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“And you left him half of your estate,” I throw out in accusatory fashion, not that I care, because I don’t. I do it so my dad thinks I’m emotionally invested in this argument and perhaps he’ll be more genuine with me.

“Of course I did,” he says heatedly and with self-righteousness, and it doesn’t occur to him to find out how I know this. “He’s my son.”

“And cut Caroline out,” I growl at him.

“She was lost to me.”

“Then why all the secrecy?” I say with unfiltered disgust. “Why not have just admitted all of this to me when I asked you about it at Christmas?”

“I don’t know,” he says loudly as he throws his hands out to the side in frustration. Then he lowers his voice. “I don’t know. It was just awkward and you caught me off guard.”

“And lying comes easy to you,” I interject.

He lets that one go. “I knew it was going to make you angry so I just avoided it. And yes, he’s in my will, but I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to deal with the messy fallout.”

“No, you were just going to leave that for me and Mom to deal with if you died, right?”

He doesn’t answer me because there’s nothing to justify such a cowardly act.

“Well thanks a lot, Dad,” I say with derision. “Your failing to clue me in on these little tidbits is making me look every bit a murderer right now.”

“What?” my dad gasps.

“I was called in for questioning by the police. They seemed to take a lot of pleasure in beating me up about your illegitimate son and the fact he’s entitled to half your estate. Seemed to think that gave me plenty of motive for murder.”

“But you wouldn’t,” my father says in outrage on my behalf.

“Yeah, why don’t you call the detectives and tell them that,” I say snidely. “I’m sure that will ease their minds. Make them forget all about me and trying to pin this shit on me.”

“I’ll call the district attorney right now,” my father says. “He’s a member of our club and I know him well.”

“For fuck’s sake, Dad,” I curse at him. “I don’t want or need your help. And besides…it’s only about twenty-eight years too late for you to start acting like a dad.”

“Beck, please,” he begs me for understanding.

“Why didn’t you at least call me and tell me the cops came to talk to you about JT and your will? You could have given me a heads-up.”

He shakes his head vigorously. “They didn’t talk to me. I swear it. If they knew about the will, it was from Candace. She knows I left half to JT.”

“So your mistress was in on your grand estate plans, but I’m betting Mother knows nothing of it, right?” The condescension is thick on my tongue.

My dad deflates. “I’m going to tell her…at some point. I’m just not sure how.”

“Here’s a clue, Dad,” I mock him. “She already knows. Trust me on that.”

My dad’s jaw drops open and I can’t help but wonder how he could be that ignorant after all these years.

“One more question,” I say, ignoring his eyes swimming with pain and a need for mercy from me. “How long has JT known?”

I need to know this. It’s so fucking important I know this.

“Candace told him when he was eighteen,” my dad says, his voice sounding lost. Utterly defeated.

Rage spikes within me.

I thought I was past JT and his evil ways. I thought I was starting to find some peace with it now that he was dead.

But knowing that fucking evil son of a bitch knew Caroline was his half sister and still raped her anyway…I want to jump on the casket as it’s lowering into the ground, rip that son of a bitch out of there, and repeatedly stab him again and again. I want to dismember him.

Mutilate him.

Obliterate him.

I’m so overwhelmed with hatred for that man that I can’t even spare my father another thought. I turn away and start stalking toward my car, trying to find some measure of peace that I’ve cut the remaining poison from my life with that conversation with my dad.

“I’m so glad that’s over,” Caroline says as she navigates her way through the city. I’m grateful she didn’t mind bringing me back to the condo, as I really had no desire to listen to Beck have it out with his dad. By him not having revealed the full truth to his son, he made him look at the least a fool—at the worst a murderer—by letting him be blindsided by the cops. The fucker should have told Beck the cops were asking about it. That would have given Beck a better opportunity to be able to address those motive concerns by the police.

“So what do you think your brother and dad are talking about?” I ask curiously from the passenger seat. Caroline drives a late-model four-door sedan. It’s clean and in good condition, but certainly not the car of a daughter of millionaires. And yet she doesn’t seem to give two fucks about losing out on all that money. One of the reasons I like her so much.

“Well, I suppose the conversation will be short and to the point. Beck won’t entertain discussion about our mother. Once he draws the line in the sand, he stays on his side.”

I nod, because I also suspect this is true, and it makes this line of conversation dead. Caroline has no clue about JT’s relation to her dad or that she’s been cut out of the will to make room for the bastard son. She has no clue that Beck intends to squeeze the truth out of his dad once and for all about who knows what.

But again, Caroline doesn’t know that. She will one day when Beck is ready to give her the full truth, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. At least not until we can figure out the issue with the DNA.

Last night Beck and I talked more about it, and given the fact Detective Denning showed interest in Beck’s relationship with Dennis after he became a partial alibi for Beck, we decided resoundingly that we wouldn’t call Dennis about the DNA issue. He will happily stay ignorant drinking beer in Ireland and fishing off the coast of Panama none the wiser. Hopefully this will all have died down by the time he comes back.

However, we’re not going to wait to start on the DNA. It’s eating at both of us with the need to know, and it’s also delaying us in telling Caroline the truth. So I’m going to call the detective who investigated my rape and ask about the DNA, as I shouldn’t trigger any suspicions for asking.

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