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Chapter One

 

When Robyn Mais woke earlier that morning, the last thing she expected was to end up in a cold, poorly lit police interrogation room. But, here she was, sitting on a hard chair with her hands cuffed to a table, her stomach complaining because she missed breakfast.

She’d been on her way to pick up her son, Zach from her father’s house when the cops showed up at her door and slapped a pair of cuffs on her wrists.

This can’t be real, she thought, as the squad car drove away.

It was impossible to believe they arrested her for the murder of her lover, the father of her child… the man she’d planned to give the rest of her life.

No way!

She stared insolently at the stern-faced woman seated across the table. Detective Bridget Caine returned her glare, her thin lips pursed. She clasped her tiny hands and leaned forward, assessing Robyn critically.

“Are you ready tell me about Amell’s murder, Robyn?”

“I have nothing else to say; not without my lawyer present.”

Bridget scoffed. “You had plenty to say earlier.”

“Yeah, and you refused to listen. I told you that Erin Scott killed Amell. She confessed to the murder! Why isn’t she arrested? You’re wasting time!”

“We have no evidence linking Erin to the case. What we have are your fingerprints on the murder weapons.”

Robyn rolled her eyes. “That’s impossible. I never touched any weapon of any sort.”

“Where were you on the night of Amell’s death?”

“I need my lawyer.”

“Why did you kill Amell Scott?”

Robyn relaxed in her seat and folded her hands. “Law-yer,” she slowly mouthed.

Bridget stood. “Fine. Suit yourself. Off to the jail cell you go.” She summoned an officer who escorted Robyn to her cell. She stepped inside the tiny space and looked distastefully at the damp, dirty floor of the cell. The air was stale; the stench of alcohol, dirt and piss permeating the air.

She shared her jail cell with a skinny woman who coughed constantly and raucously, her lank hair framing her hollowed face. Robyn sat on the hard bench and covered her ears in an effort to block the disgusting sound. Her cell-mate glared at her and spat on the ground.

Robyn cringed. This was a far cry from her opulent lifestyle. As the heir of an investment conglomerate, her father raised her in the lap of luxury.

So, how did she fall so far from grace?

She fell in love with a married man—that’s how.

Amell Scott… the love of her life. A man beloved by the city of Sycamore for all he did to restore the city to its original state after a long period of sporadic murders and robberies that ravaged the city. A kind and amazing man, Amell gave her the most wonderful gift; their son Zachary.

Yes, Robyn knew he had a wife. She’d been working as his personal assistant—against her father’s wishes—and after a brief seduction on Amell’s part, she fell for him. The birth of Zach only influenced her conviction that fate brought them together. He promised to divorce his wife, Erin, and Robyn was sure he would’ve gone through with it, if not for his untimely death.

She recalled the devastation that gripped her when she heard the news of his murder. In that moment, time froze, and darkness filled every crevice and corner of her life. Her world ended. She couldn’t imagine her life without him. It would be hard to explain to her son that his father would not be coming around anymore.

God…

And now this. What’s next? She wondered.

She wiped the tears that flowed down her cheeks. He cell-mate chuckled.

“It’s your first time in this hell-hole, isn’t it?”

Robyn ignored her.

“Don’t worry, sweets. In less than a week I’ll be your best friend.”

Over my dead body, Robyn vowed. She did not intend to spend the night in jail. She was confident her father would post her bail soon. He would be mad as hell, she knew. Stephen Mais did not approve of her relationship of Amell, and although he loved his grandson, Stephen wished another man fathered him. He made Robyn promise to not get involved with the investigation—but here she was, a suspect in his murder.

She did not understand why the cops would think his death involved her. She loved him, for god’s sake!

But, her fingerprints on the knife and hammer used to kill Amell meant one thing. Someone wanted her to take the rap as Amell’s murderer. The thought disturbed her.

Erin had friends in high places. It would’ve been easy for her to bribe the cops to plant the evidence.

If that’s the case, then I’m in deep shit.

The uptight detective refused to listen to a word of her statement, which made sense—if she was on Erin’s payroll. She had a hunch that the police already knew the truth; that Erin arranged Amell’s slaying.

Erin had motive. Not only did she stand to gain the most from his death, but she’d been angry and jealous of his relationship with Robyn. She also confronted Robyn with a warning that if she couldn’t have Amell, then no one else would.

They found him dead shortly after.

Yes, Robyn knew Erin killed Amell, and she planned to do everything in her power to prove Erin’s guilt.

She heard the sound of approaching footsteps, followed by a loud, angry curse. She stood and turned towards the sound as it grew nearer, and she smiled as she recognized the deep baritone of her father’s voice.

Her savior arrived, and he did not look happy.

Stephen Mais rounded the corner, his bulky frame filling the small space. Big and rugged, his rough features contradicted with his kind eyes.  He spotted his daughter and breathed a sigh of relief, then turned to the guard who accompanied him.

“Well, what are you waiting for? Open the fucking door!”

The guard rushed to comply. No one dared to cross Stephen Mais, a powerful man who was heavily connected. His daughter’s arrest meant that someone’s ass would be on the line. The last time they apprehended Robyn for drunk driving, the arresting officer lost his job the next day.

Whoever arrested her this time would face trouble for sure. Stephen vowed to tear the entire police department to shreds for the humiliation they caused his family.

No one would be spared.

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