The series follows Jade, a former waitress and seasoned Loan Some employee who thinks she’s done it all – until the lawyer of a wealthy recluse charged with murder hires her to act as the man’s sympathetic fiancée throughout the trial. As Jade gets into the role, she becomes more and more wrapped up in the case and with the eccentric defendant, whom she’s not at all sure is innocent. Previously… Jade agrees to meet Sibyl at the roadside diner. Readers voted that when she arrives, she finds Sibyl’s dead body in a parked car.
“Sibyl!” Jade glanced toward the diner, where the waitress was still smoking and tapping her foot against the linoleum, completely unaware of the horror occurring in her parking lot. She clapped a hand over her mouth as she looked back into the car where Sibyl Downing lay spread across the front seats, undeniably dead.
Jade stood frozen for a moment, her mind blank with shock. Should she call the police? Get back in her car and drive away? Go into the diner and tell the waitress that there was a dead woman in the parking lot? She looked at Sibyl again, as if she had the answer, and this time, she noticed the dark bruising around Sibyl’s neck. She had been strangled. Feeling dizzy, Jade teetered back towards her car and slumped against the door.
Ok, she instructed herself, get a grip. She forced herself to focus on the facts. Someone, the killer, had either followed Sibyl from her house or else known where she was going to be, in which case they must have known Jade was also going to show up. They could still be there. Fingers trembling, Jade took out her phone, called 911, and reported the crime. When the overly-calm woman on the other end asked her name, she hung up and, with a sinking feeling that this was probably the wrong thing to do, jumped in her car and drove away.
The ride home was a blur. She fumbled with her keys on the way in and was just about to push open the front door when she saw a yellow envelope sticking out of her mailbox. She reached for it slowly, and when she saw that it was addressed to “Karen” her breath caught in her throat. She grabbed the envelope and went inside, locking the door quickly behind her and sinking to the floor.
“To Karen Rice:” the piece of paper inside read, “This is my confession. If I’m dead when you’re reading this, I was killed by William White. William and I have been involved for years, and we wanted control of my family’s money. We planned it all together. William would kill Josiah Carver and we would frame my brother for it. William would defend him and make sure he looked guilty, and I would testify for the prosecution. I would convince the jury that Melanie was behind the murder, that she was setting Sebastian up, and then William would destroy my credibility and accidentally prove Melanie’s innocence. No one would suspect the defense of sabotaging their own case, so the jury would conclude that my brother was guilty. He would get the death penalty, and we would get the money. It was perfect. Yesterday morning, I learned that Sebastian has made William legally in charge of the accounts should he go to prison. Now that he doesn’t need me, I’m afraid for my life. You may be the only person who actually cares about Sebastian – please don’t let William get away with this. I’m so sorry. Sibyl Downing.”
Jade stared at the paper, reading it twice more before it began to sink in. It was written in hastily scrawled pen – Sibyl had obviously been in a hurry. She read it a fourth time. William? Could it be true?
She looked up from her position on the floor and screamed for the second time that night. William was looking in her front window. He tapped on the glass, motioning to be let in, a hard smile fixed to his face.
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