“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about, but it’s not going to be easy to hear.”

“Drew, you’re freaking me out. Just tell me,” she urges.

“She was in the bed when I woke up this morning.” Her eyes bulge out of her head and I can feel the anger radiating off her already. “I thought she was you.”


“She dyed her hair blonde and her face was buried in the covers. Once I realized it was her, I pushed her out of the bed and told her to tell me where you were. When she wouldn’t, I kicked her ass out and threatened to call the police if she didn’t tell me where you were. She claimed she wasn’t the one who carried you out and that she had a keycard to the room, so she technically didn’t break in. Once I knew she wasn’t going to tell me shit, I made her leave.”

“Holy shit, Drew.”

I can tell her mind is racing a million miles an hour, which I don’t blame her for. I should’ve told her right away, but she was in a fragile state and I couldn’t risk her lashing out even more.

“I’m sorry,” I say. “It was a living nightmare waking up to her. If you hadn’t called me when you did, I was about to trail every inch of Vegas looking for you.”

Her chest begins to rise and fall in deep breaths as she takes it all in.

“She had help,” I explain. “I don’t know who the hell it was, but I’m going to find out. As soon as we’re back and we file the temporary restraining order, I’m going to have Logan make some calls to get the video surveillance so we can press charges. We aren’t going down without a fight. Do you hear me? I won’t let her win.”

She swallows, processing everything I’ve just told her and I know it’s a lot to take in. This whole fucking day has been a lot to take in.

“Sweetheart?” I say, trying to grab her attention back to me. “Say something, babe.”

“I-I don’t know. The fact that she was so easily able to find us in Vegas—of all cities—drug us or something, get into our room, and sleep next to you is psycho level five-thousand. I mean, who the fuck in their right mind plans something like that out?”

“She has some issues, I won’t deny that, but I swear she’s never shown me this side to her in the three years we were together. Either she’d been really good at hiding it or she’s having some kind of psychotic breakdown.”

“That’s even more terrifying to think about,” Courtney says.


I finally settle down enough for us to eat our food that Drew brought back. It’s mostly cold, but I’m so hungry I eat it anyway. Being with him makes me feel safe, but I can’t help thinking of what’s going to happen when he goes back to work and I’m left at the house all alone. His swing shift hours have him working till three in the morning, sometimes later if he’s on overtime.

“In case I have to tell this to Logan or a judge, I want you to hear it from me first.” Drew sets his empty to-go container down and turns, looking at me. “Mia has a pretty rough past and it’s never really come up in our relationship for me to be concerned about it, but now I’m thinking there might be a connection.”

The seriousness of his words has my heart racing once again.

“Mia isn’t an only child. She had a sister named Madelyn. She was only ten months older than Mia and they were super close. When Maddie was sixteen, she took her own life and Mia’s the one who found her.”

“Oh my God,” I gasp. “I had no idea.”

“She didn’t want anyone to know, so I never said anything to anyone.” Considering the mess she’s created now, there’s no way I’m keeping this to myself anymore. “As you can imagine, Mia took it pretty hard. Her parents were already tied down to their commitments and jobs more than their children, so when Maddie died, Mia had very little emotional support and felt abandoned by her sister. She began spiraling out of control and her parents thought if they threw more money at her, she’d be happy and stay out of trouble.”

“Jesus,” I mutter. “They created a monster, basically.”

“Yeah,” he sighs. “One with extreme attachment and relationship issues.”

“So, I guess they never got her the help she clearly needed.”

“Nope. As long as she kept getting her bank account padded, Mia promised to stay out of trouble, which in return, if she did get into trouble, she just used money to get out of it. A cycle that has given her no real sense of reality.”

Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic
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