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She should have locked the door.
Theresa Crawford watched the man close the door behind him with a firm but solid click. Big troubleshe could sense it. Darkness radiated from him in waves.
"Hello, Max." Her soft-spoken greeting broke the silence. She remained seated behind the table draped with various multicolored scarves, studying the man in front of her. Though she'd known him for over ten years, he was too complex to say she knew him well.
Without waiting for an invitation, Max Lamoreaux walked the few steps it took to reach her. Pulling out the chair opposite he sat, straddling it. His long lean frame filled the delicate white chair. His gaze locked with hers.
A familiar sense of anticipation flittered through her like butterfly wings. The hairs on the back of her neck stood at attention. Theresa felt like a frightened animal right before the fight or flight response kicks in. She wasn't sure which she'd do. Given their history, probably fight.
As Max started to speak she held up her hand and indicated for him to wait. Rising from her chair she walked over to a browsing couple, the only customers in the store, and politely informed them the shop was closing early.
At the door, with deliberate measured movements, she turned the lock and flipped the sign hanging in the glass-paneled door to Closed.
Glancing back, she paused and inhaled a long steadying breath before exhaling slowly. Her palms slid down the front of her flowing skirt, wiping away the traces of nervous moisture. Max coming to her shop? Definitely not good.
Facing the table, she opened her psychic channels. Maybe she could get a glimpse of why he was here. Nothing. Max had amazing natural shields. Right now they were firmly in place, solid as steel and just as impenetrable.
Theresa sat and looked up to meet Max's intent stare. She nodded, allowing him to proceed.
The tight press of his lips along with the deep crevice between his strong brows conveyed his discomfort and anger. An uncommon combination for him, she thought. He still hadn't spoken, staring at her with those steely ice-gray eyes. That look sent rippling, sizzling sensations through her. Underneath it all, despite their past, there lurked a hunger which refused to be hidden.
Theresa broke eye contact with difficulty. She could get lost in the storm clouds of his stare. In fact she had, on more occasions than she cared to remember. Glancing down, she spotted the thick manila envelope he'd laid on the table.
Well, that explains it. He's on a case.
"What do you want, Max?" Theresa noted her hesitancy and took a cleansing breath, focused on curbing the underlying nervousness in her tone.
"Same old Theresa, right to the point. As always."
"Look, no small talk, Max. It never works for us. Just get to the point. What do you want?"
With a gentle shove, Max pushed the envelope across the table. She stared at him, waiting. This was his show. He was the one with the questions.
"Okay, we both know I'm not comfortable being here. I wouldn't have come, but Remy insisted. You know how persuasive he can be when he thinks he's right."
Theresa's brow quirked. Remy was Max's brother and had been her best friend for more than ten years. Remy knew how much she hated using her gift, especially around Max. His skepticism had caused hurtful, angry words between them several times.
"You know I don't believe in all this psychic mumbo-jumbo crap. But I'm at a complete dead end. I'm willing to try anythingto get a new lead, a direction to take this case."