STEALING THE CURATOR'S HEART

Chapter 1: Meeting the Were Leader

A/N: A little plot bunny I thought up based on my story WEREKATS. I'm always writing about the stars of the show but the supporting actors deserve some time on the page too so here's my take and what if piece, starring Dr. Abi Sinian.

Dr. Sinian stared at the news in stunned amazement. On the TV in her office, she'd just caught a lunchtime news cast about a major revelation that had occurred that morning in the Mayor's office.

"Well how do you like that? Who would have guessed Commander Feral would be a Were?" Her fellow colleague, Dr. Randy Jessup blurted.

"I'm speechless," she muttered as she listened to Ann Gora tell of the exciting news then showed a clip of Feral's transformations. Ann returned and added another stunning piece of news.

"...not only is our illustrious Chief Enforcer the second in Command to Tam Weslaho, the Alpha Leader of the Weres and one of our most distinguished Katizens, but he has recently mated with our newest Katizen, the alien known as Jeraz..."

"Say what?"

"...he must be an hermaphrodite...I heard a rumor the condition is rather common among Weres, especially the male version..." Abi said, distractedly, flicking the TV off.

"Seriously? What a handy talent, if its true," Jessup commented. "Well what a coup for Megakat City...the first alien immigrant, the first reveal of Weres existence, and a first Were/alien mating. We'll certainly be making world history." Shaking his head, amused.

"That's for certain and it will help towards removing the stigma of Megakat being 'the city you should avoid' due to the omega threat," Abi said, archly.

"There is that!" Jessup laughed.

"The downside of all this excitement though, is the sudden interest in Weres. I was already collecting what data I could find in the archives. Not so surprisingly, there wasn't that much hard information in the first place. The Weres did such an excellent job of hiding what they are that the history records only list them as a myth," she sighed in annoyance then held up a thick folder. "This is the sum total of what I was able to find."

"That's a lot of myth to wade through," he grimaced. "However, with their reveal, we could hope they will fill in our information with hard facts instead."

"I'm sure they have designated historians to maintain their racial history and that's who I'll be asking for when I go see Tam Weslaho, the alpha of the local pack."

"Good luck with that. What with all that's been going on over the past few weeks, they're pretty busy and I wouldn't be too surprised if they still remained rather closed mouth about themselves. After all, they've hidden for centuries and that isn't the kind of secrecy you jettison so easily."

"I know. But, I'm hoping Mr. Weslaho will see the need for some disclosure as the pressure from the public and the Mayor's office mounts on demanding to know more about them."

Jessup nodded but still looked skeptical. "Oh, I'm sure they'll give us something but it wont' be enough to satisfy anyone. I don't envy you attempting to dig a bit deeper."

"All I can do is try and convince him of the urgency and need to reveal as much as he can to ease the pressure. Eventually, I hope we can fill in all the numerous holes in our own historical database."

"Good luck. When you do get anything, tap me for help."

"Don't you have that ancient Balarious Kat Trib's artifacts to catalog?"

"Sure, but they've been waiting for some five hundred years, a few days or weeks won't make that much difference," he smiled. "...and as you said, this has priority. The Mayor is going to be all over us soon. I think the reason he hasn't been yet is too many things have been cropping up with Jeraz besides the Weres, but when it quiets down the press will be focusing on wanting more info on the Weres and that's when his honor will be demanding it from us. So just holler when you've gotten what you can and I'll help you put the report together."

She gave him a wane smile. "Thanks, Randy, that's very generous of you and much appreciated."

"You're welcome and good luck prying that information out of the alpha leader. If anyone can do it's you."

"Luck has nothing to do with it. You just have to be very persuasive." Abi grinned.

Jessup laughed, "...and you are the most persuasive she-kat I know next to Ms. Briggs and Ann Gora. Why don't you let me consolidate that information you've already gathered while you do your best to get more from the horse's mouth." He pointed at the file she was still holding.

"Oh, sure, thank you." She handed it over, smiling.

"You're welcome...later." Randy took the file, giving her a wink and a wave goodbye as he left for his own office to begin working on this new project.

Appreciating the assistance, Abi could now focus on trying to get an appointment with the extremely busy, Weslaho. She did realize, as Randy had already noted, the Weres were up to their eyeballs in unwanted publicity and the chaos their reveal caused. It could be a week or more before she got in to see him but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

She went to her desk and sat down, pulling the phone book to her so she could look up the White Tiger's Club number.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

As she'd feared it had taken more than a week to get in to see Weslaho. But she had succeeded and was now parking her car on the street in the upscale neighborhood a block from where the club resided at ten o'clock in the morning on a sunny Tueday. The building was beautiful and was situated in a well maintained and historical part of the city.

