Written in Red Page 105

Lots of things she could do tomorrow. Lots of things.

Meg turned off the radio and heard the quiet sounds coming from the back room.

“Merri Lee? Is that you?” She had been stopping in at A Little Bite for the past few days, but Tess might have sent someone over with her meal. “Julia?”

What pushed open the door and came into the sorting room wasn’t a human or a Hawk.

The Wolf was a terrible kind of beauty, and so much more than the pictures she’d been shown of the animal, who paled in comparison to what the terra indigene had made of that form. Big and muscled, the Wolf approaching her had a dark coat shot with lighter gray hairs. Meg wasn’t sure if it was the coat or something else about his nature that made him seem less substantial when he moved, made the eyes struggle to see him.

How many people had thought they were hallucinating right up until the moment they were attacked?

The amber eyes held a feral intelligence—and an annoyed frustration she recognized.

“Mr. Wolfgard?”

The Wolf cocked his head.


He opened his mouth in a wolfish grin.

She recognized him. Points for her.

Then she looked at him again. Sam was going to grow up to look like that? “Wow.”

He wagged his tail and looked pleased. Then he began sniffing his way around the room, making happy growls when he poked around in the corner that used to have a nest of mice. She stepped aside when he got to her part of the room, and she had the impression the passing sniff he gave her would have been much more thorough if she’d stood still. So she took another step back and didn’t say anything when he poked his nose around Sam’s bed.

He headed for the back room, his shoulder brushing her waist as he passed her.

She stayed where she was.

That was what was hiding inside the human skin? That strength, those teeth? No wonder the Wolves hadn’t let her see them until she got used to living in the Courtyard. Sam running toward her for a pretend hunt had been scary enough. Being chased by a pack of grown Wolves . . .

People who entered the Courtyard without an invitation were just plain crazy! Wolves were big and scary and so fluffy, how could anyone resist hugging one just to feel all that fur?

“Ignore the fluffy,” she muttered. “Remember the part about big and scary.”

Then she heard sounds that had her rushing into the back room.

“What are you doing?” she yelped.

He had opened all the cupboards and found the puppy cookies. The ripped top of the box was in pieces on the floor. He grabbed one side of the box and shook his head, dumping a few cookies on the floor.

“Stop that!” Meg scolded. “Stop! You’ll set a bad example for Sam.”

She didn’t think, didn’t even consider the stupidity of what she was doing. She just grabbed the other side of the box and tried to pull it away from him.

Never play tug-of-war with a Wolf who weighs twice as much as you do, she thought as it became clear to her that her shoes had better traction, but he had more feet and more experience playing the game.

Before she could figure out how to gracefully end the contest, the box ripped and cookies went flying.

Simon dropped the box and dove for the cookies. Licked one off the floor—crunch, crunch—then swallowed before going after the next one.

“Don’t eat off the floor!” Meg shoved him away from the cookies, surprising a growl out of him.

They stared at each other, him with his lips raised to show her an impressive set of teeth, and her realizing that it had probably been a lot of years since anyone had dared push him away from food he wanted.

She stepped back and tried to pretend she was dealing with a big version of Sam the puppy, since that felt safer than dealing with Simon the dominant Wolf . . . and her boss.

“Fine,” she said. “Go ahead and stuff yourself with cookies. But you’re going to be the one who explains why there aren’t any left when Sam comes to visit.”

Turning her back on him, she strode into the sorting room and kept going until she reached the counter in the front room, her legs shaking more and more with every step.

“Let him have the cookies,” she muttered as she watched a white van pull into the delivery area. “Maybe they’ll fill him up enough that he’ll forget about wanting to eat the annoying female.”

Pulling her clipboard from the shelf under the counter, she waited for the last delivery of the morning.

* * *

Henry stepped into his yard and reached back to shut the workroom door. The wood had stopped speaking to him a few minutes ago, so he had put his tools away and tidied up. He would get something to eat at Meat-n-Greens, then take care of the new library books—however many were left. Fortunately, there would be a list so he would know what books were supposed to be on the shelves.

The Crows on the wall were uneasy—and silent.

<What?> Henry asked.

<Stranger went inside with a box. He talks with the Meg.>

Nothing unusual about that. Now that they finally had a decent Liaison, they were getting more deliveries.

He breathed in cold, clean air—and breathed out hot anger as the scent from over the wall reached him. It belonged to the intruder who had broken in when Meg had first come to work for them and was living in the efficiency apartment.

An intruder who was now inside the office, talking to Meg.

<Simon?> he asked the Crows.

<Inside with the Meg,> Jake replied.

<Stay quiet.> He opened the workroom door, then pulled off his boots and socks. Putting them inside, he closed the door.

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