Primal Heat(Wild Lake Wolves Book 3)(8)

By: Kimber White

I slung the strap over my shoulder, pulling my hair out of Dale’s grasp. He straightened his tie but didn’t leave his perch on my desk.

“Do I just ask at the front desk or is there some special entrance I need to know about?” I asked, keeping my voice toneless and flat.

“What? Oh. Right. Just ask at the front desk. Bas knows I’m sending someone over.”

“Is there anything else? I mean, am I just handing him these files, or was there some message I’m supposed to convey or take back?”

Dale finally stood and shrugged. “Just the files. I’m sure Mr. Lanier will let you know if he wants to send any message back.”

Great. After what I saw yesterday, I couldn’t imagine Lanier had anything kind and gentle to say about Dale or the congressman. I also had a strong feeling that whatever was in that file, it wasn’t something Lanier would be happy to see. I just hoped he wasn’t a kill the messenger type.

I gave Dale a curt nod and headed for the elevators. He called out to me as I pressed the down button.

“Like I said, relax. I’m pretty sure Bas won’t bite.”

Chapter Four

Wild Lake Outfitters World Headquarters sat on a hill off the exit. The bronze wolf sculptures stood twenty feet high and overlooked a churning water fountain. On any given day, you’d see a dozen or more tourists lined up to take their picture in front of the massive sculpture. The store sat behind it, constructed to look like a hunting lodge with blond timber and a high arch with custom floor to ceiling glass.

I’d been in the place exactly once, though most of the people I knew in Wild Lake had worked here at some point or another if they didn’t currently. More than just a hunting and sporting goods retailer, the place had a nature center, a giant freshwater aquarium featuring fish from the Great Lakes, and a petting zoo with rare albino deer in an adjacent paddock.

I straightened my skirt and headed for the corporate offices sign toward the back of the building. I took a glass elevator up to the third floor. I couldn’t stop myself from chewing on my thumbnail as I waited for the doors to open.

Sebastian Lanier. I never expected to see him again so soon after yesterday’s tirade. What kind of mood would he be in? Would his eyes still hold that contained fury? And if they did, would he blame me for the simple fact that Dale and Congressman Foster sent me here?

Cowards. That’s the best thing I could think to call them at the moment. Dale in particular. I didn’t know what bad blood flowed between those two, but he obviously sent me here today because he didn’t want to carry out this job himself. Well, there was nothing to do but take a deep breath and do my job. Internships were about grunt work. I wasn’t afraid to do it. It wasn’t just Dale’s and the congressman’s recommendation I could earn. I wouldn’t mind making a good impression on Lanier either. I just couldn’t help thinking about the impression he’d already left on me. One that had me positively panting as I stepped off the elevators and met the receptionist at the end of the hall.

I brushed a hair behind my ear and took a deep breath. “I’m from Congressman Foster’s office, Abby Winslow. I’m here to see Mr. Lanier.”

The receptionist shuffled papers on his desk and gave me a pleasant smile. He was long, lean, with manicured nails and jet black hair sculpted into a side part. He tapped an ear piece and looked back down the long hallway toward the inner offices. “He’s just getting back from lunch. Why don’t I set you up in Mr. Lanier’s office and he’ll be in shortly? Can I get you anything to drink? I’m Curtis, by the way.”

“Oh. I’m all right. Thanks.”

Curtis rose from behind his U-shaped desk and led me down the hallway, moving with the telltale preternatural grace of a wolf. So, it appeared I’d be surrounded by them this year.

Lanier’s offices couldn’t be more different than the congressman’s. There were no cubicles here. Just wide open spaces behind glass and long rows of brightly lit tables. Lanier had the corner office. Curtis opened the door and gestured for me to follow him in.

The view from the wall-to-wall windows took my breath away. The room faced away from the highway towards the park grounds. A pristine man-made pond sat at the edge of a wooded valley with a long wooden dock extending nearly to the center of it. Two mute swans dipped their heads beneath the water below then chased away a pair of mallard ducks. I imagined Lanier could sit at his desk and stare at that scene all day if he liked.

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