After being fired, again, for her obsessive-compulsive tendencies related to cleaning, Katerina Pawslowski is on the hunt for a job. Who knew that good personal hygiene could be a terminable offense? Maybe keeping half a dozen containers of Clorox wipes at hand was a bit much… As she's searching through the paper for a job, an ad from Rookery Cove Aphrodisiacs catches her eye. Lab Assistant Wanted: Assistance in maintaining and cleaning the general lab area. Cleaning! It said cleaning! What better job for a feline shifter with OCD?
Wilmington Thorpe III has got a problem. He and his partner have been hired by Rookery Cove Aphrodisiacs to create the ultimate catnip. A catnip which would stimulate and arouse the feline shifters of the world. Rookery is looking to monopolize the market on feline sexual aids and their creation is the cornerstone of their campaign. After several unsuccessful attempts, Will decides his problem is the state of his lab. His partner and pack mate, Montgomery, while an amazing chemist, is a slob. Will can’t think with all the clutter!
Montgomery Slade loves everything about working for Rookery Cove Aphrodisiacs. He’s doing what he enjoys with the man he loves by his side. His life couldn't be better -- until formula after formula fails to produce the results they’ve been looking for and Will spends more and more time in the lab staring at test results and less time keeping Monty warm at night.
Of course, everything changes when a certain Kat gets to cleaning and changes their lives forever.
Madeline smiled in return, revealing white, gleaming teeth with incisors that were just the teensiest bit long. “Now we’ll discuss your qualifications, the job and any personal needs which would have to be met should you become employed with Rookery Cove Aphrodisiacs.”
Kat nodded. “I’m very efficient with cleaning, which the ad mentioned as one of the job duties. Organization and cleaning are actually my strengths.”
Madeline interrupted her. “You’re a Felidae, correct?”
Struck dumb by Madeline’s ability to discern Kat’s true nature so easily, she took a moment to respond. “Yes, I am.”
“So humans would consider you an individual suffering from OCD.”
Holy shit. This woman knows me better than my mother. Well, she would if I had a mother, anyway. “Yes,” she nodded. “My parents --”
“They weren’t your parents,” Madeline snapped.
Was the woman inside her head or what? She nodded again. “Correct, my adoptive parents had me diagnosed as suffering from severe OCD. I tried to tell them that my need for order and cleanliness was just a part of me, but they wouldn’t listen.”
Now it was Madeline’s turn to nod. “I see. Do you have a problem with late night hours? While the position is technically titled ‘lab assistant,’ you’d be charged with keeping the lab orderly and clean each evening.”
“No, I am fairly nocturnal, and as you said, I live to clean.”
“So you are and your kind always does.” Madeline glanced away for a moment to look at Kat’s resume and Kat prayed the woman wouldn’t find any fault with what she read.
“Just one last question, Miss Pawslowski. How are you around lupines?”
Kat gulped. Dogs? She wanted to know how Kat reacted to dogs? She didn’t particularly care for them, but they never seemed to care for her either. “Dogs, Ms. Windfire?”
Madeline shook her head. “No, Miss Pawslowski, lupines. Animals in the lupine family.” The woman sighed. “You’ve lived among the humans for so long, I suppose I’ll have to refer to them as they would. Werewolves, Miss Pawslowski. How do you feel about werewolves?”
Scared. Could that be an answer? Scared, terrified, frozen in fear, all of the above, please. Werewolves were different. Even more different than dogs. The fear she felt at the mere mention of werewolves had her hair standing on end, hackles raised. They could look human, but deep down, they were dogs. They would bite her and scratch her and… Kat shuddered at the memory that threatened.
“I’m…” Her mouth felt dry. “I do harbor a natural fear of lupines, Ms. Windfire.” Lie. Most people would consider her fear irrational, even for a Felidae.
“Hmm…” Madeline went back to reading her resume and Kat released the breath she’d been holding. Please let her believe the lie. Please. “Let me be straight with you, shall I, Miss Pawslowski?”
“Very well, Kat.” Madeline gifted her with a stunning smile and Kat definitely saw a hint of fang. Whoa! “This position reports directly to two linked lupine males. We at Rookery Cove can guarantee your safety from your co-workers and direct supervisors. Mortal enemies have even been known to work out their differences while under our employ.”
Kat nodded, something she’d been doing a lot since walking into the Rookery Cove satellite offices.
“What I’m trying to say is, you have nothing to fear from Wilmington and Montgomery. They will not chase you like new pups or rabid dogs. You will be welcomed and treated cordially by all staff members. Rest assured, no pain will ever fall upon you unless it is specifically requested.”
“Requested?” Kat squeaked, sounding more like a mouse than a cat.
“Well, we can’t very well make BDSM play a violation of company policy, now can we?” Madeline arched her brow and Kat felt a blush creeping up her neck, the heat rivaling that of Draco’s office.
“No, I suppose you can’t considering you’re a sex toy company.”
“Precisely.” Madeline turned in her chair, opened a drawer and began pulling sheets of paper and folders out and laid them on her desk. “If you’ll fill out each of these and bring them with you on your report date, I believe we’re finished here.”
Finished? As in… “Wait, I got the job?”
“Absolutely, Kat. Who better to clean up after those two lupines than a female feline. Any paranormal worth his weight in gold knows a feline is the person for clean-up and we’d love to have you on the Rookery Cove team as long as you’ll be okay with working for two lupines.”
Two werewolves, not one, two. Could she do it? Hell, she didn’t know. What she did know was that she needed the money and benefits this job could provide. So, she lied. “It sounds perfect.”