Primal Heat(Wild Lake Wolves Book 3)(3)

By: Kimber White

“Yes. Yes I do, Congressman Foster.”

Foster threw his head back and laughed, revealing a row of pearl white veneers. He thrust his hand across the table, prompting me to shake it again. I did. This time, he clasped his other hand over mine and smiled.

“Good hire, Dale,” he said. “I gotta feeling about her. Now put her to work on something that matters.”

I rose to my feet, my hand still in Foster’s, and straightened my skirt. Dale grumbled something beside me then gestured back toward the door. Foster let me go and was already fumbling for something else on his desk. Dale closed the door behind us.

“That went well,” he said, somewhat begrudgingly. “You never know if you’re gonna get Good Landon or Bad Landon. Consider yourself lucky for now.”

I was already learning that taking a neutral stance with Dale was likely the wisest course. We went back to my desk and he got me set up with Lexis passwords and a stack of files on a few new bills coming to vote in a few weeks. I wanted to introduce myself to the rest of the staff, but Dale didn’t so much as look their way through any of it. Mercifully though, he soon left me alone with my files and government-issued laptop. I got started, immersing myself in the files first.

Much later, the growling of my stomach indicated the passage of time. I’d been at the files for hours. I might have carried on like that. I had an apple and a protein shake in my messenger bag and planned to work straight through until someone told me to stop or they cut the lights. Dale finally walked out of his office and stood in the open doorway of the congressman’s just as I got through the last file. I rose from my desk intending to ask either of them what they’d like from me next.

I got just as far as Dale’s shoulder when the elevator doors at the end of the hall opened behind me and every hair along my spine stood on end.

My back stiffened and a whoosh of air skittered across my neck. The ground thudded with heavy footsteps. Their owner moved with the force of an avalanche as he strode down the hall toward us. My eyes traveled over muscled forearms where he’d rolled up his crisp white dress shirt. His red tie swung across his broad chest as he charged toward Foster’s office. As he passed me, I got an eyeful of his gray designer suit pants tailored perfectly over his taut rear end. My eyes caught Dale’s as his mouth gaped open. It took him a second, but Dale recovered long enough to speak.

“You can’t just barge in here.”

The man turned, his eyes blazing hot. My blood simmered and heat shot straight through me. He was big, built, with piercing blue eyes that flashed bright. Another werewolf, to be sure. But, this guy was different. Commanding. Scary as hell. And gorgeous.

“Like hell,” he said, his voice sending a vibration straight along my spine. He held up a rusted metal object in one hand and headed toward Foster’s desk. Foster leaned back in his chair and fixed a lopsided smile on his face.

“Here we go,” Dale whispered near my ear. “Pay attention. This might be your next project.”

“Mr. Lanier? What a pleasant surprise,” Foster said, sarcasm dripping from each syllable.

Lanier lobbed the metal object in the middle of Foster’s desk, scattering papers and leaving a chink in the wood. It was a great, heavy thing, with lethal-looking serrated edges in a semi-circle.

“Don’t look surprised,” Lanier said. He stood back and ran a hand through his mass of auburn hair. The wavy edges brushed his collar. “There are about a half a dozen more leg traps out there where that one came from.”

Foster steepled his fingers beneath his chin and leaned back in his chair. Lanier’s chest heaved. The air seemed to crackle around him with his barely contained rage.

“Leg traps,” Foster said. “You think I put them there?”

Lanier shook a finger at him. “I’ve been telling you for months we’ve got a poacher problem. And I’ve also told you what’s going to happen if I catch one.”

“Poachers.” Foster leaned forward and dropped the smile. He narrowed his eyes and smacked both palms flat on the desk. “Does it say Department of Natural Resources on my office door? How is this my problem?”

Lanier made a noise low in his throat that made gooseflesh cover me. My heart thundered in my ears, and I wasn’t even the focus of his anger. Foster kept a brave face, but I saw the corner of his eye twitch. He was scared. Lanier knew it too. He leaned forward, planting his own palms on the desk.

“I’m the only reason you’re sitting behind that desk. If you want to keep sitting behind that one or get a bigger one you’ll need to go through me as well. If I find another one of these on Bonner’s property or anywhere else in Wild Lake, or if any of my people get so much as a scratch on them, I plan to hold you personally responsible.”

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