Primal Heat(Wild Lake Wolves Book 3)(7)By: Kimber White
She pointed over my shoulder toward the building. “That’s the way.”
I rose to my feet and wiped my eyes. “Thanks, Iris. I mean it.”
She clucked again and waved her hand. Then, she threw up a middle finger toward the back of the bus as a new round of honking rose to a crescendo behind us.
“Hurry up!” she called after me as I headed down the stairs to the curb. “And I meant what I said. Steer clear of those wolves, baby. They’re nothing but trouble for girls like you!”
My back stiffened as her words carried over the quad, and I got a few blank stares from some of the other students hustling into the building. A new blush heated my cheeks. I turned around and thrust my chin out at Iris as she kept on waving then drew a finger across my neck, gesturing for her to shut it.
Her loud, infectious laughter had me smiling as I turned and readjusted the weight of my bag and headed into the building.
My breath hitched and gooseflesh spread across my neck as if I had some premonition. Wolves, she said. Stay away from wolves. I wonder how my life would have turned out if I had listened.
If I had any intentions of heeding Iris’s warning, they were shattered the next morning when Dale sat on my desk. Day two and he’d already started making a habit of it. He cleared a space and plopped his wide rear end on the edge of it then leaned down to talk to me.
“Field trip today,” he said, plastering a smile on his face.
“Okay?” Just yesterday he’d warned me this job would involve hours of staring at my computer screen. Which it had. I wondered why the sudden change.
Dale pulled a thick brown envelope wrapped with a rubber band from beneath his arm. “The congressman is working on the draft of a new wetlands conservation bill. He’s had some input from some of the local landowners around here. Which he values, of course. But, some hold more sway than others, and that’s just a fact. One in particular requires special handling. That’s where you come in today?”
“Special handling?” I did not like the near smirk on Dale’s face when he said it. Smarmy seemed to be his default mood.
“In person,” Dale offered by way of explanation. “We’ve got some reports and the congressman’s notes on some of the language. We need them hand delivered.”
My mouth went dry. In person delivery. I hoped this VIP constituent could be found within walking distance. He never asked, and I’d never found the occasion to tell Dale Thorp I rode the bus.
“Wild Lake Corporate Headquarters off of Exit 19. You know where that is? At the base of the water tower. You can’t miss it. Look for the giant bronze wolf statutes.”
“I, uh. I’d be happy to do it. It’s just, I don’t have a car today.”
Dale gave me a quizzical look then reached into his jacket and pulled out a single key. “You do have a valid driver’s license though?”
Dale lobbed the key at me and I caught it one-handed. “Silver Town Car on the first floor. My parking spot is marked. Try not to take more than an hour. When you get back, I need you to sink your teeth into an eminent domain memo we need by early next week. Grace has all the particulars.”
I grabbed my messenger bag and slid Dale’s file into it. It strained the straps to close it, but I managed.
“Who do I ask for when I get there?”
Dale gave me that shit-eating grin again. “You’re seeing Lanier.”
My fingers froze on the buckle of my bag. I pasted on a bright smile and tried to keep moving so Dale wouldn’t notice my reaction. Sebastian Lanier. It seemed quite literally, Dale intended to feed me to the wolf.
“Is Mr. Lanier expecting me?” I asked, though my tongue felt like sandpaper. My heart thudded in my breast. God, what was wrong with me?
Dale’s eyes raked over me and I swear they settled on the pulse beating near my temple. I wondered how much his werewolf senses told him about my inner turmoil.
“Relax,” he said, reaching out to grasp a strand of my hair. I’d worn it down today, holding the thick mass of it back with a black headband. He rolled it between his fingers, and for a second, I expected him to lean down and sniff it. If he had, I’d already done the mental calculations about how hard I could smash him with my bag. Something bad was brewing with Dale Thorp. I just prayed this wouldn’t go down the path I feared. He had creep vibe oozing out of every pore. I needed this internship, but not that badly.