The Wolves Catch Their Attorney

By: Cara Adams
Shape-Shifter Clinic 2

Chapter One

Attorney Sierra Bond stared at the web of ropes high in the air. It looked like an overgrown fishing net, then became just two ropes, one she was supposed to walk along while holding on to the other one. Fucking hell. The things she did in the name of winning new clients.

“Perhaps the little lady would prefer to try the easier ropes course instead,” suggested a partner from a competing firm, his face one big sneer.

She gave him her most professional smile in return, then cast an obvious glance at his paunchy belly bulging beneath his company T-shirt. “I’ll be fine, but thank you for your concern.”

Determinedly she turned and began climbing the ladder up to the starting point. It must be fifty fucking feet up in the air. Just as well I’m not afraid of heights.

After climbing about one hundred twenty rungs of the ladder she was beginning to be grateful for her daily workouts at the gym and the fact she had some upper-body strength, because she sure as hell needed it now. The regular regimen of weights at the gym, as well as running on the treadmill, and cycling, was about to pay off—she hoped. If I don’t fall, of course.

At the top of the ladder she was grateful for the time to catch her breath while the instructor clipped a safety harness around her waist. She also took the opportunity to assess the ropes course from here. Now she could see the web was actually quite wide apart and she’d have to work hard to make her way across it to the single rope path.

“Off you go then,” said the instructor cheerily.

“Thanks,” she grunted, stepping out onto the first loop of rope.

It was damn hard to move one foot at a time, always making sure she could reach the next loop from where she stood. Several times she ended up with both feet in the same loop to stretch far enough for a hand grip. “Team bonding my fat ass. Killing off the competitors is more likely.”

Then when she got to the end of the web, she found she’d miscalculated. She was too low on the fucking net to be able to climb up onto the rope line and reach the safety line to hold onto. Fortunately she didn’t have to backtrack very far to climb higher. This time she made sure she could step down onto the walking line, still holding onto the web, and then grab the hand line. By the time she was on the single rope her body was running with perspiration, her hair was stuck to her face and neck, her hands were slippery with sweat, and even her feet were starting to slide around some inside her athletic shoes.

She hooked one arm around the safety rope and dried one hand as well as she could on the seat of her shorts. Then she turned sideways to dry the other hand. Even her shorts were wet, but at least now she had some hope of holding on. Although…Why use her hands to grasp the rope when having the line wound around her arm would support her and leave her hands free to maneuver herself better? Thoughtfully she wound both arms through the safety line, so it went over her forearm and under her wrist. She could still slide her feet along the walking rope and felt more balanced.

More confidently now, she made her way for another twenty feet along the line. Moving slowly, she rested her gaze on the end of the line. Getting off was going to be another major challenge. “Was this fucking ropes course built for seven-foot-tall basketball players or something?” Sierra was an average woman—average weight, average height, five foot five precisely. But to get from the rope line where she was standing, to the zip line which would transport her back to the ground, would involve stepping over a gap she was pretty sure her legs couldn’t span.

She slid closer to the end of the rope and began to rock backward and forward. Yes, that’d do it. If she timed it right she could swing the entire line a foot closer to the zip line and would be sure to catch the handlebar with that bit of extra reach. She kept working the rope like a swing, mentally timing the laps and watching for the distance they covered. When she was sure she could bridge the gap she stretched out her right hand and grabbed the handlebar of the zip line, pulling it to her. Then it was easy to bring her other hand across, swing her feet off the rope, and let the momentum of the mini cable car send her down to the ground at the end of the course, her body swinging backward and forward to keep it moving.

She landed neatly on both feet, running until she was steady, and then she let go of the handlebars. She stepped to the side so the zip line could be pulled back up for the next person attempting the ropes course, and waited for the instructor to unclip the safety harness from her waist.

“You did well. I can see now why your group wanted to do the red course. Usually people coming here to do a team-bonding exercise only do the blue course. Some of them don’t even do that. They do the kiddy course, the green one,” said the instructor chattily.