Howl For It Excerpt
Like a Wolf With a Bone
Eggie stared down at the She-wolf until her pretty brown eyes opened, blinking wide at the sight of him.
“Hungry?” he asked.
“Hungry? Oh. For food.” Yawning, she sat up and stretched. That’s when Eggie realized she’d put on one of his T-shirts…and not much else.
“You know,” she said, her smile bright, “I am hungry. Starving.”
“Good.” He had enough food. Hell, he had enough food for a small army.
He reached for Darla, slipping his arms under her legs and behind her back.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Picking you up.”
“I can walk, Egbert Ray.”
“You’re still recovering.”
He lifted her up, held her tight in his arms. “I do.”
She stared at him for a bit until she raised her hand and pressed her forefinger against his forehead. “You know, you’ve got this thing so dang low, it practically touches your nose.”
“I’m trying to intimidate you into doing what I want…this isn’t helpin’.”
She giggled, a sound he didn’t often hear that close to him and definitely not when he was the one causing it.
In fact, people didn’t giggle around Eggie. Or laugh. Or breathe too hard. Or make any sudden moves that might be construed as a threat. Nope. Not around Eggie.
But Darla did.
“Well,” she said, her finger stroking down to his nose, “if you’re gonna insist on carrying me, you better get movin’. I’m hungry!”
“All right. All right. No need to snarl at me like a Doberman.”
Eggie carried Darla down the stairs and cut through the living room to get to the dining room.
“Oh!” Darla squeaked, her hand covering her mouth. “Um…”
Eggie stopped. “What’s wrong?”
“Uh…nothing.” She cleared her throat. “I see you got furniture while I was asleep.”
“I couldn’t have you sittin’ on a barrel. Just seemed wrong for a lady. Momma said you wouldn’t care, but I asked one of my daddy’s sisters to send over some furniture from her mate’s store.”
“Ahhh. Yes. That explains it.”
Eggie looked at the big couch with the giant yellow and green flower pattern on it. “This doesn’t really say Egbert Ray Smith, does it?”
She pressed her lips into a thin line, shook her head. He had a feeling she wasn’t disapproving as much as trying not to laugh at him.
“Not really,” she finally managed to answer. “I’d probably go with more solid colors for you. Darker reds and browns. Maybe a dark blue. But you know what,” she added. “Ain’t nothin’ here we can’t discretely cover up.”
“It’s not like I’m ever here. Not sure it matters.”
“Trust me. It matters. Think about it, on those rare times you come home after months and months away…you walk through the door, throw on the light…and that couch is the first thing you see.”
Eggie nodded. “You know…my grandmomma made me a couple of quilts few years back. They’re in the upstairs closet.”
“Perfect. Because it won’t seem strange to your aunt that you’d put your Momma’s quilt on your couch. See? You can cover up dang near anything and never have to hurt anyone’s feelings.”
“Why would I worry about my aunt’s feelings? Actually…why would you? You don’t even know her.”
“Don’t have to know her. She was kind enough to rush furniture over here to her nephew and—”
“She charged me double on the shipping for the urgent delivery and no family discount on the furniture.”
“Oh, really?” Darla briefly pursed her lips. “Well, if you’re gonna pay full price with your own kin, you’re gettin’ what you want. We’ll take this crap back tomorrow and exchange it.” She folded her arms across her chest, fingers tapping against her bicep. He had a feelin’ if she were standing, she’d be tapping her foot right now.
“You don’t have to be upset, Darla Mae.”
“Who said I’m upset? Just ’cause family’s not treatin’ family right. It’s not like I haven’t gone through that or anything,” she finished on a mutter. She looked up at him. “I’m still hungry, Egbert Ray.”
“Okay, okay. No need to snarl.”
Although Eggie did kind of like when she did.