Beneath These Scars (Page 70)

I hated that she called me by the same name Jay had—right before he’d thrown a punch or landed a kick.

“Where is he?” Strangely, I almost wanted him here instead, because at least I understood his brand of crazy. Hers was completely foreign and unpredictable, if crazy could ever truly be predictable.

“He’s out, and it’s not good for him to get too worked up.” Her mockingly sweet tone shifted to something bitter and harsh. “Especially not about a piece of trash like you. Someone who couldn’t even keep the man happy. I don’t understand why he’d be still fixated on you. He just needs to move on.”

“So he’s been the one who’s been—”

Jennifer shook her head and clucked her tongue. “Oh no, Yvie. Of course not. I wouldn’t let him get within a hundred yards of you and your whorish ways. Sometimes men just don’t know what’s good for them.”

“Then . . . who?”

She stepped closer, and I caught a whiff of Chanel No. 5.

“You?”

Jennifer smiled, but it was a smile of the borderline—or completely—insane person. “I still can’t figure out why he’s hung up on you. All he talked about for months were all the things you did wrong that he had to punish you for. You should have thanked me for moving that glass. It would’ve made him so angry.” Her eyes hardened. “I should’ve left it, though. It would’ve shown him you hadn’t changed. Not that I would’ve let him get inside your house. No, I keep a tight leash on my man. I’m sure you don’t know a thing about that.”

So she’d moved the glass. Stolen the perfume. Left the message on the mirror.

“And the explosion?”

A sickly gleeful expression stole across her face. “YouTube is so handy. You can really learn to do anything. Except get people to stay where they’re supposed to be.” Her smile twisted. “Because then we wouldn’t be having this discussion, now would we?”

“Why?” I demanded. “Are you crazy?”

“I prefer the term creative. Keeping tabs on you, tabs on him trying to keep tabs on you—it got so tiring. I just want to get married and live my life. I didn’t need you hanging over everything. Jay loves me. Only me.”

“Good. I don’t want anything to do with him.”

“But he just can’t seem to get over his first love. So I thought I’d help.” She raised her hand, and the sharp silver blade of a knife caught the light. “By cutting you out of the picture.”

I FLOORED THE ASTON AND headed home. Yve wasn’t picking up her phone, and the text she’d sent me hours ago had been completely vague. My next call was to Jerome, who answered on the third ring, thank God.

I didn’t bother with a greeting. “Where the hell is she?”

“She should be home,” he replied. “I’m just leaving the airport. Monica’s flight was twenty minutes out and had to be rerouted to Baton Rouge due to a medical emergency. She’ll be in late tonight.”

“That’s what Yve said. She’d be home later tonight. In a text.”

Jerome was silent for a moment on the other end of the line. “She said she wouldn’t go.”

“Go where?” I demanded.

“A huge estate sale. Tonight. Dealers and wholesalers early preview. She wanted to go but I told her that I couldn’t come. She promised she’d go tomorrow.”

Yve and an estate sale. That made complete sense, but still my panic grew—panic I hadn’t felt since the morning her apartment had exploded and I couldn’t reach her. That morning everything had started to become really clear: Yve mattered. A whole hell of a lot. And tonight I’d chosen her over business when Haines had tossed out his ultimatum. I’d thrown it back in his face because it would have meant hurting her. Apparently I’d officially found the one line I wouldn’t cross.

I wanted her in my house, in my bed, in my life, and there was no way in hell I would let anything happen to jeopardize that.

I slowed at a stoplight. “Do you have the address of the sale?” Even though the panic had subsided, a sense of foreboding washed over me. Haines’s son—a convicted fucking rapist—was still out there, and according to Haines, still obsessed. And Yve was alone. I would not leave her vulnerable.

“I don’t recall the address, but JP will have it. I’ll get it from her and text it to you. I’ll meet you there.”

I almost told him it wasn’t necessary, but maybe Yve would finally understand how seriously I took her safety if we both showed up. It wasn’t a game, and she knew that. She knew better than anyone what her ex was capable of, and I was going to make sure she didn’t take another risk like this again.

“Okay. I’ll see you there.”

I pulled into a parking lot to wait, but instead of texting me back, Jerome called a few minutes later.

“According to JP, she did go to the sale,” he reported. “But she also mentioned something I hadn’t realized. The flyer came in via a street kid today, not by mail or someone they knew.”

“That doesn’t sound normal.”

“JP thought it seemed a little strange, especially given that it was all high-end stuff, and the sale wasn’t listed on any of the normal places Yve looked.”

“Give me the address.”

I punched it into the GPS as he relayed it. Urgency and rage twined together in my gut.

An estate sale of high-end stuff, unusual notification, and still . . . something that Yve wouldn’t be able to resist.