I lean against the doorframe, enjoying her look of absolute wonder at this revelation. I suppose it makes sense. I went from a caveman she was trying to capture to a normal man who lives on a mountain to an artist. It’s my closest held secret—no one knows. Not even my family. Why I’m telling the woman who wants to turn me into my father, I have no idea. But something in my gut tells me that it’s all right. That this is a secret she’ll keep.

I hope I’m right.

“Nothing,” she says, “nothing I found told me that you were an artist.”

I can’t help the smile that slips onto my face. “It’s a very well-kept secret.”

“Seriously.”

“But,” I say, “out of curiosity, when you saw that all of my accounts went to charity, did you wonder where I got money to buy this land? Or to support myself?”

She nods, reaching out to gently touch the carving. “I did. When I couldn’t find anything, I assumed that you had either used a trust fund or had some kind of business that I couldn’t find.”

She looks at me, and I nod to the wood she’s touching. “This is the truth. I liquidated my trust years ago—also charity—everything I own was purchased with money I made myself. I haven’t used my father’s money in years.”

All the fear and tension that her body was holding a few minutes ago is gone. “Let’s not cover everything in the first hour,” I say, putting on a smile. “We’ll have nothing to talk about.”

Only a half-truth, really. I didn’t know my father had sent someone after me and I’m still processing that. The anger at him for thinking he still has any right to my life burns hot and deep, and I’m not ready to talk about it yet.

She looks down, and I think she’s embarrassed. Clearing her throat again, she looks up at me and damn, those eyes go right through me. Blue as the sky on a clear day and what I wouldn’t give to have those eyes filled with pleasure, looking up at me—focus Rob. “What?” She asked a question and I missed it.

“You said you need an assistant? What for?”

I shrug. “I get by all right, but it will be nice to have a second set of hands. Sometimes it’s easier when you have someone else to steady the wood while you’re carving. If the chores get done faster then I have more time to work, that sort of thing.”

She nods. “I can do that.”

I raise an eyebrow. “You really need that money, don’t you?”

Anna smirks. “Let’s not cover everything in the first hour.”

I laugh. That’s fair. “In that case, let’s go get your car and have something to eat. Thirty days starts tomorrow.”

“Are you going to put a shirt on?”

I turn back to her. “See something you like?”

Her cheeks are a perfect shade of pink, and I’m glad once again that my back is to her, because I want to see that blush everywhere, and I’m going to do my best to make sure that I do.

She opens her mouth, and it takes a couple of seconds for her to find the words she’s looking for. “I just thought you’d be more comfortable.”

We’ll go with that. For now. “Whatever you say, sweetheart. Come on, I’ll show you the entrance to the driveway.”

I turn and head out to my truck, and this time I hear her footsteps following me.

5

Anna

It’s the smell of bacon that wakes me up. For a second after I open my eyes, I can’t remember where I am—the wooden beams above me are unfamiliar and definitely not the ceiling of my crappy studio apartment.

Oh. The cabin.

Yesterday Robert drove me to get my car, mostly in silence. He’s not exactly what I would call talkative, but his stoicism didn’t make me uncomfortable. We don’t exactly have a lot to talk about.

And I can add cooking to the list of things I didn’t consider when thinking about Robert Logan. Last night we had roast chicken and mashed potatoes, and the only contribution he asked me to make was peeling the potatoes. I guess I didn’t exactly think that he was microwaving Hungry Man meals out here in the middle of nowhere, but I didn’t think about the fact that he’d have to be able to cook. And cook well.

Speaking of cooking, I look over at the kitchen, and Robert is there, back to me, and I hear the sizzle of the bacon I smell. I sit up on the couch, stretching. I slept in my clothes—I wasn’t about to sleep in my underwear or anything that would remind me of sleeping. Or sharing his bed. As it was, I tossed and turned through the night with dreams of him appearing over me and the world fading into nothing but darkness and pleasure. And the sight of his ass in those jeans isn’t making those thoughts go away.

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