Did you miss Chapter One?
Did you miss Chapter Two?
Did you miss part one of Chapter Three?
From Third Times a Crime
Chapter Three Continued…
I nodded, pulling away from him. I rubbed at my eyes and face,
and tried to keep my head from exploding. This had come as such a
surprise. I’d known things were awkward between us, but I never
suspected he didn’t love me anymore.
Before Scott, I’d been left at the altar and now all the feelings of
betrayal came rushing back at me, hitting me square in the solar
plexus. I sucked air in greedily, hoping it would calm my racing
“Not remember things exactly,” Scott said, barely noticing that I
was practically hyperventilating. “That’s not the right word. I
remember things, but it’s as if those memories belong to someone
else. As if I’m not invested in them somehow.”
He’s been in a severe accident, I reminded myself.
He’d been in a coma. Head injuries take a lot of healing time. We’d
been so lucky he’d mostly recovered quickly. The doctors had all said
it might take time for life to return to normal. I just hadn’t thought
that that diagnosis had included our relationship.
There was life before the accident and life after the accident.
“I’m like Humpty Dumpty,” he said.
“No,” I said. “Not Humpty Dumpty.”
“Yes,” he said. “They couldn’t put him back together again.”
Before I could argue, footsteps sounded behind us. I turned to
look, but no one was there.
“Did you hear that?” I asked him.
He shrugged. “Hear what? Are you listening to what I’m telling
“Yes! Yes!” I grabbed his hands. “Of course, I’m listening,” I said.
“You’re . . .” And then my mind went blank. I’d been about to say,
“You’re breaking up with me,” but he wasn’t really, was he? He was
only asking for a little bit of time. He was asking to have some space
to figure things out.
I could give him space. I could do that.
“I can give you space,” I said, offering him my most reassuring
Disappointment flashed through his eyes, then he narrowed them
at me. “Right. Yeah. Space.”
“Space,” I said. “Isn’t that what you asked for? Space?”
“I asked you to be patient,” he said.
“Yes. That’s what I meant. Patient. I won’t rush things. I . . .” I stut‐
tered and looked at the ground. Nothing I was going to say in this
moment would make anything right. All I could do was be patient. I
grabbed for his hands, but they remained at his sides, so I dropped
mine awkwardly. “I love you, Scott, and I remember everything and I
can feel the love for the both of us. I can love you enough for the both
He stepped away from me. “No, Georgia, you can’t. Don’t you get
it? That’s what I’m saying! You can’t love me enough to make me feel
in love. It just doesn’t work that way.”
“What?” I asked. Panic clawed at my throat. The conversation was
going all wrong. I wanted to say something to make it better, but I was
“Never mind,” he said. Annoyance flashed across his face, his jaw
tightening. “Nothing’s right, right now. It’s me. It’s not you,” he said.
“Okay? It’s me. I’m so sorry.” His dark eyes turned stormy with sorrow
and my heart broke even further. Then, he turned on a heel and
walked away from me.
I made to follow him, to call out to him, and then I remembered I
wasn’t supposed to follow. I was supposed to give him space or be
patient or whatever it was that two people who were in love did when
things weren’t going right.
My eyes burned and I wanted desperately to sit down and have an
ugly cry. I glanced around the garden, searching out a space. There
was a stone bench near some rosebushes that looked like the right
kind of spot to have my meltdown. I swallowed back the lump in my
throat and crossed the garden.
Some defensive part of my brain scanned the shrubbery for inter‐
lopers. It would be just like Cheryl to send a cameraman out here to
film my demise.
Ugh. The show.
Scott and I were supposed to be partners on the show for next few
weeks, and now what?
We were supposed to pretend everything was fine between us? Act
like a couple or just good friends?
My head ached just thinking about it and a sob escaped my lips.
Just as I was about to reach the solace of the stone bench, footsteps
sounded again behind me.
I whirled around to look. I was sure there was somebody out
there, but only the empty garden lay in front of me.
The hair on my neck rose.
I was alone here in the garden, wasn’t I?
Or did I have company? Either the human or paranormal kind . . . ?
No, that was ridiculous. I was letting the spooky mansion get
Rustling sounds came from the bushes.
It could be the wind . . .
I cautiously followed the sound, stepping silently toward it. In the
distance, I could hear a pair of voices arguing. What was going on?
Somebody was having a fight. I tried to follow the sound, but hedges
I circumnavigated the hedges, walking back to where the swim‐
ming pool lay. I passed the decaying empty swimming pool and
headed toward the voices.
Then suddenly, Dr. Arch appeared from behind a hydrangea bush.
I leapt back and covered my heart with my hand.
“Georgia. I’m sorry. Did I alarm you?”
“No, no,” I lied. The stubborn ex-cop part of me would never
admit to being alarmed or caught off guard.
“What are you doing out here? Taking a little walk?” he asked.
I took a step back. “I could ask you the same. What are you doing
He smiled broadly, baring his overly whitened, large teeth at me.
“I’m having a little walk myself. Getting some fresh air, exploring the
castle and the grounds. I assume you’re doing the same?”
His question hung in the air, giving me the creeps. How long had
he been out here? Had he been following Scott and me?
Had he been listening to our conversation?
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”I couldn’t stop reading!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Fast-paced and fun. I love these mysteires!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Diana Orgain is my new favorite author!”
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