A Wolf in Billionaire’s ClothingBy: Daphne Loveling
“Ah,” he said sadly. “Well, then. That tells me you have indeed figured it out.”
“Mr. Blake… Liam… Are you… were you… the dog… that saved me last night?”
“Not dog,” he replied grimly. “Wolf.”
Miranda gaped at him, speechless. Liam walked toward her and gently took the stained shirt from her. “Sit, Miranda,” he said, motioning to the couches. She sat down shakily on one, and he sat beside her.
“I should have known after last night that it would only be a matter of time before you found out. I’ve managed to keep this a secret from all of my professional contacts throughout my entire career.” He half-chuckled and said ruefully, “Then you come along, and in three days you’ve figured it out.”
“I haven’t figured anything out,” she protested. “Can you please, please explain to me what is going on?”
Liam sighed. “As I said: not dog, wolf. I’m a shifter. What humans generally call a werewolf.”
Miranda stared at him in disbelief. “What?” she replied dully.
“Miranda, there are… things… that you don’t understand – that humans generally don’t understand about the world. Things that remain hidden to almost every person who isn’t two-natured. I am, I always have been, a two-natured being. A man who is capable of shifting into a large wolf. I am human, just like you, with human feelings and human desires. But I also have instincts, desires, needs… that are those of my other nature. I shift at will, when I desire to run, to hunt… or to fight, to protect. Last night, I shifted to protect.”
Liam had been staring into the near distance as he spoke, but here he turned to look at Miranda. “I needed to protect you.”
“Needed? I mean, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. You saved me from something horrible, maybe even death. But it wasn’t your responsibility to do so.” Miranda found herself blushing under the intensity of his gaze.
“No, Miranda. You don’t understand.” Liam sighed again, casting his eyes downward. “I may as well explain everything to you.” He blinked and then raised his eyes back to hers. “I needed to protect you. My instinct, my animal instinct, gave me no choice. Miranda, have you ever heard of imprinting?”
“Yes, vaguely, I guess. It’s what some animals do who mate for life.” Miranda frowned at him in incomprehension.
“Yes, that’s right. Like wolves. And, like shifter wolves. As I said, I have both human and wolf needs. My human side is… desperately attracted to you. My wolf nature…” he paused. “My wolf nature… wants you as my mate.”
“Your… mate?!” she spluttered, hardly believing her ears. “But… you’ve been so cold and distant since I started! I mean, except for today, kind of. You’ve been nicer today.”
His brow shot up quizzically, one side of his mouth lifting into a smirk. “I wasn’t nice at first?”
“No, are you kidding me? You’ve barely talked to me, and when you have talked to me, half the time you’ve barked at me. Oh, sorry. No offense,” she said, flustered.
Liam laughed out loud. “A very appropriate choice of word. No offense taken. But,” he said, growing serious. “Miranda. Do you really think I have been distant with you because I dislike you?”
“Well,” she began dubiously. “You have been really short with me a lot of the time, and you slam your door shut when you’re in your office like you can’t stand to be near me. And I know I don’t exactly correspond to the type of women who work in this office. I mean, look at them all. They’re thin, gorgeous, put together… I’m nothing like that. I just thought… I was a disappointment to you.” His mate? she thought, stunned. A twinge of confusion laced with fear shot through her.
“Miranda, don’t you know what a luscious, curvy woman like you does to a man like me? You’re stunning. Your beautiful hair, your hips, your breasts, your legs… It’s been only three days, and I’ve been in agony this whole time. I couldn’t afford to have someone from the office know my true self, so I have avoided hiring the type of women I was attracted to. Hence, the stick-thin women who populate this office,” he concluded, his voice tinged with distain. “But I have been traveling a lot recently, and I needed a personal assistant very quickly. Ms. Hathaway took over the final interview process on my behalf. I guess she thought that she was hiring someone who wouldn’t compete for her attentions.” He laughed. “Little did she know she had hired someone I would find nearly impossible to resist. Hence my cold demeanor toward you.”