“I’m telling you, Neil, this is big. Bigger than finding some serial killer murdering our gifted shifters,” Jake said as they stalked down the hallway.
Neil Duran glared at him. Jake was trying to soften the sting at his being yanked from his latest assignment. Being Robert Bryant’s eldest son and heir apparent to the Bryant Wolf Pack in their Pacific Northwest territory, he was “in the know” behind their High Alpha’s dictates.
Not that anything Rob could say was going to make Neil any less ticked off to the boiling point.
He was this close to actually finding the sick psychopath that was kidnapping, torturing and murdering their people. Being pulled from the case right when he was on a breakthrough and ordered back there at Timber Ridge Lodge didn’t set well, no matter the reason. Nothing could be more important than stopping this guy from killing again. And to personally give him the justice he deserved.
Still, no Pack member can ignore the High Alpha’s command.
Neil knew this well. He tried too many times.
“All I’m saying is rein in your trigger temper until you hear him out,” Jake added.
“I don’t promise that,” Neil said, then stopped at the desk beside the closed office door and gave a tight nod to Rob’s pretty new redheaded assistant. “Hey, Nicole.”
“Hey, Neil,” she returned a twitchy smile, turning her eyes to fix with Jake’s. “Uh, hi, Jake. Back so soon?”
“Not soon enough. The old man still in?”
“Yes, but you might want to give him a minute. He’s on the phone with Steller Industries again.”
Jake checked the closed door, then frowned at her. “Nicole, I just…”
“I have something for you,” he muttered, passing a folded piece of paper to her.
She opened it, then shifted a wide, adoring stare up at him.
Neil growled deep inside his chest. The static electricity between them lately grated to the max. The girl only started working for Rob a few weeks ago and like every other female on the planet was ridiculously enamored with Jake’s blond Oxford prep boy good looks. Being rich and the prince of their Pack didn’t hurt either.
Not that Neil cared. But he had no desire to lose his lunch over their nauseating flirtations right now.
And he was still pissed the hell off about being there.
“Is Rob ready to see me?” he asked a little too sharply.
She jerked her flushed stare away from Jake, then quickly checked her desk phone that held Bryant’s lines. “Think he’s done. Hang tight.”
She picked up the telephone and spoke quietly. Not that Neil couldn’t hear everything that was said on both ends. Wolves had hypersensitive hearing. If they wanted to be discreet, they should have texted each other.
She hung up. “Mr. Bryant is free now. He said to go right in.”
I know that, Red, Neil wanted to say, instead giving her a polite nod and stalking forward.
Robert Bryant sat in the highbacked leather chair behind his mahogany executive desk when they both walked inside. With styled black hair and dressed in a five-grand Armani suit, he looked every bit the corporate executive of their enormous organization. He didn’t get up, merely raised his gray eyes from the paperwork he studied.
“So I’m here,” Neil ground out. “Tell me the President of the Were High Council is under fire and personally requested my assistance or something equally as vital for you to yank me off the case.”
“Sit down, Neil.”
Rob’s eyes fired fiery white silver and fixed with Neil’s, his jaw muscles bunching when he repeated, “I said sit down, Neilson.”
His butt hit the side chair faster than his brain could process the information.
Jake slid into the other without being ordered, wincing at Neil being Alpha-forced to do something he didn’t want to do. As an Alpha shifter himself, Neil hated being under anyone’s control, something only the High Alpha himself could do. It made him feel like a helpless infant. Or a slave. Rob generously understood this and rarely pulled rank.
Jake was right. This must be big.
“I have a new assignment for you, Neil,” he said. “And I guarantee that you’re not going to like it.”