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Nadirah Foxx  

Frisky Friday Flash Fiction!

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Happy Friday!

Are you ready for Christmas? We’ll be there soon enough. We’re waiting on our mail-ordered tree (it might be here by the time you read this). I have yet to plan the menu though.

Although I’m not a big fan of snow, there’s something about Christmas that makes me want to at least see it. Know what I mean?

While I think about a dusting of white, check out the latest installment of The Secrets We Keep. It’s coming to an end soon. I promise!

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The Secrets We Keep

Part Twenty-Three

 

Casinda

I jolted awake and sat up. It took a minute for me to recognize the surroundings. Paul wasn’t in the room with me, but I heard the TV blaring downstairs. What I hadn’t heard, however, was my phone. Staring at the screen, I saw a bunch of missed messages from Tiago. I skipped the texts and went straight to the voicemail.

“Hey, Cassie. It’s me. Call me when you get this. I couldn’t stay at your place.”

What the hell!

Wasting no time, I dialed his number.

“It took you long enough!” Tiago yelled.

“I’m sorry. I fell asleep. What’s going on?”

“Our friends, Mutt and Jeff, stopped by your apartment.”

“Oh, shit. Where are you?”

“Grand Central. I figure I can catch a train—”

“It will take you too damn long. It’s at least six hours that way. Rent a car.” Thankfully, I was still in my street clothes. I stuck my feet into my shoes and headed for the steps. “Even better. Sit tight. We’ll come to you.”

“What am I supposed to do?”

“Catch the bus to Hunter Mountain. We’ll pick you up.” Paul glanced up as I entered the living room. I disconnected from Tiago. “We need to go.”

“I gathered that much. Why?”

“The detectives I told you about came to my apartment. Tiago was there.”

“Damn.” Paul hunched over and laced up his sneakers. “It’ll take a couple of hours to reach your friend.”

“Then I suggest you hurry.” 

I picked up my handbag and slung it on my shoulder. For the second time since I shared my story with Paul, a shred of doubt bombarded my mind. Could I truly trust him? Was he really there to help or simply distract?

“Casinda, let’s go!” Paul was at the door with his keys in hand.

“You have a car here?”

“Yeah. I have to get around somehow.”

 

We spent the drive to Hunter in silence. I couldn’t stop thinking whether I’d made a mistake involving Paul. He broke my heart, and I’d never forgiven him. So why would he help me? Help Tiago?

“Can I ask a question?”

Paul lowered the volume on the satellite radio. “Shoot.”

Facing him, I asked, “How do I know I can trust you?”

He scoffed. “Don’t you think that’s something you should have asked before you contacted me?”

Although it was too dark for Paul to see me, I glared at him anyway.

“Look, Casinda, the only thing I ever lied to you about was being married. I never lied about my feelings.”

Not good enough. “My life and maybe Tiago’s are at stake. How do I know you’re one of the good guys?”

“Because I contacted the D.A. She’s a friend.”

“She?”

“There’s nothing between us. The woman is happily married and very pregnant.” Paul steered his sedan around a corner.

“Oh.”

“She’s making the trip to meet us at the cottage. I took you seriously about the two detectives. You and your friend can trust me.”

In that moment, I had no choice but to put my faith in the man. “Did you mean it when you said you still cared?”

Paul touched my knee. “Yes. We had a good thing between us. I never loved Rhonda.”

“Then why did you marry her?”

“Our families thought it a good idea. Although Rhonda was desperately in love with a musician, she went along with the arrangement.”

“Is that who she cheated with?”

Paul nodded. “Honestly, I wasn’t upset with her. I was upset with myself.”

“Why?”

“Because if I’d been honest about you, she would have gladly given me a divorce and made me pay her alimony. Hell, I would have forked over the cash, but then you found out about her.” He side-glanced at me. “When you walked out, I felt like I had to make my marriage work.”

“What changed for you?”

“I missed you. Whether or not our paths crossed again, didn’t matter. The day I caught Rhonda with her boyfriend, I was ready to call it quits for good.”

“Then you saw an opportunity,” I said with a hint of anger.

“No. I saw a chance for us to both walk away, but Rhonda wasn’t having it. She wants to prove that I cheated first.”

“For the money?”

“Yeah.” He gripped the steering wheel tightly. “Once we handle this situation, will you do me a favor?”

“What?”

“Testify for me. I don’t care about the money anymore. If you’re in my life, I’ll gladly sign whatever Rhonda wants me to.”

A lump formed in my throat, preventing me from answering. Was I ready to commit to a relationship with the man who broke my heart? 

I looked out the window and watched the dark trees passing. First, we put Warren and Morgan away. Then I could think about my future. 

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DON’T FORGET TO PREORDER THIS 2ND CHANCE ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY…

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