Primal Heat(Wild Lake Wolves Book 3)

By: Kimber White

Chapter One

You can’t grow up in near Wild Lake, Michigan without hearing rumors about werewolves. Everyone knows they’re here, but no one really likes to talk about it. Occasionally, an outsider might bring it up, his eyes filled with awe and wonder as he asks you if the stories are true. Do they change by the full moon? Are they killers? Do you actually know any? Up until now my answers, if I’d been crazy enough to even engage in the conversation, would have been “I doubt it,” “Probably, but so are regular people,” and “No.” By the end of today though, my last answer was going to change. Not only would I get to know one, but he’d sort of be my boss.

Dale Thorp, senior aid to Congressman Landon Foster, didn’t look like what I’d picture a werewolf would. He was short, for one. Only two inches taller than my five feet five inches. And rotund. But, when he got heated, which I quickly learned was often, the pupils at the center of his light brown eyes narrowed to slits and the irises flashed golden. That was the tip-off to his lupine secret for me. I tried not to stare or show alarm the first time it happened, about five seconds after I went through the metal detectors at the employee entrance of Congressman Foster’s district office in Wild Lake.

“Will I travel to D.C. ever?” I asked, trying not to break my neck over the three-inch heels I stupidly chose to wear on the first day of my internship. They slipped on the marble floor and I put a flat hand on the wall to steady myself before Mr. Thorp turned around and noticed.

Dale looked me up and down, setting his jaw to the side. “Not likely. I hope you don’t have the wrong impression about what this job is, Miss Winslow. You’re going to spend most of your time on Lexis staring at your computer screen. It won’t be glamorous. You do know how to write at least a legal memorandum, I hope. Fucking first years.” He muttered the last bit under his breath as he shook his head before he locked eyes with me again.

My blood heated and I took a steadying breath. Scorn filled Thorp’s eyes and I saw that first flash of gold. Of course I’d heard the rumors he was were, and now I believed it. I put a smile on my face and did my best to keep up with him as he strode down the hall. My legs were actually longer than his, so it should have been easy. But, Dale Thorp moved with preternatural speed, and that was my second clue to what he was if I even needed it.

“Legal research I can handle,” I said, hauling the thick leather strap of my messenger bag back over my shoulder. He stopped at the end of the hallway and held the door for me. “Just point me to my workstation and turn me loose.”

His nostrils flared as I brushed past him. It was only a fraction of a second, but his eyes closed as he inhaled my scent. My heart tripped in trepidation and a slow trickle of sweat formed between my shoulder blades. Some evolutionary fight or flight response threatened to unravel me on my very first day. I took another steadying breath and straightened my spine.

Were or not, I couldn’t let this guy intimidate me. I fought too hard to get this internship. It usually went to the first ranked student in the class at the end of the first year. But, this semester at Great Lakes University Law, the top student had a nervous breakdown of sorts right after Christmas. Numbers two through four had already accepted positions elsewhere. That left me, number five. And it wasn’t even summertime yet. It was early March and ice still covered most of Lake Michigan. But, Congressman Foster was in the middle of an election year and pulled the trigger early. Although the planets had aligned neatly for me, I wasn’t foolish enough to think they couldn’t misalign just as quickly.

“Do you smoke, Miss Winslow?” Dale still stood in the doorway, his hand on the knob. His nose wrinkled in disgust as he inhaled again.

“I do not.” That trickle of perspiration traveled straight between my shoulder blades and down to the small of my back. His eyes roved over me, judging.

“Well, you smell like it.”

Fuck. I kept my back straight as he brushed past me. We were in a large outer office filled with white-walled cubicles. Most of them were empty, but I got a few furtive glances from staff members as we walked by. Landon Foster’s office was at the end of an inner hallway with large, gold embossed letters covering rich mahogany. Thorp’s office was right next to it, though his had walls of glass. Presumably, so he could keep a watchful eye on the rest of us plebeians relegated to Planet Cubicle.