Photos of Devon at Allison and Logan’s wedding filled the screen. She looked beautiful, smiling, laughing, posing for the camera with other people, or holding up a glass of champagne.
A disturbing effect started to happen in every photo. The background suddenly faded to white, leaving Devon alone in each picture. As though the hacker was erasing everything and everyone in her life. Except her.
Stunned and worried as hell, he felt a block ice form in the pit of his stomach. “This is messed up.”
Devon stared wide-eyed, her features strained. “He knew exactly where to find my pictures. He’s been in my computer before. He’s a hacker, a PhotoShop expert, and a thief. And he’s really creeping me out.”
“You and me both,” Trey muttered.
Without warning, her computer went dark.
Gradually, an image began to surface. An image of a pirate flag stamped with a skull-and-crossbones. Alarm speared through Trey when a cursor appeared at the bottom of the monitor. One by one, as if someone were typing right this second, bold, blocky red letters filled the screen.
He shouldn’t be there. I should.
Dread swept through Devon’s veins like fast-acting poison. Her body went numb and her brain slid into denial.
“Impossible,” she whispered.
How could this happen? To her, of all people?
She stared at the screen. This hacker had infiltrated her personal life and the files within her computer. Including special photographs from her best friend’s wedding. Somehow he’d also violated her home, her innermost sanctum.
She blinked back tears of hurt and bitterness and fear. She refused to let the jerk get away with this.
Lost in a whirl of shock and vengeful emotion, she’d momentarily forgotten about Trey, who stood beside her with his gorgeous torso looking warm and inviting. Except, the hacker had stolen their intimate moment from her, too.
Her hands trembled. “I can’t believe the balls on this bastard.”
“If he had those, he’d step out from behind his computer screen and face me like a man,” Trey gritted out.
“That’s one of the reasons guys like this delve into IT. So they can counter the jocks that bullied them by taking over the world one byte at a time.” Devon released a pained sigh at the irony.
“We’re not on the playground anymore.” Trey’s eyes flashed with a dangerous gleam. “This is the real world. And he’s really going to wish he hadn’t trespassed on you or my company.”
Although she’d desperately wanted to have sex with Trey—still did—this invasion deserved retaliation. Fury trumped her useless sense of betrayal. The hacker had made this personal.
“I’m going to nail this prick to his motherboard. I’m going to melt his system until it’s a worthless heap of dead weight.” Revenge pumped through her. She raced to a cabinet against the wall, dug through the lower drawers, and hauled out her hacker equipment. A little old-school, but she’d make it work. “I’m going to fry his circuits.”
“Devon, wait,” Trey said, his tone was composed and reasonable.
“No, I need to get a trace on him, before he erases his breadcrumb trail and access points.”
“Do that, and you’re giving this guy exactly what he wants.”
Insulted, she stiffened. What did Trey know about hackers? “What do you mean?”
“He did this to get your attention. To make you angry and vulnerable. Your reaction is feeding into his delusions of power.”
That sounded entirely too rational. “I don’t care. I can’t just sit here and do nothing. Or he wins.” Her voice cracked on the last word, betraying her fear and reckless need to act in the face of confrontation. “Trey, he can see me. He knows where I am and what I’m doing.” Her chin wobbled, and she shivered. “It’s disgusting.”
Trey slid his arm around her shoulders and drew her against his hard, solid chest. She didn’t want his comfort, she wanted to go after the hacker, but his embrace soothed her and she couldn’t find the resolve to push him away. He pressed a kiss against her hair. “That’s why you need to leave everything exactly as it is. We’ll call a team of security technicians in here and find out the extent of the invasion.”
She scoffed. “At ten o’clock at night?”
“You underestimate me.” Keeping one arm securely around her, he reached in his pocket for his phone and dialed. “Hey, Logan, it’s Trey. Devon’s in trouble. We need your help.”
“Stop!” she told him. Maybe Logan was the right man for the job, but he had his own life. She wasn’t Logan’s problem, and she wanted to handle this herself. “Give me the phone.”
Turning away, Trey raised his elbow just out of reach. He went on to explain the gist of what had happened. Despite her efforts, she couldn’t budge his rock-hard bicep. She might’ve had better luck trying to separate a large branch from the trunk of a tree.
“Yeah, it’s serious,” Trey said. “We need a team of your best guys to do a sweep of her house, her security system, and her computer. That’s your company’s expertise. My bodyguard business won’t do much good in those departments.”
“I don’t need all that,” she insisted, though as her adrenaline wore off, vulnerability set in. She might be able to handle this herself, but Logan could do so much more with his team.
“Okay.” He nodded at something Logan said. “Yeah, that’s great. See you soon.” He ended the conversation. “Help is on the way.”
She pulled out of his grasp, stepped several feet away from him and crossed her arms. She didn’t like this authoritarian side of Trey at all. Maybe he did do the right thing, but she wanted to do things her way, and then come to the right conclusion herself. “That was not your decision to make.”
Although calm and focused, his eyes narrowed as they met hers. “My company. My girl. My call.”
A slippery sensation sloshed in her belly when he referred to her as his girl. If she wasn’t so upset by the whole situation, she might have melted into his arms. But she had enough anger and pride roaring through her veins to keep her soft, gushy side at bay. She paced and refused to look at Trey while he slid into his shirt and made himself presentable.
Thirty minutes later, Logan arrived. When she met him at the door, she said, “Logan, you have a baby at home. You shouldn’t have come here in the middle of the night.”