The Brightest Sunset(8)

By: Aly Martinez



“Answer me,” I demanded.

“We don’t know,” Tom replied. “I refuse to believe he didn’t figure it out before he started pursuing you. The fact that he was dating the biological mother of the child his wife kidnapped doesn’t sit well with anyone here. Way too much coincidence there for it not to be suspicious. But we’re going to get to the bottom of it. Trust me on this, babe. You do not have to worry about Porter Reese anymore.”

Oh, but for the way my heart felt like it had been put through a strainer, I did.

Brady fisted a hand on his hip, his other pinching the bridge of his nose, and spat, “I can’t believe you were dating that piece of shit.”

My throat got thick and a cold chill sent a shiver down my spine, but I gathered enough attitude to choke out, “I don’t particularly care what you believe and don’t believe, Brady.”

My hands were shaking, so Tom caught the back of my neck and pulled me into his chest, his words aimed at Brady. “Think of it this way. It all worked out. We found him, okay? Let’s worry about Lucas now.”

Nodding, I sucked in a deep breath, hoping that it would somehow ease the turmoil and panic inside me.

It didn’t.

But I could pretend better than anyone on the planet.

And, as the hours wore on, I had to do just that.





* * *





I sat on the wrong side of the two-way mirror in the police station, my arms folded on a small table, my face buried between them.

My chest empty.

My mind jumbled.

My stomach in knots.

My entire fucking life unrecognizable.

I’d only thought the day Catherine had driven off that bridge was the ultimate betrayal.

Boy, had I been wrong about that.

“Answer the question, Porter.”

“No!” I snarled, lifting my head to stare into the eyes of the third cop who had come in to ask me the same fucking question over the last two hours. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“So, Catherine—”

“No!” I snapped, shoving off the table and rising from my chair.

My nerves were shot.

The fingerprints were a match. DNA was still being processed, but I’d given up holding out any hope that that wasn’t going to match too.

Travis was Charlotte’s son.

And nobody in the entire fucking Atlanta police department would believe that I didn’t have something to do with it.

“Catherine didn’t tell me shit. Okay? I didn’t even know her when Lucas was kidnapped. Travis was four years old when we started dating, four and a half when we got married, five when I adopted him, and eight when she killed herself. And, during those years, never, not once, did she ever mention that she stole a baby off a fucking playground.”

He stared up at me, his face unreadable, and slowly flipped a file folder open. “Okay. Now that you mention it, let’s talk about the day your wife died.”

My chin jerked to the side as though he’d struck me. “What?”

He kicked my chair, shoving it toward me, and tipped his chin for me to sit down. “It says here that you were on the scene the day of the accident. You were the first person in the water and the last one out. You managed to get both of your kids out, but somehow, your wife was still inside that car when her body was recovered?” He rocked back, folded his hands in front of him, and watched me expectantly.

Ice chilled my veins. “Yeah. That’s what fucking happened,” I bit out. Leaning forward ominously, I stabbed my finger at the file he was reading from. “Does it also say how I nearly drown in that car, trying to save her? How she fought me with her dying breath? What about that it was no accident at all? She purposely drove off that bridge. So let’s get one thing straight. My wife didn’t die—she killed herself.”

His face remained impassive. “The two of you have an argument that day? Things get a little heated? She had some bruising on her body when it came in.”

I barked a humorless laugh. “Are you shitting me here?”

“Not at all, Mr. Reese,” he drawled in a thick Southern accent.

“She drove off a fucking bridge!” I exploded, my voice echoing off the walls. “With my children in the car. We were all bruised and battered that day. That was not limited to Catherine. Travis was—”

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