Home > Deception (Infidelity #3)

Deception (Infidelity #3)
Aleatha Romig

I SAW THE plain white envelope lying on the middle of my desk. Slowly, I moved forward, confident it hadn’t been there earlier in the evening. My feet barely moved as I made my way around the desk. It was like a dream as I floated closer, as if the envelope were a snake and would sense my sudden movement and strike.

Alexandria was scrolled across the front.

My heart did triple time as I reached for it. Blood coursed through my veins and through my ears, muting the world around me. With shaking fingers, I lifted it and opened the flap.

The first page was a picture. I’d never seen the woman before, but she looked familiar. It was because she looked like me. Her hair wasn’t auburn but beautiful rich shades of brown, long and flowing about the same length as mine. Her eyes were a soft brown, darker than mine, but with golden flecks. She was smiling at the camera and dressed in something red. It was only a headshot.

I sank to the chair. I didn’t want to keep looking, but like gawking at a train wreck, I couldn’t look away. My heart knew who she was, but it needed confirmation. I moved the picture to the back of the stack of pages and began to read.

Alexandria,

I’m sure you’re mad or even freaked out that I had this put where you’d find it. I’m sorry. I won’t say that I’m not trying to scare you. I am.

You won’t return my calls. You won’t return my text messages even when Adelaide explained how much I need you. Now I need you to listen. Please listen. Please keep reading.

You know who she is, don’t you? The woman in the picture?

Her name was Jocelyn Marie Matthews Demetri.

My stomach sank. I needed to stop, to show this to Nox, but I couldn’t.

Was, Alexandria, she was. She’s dead.

Your boyfriend killed her.

The Demetris are dangerous. I won’t go into all the illegal activities, including prostitution, but know that it’s there. I just want you to know about the man you’re sleeping with. The man she slept with. The man who killed her.

My empty stomach twisted violently.

Stop! Stop! Stop reading!

My heart screamed out, but my eyes continued to roam.

Lennox wouldn’t allow her family to see her body. He had her cremated before any evidence could be found.

Evidence. Her parents have both sworn statements about his abuse. On more than one occasion they witnessed bruises on her wrists. They’ve both testified to that.

I looked to my wrists. There was a faint brown mark from where I’d pulled too hard against the satin. I continued to read.

He was a workaholic. They say she was sad and scared.

Their testimony is available. They have a civil suit pending against him. He bought off the judge for the petition of evidence in a criminal matter, but even the great Lennox Demetri can’t stop all the wheels of justice.

Get out. Leave. Come home or at least move back to your apartment.

Alexandria, I’m scared to death.

I also think he’s behind framing me with Melissa. He could be the reason she’s missing. By getting rid of her, he can remove me from your life.

Lennox is dangerous.

I’m begging you. Your mother is begging you.

Ask him if he’s responsible for Jocelyn’s death… and get out!

Bryce

Why couldn’t he let this go? Why would he think Nox was connected to Melissa? That didn’t make sense.

The letter consisted of two pages. Each handwritten page surrounded the picture. I didn’t want to move the last page of words. I didn’t want to see her again.

I hadn’t realized I was crying until a tear splashed against the paper.

When I looked up, my eyes met Nox’s. His pallor matched his cold, icy eyes, so different than only minutes earlier.

“You shouldn’t have touched it.”

I couldn’t comprehend. “Touched what?”

“That letter, Charli. You’re destroying evidence. Deloris can dust it for fingerprints.”

My head moved slowly back and forth as I realized I was holding Jocelyn’s picture.

How angry would Nox be?

Before I could think, I was up on my feet, my heels sliding across the wooden floor as I backed away from him. “Where’s Deloris?”

“She’s on her way up. What’s the matter? What did that say?”

“I-I…” I rolled my lips between my teeth. “I need to talk to her.”

Nox took a step toward me. His expression morphed from concern to something more intense as I once again took a step back. “What the fuck, Charli? Are you afraid of me?”

“No,” I answered too quickly and too loudly.

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