Sugar Free Page 39

“And besides,” he had said, “with your resources, I’m sure we could hire a competent investigation team that can find the bookie who’s behind JT’s murder.”

Yeah…that’s not going to happen either, because the bookie or his goons didn’t murder JT.

Of course, I wasn’t about to tell my attorney that. He may be my attorney and sworn to confidentiality, but I wanted him doing whatever the fuck he could to prove me innocent, and while he might not be able to find evidence of the gambling to connect to JT’s death, he could probably find something about the beating being related, and that right there could provide enough reasonable doubt.

Reasonable doubt.

My two new favorite words.

In fact, maybe when Dennis gets back in town, I can have a conversation with him and see if he can give me something to feed to my attorney that will push him in the right direction.

Sela wordlessly heads back to our bedroom while I detour into the kitchen to open a bottle of wine and perhaps put a frozen pizza in the oven. Not the poshest of meals, but I know she doesn’t feel like going out tonight, and neither do I for that matter. My phone’s already been blowing up with texts from people about me standing trial for murder as well as the secret that JT was my brother and he raped my sister.

Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I’m going back out in public again. Of course, following the trial, that could be a very true statement if I end up in prison, but that’s not an outcome I’m willing to even consider. As Doug reminded me, the case is still entirely circumstantial. While money and anger might be motivating factors, Doug believes we’ll be able to show that I’m really a guy who isn’t moved to violence. I’ve got hundreds of people who can attest to that. We can build up just as much circumstantial evidence in the opposite direction, and the jury may very well see my side of things.

I hope.

In the kitchen, I open up the freezer and see there’s nothing in it but half a pint of ice cream left. Looks like we’ll be ordering takeout.

Chinese, maybe.

But I do know we have wine, and I decide on a crisp pinot grigio I have in the fridge. Pulling it out, I efficiently remove the cork and pour two glasses before carrying them back to the bedroom to see what Sela wants to order. I’m ready to get out of this monkey suit, relax, and perhaps cuddle with her after dinner. Maybe watch a mindless movie.

Probably fuck.

That’s always guaranteed to get my mind out of my dark place.

When I hit the bedroom, I see Sela in the large walk-in closet taking her skirt off and letting it slip to the carpeted floor. She’d already removed the cranberry turtleneck she had on, and now she looks beyond angelic in snow-white lace panties and bra. Her blond hair blankets her shoulders and falls forward to momentarily hide her face as she leans first to one side, then another to remove her heels while balancing herself against the doorjamb with her hand.

When she straightens up, I’m surprised to see her reach for a hanger and take one of her lightweight sweaters off and put it over her head. After threading her arms through the sleeves, she reaches for a pair of gray wool slacks, pulling them right off the hanger.

“What are you doing?” I asked, perplexed as to why she’s getting dressed. Perhaps I misread her exhaustion and desire to go out for dinner.

She jumps lightly and turns to look at me, the slacks held before her. Her eyes are wide for a moment as if she got busted doing something illicit, and then they change right before me into a hardened flatness.

“This farce is over,” she says briskly, and shakes the slacks out before her with the intent to put them on.

And I know exactly what she means by that statement, and fuck if I’m going to let that happen. I put the glasses of wine on the long dresser that sits by the door and then I’m on her, ripping the pants out of her hands and tossing them to the back of the closet, where they land on top of a built-in dresser with thin drawers that holds all of Sela’s lingerie.

“Beck,” she says with anger and frustration, but I don’t let her get any further.

“You are not fucking turning yourself in,” I growl at her.

I expect her to argue, but instead she throws herself into my arms, and with desperation such as I’ve never heard, she begs me, “Then let’s leave the country. Dennis can get us fake passports. You have enough money to buy us a nonextradition island. Let’s run.”

“We can’t,” I tell her softly, one hand stroking her hair, the other her back. “I can’t leave Caroline and Ally…my business. It’s not a good option.”

She tears out of my arms, spitting at me like a cat and rage flashing in her eyes. “Then I’m done with this. I’m turning myself in.”

“Sela, baby—”

“This has gone too far,” she yells as she stomps her foot, her cheeks tinged red with anger. “You are not going down for what I did and you are as good as convicted if you go through with that trial.”

“We don’t know that,” I try to reason with her, even though I can feel myself getting angry at this same old argument we’ve had time and again. “The judge has only heard their side of the story. We’ll put on evidence. They have to prove I was there and I did it and they can’t do that.”

“They can,” she insists. “You’ve got motive and your DNA will be in that house. You know it.”

“The motive is conjecture,” I point out. “For every witness they call that says I wanted JT out for the money, we’ll have ten that say it’s just not true.”

“What about the fact JT raped Caroline?” she hisses at me. “How’re you going to convince a jury that wouldn’t make you mad enough to kill that sick fuck?”

“They can’t prove I knew it,” I argue.

“Do you even understand the level of crazy you’ve stooped to by letting this go this far, Beck?”

“It’s what you do when you’re in love,” I tell her honestly.

“You’re absolutely ridiculous,” she snarls at me, eyes flashing in fury. “You think you’re protecting me, but you’re not. You think you’re protecting the idea of ‘us,’ but you’re not. If you go down, I’m destroyed…we’re destroyed…and that’s not protecting me. Stop trying to act like the fucking white knight.”

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