As she stepped onto the large porch and pressed the entry buzzer, she looked around with interest. The old style porch boasted some flowering plants that added their perfume to the air providing a pleasant welcome to visitors and there were comfortable white whicker chairs for sitting and people watching.

Her research had shown this building had been purchased around the early 1900's and had been kept in the paws of a select group of families, which told her how the Were's had maintained their ownership of the place. Some of it's many incarnations were: a hotel, a private residence, a brothel, and now, a private casino. It also had been able to stay financially stable through the depression and other hard times.

Wealth was necessary to help maintain the Were populations secrecy. Using those funds, their leader was able to provide those Weres that needed it: employment, protection, ways to meet mates, air grievances, and be safe from discovery...a world within a world.

The door opened to reveal a huge male with red spotted fur, some kind of panther genetics, she thought, and was dressed in a black suit and shined black oxfords. He was also very handsome.

For a second, she was rather breathless and her heart beat faster at his impressive appearance. There was also an air of something different about him that made her fur rise a little in nervous tension. It was obvious, her instincts recognized a powerful predator. Shaking herself mentally, she noted he had waited without impatience, for her to speak. His face wearing a pleasant and benign expression.

"Uh...Hello. I'm Dr. Sinian, curator of the Megakat Natural History Museum. I have an appointment with Mr. Weslaho."

"Greetings, Dr. Sinian. You are expected. Do come in," the huge Were said politely, stepping back to let her enter.

"Thank you." She flashed him a warm smile as she stepped across the threshold and into the foyer. Looking around, she was awed by how beautiful it was. Despite its past, it had been upgraded to look like one of the grand mansions that graced the city in the 1800's, with a huge chandelier hanging over the soaring entryway to the richly carpeted floors, warm wood trim, and excellent artwork on the walls.

She studied the interior as she was escorted through the rotunda which had more than ten doors leading off into various rooms meant for gambling as well as a restaurant and bar. To the right of the entryway was a grand carpeted staircase leading up to another floor with more doors looking out over an open balcony. To the left of where she stood, a long hallway went some distance before ending at a wall and a bend leading off to more of the place, she supposed.

Her escort led her up the staircase then down a couple of doors before they reached a heavy oak door that had a simple bronze plaque that read, 'Manager's Office.' She noticed another staircase, with a thick velvet rope across it, leading upward to yet another floor, obvious off limits to outsiders.

She returned her attention to her escort who opened the oak door and gestured for her to proceed him. Inside was an average sized waiting room with comfortable chairs, tables, coffee bar, potted plants and windows that looked out over the street.

A stunningly beautiful secretary of some exotic breed of wild cat genetics was to the right of the door and had a spacious work area with huge desk, computer center, copier center, and file storage closet that was open at the moment.

Her escort approached her desk and announced, "Klara, this is Dr. Sinian...Mr. Weslaho is expecting her."

"Oh yes, welcome doctor...thank you, Hank," the secretary said warmly, standing up to greet Abi while her escort quietly nodded then left to return to his door duty. Klara shook Abi's paw then said, "If you'll wait just a moment doctor, I'll see if Kam is ready to see you. While you wait, please help yourself to coffee." She left Abi for another oak door, opening it, and disappearing inside.

Abi debated getting coffee then decided, if this went as long as she hoped, she might need it. So she wandered over and was pleased to see there were a variety of different blends offered. She picked one she thought she'd like to try and dispensed some into a nice mug there for her use.

Just as she was turning back to the secretary's desk, the door to the inner office opened. The secretary came out and behind her walked an incredibly beautiful male. If she'd thought the guard had been handsome, this tom was beyond that.

Wow! Were all the Weres this handsome? She wondered in a daze, her gaze locked on him in breathless disbelief.

He was over six feet tall, broad through the shoulders but with a narrow waist. Short, wavy black hair with a white forelock was neatly cut, eyes of a crystalline blue stared at her intently, and a generous mouth with full lip almost begged her to kiss them.

What made him truly breathtaking was his tiger genetics which was white not tawny as was normal making him very unique. She knew about this rare color variation but had never seen one in person before. His thick fur looked plush, which she ached to touch, and it was barred with thick black stripes on his arms and face. Then there was his overwhelming presence that shouted power to her senses.

