Wolf Tracks (Granite Lake Wolves, #4)

Wolf Tracks (Granite Lake Wolves, #4)

by Vivian Arend



Dedication


This one’s for you—the readers. From Molli, who’s been begging for TJ’s story since day one, to the woman who emailed to tell me she read the whole series back to back over a weekend. You are why this story was even written. Thank you for taking the wolfies and giving them so much loving.





Chapter One


Pam let out a long, slow whistle and stared out the window to admire the scenery one more time. “Damn it, Maggie, I knew you were hiding something, but seriously. How many can I take home?”

A light tap on her arm dragged her attention away from the backyard and the succulent array of man flesh congregating there. “You’re supposed to be helping me, not drooling over the wedding guests.” Maggie turned her back and gestured over her shoulder. “Get the last of my buttons, will you?”

“Where did you get this gorgeous gown so quickly up here in the boonies? I mean, it’s been two months since you went north. Not that I’ve been calculating or anything, but sixty-seven days is a short time to fall in love, get engaged and arrange to tie the knot.” Pam slipped the last of the minuscule pearl buttons through the hoops. Two months since she’d seen her friend, and falling in love didn’t seem to be the only thing that had changed. Pam checked the bedroom they were in with a growing suspicion Maggie was keeping secrets from her. Something wasn’t sitting right, and over the years Pam had learned to trust her instincts.

“It’s my sister’s dress. I just had to add a little bit of lace to the bottom to deal with the difference in our heights.” Maggie twirled, the lacey layers of the skirt flying around her. Her short blonde curls bounced more wildly than usual, a thin silver tiara nestled amidst the chaos. “How do I look?”

Pam rolled her eyes. “Like a freaking pixie queen, as usual. God, why do you even ask? You’d be gorgeous in a paper bag.”

Maggie laughed.

It was now or never. “I need to know, Mags. Is this really something you want to do? Or are you getting married this fast because, oh, you feel you have to…”

Her best friend frowned. “Do you think I’m being forced into this? Seriously, I’m in love and I want to marry Erik.”

“You’re not pregnant and thinking this is the only way to deal with it, ’cause, if you are, I’d be totally fine with helping support you—”

“Pam!” Maggie trapped her in her arms, squeezed with the tightest bear hug possible. “Oh, sweetie, I’m honoured you’re willing to help me, but I’m not pregnant. I’m honestly and truly in love. I know it seems fast, but with some…people, you know it’s right.”

That was possible. Maybe. Pam had rarely seen it. She turned away to stop Maggie from reading her expression too closely. Just because she’d never seen a real-life “love you forever” didn’t mean it couldn’t happen, and someone’s wedding day was hardly the time to point that out. She sighed and tried to distract herself with the man candy again. “So. When you and Erik take off on your honeymoon, do I get to sample the locals?”

Maggie’s laugh tickled her ears and then everything was okay again. “You’re such a flirt. Go easy on them, heartbreaker. Hey, I need a few minutes alone. Why don’t you go explore? Come back in about twenty and I’ll be ready to roll.”

Pam kissed her cheek. “If you’re sure you’re sure.”

“God, go on. I’m a big girl now.” They grinned at each other with the familiarity of long-time friends before Pam scooted downstairs. She peeked into the bustling kitchen before wandering out into the yard.

“Hey, can I get you a drink?”

“Are you hungry?”

Suddenly surrounded by tall men in formal suits, her mouth watered. Another voice lifted over the others and a light touch landed on her shoulder.

“Here. For you.” A Gerard Butler look-alike offered her a glass of white wine. She shook her head. Did they think she just fell off the turnip truck? She didn’t take drinks from strange men, even drool-worthy ones.

“You’re Maggie’s friend, right?”

“Would you like to go for a walk for a few minutes? I can show you around the yard.”

One of them offered his elbow and she batted her lashes as she took it. Why not? She had time before Maggie wanted her back. A couple of children raced past their feet and Pam smiled as she watched the happy chaos filling the festively decorated yard. “Nice crowd for the wedding. Do all you boys live around here?”

It had been awhile since she’d had such tasty company, let alone this many good-looking guys. While the attention was diverting, she wasn’t in the market for a relationship while she was in the North. Nope. She’d do the “support my friend” thing with Maggie, take off for a little sightseeing, then it was back to civilization all the way. And beautiful men like these—well, a one-night stand would be fun but the bridesmaid getting it on at the wedding was a cliché she really wanted to avoid in this lifetime.

Maggie’s fiancé strode over, towering above the other men. Pam chuckled. While he’d turned out to be one of the good guys, she’d still kick his butt if he needed it, no matter how big he was. No one messed with her friends, and Maggie was her oldest friend. BFF and all that shit.

“You doing okay? The boys treating you right?” Erik glanced around, his expression stern, and the fawning crew raced away like they’d been shot out of a cannon. Pam stared at their retreating backs with growing suspicion. No way. If he’d put them up to it…

“I guess that’s the question, isn’t it?” She narrowed her eyes. “I was getting the royal treatment. That your doing?”

Erik held up his hands, palms out. “Trust me. I don’t feel like having you tear a strip off me. If they’re hanging around, it’s because you’re interesting. Just don’t break too many hearts, okay? I’d hate to have to listen to sucky love songs during karaoke night for months after you leave.”

Pam laughed. “Okay, you’re safe. I believe you.” She shook her head as she glanced up and down his length. “What the hell do you guys eat up here? Is there like a fountain of hugeness or something? I’ve counted at least two dozen men over six-three in height.”

He grinned at her. “It’s the water. Seriously good. Hey, Maggie says she needs you one last time, but I was hoping to introduce you to my best man first.” He glanced around. “Only he seems to have disappeared.”

Pam waved a hand at him. “I’ll meet him when we do the little walk-thing around the yard. Maggie explained the procedure and I’m cool with the ceremony. I’d better run and see what she wants. Just in case she’s getting cold feet and wants me to call the whole thing off on her behalf.”

She hid her amusement as his smile drained away. “You don’t think she would? But…”

It had taken years to perfect the fake concerned expression she wore as she nodded sympathetically at him. “I’m sure it will be fine, but I’d better go settle her down. You stay here and try not to worry.” She patted him on the arm and went back upstairs, snickering evilly.

Maggie met her at the top of the landing. Pam tried to wipe her face clean of her grin, but they’d been best friends for too long.

“Who are you tormenting now? Pam, you promised not to freak people out with your weird sense of humour.”

Someone stepped to the side of Maggie. Pam turned to face the young man and stopped dead. My oh my. She flushed at the expression in his eyes. The last time a guy had stared at her like that, the two of them had been naked, in the middle of a heated sexual exchange. He stripped her with his gaze and rather than feel indignant, her own interest rose. Of course, he was too young for her, but still… Hot damn, he was hot. Darkish skin, black hair. Eyes so black the pupils and irises bled together. That must be it—his pupils—it only looked like he was one step away from ravishing her.

“Pam, I’d like you to meet TJ. He’s a good friend and works with Erik as a wilderness guide. He’s going to be our best man.”

TJ held out his hand, stepping closer, and she forced herself to resist backing away. She grasped his fingers, intending to give him a firm business-like handshake when he flipped her palm down and raised her hand to his mouth. “My pleasure. Really.”

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