Chapter no 43

The Housemaid's Secret (The Housemaid, Book 2)

It turns out Ramirez isn’t able to talk to me right away, which I suspect is some sort of tactic to break me down. Brock has to take a call from work, so he leaves me alone in the interrogation room, where I spend the next hour silently panicking.

I’ve been at the police station for over two hours when Ramirez finally comes in to talk to me, with Brock following close behind. Brock sits next to me, and he gives my hand a quick squeeze under the table. It’s comforting to know he doesn’t completely hate me, despite finding out about my prison record. Although the day is still young.

“Thank you for your patience, Miss Calloway,” the detective says. His expression is still a complete blank. “I have some questions for you about Mr. Garrick.”

“Okay,” I say. We are being recorded, so I keep my tone calm and measured.

“Where were you last night?” Ramirez asks me.

“I went over to the Garricks’ penthouse to do some light cleaning and laundry, then I went home.”

“What time did you leave the penthouse?” “About six-thirty,” I say.

“And did you speak with Mr. Garrick while he was there?”

I shake my head, remembering what Wendy told me. The two of us just need to keep our stories straight, and we should be fine. “No.”

Ramirez looks surprised by my answer. “So Mr. Garrick did not ask you to meet him at the apartment last night?”

I blink at him, confused. “No…”

“Miss Calloway.” The detective’s eyes seem to get darker as he stares at me. “What is your relationship with Douglas Garrick?”

“My relationship?” I look over at Brock, who is frowning. “He’s my employer. Well, him and Wendy, his wife.”

“Do you have a sexual relationship with him?” I nearly choke. “No!”

“Not even once?”

I want to reach out and shake the detective, but thankfully, Brock cuts in. “Miss Calloway answered your question. She is not having a relationship of any kind with Mr. Garrick aside from purely professional.”

Detective Ramirez picks up the folder he placed next to him on the table. He pulls out a sheet of papers stapled together. He slides it across the table to me. “We found a burner phone in Mr. Garrick’s dresser drawer. These were the text messages exchanged between the burner phone and your phone.”

I pick up the papers and start scanning them while Brock looks over my shoulder. I recognize the text messages. They are the same messages that Douglas has been sending me for the last couple of months to confirm my work days. But out of context, they seem to take on a different meaning.

Will you be over tonight? I’ll see you later tonight. Come tonight.

Moreover, all my messages about groceries and laundry have vanished. Every single message seems to involve planning meetings together. Brock’s eyes are popping out as he reads the text messages.

“Yes, these are our texts,” I say, “but they’re all about work.”

“Mr. Garrick was texting you about work from a burner phone?”

I clench my teeth. “I didn’t know it was a burner phone. I just thought it was his regular phone.”

“I see,” Ramirez says.

“Plus,” I add, “there were other messages. Mostly about groceries and laundry. They’re not here… they look like they’ve been deleted.”

“Do you have the messages on your own phone?”

“No…” Because Wendy told me to delete them. “I got rid of all the messages.”


“Why wouldn’t I?” I let out a laugh that sounds way too high. “I mean, do you save every text message you get?”

He probably does. He probably has text messages on his phone going ten years back. Although to be fair, I would never have deleted those text messages if Wendy hadn’t told me to.

“Also,” he says, “there were outgoing calls made to you as late as midnight. Are you saying that your employer was calling you at midnight?”

“It just happened once,” I say lamely.

I recognize how weak it all sounds. It doesn’t make sense—why was Douglas texting me from a burner phone? It’s not like he was setting me up to take the fall for his own murder. I look over at Brock, who has gone strangely silent at the worst possible time.

“Also…” Ramirez opens the folder again. Oh God, there’s more? How could there possibly be more? “Do you recognize this?”

It’s a grainy printed photo of a bracelet. I recognize it as the same bracelet Douglas gave to Wendy after he gave her that black eye. “Yes,” I say. “That’s Wendy’s bracelet.”

Ramirez’s eyebrows shoot up. “Then why did we find it in your jewelry box in your apartment?”

“She… she gave it to me.”

His eyebrows creep closer to his hairline. “Wendy Garrick gave you a ten-thousand-dollar diamond bracelet?

ten-thousand-dollar bracelet? That’s what this bracelet cost? I’ve had something worth ten thousand dollars in my crappy little jewelry box?

