Having been raised by his puma shifter godfather, Edwin Aldridge has always known that paranormal creatures exist. Edwin works as a genetic engineer, attempting to apply a shifter’s healing abilities to humans. When Edwin learns that another scientist has done something similar, he looks forward to reviewing his work. Edwin quickly becomes infatuated with Byron, the wolf shifter who delivers the information. Remembering his godfather’s stories, Edwin realizes the wolf shifter is his mate. Unfortunately, once Byron learns about Edwin’s research, the wolf shifter rejects him.
When Byron Ziegler scents Edwin, he knows the skinny government agent is his mate. He plans to pursue him, eager to learn everything about the human so they can build a life together. Then Byron learns that Edwin is a scientist working on shifter DNA. He’s devastated and turns his back on the human. While Byron regrets the decision, how can he bond with a man that wants to do the same thing as the people his pack spent years tracking down and stopping?
Will the mate-pull be enough to help them find common ground?
Edwin took a few seconds to survey the room. His gaze landed on the four strangers on the far side of the conference room. Standing at the counter helping himself to a cup of coffee was a lean, smartly dressed man with neatly trimmed and styled dark-brown hair. When the man’s blue-eyed gaze met Edwin’s, he gave him a friendly smile before returning his focus to making his coffee.
A tall Native American rested one hip against the side of the table. His dark-eyed focus rested on a shorter, leaner man. The second man narrowed his eyes as he glanced between the two agents Edwin didn’t know the names of. He whispered something too quiet for Edwin to catch.
The Native American moved a hand to his companion’s shoulder as he quietly stated, “Relax, Jared. We all have to follow orders sometimes.”
The smaller man, Jared, lifted a brow as he looked up at the other man. “Yes, and we know how well that sits with me.”
The last man pushed away from the wall where he’d been leaning, drawing Edwin’s attention. Watching the big, broad-shouldered African American move with sensual grace as he crossed the few steps between the wall and the quietly talking pair, Edwin’s mouth went dry, and his pulse kicked up a few notches. He really liked how the guy’s charcoal gray slacks and matching suit-coat fit his figure like a glove.
“We’ll get this done and be on our way soon enough,” the man stated when he stopped next to the other two men.
Edwin fought back a shiver upon hearing the man’s smooth baritone voice. Oh, how would it be to hear words of affection whispered by that deep voice, crooning into his ear while the man’s big, brown hands touched him?
It’d been a while since Edwin had considered looking for a lover and he felt his body respond just at the images popping into his head. His cock started thickening in his slacks.
Slowly, as if he knew Edwin focused on him, the man turned his head and stared back at him. The man’s nostrils flared once and his dark eyes widened just a bit. When the big man took a step toward him, Edwin realized he still stared.
Edwin yanked his gaze away from the sexy man, not wanting the stranger to get pissed at him for looking. He’d been punched a time or two for that. Clearing his throat, Edwin pulled his bag from his shoulder and put it down, then took a seat.
“If you’re done ogling our guests, we can get this meeting started,” Director Jeffries grumbled.
Heat flooded Edwin’s face and he just knew he was blushing. While the asshole who’d opened the door snickered—rather cruelly, in Edwin’s opinion—the other agent’s blond brows drew into a scowl.
At least one of the agents wasn’t an asshole, Edwin thought as he pulled the chain of evidence paperwork from his satchel. Director Jeffries had been very clear that everything should be in Edwin’s corporation’s name. He worked for the government as an independent contractor, and the director wanted to make certain the government didn’t appear directly involved…even though they were.
Edwin thought it ridiculous, but plausible deniability seemed to be the name of the government’s game in regards to shifters and other paranormals. That was fine with Edwin, because it gave him the power to put a stipulation in his contract that if they parted ways, all his research went with him. He quickly scrawled today’s date in the necessary field.
When the chair to his left scraped across the floor, Edwin tensed. He knew he didn’t imagine the heat rolling off the African American’s body as he lowered his bulk into the chair next to him. Slowly, Edwin turned his head and stared at the stranger.
To Edwin’s surprise, the stranger’s dark brown eyes smoldered as he leaned close and stated, “You can ogle me anytime, cutie.”