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It’s been a couple of days since we visited my parents’ grave. I have successfully avoided Beth in those two days and she’s not too enthusiastic about meeting me either. We both know I can’t really prove anything so she’s not all that worried about me tattling on her.

I’ve spent most of my time at Xavier’s, going there straight from school and spending all day until I had to be back around midnight.

Elijah and Lucas don’t mind me constantly hogging their house and as for Caleb, he’s back in his dorm for at least a week more before he can come back.

In a way, it makes me relieved. I can’t possibly imagine what he’ll go through once he learns about everything.

He’ll break down completely. I wonder if ignorance is truly bliss.

This is the first time in two days that I’ve come straight home instead of going over to Xavier’s. I know for a fact that Beth’s going to be home today due to her taking a vacation of two weeks right after David’s death sentence was announced yesterday.

I had to assure Xavier multiple times that if she wanted to kill me, she would’ve done so earlier quite easily but she didn’t which means I’m safe.

Bullshit. Before, I didn’t know about her true motive but now I do so I have no guarantee that she won’t kill me like she did to the rest of my family but I had to convince Xavier somehow.

I feel bad about lying to him like that but I really wanted—needed—to talk to her alone. It may be a foolish decision and I’m not exactly the sharpest crayon but I need closure.

I’ve lost enough people and if I have to lose another, I need to understand why she chose to do something like this.

Mulling over possible reasons and driving myself crazy isn’t something I want to experience ever again.

“Oh, you’re here,” Beth sighs as if disappointed, a wine glass in hand as she sits cross-legged on the couch.

“I wanted to talk to you.” I approach her cautiously, walking with delicate steps as I move to the couch opposite her.

She raises a brow. “I was expecting you to come to me sooner. After all, you are one curious child...just like your mother.”

Usually, whenever she speaks of Mom, it’s with adoration and underlying sadness. Today, she doesn’t express anything. Not even anger.

Surely, I wasn’t expecting her to be completely immune to the idea. Slightly baffled by her reaction, I take a seat.

Beth swirls the wine around in her glass, eyes glazed over as if she’s transported into another dimension.

“As you know, your mother and I were simply ten months apart in age and thus we were in the class. We even ended up in the same college, different majors of course. That’s where we met James.”

My shoulders stiffen slightly at the mention of his name.

“I noticed how you always refer to him as Mr. Scarlett as if you want to estrange all relationship with him.” She looks me dead in the eye. “Deny it all you want but that’s the man who raised you despite knowing you’re not his child.”

Let’s not forget how he also tried to kill me to save his own neck.

“Your mother fell for him right a month after she broke up with David as he was being pressured to marry someone else and she didn’t want to bear his burden.

“Your mother was popular, the most beautiful, and naturally everyone liked her. I was the loner, cooped up in my studies, never really partied. Typical. I fell for James and he fell for her.”

I tilt my head slightly. “Why are you lying?”

She blinks at me once before laughter bubbles up her throat. It only increases to the point where she has tears in her eyes.

“Oh, Lord. I thought you might believe that sob story.”

“I would’ve, except Mom always told me stories about how much you’re the one who coerced her into going to parties. If I’m not wrong, you’re the one who set them up.”

She grins at me. “James was fucking smitten with her,” she scoffs, “And he was rich. I loved money. Still do. So, I did what I thought would let me tap into loads of it.”

“That’s it? Money?”

“Honey, you grew up with a golden spoon in your mouth but that doesn’t mean we all were.” She gulps down her wine in one go. “When my father died of cancer, he had already used a good portion of his money towards his treatment and the rest he left for your mother because she was older.

“And she used them wisely. Whatever we earned was very little to support the dreams we had—I had. James was like a blank check. And he was generous too if it meant he could woo your mother. She married him mostly because he was someone who could support a family.”

She sighs in exhaustion. “James is the reason I reached this position in life. He had many connections and, of course, money. I could finally do what I always wanted—create. My dresses didn’t even catch glimpses before but after his influence played a part, everyone wanted one.”

I stare at her bewildered. I’ve never seen Mr. Scarlett in that light—generous—if he can even be called that.

“If you already had everything,” my voice unintentionally raises a few octaves higher, “then why would you hurt them?”

“Because your mother found out.” She flashes me a look of pity. “James and I kept it a secret about how I helped him gain her love and he helped me gain fame. And by then she had enough sway to end this for me because if there’s anything she hates, it’s cheating.”

My breath gets stuck in my throat and Beth notices because I see her smirk.

“Hypocritical of her considering you exist.” I flinch.

I try to change the subject. “How does Giovanni fit in all of this?”

She flicks her hand as if she couldn’t be bothered. “That pest is apparently in love with me and will do absolutely anything I ask for. Why do you think my husband left me? He once walked in on Giovanni and me, and filed for divorce the next day.”

A shudder goes through me at the thought of them together.

I frown. “It still doesn’t explain why you would kill them. After all, you wouldn’t have gained anything because everything was supposed to be transferred to Alex.”

She smiles at me as if it’s a secret she knows, one I will not enjoy.

“Why do you think he popped those pills back then?”


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Only a couple more chapters left—might be more depending on how I write it—before this story ends. Hope you’re enjoying it so far.

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