Written in Red Page 39

“I’m Meg, the new Liaison,” she said.

“The Wolfgard says I’m to take care of charging up the BOW for you this time.”

“Oh.” She looked at the cord and buttons on the garage’s back wall. “I suppose I should learn how to do that.”

“The Wolfgard said I’m to take care of it. You’re supposed to get food and open the office before the deliveries start arriving. The fools won’t get out of their trucks if they see a Wolf instead of you, and I’m waiting for parts.” He ran a possessive hand over the BOW’s hood. “Wouldn’t have been up this close to the monkeys if I wasn’t waiting for parts that are supposed to come today.”

“Then I’d better get my lunch and open up the office,” Meg said brightly as she edged away from him. This one seemed wilder than Simon in a way she couldn’t explain, and she wasn’t sure “think before you bite” was a concept he understood. “Thank you for taking care of the BOW.”

“Just because he slams your tail in the door, the rest of us have to be polite,” he grumbled. Then he sniffed the air, sniffed again as his head turned in her direction. “What did you roll in to make your fur smell that stinky?”

Irritation wiped out caution. Were they all obsessed with smell? “I didn’t roll in anything. And my hair stinks less than it did.”

“So does a skunk.”

Since that seemed to be his final opinion, she marched over to the back door of A Little Bite.

Tess took one look at her face and grinned. “I see you’ve met Blair.”

“Maybe,” Meg muttered. “Does he like any humans?”

“Sure,” Tess replied cheerfully. “Although he’s pretty opinionated about the lack of lean meat on most of them.”

“I don’t think I want lunch.”

“Yes, you do. Vegetable soup and a turkey sandwich. I’ll pack it up for you.”

Meg followed Tess back to the counter. “So, who is he?”

“Third Wolf, after Simon and Elliot. Those two deal with humans and the world outside the Courtyard. Blair takes care of the inside of the Courtyard. He keeps track of the game on our land, leads the hunt when the butcher puts in a request for venison, and is the primary enforcer. He’s also the one here at Lakeside who is most intrigued by mechanical things and energy sources, so he oversees the terra indigene who care for the windmills and solar panels we use to power most of the buildings outside the business district.” Tess smiled as she handed Meg the carry sack. “Keeps him busy and limits his contact with humans—which is the way he and Simon like it.”

“He’s waiting for a package. If it arrives, whom should I call?” Meg asked. Tess looked at her until she sighed. “I should call Simon.”

The BOW’s garage door was closed by the time she reached the back door of the office, and she didn’t spot a Wolf lurking nearby. But when she unlocked the front door, she did see three trucks idling while the drivers waited for her—and she saw the black sedan stuck behind them, unable to enter until at least one truck departed.

It looked like the kind of car she imagined a consul would drive—or would he have a driver?—so she signed for packages as quickly as possible, making hasty notes so that she wouldn’t be the one causing a delay. It seemed the delivery people shared that feeling. Within a couple of minutes, they were gone and the sedan pulled up in front of the consulate door.

The man who got out had a slim build and receding hair. He stared in her direction, then went inside.

“If that’s Elliot Wolfgard, I guess I won’t be getting any gold stars from him,” she muttered.

She could live without gold stars. Today she would be happy if she got through the rest of the day without being eaten.

She put the turkey sandwich and soup in the fridge, too unsettled to consider food. After a peaceful hour of sorting mail and packages, she called Howling Good Reads and left the message that there were a couple of items for B. Wolfgard, as well as other packages simply addressed to the Utility Complex, and was informed that Blair would pick up all of them after the office closed.

Maybe there was an advantage to having stinky hair if it encouraged the Wolves to keep their distance.

Cheered by that thought, she warmed up the turkey sandwich and enjoyed a late lunch.

* * *

Looking out the back window of HGR’s office, Simon watched Blair come out of the Liaison’s Office with a package and load it into the BOW assigned to the Utility Complex. The Wolf had waited only long enough to be sure Meg had left for the day before going in to retrieve the bits and pieces for whatever he was currently tinkering with.

She had headed for the Market Square, which meant she would be coming back this way when she went to her apartment. Better for both of them if they didn’t see each other. Better for him, anyway. Henry would smack him if an encounter with him upset Meg today—and getting smacked by a Grizzly wasn’t fun, even for a Wolf.

He put on his coat and stopped at the counter long enough to tell Heather, one of his human employees, that she was supposed to inform Vlad if Asia Crane entered the store. Then he went out the back door and walked over to the Liaison’s Office.

“You got your parts?” Simon asked when Blair came out with another package that he tucked in the BOW.

Blair nodded as he closed the vehicle’s back door. Then he locked the door of the Liaison’s Office. “You need a ride?”

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