Adverse Possession (The Anna Albertini Files #3) by Rebecca Zanetti




Chapter 1





My boyfriend was a sociopath.

Well, if he could be called a boyfriend. There was nothing boyish about Aiden Devlin, and it wasn’t like we’d actually discussed whatever it was we were doing together. But at the moment, as I stared at the one full and one empty air-tight cereal containers in his new and fairly empty pantry, I had other things to worry about. “I can’t believe you did this.” I turned around in his quaint kitchen as I spoke, and then I forgot, well, everything.

Aiden lay shirtless on the floor with his head beneath the sink, doing something that clinked. What, I really didn’t care. Jeans covered his long legs to his bare feet on the worn wooden floor, but my eyes remained on his very cut, very hard, very awesome chest. One that had more than its fair share of healed bullet and knife wounds.

The tattoo over his bicep always caught me. Sexy and jagged, it was a compilation of his life so far, all within the outline of a deadly Eagle. Military, ATF Agency, Ireland, and small town Idaho.

He wiggled his broad shoulders out from the cupboard, tossed the wrench into a battered tool case, and lifted one dark eyebrow. “Huh?” His blue eyes were so blue they always took my breath away.

My mouth watered and I cleared my throat to appear nonchalant. “Huh?”

“What did I do, Anna?” He sat up, shifted, and put his bare back to the dented dishwasher. His concentration was a hundred percent on me, and that always threw me, too.

“Uh.” I looked around and caught sight of the cereal holders. Oh yeah. “This. You did this.” I gestured toward the full one.

He stood and moved, his scent of leather and motor oil catching me as he looked over my shoulder. “I filled it. You said I had to have those plastic thingies to hold cereal, and that’s what I filled it with.” Then he wiped his hands off on his jeans and reached for a glass of water on the counter. “I thought cereal boxes were what you keep cereal in, by the way.”

“You took three different kinds of cereal and combined them into one container. Three very different kinds. That’s crazy.” One was peanut butter flavored, one plain flakes, and one looked like waffles. I mean, who did that?

He leaned back against the counter, cocked his head, and gave me his signature Aiden look. The one that said he was partly trying to figure me out and partly wondering if he should take me to a shrink.

“Don’t give me that look.”

Both eyebrows rose this time. With his ruffled black hair and dangerous blue eyes, he was all Irish. Then he went in for the kill. “All right. What’s bugging you?”

I hated that. I mean, I really hated that he was such a grownup and could see right through me. The problem was, I had no clue what was bugging me. Plus, combining cereals into one container when there was another empty one was just so…male. So Aiden. Ug. I sighed.

He crooked his finger in a ‘come hither’ motion. It was a move that should irritate me, but it was sexy and kind of sweet—and the look in his eyes was neither.

So I trotted across his uneven floor and let him gather me into a hug. Being surrounded by heat, male, and muscle was a very nice way for a healthy woman like me to spend a few minutes. When he placed a gentle kiss on my head, easily since he was about a foot taller than me, I relaxed completely into him.

“There you go,” he murmured, holding me. “The opening of your law firm this week is going to be fantastic. Your help with my new place has been invaluable, even though I don’t know why I need placemats or cereal containers. You’re healthy, I’m healthy, and right now, nobody is shooting at us.”

I laughed against him. He’d just closed escrow on the spacious cabin on the lake, and he seemed okay with the fact that it was only a few miles away from my cottage. His was a fixer-upper, and that seemed to make him happy. Who knew that the ATF agent was so handy around the house? It seemed like being able to go undercover for years and then shoot people before they shot him was enough talent, but no. He was good at house stuff, too. “I guess I’m just waiting for the next shoe to drop,” I admitted.

He grasped my arms and held me away from him so I could meet his gaze. “It always does, Angel. Enjoy the good times. Trust me.”

I’d dreamed about him my entire teenaged years as well as years into my twenties, and now here he was, and he was holding me. Life was sometimes too much to grasp. But he was right that we should enjoy the good times. It was a lesson we’d both learned while young. “Are you nervous about work tomorrow?” I asked.