to another wolf had never brought her peace or comfort.

She could always call upon her wolf to help her as she had last night. Then she could tuck herself next to him and breathe in his scent with every breath of air she drew in. But with him asleep, she thought it was a good time to try to work out a few of her issues. The wolf could solve the immediate problem, but Anna wanted to be able to touch him without that.

It was the bed that was making it so difficult-it made her feel vulnerable, made it harder to force herself nearer. Asil had said that Charles didn't like to touch, either. She wondered why not. He didn't seem to mind when she touched him, quite the opposite.

She inched her hand forward until she could feel the sheets warm from his body heat. She rested her fingers on him and her body froze in panic. She was glad he was asleep, so he couldn't see her pull her hand back and tuck her knees over her vulnerable stomach. She tried not to shake because she didn't want him to see her like this: a coward.

She wondered that hope was so much harder than despair.

Chapter FIVE

Anna methodically rummaged through the cupboards; Charles was going to wake up hungry. Happily, the man had his house stocked for a siege. She thought about Italian- she'd gotten rather good at cooking Italian food-but she didn't know if Charles liked it. Stew seemed a safer choice.

The chest freezer in the basement was full of meat wrapped in white freezer paper, neatly labeled. She brought up a package proclaiming itself to be elk stew meat to begin thawing on the counter. She'd never eaten elk before but assumed that stew meat was stew meat.

In the fridge she found carrots, onions, and celery. Now all she needed were potatoes. They weren't in the fridge or on the counters; they weren't on top of the fridge or under the sink.

Anyone as well stocked as Charles was bound to have potatoes somewhere-unless he hated potatoes. She was bent over with her head in a lower cupboard singing softly, "Where oh where have my little potatoes gone," when the sound of a cell phone made her jerk her head up and clunk it on the edge of the countertop.

The phone was in the bedroom, so she rubbed her head and waited for Charles to get it, but it just kept ringing.

Mentally shrugging, she tried scenting the potatoes; Charles had told her she didn't use her nose enough. But if there were any around, their scent was camouflaged by the spices and fruit Charles kept in his kitchen.

The phone on the wall began ringing. It was an old rotary phone, made half a century before caller ID. She stared in mounting frustration. This wasn't her home. After ten rings she finally picked it up.

"Hello?"

"Anna? Get Charles for me, please." No mistaking his voice, it was Bran.

She glanced at the closed door to the bedroom and frowned. If all that noise hadn't woken him up, then he needed to sleep. "He's asleep. Can I take a message?"

"I'm afraid that won't do. Please wake him up and tell him I need to talk to him."

The "please," she thought, sounded like a courtesy only. It was an order.

So she set the handset down and went to wake Charles up. Before she got to the door, it opened. He'd pulled on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt.

"Is it Da?" he asked.

When she nodded, he strode past her and picked up the phone. "What did you need?"

"We have a problem," Anna heard Bran say. "I need you...and why don't you bring Anna, too. As soon as you can get here."

Bran needed Charles. Charles was his enforcer, his assassin. He regularly put his life on the line for his father, and she was just going to have to get used to it.

Anna was pulling on her jacket by the time Charles hung up the phone. He retreated to the bedroom and came back with socks and boots in one hand.

"Can you help me with my boots?" he asked. "Bending over is still a problem."

* * * *

She drove like someone who'd never driven over icy roads before. Maybe she hadn't. But she'd driven better this morning, and he didn't think the roads were any worse.

Evidently whatever had been bothering her was still at it. He could smell her anxiety, but he didn't know what he could do about it.

If his ribs had been in better shape, he'd have taken over for her, but he contented himself with giving her directions. When she fishtailed the truck getting into his da's driveway and he tightened his grip on the door, she slowed down to a crawl. A chalky green SUV with government plates sat right next to the doorway: Forest Service. Whatever his father called about must have something to do with their rogue in the Cabinets, he thought. Maybe there had been another body.

Anna pulled in behind the SUV and parked.

"Do you smell that?" he asked Anna, as she came around the truck to where he waited.

She tilted her head and considered what she smelled. "Is it blood?"

"Fresh," he said. "Does it bother you?"

"No. Should it?"

"If you were like any other wolf, Omega, you'd be getting hungry about now."

She frowned up at him, and he answered her look. "Yes, me, too. But I'm old enough it doesn't bother me much."

He didn't bother knocking on the door; his father would have heard them drive up. He followed the scent of blood into the spare bedroom.

Samuel had been here. He recognized the neat wrapping of the bandages, even if he didn't recognize the middle-aged man who lay on the bed. The man was as human as Heather Morrell, who sat in the chair beside the bed holding his hand.

Heather looked up. He saw the flash of fear on her face but didn't do anything to mitigate it. Frightening people was part of what made him an efficient enforcer for his father. Besides, until he talked to his father and found out what was going on, there wasn't anything he could say to reassure her.

"Where's the Marrok?" he asked.

"He's waiting for you in his study," she told him.

He took a step back and started to leave when she said his name softly.

He stopped.

"Jack's a good man," she whispered.

He looked over his shoulder to find her staring at him intently. He could have asked her what she meant-but he needed to talk to his father first.

   
Hot Series
» Vampire Academy Series read online
» Crossfire Series read online
» Fifty Shades trilogy read online
» Kate Daniels Series read online
» Black Dagger Brotherhood Series read online
» Cassandra Palmer Series read online
» Rosemary Beach Series read online
» Sea Breeze Series read online
» Too Far Series read online
» Shatter Me Series read online
» Thoughtless Series read online
» Marriage to a Billionaire Series read online
Most Popular
» Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega #1)
» On the Prowl (Alpha & Omega 0.5)
» A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash
» From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1)
» Rage and Ruin (The Harbinger #2)
» Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1)
» Immortal Angel (Argeneau #31)
» Immortal Born (Argeneau #30)
» The Trouble With Vampires (Argeneau #29)
» Vampires Like It Hot (Argeneau #28)
» Don't Hex and Drive (Stay a Spell #2)
» Wolf Gone Wild (Stay a Spell #1)