Primal Heat(Wild Lake Wolves Book 3)(9)

By: Kimber White

“Nice to meet you again, Abby. Call me Bas.”

God. Bas. The name was perfect for him. Strong. Solid. A vision flashed through my head of me calling it out in the heat of passion. I pulled my hand away perhaps a little quicker than I should have. But, my body sensed danger and desire all at once, like a moth to light. Bas trained those keen blue eyes on me and worked the muscles of his knife blade-sharp jaw.

I took a breath and turned away from him, heading for my messenger bag near the couch. “Mr. Thorp sent me with some paperwork on the new bill the congressman’s drafting. He wanted your notes on it.”

Bas didn’t move from his spot by the window. He just stood there, leaning against it as he watched every move I made. But, at the mention of Dale Thorp, tension came into his shoulders and his eyes flashed dark. I sat on the edge of the couch as I opened my bag and hauled Dale’s fat file out of it. As I moved to hold it out to him, the frayed rubber band snapped and half the papers spilled out of the envelope and onto the floor.

I bit my lip to stop the F-bomb from flying out as I leaned down to try and reassemble them. Bas was there, kneeling next to me. He moved in a blur of motion with speed that startled me and took my breath away. He put a hand on my shoulder and I swear, just that simple touch turned me molten from the inside out.

“I-I’m sorry,” I said, sliding awkwardly back on the couch.

Bas’s eyes were kind as he scooped the papers into a pile and set them on the table in front of us.

“How do you like working for Dale so far?” Bas asked.

“Oh. Mr. Thorp? It’s only my second day. I’m still kind of getting the lay of the land.”

Bas’s shoulders shook with a silent laugh and he shook his head. “That was your first day? Sorry about yesterday. I suppose you don’t have a great first impression of me. Honestly, I didn’t see you standing there when I barged in. That was . . . rude of me. And that was about something that goes way back between Congressman Foster and me. Nothing you need to worry about.”

I took the papers from the table and reassembled them with the others. “Was anyone hurt? In the traps I mean? Your people?”

For the second time, the space around me seemed to slow to a freeze frame as Bas’s eyes met mine. He moved closer to me, leaving no more than a few inches between us. He filled my vision and all my senses as if the world beyond the two of us receded to nothing. He didn’t touch me. Didn’t say anything, but as he held my gaze, he seemed to lay me bare and know what I was thinking. Even if he couldn’t, my skin flamed hot from another traitorous blush. I’d asked too much.

“My people?” he said, his tone sharp, but not unkind.

God. What had I been thinking? His people? Was it a secret? What was the politically correct way to refer to someone like him? I swear, the room fell so quiet I could actually hear myself blink.

Then, a slow smile played at the corners of Bas’s mouth and his eyes sparked with mirth. “What do you know about my people, Abby?”

I couldn’t help it, I smiled back and let out a small laugh. “Well, I suppose I shouldn’t have assumed, but if you’re trying to be stealthy about it, you’re failing.”

He ran his hand across his jaw and arched one ruddy brow. My eyes followed the line of it, traveling to his thick, golden red hair that he wore slicked back today except for an errant strand that hung down, cutting across his forehead and hanging just over his right eye. My fingers twitched with the urge to reach up and smooth it back. He leaned forward, sliding one hand on the back of the couch behind my shoulders, the other almost touching my thigh. He cocked his head to the side and spoke, dropping his voice low enough it came out more growl than words. But, oh, I understood him perfectly.

“Just what is it you think you know about me?”

I should have been afraid, I suppose. Maybe another woman would have been. But, there was something about the way he looked at me with his head tilted to the side, his body close enough I felt the heat coming off of him in waves. Bas Lanier was issuing a challenge. Would I rise to it, or would I shirk away?

I faced him straight on and smiled, my blood nearly coming to a boil as I drank in the curve of his broad shoulders and the way his collar strained against the muscles of his neck.

“Well, no offense, but I’m more of a cat person.” Then, I fixed my smile in place and gave him a wink before sliding away from him on the couch and rising to my feet.

For a moment, Bas sat frozen, his body leaning toward the space I’d just vacated. Then, he looked up at me and his face split into a wide grin. He threw his head back and let out a laugh that made the floor vibrate. He rose to his full height. Standing as close to me as he was, I had to strain my neck to keep eye contact. He really was huge. Six foot four. Maybe a little taller even. Even in my heels, he towered over me.

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