“I remember that,” he said.

Okay. Well, I guessed we weren’t hiding anything at this point. “A pair . . .” I swallowed as the burn traveled across my cheeks. “A pair of my undies was stuffed in the utensils cubby. And yeah, I didn’t do that.”

“Jesus,” muttered Nick as he stood, scrubbing his hand through his hair. He glanced back at the kitchen, his lip curling like he was personally disgusted by the dishwasher.

Hank didn’t say anything. He just stared at me with what had to be a “what the fuck” expression if I’d ever seen one.

But it was Reece who caught and held my attention. He was as still as a statue as he continued to stare down at me. “Why didn’t you say anything?” His voice was barely above a whisper.

My shoulders suddenly sagged as a wave of exhaustion rolled over me. “We were talking about . . . other stuff at that moment and I didn’t . . .” I trailed off, shaking my head.

I knew the exact moment he realized the meaning of that. Blood pinked the hollow of his cheeks. That flush of anger was actually kind of scary, and if I hadn’t known deep down that it wasn’t directed at me, I would’ve been a wee bit frightened of him. A myriad of raw-looking emotions flickered across his face. “I was here and . . .” He didn’t finish that line of thought. He turned toward the other officer. “I got this call, Hank.”


“I got this call,” he reiterated, voice hard enough to send a shiver across my skin.

Hank stared at him a moment and then rolled his eyes. “Whatever.” Hitting a button on his shoulder radio, he said “I’m ten–eight. Unit Three-oh-one is handling the possible break-in.”

There was a static-filled response I barely heard, and then Hank showed himself out. Nick remained standing by the recliner. He raised a hand, rubbing his jaw. “You’re okay?”


I wasn’t sure I wanted Nick to leave, because that meant it would just be me and Reece, but I knew Nick had to, as exhausted as I was. I nodded. “Thank you for coming up. I owe you.”

Reece cast his gaze to the window, his jaw working.

“You don’t owe me anything.” Nick glanced at Reece. His eyes narrowed. “You sure you’re good here now?”

“Yeah,” I murmured, my thoughts in a thousand different places.

Nick stopped at the door. The grin on his face warned trouble. “By the way, loved the bows on your panties.”

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

Reece’s jaw became so hard I thought it would snap off as he watched Nick saunter out the door. Then it was just us. He stood with his back to me for several seconds and then wheeled around. Walking over to the couch, he sat on the edge of the coffee table, directly in front of me. “Are you okay?”

Yes. No. Maybe? I had no idea. I was feeling way too much. Scared wasn’t even the right word for how I felt. Someone had been in here—repeatedly. I felt . . . I felt violated, like all my walls had been stripped away from my home, and I felt stupid that I’d chalked up all the weird happenings as something supernatural. Then again, why would anyone jump to the conclusion that someone was breaking into the house just to mess with things inside of it?

I shuddered as it really hit home. Someone had been in my apartment. Someone had been in here many times, even while I was here. The residual fear peaked once more. How in the hell would I feel safe in this house again? Having that taken from me angered me, and there was nothing I could do about it.

“I don’t know what to feel,” I said finally, leaning back against the cushion.

He rested his arms on his bent knees as he let out a weary-sounding sigh. My gaze flicked up, collided with his and held. In a second, the shields dropped, and I sucked in an unsteady breath. He looked conflicted—torn. As if he was experiencing the same wild range of emotions that I was.

“Why didn’t you tell me this stuff was happening?” he asked.

I ducked my chin, shrugging. “I honestly thought my place was haunted. I mean, why would I think someone was breaking in just to move stuff around and do weird things like that? And some of the stuff I could’ve been responsible for without realizing or forgetting about it, like the dishwasher, the remote—stuff like that.”

“Did you stick your own panties in the dishwasher?”

“No.” I made a face.

“Then you knew it couldn’t be you, babe.” He straightened, looking around the house. “When was the last time before you found them in there that you were using the dishwasher?”

I knew what he was thinking. “I hadn’t checked the dishwasher Monday.”

“But you were home all day, right?”

Nodding, I pulled my legs up and wrapped my arms around my knees. He didn’t need to say it out loud. I knew what he was thinking. Tonight wasn’t the first time the person had gotten into my apartment while I slept. It was the only plausible explanation. Closing my eyes, I rested my forehead against my knees. My voice sounded incredibly small when I spoke. “Why would someone do this?”

“To mess with your head, Roxy. These kinds of things, what was being done around here, were minor enough that it wigged you out and you questioned it, but most importantly, you questioned yourself. Which meant you didn’t tell anyone. You kept it to yourself.” There was a pause. “Fuck, Roxy, I wish I knew. There was no reason for you to deal with this alone.”

Most Popular