“Hmm?” My coworker dragged her gaze away from the conference room, where it had gotten awfully quiet again.

I tapped my pencil on my desk, thinking as I stared down at the list. “Can you think of any supernaturals that can turn someone?”

“Turn someone?”

“You know, turn someone,” I said. At her suspicious look, I pointed at the conference room, where a low rumbling argument between two men could be heard, interspersed by an occasional higher voice that was probably Bathsheba, trying to interject some common sense into the argument.

Ryder shook her head. “Bad timing,” she mouthed. “Let it rest.”

But I couldn’t afford to let it rest. I stared down at the paper, thinking, as the voices now rose in the conference room.

“This is abominable!” Vic shouted. “A disgrace!”

Ooo, abominable made me think of yeti. Were-yeti? I wrote it down and put a question mark next to it. Then I scratched it out. No one in their right mind wanted to be a yeti. Gross.

I chewed my eraser, thinking. Fae? They were born, not made, but they were also secretive. Maybe they knew something—

The bell clanged against the glass of the front door, signaling that someone had entered the office. I looked up, putting a smile on my face . . .

And sighed with dismay at the sight of the man strolling in. Joshua Russell, my least favorite client ever. “Hi, Josh,” I said in my most bored voice.

He grinned, making a beeline for my desk.

Damn it. I sighed and pushed the notepad under a stack of reports again, then focused my attention on the tall, sexy man standing in front of my desk. My gaze was just at crotch height, which made things a bit awkward when I was trying to ignore the man.

Suddenly a large, perfect rose appeared under my nose. “For you, beautiful.”

I pushed it aside. Some flirts never changed. “Nice try, Josh. I’m human, remember?”

“Yes, but you’re an Alliance human. That’s different,” he said with a devastating grin that would have knocked the panties off any were-cat in the area. “Different is good.”

“I have a pollen allergy,” I lied in my stiffest voice and gave him a prim look.

He sighed as if defeated, but sauntered over to Ryder’s desk instead, presenting her with the flower. She looked up from her reports, grinned at him, and took the flower with a wink.

Good. Maybe he’d leave me alone now.

Like the other big cats his entire clan was infamous for, Joshua Russell was a mix of power and playfulness. I studied him under my lashes as he chatted with Ryder, leaning over her desk. His brown hair was cropped short, just barely a buzz under his black Russell Security baseball cap. There was an attractive hint of scruff on his strong jaw, as if he’d forgotten to shave. Like all of the Russell were-cougars, he had strong, masculine features. Where his brother Beau’s features were a little more refined, more stern, Josh’s seemed to be made for laughing. He had a ridiculous dimple in one cheek that flashed now and then, and his eyes were an unfair shade of blue, framed by lashes thick enough to make any woman jealous. His shoulders were big and brawny, and when he wore a tight shirt—like he was today—you could see the outlines of his pectorals and the bulge of his biceps. Yet these almost paled in comparison to his deliciously tight ass, which was currently pointed toward my desk. I stared at it. What a shame that such a beautiful piece of male flesh was attached to such an overt horn-dog.

He glanced over his shoulder just in time to catch me staring at his ass. I flushed and averted my gaze, but not before I caught his grin.

Damn it.

I sighed inwardly as he strolled back to my desk and dropped into the chair across from me. I shot him an irritated glance. “Can I help you with something?”

“I think I caught you checking me out, Marie.”

“You did not,” I said stiffly.

“It’s fine if you can’t admit it.” He leaned forward and whispered, “I’m told my ass is quite biteable.”

I leaned toward him in return. “Your mom doesn’t count.”

Josh grinned, then sniffed the air and slid my notepad out from underneath the pile of paper.

How the hell had he known that was there? I tried to snatch it back, but I was too slow. Josh held it aloft, then stood, reading it aloud. “Potentials—vampires, were-anything, fae. Yeti?” He glanced over at me. “Grocery list?”

“I’m helping a client decide who to date,” I said, holding my hand out for the pad.

He waved it at me. “You’re not being very choosy for your client here. Were-anything?”

“Just give it back,” I snapped. “And tell me why you’re here so I can get you out the door and get on with my life. Do you need a date? There’s a shock.”

“Ah, a date,” Josh said, dropping the list onto my desk and slouching back in the chair again. He gave me a thoughtful look, those long lashes over his gorgeous eyes making him look sleepy—or sexy—or both. His gaze was intense, but his smile was disarming. “You think I should? I’m still avoiding the last girl.”

I snorted. The last girl he’d dated hadn’t been too thrilled when Josh had never called her back. She’d called me to gripe about it, since I was the one that had paired the two of them.

I reached for the list again and he pulled it out of reach, waggling his eyebrows at me. Ugh. Determined, I got up, moved around the desk, and snatched the list back out of his hands.

As I stalked back to my chair, I eyed him. “You should try dating someone more than once. Don’t quote me on it, but I hear that’s how you have a relationship.”

He didn’t seem deterred by my waspish tone. “And you’re the relationship expert? How long have you dated your boyfriend?”

I had no boyfriend. “I don’t date.”

“All the more reason you should date me. I’d change your mind.”

“I especially don’t date clients.”

“First time for everything.”

Criss, I cussed mentally in my mother’s French. Talking to him was like running in circles. I turned to my computer and began to type in his profile number. He came in so often that I had it memorized. At least, that’s what I told myself. “How about a were-jaguar?”

“Too pushy. I like girls that are a little tart but melt in my arms.”

I rolled my eyes. Oh brother. “Harpy?”



“All they want to do is hike. I’m more of a ‘curl up in front of the fire and get to know each other’ kind of guy.”

I’d just bet he was. “Fae?”

“Too delicate. I like a girl I can grab.”

Oh, you are a pig. “Vampire?”

He touched his nose. “Not a fan of the dead smell.”

I turned from my keyboard in exasperation. “Why don’t you tell me what you’re looking for, and I’ll see if we have a profile that might match that description?”

Josh skimmed a finger in lazy circles on the surface of my desk. “I didn’t say I was here for a date. Unless you’re willing, of course.”

“Then why are you here?”

He gestured at the back room, where the sounds of arguing still continued. “Heard that Vic Merino was going to be stopping by in a fury, and those tigers like to roar. Thought I’d come give my brother some backup before heading off to work.”

My eyes narrowed at him. “So why all the pretense about your dating choices?”

“You tell me, Marie. You’re the one who’s so quick to try and get me laid.”

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