Tuesday Teaser 1/21/14: Wolf’s Lady part 3
Here is the third installment of my Tuesday Teaser Freebie. If you’re new to this story, you can do a search and pull up the Tuesday Teasers starting this year. Or search the “Wolf’s Lady” tag. As always, this hasn’t been edited or even proof read for typos. Please excuse any errors.
Snow grabbed his hands, keeping him from ripping his shirt off so he could release the wolf. His wolf clawed at his insides, demanding to be let loose so he could follow his mate. Sand tried to jerk free but Snow held on.
“What are you doing?” Snow hissed.
“My mate!” was all Sand could get out. “Let me go! My mate is in that box thing.”
For an instant Snow’s hands loosened, but he tightened them again. “Hold on, you can’t change here in the street. The City Guard—” he nodded at the uniformed men “—will shoot you if you do. Calm down. We’ll find her. Omaha is big, but there’s less than a thousand women here, and half of those are too young to be your mate or too old. What did she look like?”
It took effort, but Sand forced himself to take his fingers away from the buttons on his shirt. He drew a deep breath and closed his eyes, calling up the image of his mate. He’d seen her only from the side, but he knew he would recognize her again in an instant. “She’s about six or seven inches shorter than me. Soft, and round in all the right places. Her hair is down to the middle of her back. It’s staight and brown. Not plain brown. The glowing brown like that polished wood desk Taye got for the Lupa.”
“Walnut,” Snow supplied.
“Yeah. Her cheekbones are high. Her face is soft, her mouth is wide.” How he wanted to stroke a thumb over her lips! “I didn’t see her eyes, but I think they’re light. Green, maybe. Or blue. Her skin is very pale. She was wearing a skirt down to her ankles, light flowered fabric, floaty. Her shirt …” He swallowed, remembering the scrap of green fabric that barely covered the most beautiful body he’d ever seen. “She has a tattoo on her shoulder. It goes from her upper arm, across her shoulder down to her –er, under the neckline of her shirt.”
“Uh-huh.” Snow reached to pat the nose of their horse. “She sounds distinctive. I bet Sky can help us find her. “
“Yeah.” Sand began walking briskly in the direction of the river, where his cousin lived. “Let’s hurry.”
It was an hour walk, even hurrying as they were. There was a tall stone fence around Sky’s house. That wasn’t unusual. A man had to take steps to protect his property. The gates were made of fancy black iron twisted in ornate shapes. They were pretty but wouldn’t do much to keep attackers out.
A man he didn’t know came to the gate to ask their business. He looked tough, and was armed to the teeth. He was polite though, and became politer when Snow said they were Sky’s cousins, come to visit for a few months.
“Mr. Wolfe has been expecting relations to come,” he said, opening the gate. “Y’all sure do look alike. Stables are around back. There will be a boy there to take the horse. Mr. Wolfe is probably in his office this time of day.
As they passed through the gate Sand nodded approval when he saw a pair of secondary gates were made of stone. Not so pretty, but much stronger. Then he looked forward. The gravel drive was a tan ribbon cutting through green grass that stretched like a well-tended carpet a good half-mile to a tall, three story dark brick house sitting on a rise. The drive split and one fork became steps that marched up to the fancy front door, and the other curved away to the back of the house.
“This is where Sky lives?” he asked Snow. “This is his house?”
“Yep. Wait ‘til you see the inside.”
As they led their horse down the drive around the house, Sand got a good look at the place. It was huge! Had Sky suddenly become rich? Only a rich man could afford to live in a house like this. It had a fancy porch with white columns, and lots of tall narrow windows with white woodwork around them, and rounded sections Sand didn’t know what to call. He couldn’t believe his little cousin lived in a house a hundred times nicer than the den.
“He’s got humans living here, right?” he muttered to Snow. “Must be a bitch to heat in the winter.”
“Oh, sure,” Snow agreed. “Most rooms have fireplaces, but with the electricity generated by the river, it keeps pretty warm anyway. The ladies’ appointments wouldn’t appreciate coming into a cold room to do their business.
Before Sand could ask about appointments and business, a pair of men stepped onto the drive. “Paint!” Snow called joyfully.
Sand hung back a minute, examining the other man. He was a stranger with dark blond hair and brown eyes, his face hard and expressionless. Sand noted the burly shoulders and long arms. He could be trouble in a fight, Sand judged. Then Paint was pounding on his back.
“I’m glad to see you two!” he said, adjusting his eye patch. “Now I can head back to the den for a while. I don’t mind helping Sky out, but this place gets to me. You’ll know what I mean after a week or so.”
Sand suppressed a sigh. He hadn’t wanted to come in the first place. Except … His mate was here. In his amazement at seeing where Sky lived, he had almost forgotten that. He had to find her!
“This is Randy Tisdale. He’s one of Sky’s enforcers. Randy, this is my cousin Snow and my cousin Sand. I’ll take ’em in to see Sky. You’ll take care of their horse?”
Randy’s face still showed no warmth. Sand could respect that. They were strangers in his domain. “Sure,” Randy said in a gravelly voice.
Snow grabbed the saddlebag to carry into the house before following Paint up the back steps to a kitchen. Sand looked carefully around as the three of them passed through the kitchen to a narrow hall that led into an office. A man in a suit and tie sat at the desk, his dark hair short, his hands, pale and pampered, holding a pen. Who the hell wore a suit to sit at a desk?
The man looked up, blue eyes narrow under black brows, then he stood. He was as pretty as a girl, Sand thought derisively, before amazement unhinged his jaw.
“Sky?” he yelped.