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It seemed, though, that he hadn't impressed upon Merinus just how dangerous he could be. That, or she really didn't give a damn.
He wondered if it was too late to rectify that small detail?
A light knock at the door, a subtle, gentle scent that sliced through his senses and had him stiffening as the door opened.
"Mr. Wyatt, if you'd like to take a moment to discuss your itinerary with me, then I could get started."
She stood there, the slight mound of her stomach smaller than he would have thought for the stage of her pregnancy. At five months, that little mound should have been larger. Long, long dark red hair was pulled up in a bun at the nape of her neck; delicate glasses were perched on her nose. Deep, deep green eyes stared back at him with chilling intensity.
Well-fitted black pants were paired with a white blouse, which flowed over the mound of her stomach to her hips. Flat, conservative black shoes covered tiny feet.
She was a fairy, he thought. A whimsical creature that no man dared touch for fear of inviting the wrath of some unknown dark force charged with her protection. That dark force being Merinus Lyons, the wicked ogre of his life, as far as he was concerned.
"Mr. Wyatt?" Her tone was even, polite. "Your itinerary, sir."
His itinerary. Of course she would want that. How else could she effectively destroy his world unless she knew how he moved through it?
"Don't worry about the itinerary," he growled, not bothering to hold back the deep-throated rumble. "I'll take care of that myself. Just . . ." He waved his hand toward the outer office. "Do the filing or something."
A dark, winged brow lifted slowly.
Then she did the most amazing thing. She closed the door softly, all the while holding his gaze as she moved to the front of the desk.
Jonas watched her as he would a cobra preparing to strike. Hell, she was more dangerous than a cobra.
"Mr. Wyatt, I am not some glorified clerk who you need to patronize," she said. Sweetly. So f**king sweet her voice dripped with honey while those wild green eyes glittered with a dare. "You will give me your itinerary, and you will do so in time for me to make sense of it, as well as to make any adjustments needed. All appointments will now go through me, as well as all scheduled business trips and meetings. As I understand it, the last finance meeting at Sanctuary was a farce. Pride Leader Lyons and his Prima have ordered me to ensure the next one actually contains some viable numbers that at least come close to the amount used from the Bureau's accounts. We can do this the easy way." Her smile was gentle, benign. "Or we can be difficult about it." That smile turned to ice.
Jonas rose slowly to his feet, his hands remaining planted on the desk. He ensured that he towered over her as he glared down at her.
"Good luck." He kept it short and sweet, more because she had his tongue tied in so many f**king knots that he could barely think, let alone speak.
As she stood there, he closed the laptop he used, slid it into a protective case along with the slim external drive that contained the files he needed.
Rachel watched silently as he snapped the case closed, gripped the handle and strode from the office.
She felt as though she should be taking a deep, much-needed breath as the tension that filled the room slowly eased away. But with his departure was a strange sort of emptiness as well. As though the life had been sucked from the office. It was now no more than a shell.
Her lips quirked at the thought before she shook it off and strode back to her own office. Merinus had given her a new lease on life with this job--if she could stick it out.
She laid her hand on her stomach. She had to stick it out, she didn't have a choice. Jonas might be the scariest man she had ever met, probably the most dangerous. With those quicksilver eyes and that hard, corded body that screamed sexy and lethal, he was by far the most fascinating man she had ever met.
Short black hair was just long enough that it lay against his scalp, giving the hard, sculpted planes of his face a savage, diabolical appearance. And those eyes.
Quicksilver. Mercury. Eyes that saw into a person's soul.
Eyes that seared.
Eyes that had nearly mesmerized her.
If she wasn't very, very careful, Jonas Wyatt would end up owning her soul, as it appeared he owned everyone else's.
And that just wouldn't do. She had a feeling Jonas might be a little bit spoiled. Which meant she was going to have to definitely break the habit.
Striding to the desk, she took her seat and called Merinus.
"He's on the run," she reported.
She could almost hear the smile that curled Merinus's lips. "That's okay. I know where he's running to. Pack a bag and bring your laptop. It's time to show Jonas the power of the Breed cabinet. And I can think of no better time than now."
Rachel wondered if Jonas would ever look back and realize that Merinus was trying to save him, rather than piss him off. According to the Prima of the Feline Breeds, Jonas Wyatt was on a path of self-destruction where the Bureau was concerned.
"Do you think discussing this with him would do any good, Merinus?" Rachel asked, her tone wary now. Jonas didn't seem like a good man to piss off.
"Callan and Dash have talked to him until they're blue in the face." Merinus sighed. "He can fight with them; that instinctive code of honor he has nearly dictates that he does. If he doesn't stop stirring suspicion where the Bureau is concerned, he'll be voted out of it. That's something I don't want to see happen. No, Rachel, we're the only ones that can get through to Jonas now."
"We are?" Rachel rather doubted that.
"You are," Merinus amended. "Just treat him like you treated Kane. Trust me, he won't know how to combat it. Jonas has always been the one doing the bulldozing. To my knowledge, no one has ever used the same tactics on him that he uses on others. Let's see what happens when they do."
"He takes a chunk out of their ass?" Rachel asked, a vision of those lethal canines flashing before her eyes.
To which Merinus's laugh was soft, and suspiciously knowing.
"Now Rachel, do you really think he would bite you?"
"Only if I get close enough," she murmured.
"Then don't get close enough," Merinus advised her with a heavy hint of amusement. "Be very careful, Rachel, not to get close enough."
THREE MONTHS LATER
"Did I ask you to set up a meeting with Senator Racert?"