Wolver's Rescue
that made her appear tiny in
stature.
    The pinched looked on her face did something
to his insides he didn’t like. He had a sudden urge to bathe her
himself, wrap her in something soft and warm, and feed her the
biggest steak he could find. He shook the feeling off. This was
business and pity had no place in it.
    “ Why don’t you go get
yourself cleaned up a little?” He pointed to the back of the room
where the bathroom was located.
    He saw a flicker of interest on her face, but
it disappeared as quickly as it came. He tried again.
    “ Go on. I won’t bother you
while you’re in there and you’ll feel better after a hot
shower.”
    She didn’t smile, nod, or shake her head in
objection. She showed no emotion at all, simply got up and walked
toward the bath, following his order like a robot. He heard the
water turn on and, satisfied she was doing what she was told,
thought no more about it as he leafed through the stack of menus in
the nightstand drawer. He only began to worry when he knocked on
the door a few minutes later to ask what she wanted him to order
for her meal and got no answer. He knocked again, a little harder
and louder.
    “ Hey! Um...” Shit! He didn’t
even know her name. “Are you okay?”
    He listened to the water from the shower, a
smooth and solid drumming against the old metal tub. There was no
one in that shower. What if she’d suffered internal injuries during
her captivity? What if starvation had finally taken its toll? In
spite of her condition, she’d seemed strong, but maybe that
strength came from adrenalin and not from her inner core. Had he
pushed her too hard? Maybe he should have carried her across the
grounds as he had to the truck. Maybe that fragile body had given
out and she’d collapsed on the bathroom floor.
    “ I’m coming in,” he called
through the closed door, giving her one last chance to answer. He
turned the knob, found it locked and heaved his shoulder against
it. He countered the force of his shoulder with a tight grip on the
knob. The bathroom was small and he didn’t want to injure her
further with a blow from the opening door. He opened it slowly and
met no resistance.
    There was no body on the floor, no body in
the shower. There was, however, an open window over the toilet, so
small he’d doubted the skinny little wolver would fit through it.
But she had. The sneaky little fraud had played him.
    He stuck his head out the window, looked both
ways, and saw exactly what he expected to see. Not a damn thing.
Fortunately, he had something better than sight. She couldn’t do
anything to mask the scent of her body or the dead man’s
clothing.
    His escapee had a good ten minutes’ head
start, but she was barefoot and weak and unlikely to hitch a ride
or call the cops. Either of those could land her back at the
clinic.
    Bull stripped off the polyester slacks and
poly blend shirt he wore for work and pulled on a pair of jeans and
a pure cotton tee. Leather boots replaced the work shoes.
Synthetics didn’t do well during a shift and the crepe soles would
never survive the change. He left everything else behind except the
room key which he hid under a loose bit of pavement when he reached
the back of the building. Then he pushed his way through the
overgrown shrubs that blocked the view of the business next
door.
    Breathing deeply, Bull relaxed his shoulders,
dropped his head to his chest, and pulled the force of the moon
into his body. The full moon was a few days away, but the call was
strong enough and Bull answered it. His wolf leapt with the joy of
it.
    Muscles contracted and reformed. Bones
crackled as they reshaped. Snout stretched, and short, pointed ears
sprouted along with the heavy coat of brown fur.
    The wolf chuffed and chortled with pleasure.
His hind feet scuffed at the dirt beneath them. He pranced from
side to side in his excitement. The human Bull had to shout to make
himself heard.
    “ We need to find the
spitfire.”
    The wolf snarled,

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