Did you miss Chapter One?
Did you miss Chapter Two?
From Third Times a Crime
Scott stiffened at Becca’s comment, and patted my knee, but
it somehow felt a bit insincere.
I stood, the entire table looked at me and I grew hot and uncom‐
fortable. “I’m going to get some air.”
Scott excused himself from the table and followed me. “Hey, wait
up,” he said. “I need to talk to you about something.”
The serious expression on his face made my heart plummet into
my stomach. I reached for his hand, only he wasn’t expecting it and
our hands bumped awkwardly. Ordinarily, Scott would have made a
joke about it and wrapped his arms around me, but tonight we both
dropped our arms to our respective sides and walked out of the room
together in silence.
What was going on with him?
Outside of the main dining area, the castle was frigid. There were
drafts running throughout every room and passageway, the broken
window in the prayer room only made matters worse.
I shivered and said, “I think it’s warmer outside than it is inside.”
Scott shuffled his feet next to me. “Yeah. This time of year, it’s like
that in this area.”
We walked outside. The grounds were enormous. We descended
the back porch steps and went past the empty swimming pool onto
the rolling grass. There was a large garden area surrounded by shrub‐
bery and in the distance we could see planted vegetables, olive and
grape groves, and wheat fields.
“The historical society’s done a good job of keeping up the castle,” I
said. “At least the exterior.”
“Yeah,” Scott agreed. “The interior will never be the same. Looks
like they knocked out the roof several years ago. That’s the best way
to destroy a building. The third and fourth floor are probably beyond
repair,” he said.
“That’s sad,” I said. The idea of something being beyond repair
bothered me. I looked into Scott’s dark eyes for comfort, but he
averted his gaze.
“How’d you know about the roof?” I asked, trying to ignore the
fact our conversation seemed clunky.
He shrugged. “Just a little online research I did earlier.”
I nodded. The discomfort between us was palpable. Ordinarily,
we’d be finishing each other’s sentences and now there were large
gaps of silence. A gust of wind blew around us, leaves rustling at our
feet, my hair whipping at my face. This was the impending storm the
blackbirds must have sensed.
“Are you feeling okay?” I asked Scott.
“Yeah.” He shrugged. “Sure. Why not?”
“Well, it’s just that you’re very quiet,” I said.
He shrugged again. “Aren’t I normally quiet?”
“No,” I said. “Not normally.”
He got a distant look in his eye. “Not since the accident?” he asked.
I nodded sympathetically. “How do you feel about stuff in gener‐
al?” I asked.
He looked at me. “What stuff in general?”
I meant me.
How do you feel about me? That’s what I wanted to say, but I didn’t
have the courage to put my heart out on the line, so instead I shrugged
and the futility of the gesture made my skin itch.
Suddenly, he grabbed my hand. “Georgia, I know we’re in love . . .”
His voice cracked with emotion and he swallowed. “But I have a . . .”
He sighed. “I have a problem. I’m not feeling in love. I don’t know how
to explain it, and I don’t want you to take it the wrong way. I’m so
Fear wrapped around my heart and my breath caught.
What was he saying?
Was he breaking up with me?
Oh, God. After everything we’d been through, he was going to
break up with me.
He squeezed my hand harder. “I don’t know what to say. I just
need you to be patient with me. I . . . Like I said, my brain knows that
we were in love. I’m just trying to tell my heart that.”
“You don’t feel like you’re in love with me?” I asked. The question
sputtered out of my lips. I hadn’t wanted to say it, hadn’t wanted to
confirm what he was telling me. Now I wished I could stuff the words
back into my mouth.
He nodded. “I . . . I like you a lot,” he said. “I know that. You’re
funny and you’re smart, and you’re beautiful. I know you’re going to
figure out this mystery, and win the contest and all that. I just . . . I’m
just trying to keep up with stuff,” he admitted.
My chest suddenly hollowed out and tears burned at my eyes.
He doesn’t love me?
My heart ached so much, it was difficult to breath.
Scott’s head hung down and for a moment he looked so lost, I
thought I’d weep. I wrapped my arms around him and said with more
desperation in my voice that I’d planned. “Scott! Scott! Everything’s
going to be fine.”
Part of me wanted to tell him, “You’ll remember being in love
with me! You’ll fall in love with me again, won’t you?” But I couldn’t
Tears streamed down my cheeks.
“What do you want to do?” I asked.
He wiped my tears, his warm hands on my face only making me
feel more desperate.
“Just give me time,” Scott said, “Just give me a little bit of time.”
Another burst of wind tore at us, howling and whipping around
us, almost separating us with its icy bluster.
“I want you to know, if I’m different, I don’t mean to be,” he
continued. “I’m just being the only way I know how to be right
now . . . I’m trying to remember things.”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”I couldn’t stop reading!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Fast-paced and fun. I love these mysteires!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Diana Orgain is my new favorite author!”
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