“She told me it was a gift from her husband,” I say.

“What about the inscription?” He pulls yet another photograph out of the folder and passes it to me. “Does this look familiar?”

The inscription that I had read on Wendy’s bracelet is now blown up on the screen so that both Brock and I can read it clearly.

To W, You are mine forever, Love D

“Right,” I say. “To W. To Wendy.”

Ramirez taps the photo. “Doesn’t your name start with W?


“I…” My mouth is suddenly dry. I wait for Brock to interject and protest the line of questioning, but he is still mute, also waiting to hear my answer. “I always go by Millie.”

“But your name is Wilhelmina.” “Yes…”

“Also…” Oh no, there’s more? How could there possibly be more? But once again, he’s reaching for that stupid folder. He pulls out another printed photo. “Was this a gift from Mr. Garrick?”

I take the photograph out of his hands. It’s that dress that Douglas asked me to return. But then he never gave me any receipt or told me where it came from. With everything going on, I’d completely forgotten about it. So it’s just been sitting in a gift bag in my bedroom closet.

“No,” I say weakly, even though I can already see where this is going. “Mr. Garrick asked me to return the dress.”

“So why has it been sitting in your bedroom for over a month?” “He… he never gave me the receipt.”

I can’t even look at Brock. God knows what thoughts are going through his head. I want to assure him that this is all a terrible misunderstanding, but I can’t have that conversation with him with the detective in the room.

“Look,” I say, “I was going to return it. I asked him about the receipt and he said he would get it for me but we just both forgot.”

“Miss Calloway,” Rodriguez says, “did you know that the dress was purchased from Oscar de la Renta for six thousand dollars? Do you really think he would just forget to return it?”


I hazard a quick look in Brock’s direction. He has a glazed expression on his face, and he’s shaking his head ever so slightly. I brought him here to be my lawyer, but he’s proving to be completely useless.

“Also,” Ramirez adds. Oh no. There cannot possibly be anything else. I definitely did not accept any other handouts from the Garricks. There is nothing more he can pull out of that folder. “Did you spend the night at a motel with Douglas Garrick last week?”

“No!” I cry.

He clears his throat. “So you didn’t check into a motel in Albany last Wednesday while Mr. Garrick had a business meeting there, and pay for the

night in cash?”

I open my mouth but no sound comes out.

“Last Wednesday?” Brock bursts out. “That’s the day that we were supposed to meet for dinner and you stood me up! Is that where you were?”

I can’t lie. I gave the clerk at the motel my driver’s license. “Yes, I did rent a motel room in Albany. But it’s not what you think.”

Ramirez folds his arms across his chest. “I’m listening.”

I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to give away Wendy’s secret. If they find out about the marital problems the Garricks were having, the murder could get pinned on her. Even though I don’t want to get blamed for this, I don’t want her to get blamed either.

“I just needed a night away,” I say lamely.

“So you went to a random motel in Albany to spend the night?”

“I wasn’t having an affair with Douglas Garrick.” I look between Brock and Ramirez, and both seem incredibly skeptical. “I swear it. And even if I were—which I wasn’t—that doesn’t mean that I killed him, for God’s sake!”

“He broke it off with you last night.” Ramirez keeps his eyes pinned on me as he drops this revelation. “You were furious with him and you shot him in anger with his own gun.”

“No…” My mouth feels horribly dry. “That’s not even remotely true.

You have no idea.”

Ramirez nods down at the photographs on the desk. “You can see why it looks suspicious.”

“But it’s not the truth!” I cry. “I was never having an affair with Douglas Garrick. This is absolutely insane.”

The detective doesn’t say anything this time. He just stares at me.

“I never even touched him,” I say. “I swear to you! Just ask Wendy Garrick. She’ll confirm everything I’m saying. Ask her!”

“Miss Calloway,” Detective Ramirez says, “Wendy Garrick is the one who told us about your affair with her husband.”

What? “Excuse me?”

“She said that Mr. Garrick came clean with her yesterday, and he invited you over with the intention of ending things,” he says. “But when she got home, she found him lying on the floor, shot to death.”

No… She didn’t… After all I did for her…

“And,” he says, “your fingerprints are on the gun.”

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