He reached out, taking my hand. “Sam, do you know who she was with?”
“No, but I think I have an idea.”
The look on his face said he was thinking the same thing I was, and it was terrible—heartbreaking in a way that made me soul-sick and dizzy. Things clicked into place, one tiny disturbing clue after another.
“Del,” I whispered.
We’re meant to be together.
Wasn’t that what Del had said? And from the glimpses of his world and my own, there was a lot of expectation revolving around our relationship.
Enough to kill for, so an affair would remain hidden? Second- or third-generation rich kids, like royalty…
So many times I’d tried to bring up Cassie, and he’d grown visibly uncomfortable and refused to talk about her. The most recent memory of Cassie asking if she could have Del resurfaced and lingered. Had they been sleeping together, and she wanted me to know? Lured both of us to the cliff, and Del, not knowing I was there, had pushed Cassie?
I felt sick.
The ride back to Carson’s house was tense and silent. Both of us were wrapped up in dark thoughts. He parked the truck in the driveway and killed the engine. Facing me, his eyes were somber, lips drawn tight. “I can’t believe it. As much as I dislike him, I can’t picture him doing something like that.”
I didn’t want to believe it, either. “Maybe it was an accident.”
He ran his hand through his hair. “Okay. If it was an accident, what about you? Did he accidentally push Cassie and then you?”
“I don’t know,” I whispered around my poor nail. And Cassie falling really didn’t make sense the more I thought about it. The very first memory I’d had was of blood on the rocks—the flat sandy-colored rocks that covered the cliff.
“And Del doesn’t have the balls to do something like that,” Carson said, mostly to himself.
I made a face, but then my heart skipped a beat. “Did I have the balls to do something like that?”
Carson laughed, and then his eyes widened. “You’re being serious? You think you pushed her because of Del?” Disbelief colored his tone. “Sam, you’re not a murderer. Not now and not then.”
“But what if I was mad? What if Del left and I confronted Cassie? And things got out of hand?” The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to vomit. “We were kind of explosive together, right? Maybe I accidentally pushed her.”
“You didn’t do that, Sam.” He grabbed my wrist, tugging my hand away from my mouth. “You’re not that kind of person. You never were. And besides, it wouldn’t explain what happened to you. You push her and then change your mind and jump? It wasn’t you.”
“That’s a good point.”
He sighed, letting go of my wrist. “You don’t believe it. Why? Because you’ve been seeing things—because a bunch of stupid kids are saying stuff they don’t have any idea about? That doesn’t make you crazy, a freak, or a murderer. You’re a good person. Don’t ever question that.”
My chest swelled at his words, and tears filled my eyes. Without thinking, I leaned across the gearshift and placed a brief kiss on his cheek. Carson stiffened for a second before turning his head, bringing his lips oh-so-close. A tremble ran through his body.
“Thank you,” I whispered, probably for the hundredth time.
He nodded, throat working as he swallowed hard. “I mean it, Sam. I’m not saying it to just make you feel better.”
Each word he spoke caused his lips to graze my cheek, sending a shiver through me. Reluctantly, I pulled back. “I know.”
A faint smile appeared. “Can you do me a favor?”
“I really don’t think Del could’ve done something like that, but be careful.” His eyes locked on to mine. “Please.”
“I will.” I didn’t want him to worry, but talking with Del was something I had to do. And the faint smile was still on Carson’s face, but it never reached his eyes. He was worried, and he had good reason to be. If it hadn’t been me, then whoever the killer was had to be worried that I’d get my memories back.
Later that evening, after I’d changed into a pair of comfy sweats and a cropped hoodie that I’d found in the closet, I sat on my bed and took the Tiffany’s necklace off. Holding it up so that the ceiling light reflected off the white-gold design, I tried to remember the first time I took it off.
Nothing came to me—no feelings, thoughts. I sighed, laying the necklace on the comforter.
Footsteps in the hall drew my attention. I looked up, seeing the shadow of the body first before the person reached the open door. It wasn’t someone I’d expected.
My breath caught as he stopped in the doorway and leaned against the frame. I had no idea where my parents were, and I was pretty sure Scott was in the basement. “How did you get in here?” I asked.
His brows slanted. “The front door was unlocked.”
“And you just let yourself in?” Coldness had crept into my voice without my meaning it to be there.
“Yeah.” Confusion was etched across his face as he inched into my bedroom. He was wearing the same dark slacks and button-down shirt he’d donned for the funeral. “Since when has that been…the necklace?” He stopped just shy of the bed. “You took it off?”
Scooping it up, I ignored my nervousness. “I was just looking at it.”
His eyes flashed, not nearly as glassy as they’d been at the barn, but the scent of alcohol was still wafting from him. “I left the party.”
“Oh?” I held the heart tightly, the metal biting into the fleshly part of my palm.
“You’re pissed. I know.” He sat on the edge of the bed, twisting his midsection so he was facing me. His eyes were glued on my hand. “Veronica and Candy were just messing with you.”
My brows rose. “Messing with me? And you just...” I trailed off. What he did or didn’t do wasn’t the problem here or what was even important. “Del—”
“I didn’t do anything. I know. And I should’ve made them stop.” He took a breath, rubbing the heel of his hand over his jaw. “I’m sorry. I don’t like seeing you embarrassed and hurt.”
I blew out a tired breath as I studied him. I couldn’t help but see him and Cassie together, but could he have been responsible for all this? My instinct told me no, but how could I really trust that? And that wasn’t even the reason for why this needed to end.