“I’m Special Agent Trakes, I’m with the FBI. I drove up from New York to see Professor Lloyd.”
“I’m Professor Lloyd’s assistant. Is he expecting you?” Her smile never wavered, though the hand dropped to her side.
“No, as I said, I’m with the FBI, and we don’t normally make appointments.”
Miranda, with smile still in place, walked to the door leading to the professor’s office as she said, “Let me check with him, but I’m sure he will be able to meet with you. I keep his appointment calendar, so I know he’s not overly busy.”
“Hey, I was here first, and I’ve waited thirty minutes.”
Trakes turned back to the office and noticed a blonde had stood to announce her displeasure. She tried to show her indignation with the agent, but her glare fell short.
Trakes smiled at the student and held out her FBI credentials for the blonde to see.
“I’m with the FBI, sweetie. We get cuts.”
Behind her, she heard Miranda say, “Sit down, Shelly, you know as well as I do the professor won’t change your grade.”
Trakes turned back to Miranda and waved the credentials one more time.
“These are really the only announcement I need, but thank you. I’ll just pop in. Then the professor and I will get acquainted.”
Before Miranda could object, the agent turned and stepped through the door.
Her first impression of the office was the desk. It was large, made of wood and appeared antique… Professor Lloyd sat behind the desk.
He studied papers with his head lowered, and her first glimpse of him took in the breadth of his shoulders and his hair. It was thick and dark, almost black down the center of the head, but shaded to grey by the time it reached the man’s ears. It was combed back, but a natural part down the center caused it to fall to each side. She wondered what it felt like, then forced herself to refocus.
As she stepped through the door, Trakes announced, “Good afternoon, I’m…”
He looked up from his papers.
The eyes were a pale blue. Ice blue. The shade of blue used to sell breath mints, and her intake of air seemed fresher as it travelled to her lungs. The eyes were hard and unwelcoming. Andee wished she had waited to be announced. She stepped into the room and tripped on the edge of the rug. She whispered a curse, caught her balance, held her blush to a minimum and muttered an apology.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…”
Those eyes, still focused on her, softened enough to indicate his irritation at the interruption had grown into a mild curiosity. As he studied her, he allowed an eyebrow to raise and his head to cant to one side. She suddenly felt exposed, and her blush from the ungainly entry deepened. Her heart paused, and then quickened. Her stomach tickled, then settled into nervousness. Her underarms damped and a question about deodorant flashed through her mind. She tried again to introduce herself, but discovered she had forgotten her name.
Her words came in a small squeak. It may have been the squeak a mouse makes when she sees the hawk dive, but it was certainly the squeak of prey. She froze. The corners of his mouth turned.
“Uncle Alwyn, you stop this. Stop it, right now.”
The commands came from Miranda, and the professor looked past Trakes to his niece, who was standing in the doorway. As he broke eye contact, Andee gulped air. She realized she’d forgotten to breathe.
“Uncle Alwyn, I’m ashamed of you,” Miranda continued, and she took Andee’s arm and assisted her to one of the chairs in front of the desk. Andee smiled her gratitude as she felt dizzy. She looked up at the assistant, who smiled down at her.
“Don’t mind my uncle. He does that sometimes. It’s because he is an Alpha.”
“He’s a what?”
Andee felt as if she was clearing a fog.
“He’s an Alpha, and sometimes he takes advantage.”
“An Alpha? Is that a fraternity?”