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.Alex still hadn’t forgiven her for forgetting the night before.But in all honesty, she was never the best at remembering.She’d never been worried about someone breaking in.They would have to get into the canyon, go through the property then get in and out without anyone seeing them.And why would anyone want to destroy her art anyway?All the questions that she just couldn’t answer, no matter how much she thought about it, weren’t really helping her not to worry either.She unlocked the front door with Max staying close behind her.Her hand shook slightly, but she didn’t think he noticed.After she pushed the door open, the long beep from the alarm alerted her it was still armed.She punched in the four-number code and turned to face Max.“Who all has the code?”“Me, Alex, Jacob and Peyton.Oh, and James.”“James?”“He’s been working as my assistant He just graduated and is trying to get his own showing.He’s very talented.”“How long has he been working for you?”“About six months or so.He applied at the gallery and Alex hired him for the reception desk.We met and started talking, and he now works part-time for Alex and part-time for me.”“Last name?”Cassie frowned at him.“James wasn’t involved.”Max lifted a brow.“Strut.His last name is Strut.”“Is he part of the pack?”“No, he’s not a shifter.”Max nodded, but Cassie couldn’t let it go.“He’s a good kid.There is no way he was involved.”The look Max sent her said he wasn’t convinced.“Then he has nothing to worry about.”She sighed and figured he was right.She knew James was too dedicated to art for him to ever get involved in something like the break-in.Max was glancing around and Cassie wondered what he saw.The entryway was open and painted a bright white.There were three wide archways that led farther into the residence.“Through there is the kitchen.” Cassie waved a hand.He would be able to see the stainless-steel appliances from where they stood.She pointed behind her.“Living room and patio door.” Then she faced the hallway opening.“Back here are the rooms.”He motioned for her to go ahead, so she stepped around him.“The first door is the second bedroom,” she told him as she turned the knob.The room was sparse with only a bed, dresser and nightstand.“So I guess this is where you’ll be staying.”Max walked in and placed his two bags on the bed.He spun in a circle.“Okay, show me the rest.”Cassie didn’t respond right away.It had just dawned on her that she would have a man staying in her house with her.A very attractive man who she wouldn’t mind seeing naked.And just a couple of doors down from her bedroom.When her palms started to sweat, she rubbed her hands down her thighs again.Max’s presence was a big deal in her life.He would see everything she was.There was no way she could hide her quirks from him.“Cassie?”She jumped, not realizing he had moved so close.She tilted her head back to look up at him.Damn, he was tall.“It’ll be all right,” he assured her with that deep tremble.Cassie found herself shivering.She wanted to reach for him, have Max pull her into his arms.Have the press of his lips against hers.She swallowed and took a step back.“Uh, I’m…uh…”He smiled, his hazel eyes bright.She was losing her mind.She whirled back around into the hallway and took several deep breaths to calm her racing heart.“Okay,” she said.“Next door is the bathroom.Then the office.” She moved forward as she spoke.Then paused again.“My bedroom.”That took care of the three doors that were on the east side of the house and left her standing in front of the large door to the studio.She hadn’t been back inside since she’d first discovered the incident.Cassie placed her hand on the wood.“The studio,” she whispered.“Has it been cleaned up?” Max asked behind her.She nodded.“Alex took care of it.”Max’s chest pressed into her back and she felt him lift his hand.“Deep breath,” he spoke softly, his mouth close to her ear.She inhaled through her nose then let the air out.“Good,” he said and opened the door.In her mind, she could see the ripped canvases, the paint spilled over the floor and walls and her brushes in pieces [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]