Chapter no 52

Never Lie

For dinner, we eat another meal of cold cuts, heated briefly in the microwave. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever eaten, but we’re getting out of here in the morning. Tomorrow night, we’ll go someplace really nice. We need to celebrate the family we’ll be having soon.

After we finish eating, we’re about to head upstairs when we hear shouting coming from Dr. Hale’s office. It’s Luke, still trapped in there, although we haven’t checked on him.

“Hey!” His crackly voice calls out. “Anybody there?”

We exchange looks. Ethan drops a hand onto my back and steers me away from the office.

“Hey!” Luke shouts again. “I’m thirsty! Can I have some water?”

I stop in my tracks a few feet from the door. “We could give him some water.”

Ethan’s jaw tightens. “He won’t die in there, Tricia. He’ll be out in the morning—he can hang on until then.”

“Yeah, but… we could at least bring him a glass of water. Let him have a drink.”

“You’re too nice.”

I almost laugh at the irony of his statement. I’m glad he thinks that way about me. “I just think it would be a good idea to give him a few sips of water. We could hold it up for him. We don’t have to untie him.”

“You think that’s a good idea?” He jerks a thumb in the direction of the door. “We don’t know what’s going on in there. What if he got his arms free, and he’s waiting to jump us the second we get inside?”

I don’t think that’s true. First of all, the door isn’t locked. If he got free from the duct tape, he could just leave. He doesn’t need us to let him out. I think he’s still bound up in there.

“Please help me!” Luke calls out. “Just one sip of water!


I wring my hands together. This is making me uncomfortable. I may have killed a few people, but I didn’t torture them. Well, maybe a little. But all of them deserved it. I’m not sure Luke deserves it.

“And I gotta take a piss!” Luke adds.

Now Ethan laughs at my expression. “You want to help him with that too?”

I guess not.

Ethan gets close to the door to the office. He brings his lips close to the opening and calls out, “You’re not getting any water. You can piss in your pants.”

That response sets up a string of profanities that makes me glad we decided not to go into the office. The pressure on my back from Ethan’s hand increases and I let him lead me away from the office door, toward the staircase.

“Don’t let him manipulate you,” Ethan says. “He isn’t a good person. He killed his girlfriend. He killed one of the people closest to him. What kind of person does that?”

Ethan doesn’t have a clue that Luke isn’t the one who killed Dr. Adrienne Hale. And he also doesn’t know that the body under the floorboards doesn’t belong to Dr. Hale.

“He’s evil,” Ethan adds for emphasis. “He doesn’t deserve water.”

“Yeah,” I mumble.

“You’re too nice,” he says again.

We head up the stairs to the bedroom. Yet another night sleeping in Adrienne Hale’s bedroom. Even though she blackmailed me and threatened me, I feel guilty about it. I feel guilty about sleeping in her bed. If anyone is capable of coming back as an angry spirit, it’s Dr. Hale.

When I get into the master bedroom, I pull off the beautiful white cashmere sweater. I curse under my breath when I notice the little yellow stain on one sleeve from the mustard we used on our sandwiches tonight. I bring the sweater into the bathroom and run the sleeve under hot water, rubbing at it to get it out.

It won’t come out. Somehow, the stain has already set in. The pristine white cashmere sweater is ruined.

“Tricia?” Ethan peeks his head into the bathroom. “What are you doing?”

“There’s a stain on this sweater. I’m trying to get it out.” “Why bother? It’s not like she’s going to be wearing it


Well, he’s right. But I keep scrubbing at the stain, hoping it will come out. After a minute, Ethan comes into the bathroom to join me. He comes up behind me, slipping his arms up around my waist. He drops his head and kisses my neck. Once, twice… then his lips linger there.

“Ethan,” I murmur.

“Come on, Tricia. We both need something to take our minds off of everything that just happened.”

Well. That’s true.

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