And she wasn't the only one gaping.

Tam felt like he'd run into a brick wall. The she-kat wasn't a raving beauty to most but to his eyes she was equisite. Her fur was a uniform cream color, topped by hair of a reddish brown which framed a heart-shaped face and finished off by wide expressive brown eyes. She was professionally dressed in a blue-green skirt and single-breasted coat that clung to a well toned body with curves in the right places. A light jade silk top peaked out the top of her jacket and on her feet were sensible brown pumps. Her legs were long and sleek and an image of them wrapped around him made him hard and needy.

Still she wasn't as gorgeous as a Were female so why was he so stunned by her at all? He sniffed the air lightly and nearly roared. That was why! He'd caught her scent before he'd actually seen her and his body immediately responded.

This frail looking she-kat was his mate. Unbelievable! But his instincts knew it was true which left him completely at sea at what to do about it. Of course, he would make her his, but because she wasn't one of them, it would take special care and gentle coaxing to win her over.

But the chase was the most exciting part anyway.

Inside he was smiling with such ferocious desire. Had it been visible, she would have fled. Suddenly, dismay filled him. Gods, what a time to be finding a mate with all that's going on.

A small sound made him jerk aware, flicking his eyes toward its origin. Klara's eyes were twinkling with delight. Her own nose had told her, their leader had finally found a mate and she was ecstatic.

He nearly reddened in embarrassment. It was obvious she knew why her boss looked like he'd been hit between the eyes. He had no doubt this information would be all over the club the moment she could get to the phone.

All his people had hoped he'd mate soon and it looked like they were going to get their wish. The fact it was happening at a really lousy time for the Were community didn't apparently matter to fate. Responsibility was just a word...right?

Swallowing a groan of dismay, he quickly moved toward the she-kat to greet her properly instead of gawping like an adolescent male.

"Please excuse my rudeness. I'm Tam Weslaho. It's a pleasure to meet you, Dr. Sinian. Please, come into my office and we'll talk."

"Thank you and it's a pleasure meeting you too," Abi said warmly, pleased her voice didn't shake as she tried to ignore her rampant hormones. No one had ever affected her the way he did and it left her off her game but then, his scent said he also was a bit taken with her as well. Fortunately, they were both adults...damn it!

His office was comfortable and very obviously male by its decor. A thickly padded, chocolate colored, leather couch sat against one wall, a beautiful wrought iron lamp stand with an amber colored shade stood behind his desk and expensive paintings showing autumnal scenes hung on the walls which were a rust color. His desk was a massive black oak slab, looking more like a wood plank than a desk but exquisitely carved and polished. His deep leather office chair was the same color.

She loved the ambiance and the decor...it fit him perfectly. "You've a beautiful office, Mr. Weslaho."

"Why, thank you...and...please call me Tam and if I may be so bold, what is your first name?" Tam asked, his voice purring seductively.

That sound made her shiver with delight and set other things alight lower down her body. It promised such dark things. She had taken a seat in one of the two comfortable black, ultrasoft leather chairs with mahogany legs that sat before his desk, her feet placed firmly on the floor with her briefcase beside the chair but when he spoke, she immediately felt hot and damp, making her cross her legs and feel a bit exposed.

"Uh...thank you...uh...Tam. My name's Abi."

His nose twitched as he scented her interest and his heart sped up at that hesitant, huskiness of her voice. At least my interest is not one sided, he thought, heatedly. Get your mind on why she's here alpha... now is not the time for play,' he warned himself but his eyes still couldn't move from hers.

His body ached for her fiercely...now he understood why Ulysses had looked so frayed and tense when he was resisting the call of his mate-to-be. Kudos to his second for showing such fortitude and resistance. He wasn't so sure how long he would be able to resist the call of her soul to his either.

"Abi...a perfect name for you. How may I help the museum's esteemed curator today?"

What was wrong with her? Her body felt needy and hot and there was a clear, strong desire to climb over the desk and into his lap, begging for a kiss. Shock reverberated through her at her intense carnal desire.

Goddess! You'd think he was the last tom on the planet! She thought in dismay. Oh, but he's the only one for me, her sneaky subconscious purred with certainty, panting for the vision of power and heat sitting there devouring her with his eyes. I'm definitely in trouble! Wondering how she was going to get through this discussion and still keep her clothes on.