Braxton “Brax” O'Hara is a shifter, a PI ... and an art thief. He has no problem with being all three. As a matter of fact, he likes his less than legal job.
Kyle Grayson is a member of an all-shifter art crimes team. He does everything within his power to catch the thieves he's after, and believes he's found his next quarry -- Brax O'Hara.
Things take a turn for the worse when Russo, Brax's partner in crime, wants him to retrieve some blackmail pictures instead of a piece of art. At the same time, Kyle comes into the picture. When the two men meet, they discover they both know the blackmailer -- and they both hate him, too, for different reasons.
Can they stop Russo, a powerful Alpha shifter? More to the point, can they deal with their attraction to each other when they have nothing in common except Russo?
Brax asked, "Who are you? Why were you following me?"
It seemed as if the man wasn't going to answer. Then he shrugged. "Who I am isn't important right now. I was following you because you visited a man I'm interested in."
"I'm a private detective. I visit a lot of people. Do you want to narrow it down a bit for me?"
"Not really." The man arched a dark blond eyebrow. "You do know that you blocking the door won't keep me here so that you can interrogate me."
Brax smiled. "I'm aware of that. But you haven't left."
"Yet." The man tapped his fingers on the steering wheel. "Kyle Grayson."
"You asked who I am. Although the man," Kyle paused. "Mr. Pence, the shifter you visited thinks I'm Jonathan Roberts."
"That narrows it down," Brax replied. "It still doesn't explain why you decided to follow me."
"I was curious?" Kyle glanced around, then said, "This would be an easier conversation if we weren't hanging out in a parking lot, Mr. O'Hara."
"So you know who I am."
"Yes. Braxton O'Hara." Kyle chuckled. "I'm not a PI, but I do know a thing or two about investigating people."
Brax felt a sudden chill, although the night was warm. Does he know, or suspect what Caleb and I do? Or even worse, is he connected to Russo? Neither idea sat well with him. "You're right. We should take this conversation somewhere else. I live over there." He nodded toward his building. "But then I suspect you know that."
"Obviously, or I wouldn't be here."
Brax moved aside to let Kyle out of the car. They walked silently to his building and were just as silent as they rode up in the elevator. All the while, Brax studied Kyle. He seemed calm with no tension evident in his stance or his expression. But then, if Brax was right in his estimation, he could be a high ranking Subordinate, or maybe even a Beta -- and a gray wolf, he was certain.
* * * *
Kyle knew O'Hara was trying to figure him out. Now he had to decide how open he should be with the man. By now he has to have figured out why I'm interested in him and Mr. Pence. Not that he'll admit what they do. Well, what I'm pretty damned sure they do. How the hell did I manage to screw this up? He knew the answer to that. He was too eager to solve the series of art thefts he was investigating. As a result, he'd paid a visit to Mr. Pence when he should have investigated him from afar.
"Nice place, Mr. O'Hara," Kyle said when they were in the apartment.
"It's Brax, and thanks. Have a seat."
With a nod, Kyle sat at one end of the sofa. Brax took the chair opposite it.
For a moment, neither man spoke. Then, curious, Kyle asked, "Do you do surveillance on straying spouses?"
Apparently surprised at the question, Brax replied, "Very rarely." He smiled slightly. "We leave that to the sleazier PIs in town. Why do you ask?"
"Because you were checking out a bordello tonight. From what little I found out before you interrupted me, it's very high-class. The logical conclusion was that someone you're interested in uses it. Ergo, the 'straying spouse' comment."
"Nope. It caught my eye as I drove by, is all."
Kyle snorted. "You went there intentionally, straight from work. What I can't figure out is why you didn't go inside. It's hard to --" he paused purposely "-- find what you're looking for from the street."
"What do you think I'd be looking for in there? Okay, other than the obvious, that is."
"You tell me."
Brax leaned back, putting his hands behind his head as he stared at Kyle. "I get the distinct feeling you think I'm involved in something illegal. Probably with Mr. Pence, since you admitted you're interested in him. The only reason you saw me at his building was because I installed his security system and he had a problem with it. End of story. Let me ask you something, since we seem to be playing Twenty Questions. Are you a cop?"
"Figured you'd say that, either way. It doesn't mean you aren't."
Kyle smirked. "True. But I promise you, I'm not."
"My turn," Kyle said, instead of answering his question. "Why didn't you go into the bordello, instead of just driving by?"
"That's none of your business," Brax replied angrily.
"It is if, as I said, you're looking for someone in there -- or something. Probably something. There's a lot of artwork on the walls, from the pictures I found on their website.