He shakes his head. “I haven’t used his money in years.”
“You have,” I say. “Your charity deposits.”
“Oh.” He blinks, “I set those up so long ago I had forgotten about them. How would those have helped?”
All the money from Robert’s trust fund has been funneled into various charities for years. Logan Sr. hadn’t looked at the reports close enough to realize that none of the money was being used personally, but I did. And money talks. “People pay attention to their donors,” I say. “Especially when that donor is giving them ten grand a month. Whenever there was a rumor about what you were doing, people remembered. Just little things here and there. How you had mentioned to one person a while ago that you loved Vermont. Or that you were thinking of buying a place in the woods. Plus, I have a P.I. License, so I was able to find bare bones information about your contacts and purchases.”
Robert frowns. “But that wouldn’t have led you directly here.”
“No,” I cringe. “But dropping your father’s name to the right people did.”
I notice the way his hand tightens on the bottle when I mention his father. Clearly no love lost there.
“Did you tell him you’d found me?”
“No.” I shake my head. “I wanted to be completely sure that I had before I gave him any news.”
He nods. “Good.”
I press my lips together, looking around the room. “What exactly am I going to do here for thirty days?”
Robert takes a long sip from his beer, and I can’t help but notice the way his muscles move when he swallows. “First, take a little time away from my father so you can see more clearly. Second—”
“Hold on a second,” I say. “I’m not some stupid girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing. I’m not under your father’s spell, and I don’t need to clear my head. Your dad isn’t a Class-A citizen, I know that. But I need the money that he offered me, and I don’t get that until I bring you back with me. So please don’t think that you’re somehow saving me by making this deal.” He doesn’t move, just looks at me, processing what I’ve said.
“Every deal with my father takes more from you than you think it does. I’m not trying to save you, but I still think a little space will help you. And second, since you’ll be here, I could use an assistant.”
“An assistant for what?”
The way Anna is standing there challenging me is so sexy that I’m considering just kissing her. Instead, I focus on the little details around me to rein in my arousal. The cold feeling of glass between my fingers, the scratch of denim on my legs, the subtle hint of perfume from Anna. Nope, that one doesn’t help.
“Come with me,” I say, turning and heading to the door to my workshop, hidden under the stairs.
I don’t hear her footsteps behind me, and I look back to see her frozen in place. She looks nervous. Scared, and there’s a cold feeling that lodges in my gut.
“Is this the part where you lock me in your basement for the next month and torture me?” The way she says it is light—like it’s meant to be a joke—but I can see that it’s not entirely.
Stupid. I should have seen that it could be read that way, and I feel a little sick that she would think that. But then again, she’s a woman alone with a man she doesn’t know, miles from help.
I hold up my hands. “No. My workshop is on this side of the house. I’m showing you my work, that’s all.”
Her shoulders loosen. “All right.” She still sounds hesitant, but I know once she sees my studio she’ll understand.
I push open the door and stand aside, letting her look without the pressure of me standing behind her or being in the room. The workshop in the afternoon is always my favorite—the sun pours into the room like honey. I get my best ideas in the afternoon. There’s only one piece in here right now, a work in progress that I’m struggling with. It’s why I was out chopping wood looking for something new—a distraction. I got one. Just not the one that I was expecting.
Anna steps up to the door and I hear her small gasp. The light from the western window is illuminating her, and I can see that her hair isn’t brown at all, actually a deep auburn that’s brought out by the sun. I have the urge to reach out and touch it. But I don’t. As much as I’m attracted to her and my dick is ecstatic that she’s going to be staying under the same roof as me, now is not the time.
“You’re an artist?” she breathes.
She steps into the workshop, and I don’t follow. I let her wander, looking at my tools and workspace. The block of wood in the center of room is starting to take a shape, but it’s still uncertain. Some hints of a swirling coil, but it doesn’t feel right. Not yet, anyway.