Slumber Page 64

“So, Captain, when did you arrive?”

The sound of my voice made Wolfe tense and he glanced sharply at me. “Apparently a few hours after you and Miss Moss left for the Pool. Sarah and Jonas convinced me you were in safe hands and that it would better if I stayed with them to await your return.” That last word he emphasised with an edge and his eyes suddenly turned dark with pure, undiluted fury. I tensed. I had expected him to be mad, but this… He looked ready to explode. “Jonas told me how L and he found you. Where they found you. With whom. In what state.”

The breath whooshed out of my body. I hadn’t ever wanted Wolfe to know about the Mountain Man. I looked away and scraped at my plate. “I see.”

“Rogan…”

“Later, Wol- Captain.”

Just as I had not wanted to, Wolfe and I had created tension at the table. I shifted uncomfortably.

“So, Captain Wolfe,” L suddenly piped up. “How be ye findin’ Rogan?”

Yes, I thought, glancing over at him. How had he found me at the Moss’?

Wolfe shrugged. “I’m a Glava as well, Miss Moss. I have a heightened sense of intuition.”

L threw me a look. I had told her about Wolfe being Glava but had not mentioned this ability. I shrugged back at her. I hadn’t known about that ability. I sighed and refused to look at him. Wolfe was powerful. Extremely powerful. He could move things with his mind, call upon the elements, and he had some psychic talent as well. I had never heard of the like. Perhaps that’s why he hadn’t trusted me enough to tell me. I chanced a glower at him but Wolfe caught it. The glare he threw back said “Don’t be mad at me for not trusting you. You who didn’t trust me and got yourself almost raped in the Alvernian Mountains.”

I grimaced and turned from him. L threw me a sympathetic smirk.

Chapter Twenty Eight

The sun bit into the morning chill and I breathed in the crispness of a summer morning in the Alvernian Mountains, feeling far more exuberant than I had in weeks. I had the plant, I was no longer alone, and I was heading back to Silvera to save Haydyn.

Sarah, Jonas and Jnr stood on the porch of their home while L helped me on with my pack. I could feel Wolfe waiting impatiently behind me at the end of the garden path, having already thanked the Moss’ for their hospitality and made his goodbyes. Jnr was not amused to see Wolfe’s sudden departure and was blaming me. He refused to say goodbye to me.

“Right,” L said briskly, handing over the hunting knife.

I shook my head. “I can’t take anything more from you.” I was already wearing her clothes and carrying their food. They had so little, and yet they gave so generously.

L gave me one of her characteristic scowls. “Ye be refusin’ to let me escort ye down the mountain, so ye be takin’ the damn knife.”

I hid my smile. Last night, L had made quite a stink when I told her she was staying with her family, that I would be alright now that I had Wolfe with me. She’d given Wolfe, in his fine clothing, with his nice hair and skin, a dubious look. Wolfe had good-naturedly let her pick at his ‘obvious uselessness’ as she called it. I felt an ache in my chest as L had gone on and on, pretending to be put out. She was worried about me.

I took the knife and held her gaze. “You and your family must come to Silvera to see me, L. I’ll arrange it.” I nodded hopefully, looking past her to Sarah and Jonas. They smiled at the idea so I took that to mean yes.

“Ye isn’t meaning that,” L sniffed, kicking dirt on the path self-consciously, not looking me in the eyes. “Ye’ll go back to yer fancy world and forget all about me and mine.”

“L.” I grinned, grabbing her arms. “L, you’re just about the most unforgettable person I’ve ever met. And if you don’t come to see me in Silvera, then I’m going to crawl all the way back up this mountain to you.”

She reddened a little but she looked please. “Well no need to be gettin’ all melodramatic on me,” she drawled, waving me off.

I laughed, feeling that pang again. I felt as if I’d known her forever, and I was sorry to leave her and her family up here in these forsaken hills. I’d be back for them though. I was going to make sure they never had to worry about anything again. Ignoring L’s gruffness I tugged her into a hug and was surprised by how tight she held me. After a moment she patted me on the back and pulled away. Both our eyes were bright.

“Ye be careful,” she warned and then peered around me to Wolfe. She threw him her famous scowl. “Ye be watchin’ o’er this one, Captain Wolfe.”

“I promise, Miss Moss.”

“Miss Moss,” L muttered under her breath and then threw me a look. “Ye ever heard the likes.” Still muttering under her breath like an old woman, L turned on her heel to join her family on the porch. Wolfe and I waved one last time and then I walked away with him in a mixture of reluctance and anticipation.

We’d been walking an hour and still Wolfe hadn’t said a word to me. The tension between us was thick and uncomfortable; even my teeth ached with it. I concentrated on watching where I was going, thankful to Sarah who had healed all my new blisters again. I’d probably have a few by the time we got off the mountains but maybe not so many. My feet were already feeling harder and stronger. That morning as I’d pulled on L’s trousers and shirt, I realised how much weight I’d lost since I’d left Silvera. My calves and thighs had slimmed with muscle, my stomach flatter from eating sparingly and walking the hills. Still, despite our similar heights, L was wiry and I was still curvy; she wore her trousers tight, and on me they were indecent. I’d forgotten all about propriety up in the mountains without anyone from home to see me. But now that Wolfe was around, I was suddenly painfully aware of how revealing these clothes were. I had put my borrowed coat on over the top of the trousers and shirt before Wolfe had seen them. I wouldn’t be removing it.

The silence continued between us, Wolfe keeping a careful distance, enough for me to know he wasn’t speaking with me, but not enough so he couldn’t keep an eye on me. I kept waiting for his explosion of indignation and anger, and when it didn’t come I was strangely hurt.

The tension only grew thicker as the afternoon wore on and we found ourselves at the outskirts of Shadow Hill. Before I could warn Wolfe, he turned to me with a finger to his lips, hushing me. He knew about Shadow Hill. Either the Moss’ had warned him, or he may have already met Brint in Hope o’Hill and Brint had warned him. We moved on the outskirts of the town with stealth and quiet, the voices in the distance making my heart pound. I grew unbearably warm under my coat. It was with a sigh of relief when we made it past the Hill without incident, and carried on at a quicker pace down the mountain. Again, we were making good time at this speed.

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