The only person who didn’t have her future mapped out was Cass.
“So I guess Lauren is bringing Robbie over tonight?” she asked. She’d planned to drive to Austin tonight to spend the weekend with Gage.
Things had just come to a head. What did Cass know about dating a single father? If things progressed, was she really ready to be a mother? The thought frightened her. She had a demanding job. She couldn’t be calm and cool around a baby. The timing wasn’t great for any of this.
One step at a time. What better way to figure out what came next than to spend time with the man and his child?
“No, she asked if she could keep Robbie until Monday so she could say goodbye, just the two of them. I couldn’t say no.”
“That was sweet of you.”
Her heart opened a little more with each glimpse of the man Gage was becoming as he met this challenge. Each time, she had to reprogram a bit more of her thinking. She wasn’t sure what to do with the result.
“So instead of you driving here, I’m coming to you. You’ve already put far too many miles on your car in the past week. Turnabout is fair play,” he reminded her in case she’d forgotten about his strong sense of tit-for-tat. “I’ll be there in three hours.”
She ended the call with a smile and drove home instead of to Austin. The reprieve gave her time to review the email she’d received a few minutes ago from the background-check company. They’d finally completed new scans of all her employees.
Thirty minutes later, she kicked back on her sofa with her laptop, the report and a list of cross-referenced employees who worked in the lab. The scans she’d ordered included arrest records, of course, but that wasn’t necessarily a good indicator of someone’s propensity toward corporate espionage. A better one was financial records such as property owned and debt, which was the section of the report where she focused her attention.
Someone with a mountain of outstanding bills might be a prime candidate for thievery, particularly in light of what the formula was worth to someone like Gage. He’d never buy it from a shady Fyra employee, but the culprit might not realize that.
But Cass knew that about Gage. The thought settled into her mind as if it had always been there. Of course that was true. Why would he have bothered to come to Fyra’s CEO with an offer to buy the formula if he planned to buy it on the black market?
Or was she missing the big picture?
Everything was mixed up in her head and the addition of his new status as a committed father wasn’t helping. She just didn’t know whether she trusted Gage or not.
Cass refocused and noted two lab employees with outstanding mortgages that seemed quite large for what Fyra paid them. Also not a blinking sign that pointed to criminal activity. But a curiosity all the same, considering neither of them were married according to the scan. Inheritance, maybe, but Cass couldn’t be too careful.
Next, she moved on to her employees’ former employers and known associates. GB Skin leaped off the page almost instantly. Cass’s gaze slid to the employee’s name. Rebecca Moon. She worked for Harper as a lab analyst. She’d worked for Gage before coming to Fyra. Also in his lab.
It wasn’t uncommon. Many of Fyra’s employees had previously worked for Mary Kay, too. That didn’t make them criminals, just people with skill sets companies in the cosmetics industry sought.
But no one from a competitor had approached Cass about her formula, except one.
Cass sat up and started from the beginning of Rebecca’s report. The picture was not pretty. She had a wide swath of credit card debt totaling well over a hundred grand and outstanding medical bills from—Cass tapped the line once she found it—her ex-husband’s many elective procedures. So Rebecca had gotten divorced but was still saddled with an ex’s debt.
Shaking her head over the things people did to each other, Cass eyed the woman’s known associates and a sense of foreboding grew in her stomach. All of the people linked to Rebecca had addresses in Austin. Not a big deal. The woman had lived and worked in Austin when she was employed by GB Skin.
It just seemed odd that Rebecca Moon hadn’t made any friends in Dallas in the...seven months she’d worked for Fyra. Not one person from her new neighborhood had asked her to lunch via text message or friended her on Facebook?
The background check hadn’t extended to Rebecca’s friends’ information. So there was no way to know if the people she’d interacted with online and made phone calls to were employed by GB Skin—but logic would dictate that she’d made friends at Gage’s company and kept them.