Home > While the Wolf's Away (White Wolf #4)

While the Wolf's Away (White Wolf #4)
Author: Terry Spear



Chapter 1

   Eager to get their clandestine meeting started, David Davis got ready for his weekly Skype session with Elizabeth Alpine. It was their only opportunity to visit face-to-face since she lived in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, and he was located near Ely, Minnesota, the gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

   They had to do this in secret because her Arctic wolf-pack leader, Kintail, would have done something drastic had he known they were still in touch. To say Kintail had issues with his pack members trying to break free was an understatement.

   Not that David would ever consider himself one of their pack, even if they did, technically, save his life. It was either be turned or die of a heart attack during a bear hunt gone terribly wrong in Maine. And he was glad he wasn’t dead, no complaints there. But once he was turned, Kintail and his pack thought they owned him.

   David had other ideas. And so did Elizabeth, which was why she’d helped him to escape.

   She’d meant to escape with him so they could make a home together in Seattle, Washington, where he was a PI, and be free of Kintail and the pack, but Elizabeth’s grandmother, Ada, had gotten sick. Elizabeth couldn’t abandon her only family; she would forever have regretted it. Ada had often told David that Elizabeth just needed to leave to be with him and get on with her life, and the pack would take care of Ada just fine.

   But Elizabeth wouldn’t have been just fine if she had left her grandmother in other wolves’ care. Especially with the way Kintail treated his pack. The other wolves might really want to help Ada but be prevented from doing so by Kintail.

   David drummed his fingers on the table as he placed the Skype call and waited for Ada to pick up. She was always trying to sneak in some “before time” with him. And sure enough:

   “Oh, David, you’re looking more handsome every time I see you.” Ada smiled. “I want you to come and take Elizabeth away from here before I’m gone. Kintail and his men are bound to be watching her to ensure she doesn’t leave as soon as I’ve passed on to join my dearly beloved mate.”

   They’d been over this a dozen times before. David smiled gently. “Elizabeth needs to be there for you for her own peace of mind and for yours. But as soon as—”

   “No. Now. I feel it in my bones that I could go any minute now. Oh, scratch that. You smile at me and look at me with those big, adoring brown eyes, and I almost forget I’m as old as an ancient oak tree. If Elizabeth and I could trade places, I would be racing out of here to be with you. She’s a silly goose to waste her life away here without you.”

   Sometimes, Ada’s curly white hair was piled high on top of her head in a chic coiffure, as if she were getting ready to go to a dance. Other times, like today, her hair was long and silky and down around her shoulders as she lay in her big bed. She did seem more tired than usual, but she still had good days too. Besides, David was used to this line of conversation. Ada had been saying she could go any minute now ever since Elizabeth had returned home to take care of her. He smiled wider and gave her a wink for good measure. “You’re not going anywhere and good thing too. Who would sing my praises if you weren’t around?”

   “Are you on Skype already?” Elizabeth asked, hurrying into her grandmother’s room with a couple bottles of water. She sounded mildly accusative, but David knew it was a game the two women played, Elizabeth pretending to be late to the session, David and her grandmother getting on just a little early so she could chat privately with him.

   “Grandma, you know you’re not supposed to be on Skype without me. I never know what the two of you are plotting.” Elizabeth’s beautiful brown curls were partly up and partly down. She looked like she’d been working in her grandmother’s garden again.

   He hoped Elizabeth would love gardening in the plot at his cabin. He hadn’t planted anything there yet. He wanted it to be her garden. Every summer he kept it weeded, just in case he had to go rescue her and bring her home. In the winter, it lay dormant waiting for the spring. Waiting for her.

   “What am I plotting?” Ada said. “Running away with this handsome wolf since you won’t? We would make a lovely pair, wouldn’t we?” She sighed dramatically. “But alas, he only has eyes for you. You need to go to him.”

   “I can wait,” David said, like he’d said so many times before, because there had never been anyone like Elizabeth and he knew there never would be. “I’ll wait forever for you, Elizabeth, honey.” And he would. He would wait as long as he had to. But being together like this wasn’t the same as being together. The last time they’d actually been together, they’d been on the run from her pack leader. But staying in hotels and having unconsummated relations because wolves mated for life hadn’t really counted.

   Yet they’d known then and they knew now they only wanted each other.

   Still, he couldn’t help the doubts that crept in. When they were finally able to physically be together, safe from danger, would they still feel the same way about each other? When they finally lived in his cabin on the lake, and he was off working as a PI and she was… She was what? He didn’t even know what she would do when he was away on missions. Would the magic still be there?

   “She’s treated like an omega wolf here,” Ada was saying. “I’m not just crying wolf. She needs you and your pack’s protection. And she needs it now.”

   “Grandma, shush. I’m fine. I’m happy to be here with you, and I won’t leave until it’s…” Elizabeth took a deep breath, but the tears in her eyes said it all.

   David hated that Kintail was such an ass. He wanted nothing more than to swoop in and take Elizabeth away from her pack, get her out from under his control. David had been glad Elizabeth had more time with her grandmother before the end came, but he hated that Kintail and the other pack members were still giving Elizabeth grief for having freed David and his friend Owen. It’d been years since then, but Kintail knew how to hold a grudge; losing new wolves wasn’t something he would ever get over.

   Losing yet another wolf wasn’t something Kintail would stand for either. And Elizabeth would leave, the first moment she could. It might have been a different story with a different leader. If Elizabeth had been met with kindness, with understanding, maybe she would have stayed. But Kintail was who he was: Controlling. Demanding. Greedy for power. Kindness was weakness, and weakness was death.

   That’s why Elizabeth needed to be free.

   “Okay, so let’s go over the new plan of rescue and evasion, shall we?” That was Ada’s favorite topic of discussion when they had their weekly Skype sessions.

   “If I drove long days and didn’t stop for much, I could make it in three days going up and we could make it in three days coming back,” David said.

   “Right,” Ada said, as if she were making the trip herself.

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